Version 2.0

Culture, healing, politics and bullshit - Not necessarily in that order

The general, socio-political and very personal rantings and ravings of a hip hop head from the hood hustling for change... Of himself.

You all know me and are aware that I am unable to remain silent. At times to be silent is to lie. For silence can be interpreted as acquiescence.
—Miguel de Unamuno


Wednesday, September 02, 2009

The Finality Of Things

I'm sitting sideways over here.

I just woke up from a nap. I had to get some sleep in after driving in from the greater Los Angeles/Long Beach area this morning.

I absolutely had to spend time (which wasn't enough and wasn't the circumstances) with dear friends before I head east. I wish I had more time.

I am a mess right now. I am coming to terms with the loss of my sister. I just cannot place this occurrence with anything right now. I am thirty eight years old and I just lost a peer. I really thought that I would have more time before folk that aren't family but are emotionally close would die. I thought at we would live a little, some to marry and have kids and others to venture out and accomplish things in travel and experience. Anika and I made promises to each other to do things in life that would enhance the experience for friends, family and folk who either read us in passing or subscribed to our blogs or obtained our publications. She used to tell me that I just need to continue to travel, take pics and just write about it and that one day she would catch up to me in that regard.

I've always been a wanderer. I've always been willing to share that stuff as well. Me being selfish again wishes that she could have recovered and got out there to do her own traveling. Just in the past couple of weeks I was sending her pics via text/picture mail and she got a kick out of seeing that stuff. I really hoped that times like the Arizona, New York and that most recent D.C. trip were bound to come again for her. We planned to be at the Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival for three damn years... We never made it. Stuff always came up though.

I am not a religious man. I am more of a study of the spiritual and definitely into breaking down the metaphysical. My beliefs in what man has crafted has changed over the years. I have a hard time believing one particular person's theology because it seems too convenient and makes the believer look selfish. The universe is too big and there is too much to be answered for us to come to a conclusion that it is all about us. I really believe that man has taken the thoughts of intelligent design and religion and made it all about himself because at one time in our history we thought that we were all alone and couldn't see past the clouds.

With that being said, I have my own theories on the spirit and our life forces. I have never thought so hard about these things: the spirit, where it goes, life forces, the concept of forever, the notion that we will one day see each other again... The moment you lose someone that is NOT family that you opened yourself up to and let into your realm do you really begin to wander off into what all of this really means in the grand scheme of things.

I mean, we have developed a process to accept the death of an elder and family members. We help and assist each other in coping and understanding the passing of a blood relative that gets sick or suddenly leaves this realm by whatever means. We grow up with these people in our lives and there is a process of hospice within ourselves in which we can let go and come to agreement with their end and our continuance.

What happens when you meet someone by chance encounter, are introduced to or are just brought together by friggin' osmosis with a complete stranger from outside of your circle and/or personal region and you open yourself up to them and they to you (and not marry or pursue a romantic relationship with, partner up with business or otherwise, etc) and build trust, respect each other's boundaries, create a history of kinship and friendship with and then one day out of nowhere... That person is jettisoned from your square?

How does one deal with the finality of death of the people around and connected to them not by blood when he or she hasn't fully come to terms with the conditions and constraints of their own life?

This is where I am right now.

I am hurt and saddened in my friends passing. I am shocked and amazed in the fact that we're the same age and years ago in attempts to look at these times we thought at we would find ourselves knee deep in opportunity to thrive in whatever life dealt us in those unseen moments.

I'm angry that there was no moment of triumph over her most recent time spent these past months suffering through, even though she didn't complain.

I am heartbroken for her family and her BFFs... I know that sacrifices were made, concessions were placed and duty was served in providing love and comfort. We invest our time and effort thinking that there will be an abundant return. Most times there are. The time spent over the years yields so much, but our selfishness in wanting things to go our way sometimes clouds the memories of days past because we expect our present and future to be filled with the ones we feel the need to lean on.

My wife is my lover, confidant and companion. She is my business partner, co-pilot and positive visionary opposite in what I see in order to provide the yang to my ying. She is my motivation to conquer the world for our comfort. I expect her to be there every damn day. I do not know what I would do without her at my side, even when she's fussing and complaining...

My mother is my blanket. She wraps me in her emotion and provides me with that gentle voice that confirms that everything is okay. She still attempts to jump in front of me to protect and shield me from life's adversity. She is my example of continuance and steadfastness in the face of poverty, racism and ignorance. I get my determination from her. I need her to be right there when I call or visit. She drops everything to be with me in that moment because I'm the kid that wanders away and there's no telling where or when I might be...

My brother is my man at arms. He's a younger me so our interests are the same. He schools me on marriage and family because he had a family way before I ever thought of jumping the broom. We enjoy simple things that we add complications to because we're engineers.

My sister is my reality check. She has never held back about the who, what and hows in my life. She delivers my reality in short bursts of truth and is very protective over me. She's my peer nurturer and picks up where my mother leaves off in wanting to shield me from adversity. If I were ever persecuted, she would provide sanctuary and wouldn't even let on to her husband that I'm living in the basement... I'd eat well too.

Troy, Al and Richard served time in different points in my life as my best friend, road dog and partner in crime. I am still good with all of them but folks hook up, get married and start families and focus on building their own legacies and like me now, the energy spent is now devoted companionship and faithfulness in family and their significant others are rightfully their best friend. But we still kick it when time and opportunity permits

My Pops is my spirit guide. He has been through so much but his faith and understanding in what faith and religion really is flabbergasts me to this day. When we spend time and talk things through, that wisdom he has gained in failure and triumph, through loss and major gain gives me all the schooling I need to overstand what it'll take to get to where he is in life. My dad is my minister and counselor. He understands what's in my heart and can express that more than I ever could.

Anika was my truth squad. Everybody has one person that is this to them. Nikki slapped my ass with the pure, unadulterated truth in everything on a regular basis. I loved that about her, even if she would get all introverted and shy and try not to call herself out. That's what I was there for on some occasion. She was my sister, kindred in spirit. We were too damn similar in many ways, many things. Looking and dealing with her was like dealing with myself we were so damn alike. She was way more talented and me and I was in awe of how easy most things came in her ability to create. Losing her was like losing a reflection in the mirror. I am having difficulty in dealing with the finality of it all.

I absolutely could not in the most selfish way ever lose anyone in my inner circle... And I did.

It now has me questioning every damn thing. I'm feeling lost right now knowing that I must travel east and place closure on things. The finality of things... I'm not sure how to deal right now, but I'm doing the best I can in this moment. Don't expect much from me though. Thinking about her family and what they're going through is harrowing enough.

I need time to process.

Boy, that was me rambling on, huh?

The shop is closed until after Labor Day Weekend. On my way to Atlanta one mo' gin.


Bananas said...

You already know where I'm at with all of this; and you already know where I think you should take it.

Take the time, mourn our friend, keep her in your heart forever - but as I already told you, you have a torch now my Brother. One you have to show to the world.


Gallis said...

"Boy, that was me rambling on, huh?" That gave me shivers. The Maritimer always used to say that. I know exactly what you're talking about. It IS different when you lose someone you choose to let into your life, that you choose to be close to in a given context. Feel this pain and honor it.

Rose said...

I met Nikki at your blog. She was special and we all enjoyed reading her blog. My prayers are with you and her family.

Babz Rawls Ivy said...

You, like she have an uncanny way of telling your truth...unabashedly.

She is missed and yet she is still here as evidence of me finding your speaks to me in the same way. See she was influencial and yes kindred.

At some point the pain you feel will dull and you will celebrate the fact that you had time to know her...imagine if you didn't know her ever...that is the real pain...I grieve for all those that did not have the pleasure of her.

The Second Sixty-Eight said...

Rambling? Are you serious? It seemed to be pretty straight to the point to me. Long, yes. But sometimes you need to say the whole thing to get what you mean across.

Once again you manage to say things that I am thinking. Disturbing how you are in my head so much.

Take all the time to process you need. You both deserve that much.

When you get settled, we will pick it back up where we left off!

Anonymous said...

I think I found Nikki's blog thru you a few years ago.. Definitely sad...God Bless

Big Mark 243 said...

I don't think this was a ramble at all. Very thoughtful post about an experience that many of us must face eventually.