Merry meet Friends!
Michelle here, bringing lots of love and light!
"Life is not a spectator sport. If you're going to spend your whole life in the grandstand just watching what goes on, in my opinion you're wasting your life." ~ Jackie Robinson
"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? ~ Mary Oliver, The Summer Day
Last evening I attended The Afrikana film Festival featuring poet and activist, Sonia Sanchez. What a spit fire of a woman! I had heard of her and knew some of her work; (growing up in the 60's, who hadn't) but I wasn't that familiar with her life. As I watched the documentary, reliving the events of the decades, I asked myself, "Where were you and what were you doing?". I wore the first female "afro" at Armstrong High School, was into Black Power and sang James Brown's , "Say it Loud!, I'm Black and I'm Proud!, louder than most. I was a rebel and non conformist, so what happened to me?
I'm well aware that everyone will not walk the same path in the same way. I'm still a non conformist but what happened to that fire I had in the 60's and early 70's? What became of me? As I pondered this last night I decided the change came when I married the first time. He was an abuser and didn't like me being who I am. It's funny, that. We become interested in a person and what makes that person who they are, but in some instances with some people, they hate the things as well. I believe that was my first husband's issue. So, in order not to be hit, the non conformist, conformed, denying my true self.
I'm not trying to be Sonia Sanchez, or anyone else for that matter, but I do want to be the best me that I was born to be. Rabbi Zusya, a Chasidic master who lived in the 1700's, said, "When I get to the heavenly court, God will not ask me, 'Why weren't you Moses?' Rather he will ask me, 'Why were you not Zusya?" We say we can only be who we are, but in many instances, we are not "who we are" but who society, family, friends, etc., have made us become or created us in their imaginings to be. How many of us are our true selves? How many of us know who that is? "It is only in solitude that I ever find my own core." said Anne Morrow Lindbergh. Many people don't like the quiet of solitude, the being alone with one's thoughts. I agree with Anne, for it is there that I find me.
The wonderful thing (one of them) about having adult children, is that they are living their lives and it frees you to live yours. Of course no one wants to embarrass their children or families but not living authentically is unhealthy. The call to be your "self" will come again and again. So, what do I want to do "with this one wild and precious life"? I certainly don't want to be a spectator any longer, that's no fun. There are many things in which I am interested and some may become hobbies but I would like, I think, to become more focused on my writing. Sonia said she asked one of her teachers if she had talent. The teacher answered, "Of course you have talent. What are you going to do with it?" That hit home for me. I can do many things but what have I done with any of it?
Perhaps I am pondering this more now than before, even though I always have, (that true self calling again), because of my age and because it's soon to be Spring. The season of death and darkness is leaving and the season of birth and light is on the horizon. Whatever the reason, I want to answer the call of my "self" and be "all that I can be". It's never too late. The time will pass whether one does anything or not. One of my biggest fears has been that of being rejected and misunderstood. I've decide not to concern myself with that any longer. There will always be someone who will reject you and misunderstand. That's life; look at Jesus, probably the most misunderstood person that lived; one of, at least. I leave with these thoughts: The first step towards getting somewhere is deciding that you are not going to stay where you are." ~ anonymous
"Look in the mirror...that's your competition." ~ anonymous
Until next Sunday,
Merry part and merry meet again,
Gypsi Mama Michelle