The Night’s Sky

CAN YOU REMEMBER that time when you looked up at the night’s sky and gleamed a thousand seas of stars twinkling at you? How did you feel afterwards? Were you drunk with wonder, while your intoxicated imaginations stumbled through your mind; were you still and content with the profundity of it all, or simply, did such sightings make you want to dream a thousand dreams? When I think back to those moments, I feel, not content, nor tipsy with epic imaginations, but rather mercurial—because at any moment my memory might suggest that such apocryphal sightings have been well-worn’d.

I love to count the stars at night—they’re uniquenesses and atypical personalities makes me happy. It’s not unusual to find one star particularly friendlier than some others. For instance, and on multiple occasions, I’ve had one star say, hello, by periodically blinking at me, while another one, grumpy or, perhaps in a hurry to get somewhere, not say anything at all—and just zoomed right past me!

What bothers me, more frequently than disremembered dreams, is that such hair-raising moments might never, ever last forever. And this is a real, legit fear of mine—you have no idea! Trust me, I realize that, in this rigid relationship of I, the author, and you, the viewer, only words are capable of paving the type of imaginative roads that will truly lead you to see the many residencies of the aforementioned in my mind. But the problem is, that words, sometimes, can lose their reverence and emotive-utilities when trying to convey something as oracular as the night’s sky. So, with all that’s left are these futile words of mine, I guess when I say that I stare at stars, irregardless of their friendly or hurried personalities, and how I always worry that our moments together will become irrelevant, you have no choice but to take my word for it.

“For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream,” wrote Vincent Van Gogh. In other words, and in plain liminal language, Vincent Van Gogh believed that staring at stars made you dream a thousand dreams. Is that true for you? When you thought back to when you stared at the night’s sky, could you remember if the constellations of stars provoked you to dream a thousand dreams? For me, I would not claim certainty like Vincent Van Gogh, because I think to do so would be moronic and oratorically reckless, but my opinions of stars in the night’s sky, despite how mercurial they make me feel, does run feverishly similar to that of Andre Norton, who once wrote; “There’s no night without stars.”

Main photo from Unsplash and taken by photographer, Alex Bartha

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Happy Martin Luther King Day

Image result for Martin luther kingIF IT WASN’T FOR HIS COMPASSION AND LOVE FOR PEACE, I think it’s fair to say that our society would have been less moral and spiritually sensitive than they were when he was still alive. If it wasn’t for his selflessness; his courage to tell us to look beyond our many indifferences, and, his fearlessness to do the right thing, the change that came in 2008 would probably never have happened. I am aware that it might be a stretch to assume the latter, but I ask; wouldn’t it be a stretch, in the other direction, to not assume so? When we look at the aspirations of Martin Luther King; moral integrity, justice, equality all across the board, and the belief that we should learn to “…accept finite disappointmnet, but never lose hope,” it would be hard to not think that our first black president, Barack Obama, did not benefit from, what I like to call, the trickle-down-homologies of Martin Luther King.

If it wasn’t for his commitments to equality, my family and many other families like mine, would probably not be living amongst white people right now. Although I am not romanticizing nor am I trying to glamorize proximity to white people as something akin to true progression, still, I think that Martin Luther King would agree that we have come a very long way. If it wasn’t for his resolve and staunch determinism for justice, the many times that I’ve spoken truth to power would have been null and void—or would have landed me in jail.

You know what, though, trying to imitate Martin Luther King by speaking truth to power actually did land me in jail. It wasn’t that long ago that I was arrested by two white police officers for simply riding my bicycle at night with no head lights. I was doing a midnight-bike-ride event with a bunch of my white friends, and the police did not harass us until I decided to leave the pack. When I refused to comply with their false arrest and atypical machoisms, they said they would arrest me and confiscate my bicycle. After going back and forth with them for a while, and with my white friends long gone, I finally agreed to their arrest. That night in that cold cell, with one itchy blanket and a brown-colored lightbulb that never went off, was one of the longest nights of my life. When I got out the following day, I felt humiliated, disrespected, and less of a man. I felt like my blackness was exposed only to be viciously trampled upon—and, I also felt like I could never be as equal as the two white men who arrested me that night. Looking back, I wonder; if my skin color had resembled the skin color of my friends that just got swallowed by the darkness of the night, and who were now safely pedaling home with half empty beer cans in the hands and contraband in their tight, jeans pockets, would all of that might have still happened to me?

What does it say about our society, long after Martin Luther King sacrificed himself for us, by preaching justice and encouraging the few of us that are dissatisfied with hate and intolerance, to speak truth to power—-but yet, when we do, we still get arrested for it? Perhaps I should rephrase; has change come, for those who need less of it, but for those like myself and for others who aren’t on top of the racial-foodchain? The emotional answer would be, yes! of course, it has! But, the intellectual response would not say, no nor would it say, yes, but would encourage us to not be satisfied with the battles against indifference that have been won so far—-especially when the war for absolute humility is still raging on.

Happy MLK Day

“Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.” — MLK JR. —-

My Thoughts On Why We May Choose To Read

THIS MAY SOUND OBVIOUS TO MOST, but I am confident it is scantly felt on a visceral and sentimental level; i. e., we read because we want to expand our minds and move beyond the ignorances of everyday life. It is one thing for one to maintain a contention that he or she reads because they want to know more, but it is another for that same person to profess, quite accurately, that they’re reading to be less ignorant. The former is casual and similar to the every day roundabout pleasantries that we exchange with complete strangers, while the latter is more honest and worthy of nobility.

In addition to that, we may read because we want to protect ourselves from the embarrassments of making a statement like this; if you have money you can live anywhere you want, we are in a post-racial society, or, women are equal to men, why do they want more pay? Reading books, newspapers, online articles, or what have you, about the true state of affairs, enables you to transcend not only the ignorances in your own mind but, as well as, the follies harbored in the minds of your fellow countrymen.

Britsh novelist and screenwriter, Willaim Nicholson once wrote, “We read to know we’re not alone,” and I couldn’t agree more. Knowing there is a community of people that are reading with the same intellectual and emotional inclinations as you are—that is, to be less ignorant—-is a good thing. It relaxes the mind, stretches the spirit, and confirms the assumption, which was quite brilliantly exposed by William Nicholson, that your conquest is not a solo one. I mean, can you imagine if that wasn’t the case—-how scary and lonely it would feel to know that you were the one soul reading with the proclivity to de-sponge the ignorances of the populace? My word, that would be more than overwhelming—it would be a fucking nightmare!

“Many people, myself among them, feel better at the mere sight of a book,” wrote Jane Smiley. And how could you not? Books, with all their different shapes and sizes, arouse in me, and in people like Jane Smiley, all the sentimentalities we once thought were lost as a child—like, happiness, joy, and conquest. For those who may read for pleasure, to pass the time, to prevent boredom, or for the reasons of appearing more sophisticated than you really are, I do not wish to adjudicate on your rationalizations. However, my hope is that whatever you read, no matter how brief or pretentious that experience might have been, is that you still managed to walk away less ignorant and far more happier than you were before!

Main Photo from Unsplash and taken by photographer Hisu Lee

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