From the bottom of my heart, I wish to say THANK YOU for those cool, beautiful people and sweet supportive souls who have paid attention.
"What happens to men, to married fathers who beat their children senselessly...and then storm off into the restless Harlem night?
Do they grieve or lament their terrible actions? Do they hold long conversations with God? Do they think themselves sane and their actions as essential in building the spines of strong Black men?
What happens to them when they walk away from the pain and the ache and the madness they've made? Perhaps some find a soft young distraction that sighs in just the right key, or moans as if on cue, and she or he pretends to understand them...and then that pretty young distraction makes quietly eloquent love to another raging Black man."
From Like Litter in The Wind a novel By L.M. Ross
This is our hope. This is the faith that I will go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope.
With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood.
With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to climb up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.
This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning "My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my father's died, land of the Pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring!"
And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true. So let freedom ring from the hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.
Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.
Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.
But not only that, let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.
Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi and every mountainside.
When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every tenement and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old spiritual, "Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty, we are free at last." –
(Excerpt) By Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr… Given on the steps of The Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC-- August 28, 1963
I do not mean in some desperate, aggressively sociopathic-serial-killer way that people should hurriedly cross the street whenever they see you approaching…
No. I mean have you ever felt so relentlessly unusual and so blatantly different… that no one else, not another soul ever truly GETS The Real You?
I do. I feel that way most of the time. In fact, I’ve felt that way since time was a child.
It’s this quiet sense of deep inner stillness and it reminds me that no matter where I am, or who I’m with... I am always ALONE.
Although there are and have been instances where that lone voice of my freakiness didn’t always hurt or bleed or scream so loudly and I was/am or have been able to blend in with the prosaic rest. However, it was such a part-time phenom that it felt like an almost bogus existence.
Have you ever thought that if someone else, anyone else at all truly KNEW you, your card hand would be peeped, the jig would be up… and you would have to forever relinquish each and every one of your Cool Creds?
I do. In fact, any Cool Creds I've collected or amassed would have to be erroneous at best.
I am only me: a freak just beneath my skin.
I don’t think or feel there is anything remotely wrong with this condition---at least not anymore. We can chalk that up to The Riddle of Humanity, the march of maturity and the rules of human evolution.
We are EXACTLY who we're supposed to be.
And what we are supposed to be is different, unique… singular. That is the way God meant for each of us to be.
So this state of disconnectedness, it isn’t necessarily a bad thing, a wicked thing or a source for hidden shame.
But damn it, sometimes it gets sooooooooooooooooooo freakin’ LONELY.
One: How three people from my childhood all just died within a week of each other. WTH???
Two: How certain laws are so deviously designed to keep large segments of this population down... permanently.
Three: How it always falls to us to keep those tedious folks who procrastinate— honest and to remind them to live up to their word.
Four: How some friends take these extended sabbaticals and then you never hear from them again.
Five. How doing someone a favor, being in someone’s corner, or a constant source of support doesn’t necessarily manifest in any form of reciprocation.
Six: How several years of making a concerted effort can render absolutely no positive result.
Seven: How people can deny and lie continuously and somehow arrogantly believe they won’t be discovered. Right, A-Rod?
Eight: How willpower isn’t a sometime concept, but a perpetual muscle to be tested and flexed incessantly.
Nine: How people have taken and perhaps always will take kindness for weakness, and how loyalty seems to have gone the way of the dinosaur, the Edsel… and good ole B&W TV.
Ten: How snatching JOY becomes very much necessary, because the bastards and mofos of this world will always try their level best to steal your JOY away from you (& yo quasi-happy azz).
Just sayin’, yo.
Today, on this July 28th, I feel this need to tell you everything inside me… roll call all my successes, failures, joys fears… and my heartbreaks. I feel as if I should name them all, one by one, for each day, each month, each year you’ve been gone.
Instead, I’ll simply say: Happy Birthday, Da…
Your brown and brooding essence is now a Spirit that possesses my older face. Beneath its surface, some claim to see this trace of Implicit sadness. Still, Da,
I need to tell you this:
I’m so glad you were my father. Blessed, that you stayed when other fools ran, strayed or escaped to places free of their sons and daughter’s cries. Each day in my mind, I thank you for being the person you were: A Man, a Husband, my Dad… and not some Houdini version of manhood.
You managed to form the words: “I love you, son.” And you said them more than once. You spoke them in a voice that even today carries me through this world of uncertainty, untruths, disappointment and ruthlessness.
Thank you for showing and giving me lessons in loyalty. Thank you for that voice which still lingers here like the singer in my brain of this song I call My Life. Thank you for being strong and standing for The Real Things, like hard work and honesty; a steadfast belief in God, and humility.
Thank you for the gifts of laughter; for those golden seasons of summers, and even the winters. Thank you for loving my mother in a way she always deserved to be Loved.
Though you weren’t very tall, I walk in your stalwart shadow now. Yes, I am a small thing made larger by your presence. Some say I am your ‘spit,’ your son, your mirror reflection. and yet, in some lone way, I am different.
I wish we had more days in the sun, more time to decipher and fix all our mutual complications. Yet, when I speak of love there is no mystery, no bitterness, nor distraught insensitivity.
I GET love now. You taught me this! Though the clouds have coalesced and swallowed your sun, you’ll always cast a giant’s shadow over this kid, this runt, this man I’ve become.
I need to tell you this:
I’m so glad you were my father. Blessed, that you stayed when other fools ran, strayed or escaped to places free of their sons and daughter’s cries. Each day in my mind, I thank You for being the kind of person you were: A Man, a Husband, My Da.
Copyright© 2013 By L.M. Ross