Sunday, January 30, 2011

They Gonna Anyway...

Let people do or say whatever they want.  My life now  exactly where it needs to be.  I know what ever I do someone will have something they must feel has to corrected. People move in overdrive way too often without knowing all the facts to readjust you even if you did not think you needed to be readjusted.

Swan Photo by Jackie Walker©10

So this is my "Oh well" statement...

By iiammoon©11

They are gonna laugh anyway...
So I might as well go out and play
With all the life & vigor I can display


They are going to laugh anyway...
Roll their eyes..
Wave their hands to & fro

Then I might as well sing loudly
That song no matter how off key
Because that song IS for me...


They gonna laugh anyway...
Since I can't seem "to act my age"
I might as well jump in, Jimmy Choo's and all...
in a puddle as muddy & messy as it wants to be..
It will wash off once I finish...
After I had a ball.
Because they are gonna laugh anyway...

Alll rights reserved JHM ©11

Friday, January 28, 2011

Walk this Way: I am STILL Grinnin'

I am still grinning this morning albeit a wee bit sore as I took advantage of a beautiful  winter day  that seemed more like spring & not January .  An urgent need to get  to the post office necessitated my getting out to walk.  I didn't need a lot of prodding.

Round trip it took me about 45 minutes thereabouts as I was walking a tad bit slow to test out the knees since I knew it was an increase in  how far I've walked previously...

I had not been out in the last month because of the see-saw  inclement weather which gave me plenty of excuses not to go although I did a lot of micro-walks inside my home.  Apparently it worked as apart from some minor soreness which indicated I gave my body a workout without over taxing still had me just a'smilin' this morning.

And I slept very well to boot!

I got to see another side of my neighborhood on streets I had not seen to see the still ongoing construction & re-sparking of homes still in disrepair from Katrina and was happy.  Some homes are far more modest but nonetheless gratifying to see what is happening.

I so wished I had my camera.

I enjoyed the birds chirping the sun beaming and the pure injoyment in the physicality of what I was doing!

And then I saw as I neared my street, first seeing him from a distance, a man who is an amputee very slowly on crutches taking  his walk.  He had as I saw when I came up on him, had his leg amputated to his knee & the other leg was twisted inward.

But there he was walking away, inch by inch, step by step with his crutches. In the time it took me to walk the block, he may have walked 1/4 of a block.  But there he was...

He turned to come back in the direction I was so apparently he lived from where I was coming from and I lived in the direction  he was coming from.  I just grinned and spoke.  He smiled and we kept on our way.

I am going to make it a point to travel that street again in case I see him and perhaps on a good day we can walk together even if it is just a block.  I have no desire to invade his privacy  (and I like my time alone too).  Nor do I need to see him as a special case because he is an amputee, but as one disabled to another, we are telling the world we are "other able".

It was good simply because we both just plugged in, each dealing with our own level of challenged but nonetheless doing what we needed to do.

Today is suppose to be yet another glorious day into the low 60's & I will  walk this way again not knowing who or what I will connect with even if it is just for a minute...

I just want to be Jo(sophine )cool about it all...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

"Just ah's" Don't Know where this will grow,glow until the end...

"Every thought you produce, anything you say, any action you do, it bears your signature."~Thich Nhat Hanh

Bear with me, I do not know where I am going with this; but I am going...

I receive an email this morning from someone who raised in very apt question that I believed deserved an answer and I gave her one.  It got me to thinking about something.

Over the last several weeks I have had different friends exclaim "What has happened to us, how did we get like this"? in reference to a new or yet another tragedy, another absurdity, another  program or "news" report.  The crassness & coarseness that has been crammed down our collective psyche with increased intensity and volume has unconsciously allowed us to think or treat one another with more suspicion, cynicism and suspicion whether we want to admit it or not.  The  lowest common denominator  has shifted us culturally in ways that may be subtle, others not so subtly.

What we don't get in such shifting & the Olympian rush to judgement, criticize or assumptions is a complete true behind the scene what lead case A to its conclusion , we just rush headlong into condemning, criticizing or indicting something or someone without all the facts as if we now care for all the facts.

And sometime truth is stranger then fiction; at the end of it even if we cared enough to really know , what would it changed?

I just know that it has altered a cultural consciousness to a new low.  From the early days of  the 'inquiring minds want to know" to the sleaze of a Povich circus to outright in your face Springer tacky orgy of the lowest common denominator passing for entertainment or a host of "news" programming that mad gossip & slander way too eager to entertain us the underbelly of very surreal human drama.

Even as I am writing this NBC just announced that Mr. Ted, the man with the Golden Voice" has checked himself out of rehab after a very public "help" by Dr. Phil to aid him into working on his addictions.  I like many others truly wanted the best for him; I still want the best for him.  As many of us know who may have had family members with addiction problems, it is not an smooth easy road to rehabilitation; there is no walk off into the sunset hand in hand end for this.

But I do not know if I could handle such a public detailed scrutiny into my life; could any of us?

But my point is somewhere the collective ball has been dropped and we are not too far off from being like the days of ancient Rome where far too overly privilege folks bored out of their collective skulls, looking for the next high, the next stimulus because of boredom, deflection or whatever get entertain by watching Christians torn apart by lions for their "enjoyment".

We are like a locomotive going down hill with no breaks.

And I think we know it & either unwilling or unable to stop it; we're getting something out of it.

And it is hard, increasingly hard now to either have or gain integrity because you are not going to be believed or mocked or looked upon with suspicion understandably so. in the last few days an acquaintance of mine lost her sister in death who had the same health issue I had.  It gave me the chills because that could have been me. No one could believe as it was "just a hernia".  The" just a" on anything worried me

As I told her as we converse, that I had many who did not believe me either  because it was "just a".  Even family members, friends, acquaintance or total strangers did not.  They thought I was trying to excuse away what they thought was my getting fat not that there was a real health issue going on and as I got sicker & sicker, less & less mobile, less & less able to work, that I was just making things up, I was looking for attention, I was just lazy you name it I heard it.

Fortunately for me not everyone had been bitten with the cynical bug; if they had I might now be here today to even write this.  And I thank God for that as I may  have ran screaming into the woods or not here to scream into the woods.

As I now try to put this figurative Humpty-Dumpty back together again knowing it will take time, effort and a lot of work; harder still is to know that I can restore myself in a larger way.

One thing for sure I know is one cannot argue with a belief; people do not like being wrong and will hold onto something no matter what evidence there will be to the contrary because of not wanting to be wrong or saving face.  But that is a whole other issue & doesn't have anything to do with me.  That is their responsibility if they want to.

There have been people who made one error or even several errors turned away from them, did extraordinary lives and all it takes is some young eager beaver reporter trying to gain brownie points or make a name for themselves, to dreg back as far back in the past to Christopher Columbus to find something, anything to shade a negative life on someone.

How many of us could stand up to that scrutiny without  collapse?

I am quite sure most of us by now either saw or heard about the discovery of Oprah Winfrey's sister.  I thought it was very smart for her to tell her story before all the "just a's" broke out.  In fact within minutes of the show closing I got not one, two but three "news alerts" & speculations from news sources.  We are talking about minutes & of course it wasn't very nice.  Of course it is nothing but family business & let family take care of family business. And yes she is a very well known figure so there will be interest, but I applaud that she took to break the story herself before the "just a's" began.

Make sure to know that when I wrote about  people's redemption's that I was not speaking of major crimes against nature as in an Idi Amin or Papa Doc Duvalier of Haiti or an Adolf Hitler-like horror perpetuated on mankind, but more of the garden variety human error. And even in that garden if a person is not remorseful if they have not made any effort at correcting what they are able to do, well how one hold them accountable is up to that individual.  But still again I say without knowing all the mitigating circumstances that we may not be aware of.

 Even wise King Solomon once said " Oppression can make even the wise one act stupid".  Those circumstances that we are not aware of, may indeed make a person make a decision that was not write but caught up in the oppression or circumstances they made a poor choice.

So at the end of the day what would you do?  What would I do?

Part of where I am in my life is maintaining peace in myself and in my small corner of the world.  Not unlike many others I have had more then my fair share of wrongs & injustices done to me where I am still paying for these people's actions or decisions.  They gone on with their lives blithely unconcern or unaware of what they left in their wake, while I am gasping for air and trying to stand up, to right myself because of their actions.

What it has  taught me is as the Sankofa proverb states "There is no shame to go back & correct what not done"... I just feel like we have lost something collectively or maybe we never had it but pretended that we did.  I just know right now what I can perhaps do is make peace with what I can & be what I can be right now, the best I can be right now...

Holding on hoping for those others to right it with me is an exercise in futility.  I don't know, perhaps they are like me in the sense they are trying to adjust themselves, correct themselves, right themselves, I don't know & right now it isn't my business to know.

So again I didn't know where I was going with this; I am truly writing out of my head & my heart.  The answer is there right below the surface & I await it breaking through & then I will know.

"Small minds talk about people;average minds talk about events; Great mind talks about ideas"~Unknown.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Oh Grow Up!

The greatest day in your life and mine is when we take total responsibility for our attitudes. That's the day we truly grow up.~John Maxwell

Some days I feel more grown up then others...

There are those days when I take myself too seriously and it can be taxing and wearing and I have to lighten up a bit... 

"People suffer because they are caught in their views. As soon as we release those views, we are free and we don't suffer anymore." ~Author Unknown

I like to think that I won't lose the wonder-sense of a child, yet develop and maintain the wisdom that comes with maturity.  I am just enough of an optimist that one can have both; that they can live comfortably and interchangeably in me (and you).

Having that wonderment is not being immature.  Having life leaping out from you, exploring old things with fresher eyes, fresh things with an old soul, having a soulful, cocky, peppy step doesn't have a timeline unless you are 6 feet under, having an attitude of I'm good or It's good is indeed viable.

And contagious...

It is possible to live happily in the here and now. So many conditions of happiness are available—more than enough for you to be happy right now. You don't have to run into the future in order to get more, no matter how sorrowful the world is that day, no matter how sorrowed we may feel from what we think are lost times, denied times or abandoned dreams.

Trust me I know about that, still have some of those times even now, but doggone it despite, it all I still see goodness in sometimes the most inopportune event.

We can’t all be stars but we can all twinkle at given moment.

So here is my twinkle...

Yesterday, I went to see someone I had only met very briefly who was actually begging for money to feed his family at a local Rite-Aid.  No I did not give him money, but he and my companion talked to him for more then a moment, not criticism, no "you should have done XYZ" & sent him on his way, no sucking the teeth, or "tsk, tsk, tsk, bad boy" self-righteousness.

For the record, I did not go alone to the residence  to bring food,which actually occurred 4 days after the initial meeting.

This man had just started a new job, just found a very humble place for him, his wife and teenage daughter. He struggled, as some men do, to not tear up.  I made sure I brought things that were complete & healthy, not cereal and no milk or peanut butter with no jelly. ( You get the idea).

I did it because it was the right thing to do.

Much to my surprise, I had a few people (I did not tell many) to actually criticize me for doing a humane thing.  The justifications ran the gamut of "you knows" as in  "how did you not know he was running a scam" to "there are places people like him could go", to "how you know know he wouldn't sell them for drugs"?

Well I didn't know, and it didn't matter.  Even a stray dog deserve a bone.

No one should ever ,ever be hungry no matter what we may think how he/she got there.  Even if he or she put themselves there.

What I am to do is to do my part; if he had messed up or blew it or whatever, if one is trying yet again, we help them up until they can stay up!  As that proverb goes "Fall down seven;Get up eight", we don't know if that 8 time will do the trick.

Or as the Apostle Luke stated at Luke17:3-4 "Pay attention to yourselves.  If your brother commits a sin give him a rebuke, & if he repents, forgive him. Even if he sins seven times a day against you & he comes back to you seven times saying "I repent", you must forgive him".

This man did nothing to me, I had not known that he existed until 5 days ago, but the principle is still clear.  I get the whole tough love approach that has been bullying people for over 2 decades now, but has it worked? Perhaps in a few cases, but not in most.  But folks love to use "tough love" to justify not exercising the privilege of being humane, to be compassionate.  And yet we wonder why things have gotten worse, a coarsening of society.

If a scam was ran, everytime that fork is lifted, he will be reminded that someone cared enough to help.  That just maybe, there will be a paradigm shift that 8th, 9th or 10th time will take.

I've been there, I know what it is like to not know if you will eat the next day, I know what it is like for someone who while maybe not in my presence ask the "what ifs/how do you know..." about me!  Yet there have been ones who have seen my humanity, of seeing I too, needed a second chance. at living, at contributing,as being part of the human race ...

Please note, I've never been a drug abusing, drinking, tobacco smoking anything, but you don't have to be to know hard times.  You do have to be in the wrong place at the right time for it to happen.

So did I go naively, blindly, foolishly, pell mell into being a do gooder? I doubt it, I was simply doing what was right and will continue to do that.

The rest will be up to them to carry on, but it is hard to carry on when one is hungry, in despair, cold, tired and troubled...

If that is not being grown up, then I don't want to ever grow up.  I simply want to do the right thing, at the right time for the right reason for the right person...

"Every thought you produce, anything you say, any action you do, it bears your signature."~Thich Nhat Hanh

So I hope my signature continues to be good and humane...

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Creating the Zone~Steppin' Out on a High Note

Today I woke up feeling mighty good despite the lingering effects of the flu.  Sometimes I get my best creative ideas when I am sick. I'll spare you all the technical reasons why it happens, but I've been told by reliable sources that when you body is concentrating on one thing (in this case the flu), it lowers any restrictions or inhibitions in another area (creating).

I know it to be true in my case.

Contrary to popular,contemporary belief, human beings do not multi-task (well).  Our brains are not hardwire to do several things and do them well although we convince ourselves that we are.  The more we learn about the brain, the more scientists are learning why  the way we do the things we do.

I think that is a good thing to let go of feeling we HAVE to do everything right now at the same moment at the same time...

For me, yesterday's creative bursts I believe has allowed for today's high notes. It would be ok to say it the hormone such as endorphins, dopamine yada yada yada, coursing through the veins.  I just think its more but its more fun just to enjoy the high note.

In fact at this moment as I refining the quilt, "Steppin' Out on Dat High Note" for my contribution to the exhibit for the  American Jazz Museum/Buttonwood Art Space.

 "The Note Illustrated~Swingin' Visual of all things Musical" 

opening in a few weeks.  

So I say, let the good times roll (creatively speaking)...