Wednesday, May 6, 2009



One of the reasons that I designate something as 'black', isn't because it is exclusive to 'us', but to make it indicative of the black experience. Sure, the generality is for everyone, but when you get all 'coal miner deep' into something, you see where the differences are.

The argument that it comes out the same in the end ... yeah, I guess it does. But it goes in differently, doesn't it?

...YOU DO ...

"Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps," is a line that is associated with Clarence Thomas' and I am trying to get it straight, but was attributed to him and many in the black community were angry with him. Didn't he himself benefit from Affirmative Action, and got some 'help', the kind he would try to eliminate while on the bench of the Supreme Court? I think that he is very hypocritical, was then and even more after reading his book. BUT, that alone doesn't diminish the point he was trying to make.

If I took a facile inventory of my life, I could say I had to do it on my own. Don't want to put an estimate on it, but less than half of my formative years was spent with a father in the home. There was a lot of stuff that I didn't 'get', the kind of stuff you can only get from seeing it done, not hearing about it.

For instance, I think my aversion to doing stuff that gets you dirty comes from not seeing a man get dirty. I am sure that was a factor in my going Air Assault, because I wanted to say that I did something that was 'military', other than filling out DF's.

There were things that I didn't have any direct guidance on ... but don't cry for me (Argentina OR Brazil!!), because in my eyes, to say that I 'didn't get' stuff, is splitting hairs.

My Mom took us to learn how to ice skate ... not be figure skaters. So when I played hockey, my darling brother was able to figure skate. Mom had did her job, by exposing us to something. Then she tried her best to keep us involved where our interests led us.

Unlike other people (like say ... NEBRASKA!!) she was VERY SUPPORTIVE of my boxing ... and after she got over the initial shock, my going to the military, she was behind me on that. She did warn me with strong language about getting married ...

I could go on and on. Then, there were enough cousins, uncles, friends, adult friends, my own consciousness, for me to have received all the 'man training' I needed. At some point, I needed to do better than what I was doing. Period. There are men from broken homes, from situations worse than mine that achieve great things ... Bill Clinton embodies that for me, because my Mom like his Mom, was known to play the ponies a time or two.

What ever drove him, she played a part in it. You don't get a chance to go to Oxford without SOMEONE helping you out, especially when you come from Hope, Arkansas (and yes, my Dad does know that town). So despite what he didn't have, Bill was able to take what he did, and become President of the United States.

That was something my Mother saw for me. And with Barack Obama in the Oval Office, I can't say that she was wrong. So if she was right, then maybe I could have been ...


When Justice Thomas said what he said, I remember the cry being 'what if you don't even have bootstraps?' But what that was saying, and something that I don't think even the Justice himself appreciates, is that the momentum you gain from faith in yourself means less to the 'universal source' (as Wayne Dyer calls it) than it does to you. George Karl, who is coaching the Denver Nuggets once said that 'Believing can result in miracles'.

This source of all things, only knows of the infinite possibilities of opportunity. If you sit around 'wowsy woo', it is going to pick that up from you, and you know what it is going to do? It will respond with whatever is making you feel so crappy, because that is what you are sending out. It really doesn't know how to respond to that, because it is in the business of creation, and creation is positive in nature.

Even though his ascension comes as the Piston's reign is in sunset, LeBron James is someone I find myself rooting for. He has his flaws, but what I see in him, how much he shares the spotlight with his teammates, to even how he plays his game, making sure everyone else gets involved, contrasts with the heavy handed way Kobe Bryant has gone about creating 'his team'. With LeBron, it is always 'our team'.

You receive what you send out. I never once thought about not growing up with a father, because I had what I needed. Each step of the way, something was provided for me. That is why, when Flavor Flav would say, ' was you who made your due, you built a maze you can't get thru ...', I thought to myself, 'You know what Mark, he is right.'


Let's see ... Mookie, my ex wife, My Delta Girl, Nixxie, Pecan Sandie, Tee Jay, and Mookie again ... and man, there are a few more names to put down and around those listed. So I look into the mirror, and I realise that no matter what a woman (okay, I will work at the qualifiers ... cause I do have a crush on Arriel!! sike ... joking ... or not ... am kidding, but not really ... okay, I am ... if that is what you think ... what does she think??) may have done, it didn't free me up to be whatever I was to them.

Even when I go back to think about my ex ... and I have thought about her
intensely back in the long ago, I kept wondering if I HAD done something other than what I did, or communicated with her better, if it could have worked.

That brings me to what gets me ... the amount of effort someone puts into their relationship. I mean it is so important, how much of you can you stand to let go of?


So that is what I ask myself. If I can't risk more than what I have before, because whatever that was, it wasn't enough. And listening to women, I wonder if they think that they gave enough of themselves? A big answer for me is, if you can measure it, do a quantifiable analysis of what you brought to a relationship, then you haven't 'done more'.

Any reference to 'love', to 'the heart', is a reference to a part of that Universal Source of all things. It never empties out. I think that at this stage of my life, I need to do a better job in recognizing who I can give myself to. I have the positive energy in me to know that it is going to happen for me, one day.

Finally being able to get over my ex wife, I think allowed me to understand more about keeping negative energy in me. Not only did letting go of that free me completely from her, it caused more love to grow in me.

To give to the next 'what's happenin', the one that I know is going to come into my life. I need to get ready, and be where I am supposed to be.


Anonymous said...

One-third of Americans are at or near the poverty line. Calling them lazy and unmotivated, which in essence is what Clarence Thomas said, is not going to help them any. He apparently doesn't know what it's like to wake up in the morning already feeling defeated- but there are a whole lot of people who do.

a corgi said...

my pastor is doing a series on family life and was talking about divorce last weekend; he said, quoting an article from Newsweek (but I'm not sure which article/year/etc), he said when asked, 62% of men and 65% of women (or maybe its the other way around, but the numbers of so close anyway) wished they had worked harder on staying married before getting a divorce. Marriage, as you know, is hard work. Some go into it for the wrong reasons (I'm not saying you did, Mark); some want leave at the first sign of trouble, etc. You might enjoy the series he's doing; its very relevant in personal relationships regardless of whether a person is a believer or not