It's crazy to watch, to see it all happening right before your eyes... I've managed to watch young boys become men... players become fathers... party goers and bar hoppers become home depot shoppers and PTA participants. I've witnessed the strongest of men become fragile, and weak. The most independent of women become dependent and sedentary. What is the point of this circle of life we all seem to be engaged in... the experience of our very own existence within the circumference of birth and death... what is there to be learned? What is there to understand within it all... I stare up into the cosmos of all that is and will be... all that lives underneath the sun and moon and question the why of it.. the how of it... we live forever and yet we live for a moment... moment to moment... collecting each like lightning bugs in the summers of our youth... These moments that build us and define us... whether it's the young black English teacher that hands you a book that will ignite a passion in you that will direct your very existence... or the football coach that perhaps unwillingly displays a black excellence that you will try to harness yourself and portray... or the theater professor who challenges your very existence and opens your eyes to dreams you hadn't yet realized you were having... who are we? Who are we in all of this, all of this... on this blue and green ball spinning and spinning amongst all of the blackness and darkness of what we call a universe... Amongst all of the frustration and fear, of the angst and the hopes, the worries and celebrations... I find myself trying to anchor my heart to anything that would have it, hold it, protect it... I find there is never enough time... never enough... we have managed to make a world that moves too fast.. I am unsure what will spin off its axis first, the earth or us... or maybe this is my own guilt weighing on me... my own worries that I carry with me... the despair of not being able to give flowers to the living... the dead can't smell them... I think of my mother... my other mother... for a moment at least... a woman I knew to be strong, proud, brilliant and black... this is how I met her... a woman who came to me in the middle of the night when I was young and in pain... and comforted me... I think of the last time I saw her... her body stricken with cancer... fragile... and still sweet... and yet strong enough to encourage me to press forward... continue to follow my dreams... I think of the moment I can rejoice in knowing I made it because of who she is and what she said to me... I think often of the days of my youth... standing in the theater alone in the dark and never feeling so peaceful... who would I be without those moments...? Who are we? I started out hating a man, a man I never met, a man I did not know... this would soon be the man who taught me... taught me how to tie a tie... to drive a open the door for a lady... the man who was there for my football games, for my sisters dances... a man I have all of the love and respect for... all of it started in hate... these transitions are overwhelming... I fell in love with words because it's really all we have... who are we without words... how could I tell you what it's like to be black in this world... how could I make you understand what it's like to be in a broken home... to be aimless, rudderless, without direction or purpose... to be hurt... to pick myself back up... to find fire in my lungs and courage in my breath, to be redefined and refined... words are all I have... I am the son of the strongest black woman I have ever known... I carry that strength with me like a powerful weapon... I step boldly in this knowledge... I am never bashful nor timid in my power, I am never boastful nor shameful in my strength... who are we? I am not as sanctified as those who go before me and I am not as holy as those who judge me... I am merely a collector... gathering these moments together and weaving them into stories... searching for the words... I may not be able to give out the flowers but I will give out the words... and I hope they show as colorfully as meant to be... I rarely think we understand that we live in a world we created... we did this... we made this... we designed this... we are not powerless, we are not floating adrift unable to make changes and rearranges... we are here. Who are we? I think of my brother, a boy himself forced to try and raise a man... who spent the majority of his life trying to figure out the how of it without instruction or reference... this is the reality we often face... no playbook no manual... I love to think about where we come from because it gives so much importance to where we are now... we were that rowdy bunch with our pants too big and our egos too puffed up... the S on our chest was not visible but we felt it... we strode through the streets of south beach untouchable... we galloped through the blocks of Las Vegas unbeatable... we sat on the hills of Los Angeles like they were the clouds upon mount Olympus... these transitions we face... sometimes quick... sometimes slow... sometimes smooth and sometimes painful... I document these emotions... I file away these smiles and frowns, these ups, these downs... I put them on page and screen... The strongest man I ever knew is at his weakest... and all I can do... all I can offer... are these words... and hope that they honor his very essence and energy... we are all simply coming and going.... all of life is but a transition...


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