Saturday, August 30, 2008

God Bless New Orleans..

Keep everyone safe and sound... New Orleans is one of the best places in the world to become one with and experience... Beautiful, mysterious, alive, spiritual, mystical, whimsical town with the most incredible food, music, and truly great people. You haven't truly lived until you've gone there at least twice..

Eyes... them..

One of the most honest barometers for a lifetime lived is/are the eyes. I’ve been asked why I never wear sunglasses. My sly answer is “I want you to see the real me…” but the truth is, I just got used to not wearing any over the years. There was a time when I would make my once every three month pilgrimage down to Venice Beach and buy a pair of cheap sunglasses. I used to love wearing the ones that were all silver. They would wear out after a few months and the cheap silver tinted lens would fade. I’d have dark holes in the center of each lens where my pupil was.. It looked funny. Made me think my eyes were burning holes in my lens… Piercing reflection… But anyway, the eyes are amazing.. I’m someone that makes eye contact most of the time, whenever possible. I don’t look away unless I sense a feeling that I could be intruding or causing discomfort in another or unless I have one of those shy moments where I feel like my own protective barrier is being invaded. Someone special to me has those curious moments when she asks me “why you looking like that?” The sly answer first; “what you see is a reflection of the life I’ve lived..” The true answer is; “I dunno..” Then when I think deeply about it during my moments of quiet combined with nothing really to do but think, my initial answer seems more fact than an attempt to be sly and brilliant. Look deeply into the eyes of another and you can see a great deal. The best reflection is when you look into the eyes of an elderly person whose path has taken them through many different experiences, good and bad. A life experienced person who has traveled a great deal; physically, emotionally, spiritually, professionally, etc.; those eyes will say a lot. Imagine looking into the eyes of those famous names who seemingly have accomplished stuff that many of us wish we could. Pick a name and imagine sitting across from them as they tell you their story… I think about that some times just as much as I think, dream, wish and imagine sitting with my grandfather who passed away when I was a kid. I would love for my grandfather to look into my eyes and tell me what he sees, feels, or could sense about my journey thus far. But if I could sit across from a few so-called famous folks and talk about life in a non-chalant, non-pretentious way, it would be folks like Martin Luther King, Marvin Gaye, Prince, Isaac Hayes, Muddy Waters, Johnny Cash, Spike Lee, Malcolm X, Denzel Washington, Billie Holiday, Muhammed Ali, Minnie Riperton, Bruce Lee, Barack Obama, Curtis Mayfield, Gordon Parks, Paul Williams(Temptations), Jimi Hendrix, Sammy Davis Jr.; the list goes on for a long time but those folks fascinate me when it comes to what it would be like to make personal eye contact combined with deep or even not so deep conversation about life and not in an interview sort of way but as two people kicking it, so to speak… Still, with all due respct to the famous folks, if I could trade them in for people like General, Solomon, Senora, Palestine, Virgil Sr. & Jr., Charlie, George, Oscar, Jean, Saddie Mae, Moriah, Peter, Mama Julia, Frank, Alzata etc. who are all family of mine that lived their journey and passed on; I would in a heartbeat… Some of them I have photographs of but most I don’t. I wish I had close up shots of everyone, capturing the spirit reflected in their eyes… That to me is the beautiful gift of photography; capturing the spirit… The eyes; windows of the soul that mirror the reflection of your journey…

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Imaginary Time Machine

I love to go back... Been going back a lot recently. I'm speaking of back in time. If I had a time machine that could transport me physically, I would probably go back to the days of blues musicians traveling a round Mississippi with a guitar in my hand or just sitting on the front porch, strumming and playing; accompanied by friends or by the sounds of crickets, trains, and whatever else was out in the distance. It feels like I miss the days that I never had, though I've come close via my trips to the south. But, if I had a time machine, I would definitely go back regardless of how much harder those days were... Seems like to me that despite the hard times, everything and everyone else was honest and showed their true colors from the start... Life was honest.. Reality didn't need to be on a TV screen; you carried it everywhere you went... I've been playing a lot of old music and even learning how to play it on my new toy, which you see in the picture. *smile* When I pick this thing up, I feel like I've gone back in time.. It feels like all I have to do is hold it in my hand, open the door and see asphalt turn to country side... It's like strumming my imagination; a creatively beautiful way to escape... My closest thing to a time machine next to sharing memories with friends and family but I wish I could go back... in time... and stay a while...

Friday, August 22, 2008

A Pigeon No More

This pigeon came flying in out of nowhere. He landed on the ledge and appeared to be disoriented. He stumbled around and threw up several times. He was in really bad shape and I figured he probably wasn't gonna last much longer. I sat inside my car, observing him. The pigeon walked along the ledge until he was directly in front of me. I took a few pictures. He seemed okay during that time. Then he shook for a moment. His wings went up and he flew away. Perhaps it was panic that caused him to do that. After a few minutes, I got out of my car and began walking towards the other side of the parking structure; that's when I saw him again only this time he was surrounded by twenty or more crows who had discovered him, sitting helpless and weak. They pecked and crowed at him. It was the perfect opportunity for them to take advantage of the bird. It reminded me of "real life." I walked in the direction of the crows and they all scattered. They circled high above me; flying round and round as I tended to the pigeon. I tried to make the pigeon fly away but he couldn't. I wasn't sure it would be safe for me to pick him up so I had to leave him where he was... The crows waited; perched high above on top of light posts. They watched me and called out to each other as if to say "wait until he leaves then we'll finish the job on that pigeon.." I had to leave and when I returned later, I knew what I'd find... Poor little bird and an example of how life can be sometimes...

Saturday, August 16, 2008

"Most times just telling the truth is so much easier..."

"You have to learn to fall in order to rise..."

Monday, August 11, 2008

RIP and Soul... Isaac Hayes

I was very sorry to hear about Isaac Hayes passing.. It feels like his musical influence and presence has always been a part of my life going back to my young teen years when my father took me to a walk-in movie theatre in Houston Texas to watch "Truck Turner." I loved that movie. I know that may sound strange to some; "walk-in movie theatre" but back in those good days, it was just as normal to go to a drive-in theatre as it was to do a walk-in. I saw Shaft back in the day too but for some reason I wasn't really into that movie back then as much as I was just into Isaac Hayes; his music and style. My father had this close friend by the name of Big George who always reminded me of Isaac Hayes because he sometimes worked as a bodyguard and carried a 357 Magnum just like Truck Turner. And whether I was riding in my father's Cadillac Seville or sitting in someone's home or place of business, two things filled the air; some kind of fruity smelling incense and some music from the man they called "Black Moses." It was more of a background thing to my early life but interestingly enough, I've really been checking out his music more so in the last two years than ever before. I mean, I listen and I study it.. I marvel at all the songs he wrote along with his partner, David Porter. Thanks to satelite radio and this station on XM called Soulstreet, I've been awakened musically, so to speak... All this incredible music that floated around me back in the day was just there... It didn't resonate too deeply but I could hear it.. Now it's more than just there.. I understand and appreciate it especially when there ain't much to grasp and hold onto these days... Isaac Hayes wrote a lot of incredible timeless songs.. I stand accused, When something is wrong with my baby, Soul man, Hold on I'm coming.. he wrote songs for the Soul Children and Lou Rawls.. the list goes on and on forever... I was checking out this instrumental track called "Ike's Mood" and just grooving off of all the different parts of the song that I can remember were used in several hip hop and R&B tracks... I can definitely hear where Mary J. Blige took one of her grooves from... Much respect to Isaac Hayes.. I hope they do great things in his honor to celebrate his life and amazing body of work... He put a major stamp on music history... Stare at the photo below and listen to the track called "Soulsville." You'll feel like you've been transported back in time when despite this not being a perfect world around us, there's still pride, family and brotherhood/sisterhood to lean onto. Isaac Hayes was definitely a symbol of pride. Special mention to Bernie Mac who also passed away... He was a great example of success and being cool in a down to earth sort of way at the same time... Heaven got some incredible talent up there...

Saturday, August 02, 2008

The sweet smell of real true love, written from head to toe, every inch to behold because it belongs to the soul.. I’m blessed with coming first for all the right reasons.. I smile from inside and out, every bit of me, all around... we see things that equal we rather than me or I. Whether down or up, I believe because of she. I laugh more. I can be silly. I can breathe. I can do me, freely… I have space and yet I cherish and look forward to when she’s all over me. I count days, hours, minutes, and seconds between the next time I see her, touch her, etc… She’s so real, she’s normal and I ain’t seen that sort of thing walk across my path since… possibly never.. but she’s here now… forever…