Archive for January, 2012

Last Words

Posted: January 31, 2012 in Uncategorized
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“Love is stronger than death even though it can’t stop death from happening, but no matter how hard death tries it can’t separate people from love. It can’t take away our memories either. In the end, life is stronger than death.”

What Would You Say B4 You Die

Have you ever thought about that?  I know I haven’t.  I read an article on CNN.com and it talked about what people talk about before they die.

The article raises the subject of religion and its place at your bedside at the time of your death.  I can’t say that I have personally given much thought to what I’d say or even talk about on my deathbed but, I’m sure that I would talk about my family.  Talk about my sons and their accomplishments; reflect on my life and the life that my mother gave me.

I probably wouldn’t give much thought to my father; wouldn’t want to spend what little strength I have on him.  Maybe, just maybe I’ll forgive him for abandoning me when I was just a child.  Would I call on God?  A good question, though I’m not sure of the answer.  I don’t call upon any divine deity on a regular basis, well unless I’m upset but, that doesn’t count.

When we are on our deathbeds, at the apex of existence, do we dwell upon something as conflict-ridden and confusing as religion, would you want your caretaker or family members to discuss the possibilities of your soul in the afterlife?  Or would you talk about the life you lived, or about the family, the kids, your husband or wife?  Or do we spend our last earthly breaths going over “heaven-sent” assurances that came with no guarantee?

What is the soul?  A soul – in certain spiritual, philosophical, and psychological traditions – is the incorporeal essence of a person, living thing or object. (Wikipedia)

Overstanding the makeup of the human soul is as complex as analyzing the human brain.  There are so many levels and depths of the soul that possibly goes untapped and unused.  The surface soul is the tainted one, the confused one, the one that is guided by outside of mind-body influence, i.e., preachers, pastors, rabbi’s and imams.  Some do not have souls; I truly believe that, that aside, what is inherently important to you?

How do we discuss God without first discussing Love?

I don’t understand people that would say not discussing God at the time of your death is wrong.  Why?  When my son lost his grandmother, we wept hard for her; she was loved and we let her know that every day.  Up until the end, she asked for candy, ice-cream and jokingly cigarettes.  I don’t think sitting around and talking like a bunch of instant theologians simply because her time was near would have been more beneficial to the last days she spent with us swaddled in love.  She loved her grand-children so much and she would talk about them.  She talked about the old days, discussed the life she lived and the lives we lived with her.  We never discussed God or death; she knew her time was coming.  Her last words to me were, “So long.”

As I came to be with her after she passed, my expression of love was to rub what was left of her hair, kiss her forehead and to tell her that I loved her and I was content with that.  In my heart I believe she would have been content with that as well.

“We don’t learn the meaning of our lives by discussing it.  It’s not to be found in books or lecture halls or even churches or synagogues or mosques.  It’s discovered through these actions of love.” ~ Kerry Egan

It’s difficult to talk about death as I and those reading this definitely are not experts on it, not at least while we’re living but, it’s a reality that we all must face.  What we’ll say on our deathbeds is unknown to us so, let’s live and live well until our time to dwell on that gets here.

Hopefully, not for a long time.

If you’re interested in reading the CNN article:

http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/01/28/my-faith-what-people-talk-about-before-they-die/

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The Secretary Of Defense

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She is your ex’s best friend, her ace boon-coon and she’s mad as hell that you had the audacity to break up with her girl and she has a few choice words for you…

She doesn’t know who you are!  She knows of you, about you and things your ex may have told her that is fueling this indelible fire that is raging somewhere in cyberspace.  It’s safe to say, that your ex, didn’t share the nice sweet stuff that you and her went through so now instead of one sour Sally that you’ve pissed off, you now have Vicky Vendetta who is there to take up the reigns and fight you for the remaining scraps of her best friends’ heart.  Go figure.

Now that you and you ex-girlfriends relationship is over like Heidi Klum & Seal, it’s Vicky’s self-appointed mission to defend her friends’ emotions, her qualities, and all the little things that make her such a great woman (things that drove you away in the first place) as well as her honor and she will at all cost try to make your life a living hell (cause that’s what she’s going through without you).

Fellas, you open up your email or your Facebook page and you see her name and it hits you like a Ric Flair chop across your chest, “WHOOOOO!”  First, we may think that it’s a set-up; your ex put her up to it, to test you, to see if you had secret desires for her all along?  Or maybe, she’s trying to holla-at-you?  You remember your lady telling you to stay away from her because she’s a ho.  Known to be looser than the ceilings on the Big Dig, if the space was there, she would probably try to kick it with you behind her back.

But, alas this is not the case.

So, you open up the email or Facebook message and it starts.  Errant rambling, character blasting, an emotional babble-filled bluster of accusations, baseless indictments, and finger pointing at someone she barely even knows.  But, it’s okay because she is defending the honor of her girl, right?  Give me a break!  I think this is only allowed in the human-animal kingdom.  When a woman takes it upon herself to step in where her friend stepped out and chooses to voice her and your exes concerns, clearly violating any codes of privacy, civility and respect.

GTFOHWTBS…

First of all, if your ex-girlfriend cared about the sanctity of your relationship or had a shred of respect for you, she would immediately let her SOD know that it’s not cool and potentially hazardous, for her to go after you like that because it’s none of her business.  Secondly, your ex knowing that she gave you all kinds of dish-dirt about her friend,  should know that you would immediately tell intricate details of the nasty things that she be doing and all the men she sleeps with that she only shared with her “bestie”, the one who’s honor she is trying to defend.   In the end, Vicky is found defending herself against the man she’s trying to condemn and her supposed home-girl that tells all the dirty details of her less than perfect life.

So, what can we do to stop our ex-girlfriends’, friends from calling you or defiling your character on social websites?  Is there a need to pay attention to it or do we let it ride out?  Do you call your ex and ask her to cease and desist all activities against you or face legal action?  I mean, how serious is this?

In my humble opinion, I think it’s the dumbest thing anyone could ever do.  First of all a relationship is established between two people.  No one on the outside should have any say, at least not to the ex, if the relationship ends.  My people shouldn’t be calling her and vice versa.  If I’m emotionally attached to my ex, I may want to back out and regroup and come back a better person, a better man – if she’d have me but, if you have your home-girl trashing my name on your behalf, then we are gonna have problems too.  It’s great that, the friend was cordial with you while you were dating your ex but, “How did she get your number anyway? Why does your ex trust her now enough to just give her your information, what if she swooped down and tries to scoop up homeboy for herself?  There are so many things that could go wrong; just don’t do it!

Ladies, let your home-girls fight their own battles, you’ll only make it worse for her, for you and for any possibility that the two of them get back together.  That email, phone call or Facebook post will always be in the back of his mind and he may never trust her and may not have many nice things to say to Vicky if he sees her again.

So, stand-down young lady, sit down and mind your own damn business because everyone else may already be minding yours!

– CT
January 26, 2012

Soul Train: An Archetype of Black Unity
by Jerel E. Ferguson

When I was a child, it never dawned on me as I sat between my mother’s legs with a fried bologna sandwich and a bag of Chef E. Hunt potato chips, that while I watched Soul Train on the run-down Black & White, that I was watching a revolution of sorts.  There was no shouting, no fighting, no signs, and no protest; but looking back, there was a protest, a silent one against oppression and injustice.  We were united by our music, our dance and our hair.  The Afro was radical, it was Black & Proud, and it spoke loudly without words and went against Euro-American standards of so-called beauty. These brothers and sisters shared a collective sense of identity, identifying each other by large or tightly coiffed afros, complicated handshakes and jive-talk.  For thirty-five years, The Soul Train made stops in every home across America, displaying our style, our music and dance.

Fast forward to 2012, we’re so different from each other and unfortunately are more culturally-divided within our own culture.  Many men today are bald; (may be due to hair loss or stress), corn-rows/braids are still popular (in jail and on the streets), hair weave and extensions (keeping Indians and Asians rich and us poor), keeping us distinctively dissimilar from one another.  As a people, we can’t tell who we are anymore because we are in an un-natural state, we don’t know who we are or care about where we came from; living on false principles and materialistic values.  By no means am I including everyone but, the majority of folks are really disconnected ethnically.

Prior to the 1960’s Black-Americans burned or “conked” our hair and in the process [sic] fried our minds in attempts to copy the texture and hairstyles of our oppressors, but in the 70’s, the Afro was an ethnic rebirth, a celebration of our self, it brought about a belief that our uniqueness, our natural magnificence and our beauty was something to be proud of.  Black-Americans realized that our beauty lied without lye and processes, straighteners or other chemical treatments that made us look other than what we were.  Like long-haired hippies wore their hair long in protest against the system and war, Afro-Blacks wore our hair in honor of our culture and heritage.  It was also taken to be a “symbol of political unrest”, and was very prominent amongst young civil rights workers and sociopolitical figures in music and movies.

I was fortunate at the age of 4 in 1979 to have an Afro. While my hairstyle wasn’t a direct indication of my radicalism-saturated childhood, it was fun to have.  Looking back at pictures and looking at all of that hair, gives me a tremendous sense of pride.

In a time when political turmoil, racism and war threatened to tear this country further apart than it was, our brothers and sisters were more united and less divided than at any other time in modern Black-America.  We may not have had all of the same ideologies, social-statuses or political beliefs but, by collectively presenting ourselves with the same likenesses of each other we were one people, one front, one power.  There were braids and processed hair but, when a group of large Afro-Blacks were around, they were noticed, feared, accepted by some and rejected by many. Soul Train brought all of these elements together under one roof and on one dance floor, we were One Nation Under A Groove and One Nation of people, under the studio lights of the Soul Train.

Almost 40 years ago, during one of the most transitional times in our nation, African-Americans were able to pack up their cares and take the hippest trip in America every weekend on the “Soul Train. ~ Shirea L. Carroll

 

Blogging….

Posted: January 23, 2012 in Uncategorized

As I don’t have much time for anything these days other than; working, parenting, living, writing and reading I’m not so sure how I’m going to find time to add Blogging to my long to-do-life-list.  Being that this is my first blog on my Blog, I figured I’d keep it simple and just say hi.  My name is Jerel, I’m a Father, poet, writer, Nature loving hiker, non-profit co-owner, Freemason and friend to many.  2012, is off to an okay start.  Life is life.  My children mean the world to me. My oldest is 16, he’s developing into an interesting young man.  Complete with attitude and laziness but, he’s determined to make me proud and I like that.  He does well in school and stays out of trouble – it’s all I can ask for right?  Two boys, fraternal twins (means they don’t match) that just celebrated their 1st year of life both in their hometown and mine.  Being a father that cares, that works to provide as best I can for my children can be challenging.  The oldest lives with me in Boston, the babes, live in Springfield, nearly one hundred miles away.  As a father, as a man that loves and cares for his children, I’m faced with the most difficult challenge in my life.  To be a part of the lives of my children so far away.  My car isn’t in the best condition and the drive has taken it’s toll on the vehicle but, that still doesn’t stop me.  I love my kids, gotta do what I gotta do.   I’m not going to get into the meat and potatoes of the struggle because I’d be here all day.

I’ve been a writer for many, many years now.  Starting with poetry and then dabbling with fictional writing and it’s been fun but, not rewarding.  I have a completion issue (as confirmed by a therapist) and I haven’t been able to finish not one of my novels due in part to me being such a busy body.  I really want to become a published author and an acclaimed writer but, if I keep doing what I do, I’ll never see the day when that happens.  Maybe I’m over dedicating myself to the many other things I have going on life like…My outdoors organization, Hike4Life.  It’s a non-profit, community organization that takes folks from the inner-city and introduces them to the natural world, thru hiking, mountain climbing, camping, archery and other activities.  I spend a lot of time organizing events, establishing local partnerships, photographing the events, managing the website and Facebook page, etc., etc.  So, as you can see, I’m a pretty busy guy.  I’ve vowed in 2012 to learn to better manage my time, can’t say it’s working so far but, I’m trying.

So, I’d like to end my first blog by saying: Be you. Do you.  Don’t let anyone determine who you are or where you should be or what you should be doing.  The only one you have to answer to is YOU!

Peace & Blessings

J.Rel