Category Archives: journal

Close Quarter Confession

Entry Date: October 11th, 2017

I’m sky high.

And by sky high, I merely meant that I am currently sitting in seat 34D (the last seat on the right side, near the lavatory) on this Delta airplane. An Asian (I believe Chinese based on the language-I studied Mandarin in college) woman is fast asleep next to me while her son watches Pepper Pig on an iPad. There’s a sense of isolation in this position, but do not mistake it for loneliness. I desire this solitude. It makes the traveling…less hectic; and, I am blessed with the ability to decipher my thoughts-this is an added plus when one is at the beginning of something.

A new chapter began this week, and it started with a DM (yes, a direct message). How can something so simple, and partially ridiculed by society, start a revolution in me? Because, I had to take the risk, and create an opportunity that was previously nonexistent. When that message left my device it didn’t matter if it landed in the inbox (it did), or if they didn’t respond (they did).

What mattered then, and still does now is that I will waste no time being a content observer, not when my dream is to be a director. A director does witness, but only does so to devise their next action-either born from strategic intent, or sheer improvisation. This I wish I could say I knew already, but I only realized it this past Sunday, when I watched my script come to life on a screen.

Peninsulas & Pyres

Foresight has informed me of my foundation; it is built upon opportunities, risks, tactics, faith, fear (and the conquering of it), and so much more.

I feel as if I’m a missing member of this Asian family, for they are steadily drifting toward my seat; but, they are at peace so I will not disturb them. On this voyage to my new life, I am alone, and in this aloneness, I will learn who I am. Maybe I will discover that I am like one of the dull faced drones who previously occupied the boarding area. This creativity and talent could be a fluke, a momentary spark in the darkness that showed signs of blossoming into a blaze, only to die when the ventilation blew too hard. I may very well die, and I quote the great Billy Crystal “one of those New York deaths where nobody notices for weeks until the smell starts to seep through.”

This is a possibility that this reality materializes but, luckily, this isn’t my only option. No, there are countless others, one for each word that my pen writes. And, this is the reality I dare to choose… A realm solely made for the manifestation of whatever dreams I dare to dream. Yes, I am not only a dreamer (ahem, Pisces), but a do-er as well; and though I live for a challenge, there is nothing like conquering a task that was given by the self. I accepted long ago that my spirit is a seeker. It desires to chase. What it desires, honestly, depends on the day of the week. Why be confined to one choice anyways?

I have talked quite lengthily about my next adventure, however, I must now address the actions that are required for it. Truthfully…I don’t know the next step after arrival. And this may, possibly, be the ideal answer for anyone in my position; the act of leaving the specifics of each step to the self that encounters it. Technically, there is nothing one can do now to bring a reality into fruition, and yet they can do everything as well. Confused? I know, that’s how I feel as this mother and son cuddle, now encroaching in my chair space-bubble-aura-thing.

I wish to turn on the light-there is no window at this seat-however, I, again, do not wish to disturb them. Irony at its finest, because seconds ago my flash nearly blinded us (I failed to take a picture of the distance, or centimeters, between our shoulders). It’s fitting that I am writing in the dark, the physical manifestation of “Unknown.”

 

Moments over Minnesota

I, much like the rest of humanity, am unaware of what to expect out of this life. This has been learned, along with the idea that expectations are arbitrary anchors; they ground us on abstract shores, creating the delusion that our vessels are steadily rocking with the seagulls rather than descending into the briny blackwater. I can’t preach to you as if I’m immune to them; they still do appear in my mind, but their appearance does not signify acceptance.Just like the child who recently stirred in his mother’s lap, I am young and naive; however, I am aware of the power of choice. This is what separates me from the anchor, and depart from the comforting (or complacent) seaside cottage. I will not be bound to the rusted chains of a dying reality, instead I will shed the expectation before embarking on each experience. Without the imaginary safety net for insurance, I will be granted two options: sink or swim.

By eliminating the “what if” factor of setting expectations, and tolerating the tension associated with the presence of the “Unknown”…maybe, just maybe, I can prepare my soul for the next voyage. Without expectations present, action is now the required force to create a reality, a result, or a byproduct of a risk. Action is required if I wish to best the “Unknown”; if I wish to best the darkness within. No longer are the days of silent observation, from this day onward, I will be the director that I’ve dreamed of becoming.

A self portrait taken in the lavatory. I had to wake up the family to get to the bathroom though ūüė¶

Flight Plan

The sky yawned this morning.

It drowsily rubbed away the darkness as the sun awakened.
Cotton pillows fluffed while the first rays of the day spread across the horizon.
From such a vast height one forgets that there is a world full of sleeping folk below, because we are the early bird.

The sky soaring albatross that beats its blackened wings against the wind, heading westward with hopes of sharing its feathers with those who have never known the joy of flight.

Advertisements

Stargazing

Thoughts from 2/1

I’m not even sure if I can categorize these as thoughts because they seem to stem from some other obscure location outside of my mind. Laying underneath the infinite, one comes to realize how insignificant we truly are; and that is the first step in defining our significance.

Beyond the reaches of our earthly vision lies a universe so alive and full of mystery that we, at this current time period, are unable to articulate or even comprehend the vastness of it. Is space considered part of nature or does it exist as its own entity, expanding and imploding as our brief lives are sentenced to a short stint of time.

I live under the same sky that Einstein, Ghenghis Khan, Queen Cleopatra, Homer, Gilgamesh, and every other legend has lived under. While my eyes try to decipher the darkness, my thoughts turn to these heroes; did they look to the black heavens as I do now? What self motivations prompted these brave men and women to charge themselves with living to their full potential?

I wonder, is it foolish to attempt to number the stars?

If one sees a shooting star should the wish upon it, or dedicate their will to it?

My fears are also present as the shingles of the roof tickle my toes. In front of me is nothing, at least nothing I will ever experience; and yet, everything lies out there. Our society is so selfish, choosing to be a civilization where gossip is a more interesting topic than the discovery of a giant dwarf star. When did we, humanity, become so vainly self-absorbed in our toiling that we overlooked the greatest canvas to portray imagination and apprehension?

As I gaze into the vast unknown, I wonder if someone out there,  maybe somewhere lights years away, is reminiscing on these same thoughts.

 

The State of the World

Today is September 23rd 2016, it’s a random unimportant Friday on the calendar, but that has failed to reflect in the day. Right now, I’m in Charlotte, on the same street where Keith Lamont Scott was shot and killed earlier this week. This is the state of the world, my world. I am consciously aware that I could become the next hashtag based solely on my skin complexion. An entire life-full of dreams, memories and experiences-ended due to a simple concept such as skin. We blacks (and other minorities), are steadily realizing the truth about this nation, that it is not made for us. The elected officials are not going to truly provide aid to us. Obama smiled in our faces and deported millions, initiated drone strikes and continued to sign for police to have access to military-grade equipment. Donald Trump is enticing overt racial behavior, and willingly enflaming an entire society of white nationalists. They have been waiting for a man like Trump, who has made it “acceptable” again to say and speak whatever is on your mind, including racist and sexist slurs. The police force is becoming an extermination squad, killing civilians without caution; brothers and sisters are dying so rapidly that we are unable to heal before another name enters the death note (and that’s just the reported/controversial deaths). Yet, majority of white America and politicians want us to be “peaceful”. What have they done for us to greet them with peace? They know that if we were to truly fight for our rights, that their livelihood (not lives) would be threatened. We must make the quiet white supporters know what it feels like to be oppressed, even for one day.

On another note, it seems that the video for the shooting was finally released. Interesting how the officials are unable to determine if it was “justifiable”. They always claim they need more facts, but how much more information will change the fact that a man was murdered while waiting for his child to get off the bus. It’s that damn rhetoric that all the scared higher-ups utilize; language full of ambiguity and inconclusive statements. We must change the narrative. We must have enough power, not information, to make our narrative (one full of truth) heard across the world. We are on the road to conflict with America, again. We have to channel our revolutionary spirits again and stand. Honestly, this is a terrifying reality; but all oppressed individuals, who demand change, must accept. Change does not come from speaking the words and solely relying on wishes such as “hope” and “love” (both are necessary, but that can’t be the only thing you offer). Real change requires sacrifice, action, and the risk of failure.

They are trying to silence our voices, they know that they are not ready to hear what is going to be said. We must keep protesting, because they don’t like it. We must keep kneeling because they don’t like it. We must continue to do things our way, so they begin to see that we are real.

“Will I Ever Become an Artist?”¬†

When I travel (which is becoming more frequent), I spend majority of my time journaling and documenting my experiences. Once I’ve amassed enough trips and stories, I plan to publish them in some form or fashion. But here’s an idea of what goes on in my head while I’m in “nomad mode”. ¬†This post is an excerpt from my trip to Atlanta this past September.¬†

Once again I’m on the road with a feeling burning in my soul. I have come to accept that this is what we call “passion”. It flares from the depths like a waking furnace ready to provide heat. This passion strikes me in the most unconventional ways, whether it’s in the subjects from my pictures, the words being inscribed in notebooks, or the phrases shared in conversations. This time it was words, certain targets that I seem to cling to when uttered. Authenticity, originality, creation, perseverance, determination, and most of all art. The elusive dream sought by all souls on this earth. We seek it, it seeks us as if we play a childhood game. We skirt around the idea, afraid that if we touch it or place the label upon ourself that it will disintegrate like the decaying leaf in fall. Why do we fear such a word?
Is it because we are incapable of understanding it’s meaning? Or do we believe that we are unable to call ourselves an artist without first creating art? Then the question expands, what shall we define as art! And most importantly, who’s definition of art is considered right? The concept and answer may lie in the individual. Some, as myself, will not take the title because they view art as a grand creation that required tireless hours and the handling of caustic emotions. Other believe that it is simply anything that is created by the hands of a man or woman who has passion in their heart? Although I am only a novice, adolescent at best, I have begun to ask the question that every aspiring artist must ask. Will I ever become an artist? I think if this question is asked and an answer cannot be found, then they must keep asking at each opportunity. The answer will come when the persistence of the producer matches up with the passion of the product. If your work has inside of it, a piece of you or your soul and another is capable of interpreting that at the most basic level, then you have created art. I do not need the viewer of my photographs to know why I took the picture, I must give the viewer the chance to ask that question and come up with their own answer. To be an artist means you must leave room for your viewer to create an idea in relation to the work you have created. It is a symbiotic relationship that must exist in order to reach the true purpose of art. If one is capable of doing such a thing, and consistently, then they have the right to call themselves an artist. As an Adolescent Artivist, I believe myself capable of producing such work; however I must improve upon the consistency. In an ideal scenario I’d want all of my works to entice a viewer, but now I am only able to have certain works fulfil that task. It takes persistence, an artist is not born overnight. He does not abide to the rules of time yet a single work does not denote an artist. The soul must toil, both internally and externally, hoping to find a balance between the order of their mind and the chaos of their heart. Our soul is the mediator between the two, and the spirit is God’s way of caring for the soul, because it is constantly drained trying to appease both elements. Once the soul has uncovered the secret to balance, and this is contingent upon the individual, it may now transmit its understandings into the body. The body will then utilize its power in relation to the physical world to create a work. This work is the sum total of the soul, spirit, heart, mind and body. If a work is able to withold all five qualities, in any degree, then surely it must have the power to generate an effect in someone else. The viewer will question the motives, the meaning, the concept and the technique; each will be answered by the different part of his existence. So to answer the universal question, will I ever be an artist, I smile gladly to the sky, with the soft raindrops kissing my eyelids and say “I am becoming one, everyday”.

Destination Detroit

It’s a slow sunrise this morning, lots of clouds hanging in the sky. There are breaks in the curves, not enough to brighten the day yet, but a break nonetheless. It’s fitting really, the morning resembling the quiet drag of a cigarette. Wisps of smoke floating between fire and packed earth. We don’t watch the night disappear enough, it’s a serene moment. The twilight is being playfully chased away by the waking day. Slowly the colors begin to appear, blending with the hazy canvas. My eyes are so used to the shades of the sunrise that my irises have adopted their palette. No matter because it still takes some time for eyes to adjust to the light, no matter how many times I’ve gazed upon the stars. I will miss this night, for it is one that I have watched grow from a speck against the horizon. Nurturing it with words as we discover how similar we truly are. Our lives existing on a cycle, however, one day mine will end. I used to be afraid of such things, and I still am, but the fear isn’t paralyzing. Instead it pushes me, forces me to seek a fulfillment that I was unable to find elsewhere. Hmm. I hear the divine paint whispering, it sounds like fresh coffee, revving engines and newborn raindrops ready to escape from the grey clouds. It all hangs in the balance. Just as day has learned to offer the sky, so too must we learn to share this space given to us by God.