Friday, March 31, 2006

Today is NOT a Good Day!

The Subject line says it all. My first thought of the day was "why didn't we ram a convoy of provision-filled tractor trailer trucks right THRU the barricade to the Katrina victims? The authorities weren't letting people in? Who the hell are they to tell us we can't help people in dire need of help?

This coming from Mr. Tulip-Lovin, Mr. Walk In The Light himself?

Yes, I'm the same Johnson Boy. But what do you expect from one born into the Civil Rights Movement but raised within the Black Power Movement. This mirror definitely has two distinct faces.

I've called on reinforcements in an attempt to dissipate the anger, but my anger is having a Maya Angelou "And Still I Rise" moment. It ain't happening. But as much as I threatened otherwise, I won't write until I can make sense of the anger and most of all, do something constructive with it. Even if it means smashing thru somebody's "do not enter" zone.

Right about now... that would feel really good.

I'm outta here, with a remix of an EW&F song playing over and over in my head...

"Where Has All The Power Gone?"

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

On A Lighter Note...

Let me begin by offering my sincere apology. I promised Part II of "What Would Dr. King Say," but I sensed the need to lighten up just a little bit. Now, I'm not foolish enough to think I can change topics without permission. So, I contacted the foremost authority on Earth - another Johnson I might add - and it is with the blessings of the twin known as Strawboss that I offer you On A Lighter Note.

The story began three weeks ago as I cautiously navigated a frozen New York sidewalk to catch the crosstown bus. Hours earlier, Nature painted the City snow white and commissioned the winds of the East River to glaze over her handiwork. It was c-c-c-cold! Later that day, I headed out for lunch and noticed that the blustery winds had stripped the trees bare of their winter white ensemble, leaving their branches exposed before all of Manhattan. Just as I prepared to cross the street, I noticed something peculiar. In their nakedness, the trees revealed an undeniable bulge - the kind of bulge normally reserved for females emerging from a long winter coupled up in blissful hibernation. As I stood there squinting at the bulge, the reality sank in...

What in the...? Oh, my lawd... the tree's are pregnant!
That's right, pregnant! Even on this blustery, winter day, their buds were swollen as if threatening to go into labor at any moment. I'm no scientist, but if the tree buds are swollen, it can only mean one thing...
Spring is Here!
Neither the weather nor the calendar supported my early March proclamation. But, nature knows best and in the three weeks since the pregnancy sighting, the signs are everywhere. The sun warms the earth a little longer each day. Unseasonibly warm breezes tease us by day before chilling us back to our senses. Just the other day, a winged-invader found its way inside my apartment, only to have the NY Times swat him into bug heaven. Yes, my friends, Spring is all around us.
This past weekend, I joined family and friends in celebrating the wedding of my niece. It was a beautiful event (and yes, she was stunning!). It was a special treat to spend quality time with my cousins. Regrettably, it may have been the most time I've shared with them since the summers of our youth spent on our grandmother's farm. In many ways our adult relationships remain rooted in childhood memories. Those memories are wonderful, but it occurred to me that all of us have grown since that time. In three, too-short days, I rediscovered all that was wonderful about our early years, yet relished exploring the newness in each of them that was, up until this weekend, trapped in the box of "I remember when...". I wonder how many of my relationships are outdated and in need of updating? (Memo to Keith - add this to your Spring Cleaning list.)

Is there anything that symbolizes Spring better than tulips? This marvel of nature pushes thru winter-hardened soil long before our calendars announce the arrival of Spring. In the week following our last snow, I noticed the first brownish-green stems rising from tree and flower boxes throughout the City. This past weekend my sister-in-law, The Dutchess of Double G's, decorated her home with an assortment of cut flowers. When I first noticed the tulip arrangement, they were standing tall with buds tightly closed. By the next morning, the tulips were no longer standing tall, but moving in some sort of east-west configuration. I wondered if the heads were too heavy or if a wire support might return them to their stately form. But as the day progressed, the stems remained uncharacteristically contorted, yet the tulip heads were open and nothing short of exquisite. Call me slow, but it took me a full day to comprehend the simplicity of nature. The tulips had contorted for the sole purpose of accessing the light streaming thru the adjacent window.
Think about it for more than a second and I guarantee you'll marvel at the concept. As far as we know, tulips don't have a brain. And yet, there is something divinely implanted in every single flower that instructs it to do what it must - whatever it must - to access the light. Whether the stem has a slight bend or contorts to the point of disfiguration is of little regard. The tulip will simply do whatever it has to do to access the light. I wonder how much richer our lives would be if we'd stop at nothing to access The Light? I wonder how much fuller might we blossom if we were to remain in The Light? Even as I acknowledge the blessing of being able to partake in it's beauty, I can't help but wonder what a blessing we, too, might be to others if only we had the sense of a tulip?
Welcome to Spring 2006 - a season ripe with renewal, birth and rebirth, transformation and unlimited possibilities. Don't take my word for it. Just step into The Light.
Just a Lighter Note from That Johnson Boy!