If I can offer you any piece of advice it would be this:
Live now. Life is too damn short to simply wish things were different.

Friday, January 30, 2009

You can always go home?

I've been away from home (on the complete opposite coast) for close to 4 years now. I've been fortunate enough to live on both coasts and experience the vast difference between the two. I have also been extremely lucky in developing a group of friends in my current location that are outstandingly loving and supportive. They have helped me define what it means to "create" your family. Something I've never had to do because of my extremely close connection to my blood family.

I always planned on my time away from my family to be limited. I was anxious for the experience but always knew I would return to the place I grew up having brought with me all the experiences I have gained from being so far away. But the longer that I am away, the more disconnected I feel from home. Or perhaps just that "idea" of home. I guess this merits the question "what is home" or perhaps the clich├ęd question "where is home." I suppose that no matter how close or far you are to where you grew up, these questions still abound in everyone’s mind. But it's a question that scares me in a way that I've never felt before.

"They" say you can always go home. But can you? Is there a point you reach when you've been away for so long that going home to where you grew up almost feels like going "back" to a foreign place? And that perhaps, simply because you grew up there, doesn't necessarily mean you belong there? And if that is the case, how do you find comfort in knowing that where your blood family is located....might not be the best place for your own individual growth, experience and "life."

Can you always go home?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Are there two of us?

We've all experienced conversations with "ourselves" before but have we ever really thought about what that means? Thought about what it means to "ask yourself" a question? Thought about what it means when one side of us feels one way and the other side feels another? Or when we have to "tell ourselves" to be strong?

These statements....these emotions, would imply that there are two of us. Two people, maybe even more, built within one body. Multiple voices spouting their opinions, fears, emotions and desires. We even see it when all of these voices are aligned and agree on something. We make statements like "i feel this with all of my being." Which again implies that all of our voices, personalities and beliefs are in agreement. And there are times when we have to choose between the "us" that makes the most sense at the time. One side says go, one side says stay. One side says yes, one side says no. One side says "i know i can," the other says "i'm just not sure."

So which do we choose to listen to? Which voice could be, should be the most powerful? And how do we even know where these voices are generated from? From the heart, the mind, the soul? Would it make any difference if we knew?

Are there two of us? and if so, which one do we listen to?

Monday, January 26, 2009

"Her"

“Her”
It was the essence of "her"
the mere presence of "her"
that prompted my vacillation
to provide a solid explanation
in my lines
when i began receiving signs
of all kinds
that my minds
eye, had been lookin in a new direction
with a brand new process of selection
for love and affection
and with my heart and soul showing no objection
i allowed these feelings to invade
but still with my words no effort was made
for homage in rhyme to her was never paid


because back then
was when
fear of perception was what held my pen
from others looking in
and even from the glare of my own eyes
my passion became something i had to fictionalize
and by no surprise
my words had formed stories i couldn't begin to recognize


can you imagine something so absurd
poems lost and hesitation incurred
allowing my voice to be bound and gird
by the fear of using one 3 letter word
it was "her" i was dying to say
with "her" i wanted to spend my day
"her" was who i wanted to stay
all the while telling myself if was they
they that stood in my way
battled to no end
because they couldn't comprehend
the reason i had to pretend
that "her" was NOT my godsend
that "her" was NOT the one to mend
the pieces of my shattered body and broken soul
that "her" was the one I couldn't openly extol
feelings with which THEY couldn't understand and i couldn't control
hidden feelings that began to take their toll
a point at which i could no longer console
and had to disagree
with my frustrated vision of the ones i could see
and i realized i needed to move that finger 180 degrees
cause clearly the only one standing in my way was me


i had always been free
to make my choice
to give my feelings for "her" a voice
allowing my words to form a confession
to show my obsession
through my own form of expression
that "her" had become the center of my being
inside "her" was where i was fleeing
that "her" was all I was really seeing
it was "her"
my words now form for "her"

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Can you feel it?

All I really want to say right now is how incredibly proud I am to be an American. I love America with all her beauty and all of her faults. I love the way she has forced us to see ourselves in another human being that looks upon the exterior, nothing like us. How she has forced each of us to get to know each other on a grander scale beyond what we see and in turn has allowed each of us to know ourselves a little deeper to our core.

I'm confident we're paying closer attention now more than ever. Today is one of those moments when you can literally feel the energy and spirit of the each being on this Earth move the wind that presses up against your body. A day when we can all feel, literally, connected to one another and be so incredibly proud of the life we've been granted because of the pride we feel for the life next to us that has been granted.

I'm confident we can and will make that feeling last.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

How lucky we could be....

I met a male to female transgender woman at church today. Lets call her Patricia. I'd seen Patricia at church before but had never formally introduced myself. And we only met today because she was sitting in the row in front of me during the peace offering. She turned, extended her hand and said "Hi, I'm Patricia. Peace be with you." And I have to admit, from then on, I was a bit distracted in church. Not because of Patricia, but because of my own stream of thoughts that followed our meeting:

I first thought: It's so nice that Patricia has a community and a church that is open and accepting of her entire being. I'm grateful to be apart of that community.
I then thought: I wonder what she does for work. I wonder what people are like to her outside of this community. People that pass her on the street or stand next to her in the line at the grocery store. I wonder what kind of world she faces when she's not here. I wonder if she has a partner. A lot of friends. Any friends.
My next thought was: I wonder how my parents would react if I transitioned.

I have no desire to transition but I became curious to know how my family would deal with such a decision, which ultimately spawned my next thought: My journey in life is to figure out how to be the best "me" I can be. I will only make the world a better place if I truly fulfill what I know is best about myself. I must put myself in situations that make me a better person, do the things that make me happy, that I know I'm good at and ultimately fulfill my destiny.

That last thought made me ask the question: So how could a parent, a friend, a passer on the street, a church, a group of people, etc. who are NOT me, ever be concerned about me doing what makes me happy or what I know is right and best for ME? How can anyone that is not me tell me the way I live my life, the things I do, the people I associate with, the groups I'm apart of are wrong? And above all, how could anyone ever feel sad for me, dismiss me, estrange themselves from me....if this is just me? If this is how I make the world the best world it can be? If I do these things for the betterment of the very people that may reject me? How could anyone else, seeing as we're all on this same journey to be the best "ME," ever tell me the way I'm doing it is wrong? How is it not possible for EVERYONE to see the beauty and the benefit in a person making themselves the best person they know how to be?

How lucky would we all be if every person on this Earth felt comfortable, assured and supported in finding and following with all their heart their true destiny? How lucky would we all be if every person on this Earth remained flexible to skewed perceptions of tradition, society, pop culture, fads and norms and could see through to the hearts of each persons own unique make up...whatever it may be?

I'm not sure if it was meeting Patricia, being in the presence of God, being amongst some of the best friends in the world or a combination of all three that got me to thinking about all of this, but I am certain of what I took away from it: As I think about creating a family of my own and raising thoughtful, loving children, I'll be damn sure to pass along one very clear message--Pay very close attention to all of your OWN life's opportunities and possibilities and follow the ones that speak to every ounce of your being. Pay no mind to onlookers, naysayers, people of the like or to the opportunities and possibilities that others are finding and following. Trust yourself and take action. Then and only then, will I feel confident that your presence will do what it was intended to do on this Earth. And what a beautiful thing it will be....and how lucky we will all be.

The Importance of Words-A Tribute to the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The message that Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. relayed on August 28, 1963 in Washington, D.C. was one that, because of it's depth, dynamism and profundity, has touched so many since that day.  A sentiment that is surely well known and understood but perhaps and unfortunately, rarely remembered.  Dr. King's words have meant many things to me in the evolution of my own life, but have probably gone deeper for me now more than ever before for one reason....the importance of words.

As kids, we learn how to speak words, spell words and connect words to make meaning in sentences.  We learn to hear words, repeat words and sometimes we made up our own words. But when I think back on my life, I struggle to remember receiving the message of the importance of words.  In fact, I recall many adults in my life reminding me that "sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me."  A cliched sentiment I had no problem accepting as a kid but now eschew with all my might.  And I do so through the words of Dr. King.  

The day King delivered his message of hope, of change, of freedom, of demanding justice for ALL, his words melted into the hearts of those that NEEDED to hear them.  His words inspired action, rebellion and power for those that had lost their inspiration.  His words gave rise to changes this country thought they would never see.  Our first African American President...Barak Obama.  The beautiful "coincidence" of the inauguration happening the day after our day of remembrance for the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  Dr. King said he had a dream...and perhaps that's where his words came to him.  But I rest assured that Dr. King knew that our reality is and will always be shaped through our words.  Our words create our reality.  They create the world we know today.  And they will create the world we see tomorrow.  

As I celebrate all the beauty, courageousness and brilliance of this man....I will remind myself of the importance of words.  And I will remind myself that the world I talk about, the life I speak of, the dreams I whisper in a good friend's ear....will be forever my words becoming my reality.  They will be my words...they will be my life.     

Spilled Milk

Writer, poet, and word-smith extraordinaire Yolanda Williams has created a masterpiece entitled "Spilled Milk" that should be viewed by all.  Yolanda paints an incredible picture of progression and emotion that will quickly immerse all who read.  For those who have ever searched for, found, questioned and reveled in the feeling of love, this book will take you to all those places and back.  For those who have a need for words that envelop, challenge and ease all at the same time, this book is exactly what you're looking for.