62 Years Later… and still unjust

In the year 1955, a 14-year-old boy was found bloated and mutilated in the Tallahatchie River. He was found drowned after having his eye gouged out, being beaten nearly to death, shot with more than 40 bullets, and mutilated almost beyond recognition. He was murdered in cold blood on account of what I call vigilante injustice. His killers were acquitted in a court of “unjust” law after having admitted their crime.

Sixty-two years later, the woman at the center of his death, the reason for the entire encounter finally admits that her lie caused this child’s death; but was it simply Carolyn Bryant’s lie that caused his death? Was it something more? I would argue yes.

Emmitt Till did not simply die because a woman (falsely) accused him of harassment. He did not die because he was black. He did not die because he visited the south that summer. He did not die because he was kidnapped. He did not die just from the gunshots or the drowning or the beating for that matter. He was not killed because men took the law – their law – into their own hands. He died due to a system designed to oppress – a system designed against him. Emmitt Till was murdered by the system he was born into. He was murdered in cold blood before he was even born – he never stood a chance. In 1941 Emmitt Till was born into a system designed to hold him back and strip him of any rights he would have in any other country. The inalienable rights written into our constitution were not extended to the Emmitt Tills of the world. He was never afforded those rights nor the freedoms he as a human being should have been entitled.

He was born on the inhibiting side of the century and today in 2017, it is truly no better and I would argue that we as a people are progressively backpedaling – heading in the direction we have fought so hard to move forward and distance ourselves from. We have Emmitt Tills all around us. Whether we choose to see them for who they are, is our issue, but they are everywhere. The system of injustice that protected and encouraged his killers discouraged and left Emmitt vulnerable. This system is at fault for his murder, his mistreatment, his degradation, segregation, injustice, and their eventual acquittal. That is the system they lived in. This is a system still in practice, unfortunately… 62 years later.

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Embarkation: The New Journey

I have reinvented myself five times over. And it looks as though, here I go again.

I am excited about this new journey. This new “me.” The same me as before, just a different side, reimagined.

I feel as though I am exploring my inner intuitive being: the creative me that has been dormant for so long, waiting patiently while the academic me took hold and explored its possibilities, to see if the academic path was the right path for me. Now, I – the real me. The creative me. The artistic me, is ready. My God! does this feel freeing. Remove the chains. Give me free… or similar.

I may move to LA. I may travel further. I may become more. But, I will be the whole me I was meant to be.

Today, On the Subway (i)

On the A train, heading uptown to Manhattan. A cutie hops on at Nostrand, as they often do. He smiles. I smile back. He stands next to me. I’m like, ok. hehe… He is sweaty and warm – as we often are – after having layered up, only to fast-walk to the station, where we overheat underground (we never really learn, do we?). When a seat opens up, I decline to sit, he partakes. And the sweat continues…

My fine young gentlemen friend here, is dripping sweat. So what? Well he had to do something about it – and he did, and my god did he! He wipes his brow with his forefinger – all glisteny and moist and he examines it, for what seemed like 5 mins, but was more like 5 seconds – and he goes for it. He licks his finger as if it is covered in BBQ sauce and its his last meal!!!

Needless to say, I was shocked. Surprised. Confused. Speechless. Full of questions… why???????? mostly – entertained and excited that I could write about such a visually visceral experience that is obviously unforgettable. WOW! No words. No words.

I would have never noticed him, had he not been a cutie pe-tootie. Why did he have to be? I could have avoided this experience all together… damn.

Today, In Manhattan (i)

Lower Manhattan – Financial District, blocks away from Wall Street. Broadway is busy with tourist activity – blocking the walkways, admiring the architecture. And me. Walking down the street. On break from work. Minding my own business. In my own world – no attention paid to the beautiful people who walk amongst us everyday – on a mission to move through the masses as quick as possible, unscathed and get back to where I began my break time journey – work. When a stranger’s unnecessary and unwarranted, complete sincerity stops me dead in my tracks – forces me to pay attention, to be present and realize the importance of a simple gesture of kindness. And there I was amongst the beautiful people. Stunned. As pretty as a picture. Very pretty. And so was I – in that moment. Thankful. Happy. Photographic.

Today, In Brooklyn (ii)

I found a little gem in Prospect Park. I felt like leaving the house and enjoying the beautiful weather. And walking and hanging out…and low and behold. There she was. I quite literally stumbled upon her…. well stumbled upon the music emanating from the park – which was wonderful by the way. I saw signs written in chalk on the walkway advertising the “Twelfth Night” play in the park and I thought why not drop by that production. Sure. But when I heard the heart pounding bass dropping beats, I was drawn like a moth to a flame. I had no idea where it would lead. But I liked it. A LOT. And I wanted first hand experience as to what the hell “it” was that I was liking so much. I also knew by then, this either had to be most bad ass play production or something completely different altogether. Either way….I was on my way.

I ended up at a little festival called Tropfest. Tropfest is the world’s largest short film festival. This was the second year it was held in New York and the first year time it was held in Brooklyn – I think they loved the BK love SO much, it is now here to stay. Australia has been holding Tropfest for two decades already, since 1993, but now it has it has expanded to include the big apple and those creative types are waiting anxiously, hungrier than ever to take a bite.

I walk up through the trees, down hidden pathways, up and over bridges straddling moss-covered waters and through a picnic field to find the epicenter of festivities. It was wonderful. People by the thousands – little colorful dots of moving matter that grew larger and larger as the masses and I drew nearer. Performing on the stage was Bear in Heaven. I had just missed Ghost Beach and People Get Ready, but having heard them on my way in I felt satisfied with giving them the credit for having summoned me in the first place. Next up was, Neon Indian. OH MY GAAAA! Way freaking good! So chill. Had people get off their asses and enjoy the tunes. Loved it. He was AMAZING!! I would go out and BUY his album. Yes. Who does THAT anymore?? I don’t but I would. He was THAT good. No joke! Last up to close the night’s musical portion, Chairlift. YES!!!! Very good live. Their new album will be fantastic – they played several new songs and they are amazing! After which, the host with the most graced us little folks with his presence. This event was hosted by actor/director/producer/writer, Liev Schreiber. He seemed like a nice guy. He was there to introduce the films and provide the needed info about the festival, yadda yadda yadda. He’s a hottie :)

Sixteen films were premiered. Eight at a time with a mini intermission. For the most part – they were all fairly interesting, pretty funny and very creative. Some of them were strange and confusing (one in particular had the entire audience looking around at each other asking, “what?” – not even kidding, that literally happened). All in all, it was wonderful.

The wonderful world of the food truck was the official catering squad to the public and they came out in droves. I wanted to get some grub, but had a card full of money, no ATM and $2 in cash – story of my life – not to mention the lines were far too long. So I just held out (I got korean tacos and side of kimchi afterwards- YUM!).

So the point of all of this is that I never know what I’ll find in Brooklyn. Although, thousands of others did in fact know about what was going on in the park that day. I did not. And I was most pleasantly surprised. I love New York and its mysticism. Its creative heartbeat and its ever-present opportunities for engagement which are only available to you when you allow yourself the opportunity to be engaged. They are waiting to embrace you as you have embraced them. That was my day, in Brooklyn. Now who couldn’t love a place like that??

5 months later….

This isn’t about a girl whining about the spilt milk that is her life after the death of a relationship. This isn’t going to be another girl pouring out her feelings and the drama that she claims she can’t bear to deal with, although it is taking a menacing toll on her livelihood like you wouldn’t believe. This is about a pathetic girl who continues to be haunted by the love that once was with the guy of her dreams (literally).

If she doesn’t see him, she sees his friends. If she isn’t thinking of him, she sees the bridge where they first kissed on their first night out and is reminded of him. When she tries to erase him, she is reminded of all the best times they had together. The list could go on….

Why can’t he go away? Why can’t she just forget? Why did it end? Why is this island so damn small? Why can’t she leave him and this place behind? What did she do wrong? Why does she allow him to continue to haunt her? Why is he still on her mind? What is her problem? Why do these questions seem to continue……………5 months later?

original publication: 7.7.2008/3:45am

Emote With Me

I am an emotional creature: I get angry – I’m emotional. I am happy – I’m emotional. I’m sexual – I’m emotional. I’m elated – I’m emotional.

It is who I am. And I’ve come to accept that. I accept what I am and who I am. And I do not apologize for any of it. I allow myself to be who I am and I make no excuses for what I am: An emotional creature.

Emotion is no longer a fault to behold, but a gift. As it is understood, very few creatures in the animal kingdom feel as humans feel. It is to be embraced and enjoyed and beheld with honor. Not to be shunned and ashamed and embarrassed of – so I no longer am ashamed.

I hold my head high.

I am proud.

I am emotional.