Look Alive

17 October 2011

Ghetto Physick

Equal opposition. Least resistance. Persistence of motion. Relativity. Resonance. Rest.

My final two undergrad years presented some of my greatest challenges to date. Inspired by the passing of my matriarch on my birthday, I went full steam ahead with a mission to reach certain goals and gather my life into a productive cohesion of the pieces I'd discovered and polished from time to time. Forget dating and 'settle down' with one man - check! Fix my credit status at the time - check! Go back to school - check! Finish the book I'd conceived of well before - check! Lose more than I started out with, learn about some players, remember that while Life is to be joyful it is not a game then realize the obstacles as opportunities to gain the luminous insight and forgiveness of Divine Love within - ch... wait, really? Man... um, ok ok... CHECK!

One of the most rewarding moments in that season was the day a faculty advisor informed me that my thesis was accepted and my way cleared to enter the summer garden ceremony commemorating at least 120 completed credits. Understanding my ambitions as a writer and community health presence, just after graduation, he wrote a brief yet endearing message introducing me to a potential publishing outlet as well as a 'ning' site where everyday people could share traditional healing wisdom. The site was cool to communicate within for a moment, but I hadn't followed up on the publisher details just yet because I'd already entertained other, independent methods to begin with.

Around that time, an old acquaintance I had never seen or thought about at length found me via another social networking site and ironically asked me for some publishing leads I had only that recent one of. Never one to swindle another from a positive opportunity, I was happy to share the contact info and that of a mutual friend from years prior, whom I had held in high esteem and enjoyed open online contact with on occasion. Given the year-long string of events below that ensued from exactly that point, the hesitation above was part of a rude awakening to the way that some will reveal exactly where their hearts have been first before attempting to project a false imprint onto yours. Community correction can certainly be a necessity, but who would respect or even regard the credentials of an alleged doctor who addresses, say, a vitamin deficiency or anemia by trying to hit the patient in the head with a steel chain instead of an empowering consultation and supplements? Not I. Sooner than engage in the mature, mutual freedom to discuss any areas of upset, there are those who find decoys, denial, draining energy and entrapment (essentially of themselves) favorable somehow. Surely, it sucks to be that way.

Besides what appeared to be misinformed people fiendishly having each other's backs behind the guise of writing, there was the friend who seldom spoke to me but repeatedly asked another of my marital status while my engagement slowly rose from the ashes of losing a child... the flood of harassing phone calls and texts that plagued the phones even of family members whose number I shared with a friend moving to their area... the related approaches 'they' intended to appear intimately informed and seed distrust that treated my every statement, song preference and even temporary agreement with the absurd to precisely diagnose the areas in need of healing like personally directed lifebreath before morphing into Internet and other character attacks... a younger student, new to my school and semester advisory group, whose random confidence to me about having been abused resulted in my regularly sharing any info of her major's subject interest to which she responded with visible whispering, sneers and public avoidance as if I'd asked, given or taken anything other than help... receiving anger on the phone because, as a sleepy passenger in rain and terrible traffic, I couldn't tell exactly what my exit (and E.T.A.) was only to be locked out on my graduation day for a half-hour following a five-hour ride back home... once I was not only single again but centered, an oh-so-handsome man I forced myself to discern sloooowly offered some detachment, timing and words, albeit indirectly protective, that seemed more hurried and hired than inspired...

In those and other moments, we all represented casual ties or casualties of an age-old battle*, consciously or otherwise embroiled in the eternally foiled 'aptik' (so to speak) by the ancient archenemy of Days. I understood that the roots of hurt are often far removed from the thorns or pests that present themselves in any Now. They may even fuel addiction in that we sometimes crave more of our deep, familiar desires and suffering, so much so that we'll do our best to pass it off to another and applaud any misfortune. By God's grace and with active faith, we are able to change for the better and rise above divisive confusion enough to stand with, not against or over, a fellow Being. Individual blame, gossip, victimhood and excess energy for that mess are unnecessary.

Recent posts will reflect at least one death that took place in my immediate circle as well as the changing of colors and seasons that is Nature's grander cycle. Over the weekend, even relatively famous rappers Rick Ross, whose productions have always been so groovy to me, and Tone Loc suffered unexpected and unfortunate seizures of their usual flow. Academic, activist and author Dr. Cornel West was among those arrested in the Occupy Movement at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial's dedication. The course of the ominously titled Doomsday comet seemed to have passed over Earth unremarkably, almost a week before Minister Camping's newest take on the cataclysmic phenomenon for this year. Again, I do not see jokes in any of this but joy for the individuals' surviving chances to do better. I also rejoice in that age, gender, height, influence, socioeconomic status, talents and apparent escape mean nothing to the Most High except that they are glorified in righteousness for the time we do have.

In the words of music's Queen of Soul, who was also present at the dedication, "I ain't no psychiatrist / I ain't [yet] no doctor with degrees / but it don't take too much IQ / to see" that the biggest sickness is expecting anything but the Almighty to remain the same or only as small mind and selfish desire may warrant. The remedy, I'm learning, might just be very simple and accessible to all. Live the truth. Let go and let God (LOVE). Be well.

"No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good. A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is. After all, you find out the strength of the German army by fighting against it, not by giving in. You find out the strength of a wind by trying to walk against it, not by lying down. A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later. That is why bad people, in one sense, know very little about badness. They have lived a sheltered life by always giving in. We never find out the strength of the evil impulse inside us until we try to fight it: and Christ, because he was the only man who never yielded to temptation, is also the only man who knows to the full what temptation means--the only complete realist." - C.S. Lewis

"Life is a joyful, passionate adventure, so it doesn't matter what your sad story or painful story is. ... The human spirit [as imparted by God] is so large, so infinite and so magnificent, it will never allow you to dominate over it. It will fight you for its freedom." - as stated in the film, Ghetto Physics (the trailer is hitched to "rise above")

Ghetto: a quarter of a city in which Jews... [or other] members of a minority group live especially because of social, legal or economic pressure; an isolated group; a situation that resembles a ghetto; an often involuntary yet possibly impermanent state of Being per the Free Merriam-Webster online and myself

Physick: the general practice and "mystery" of medicine and healing per St. Michael's Medical Glossary of Renaissance and Medieval Terms

* Lewis quote and scriptural references here are primarily courtesy of an Acts 17:11 Bible Study on "Temptation".

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