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


Monday, September 14, 2009

What I learned/Living Just Enough For The City

It took me a minute to get to this point.

It's 1:15 am and I am at Starbucks of all places, letting the jazz, blues and zydeco-feel work its way thru my body via the overhead speakers and into the ear canal to the funk-head nod/dance processor... It's crowded but there is room enough to find a spot to cozy up to, plug in your power cord and abuse the somewhat quick but not fast enough bandwidth wi-fi thingermajigger that unleashes your soul onto the internet.

I still feel a void.

I still am a little confused because I've been thinking waaaay too much about death, spirit and the other side as well as my sense of purpose. I'm having trouble knowing what my calling is right now. The wheels are moving but I can't get the car out of the mud. I think if I rock back and forth...

I still am very amazed that I am back in Chicago, but I'm loving the hustle and bustle. A drive down the street is no longer a lonely series of a performance of actions. People are everydamnwhere. Buildings are plentiful and there is so much concrete, glass and steel to get yourself lost in. I am bouncing around a visual kaleidoscope of metropolis flavored Gotham and I still dig this. I am built for big city motion. I blend with the commute. My reflexes as well as my peripheral vision thanks me. I said a prayer to mother nature as to put in a bid for a minimum of 8 more weeks of this.

Headwraps, halters and sundresses, y'all.
Three button close crops, denim and timbos...
Wide brim buckets to block out the sun
Cardigan sweaters in the summertime to beat the break room chill
Neon-flavored thongs plunge into the crack of a barely covered ass
And she turns and looks at you like you're not supposed to stare
Where the hell are my singles?
Cars drive by with the booming system knocking some chick
Named Gaga?
Crowded buses, bunched together on the same route
Making everybody late for work
Except that one guy wearing earmuffs


Those are headphones
Hustle Man begging for change
As the loose-square man corners the market for twenty-five cent smokes
At some random crowded bus stop.
Oooooh, snap! I can get two slices for under six bucks
And cold beverages are just a corner bodega away
but I can't buy anything because the lotto line is long...

Oh shit, he's writing me a ticket!
Welcome back to the city, chump...
Get in where you fit in.

2009 Hassan Olumoroti Ntimbanjayo YaDig!

I never expected to be back so soon. Today, my wife and I sat with my aunt who recently found out that her right lung was filled with cancer. She sneaked a cigarette when I went out to the car (and she sent my wife out after me to give me a parking sticker, which allowed her to get at least two to three puffs in), and I saw the smoke floating around her bedroom area and said nothing when I got back in.

Later on I told her to do her thing. She's 83 and subtracting one smoke from her life's routine wasn't going to hurt things any further. She like me is a creature of habit. I also asked her to not let my mother, other aunts, uncles and cousins influence be the brokering point of her treatment decision in the near future. She agreed. I also told her to not lock me out regardless of what the chemo or whatever treatment she chooses does to her body. My love for her is the same regardless of aesthetics.

She's the reason I am here. Explained it to my other half.

She introduced her closest male friend to her little sister, fresh up from Mississippi. That man is my grandfather and the little sister... My mother's mother.

As we sat and got that good old-school knowledge and a handful of history lessons from this grand dame, I realized that I was gaining intel on the how and why my Gemini Scribe Twin did what she did in her last months, weeks and days. Coming to terms with pain, struggle and impending death takes a strong human being, and she (both shes, past tense and present) sat there with no waver in her voice and no fear in her statements and boldly told us that she was ready.

For any damn thing.

Scuse' my French...

Shit. Damn and Motherfucker.

Ya heard me? Okay then.

Here is my somewhat frail, elder mother-sister coming at us with the strength of a 30 year old working for the post office and the attitude of a sixteen year old trying hard as fuck to make the varsity squad, not passing herself off as a Grand Canyon rock of a human being but actually being one. Harder than hard. Not even erosion could smooth her stone. Sitting in front of two people at least forty five years her junior telling them that if it happens today, right friggin' now that she has been ready.

No regrets.
No yearning for do overs
Meaning every word and feeling satisfied in her accomplishments and failures.

I nodded my head. I agreed with all of her assessments. We talked about my grandmother, her sister that passed on in 1992 and her best friend and big brother, my grandfather that passed on six months to the day before his wife in 1991. Her little brother/my uncle who passed on two weeks to the day from her younger sister/my aunt in 2005 and how he lay in the same church, same place he arranged for his sister just two Saturdays later and how it frazzled the shit out of her, forcing her to move to Cleveland and how she had to come back to her other sister/my aunt passing in 2007... The event that brought me home from Houston, forcing me to break my silence and stubbornness to speak to my mother for the first time in almost 2 years.

We never spoke of heaven, hell or omnipotent powers waving their holy hand making things happen. We only spoke of how we dealt with loss, how family acted and reacted and what we had to do to want to carry on. She was instructing us in those moments earlier yesterday on how to carry on. Without her. And I caught every note, every stanza of her song, lyric and melody.

It wasn't a depressing conversation. It was very explanatory to my wife because she was around only for my aunt's passing in 07' and not the others. It was very comforting for me because she knows of my Gemini Scribe Twin's passing and how selfish I was in wishing things went the way I wanted them to go because I told her like I told my wife and mother last week how I felt like I just got left behind.

She let me know in those moments that I was never alone.
She told me that the experiences I share stays with me as long for as I want them to.
She indicated to me that I am who I know and love.

I love my wife.
I love my mother.
I love my father.
I love my sibs.
I love those I call friend, I know now that number is lower than I thought or expected.
I love the revolution and those I have never met that choose to be free thru its execution.
I love doing and saying that I did.
I also love what others would do to have done what I have... Indicates how I am blessed.
I also am in love with creativity and imagination... Keeps me grounded here in the Matrix.
I love the fact that I am blessed with messages from ancestors, my spirit guides and my elders.
I love myself.
I love life and having the ability to actually live with these constraints.

I may not understand what happens after all of this is done. I know, acknowledge and understand what I have been taught. Growing up Catholic, spending my teen years as Muslim, building with the Gods and the Earths as a young man, hearing so many from places far and beyond speak on things so far beyond my realm of understanding...

Helps me to overstand.

I'm learning (that is an exciting thing to say about myself in my right now) that I cannot stand still and ponder things I'll never get the answers to. I'm learning that I must create my own set of answers by establishing legacy and building family and sharing experiences. Living life and enjoying it should occupy enough time to define the answers I am looking for. It should also keep me so busy that...


I gotta go... Got stuff to do

See ya' around more often round these here parts. Life is calling!
And I gotta move my car...



NeenaLove said...

this post is a masterpiece! it's so heavy, so utterly meaningful, so candid and rawr, and very pleasing to my cerbellum and to my spirit.

i'm with you bro -- life is happening. let's go and LIVE IT!

The Second Sixty-Eight said...

Um... Damn... I am so unfocused. Guess I better come back and read this later. I'll... Oh wait. There you are in a chat window!