Coffee Rhetoric: Exorcism
Showing posts with label Exorcism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Exorcism. Show all posts

August 18, 2011

Spilling Open: Introspection

I haven't had the opportunity to spill open on here in a while. .. not in the fashion I'm accustomed to. "Diversifying" and introducing different elements to this blog has prompted me to sort of shut my personal self off. Since I can't afford the luxury of sighing and heaving to a shrink, I figured I'd get back to the middle and do it here. I miss spilling open here. The luxury of having my own forum and not restricting how I utilize my voice is a wonderful and freeing right to have. This very late and sleepless night, I choose to project in a very self-analytical way... for I'm the best, worst, most knowledgeable judge of me, myself, and I. 
Three days ago, I turned 34. I haven't had the opportunity to let the fact that I'm in my hardcore, mid-thirties, sink in until late last night and then now. I've always been an extremely leery woman, but it seems the older I get... the grumpier, more impatient, cut and dry paranoid I become about people's intentions (not to mention the insane hormonal changes my body is experiencing). My thoughts run a mile a minute... still... and my intuition goes into overdrive... The nights I can't sleep (which are often), I'm more in form and my emotions run the gamut.
Close friendships I've had for years are still intact, easy to maintain, and I cherish them. I also curse them for being so long-distance.  I'm finding that cultivating new ones is a difficult process for me. Sort of like the three times I've tried, to no avail, to care for and nurture organic  French lavender plants.  While I enjoy meeting their acquaintance, I don't trust people upon first coming into contact with them and schmoozing is a daunting task I'd rather avoid. My expectations of folks I fancy tend to be pretty basic, but high (within reason)... so when they generate a flaky outer-crust, I have visuals of them engaging in unsavory discussions about me when I'm not around and cackling at my expense after I've opened up to them (a la the movie, Carrie... when she flashes back to her mother mockingly telling her; "They're all gonna laugh at you!"). Mind you, none of the things I'm divulging charts the madness of an Angry Black Woman who's aging and coming undone. I've gone through some schtuff  over the years with people I considered friends, who eventually had no use for me once I stopped being able to provide them with the things they needed from me or who found someone more ride-or-die to guffaw and shoot the shit with. This is nineteen years worth of angst. I'm conflicted; sometimes  assholish when it comes to shielding myself... and so it manifests in a brooding, somewhat cold package ready to cut someone's jugular (or shutdown and close up shop, depending on the situation)- when I think I'm being compromised in some way. I stay solitary for the most part and actually quite enjoy doing things alone... In fact I find it gratifying and not unlike the scene from Catherine Breillat's French film, Romance... where Marie stalks her boyfriend to a sushi restaurant... chagrined by his flagrant pleasure in being alone eating his California rolls and reading his book ... without her... to which she mentally voices over that she would've rather found him cheating with another woman. 
While I dislike being a mercurial woman sans the desire to nurture deeper relationships with the opposite sex or entertain any new applicants for friendship, I've grown comfortable in my ... aloofness (for lack of a better term), as it's easy to just exist in a world unto myself and with people I'm comfortable with and who know me. But while my opaque and indifferent nature seems comforting and offers the protection I need from being inconvenienced in some way...  it's exasperating. 
Aging, learning how to deal with other people's personality quirks juxtaposed against my own, and fumbling towards my core presents an amalgamation of different feelings: perplexed, resistant, and frustrated ...
I understand that venturing outside the comfortable confines I've built around myself is a difficult but very necessary thing I need to experience more often... Despite it being so easy to withdraw and become self-contained... In essence, I just want to be left the hell alone; yet essentially I want to be happy having reached some sort of balanced medium... but I know this isn't a healthy or realistic expectation. What can I say?... I'm a middle child who embraces her right to err and grow. Stay tuned...

October 11, 2009


I've been trying to fight this cold, pressure in my chest for the past few days. Amazing what a number stress can do to one's body. One moment of vulnerability and sick just grips your body like a wendigo does a desperate and hungry soul. Add stress and the insatiable need to excel, to prosper, to just get a break for once and no amount of Vitamin C or medicine can break its hold. The chest pressure is the most distressing. As much as I'd like to relax, the pressure (no pun intended... actually, pun intended) is on.... things are starting to mount, those who collect are staring to circle, and while my resolve isn't broken it is cracked. The hunt is exhausting for I feel like I've exhausted most if not every resource available to me. I inhale... I wheeze like Linda Blair in The Exorcist. I exhale... more demonic sounding wind. I need to exorcise this lame luck! I'm working hard to exorcise this lame stroke of luck!
One bright spot is that I do have an interview this Wednesday, at a non-profit that does great work to benefit homeless women and their families. While it is part-time, I am hoping I make a good enough impression so that I get an in. As much as I hate to speak such things out loud, because I'm slightly superstitious and believe doing so before a result has come to pass, will result in a unfavorable outcome... perhaps spilling it open with mild splash ... and letting in marinate into the universe will ... *I don't know* ...

September 17, 2009

Marriage Counseling

As I nurse my malbec and inhale the mild scent of amber scented candles and spicy incense, I've come to the conclusion that I married myself in hopes of living in holy matrimony, til death would do me part. I married myself, as I clutched at the stars, hoping to catch each and every one... shutting out naysayers and discouraging voices.
I grasp, I daydream and I sweet fix.
I've come to the realization that I married myself in sickness and in health. I frequently fold from time to time, because sometimes realism transcends idealism, and these 'isms are sometimes the bane of my marriage. But... 'til. death. do. me. part... irreconcilable differences be damned.

August 21, 2009

The Sads

How exciting! I got myself a summer cold. I'd gone THIS long without getting sick and now...
It all started with the notorious sinuses. I fought it hard with all that I had at my disposal... neti pot, tea, water, and massive amounts of Vicks (which I use for virtually EVERYTHING). I even walked from downtown to my hood in the sweltering hot last night (fifteen minute trek excluding stops at crosswalks and at the local market up the street from where I live)- hoping to sweat the poison out. Oh I sweated, my pores cleansed ... but this morning I woke up feeling like some sinister, demonic thing had taken up residence in my chest and throat. That demon also made me break out into an itchy rash/hives I'm struggling HARD not to scratch... oh alright, it's the summer heat causing the rash. Oh the fight isn't over. Having a cold is just as uncomfortable in 90+ degree weather, as it is in 30 degree winter weather.
Oh this fight isn't over yet. I shall slay this demon STAT. All I wanted to was to regain my chi.

August 11, 2009

Getting On

Coffee, tea, wine, friends, me. Me, wine, coffee, he. He, she, a little poetry, family, books, and cultural activities... These things among other interests are helping me keep my sanity. These. things. are. helping. me. keep. my. SANITY.
I haven't inhaled any toxic or noxious fumes. My mind is still crystal clear. I have intermittent moments of frustration, but I'm still here. I can still hear. I'm can steal here. I have STEEL back there.
I'm rambling. But it's all incoherently connected. Thursday will find me spilling open in front of strangers, Saturday will find me a year older and ever the more wiser. Next week will find me still ducking, bobbing, and weaving as I shadow box. The week after next, I'll still be standing and tanner... my resolve stronger.
Needless to say, I've stumbled, but I'm none to worse for wear, despite those frustrating interludes. In SPITE of those frustrating interludes.
That is all.

June 28, 2009


As difficult as it is to admit this out in the open, some days I feel... lonely. I feel alone. I honestly have never admitted that out loud... verbally or in writing. Here's where the revelation becomes slightly more provocative... I feel lonely because I don't trust very many people, and I'm an extremely leery and guarded woman. Certain circumstances as of late, have caused me to become even more self-contained. Nothing worse than opening yourself up to folks... whether within the context of dating or budding friendships... only to have your privacy or your trust compromised.
I honestly don't know that I feel that bad about being a loner, however. This post is definitely no lament. I mean, I have my moments where I think I need to be more trusting, more open, but then I shake it off and say "eff it."
This is something I grapple with daily, I did as a teenager and I still do at the age of 31. Perhaps this is why I'm still single, while both of my sisters (one older, one younger) are married. I've never had a long term relationship or sustained one long enough to want to introduce him to my family or friends. I must say, my wariness isn't unwarranted. Men I've dated have proved to be, wishy-washy, self-entitled jerks. I'm not one to settle just for the sake of having warm man parts to keep my mattress comfy. Friends? I have very few. I keep the circle tight. I've networked and tried to reach out to no end, only to come up against shady types, who aren't that trustworthy afterall, and will flip quicker than a mafia rat. One friendship that continues to sustain is my dearest and bestest... Cat. Who I've mentioned numerous times on this blog. Thank heaven for her. I guess my point is, today is one of those days where I'm feeling, well, bored and lonely and felt the need to spill open, out loud about it. While I'm not particularly saddened or regretful for being as leery as I am, it can become exasperating at times ...

June 18, 2008

Please Beg My Pardon...

... I've had a fun past weekend on Cape Cod with my newly braced-up (she just got braces)- best friend Cat, and haven't had time to relay the sordid details. With various annoyances; irritating personalities, work related fatigue, agitation with my apartment search, wishy washy types, and the like- I'm literally drowning in a sea of foolishness. I'm none too worse for wear though. I'm fine but extremely tired. Dating and the opposite sex are a mere after-thought (if thought about at all) these days. Nothing but over-the-hill, married, middle aged men looking to play games and rap a wack verse anyway, to see if they still have it. Whatever it is. So I'm missing nada. I'm reveling in me, myself, and I. And oddly enough, I don't feel an ounce of remorse. Anyway, I'll be back in a minute. I'm exhausted and suffering from insomnia.

January 05, 2008

La Guerre des Soeurs

When you consider who your adversaries are, depending on your situation, none cut like a sharp ginzu knife or are as compelling than antagonists from your immediate family. Situations brew, they fester, they percolate, and seethe. When they finally reach a fever pitch and culminate in an all out war of words purged and wild gesticulating... it makes for a nasty and uncomfortable situation. It also makes for some interesting revelations and necessary moments of clarity.
How does one navigate the complexities of family ties when you are disliked by a sibling... have known for years a close family member holds disdain for you and hate your guts, despite strained efforts to play "nice," or are (yourself) harboring distrust, mutual disdain, and dislike for a sib? The answer is, despite what you know is right... at a certain point in your life you don't anymore. You stop zig zagging. You end your journey, cut your unfortunate losses and reluctantly move on, because none of us have the luxury of choosing what type of family members we want or how we want them to relate to us. While some people have a great rapport with their siblings, others have strained ones that eventually crack and then break from the weight. All that's left to do is to remove yourself as far away from the person and situation as soon as time and resources will allow. And that's exactly what I'm aggressively attempting to do. A sad state of affairs, but considering the rough year I've had and my knack for catching a mean case of bad luck, I've grown numb to anything else negative that has happened or may potentially happen in my life. I feel and emote for those few seconds and then I glaze over... hot water turning into ice. Stoicism has become a code of conduct I've grown adept at. It's my armor and shield, if you will.
I never understood the concept of estrangement, of people separating themselves from immediate family members... moms, dads, brothers, sisters... until today. The next couple of months will probably be awkward, but c'est la vie. Such are the breaks for those who are "first born second." The world doesn't end. It may choke, sputter, and gasp for breath... but it doesn't end. ;-( ...

December 23, 2007


I blog alot about trying to slay some of my personal demons... but I honestly feel like up against a real, literal one that has decided to use my nose, ears, and head as its own personal condo!
I'm still in the throes of this massive sinus/head cold I have! I'm no stranger to sinus issues. In fact, I may just have a deviated septum (deviated septum = Hollywood actresses' new excuse to get rhinoplasty. P.S. What the hell is a deviated septum??). Anyway, self-diagnoses aside, methinks this is the worst sinus cold I've had in a long time! My head, nose, and ears are on effing fire! It's very uncomfortable, I haven't slept in about two days, I've thrown every thing I've had at it! We're talking heavy artillery! I was making progress yesterday. Everything started to clear out. I was in good spirits (figuratively and beverage wise), I could breathe freely, and I was relieved. This early morning (we're talking 3AM) I woke up, feeling like someone had poured acid in my nostrils as I slept. Now I can't breathe or taste (VERY unfortunate), my eyes are running, my gums are sore, I can't stop sneezing, and I'm very discombobulated. I'm typing slowly in an effort to cut down on grammatical erros and to formulate intelligible sentences here. We're talking THAT discombobulated. In fact, I'm so out of touch with reality that I actually sat there and watched Danielle Steele's Star on the tele. The WHOLE movie! While inside, I asked myself "why?" over and over again.
Ugh. Yes, I'm a whinger when I'm ill only because I don't get colds very often! But seriously, this is some serious bidness. It's like the demon was being pushed out of my system and on the way to the exit (blown out on a Kleenex basically) it caught hold of some rung or ledge, and is holding on for dear life... sharp nails and all. I just drank some hot miso soup for breakfast and downed some mango nectar (which has vitamin C). My goal is to have this monster slain by or before Tuesday!

Wish me luck. Im gonna go lay down and do some more whining.

UPDATE: The horrible force that has me feeling like a steaming pile of dog dookey, is called Sinusitis. Oh joy! "Nose irrigation" with a saline solution is recommended. Mine isn't particularly acute, so I gots it covered. Just sprayed some saline up the ol' nostrils. And I must say, it offered a bit of a reprieve from the intense inflammation.

December 13, 2007

First Born Second

"I was born as a second child. All I got was hand-me-downs. All that is what was left..." Bilal, from his debut album, First Born Second
Psychiatrist and theorist, Alfred Adler has surmised that the order in which one is born, influences their personality. That order can have leave an indelible impression on that sibling's quality of life and the way in which they cope with life's trials and tribulations. Of course many psychologists of yore and today dispute Adler's suggestions on birth order. I was born right smack-dab in the midst of the madness. A middle child. Introspective, mercurial, passionate, self absorbed, creative, sensitive, aloof, stoic, an aversion to being told what to do by my mother sometimes/but clinging and crying to her other times (preferably in the absence of my sisters). I've been spending a lot more time with my immediate family amidst my transitional phase, and I've never been more aware of where I fall in the triad my mother has created, as I have been recently. Middle Child Syndrome, it has been christened. Regardless of how people cope with being the second born, the syndrome feels very real to many of us middlers. A feeling of being somewhat solitary and misunderstood. Alone in my philosophies and ways of thinking and living, a sense of feeling undermined or disputed, fighting to be heard over competing voices, wanting to be left alone, creative, artistic, caught between a rock and a hard place, sometimes wanting to slip under the radar, a bit eccentric and self contained ... While theories abound on Middle Child Syndrome and we all cope differently with being wedged in between two siblings, it is a rather interesting and complex situation to deal with sometimes. I suddenly feel compelled to delve deeper into the order of such things in order to figure out some things about myself. I suddenly feel a deep empathy for Jan Brady.

November 20, 2007

The Cure

I'm OMing the pressure off of my chest... Whenever I breathe in, it's reminiscent of weight lifting a heavy barbell and the back of my shoulder pops with each deep breath I pull in.

November 18, 2007

Prisoner of Words


I'm regressing. And I don't like it one bit. I'm struggling not to go back to black. Not to become morose again. The impending gloom is hovering like a dark cloud and I'm tempted to just stand there and wait for the downpour and risk getting soaked, because I'm tired. The fatigue feels like a heavy weight on my chest and it's constricting my air flow. Literally and figuratively, I cannot breathe. I inhale and then I exhale and I can't seem to catch my second breath... because of the pressure on my chest. Destructive thoughts are starting to dance around tauntingly in my mind... causing my soul to scream in frustration. I'm hard on myself. Am a perfectionist of sorts and when I don't triumph in some way, shape, or form... I become self contained. ... And it's maddening. It's masochistic, because I take solace in being withdrawn... Ugh and I'm effing sick of being sullen! I do realize that people live lives that're far worse than my own... but narcissism and self absorbency has dictated that I am entitled to feel this way! I have a right to be a sullen, sour woman... but I HATE it!
I've managed to smile through it and roll with the punches. Smile graciously when advised "Oh, you'll get through it. Things will work out." When I really wanna shout, "Fuck off! Easy for YOU to say, you aren't in my shoes!" Even though I know friends and family are just trying to stay optimistic for me. And are worried about me. Uncompromising situations usually roll off my back like hot butter on a biscuit, but I get overwhelmed. I got overwheeeelmed. A couple of days ago upon returning home from the store... I put my bags down in my small (soon to be history) kitchenette. I didn't even remove my coat. I started sobbing from the impact of the onslaught. I smeared meticulously applied black eye-liner and mascara. The tears fell down my face, rested on my lips and mixed with my brownie cream lip gloss. I clenched my fists and avoided another one of those angry moments where I smash things in a blind rage... and then realize what I've done after coming out of that haze of anger... regretting ruining my stuff. I sat down. Money, men, wish washy personalities, not knowing, knowing, intuition, paranoia, the struggle ... sometimes it's too much. I cursed under my breath. And then I picked up the cell phone and called my sister...

November 06, 2007


Picture a moment in space and time where you've become trapped in a stifling box. You suddenly become stagnant and lose your place in the rat race, because you've dropped out. Not willingly. Not without lack of trying to reach the finish line, but from fatigue. You veer off to the side, lungs exhausted, holding your sore sides trying to catch your second wind. You've made your way over to a nearby bench to settle. You settle out of mere necessity and survival and no other reason. Your discontentment breeds resentment, because while you've settled in order to survive, you still find yourself hanging on by the tips of your fingers. You're hanging from a cement ledge, decorated with pigeon droppings (some old and crusted over, some freshly dropped), your feet wildly kicking... a desperate attempt to gain leverage and hoist yourself up. But alas to no avail. You basically just give up and decide to meet the asphalt's acquaintance. Just before you decide to let go, someone stomps on your fingers with a lethal pair of oxfords, forcing your throbbing fingers to slip. You fall. arms flailing wildly in the wind. On your way down you glimpse a blur of faces, watching you fall to your death. You hit the ground. Lying flat on your back. You're stunned. You can't move. First your eyes focus on hulking human forms staring at you from where you've fallen. Smug in the grandeur of their positions. At first you can't move. You lay there... looking up at a sea of genuinely concerned faces staring o'er your crumpled body. Sore and possibly broken, you somehow manage to hoist yourself up. Testing your right arm first. You slowly lift it in the air, grimacing from the pain and effort. Stiff, straight you make a fist with your hand. Slowly but surely, you're able to lift your middle finger in a grand gesture of triumph. You aren't defeated nor are you paralyzed. Your joints seem to work fine. More importantly you've managed to survive the fall. Finger in the air, you watch the hulking silhouettes retreat back inside and away from your moxie. Chagrined. It make take brief period to recover from your fall, but you're still triumphant... because you survived it.
Just saying. Imagine that scenario. That's it.

September 02, 2007

The Voice inside the head of The Voice inside my head

I'm a head case. There I said it out loud, finally. A beautifully broken mess whose affliction is of moderate- (or epic depending on the week)- proportions and could use some shrinking. But here I am, constantly self-diagnosing and looking inwardly sometimes, to no avail. I'm basically a guinea pig. A willing participant in my own experiments.
I engage in behavior I probably shouldn't engage in, I think thoughts I probably shouldn't entertain. Somehow, it all works for me. Weird and twisted? Yes. But it works. I'm daring, I'm self contained, I'm antagonistic, I'm aloof, I'm self involved, I'm introverted, I'm extroverted, sometimes I'm misanthropic, I'm egotistical, I'm meticulous, I think I have a touch of O.C.D., I hate hard, I love and trust almost never, I'm neurotic, I'm a hard shell to crack, I'm genuine, I'm angry, I'm quiet, I observe, I'm content, I'm sated, I'm dissatisfied, I'm suspicious, I'm passionate, I'm sexual, I'm jaded, I push, I prod, I push away, sometimes I want to hurt myself, sometimes I want to punish myself, sometimes I want to reward myself, sometimes I want to disappear, I'm tempestuous and I crack under pressure from time to time, I am also calm, unflinching, & have a stone cold resolve, and sometimes I live in an alternate universe, I have insomnia and can't breathe when I close my eyes and so am afraid to fall into a deep slumber and yet sometimes sleep falls over me without effort. ...
Somehow... these idiosyncratic things work in tandem with and against me. I don't think my neurosis will ever find a balanced medium. When I'm alone, these things are obvious to me. When I integrate myself into the general populace, these things are not discernible and I'm functional. I function quite fine, in fact. This is why they work in tandem with me. My demons and I have an understanding. We don't always see eye to eye, but we have an understanding and we've made some semblance of peace.

June 23, 2007

I'm Feeling Nostalgic...

This is how I grapple and scrap, in a nutshell. My feelings dance back and forth, like this sometimes...

June 18, 2007

Hanging on By The Tips of My Fingers

This weekend (and past week) has been less than stellar. I'm having one of those days. I spoke to a close friend last night and listened to the details regarding his unraveling. I wont relay them here, but I started crying (unbeknownst to him) because I felt sad for him, it hit me right in my gut because I feel like I'm not too far behind him. It's as if the world is closing in on me and that I have the worst luck in the world... I'm trying desperately to get my karmic energy right... to make the stars align for me, because I can't afford to lose it. I'm even more suspicious than ever, at this dark place I get up and come to everyday. I'm a little more skittish than usual, testy... everyone is a suspect. I feel uneasy at home, in my apartment. It's as if I'm a pawn in the midst of a twisted game of Clue. 'Been reading my cards non-stop and meditating this past weekend... ... but I still feel unnerved... like something unsettling is on the horizon... unsettling, but something that I'll recover from once the initial shock of it all wears off. I'm merely bracing myself for the onslaught... and my stomach is in knots. I wish I could just pack my bags and get out of dodge... get out of this country... and escape everything... start fresh... If only it were that easy...

March 20, 2007

Who Am I...

It has been a number of days. I've been busy and fatigued. During this time, I've pored over a number of things , primarily... the differences between Miss Jones and Coffey... what this blog does for me and my psyche... how it liberates me and why I am conflicted over whether to dismantle it altogether or to continue airing specific loads of my dirty laundry, out to dry. I know that family, close personal friends, and some colleagues read about the personal details of my life. I've been talked about, written about, disagreed with, discovered, judged, and questioned. My mother deemed me an "exhibitionist" once, because of the nature of the pictures I post. Risks I've risked, by choosing to have this very public forum, but I agonize over that. I've come to realize that Coffee Rhetoric allows me a certain carte blanche...when I'm writing as Coffey, that I wouldn't have the gumption to project in real life. In real life, I deadpan, I'm introspective, I'm funny, I'm quiet, I'm aloof, I'm moody, I'm sexual, I'm antagonistic, and I'm the quintessential shit talker... I consider myself a direct, to the point, extremely honest, and more importantly, a genuine person... but during certain situations, I am painfully shy. Every story, feeling, all my thoughts that I relay here are indeed, true... but when I'm writing as Coffey, there is a certain level of audaciousness that is unbridled. I welcome it with open arms. This online persona frees me... it allows me to exist in a different realm, as a goddess. Some people work painstakingly at their online blog personalities... They have a gimmick and a schtick that works for them... They attain a certain level of fame. When I do this... when I spill open here about certain things, that is me hiding behind a certain level of anonymity (despite the pictures), expressing myself... and coming to grips with who I am. I don't hope to be famous, I don't hope to be love and adored. That... that's real. When I purge... I am in the moment. I am wanton. I am uncensored. I am truer than ever. It's almost orgasmic. But I don't discuss it, when I'm Miss Jones. When someone who knows me personally, has read an entry and mentions it, I change the subject... I don't want to have this discourse about it, I don't want to laugh about it, I don't want to be the life of the party because I happen to have a semi-popular blog... It is this weird dichotomy... Coffey vs. Miss Jones... that somehow works for me. I am always in awe by the people who read and comment... and above all else, appreciative. It makes doing this significant and worthwhile. Despite me declaring that I don't care whether Coffee Rhetoric is widely read or not, I am in awe... and I appreciate the fact that anybody takes minutes, hours, seconds out of their day, to read about me agonizing and lamenting over being lovelorn, broke, unhappy, dark, content, exasperated, sad, or what have you and offer their feedback. ... I am still overwhelmed and humbled, after all this time, by this thing called blogging and I look forward to bringing it, even further. I wont change a thing... I won't be gratuitous for the sake of "blog ratings"... I will continue to be Coffey in hopes of saturating... getting to the root of Miss Jones... on an even deeper level. That process involves steps beyond blogging... but this is fun. It's honest. It's true. It's rawer. And it's sooo in the moment. And more importantly, I actually still enjoy doing it.
P.S. I am about to be an aunt again in a matter of days... to a niece who doesn't even realize how important she is to me. It is cosmic in a way that I cannot explain... Possibly during a time and month that haunts and humbles me, till this day. I am stoked. Moreover, I am nostalgic.

February 25, 2007

These Boots Were Made for Sticking Up Your...

If Jimi says he's a Voodoo Child,
then I'm Isis
and Hathor is my confidante.
My glower freezes you,
but despite the chill of my gaze
you begin to liquefy into a sticky puddle
that hardens at once...
like candle wax.
I've worked a root dispossessing you of
those things you consider most crucial to
your masculinity...

You know, the older I get, the more comfortable I feel in my skin, in my being, with myself. I've said this numerous times before, but this time I truly feel it, as much as I proclaim it and mean it. It's a from of release that is hard for me to describe. Nothing is perfect and I am still in the throes of life's trials and tribulations. But I don't feel black anymore. I don't feel a need to curl up in a corner in a fetal position, when things become overwhelmingly stressful. I stress out, but I also find ways to cope. That realization in place, my tolerance when it comes to dating is zero. If there is no chemistry or if I feel annoyance or negativity over the phone, I am more vocal about my disdain for things, and I make no apologies for it. The prospective may feel chagrined or may even deem me as being too picky, but honestly, I don't care. It's that welcome chill or coldness rather, that I I refuse to ward off anymore. It's quality over quantity as far as I'm concerned. If there's one thing I can't stand, it's someone who doesn't know me, who feels the need to be overly critical, negative, nit picky, and sans a sense of humor. All this before even developing any type of rapport or before any valuable time has been invested. I don't feel the need to explain myself to anyone, about the way I live, the ways I choose to make myself laugh or feel happy, or anything else I choose to do with my free, personal time. I am thankful that people, men, show their true colors right from jump, however... it makes "nexting" them that much easier and sweeter. I've come to terms with the fact that I may be single for a while longer. No need to lament over it. Call me a "bitch"... if you must, it's not a very original tag. And quite tired and overused, if you ask me. Life is too short to settle, for the sake of warm man-parts to weigh down my mattress. It's definitely too short to waste on miserable, unhappy human beings. Besides, if I were that hard up and desperate for d*ck, I'd work the stroll at The Point, in the Bronx and make it a lucrative endeavor.

That's it.

December 23, 2006

Heaven Sent?

Last night, I watched a television special hosted by Barbara Walters on ABC; Does Heaven Exist; How do we get there? Walters explored the concept of Heaven and Hell and what people from various backgrounds, countries, and religions, believe about heaven and the afterlife. Walters interviewed different types of Christians, Muslims (including an extremist and failed suicide bomber who suggested that if Barbara didn’t follow the prophet Mohammed, that she would go to Hell), a Rabbi, the Dalai Lama himself , and actor Richard Gere. I called my older sister (who told me once that she has a “relationship with Christ”), and suggested that she might be interested in watching the program, as she and her family were recently saved and attend church every Sunday. Somehow, my well intentioned phone call promptly turned into a mini religious debate, as my sister suggested that she didn’t need to watch, as she read the bible, already knew about heaven, and that she felt bad for people who didn’t believe in the concept of Heaven. She also opined that it was good that I was watching the program, as I might learn something from it, and be more at peace… *insert me shivering with annoyance* I responded that I was watching the program not because I'm wayward or in need of any guidance, but because I thought it was interesting, and figured she would find it interesting too, to hear diverse groups of people’s perspectives on religion and Heaven. She asked me what it was I believed in, exactly, if I didn’t believe in God or Christ. I responded that just because I had doubts didn't make me any less spiritual than she is. I also stated that I classified myself as an agnostic (with atheist leanings), and that I don't believe in organized religion. I also suggested that my personal and philosophical views didn’t mean that I lacked morals, ideals, or spirituality. I honestly did not feel comfortable having this discussion, because I felt proselytized to and judged. I finally answered that I believed in humanity and consciousness, and this answer seemed to placate her enough to end the discussion on a “let’s agree to disagree” note.

Tibetan Buddhists, are not necessarily believers in God, yet they have an inner peace, humility, and compassion for others. The Dalai Lama suggested that the purpose of life is to be happy and warm toward others. He spoke about the concept of reincarnation, explaining that Heaven was a holding place for people to develop “spiritual practice” and that the goal for Buddhists is not to end there, but to reach a heightened sense of enlightenment or Nirvana; so, essentially it’s a never-ending process. He suggested that if someone did bad things, they can become reincarnated as an animal, or possibly as another human life form, if they lived an honest life. Richard Gere, who is a devout Buddhist, commented that he didn’t believe that Heaven or Hell happened some place else, but existed in the present… and that people who walked around unhappy, conflicted, and miserable were, undoubtedly, living some sort of hell and that he has met some people who are truly happy and enlightened.

Early Christians and Jews believed that a man wasn’t suitable enough to enter Heaven, as a flesh and blood human being, and so was transformed into some spiritual entity, becoming an angel. The program also featured Evangelicals in this country, who believe they are the purest incarnation of the Christian faith, and that it’s their mission (God given) to save the world from itself. That only those who believe in Christ can get to heaven. *sigh* As someone who has recently struggled with angry, growling demons, I am more apt to agree with Richard Gere and the Dalai Lama’s concept of peace and happiness. I am a person who has spirit. I also believe that my recently deceased niece, is an entity I feel in nature. I carry her in me. I carry her spirit with me. I’ve always said that whenever a pleasant gust of wind touched my face, it was her. And I honestly believe this; feeling and believing this is what brings me peace, with that tragedy. One pastor commented that Heaven was another dimension entirely… a “fourth dimension” that you don’t have to “look up at" to experience… that you can “look out” and see it as well, but that you should definitely never “look down." I think it’s great that people believe in whatever it is, that makes them become better people. It is no one’s place to judge how someone else should find their peace of the pi, however. I think someone who doesn’t believe in God or organized religion isn’t necessarily unhappy or immoral. Someone who is devout and attends church everyday, isn’t necessarily happier or more at peace than I am. Particularly when you consider religious wars we’ve had in the past and what is being experienced at present, i.e. the recent outbreak of violence in Lebanon and in Jerusalem.

A geneticist on the program suggested that a person’s spirituality is not a matter of will, but something that may be innate within their personalities, something that’s encoded in our genes. He researched 1000 or so people and their DNA, asking them a series of questions about religion and spirituality. Those who scored the highest had some sort of mutated gene that dictated their level of spirituality… a gene he deemed “the God gene” or VMAT2. This gene can, apparently, be isolated and studied. This “God gene” also sets off certain chemicals that determine how consciousness functions, and how we react to certain events occurring around us. *sighs even more heavily* Why can't we just learn to be? Why does existence, life, the whole process of living have to be labeled, boxed, and bowed? I think it’s up to each individual to find his or her own peace, however or whatever that process is. If it's via Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and believing in the concept of heaven and an evenutal reunion with loved ones... so be it... but don't belittle me for refusing to simply accept that as my reality. My peace comes in the form of being the best ME I can be… reserving the right to err; learning and growing from my mistakes, living and letting live. I don’t know that I have a fart or reduced/increased levels of chemicals in my brain, that determine what level of spirituality I harbor. I do know that I am human. I would like to suggest that if you’re a devout Christian however, don’t feel sorry for me, don't tsk tsk or look down your nose at me- (I don't need your pity)- just because I don’t believe in this cut and dry concept of heaven or hell. I struggle with the trials and tribulations of life, like everyone else, and am not perfect. While I may not be religious enough for your taste, this doesn’t make me any less spiritual or content, despite (and in spite of) my struggles. It doesn’t make me any less of a decent or productive person. It may make me a tad more complex. But so what? My reflection, my meditative state, my thought processes, looking inward, being introspective… this is how I cope and grapple with my spirit. It’s not up to anybody else to determine how I should attain happiness or peace, or where my spirit will ascend (or descend) to after I'm departed. The beauty of living in this country is the freedom we have to express ourselves, freedom of religion or the freedom to pass on religion.