You know I have always been passionate about human rights for all but I was very passionate about the civil rights movement that started in the sixties. I just was. I studied it , read books and poetry about it. Tried to do what I could to live and love a certain way because of it. I was like this at a very young age. Because of that I am also very passionate about the black lives matter movement. I feel it is a natural extension of what our predecessors worked towards. I was posting something about the black lives matter Movement and someone said to me, well Why don’t you care about Jewish people? Well of course I do. What does that have to do with it. I get some form of that question a lot and I think it comes from a place of fear, anger and yes, even racism. I really don’t understand that question so I have trouble answering it. I mean to me it’s like going to a cancer benefit and screaming at everyone “don’t you care about AIDS”? Of course we care about AIDS but this is a cancer benefit today. Being that said there is something to be said for being passionate about one thing and really sinking your teeth into that one thing. Robert Redford, the fabulous actor and environmentalist activist once said that he didn’t really respect people that change up their cause and jump from one cause to another all the time. This comes from a man who has made an incredible shift in the world with his environmental efforts. His efforts have made ripple effects across the globe and it doesn’t mean he doesn’t support other causes or care about other causes but he listened to his own specific Dharma. His Dharma was the environment . Here is a picture of Redford on the set of A River Runs Through it. An amazing film that celebrated Nature. The river, family , free spirits and Fly fishing.
I mean we all support different causes but to be passionate about one thing and really try to make a difference with that one thing isn’t a bad way to go. There is nothing wrong with that. Then I saw it explained so perfectly by Ram Dass from his blog.
For each of us, you’ve got to be very quiet to hear your unique dharma, your unique way of expression.
Somebody comes along and their major thing in life is to regain the rights of indigenous peoples.
Someone else comes along and their major thing is to awaken people to environmental degradation.
Someone else comes along and their major thing is to clean up the incredible oppression of women.
It isn’t a question of which thing is worse, or which is more worthwhile. Each person has to hear what is their part in the whole process of how their compassion expresses itself.
I am doing this gig. This is my part. It’s no better than your part, it’s just my part. I’m not under some illusion that I have a different part and I honor everybody else’s part, I just have to constantly keep listening to hear what my part is anew.
There is no rule book about this.
We are all on the edge of having to listen freshly all the time. When your children are little you hear theDharmaone way, and as they grow you hear it another way, because you listen freshly. The plane at which all the dualities exist is relativity real, and the plane in which they don’t exist is relatively real, and that’s equally relatively real, so you can milk it any way you want to… We all need a gig.
I think he expressed my thoughts perfectly and I wanted to share that because I wasn’t exactly sure how to explain myself because I usually think that question comes from a negative place but I wanted to answer it none the less. I have always appreciated Ram Dass and his wisdom through out the years.
When you lose all hope in people. In humanity. The disappointments pile up and the hope is pushed to the bottom of the pile. It’s pushed to the bottom of the pile until you don’t see the hope anymore. Despondency.
Disappointment. It’s an important word. It can be the needle in the haystack. It can be the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Or it can be the ending of the beginning or the beginning of the ending.
Last year I went to the big sister/ brother organization to try to be a big sister. I really wanted to give back. I wanted to help another kid. Since I was adopted and came from the foster care system I always wanted to help other kids but didn’t always know how. Anyway I tried to become a big sister. People said when your really sad a great way to get out of that is to help others so I tried. I went to the Big Sister/ Big Brother office for an interview and they really liked me. They liked that I was in the arts and was a singer. The girl who interviewed me was super sweet and we really hit it off.
When I filled out the application I felt the need to be extremely honest when the health part came up. You have to be honest so I told them I had bi-polar depression but I was under a doctor’s care.
They said that shouldn’t be a problem but we do have to check with a therapist if you’re seeing one and I had just lost my therapist because she left the office. They reached out to a woman I had only seen once or twice. Well that was a mistake because she didn’t know me.
She told them no. Don’t let her be a big sister. That was so wrong. This ” therapist” was very odd and after I saw her three times I stopped. She didn’t believe anything I told her. I told her I was a singer. She wouldn’t believe it. All she had to do was google my name and she could see I was a singer. It’s not like I was saying I was Aretha Franklin. I mean just google me for God’s sake. How is she going to help me if she doesn’t believe anything I tell her about myself. She kept talking about Jesus All the time, not even knowing if I was a Christian or not which is extremely unprofessional. She wasn’t gonna he able to help me so I stopped seeing her. She didn’t believe me, she assumed I was delusional for some reason. I wasn’t and the prior therapist knew that.
I asked her why she told the big sister people NO and why I shouldn’t be a big sister and she said because it isn’t about you. I said I know it isn’t about me, it’s about the child and I want to help a child. I think I can offer them something good.
So long story short I was told by the big sister organization that they unfortunately had to decline my application because of what this ” therapist ” said. They said they really thought long and hard about the decision and they were so sorry. All because of Someone I had seen twice or three Times. ..I was so disappointed.
They came and often. So much that I decided to expect them. I probably invited them after a while. It became what was comfortable. It was like an old friend that I despised but also kept inviting back to my home. Why?
I didn’t know how to stop inviting this old friend. It was familiar. It became part of my routine, a daily occurrence. They were welcomed along with anger and sadness and loneliness and frustration and hopelessness. After a while I knew no other way. I was so tired. All the time I was tired.
Was my lack of success self-imposed? Something Denzel Washington said in the movie Roman J. Israel Esq. I connected with that statement. Probably partly so although I did try. I did try so hard to succeed. A Great movie by the way if You haven’t seen it yet. So good. Denzel Washington was at his best playing a “socially awkward” on the Autistic Spectrum Character and what chaos that can bring even with a super-sized heart. He said, “I’m sick of doing the impossible for the ungrateful.” I felt the same way.
There comes a time where you realize you break free from your own chains of chaos and destruction or you drown. You have to find a way out or you don’t. It is up to you.
I went to the office for a training for big sister / big brother and I was just as qualified if not more to be a part of this organization. I had more love in my heart than most of the people in that room, I could feel it.
I could have omitted that I was bipolar on the application form but that would be untruthful. Dishonest.
At the time I was so sad about this decision but I decided to let it go and maybe try again at a different time. I still haven’t found a good therapist. It is almost impossible to find one because I have tried. They are over whelmed with patients. There is so many that aren’t very good and the good ones either don’t take your insurance or they can’t fit you in or they are just too expensive. The rise in people seeking therapy has risen dramatically of late and the market is flooded.
Disappointments. I’ve had a few.
I can say at one time I didn’t think I would make another day. Not one more day. But I kept on truckin’.
I had to let it play out because what if one day something wonderful were to happen.
What if one day a dream would come true. Sometimes I stayed alive to please others. I didn’t want to hurt my parents. If I left the earth the people I left behind would pay the consequences and sorrows of my decisions and the complexity of that stayed in my mind. I felt it not fair to them. So I kept on truckin’.
I’ve always been a Robert Crumb fan. Lol.
Sometimes I tried to indirectly end my life in self-destruction and self loathing. That didn’t work. I was still here.
I learned people will disappoint you. Almost always. There were a few who didn’t and I will cherish them to the day I do leave this earth. Very few but there were a few. I had a couple of north stars in my life. Thank god.
But even with that I learned that I would have to pull myself up first. There is no one else really. It’s all up to me.
That’s when it changed for me. The light inside turned back on and I decided it’s me and me. We are either gonna do this or not do this. If we are gonna do this we need to do it right.
As Soon as I decided that I realized another level of internal strength I didn’t know I had. It was almost like a door that opened to a new floor that had been locked all these years. A floor with golden doors and plush carpet and lots of purple and kittens and puppies.
“Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.”
A door so bright and so vivid that I still needed my sunglasses. This floor was there all the time. I just didn’t have the right key to unlock it.
People say it’s only you that can make you happy. I think that is true because you have to love yourself before you can love someone else but once you get to that floor things are clearer. Love is there. Loving someone and having them love you back is an amazing gift. And as Nat King Cole taught us there is nothing greater than to love and be loved in return.
I thank god every day for the gifts I am receiving now. The love I am receiving. The love I am giving. I am so full of gratitude and on some days I cannot stop smiling. I am so happy I decided to keep on truckin’ because if I gave up and gave in I would never have experienced the gold doors and the plush carpet and the purple colors that are blinding me with righteousness and brightness and glory. I have seen the eye of god and the eye of the devil. I have seen them both. I looked them both dead on and saw the reflection of myself in their eyes. I had to choose… more disappointments or more love. I chose love.
I am a big sister now metaphorically and I am so happy to be one! I am a baby sister. I am a friend and a lover and a daughter. I am me. I am in love. I love my neighbors. I love my brothers and sisters. All kinds. I love all the animals and the trees and all that is living and sharing this planet with me. I am so grateful and full of gratitude.
I hope one day you will find the key to the floor with the golden doors if you have not yet found it. It is there waiting to be unlocked. I know. It is waiting for you.
So I think its time for this blog to be written. I was thinking about a lot of things yesterday, in my head and then something very special happened. I was driving and picked up a customer, he was waiting on the side of the road. He was handsome, nice smile. He was friendly. As I was driving him something very special happened.
He decided to tell me his story. I believe when someone shares something very personal with a complete stranger that it is a gift. Some people find it strange or weird but I think it is an offering of some kind. A glimpse into their soul.
I accept it when this happens to me; I actually treasure it like a beautiful shell or smooth piece of sea glass I find on the beach. Little gifts from god.
I don’t know if this man will ever read this, probably not but I want to thank him just the same. He shared a traumatic story about his childhood and how it affected him as an adult. He told me how he handled it and how his anger overtook him for a large part of his life. I cannot tell you his complete story but I will tell you part of it. This man was given looks, athletic ability, high IQ and intelligence. But he was angry. Very angry and he never really understood why. He had suppressed the events that happened to him for years. But all of a sudden he remembered. And he cried.
One day he decided to kill one of the people who had hurt him very badly as a child.. So he bought a gun, he drove to the person’s house and sat there, sober and aware. He said he waited a few hours getting the nerve to commit a murder and as he was about to get out of the car, a 90-year-old black woman with white hair, came up to his car and knocked on the car window. He rolled down the window and she gave him a piece of paper of some kind. It said you are loved, God loves you. As he was looking down at the paper to see what it said, she said what was written there. She said You are loved. God Loves You. He looked back up and she had vanished. just vanished, into thin air. He said he had that piece of paper for years in his wallet and it eventually fell apart from showing it to people and telling them the story. He told me his friends and people he told didn’t believe the story and said he probably was seeing things and he was delusional. He said she was real and no way could she have walked away from the car that fast, she was very old. He said she was an ANGEL. He said he didn’t do drugs and he wasn’t drunk and he knew it happened.
After she gave him that paper, YOU ARE LOVED, GOD LOVES YOU. He felt someone had reached into his insides, his heart and pulled all the pain that was in his body and pulled it out. The weight had been lifted. This is all true, this is what he told me. The pain was gone. He put the gun back in the glove compartment and drove home. He didn’t murder anyone that night and all he had left to prove what happened was this piece of paper and his memory.
He said no one believed him. But he stopped drinking so much, He stopped getting into bar fights and he found comfort in a Christian church and was happy for the first time in his life. As he was telling me his story it was hard not to get goosebumps. I listened and when we got to the destination I turned around. I took his hand and I thanked him for his story, for his offering into his soul. I said it meant so much to me that he shared it with me and as I was holding his hand I noticed his angel tattoo on his forearm. It was quite large.
I looked at it and he saw me staring at it and he said that was there before I met my angel. The old black lady with the white hair. I said your soul called her to you. I believe the angel story because I have some of my own. He gave me some caring advice that he thought I needed to hear and got out of my car. I was very emotional. I cried.
Sometimes you have to be broken open before you can be healed. I think he had been broken open and I feel I have been as well. A kind woman gave me this book once, it’s a great book and I recommend it to anyone struggling to breathe. Before you can be stitched back up you have to forgive and be forgived. I realized then that it was time to say I am sorry. I have been thinking about this for a while. It’s time. So here it is.
I AM SORRY.
No excuses this time. No Buts or Whys. Just Sorry.
I am sorry if I hurt you in any way.
I am sorry if my words were harsh or insensitive.
I am sorry if I hurt you in my inability to communicate correctly. ‘
I am sorry if I hurt your feelings in my own confusion or lack of understanding.
I am sorry if I hurt you when I was unbalanced or mentally ill.
I did my best with what I had to work with. I tried to help myself but it took me 45 years to figure it all out, My heart was always in a good place but I had trouble communicating that sometimes.
I AM SORRY.
I ask you to get to know the me in front of you today. I am a living evolving human being with a open heart. I ask for your clemency.
I hope you can accept my offering of apology and I hope you can forgive me as I forgive.
I forgive it all.
I thank the Manwith the Angel Tattoo as he never did give me his name but he did give me his soul, a piece of it anyway and I thank him for that. We all have our stories.
I also want to thank all of my Angels. All of you. Thankyou!
As for the rest; This song is for all of you. I love you all.
There are many reasons I love Langston Hughes. Many of the same reasons we all love Helen Keller. I learned about Helen Keller in highschool, I didn’t learn about Langston Hughes until I found him on my own. Both are heroes to this world. They both offered such beautiful insight on how they see the world, both courageous , both beautiful, both inspiring. Both could be from a place of Extreme darkness or enlightened walkers of the sun and morning. These two poems were on my mind today. I pray for all the children that are crying and suffering. I pray for them and their parents. Sometimes I feel like I don’t even believe in god anymore but I pray anyway. I am a spiritual Christian and sometimes my faith is tested when I see such atrocities and how the world is going. Sometimes I feel that the churches have been so passive in action when our brothers and sisters needed action. Even During the Civil Rights movement , why didn’t more white churches help? These were and still now our brothers and sisters. They are not illegal aliens. They are US. I hope their darkness ends but I know too well how unjust this world can be but I will pray just the same to any god that will listen for their safety and to stop the cries and suffering as soon as possible. I pray that they have strength to continue the journey wherever it may lead. My eyes are red because children are crying for their mommy and daddy and it is one of the most horrific things to listen too and our world is getting smaller and the news is getting harsher. How can we repeat history? Horrible atrocities should never be repeated. I pray they get to see the light again. I pray for the babies to once again be in the arms of their parents. I pray they find a way to survive together. I pray they have strength to survive. I pray they are walkers with the sun and the morning.
Walkers with the Dawn
Being walkers with the dawn and morning,
Walkers with the sun and morning,
We are not afraid of night,
Nor days of gloom,
Being walkers with the sun and morning.
This morning there was a video on the news of: Protesters inside Columbus Circle globe in front of Trump Hotel. All these comments came up on the video where people were saying go get a job, all sorts of mean comments about the protestors. I don’t care if you support Donald Trump but we the people have the constitutional right to protest. You all like to throw the constitution at us all the time. Just because your protesting doesn’t mean you’re not working. Not everyone works 9-5 which backs up my point of this post. Just because you work 9-5 doesn’t mean the rest of the world does.
But what strikes me about these people is their inability to see anything from a different point of view other than their own. The world is s like a prism and it has many angels. viewing the world from only your angle, is short sided and I would say even cruel. .
We need to LOVE from all angles. We need to SEE from all angles. Not just the angles we can see from where we comfortably sit. I try every day to try to see things from other people’s point of view. I make mistakes and I say the wrong things sometimes but my heart is real and I try to walk in the shoes of my brothers and sisters. I try to walk in the footprints of our ancestors for we stand on their shoulders and we should’nt let their sacrifice and wisdom go to waste. If I consciously make a decision to do this every day; then I can truly love our differences instead of being fearful of them. And we already know that there is nothing to fear but fear itself.
So I woke up this morning and decided to take a job driving to Minneapolis. It was impulsive and risky. These are two behaviors that unfortunately go hand in hand with living with Bipolar, Especially when your running out of your medication. It is a sad day that benefits in New Jersey are so hard to get when you need them. I worked my whole life working very hard and paying my own way. It is very frustrating that when you actually need help from your state and government because you lose a job that it is almost impossible to get the help you need. I don’t foresee it getting any better under the Trump Regime.
Anyway I took the job having no idea how I would get back home. I didn’t plan it well but it worked out. Thanks to a really nice customer who worked for Heineken I ended up getting a driving job back home. He was a true angel. My Trip could have been a great short film because there was lots of stuff happening and I will explain some of it. Some of it I will leave for the book. I love to drive so I thought driving might be a good job for short-term but it isn’t worth it because you have to pay for your own hotels and that makes it less than desirable and not enough money to risk your life severely increasing your driving time on the road. The more you drive; the higher chance you can die. Obvious fact.
My trip was filled with a lot of music on the radio, a stop off in Chicago to meet a true blues legend and some blues disciples, met a bunch of friends along the way, a couple of really nice state troopers, thank you! Some definite drama, cold and snowy weather and some really bizarre tollbooth messengers. I wrote some song/lyrics called Tollbooth Preacher one day and I wish I could find it. It’s in a box somewhere and I can’t remember the lyrics. I’ll find it or an i’ll re-write it. I remember the premise. Here are some pictures from my trip. I stopped off in Chicago and met one of my blues heroes Buddy Guy. I also met some other friends as well. All the employees that worked at Buddy Guy’s Legends was so friendly; From the awesome bartender to the cool lady bathroom attendant in the bathroom. Thanks for the deodorant. 🙂 Also met some really fun fellow blues fans and of course more guitar players. Here are some pictures of my trip. I will follow-up with a Night at Legends post with all my photos.
New Day. New moments. New Adventures. New Hope. Some Moments from my crazy trip..
1.. Selfie In the car. Fake makeup app. Bored, more waiting.
2. Killing time at Manna Hamburgers Hackensack New Jersey waiting on my car getting detailed. Always wanted to go inside because of my obsession with Vintage Buildings, diners, signs and Businesses.
3. Taco Truck In Drums, Pennsylvania . Stopping off to get my money from the trucking center. They pay 80 percent up front. Trucking centers always fascinated me; a whole culture going on there; if you ever need a shower on the go that’s the place to do it.
4. Me meeting my Blue’s Hero. Good timing. Good Luck. Thanks for the music and the inspiration Buddy.
5. The Buddy Guy Legends sign…so happy to see it. http://www.buddyguy.com I haven’t been back to legends since the 1990’s. It was in a different building back then. I met buddy back then as well, I was 26 years old. I even went to Maxwell Street on the south side back then but it was before camera phones and I didn’t have a camera with me so no pictures, sadly. Rough street but a blues history Gem. I wish I had pictures to share of Maxwell Street but they are only in my mind. Lots of Garbage Can fires burnin’ it was cold. The Hawk was out.
6. So I’m sitting in a McDonald’s in Winnebago County, Illinois drinking coffee watching Fonzi, Captain Kirk, George foreman , Terry Bradshaw trying on lederhosen. I am not sure if it’s a new low or a new high!
7. Traffic. That’s why I sat still for so long.
I stopped taking pictures after a while because stress took over but I finished driving to Minneapolis, then I turned around and drove back home. Had to get the new car detailed and fixed up so stopped in Rockford Illinois. Saw some messy ice and snow, met a chatty meth head at Starbucks… god bless him and while checking into a ahem..budget motel, I call them shake & bakes, I got propositioned by a creepy hotel owner tweaking on something ..yuk. So 2500 miles later I am back home. Shout out to the folks that helped me along the way and kept me safe. You know who you are. Peace!
“In benighted, incompetent Africa, I had never encountered an orphan: the American streets resembled nothing so much as one vast, howling, unprecedented orphanage. It has been vivid to me for many years that what we call a race problem here is not a race problem at all: to keep calling it that is a way of avoiding the problem. The problem is rooted in the question of how one treats one’s flesh and blood, especially one’s children. ”
Freedom doesn’t really mean we’re Free. There are expectations and even then it’s all a lie.
“And what the white students had not expected to let themselves in for, when boarding the Freedom Train, was the realisation that the black situation in America was but one aspect of the fraudulent nature of American life. They had not expected to be forced to judge their parents, their elders, and their antecedents, so harshly, and they had not realised how cheaply, after all, the rulers of the republic held their white lives to be. Coming to the defence of the rejected and the destitute, they were confronted with the extent of their own alienation, and the unimaginable dimensions of their own poverty. They were privileged and secure only so long as they did, in effect, what they were told: but they had been raised to believe that they were free.”