A Soliloquy From the Bottom of the Sea. (A Slave’s Cry)

I have no soul left to feed on. Each time I held my tongue in your presence, I had to take a small bite in order to survive. Feeding on my own soul in order to feed your ego came at too great a cost. Your self worth shouldn’t be greater than my self-respect. In your one-sided interpretation of freedom, the rules are designed in order to convince the confused that they aren’t. You know… You know… Each time you look in the mirror, you know. You cheat with the Sun in order to look like me, yet you call me ugly. You pretend to hate me. You know…. Actually, your perversions are the very reason you stole us anyway. On an equal scale, you would have never measured up. Like the common liar and thief, you are of the night. Me, I am of the Sun. The Sun is faithful to me, which is why I don’t look like you. I don’t hate you. I hate what you have done. Actually, I pity you. Am I angry? No, I’m not. Why? Each time I breathe, your insecurities keep you up at night. Nightly, each fearful pace that you take reminds you that the goods that you have stolen will one day return to their rightful place. We are Gods… We are God’s……Patrick

This week, please do something for someone other than yourself for no other reason than to make their lives better. As always, if you make it to where you’re going, please don’t forget to the leave a map for the rest of us. Always Choose Love Because Love Changes Everything.

Random.

You wanna know something interesting about me? I feel symphonies in my soul. Sometimes they are so gentle and sweet, they actually bring tears to my eyes. These symphonies are the score of my experiences on this side of the Sun. So much music… I dream in poetry. Not haiku, not the type of poetry they teach in school (that never made me feel anyway), no, the type of poetry that I dream is real. I dream of city blocks, candy trucks, fried fish sandwiches, smiling faces, and hard times. Each victory is cemented as an extraordinary stanza. Each loss singes those stanzas. Yet, I push through defiantly. I Love from a place other than here. I can’t Love from this place because I don’t consider what some do here Loving. No, it’s liking predicated on a set of requirements, expectations, deliverables, and lastly, comparisons. Liking based on an opportunity is not what I choose to do. Me, I Love as though my eyes are closed. I Love from the very place that I was denied by most as a child. Somehow, I was able to pick the lock on a Love so sweet, I find myself stealing a little only for me. I don’t apologize for that, yet, I consider it selfishly necessary. I worry about the state of the world. I think that we have become so self-absorbed that we are losing space and consideration for others. I hold my trauma in the same cup that I drink from most nights. It seems to weaken the demons. My smile in a place where others are clearly not is a disguise. However, they’ll never notice that because they don’t see me. They’re afraid to. I miss my Mother’s collard greens, sweet potato pie, and cheese cake so much that I can’t express it appropriately. I HATE motionless beds more than I hate beds with motion, yet, no emotion. My bed is motionless. Simply put, motion with no emotion doesn’t work for me. Well, I guess that’s it for now. Be well today………. Patrick

This week, please do something for someone other than yourself for no other reason than to make their lives better. As always, if you make it to where you’re going, please don’t forget to leave a map for the rest of us. Always Choose Love Because Love Changes Everything.

Being.

Good Evening. It’s Saturday, so I’m going to jump right in. STOP TELLING BLACK MEN WHAT TO BE AND HOW TO FEEL! White Men do NOT have permission to be varied, while Black Men are all expected to be the same. No…. Just no. If you’re a Gay Black Man, you are still a Black Man. If you are a Straight Black Man, you are still a Black Man. If you are a Black Man who Loves to read more than you like to rap, you are still a Black Man. If you speak the king’s English better than you speak the neighborhood’s jargon, you are still a Black Man. If you chose to go to college, the military, trade school, or seek gainful employment rather than sell drugs or gang bang, you are still a Black Man. If you decided to sell drugs or gang bang because Life dealt you a difficult hand of cards that required an equally difficult response, you are still a Black Man. If you are rich, you are still a Black Man. If you are poor, you are still a Black Man. If you are depressed, suffering from anxiety, or any other form of mental health challenge, you are still a Black Man. Be you. Be proud. Be. If you are lost in the abyss of a difficult response, look to those that Love you rather than those who want to judge you for a way out. Truth be told, our scars never healed; they just scabbed over. As the stars are varied, so is our response to our trauma. America, there is no way to be Black and “free” and not suffer some form of mental health challenge. We are expected to walk in perfection while others are praised for their vulnerability. It is not our job to make you feel better about your insecurities by pretending that we share the same. No… Me, I’m insecure about the quality of education in communities made up of people who look like me. I’m insecure about the integrity of the people who claim to speak for the “American People.” I’m insecure each time that a police officer who suffers from an insecurity greater than my own decides to pull me over. 50/50 (Those are the odds that I give myself for survival of each interaction.) As I write this blog, I can feel my own power drip from the tips of my fingers. I am powerful. Yes, I am powerful. I am Power. I realize now that money, status, recognition, and “education” don’t beget power. No… My power flows from the freedom to speak my truth without fear of losing my socioeconomic status. Hell, I’m an educator. I don’t have a fortune to protect, yet my dreams are priceless. I now understand that having more money won’t make me free(er). In some cases, it makes you a better slave. My truths are not controlled, endorsed, or presented by those with more than me. No, they are mine. I’m free…. I am in a constant state of being…….Patrick

This week, please do something for someone other than yourself for no other reason than to make their lives better. Also, if you make it to where you’re going, please don’t forget to leave a map for the rest of us. As always, Always Choose Love Because Love Changes Everything.

Black Man.

Black Man, you are so much more than the world shows you. You are not dangerous, yet, you are constantly in danger. You are not unloved, although love is seemingly a rarity. You are not aggressive, although there are times when you must stand your ground. You are not ugly, yet, you have witnessed some of the ugliest things imaginable. You are more than sports. Why? Life for you has never been a game, yet you play it masterfully. Black Man, you are not a boy. Honestly, you were never allowed to be. Black boys aren’t allowed to be children. Can I get an Emmitt Till, Trayvon Martin, and Tamir Rice? You have been treated as harshly, disrespectfully, neglectfully, and violently as any man who has ever graced this planet. You are more than music. Why? Your songs are sometimes an echo of your soul’s screams to, and about the Universe. You are more than theatre. Why? Ever since the first one of Us landed in this Country, we’ve been expected to know how to act. No. Black Man, you are more. Perhaps this is why the World seems to be comfortable with giving you less. If you were given more, your greatness would manifest as abundance, and the racist would be exposed as insufficient. Black Man, pick up your head. Trust me, I know you’re hurting. Lean into your faith. Lean into your hope. Lean into trusting the most important person in your existence; yourself. Lean into grace. Lean into acceptance. Black Man, you are Loved so much by the Universe that when you were conceived, it’s light kissed your skin. Like perfectly baked bread or the strongest of trees, you are a beautiful brown. You are feared because you are powerful. You are hated because the very existence of a racist is predicated on a fabricated lie that never manifested any fruit. You are powerful because the Universe built a home inside of you. You are beautiful, well…..Ain’t God good? Hold on Black Man. Hold on. Your Brother isn’t your enemy. His rage, your fear, and our distrust is nothing more than a response to poverty, mis-education, neglect, and a lack of being edified. Can you imagine what we could be if we extended our hands rather than turn our backs? Black Man, I am so proud of you. You have made miracles in the face of despair. You have made homes out of broken houses. Even when you sleep, you’re working. I realize that your anxiety never rests. Hold on Black Man. Don’t bleed on the people who didn’t cut you. Don’t hurt the people who are trying to Love you. Don’t run from the people who can help you heal. Don’t stand for the people who don’t acknowledge you as Hueman. Black Man, you are Magnificent. You are Loved……My affirmation…..Patrick

This week, please do something for someone other than yourself for no other reason than to make their lives better. As always, if you make it to where you’re going, please don’t forget to leave a map for the rest of us. Always Choose Love Because Love Changes Everything.

Dear Hip Hop.

Dear Hip Hop,

Wow, it’s been a minute. How are you? Me, I’m fine. I’ve been chasing dreams, building more, and chasing those as well. I’m still not happy, but hey, as long as I’m dream chasing, I’m better than I once was right? What about you? What have you been up to? I know that we should have spoken before now, but I’ll lie and tell you that I was busy. Honestly, I cheated on you with Jazz and Country music. It’s okay to tell me the truth. You cheated on me with Capitalism and Hollywood. Neither of us are what we once were; pure. Once upon a time we Loved one another for free. We Loved us because no one else did. Even though we were once bought, we could never be sold. Once upon a time we lived in Love. I received a letter in your name today. I couldn’t believe it was sent to my house, but it was. It was a letter for you from Racist America. It also included a check with the p.s., “we all know how much you like to shine, so we thought we’d help you out.” I sent the letter back with the words, return to sender. I said this couldn’t be for Hip Hop. This letter must be for rap. Once upon a time, when people spoke from the hip, it meant unapologetic truth. This is why it was kept to the confines of the ghetto. There, everyone clearly understood what was happening even though those truths were never spoken. Hop meant that we danced in the storms of our existence with both beauty and defiance. Simply put, we danced to the rhythm of our truths. That was you Hip Hop. Rapper’s Delight was a ghetto fabulous illustration of our truth. Curtis Blow was one of your architects. The Message convicted American of it’s Capital Crime of overlooking the very people that built, edified, and enriched this Nation. Run DMC introduced us to what money could actually do while screaming “Hard Times.” LL Cool J gave us BARS! My boys, DAS-EFX gave us art in the name of different. NWA gave us unapologetic, unforgiving, and in your face truths about the perils of the very environment that the Iran Contras created. Liberty and Justice for all….Ok… My Family, my Cousin, Pac… We never met, but I clearly understand your pain. It’s something about that Garland blood. I get it Brother. You gave us vulnerability, strength, truth, beauty, power, and hope in the beginning. Biggie, you gave us finesse. Black and Ugly as ever. However,….. Man, I miss you Big. Dr. Dre and Snoop, Fam, you gave us some of the dopest tracks I have ever heard. To this day, they are some of the dopest tracks I have ever heard. Puff….. You are the embodiment of everything New York. You taught me to dream bigger. I am so proud of you. Rakim… BARS!!!!! Big Daddy Kane… BARS!!!!! Nas, you gave us art, truth, history, and Love. KRS-One, I could write an entire blog just about you. Thank you…. Jay-Z.. You are one of my heroes. Thank you for what you gave, what you give, and how you move. You are the personification of Langston Hughe’s “I, too, Am America.” Kanye… I love the embrace of your art, truth, and style. Shine Kanye!!! I Love You Brother. Hip Hop, we need you to stand up because rap is in bed with our oppressor. There’s a saying that we should speak our truths even if our voices tremble. You made the world dance to the sound of our truths, and as a result, life for us began to change. Rap, we didn’t create rap; racism did. Like they wrapped us in chains, chained us to boats, wrapped us in sheets as they threw the defiant overboard, and wrapped us in ignorance through no fault of our own, they now present rap music. No, we gave birth to Hip Hop. Rap is an artificial intelligence created in order to determine is affect on society. Hip Hop, look at it’s affect. We need you Hip Hop. I need you. I miss you. While you’re thinking of a master plan with nothing but sweat inside your hands, we need you remind the world to not push me because I’m close to the edge while trying not to lose my head. It is like a jungle. Hip Hop, our babies need you to stand up. Our future needs you. I need you. Stand up Hip Hop. Please…. Patrick

This week, please do something for someone other than yourself for no other reason than to make their lives better. As always, if you make it to where you’re going, please don’t forget to leave a map for the rest of us. Always Choose Love Because Love Changes Everything.

Relationships While Black.

I am guarded as hell. I am guarded because every time I put my guards down, I was reminded why I needed to keep them up. My brothers are guarded. My sisters are guarded. My cousins are guarded. My friends are guarded. My teachers were guarded. Their teachers were guarded. My friends are guarded. I have been guarded all of my life. You see, I was raised by a Mother that poured her hope into me. Yet, this same Woman also raised her daughters to never be like her. Never depend upon a Man. Have your own money. Never let anyone raise their voices at you. Never allow anyone to cheat on you, come back, and do it all over again. Never, and I mean, never, let a man raise his hands to you. This same Woman taught me to trust Love. Money doesn’t have any real value. A soft whisper has greater impact than a roar. True Love knows no boundaries. Lastly, warm and genuine hugs are far more impactful than anything that can be purchased at a local pharmacy. It’s true, Mothers raise their daughters and nurture their sons. To me, it appears that daughters are raised with the truth of their Fathers shortcomings, while sons are raised with the hope of becoming all of the things that their Fathers never were. In rapid succession, raised daughters and nurtured sons are meeting in bars, libraries, supermarkets, schools, and all other places of social engagement. I don’t have to go into the obvious, for the data is overwhelming. It’s not working. Black Woman, to me, you are the closest thing to God within the finite confines of this Universe. This is true. Like God, you are expected to not only forgive, but also bless, the very people that you have given your life to while it seems that they’ve only given you their asses to kiss in return. You are expected to show Love while feeling pain. You are expected to give hope when only feeling, and experiencing, despair. You are expected to always be together, ready, patient, kind, and strong. Strong…. As a Black Man, it seems that we want a Strong Black Woman until she reminds us that she’s actually stronger than we are. Those Nurtured Sons…. I am a nurtured Son. That doesn’t mean that I’m weak. I’m just nurtured. I sometimes resent the masculinity in you, as I am sure that you sometimes resent the feminine parts of me. In no uncertain terms does that mean that I’m not a Man. Nor, does it mean that you aren’t a Woman. It simply means that we MUST be accepting and understanding of our beautiful differences that have brought us to the same place; the possibility of TRUE LOVE. This isn’t a mistake. Personally, I believe that Men remain boys until a Woman acknowledges, accepts, and professes that he is, indeed, a Man. If Men don’t like what I just said, I, too, am a Man. We can discuss this. If Women that are raising their son’s are trying to interpret this, don’t do anything differently. Your Sun needs that Love. If Women that are raising daughters are trying to interpret this, please understand that, if our Lives are to continue, because you are a Woman, pour equal amounts of hope into both your daughters and suns. Black Woman, I am in awe of you. I was raised by you. I live for you. I desire you, and only you. You are the definitive example of my Life’s work and worth. Lower your guard and let me in, for I have made room for you….Patrick

Another again. This week, please do something for someone other than yourself for no reason at all other than to make their lives better. As always, if you make it to where you’re going, please don’t forget to leave a map for the rest of us. Always Choose Love Because Love Changes Everything…..

Hashtag.

When I was a child, people seemingly spoke to one another. I remember a time when dinnertime was sacred. This was the time when everyone sat down and discussed the events of the day, the plans for tomorrow, and with some discomfort, the failures of yesterday. Today, it seems that we don’t talk anymore. Today, we seek hashtags that seemingly summarize all that we are, will be, and feel. Hashtags… I really don’t like hashtags, but in order to be heard, I’ll use some. #I’msorry. #Iwaswrong. #Youwerewrongtoo. #Youtalktoomuch. #Idon’ttalkenough. #Idon’twanttobecoached. #Manhoodshouldn’tbepredicatedonoutcome. #Manhoodshouldn’tbepredicatedonincome. #Onceuponatimewewerefriends. #I’drathermakelovethandiscusswhatlovingshouldbeorfeellike. #Noonehasfiguredloveoutsostoplisteningtofailuresinordertodiscoversuccess. #Iamnotyourfather. #Youarenotmyfather. #Imissyou. #Myegowillneverbeasstrongasmylove. #Silenceisabitch. #Silenceissometimestheonlyredemptionthatexists. #Loveisstrongerthanpride. #Imissyou…….After a modern day conversation like this, there is nothing else that needs to be said. However, because I’m a bit rebellious I’ll say these words. Defiantly, I tossed the last vestiges of hope I had remaining to the gods. I prayed that they’d be heard while accepting that they probably won’t. When I loved then, it was real. How can love be fake? Like can be fake, but how can Love? No, it wasn’t fake. It was real. Perhaps, we both expected it to be pain free. Alas, it’s not. Perhaps, that’s the beauty of it all. Nonetheless, I loved then. I love now…….Patrick

This week, please do something for someone other than yourself for no other reason than to make their lives better. As always, if you make it to where you’re going, please don’t forget to leave a map for the rest of us. Always Choose Love Because Love Changes Everything….

Force.

Until our backs are against the walls and the walls are against our backs, we won’t completely understand force. Force is a good thing; a majestical thing. The fear of poverty forces me to awaken before my body chooses to. The fear of the pain associated with disappointing the child in me forces me to push into the darkness when fear tells me to turn back. Force… Keep going, for the other side, although unknown, must be greater than what I’ve always known. You have forced me into a corner that needed me. Perhaps, I needed the corner. However, because we are destined strangers, both of us have decided to fight. Why? Losing you means that we both lose. What good is a corner without a fighter, and more importantly, what good is a fighter without a corner? Refuge… You forced me to write this, so I’m writing. You are a force of Nature in my Life that has caused every seed in me to grow. I didn’t know that I had so many seeds. Watching them grow is scary, humbling, and painful. The fear is associated with doubt. The humbling is associated with graciousness, and the pain is associated with growth. You have forced me to write, so I’m writing. As the Queen has died, a King is born. Long live the King. You see, this King was forced to wear a crown that was always destined, yet always unacknowledged. You have forced me to acknowledge this crown. You are a force that has forced me to acknowledge that we are a force of Nature. What could possibly be stronger than you and I? What could possibly be stronger than this? When making Love, you spread your limbs as though you’re being sacrificed. Perhaps, you have decided to sacrifice yourself in order for our Love to live. Nonetheless, I both worship and feed. You are a force of Nature that has forced me to embrace a side of my own Nature that I never knew existed. The forces of Nature have led us to one another. As I breathe you in, you exhale Life into me. The forces of Nature have brought us together. Nothing can come between us……Patrick

As always, again, this week, please do something for someone other than yourself for no other reason than to make their lives better. If you make it to where you’re going, please don’t forget to leave a map for the rest of us. Always Choose Love Because Love Changes Everything….

The Unsent Letter.

I knew that I had to write this letter, yet I refused to find a stamp.  Perhaps, my refusal to find a stamp indicates that this isn’t real. Perhaps, the stamp will stop the seemingly inevitable.  However, I know that’s not true.  When the life and death of a love affair intersects, there seems to be a sudden burst of energy.  There seems to be a reflection of all that once was and that which will never be again.  This seems to happen at the exact same time.  It both hurts and heals at the exact same time.  I wish it didn’t.  Was it Love or love?  To me, there’s a difference.  In any case, I’m blessed to have felt my heart move.  I pray that you feel the same.  Perhaps, that’s the magic of it all.  Perhaps, that is where the beauty exists.  By the time this letter reaches you, we will probably be a collection of pronouns and verbs used in the past tense. Ain’t Love grand??????……. Patrick

This week, please do something for someone other than yourself for no other reason than to make their lives better.  As always, if you make it to where you’re going, please don’t forget to leave a map for the rest of us.  Always Choose Love Because Love Changes Everything.

Dismissals and Welcoming.

In the words of my Mother, “Hey Ya’ll.” It’s been a while. It’s been a very long week, I’m tired, and I have so much that I’ve felt, but couldn’t say. You all know this is my transparent place. Here it is. My entire Life, I’ve been afraid of being dismissed. Yet, I’ve been dismissed. However, I have learned that with every dismissal, there is also a welcoming. When I worked in an ice cream factory, my boss dismissed me. My college advisor welcomed me. When law school showed me arrogance, public school showed me Love. When Love showed me pain, chance showed me Love. You see, I’ve learned that no matter what, you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be. Of course the past is romantic. Aren’t all things that you’ve survived and conquered? As I have been dismissed, I am also dismissing and welcoming. I dismiss pretension. I dismiss Love that is clearly a Lust that I call Love because longing is a bitch. I dismiss Friends who make me work for their Friendship when all that they have ever given me are more reasons to work. I dismiss co-workers who have convinced me that they’re working on the weekends in order to have a “leg up.” If I give my employer most of my legs, what’s going to be left for me to walk on? I dismiss the idea of a perfect Black Family because slavery was a bitch. As I have learned me, I’ve expected them to have learned themselves as well. I couldn’t have been more wrong. In the past, I resented them for their lack of growth. Perhaps, they resented me for my own growth. I’m an African American Man Surviving America. Therefore, I dismiss American poli-tricks. They hated voting for Obama. With that being the case, how can they possibly see, hear, or understand me? They don’t. I dismiss the intended idea that convincing me that I’m worthless will work. I welcome my value. I have learned that I am priceless. With that being said, the price that some have placed upon my head has no value. I’m priceless. I survived that which should have destroyed me. I survived loving those that didn’t, or couldn’t, love me. I survived my worst nightmares. I welcome that which I never expected, but waited for. I welcome affirmation. I welcome those that can, and will, love me. You see, I’ve been dismissed. Because I hate conflict and letting go of some of the things that need to be released, I welcome being dismissed. In my dismissals, I find welcoming….Patrick

As always, this week, please do something for someone other than yourself for no other reason than to make their lives better. If you make it to where you’re going, please don’t forget to leave a map for the rest of us. Always Choose Love Because Love Changes Everything.