Look Alive

21 December 2012

Soul Stitch

Of knits and (k)nots, consider p(er)URL Won, too and t'ree...




“Lord, give us weak eyes for things which are of
             no account and clear eyes for all Your truth.” ~ Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855)

“Almighty God who has sent the Spirit of truth unto us to guide us into all truth: so rule our lives by Thy power that we may be truthful in thought and word and deed. May no fear or hope ever make us false in act or speech; cast out from us whatsoever loveth or maketh a lie, and bring us all into the perfect freedom of Thy truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord.” ~ Brooke Foss Westcott (1825-1901)

“Lord, I have time,
            I have plenty of time,
            All the time that You give me,
            The years of my life,
            The days of my years,
            The hours of my days,
            They are all mine.
            Mine to fill, quietly, calmly,
            But to fill completely, up to the brim,
            To offer them to You, that of their insipid water
            You may make a rich wine such
            As You made once in Cana of Galilee.” ~ Michel Quoist     

04 September 2012

Inherit the Vision


Recent days reminded me of the dynamic Love labors we engage along what appear to be endless miles, the verdant places revealed by an occasional christening with light. Of our communities, the youngest seeds are often most potent with possibility and vulnerable to the threat of harm. In sustaining a healthy and effective community at-large, then, consider "the importance of art in the healing process of children in conflict and poverty. 'Research is showing that in societies where there is no structured healing process, they’re more likely to return to war.' ... 'Artists play a very important role in creating the symbols, the climate, and space for peace and healing.'" Fancy myself an artsy psalmbody as I might, where therapeutic creativity and adorning mixed media with color beyond Crayola or Pantech's dreams are concerned, who is like God?


Behold the "Heritage"

of innocence
 
...in a sense...

beauty-full ones.


~ Today's Biblical text is linked to the music player, just 
on the lower left chamber of this page's heArt as all-ways ~

References: Psalm 37, 140; 1 Corinthians 11; 2 Corinthians 5; 1 Peter 3 (AMP/YLT)

18 August 2012

Stop. Look. Listen...

As an individual born into partnership with countless siblings by the Creator, I am fluid... and a bit quirky. My ways might not resemble his or hers, but as we grow to understand that none of our ways totally meet the Most High's, the abundance of quirks, like quarks, becomes clear. Anyone close or concerned enough to notice mine (hopefully without undue prejudice and harsh judgment), will. One known to my folks is my pleasure to meditate on daily Bible verses, devotionals and—I admitdictionary entries whenever possible, often at their midnight generation online. Between the quiet stretches that occur in my personal communications and longer ones in my entries here, the Scripture in particular helps to set a healthy tone for the nightly rest period I forbid anger or negative trifles to enter along with the much-needed benefit of grounding yet uplifting guidance for each new day I am given.

Today's words at the popular Merriam-Webster and Dictionary.com websites struck a unique chord with my spirit while offering an (until now) unfamiliar option for even trying to describe the Sovereign justice system to some degree. Please consider the entries

          peruse audio pronunciation \puh-ROOZ\
          verb
          1
                  a : to examine or study attentively and in detail  
                  b : to look over or through in a casual or hasty manner
          2
                     : read 

and

           nomothetic \ nom-uh-THET-ik \  
           adjective
           1. Giving or establishing laws; legislative.
           2. Founded upon or derived from law.

           3. Psychology. Pertaining to or involving the study of formulation of 
               general or universal laws (opposed to idiographic).  

with me. The words' co-incidence hint at the human ability to learn from the large, necessary yet simple laws laid out all around and within us. Needless to say, ability (even faithful knowing, skill) and activity (being/doing, applied work) are two different things. Then, of course, we all have the choice to express either in a harmful or helpful manner. Like the inventory suggested by the above definition of "peruse", worldly affections, knowledge and pulses in the Oriental medical paradigm for that matter can be superficial and subject to upset by the whisper of a sneaky wind or deep and abiding.

Just as Christ drew The Line between His stance and the era's popular hypocrisy against the Living Word and women who could read, for instance, the Holy Spirit will assist each of us in possibly unexpected ways to stay fair and focused in a confused world. Riding certain lines of the Long Island Railroad into New York City, I have witnessed a large Korean church the signage of which I do not understand save for its asking in English "Is it nothing to you". Being presented with what could be the prophet Jeremiah's lament before stepping onto streets bustling with haves and naughts alike is one such blessing. The 'it' of over seven billion people takes on forms that only the Most High can track and attend to with equal sufficiency. Should tears of sadness ever result as per our (mis)use of balance and blur our perspective, be reminded that they, too, shall pass away.

I encourage you as I am encouraged to truly stop, look and listen along the Way, beyond any minor dimensions our own boxes may take to the burdens of another. Detours, misleading signs, some third-party definitions or interpretations and other temporary obstacles aside, the journey and destination of right relationship with the Lord Whom the world mocked, forsook and went missing from the side of first is well worth it. We must stay the course, though. A casual or hasty peek won't do nor will selfish rules yield Love's proof.


References: Lamentations 1; Psalm 30, 119; Proverbs 20; Isaiah 55; 
John 15; Romans 13; Galatians 5-6; Philippians 1; 2 Timothy 3; James 2 
(AMP, MSG, NLT)

02 August 2012

Whether or Never

Standing to the best of its ability between the sun glaring from a great distance and the empathetically chilled foundation of even vast seas, the s-talk of a plant once asked how the latter could endure what some would call inclement weather.

But Grace...

Full of gratitude in any season, it answered
"Rain who nails the earth, whose infinite legs
nail the earth, whose silver faces
touch my faces, I marry you. & open
all the windows of my house to hear
your million feral versions
of si si
        sí
                               si
                      si"
within her s(i)mile.

*

Despite any protests from the homeless or 'hire', inherent to all living is the importance of a secure belonging and of change. As such,young girl or "boy, go be a [wo/man]. Old [wo/man], go be a snake."

06 July 2012

To Peace

It lives in Salaam, shalom and even Shlomo. While Salem, Salome, salami and other related words
might have developed contrary implications to it over time, the soul purpose is peace.

The Biblical King Solomon has long been touted as one of the wisest people ever born. It was the highest frequency of his energy that recently came to mind during a conversation on human nature and its sometimes supernatural feats of (in)humanity. When the dynamic discourse visited suffering, namely from abuse of all kinds, we agreed that the conditions were likely to create further sexual and/or emotional deviance in the victims; forms of perversion or power-seeking that seemed to narrow one's options to the plight of pimps and prostitutes. An old testament of the latter is key to today's post, so there's no need for alarm regarding my choice of words or corresponding song. Lord knows Life gets down and dirty sometimes, so I'm grateful for the omnipresence of what poet Nancy Thomas calls a "Hard God".

The third chapter of 1 Kings presents the former prince-turned-preacher with two members of the aforementioned profession. Bittersweetly, Solomon's family -- the root of Jesse that branched into adulterous parents; homicidal, incestuous siblings and then the Messiah -- had yielded all the practice he would need to provide right leadership like that which discerned the liar from among the pair of freaks, so to speak. Due to earnest relations with the Most High, the options expected, if not encouraged, by the family's dysfunction expanded to include the proverbial fifth element of prudence.

Having argued or otherwise engaged with foolishness before, I understand what it was to be mistaken, however briefly, for the same. For example, receiving "Again?" as a response to my first and only sharing of serious events with some believed to know me well followed by a third-party feeding of information only they knew was enough to pause my calling on them even for dire reasons. As 1 Kings 11 and Nehemiah 13 attest, the false dominion of his many wives' deities and thighs would temporarily confuse the king and dim his light. In our respective seasons, the merit of consecration (cleansing and setting something aside for spiritual purposes) became clear to us both. Past mistakes were rendered powerless save to inform and enhance the positive, larger Message.

The earlier conversation's good spirits as well as the classic Jodeci remix track that came to mind reframing the king's activity grew distant from the perpetual present and notion to post here. With the delivery of a raw diet women's health newsletter subscription on this morning's wings, I was subject to the ticklishly blessed assurance that "If you think it's about your thighs, it's not" and encouraged to share my sentiments anyway. May It all serve God's will well. Case closed.

22 June 2012

Of Fathers, the Sum... and, wholly, Spirit

This year's calendar says the 20th.
Conventional wisdom regards the 21st.
The temperature and my inner spark (for a little informal writing) suggest this day.
So begins the Summer, an approximately 90-day warming trend no greater individually than the larger experience of the Life that knows how to overlook interventions from the likes of Aristotle, farmers, Gregory, Julius, warriors and others being lived by Divine design

Fathers' Day has always marked the door to the sunny, celestial season in my mind as I don't recall it ever shifting from its third Sunday in June post. Arguably, there are no coincidences or mistakes, huh? Challenging as that may be to comprehend, especially regarding what I've read are the fallible differences of every body and soul, thank God there is a clear pattern all can look to for daily encouragement. Injoy!

05 June 2012

Venous / As a Buoy

"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined."

At the end of last year, I completed intended graduate study in herbal medicine. I vowed to remain present for the lessons no matter how Life showed up. If experiencing my first hurricane and earthquake were among the indications, boy, did it! Regardless, this week offered the official pomp-and-circumstanceand I chose to sit it out. The usual suspects of ingratitude, anti-social behavior or outstanding balances had nothing to do with that absence. If I could go bare without prejudice and the ceremony took place in a beautiful garden that offered me a seat in a strong tree or pesticide-free grass, the personal appeal might have been greater. Of course, I am aware of how and happy to dress for various occasions. Per the next level or loved one's invitation, I may even clutch pearls in the future. However, less is the most appropriate, personal expression for this particular occasion. I'll explain a bit. 

My secret life with plants began unexpectedly some time ago, di vines reaching for me from what sometimes resembled painful and rocky places. Being presented with the threat of cancer and its implications at age 17, surgery stopped being a career goal and became personally mandatory. Even if only for a calendar season, a teenager accustomed to walking, taking stairs, belting tunes, working out or just sleeping in her own bed who suddenly can't is in line for a paradigm shift. Know that I embrace the merit of the knife rightfully wielded. Still, elder wisdom's way with the wild kingdom made post-operative healing one of a deep, abiding strength that eventually engaged my whole being in the process, encouraging my swap for the pen and other tools that can unify by Nature. I've traversed climates and humbled myself before experts with completely different lifestyles otherwise to discourage dependence upon harsh, self-fulfilling pharmaceuticals. Why, then, would I need a certain cap, games or bra to honor old friends as near & dear as chickweed, garlic and bitter melon for helping me during figuratively naked times in my Life? I wouldn't.

On Sunday, a fellow runaway graduate and I met for the first time since our last class in December. We discussed our previous and next steps over sushi and green tea. The realization that we'd probably be impoverished according to modern standards in all senses but that of community and never get out of school if we really honored the traditions the way we wanted to and our ancestors did was also on the table. Was a society that encourages what's showy and, even with 20-year studies, only scratches the surface of knowledge relative to, say, ancient mystery schools the best place to step into this arena? In the midst of a full moon and just before the Venus transit that reportedly won't recur until 2117, we quickly burst the bubbles of that rhetoric and the overly idealistic pieces of our plans alike. Ancient tempests of the natural and socioeconomic kind could not stop greater purpose from staying afloat to carry genuine interest to our hearts. From there, it continues to circulate so other individuals, if not nations, can also be healed as God wills. That's ourstory and it's sticking to us. Although he and I parted ways and may never meet again given our respective Life assignments, we understand that ebb and flow is to be expected. Still, it will always be a blessing to know that someone else will step out on faith and get their feet wet to make sure that true Love is delivered in any weather.

01 June 2012

TRINITY TALKS: Filles et...



Happy June! 'Tis the season, better yet the 'soular' slice, of sunshine's peak and the heightened (outdoor) activity that often comes along for the ride. As the month of May closed, so did the fullness of my attention to a scrolling news feed when I peeked at its mention of some dark happenings in the Sunshine State and in Maryland. In the time it took to leave home for the day with a kiss to his girlfriend and characteristic Bible in hand, what is currently considered the influence of "voodoo" and/or the illicit use of not-quite-"bath salts" is responsible for allegedly transforming a young Miami man into a naked one shot and killed by police to stop him from possibly raping another man before eating 75% of the victim's face off. About five (and not 28) days later, a Morgan State University student admitted to killing then eating the heart and some brain matter of a fellow student. A melange of violently ingested or thrown human organs have also popped up in at least three other U.S. locales. Yes, folks, it seems zombies of sorts are somewhat popular news outside of Hollywood and other circles. I choose not to highlight any more about it than that. 

With this month's 30 days in my sights, yesterday's endless eschatology encouraged other media that referred to times like these being mentioned approximately once in every 30 Bible verses. The 'coincidence' then led me to select a focal chapter with 30 verses for June. The book of Daniel frequently addresses prophecy at large. However, its chapter 3 is one of those 30ers, displaying the seeds King Nebuchadnezzar sowed in the lives of people like Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah that would later bring him face-to-face with a beast nature of his own. I don't know if said former king ever ate people and not just the grass he grazed, so the book/chapter I chose is Proverbs 20. Please feel free to join me in a verse per day meditation on it and whatever helpful interventions God places in our hearts to maintain right Spirit in this hour of humanity. Should we ever meet and I ask you the above question, may the Truth of our matter(s) purely be yes.

09 May 2012

Model Behavior

"...a human life is also a performance in time and process of becoming." - Mortimer J. Adler


A role...? Stop playing!

That's the semi-cheesy version of my response to a loved one when asked to assist an indy film. It's not really my arena, so I admit that being a gun-slinging freedom fighter determined to encourage an ex-priest back to faith on green screen/hungry boom operator was fun! I offered a similar response to another when, without being asked, I was signed up on some dating website then invited to view a bikini-clad, ocean-loving version of myself smiling at unseen family from the laptop screen of the would-be crime. As for fun once I realized the additional photo, bad headline, blurb and a few personal facts could have gone live to random strangers in a manner I don't respect: not so much.

With a quick edit, I let the latter young'n know that there was yet time for my neck of the woods to manifest either the hot beach days or rightful connection with a man (visually motivated as many insist the species is) making that type of revelation necessary. The funny thing is that back when I was a few years younger than her, fresh out of junior high and playing what I thought was 'good matchmaker', I'd showed a similar photo of my older sister to a young man I knew from school. Oh, you want to meet a young lady priced "far above rubies"? Look, up in the tree! It's aviator shades, some skin and a coconut! Much wisdom was gained once I got home and shared the answer of an interest never enquired. Good Misguided Educational times!

The day of the more modern mistake presented a pleasant contrast to its previous 24 hours, when my heart broke following late news of a great, multigenerational loss. I wanted to scream, drank [sic], curse, fight, cry, speak with someone and be silent with my God in and over All. Instead, the gamut of emotion, temperature, vice and virtue ran through that mere facet of this lifetime as what appeared to be my calm attention leapt over tall buildings then trees out the window. From a bus seat. Alone. Headed in. The right direction...

Deciding who among my contemporaries I could reach out to with a field, heart and moment free enough of their own 'stuff' to really hear me without unfounded accident or incident was a brief challenge. Looking across the aisle for expanded humanity instead, a woman read a book entitled "Shut Your Eyes Tight". The wave of laughter that accompanied the memory of my grandmother drilling us girls with her version of the phrase whenever we had something big to surmount did exactly that and nearly sealed them. Who knew then that she was a Joyce fan or, more likely, understood that she was advising us on how to get still and peer beyond the superficial as needed?

As we near the Mothers Day holiday in the U.S., I honor this and all related counsel of the critical, compassionate kind from my heart. I posted one such communication at the top of 2011, as it reframed The Lord's Prayer or "Our Father" to acknowledge the Godhead's totality by considering the maternal, "Cosmic Birther" essence. If you will, take a look at the former entry here. We are ALL impressionable sons and daughters of someone, if nothing else. The guiding examples of Godly wo/men are paramount to our wellbeing so, even in Spirit, be sure to look also into the eyes of your (spiritual) mothers with Love and gratitude this weekend and beyond.

29 April 2012

Yellow No. 2

I recently noticed for the first time two things that could have gotten my attention much sooner. One was an impromptu, first glimpse at the TV One series, "Black Men Revealed". The second was the Charlize Theron film, "Young Adult". (Actually, the movie "Tower Heist" made three and its key element of gold might fit as you read on; just not enough for these primary purposes.) From the outside, the two appear to have nothing in common. Removing the varied s(k)ins from the surface, however, I was surprised to find the themes of unrequited love and miscarriage at the heart of both.

In BMR's case, the random episode from the first of two seasons featured five celebrities discussing their run-ins with emotionally and/or mentally unstable women who took great lengths to bring confusion and displaced anger to their lives and those of anyone even remotely involved with them. Vandalism of property, phone/e-mail tampering and suicidal or homicidal threats were among the suffering the men chose to speak of. Who knows what pain they might have encouraged in and/or suffered under those women?

Incidentally, Theron's Mavis Gray character spent a bit more than the movie's first hour wreaking havoc in an old flame's happily married-with-child life due to her disappointment with the high-rise living, ghostwriting success story she'd drafted for herself. Divorcing her adolescent 'mean girl' ways, hometown (less than an hour away in the same state) and eventual husband for the exciting comeuppance of the "mini Apple" also known as Minneapolis were not enough. To ask her, any entity other than her liver had to pay.

Unknown to each other, the TV episode and movie showed how secrets or the lack of knowledge otherwise led to damaged relationships. Possibly without realizing how shamefully little he knew or cared about women's health, one gentleman on the show seemed self-justified in breaking up with a young lady he "really liked" for what he deemed lying because she answered his question of ever having had children or an abortion with an honest "no" but told him of a miscarriage she endured. I can only imagine the insult his ignorance added to her injuries. The movie's climax, on the other hand, featured Ms. Gray's shameless, hard liquor-infused attempts to gain company for her misery at the couple's party by revealing the tragedy she and the high school ex experienced so many years prior. While their unborn child's death had nothing to do with SIDS or the abortion procedure Mr. TV Show Guest (and possibly thousands of other people lump into one type of the various judgment balls we dodge daily), the script's context suggests it was sudden and painful enough for Mavis to consciously harm and disregard the existence of a bond outside of her own fixation.

Had the confused panelist not been emotionally abandoned early on by his mother as he shared in the episode, he might have been less inclined to pursue those really deceptive and unavailable women he gravitated to instead of allowing himself to grow and better know the one he accused. Had Gray or anyone else besides the object of her greatest hatred realized her heart's stagnation in the early stages of grief, she might have accepted that said object and her greatest desire were actually one in the same; the former simply wanting for another what wellness she wanted for herself, despite the painful self-hatred dressed as disrespect she'd received. There really is no place for dark spirits to linger too long in the light of Truth.

I once read a line somewhere to the effect of points being futile, because erasers exist. Although it was worded and presented in a much cuter package than what I've just offered, it was and still is false. For better or worse, everyone knows that some things can never be erased—especially not with temporary reversals of fortune based only on what we tell ourselves. Can those things be excused or embraced? If it's not out of one's place or enabling of flaws but healthy and wise to do so, yes. I also believe patience, transparency and understanding will assist that process.

Come to think of it, those three would work well in solving most math problems or for standardized exams of any subject. These days, iPads and other technology that can get touched in classes eliminates yesteryear's convenient but easily compromised dry erase boards and clear film. For those utilizing good ol' No. 2 pencils, exam tips are the same. Know what you're doing, take your time, avoid erasing so as not to jeopardize your score but, if you must, do so thoroughly enough to clearly state your answer while keeping the sheet intact.

Will we see yellow as a sign of fear and an opposing, unfiltered jaundice of sorts or expand our sights to include the color as an expression of joy, the ripeness of Earth and a centered will balanced with caution? Something tells me the second option is a good idea. All the best in your tests.

22 April 2012

Self-Known

Fear and doubt are realities for many. Revisiting Job and the Psalms, the same can be said of ignorance.

The rightful and Lovely application of ninjitsu notwithstanding, what good purpose is there to operating from a hidden place of selfish harm beneath Unity's bridge? None. Stealth mode to harm the Hands that rock, feed, guide and raise us pales in comparison to knowing and allowing one's self to be better. 

For example, soda has contributed to its share of unfortunate mishaps in the past; a sneaky carbon dioxide leak being the latter culprit. An excessive relationship and aimlessly throwing its trash when we think no one sees or hears, however, is troll-like and dishonorable of us.

Heaven embodies many mansions bey(on)d this Earth and bears universal witness, especially to the value of taking permanent residence in everyone -- yes, YOU too, even if you once surrendered to Life's base energies and attempts! Who in the pursuit of power or perfection hasn't? Don't dwell there; confess/'right' the wrongs and leave them alone, like Lucille Pope suggests.

Starting today and with/in ourselves, let's remove the b.s. from our lives; lovingly isolate and replace  its nourishing, fertilizing components, and cultivate that home in our he/arts. Thankfully, proverbial droppings, worms, dirt, cracked shells, just enough clean water (emotion) and such are very useful to God.

You know the drill: choose materials that last in the first place, conserve resources, consume sensibly, waste less, compost, recycle... Before long, a place of beauty, comfort, healthy productivity, protection, respite and reverence will emerge. Neighbors might even appear more like the pleased Creator, Who literally matters so much that all flora, flesh and finer beings are family. Oh yeah, our (windowsill or lawn) gardens might improve too :)

12 April 2012

High Frequency

"The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; yes, I have a good heritage." - Psalm 16:6 AMP


Miss Starry-Eye with steed and the collection's beautiful "Indigo"

Way back when, I looked at the Rainbow Brite doll's tiny facial star tattoo with appreciation. Heavenly things were in her sights, little me reasoned, and I would also get one once I was a grown-up. Considering the arguable versatility of wearing multiple shades and the even less innocent implications of being inked near one's eyes these days, I resisted the urge to rationalize the latter for my son's memory in what would be the odd fulfillment of childhood prophecy five years and two weeks ago. For the horse hair fix, I recently went to the circus — and almost cried.

Potential jokes aside about the Smokey Robinson and Stephen Sondheim music among my inner jukebox, know that the random water daughter mode was very joyful albeit short-lived and discreet. Seeing the host of young people dance, flip and soar from the U.S., Mexico, Trinidad & Tobago, Brazil, France, Russia, Mongolia, China and South Africa to name some locations into what I hope is the healthy fulfillment of their dreams simply moved me like a proud mama. He/art will do that sometimes and, pledging Divine allegiance, we can honor all our flags' delineations without prejudice.

Today, one of my favorite metro NY radio stations, WVIP, announced a change in their morning structure. Musician, media personality and athlete Roy "Gramps" Morgan of legendary Morgan Heritage and solo fame is a new on-air host. His fresh yet timeless single, "Life Too Short", corresponds to this post and speaks blessed volumes that await you from the Blip.fm player below.

The convergence of an entertaining evening, call letters demanding the attention of important or ominous matters and a continuing legacy of inspirational culture proved that this generation need not represent the worst of our ancestry or the vipers implicated in the gospels. May our energy, like those flags, stay raised in p(e)aceful wisdom.

29 March 2012

Area Codes

Yesterday, I noticed that one of actor Chris Rock's films, "I Think I Love My Wife", had come on twice. Having enjoyed it from both a single and betrothed context before, it was tragic to see how easily a destructive feminine will would disrupt another's rightful path. It was also comical to agree with some of the characters' dinner table chat about pop culture. One of the areas of conversation they visited was the graphic lyrical nature of some music; Ludacris' melodic mention of those in different "Area Codes" being one particular song. Ludacris himself having engaged in or released some conscious work since, some would say that type of thing is just a sign of an age coming to an end.

This morning I got a few random calls from locales that did not appear to be my own. From their own lives in what the caller ID stated were New Orleans and Connecticut, a few seconds and then minutes apart, something jumped into Spanish-speaking individuals I don't know to persist in their desire to speak with "Lily". I found the request interesting since one of the last things I looked at before resting on the previous night was the cast listing of the "Mirror Mirror" film to be released tomorrow. As a lifelong lover of flowers with a particular affinity for the (water) lily, however, I guess they were essentially right for asking. LOL Still, that's not my name and the mix-up was straightened out quickly enough.

While every area might not be primed for farming and its tools from digging and displacement, all the world and its inhabitants have codes of operation. Thieves' code is said to yield no honor among them or anyone else, but lucky for Lily Collins' Snow White character and some of us beyond the screen, thieves like one whose heart neighbored Christ's do. Then and now, numbers don't just measure our communications. They engage our days, the distance or proximity of our creeds and so much more. Let's make them count for better.

24 March 2012

Broken, We Go Hard

Sanford, our suns, structure...
weathered and marked, indefinitely left

in rot or retinue
When necessary, the soul of me disagrees

.: visual persistence of memory at http://tinyurl.com/DC4Trayvon-PMLLC :.


"This is [a] black hoodie rap"
Lemme rap to you about some Blacks who die
They may appear as another from behind
or exactly for who they are
then sexually violated, shot or subject to bars
spit on, with shame
And when the soul and body part ways 
unity often waits for mourning
even if rumor had it the night prior
How rich that is—not
Even "nothing" can be sacred
if equal to evils often concealed
No covering within, no hood without?
Just when you thought
you new the rules
Oh boy...
The Red Line approached empty and helped me
thanks to my Silver Spring
Our Union is stationed in a hopeful place
beside a Judiciary, not judgmental, square
Move on
There is something else to see, hear

20 March 2012

Cherish the Species


"I have considered the days of old, the ancient days, the years of ancient times. I call to remembrance my song in the night: I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search."
- Psalm 77:5-6


Before our meeting, a former classmate specialized in entomology, meaning he studied insects. Etymology-loving me was surprised that I had to look the simple-looking word up when he first mentioned his early goals. Having done so, it made perfect sense when group discussions about human nutrition, organ systems or body types and temperaments somehow drew comparisons to some worm, long-legged creature or another. Where most people would hum a ditty, cringe or talk crap about 'la cucaracha', he would probably notice beauty or revere their persistence. Moving quickly from that, it was cool to learn that each member of the small world we tend to acknowledge more in this Spring and the coming Summer season have millions more faces than the few we commonly recognize.

Covering the journey from coarse kingdoms to fine specimen and back, there are seven primary strata. And without doubt there Is God. What comes to mind for me in that regard is popular culture's depiction of Heaven's levels or the whole tones in a Western scale. With the great differences of human beings (snowflakes too), the whole world can agree that music has the power to consistently highlight and harmonize our similarities. Ok. I admit it! Like my friend, it seems I find a way to include what I love in almost every conversation too. 

That being said, Esperanza Spalding's "Radio Music Society" was one of the albums released today. Arriving almost a month after The Robert Glasper Experiment's "Black Radio", the 'ready, yo' theme informs some great moments in the artform. With the exception of a boombox image on the lady's cover art and the now common feature of a third-party on almost all of the group's songs, however, both albums are beautiful snapshots in what should continue forward as high-quality catalogs but don't quite represent what radio looks like for now.  

For instance, if popular broadcasts didn't seek to dull the senses with repetition of *@&%! and instead graced us with the 'hope' to "Always Shine" or more Stokley (of beloved Mint Condition fame), "Ah Yeah"... our days might be "Crowned & Kissed" with the gentle wisdom inherent to simply sitting and sipping the aural tea of a "Cinnamon Tree" or pretty luxuries like those first experienced in '91. No need to look to the left, though. A mellow and effective Nirvana awaits in the midst of the albums' 12/24 selections, due only in part yet dually to another long-time favorite singer, Lalah Hathaway. Wait - I just envisioned an "In Living Color"-era Tommy Davidson. Somebody say Christmas comin'? Wrap it up!

Ms. Hathaway, like the mother she shares her birth name with, exemplifies good speech when the root eu- puts a positive spin on the la tone connected with certain singing or repetitive movements of the tongue as with ululation. Phonetically, the daughter's proximity to "Leila" links the name to blackness. As Ms. Spalding's "Vague Suspicions" and "Land of the Free" did in light of injustices including that which claimed the life of Trayvon Martin, Hathaway's music could easily offer very soothing and centering vibrations during a dark time.

For me, the "silence is the sweetest sound" lyric of 1994's "So They Say" in particular made bearable the doctor's orders to shut up for a couple weeks after a minor throat surgery if I intended to continue as a soprano or just heal properly. The gift of Lalah's captivating contralto provided me with frequent company and then encouragement in the procedure's two-year radius. Grateful to express myself when necessary since being that stubborn microphone fiend, her talent continues to bless my space 'hear' and now as well as the "Endangered Species" and "Cherish the Day" covered on the respective releases. The two albums are otherwise linked by Spalding's farewell-in-stereo "Let Her" about a she who fronted on tampering with a brother's phone at the very least and the Experiment's endearing cover, "Letter...", later in the grand sequence.  

In the opening scripture here, the Psalmist king meditated on Divine inspiration like a song in the night to weather illusory storms. Like a single cell, thought or music note for that matter, the essence of what makes Life special on any given day often goes unseen when generated into this plane of existence until it multiplies like family, is arranged in a unique order, enhanced by a sense of class or the name(s) signifying its actual or desired qualities and honors the established rank & file regarding division. This can be applied well or wrong. Such is the case with healthy or cancerous bodies; plans that build bridges or yield the breakdown of war; symphonies or finally, sad excuses for songs—which none of the above titles are. Over ALL, the Most High has Kingdom Dominion. Understanding this, whether or not an utterance is made, every day can bring a perspective of peace with which to look at and maybe show (tough) Love for the little things, just as the unified Infinite does to infinitesimal us.

18 March 2012

Where I'm From

* I mean, who reaches out to a childhood connection "as a woman", heartbroken and dressed like a turn-off with no plan or action to ever cross the line although 
They just had to...
  • A bored husband
  • A teacher with illicit lessons on his mind
  • Domination by a drug habit demon combined with refusal of a divorce request
  • Youth and would-be business persons with something other than their own merit to show & prove the third-to-last straw of her boyfriend's "she's just a friend" threatens her back; heard another gentleman
It is a sad truth of nature that weak or otherwise dis-eased beings are likely to perish and, in doing so, may contribute to the same in another. Put another way, steps and mindsets inclined to trip or make then take a 'joke' too far threaten the tribe-at-large. The inability or decision not to discern that line of demarcation is a sign of grave immaturity if not youth, although it was written that childlike innocence is indeed a leadership quality. On Friday, an adolescent male in the infamous Rutgers University cyberbullying case was convicted for his part in an arguably malicious prank that led to the harm and suicide of his former roommate. Not knowing "how to deal" with the now deceased victim's lifestyle (or, more likely, his own confusion and craving for attention) is one motive of the culprit's defense. suitor mention being a father uninvolved with the child's mother who approvingly knew of our relationship but listened to herself when walking to 
Given the digital extent to which the misery of his unknown weaknesses went for company in viewing and chiding the deceased, who knows what other forms of entrapment he tried? In a song by Rachelle Ferrell, she described her father as one who often consciously "[preened] his pride and [pruned hers]". Young Mr. Ravi made the choice to gamble deceptively with people's lives, namely via attempts to wield judgment as if a perfect God alone. While attempting to destroy a reputation with collegiate gay humiliation, he was successful in creating one for himself as a green card hooligan. Blemishes to immigration rights seldom sit well with a first-generation daughter like me. Be that as it may, a jury found Ravi adult enough for a bias crime conviction, which could carry a $10,000 fine and deportation to his native India.
the woman's door to peacefully introduce herself and make sure all was indeed well, offering an on-the-spot end with no sweat to any of us; or subdues her own 
On demand, I followed the impulse to watch the aptly titled HBO short film, "Saving Face". The italicized scenarios above allegedly justified rampant acts of acid abuse against Pakistani women and disgusted me even moreso than the New Jersey case's manipulations. In one instance, after a woman's husband attacked her with the caustic substance, her sister-in-law then chose to add gasoline to the deadly cocktail; the fact that she could just as easily have suffered such an injustice on the mere grounds of being born her gender notwithstanding.

The interviewed male assailants and their supporters saw no wrong in their actions, if they owned those actions at all. Allegations of female infidelity followed by answers of "what happened, happened" when asked about their own indiscretions were the closest any came to culpability in a sea of unimaginative blame. All the women were said to have "high blood pressure", getting confused and emotional before dousing themselves with gas near an open flame. The women worth their positive opinion were reported as being "out there doing the good work" of "[cutting] the nose off the world". That statement's advocacy of either eliminating the sensual nature of humanity or the cultural surgery of those who once visited the Sphinx and other African structures in upset struck me.

Sadly enough, I guess the latter portion was as natural coming from a brown man as any woman who would consciously and unduly help a man abuse another woman. To a degree, every aberration is. And the menstrual cycle is lunacy. And a woman's best friends are lipstick and shoes whereas materialism, overconfidence, bickering and scheming are to be expected. And every man deserves to have as many cliteridectomized, sutured 'pure' women at his disposal as he can afford. And yes, this paragraph is sarcastic, so clarified as to highlight to absurdity of some of our ways and to quell unwarranted judgment. My darlings, let's reset plans. You don't have to shove me into any water, either. I am grateful for the facility to take a refreshing shower once I post this and the subject matter's been deep since time immemorial.
sadness to tell the new strange woman her man has disappeared with to enjoy playing with the boys? About a decade ago, I did. 
Earlier in the week, a good friend engaged me in a conversation that started on the topic of our respective flaws. Although our romantic involvement has long since passed, our friendship for years now continues to transcend relationships and convention. By request, I reflected with him on what was his power-loving sense of entitlement, veiled by a composed nature that moved into a manner that could be considered too bold without notice. His protective side told me what to watch out for next and we laughingly recalled the selective but searing temper and icy male distrust of my younger years. Having known my share of abused women or dysfunction of some sort first-hand even prior to my first kiss ever, disappointment and fear dictated that it would never be me. Surely that portion of my story is much like many other women's. By no means did I rush into relationships and sex or hurt and "play" men as a result nor do I believe doing so makes a woman strong. However, considering with disdain women who got handled or saw to the improper handling of another has its own reflux-prone pathology in need of healing where it lives.

Before and after Steve Harvey's blockbuster, I have been a lady who often thought of, if not like, a lifetime of men in my family, church, community and those who would eventually touch my heart. Ages prior still, philosopher Lao Tzu was credited with teaching the importance of 'knowing the male but keeping the female'. Certainly neither of them were the first to embody and share that sentiment. If giving my everything or what I could to an individual was met with the second, maybe third, sign of foolishness, any tears were deeply felt then effortlessly followed by a sometimes self-preserving chuckle, having fully owned or apologized for whatever good or bad was mine* and realized the time to move in a new direction from 'then'.  Funny thing is, like the one pregnant acid victim in "Saving Face" who wished she was bearing a boy unlikely to suffer the same injustices, receiving the dude-cool banner was supposed to be an improvement on the female form God saw fit to give me. The more wisdom and grace I was given over time, the less of compliment that was.
Sure, the door lady's "ok" proved short-lived when she saw us too happy. Also, I guess it served me right right for trying to make it stress-free for someone who 
Whether beating boys in races, dancing on undergrad stages, spraining a finger playing football (not my best game), grooming loved ones, twisting limbs out of socket attempting some acrobatic feat of solo mischief in the narthex when I should have been seated in the main sanctuary or climbing fences forward, I've embraced every nuance of my own femininity and appreciated that which is complementary. Any egoic reach beyond one's rightful portion, the underlying cause of all the would-be benefits and schtick, is no laughing matter as they lead to a deeply rooted self-hatred designed to bear the fruit of hating another in turn. Branching out from such a place is the Iscariot's lot. On a higher octave, there is yet Love for Judas.

So long as they continue to heed the whisper of the Most High, the sun and moon will all-ways know how, when to rise and set. Neither tries to play some extra role. As such, this woman continues to believe wholeheartedly in a respectful flow between Divine>male>female beings and both genders' respective strengths that don't require the other's detriment or excess. The chat with my friend covered many bases as usual, but the initial encouragement to revisit some of the old territory was therapeutic in reminding me exactly where I need not return and why I champion what causes I do. 
  • A brilliant, successful father who was somehow blinded to the fact that beating your eight-month pregnant wife bloody might not be a good idea, especially for the baby
  • In an age when most food & drink is treated for longer shelf lives and its appeal to the eye, the words "hysterectomy" and "treatment" should seldom be used affirmatively in the same sentence regarding the common side effects of overgrowth primarily in the female body. This is especially true for our younger ladies who have yet to even think about becoming mothers.
  • Some (NOT all) men of any age believe that their equal accountability or sexual fidelity is an option the slightest upset can revoke; one or all paid bills might constitute or replace that upset and serve as license to engage in simultaneous (emotional) relations with anyone else he chooses. He and/or the wo/man whose flame burns hot for him might try to scandalize you in the process whether or not you have taken the high road past such behavior. His, probably their, perception and projection is everythingto him.
  • Only a man can keep that man with you; not a falsified or actual child, the dirt you do with or for him nor the impervious exterior that insists it's ok when he hints, much less clearly states, that you can't be his lady. Matching his work and begging/deceiving/fighting/playing victim or evil witch for it are completely different things. The second half is not an option.
  • Love as depicted in some movies or books (where true peace, devotion, forgiveness, communication and pleasure eliminate the need for cover-ups and the like) plus the all-weather work that two hours of film or pages can't fulfill is real.
For the justice of innocence, the heart & soul of good women, the honor of good men, the wellness that is everyone's birthright ~ I just have to.
didn't care enough about either of us or do her due diligence to prevent being a jump-off from my relationship; later thinking I owed her an apology for being me, 
I suggested that a 10-year-old mentee watch the short film before we met to attend the Cherry Blossom festival. It was a pleasure to explore some art and facts of our people and then watch her paint and put her hands to a weaving loom and origami as soothing music played. Her work came out beautifully. She was a natural! If not for the lines of little people clamoring for seats at the craft tables and tea ceremony, I would have taken a turn. God sparing Life, I will make my own opportunities for more of the same at a later date.trying oddly and too hard (with help no less) past the freshness date to never get it. Wow ~ the 20s were roaring in my and the country's histories! For anyone 
Afterwards, we had a chance to discuss the day and the film over lunch. Her desire for a pink stuffed baby lion evoked a flash of mixed feelings, a mild joy primarily. What would those days be like when she puts such toys aside for more visceral interests? Between learning more of what life feels like for a girl and a woman's worth, what songs would be her soundtrack? Where will I be at that time and how could or should I help? The present was with us and we with it, so I paid no further mind to those what if's and appreciated her clarity regarding the specific injustices without taking an overall negative stance against men or a world that challenges a walk that follows Christ, in or out of Louboutins. I sipped jasmine tea without sugar or honey as this was the sweetness of Life. Next I've gotta convince her and her parents that there's more to life than chicken nuggets, fries and soda. It'll take as long as it needs to but, God willing, I'll get it done ~ well.who can and will honestly agree that we've come a long way, baby, let us truly thank God for deliverance now & ever.

15 March 2012

In Good Taste

Ears after high-decibel exposure, nerves exposed to shifts in the atmosphere, the olfactory sense or the change to our purses are among those that will prove ingestion is so much more than a hand-to-mouth gut thing. All of Life is to be parsed with good reason and seasoning, taken in and then shared for the better. Even in the recent 24-hour sliver between pi's digits and what some history considers the Ides' demons of ill will and murder to name a couple, experience can make us very full. 'Too much' is almost guaranteed by not heeding the signs preceding and just after 'enough'. Contrary to popular belief, however, a pretty righteous redemption can be found in paying closer attention to the necessary details.

These can contain great disagreement or synchronicity, the latter of which is home to both beauty and terror. I'm not talking about the optimization overload the Bing search engine once comically advertised as making sticky batter of our brains, mind you. I just happen to see both, actually all three, words—like you, me or any living being—as facets of God's infinite brilliance. Maybe scientists, priests and artists will return to common ground by taking such logic to heart. Meanwhile, last night, my drum appreciated deep resonance with (related) works of a favorite author/anthropologist by way of some Creative People's Resuscitation.

Paving the way back through the tunnel afterwards were a girl with eyes rose-colored as a recently departed germ, tear or high; sleeping giant with shiny jewelry and no shoes; the handsome faces of two gentleman I didn't bother to greet at length but had no problem taking discreet glimpses at more than a little bit and sneezers with newspapers for napkins who left ominous leaves behind for the accidental adventurer. Once I'd gotten in and eventually decided to blog a bit, the nearest link's quote awaited, saying Go! Figures... and I'm grateful.

Frequent romps in midnight oil have exposed me to many infomercials peddling skin care, coverage of the sacral area that some jeans (and genes) have scrapped to show off, addict-pointed encouragement to seek treatment and a few minutes of Insanity® that don't always seem so crazy. This time, entertainer Debbie Gibson mentions "a wall between worlds" for Children International's sake; this just a week after first listening and mere moments before finally deciding to connect the similarly titled Nujabes song with this post.

Among the suggested video column to the right, his "Aint No Mystery" appeared, bringing back to mind the iconic writer/performer of "The Mystery of Iniquity" and many gems, Ms. Hill. After all, a trough on her public frequency earned its #17 spot amid the 40 most shocking moments in hip-hop being re-broadcast when I returned. For this and the aforementioned Greco-Roman reason, I was not surprised when one of the words prescribed online for today later proved "iniquitous". A few synonyms briefly came to mind forever ago regarding my observation of an ancient, rebellious sport that later engaged "some guy" to regurgitate a lion's share of my early writing pieces fed to him under false pretenses and "read [me]" for not squirming as superfish bait should. The same outlet's suggestion ala Honoré De Balzac contains its own tragi-comedy otherwise. By now, all supporting cast members have learned not to cross or trouble waters they don't understand no'mo.

Regardless, as is the case with details, what exists with/in our intentions and connections need not be devilish or in distress. Einstein is quoted as stating that "[a]ny intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction." Even young pink eyes revealed a smiling glimpse of whitish teeth by the end of the ride, so I know different, healthy types can move under our arches. Paranoia and undue sympathies (or sins) deserve rest. Well-nourished, I digest.

05 March 2012

Simple.

In checking my calendar today, a little note appeared informing me that Daylight Saving Time would take place at 2 a.m. on next Sunday, March 11, 2012. However imperfect, there are certainly worse things out there than my memory. I simply don't recall it normally coming so soon, but hey... Life is change, right?! Considering the latter belief, maybe the manipulation of time should be expected. After all, whole nations took a quadrennial leap only a few days ago and, according to the Mayans, people can be born on a Day Out of Time. Even without looking skyward or deep into scholarly tomes, quantum 'space' is occupied by a lot more than what we popularly regard or understand. This is not an existential rant to force an intellectual veneer on the skin invisible to you here. This is just an eye-opener to those gaps that exist in every one of our lives, in the most unassuming ways.

Take the pair of ellipses present in the text so far. In grammar, the three dots of an ellipsis represent a silent space that can hold anything we choose to put in them. Further, the missing content may or may not agree with what pertinent courage we have made visible on the bookends of the statement. Like the parodied (but very enjoyable, thank you) Madonna commercial, they highlight a gap one could fall into unaware. As for the soul and the unknown unseen that affect it, there is one thing that provides a permanent eclipse of "a multitude" and bridges gaps like no other: Love. Fill every space with it and carry on... lighter :)

01 March 2012

Let's Dance

Welcome to March, the widely accepted month of Spring!

What comes to mind for me is the God-given ability we all have to experience unique rhythms via the heart, hopefully align them with the mandate of the Most High and 'step' accordingly. Easy or fun as it may be, we don't have to threaten another's path or lack flavor and originality to dance to our own drummers.

With teacher-student relations gone awry once again, sex tra(ffi)cking and grossly tempering the appeal of porridge to name a few areas, recent news easily suggests that some heartbeats have squandered the freedom of free will by choosing to be irregular. An arguably crooked way is often paved and bound by the dominance of left hands and feet, so to speak. Of course, any partner's steps and the details will follow that lead.

So how do we find our way home or, as in roots music, stay in time with and not behind the one-drop? Anderson's magic shoes instantly delivered what natural talent and hard work would earn. However, a greedy, shortcut-taking wearer stood, at the very least, for a hare's end. Being strategic in the morsels laid down were helpful to Hansel & Gretel, but even for the witch, curbing appetites was the greater lesson. Certain aspects of childhood are long gone yet human nature remains to represent an occasional struggle in us all. The two-sided Biblical sword can offer our drums the guidance those tales once did. Let's leave dissonance behind and get on the good foot!

11 February 2012

The First and Eleventh Hour of 48

"...It's gonna be cold / There may even be snow..." ~ Helen Folasade Adu


The house was finally at rest
albeit forgetful in removing the marvels
of the world from the screen
Turning traces of Ororo and Oya off
I stepped lightly into the early morning night
preferring to sit alone in the Quiet Storm
where a kiss from Keith
any love Luther offered and, frankly
something even he could feel surrounded me
Soon my mind, face and body rejoiced in
being cool with what was
a fresh anointing
In slumber, I dreamed
of preparing for a show
when I received a postcard from Israel
Old friends dressed in white were visiting
the land with pride & joy
Awakening to the news
it was clear
the God Who saw her through
and through
is still my peer

03 February 2012

A Children's Story

"... there is no religion without love, and people may talk as much as they like about their religion, but if it does not teach them to be good and kind to man and beast, it is all a sham. ..." 
I missed an important call this afternoon. A loved one wanted to tell me about a book she'd read and wanted my feedback on. Eventually noticing her e-mailed follow up, I didn't feel too badly about my delayed response, because the book didn't exist to me and my unfounded opinion might not have been helpful. Besides, my godson had commissioned my time straight through the night with episodes of "Adventure Time" and "Good Luck Charlie" and  a DVD of the neo-rock 'em, sock 'em robot film "Real Steel". I would've preferred to see how the box office newbie, "Chronicle", picked up on the power-hungry "Jennifer's Body" antagonists' misguided allegiance with a harmful, dark place, but I obliged. These are important years and we've been good about weathering the occasionally awkward or challenging to find the golden, by any means.

As it turned out, "Real Steel" wasn't all that bad. The kid's got taste! Well, his dear mom isn't a goat so he's not a kid per se, but the young man's choice proved pretty cool all the same. Amidst almost two hours of heavy metal punches (unfortunately against animals at first!), aimless buying and selling on the road to learning true value, Anthony Mackie's smile and requests to later explore "Ripley's Believe It or Not" footage, his company was no terror but enjoyed with the steadfast nature of the mare on this night. There are times to alert and snatch people from the proverbial fire just as there are times to gently approach what is contrary if need be. In this case, it was a blessing to look beyond his healthy curiosity, answer or encourage what questions I could and see the best in him: a strong investigative ability developing along with a heart of compassion. Lord knows I've got idiosyncracies of my own. May God look past these in all His children to see the best in us as we grow to fit the Vision.

01 February 2012

By the Time I Get to Phoenix

Almost ten years ago, a visionary acquaintance saw fit to inform me that "when a prince is born, a king is dethroned". I had no idea what he meant then because, however inverse to the phrase's dynamics, significant time would pass before my son did. That king & I have parted romantic ways. There weren't children of any gender before or, to date, since.

While running some errands this morning, I enjoyed a candid duet by Angie Stone and Prince on the radio. Old as I later learned the song is, the collaboration between these two favorite artists was brand new to me! A few moments afterwards, an announcer informed listeners that the first king of the 'urban' audiovisual showcase was found dead in his Los Angeles home. The specific meanings behind the adage and his passage are unknown, but the coincidence was remarkable enough to stir the memory.

Mr. Don Cornelius was the creator and host of the legendary Soul Train television show that (initially) featured live performances by funk, hip-hop, R&B and soul hitmakers of the '70s through this millennium. Even when the times went a-changin', Don stopped hosting and music became much more of a modeling runway with vocal tracking than a medium highlighting vocal, instrumental and writing ability, the Soul Train rolled with it and remained a place generations trusted for quality music, dance innovations and fun trivia. Actually, the famous "Soul Train Line" still connects the equal-opportunity-but-show-me-whatcha-got steps of varied celebration attendees across the globe!

Besides the Saturday fascination I held for many of the genius dance & style couples and a sister I was certain had knee-length hair, the program also served as a prototype for the extremely popular video and live artist-to-audience offerings that fuel all of today's major TV networks. [A friend said that his local radio station would host what they dub "the world's longest 'Soul Train Line'" later this evening. Wonderful footage is quite likely to be available somewhere, so I hope to amend the post with a pertinent link in due time.]

Echoing Life's occasional reality, the reported causes surrounding his physical death are not delicate nor do they deserve to be focused on, because only our Creator knows the intricacies of the Great Mystery. As with the mythical bird that lives only for a purified release of the soul, the real fate of all our bodies is finite. By God's grace, I am incarnate right now. Until my soul's natural arrival at the phoenix state of Being, however, I will continue to appreciate the p(e)ace that music can bring and remain eternally grateful, most importantly, for the Lover of my soul.

30 January 2012

Expectancy

A treasured mentor of mine would criticize that word or at least call stern attention to it. "Expectation is the root of all suffering" was a common phrase the elder would often assert -- to me and anyone employing it in conversation or 'class' with him.

For the most part, I understood the lesson he tried to impart. It appeared in the root of scriptural teachings to be anxious for nothing ala Philippians 4, one of William Blake's views on humanity and divinity and, to some degree, the adage that "beggars can't be choosers".

At the same time, it almost seemed to oppose inspirational lines such as "shoot for the moon so if you miss, you'll be among the stars" and, essentially, faith itself.

Defined in Hebrews 11:1, the Young's Literal Translation likens faith to "confidence" and "conviction" whereas the next verse credits it with building the positive reputation of elders.

My mentor may have disregarded that (part of the) memo yet we agree that believing in, aspiring towards and standing for nothing is probably supreme ignorance. It could also represent supreme innocence as with the newborn, who carries its apparent unawareness comfortably.

For all we know, s/he just can not stand and has no desire to hitch onto anything except the nourishing breast. Truth is, s/he reaches by instinct and in response to stimuli, not necessarily with a fixed goal anyone else understands. From that innocent ignorance, s/he receives instruction within then somehow tells us if, when and how s/he's able to do whatever "It" is we're expecting. Even elders watch and wait for this.

What of a compromised woman with child? Barring cases of great danger, do we tell her not to expect when she's, well, expecting? If her heart is fixed, can we with any effect? Even if the clinician, midwife, loved ones or woman herself come to realize the baby will not arrive as planned, something -- be it grief, a reversion to an old diet, the desire to mother others around her or a new perspective on time & space -- certainly will. Something is all-ways to be expected. The Spirit in which any of us do so, however, may hold the key and turn over what could otherwise be a closed encounter of the Divine kind.

If we look past the following "I"s, we might notice that even when our best work efforts are combined with the affirmations, sometimes they just don't prove to be true.
* I expect to get A's on every test.
* I expect everyone to tell the truth to each other & treat each other with respect.
* I expect emptiness to be filled and overgrowth to disappear on their own.
* I expect love and kindness, because I am loving and kind.
* I work hard and mean the best for everybody, so I expect to live without hardship.
If those weren't seeds for suffering, I don't know what is!

Maybe what my anti-expectant friend had been telling us all along is just like a lyric to the classic gospel hymn, "Hold to His Hand (God's Unchanging Hand)". That, if we must have them, we should build our hopes on things eternal. For example, 
* I expect the Light of God to make plain sense of darkness whenever in its presence.
* I expect different patterns of weather to present themselves in the atmosphere and Earth, all of which are subject to harmonize with or cancel each other.
* I expect every one having a human experience to encounter the constructs of ignorance, ill will, dis-ease and poverty as well as understanding, benevolence, wellness and providence at some point.
* I expect(orate) when mucus is on my chest and if food or drink have gone down the wrong way.
* I expect that the inner, personal choices of p(e)aceful mind and purpose are readily available to help all crawl, stand up, walk, jump, dance and otherwise journey with innocence.

Above all, I expect Love never to leave me alone, although there are certainly things I can not change, even for Love's sake. It will find a Way to reach even places forgotten and unseen whether the seed of hope is watered by tears, sweat or the overflow of Grace. Believe it or not, there will always be energy, thoughts, words, deeds, voids and vessels for it to fill. Test it. Look around if the mirror begs to differ for the moment. It never fails.