In The Twilight Zone

In the closing days of the administration of our current President, Barack H. Obama, it is disheartening to think about the diabolical plot to erase him. It is something about the astute resolve that is being exhibited that would allow those whom are supposed to serve the people to condone the erasure of him…with glee.

Throughout the collective popular memory known as history, we find the abhorrent nature of man so versed and saturated with vitriol expressed in times when change is most likely to have occurred against the will of the people whom have instituted it. There are times, those times, when the voice of the people seems to be ripped from our very throats. This is one of those times…one of those ages…the very dispensation.

I have often thought of the skill and talent of writing being one with definite God implications. Recently, I have reacquainted myself with the early 1960s show The Twilight Zone. As a young girl, the show scared me because of the opening imagery and music. However, working night shift has forced me to break out of ruts that people working graveyard shifts fall into:  you watch what keeps you awake. In that exploration pertaining to the mission of staying awake, I discovered the brilliance and prowess of one Mr. Rodman Edward Serling, commonly remembered as Rod Serling, host of The Twilight Zone.

Every episode Mr. Serling comes out, normally smoking a cigarette and introduces the show and what to expect. At the end of each episode is a foreboding truth or twisted wit. In the time the nation is in at present, it is to best interest to heed the wisdom of elders…and especially of experienced storytellers and Mr. Serling is no different. From 1959-1964, Mr. Serling along with his team of writers and producers gave the viewing audience a glimpse into what dystopian humanity and freakish human behavior were capable of.

One episode, I keep referencing and oft quote is from Season 2, episode 29:  The Obsolete Man. The synopsis reads as follows-

“In a future totalitarian society, a librarian is declared obsolete and is sentenced to death.”

This is episode, we see what the country has become:   a controlled and censored state. Anyone that is seen as a threat to their regime, by speech or vocation is sent to be liquidated (i.e. executed) by any means of their choosing. The librarian and the leader of the state are in a room where there librarian is to be liquidated by bomb. The librarian has chosen his death be televised in his home, and it is honored. He tricks the leader to sit on his couch, facing the nation as he reads the Bible (beginning with Psalms 23).

Unable to handle sharing this fate with him, the leader pleads to leave before the deadline of his death being midnight. The librarian obliges and releases  him just as the bomb goes off.  The leader returns to his position with the state and is declared obsolete due to disgracing the state by other state leadership. As he pleads for his life and declares his works and faithfulness  for this state, Mr. Serling is heard saying this quote in 1961:

“Any state, any entity, any ideology, that fails to recognize the worth, dignity, the rights of man, that state is obsolete.”

It is often the job of the writer to use such keen observations and those prophetic implications to alert when humanity is on the brink of its own demise, uncertainty and resentment to empathy. This time is no different. We, the people, indeed, are in a resistance. The best weapon, lies in your throat.

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Breathe Fire

In this time, I am most thankful to be a woman.

I am excited to see what it that the rest of this feminine life hold for me.

In the space I occupy, I am reminded that I must make room, demand room for other women. I must remind them of the divine they  house and must bring forth. I no longer have the time or effort to be quiet.

My mother told me in my thirties I would settle into myself. I have learned to appreciate every stretch mark, every scar and the cocoa of my skin. I have fallen in love with me…all over again.

 

In The Work

The POTUS whom we have known the last 8 years will be gone from this portion of political life in a matter of days, and the nation is already in a state of mourning. There are some that revile him and will revere him–as with most influential leaders and leadership.

With all the noise surrounding the incoming administration, I feel that there is one pivotal question that hasn’t been posed or answered: what do we do now? Dr. Michael Eric Dyson once called the current POTUS the “Jackie Robinson” President. I could not agree more.

Jack Roosevelt Robinson integrated Major League Baseball in April 1947, 1 year before my father was born. He lettered in four sports, college educated and a veteran of the US Navy. Branche Rickey choose him to integrate this sport because he thought he would be the best to be the first to do it. Now, that said, without Jackie–there would be no Willie Mays, Satchel Paige or Ken Griffey, Sr or Jr. The cost of being the first should not be discounted.

The hopes and dreams of a people and a nation have been heaped on Pres. Barack H. Obama and people were shocked to know he was yet human. People seemed to have hated him for his mortality. Yet…in all his grandeur and his flaws, we yet have work to do. We yet have something to contribute to this corporate experience we yet call life.

I answer my own question with passion and power. What we do now is we work, and we fight. We refuse to become negligent. We refuse to become complacent and normalize oppression, repression and violence towards minority peoples. We begin to take responsibilities for our own actions and begin to continue the work presented to us in the communities by which we live. There is a work each of us can do, and cannot be left abandoned at the feet of elected leaders. We hold them to the greater standard forthright, yes, but we still must realize we all have work to do–and cannot be absolved of.

The work announced by every oppressed and marginalized peoples on this land. The work was pushed by Garvey, run in hand by Malcolm and Martin, and crested with Barack. It has not ended. We have lost sight, and must not lose sight again, of the knowledge that we have not died to progress. It is our turn to fight. We change the world one life at time, one day at at time. The secondary question to pose is, “What will I do, can I do to make this life a little better?”

In The Reaping

When Prince died in June and I thought someone had unplugged the world. I turned 35 about 2 weeks later. I still cried as the news rolled through social media outlets and radio station rotation. I couldn’t believe that it happened.

There are certain people that we give immortality to. Especially, when we have had the fortune to grow up with them, watch them change as you do and will. You begin to think that death will never reach these people. And when it does, it is devastating. It reminds you of  your own mortality–of that final day out of years of them, wasted and regained ones, there will be one day where all that you planned to do will no longer matter. We all desire to matter, to mean something to someone, be heard of someone one. Most of all remembered.

This year I have seen people that I thought would be with us always, the God of the universe has said otherwise.

Silence Cannot Be Condoned

I was a 17 year old Senior at Jennings Senior High School in Missouri when Matthew Shephard was murdered by two bigots in Laramie, Wyoming. Little did I know, I would lose my father almost 2 months later.

I am asked why I am so passionate, and so involved in aspects of social justice. This and Pedro Zammora, from the show THE REAL WORLD,  were turning points for me. I remember how helpless I felt, how sad I was, and how FUCKING ANGRY I became. I remember television stories, the newspapers and the cable news outlets about him and Matt Shepherd. I remember his mother crying on an MTV commercial which was an anti-defamation commercial. I remember crying…and not understanding how someone could be so evil and do this to someone just because they are gay.

I remember portion of the funeral being broadcasted on television and the thing that struck me was there was this church that had the signs GOD HATES FAGS and FAGS BURN IN HELL. In my infancy in the Christian faith, I had not even been exposed that level of hate and ignorance. I had no idea it existed. What I found later is that this “church” was the Westboro Baptist Church: a hate group. They are not a church. These “men” beat him and left him outside…to die. An officer on patrol found him 18 hours later. This group of people whom say they love and serve the same God I do, were doing this. Little did I know a decade and change later, I get called to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

That sign, those actions, his family have stuck with me. The heartbreak of his mother, especially her eyes, bore into me. I’m glad they did. That allows my heart to remain soft, and in that, I cannot afford to become callous as to what effects other people, both like and unlike, in this world.

I am aware of what the Bible says concerning SIN, NOT JUST homosexuality. I believe the Bible, my Bible, cover to cover. I believe in its redemptive, restorative, transformative power using God’s greatest weapons:  love, time and patience (2 Peter 3:9). I believe in the radical, consuming power of God according to Luke 1:37, for if HE is involved all things are never final and can be handled. I understand the mandate of the Gospel, and its standard. I cannot change that, will not change that. I also know that as an ambassador of Christ, a minister of this Great Gospel, I have neither the right nor would I ever deny ANYONE the opportunity of  Christ from ANYONE matter where they may be found.

In this dispensation of time, in this era of neo-fascism, I understand my role as pastor, minister, wife and mother with such intimacy, which I try to execute with some finesse. In the documentary I watched tonight,  documentaries I have watched concerning Matthew Shepherd, I came across this one moment. Matthew was in search of help and assistance, he was depressed (from documentary, MATT SHEPHERD IS A FRIEND OF MINE). He went to a church near his home in Colorado, and found a woman there, the documentary doesn’t mention her name. Rather than offer him the help and love found in Jesus Christ, she told him that ‘all gays go to Hell’. To this I offer this retort–all sin is an abomination to God. Not JUST this seemingly unforgivable one being gay. My question is this, “Why didn’t you offer HIM, JESUS! Why not offer him TOO the love, the shelter, the peace of Christ?! Why not?!”

I have said on a myriad of occasions, I would rather have my child alive and sinning, than gone with no hope. NO MATTER WHAT SIN IT IS.

NO MATTER WHAT SIN IT IS.

NO MATTER WHAT SIN IT IS.

NO MATTER WHAT SIN IT IS.

The Apostle Paul says that such were WE before Christ (1 Corinthians 6:11). How quickly we forget, and want to whitewash our lives before Christ, when the book of Revelation says that WE overcome by the blood of the Lamb and word of our testimony (Revelation 12:11). Just because someone’s life experiences are alien to you, does not mean they are discounted. If someone didn’t doesn’t believe as you do, does not mean they are less than human. If someone is not the same shade as you, does not mean their life is less than. We are to tell the truth in LOVE, and have the rest be known and handled by God. That is my job as a believer in Christ, before any addendum are added. I told my husband that the best summation of the Gospel is this:

My Daddy wants all his kids home, and he left us a key. Our job is to get everyone there. The church is supposed to be that lighthouse, that porchlight, as a signpost to get everyone home. Those that attend, have the keys. Those keys should be given to all whom are lost, whom wander, whom are afraid. We are not to deny those keys to those that desire rest and home.”

I offer those whom wander, whom are lost, whom are in need of love, the same thing that was offered to me…LOVE, unabashed and unrestrained. You cannot say you love the Lord, and hate any of His people…regardless of where they are or lay or what their story is.

The Church must be willing to throw on the light, and all those that leave from it become such a light. No matter whom may ring our bells to try and come home.

 

 

 

Sunrises

In working nights for almost a year, and having been a mother for the last decade, I am still mystified by the rising of the sun each morning.  I look forward to that crossing over from night to day. I look forward to the alpenglow. I get upset when I don’t see it right away.

Since I was a girl, I have been fascinated with light, especially sunlight. I would sleep in the sun to stay warm, watch my skin look more honey and browned while I absorbed all the sun gave. Now, those same sunrises have different meaning.

I work in healthcare, I have seen people pass before suns rise. I have seen people look past the light in their rooms to the unknown and known–those hands that reach forward and back. I have seen people with their dimming of their eyes like candles near open windows. I have seen them fight for the lingering light.

I have seen Death.

I have walked halls, in and out of rooms, looking for it. I have assessed, reassessed, charted and reported any signs of him. This  entity that has residence that hopelessness unlocks and unrolls mats for. It lingers in doorways, in lobbies, in the faces of us that look in faces looking for evidence that he is not present. We ward him off with our uniforms and medicine and tools—so they can yet see the sun.

The patron saints of this profession are Florence Nightingale and Hippocrates. Hippocrates gave a natural basis for the physical ailments. Florence was reported and noted to go up and down her halls seeing those she was carrying for. They knew it was her, that they would be okay, because of the light she carried.

Working overnight gives us a unique heritage to follow. We fight for those whom can’t for the preservation of their life…and their light. Sunrises are best above ground.

HISTORY MAKING #1

She watched him perched in a sycamore tree in back of his house.  She began to adjust her weight so she could be able to gaze upon him without disturbing surrounding branches. She saw him clearly, she could even count his eyelashes as the eerie light flickered from his television set into his blue eyes. She watched him as he had eaten dinner, and stetched out over the sofa. There was a woman he lived with,  his wife she presumed. She scoffed every time she saw her. Incomparable.  She was ordinary looking. She had chosen what this wife perceived to be hers. He would no longer have such shackles to this life.  She watched him sleeping then, calm at last. She smiled watching is chest rise and fall. She had to remember he couldn’t  see her, she wouldn’t allow herself to be seen…not yet.  All that was in her that was still woman wanted to abscound with him, he was hers. Six hundred years in the blood hadn’t changed what she knew she wanted. Perserved eternally at 31, she still and was assumed to be much younger. She lept to the roof, feet bare under the cresent moon she followed the scent that belong to his wife. She watched her, hanging from the rafter of the second floor. She watched this woman, hoping to see what would possess this woman to believe he was hers. She had a walnut brown face, long hair, braided into an upswept style wide set eyes and a figure indicative of at least 2 children.  She was readying for bed, she watched her five-foot-four inch frame walk from the closet to the bathroom of the master bathroom. She noticed the bed was still made. Odd, especially if they were supposed to be married. She smiled inside. “Cracks in the armour.” She whispered. She heard the bathroom water run, thinking her thoughts insignificant enough to discern again. In a acrobat formation, she dimounted from her rafter back to the first floor window. She watched him, hands to window pane. She watched him toss and turn over the sofa. The shrew hadn’t even given him a blanket for comfort. That idle detail, the want of warmth and comfort, she committed to memory. She had to be armed with as much as she could so when  she prepared to take him as her own, she wanted no qualm. She would study him.

She remembered when she saw him, getting gas for his dark green Honda Civic about a week prior. Such a responsible young man to drive a Honda.  She had just woken up from her slumber and she walked not even 7 feet in front of him, caught his scent before she saw him. She walked around the hood of his car, she was already hungry and she didn’t want to make that hunger worse. What made her stop is he almost tripped over her as he tried to open the door for her to go inside the gas station.  Her grey eyes caught his blue ones asshe stammered, and giggled nervously. “I’m sorry…I just…” She held up her hand, “No problem.” She whispered.  Her sneakers carried her softly away to the alcohol in the back of the store. She grabbed her bottle of Merlot,and watched for her clumsy gentleman. Under raven colored bangs, she watched him scour from beer to snack food settling on a bottled water. As he walked to the counter, he could still smell him. “Polo Black.” She said to herself. He was about six-foot-one, short dark hair, and eyes…his eyes were these pool of noon tide. His gait was rushed, perhaps a woman he had to attend to. She pouted.  She walked to the counter, paid for her Merlot, grinning as the clerk returned her change.  “Have a nice night, darling.” He older man said from behind the counter, adjusting his wire rimmed glasses. She smirked at him, “I surely will try.” Her sultry voice causing a rosy flush over his wrinkled face.

She walked outside, the fall air tousling her hair, as she ran a hand through the raven tresses, her Merlot in her brown  shopping bag. Her black pea coat hanging open to reveal the sway of her hip towards him. He hadn’t gotten in the car yet, and as she approached he seemed more focused than startled. “Hey.” She said. “You okay?” She said gesturing back to the step in front of the glass door. He nodded, his crooked smile evident. “I’m okay.” She studied his eyes again, held them. Married.  She’s pregnant. He’s unhappy. Lonely.  He knows she’s cheating. Heartbroken. Think she;s gorgeous. Wants to kiss her. “Yasmine.” She said smiling back at him.  “Michael.” “Pleased to meet you.” She smiled. She turned on her heels, sauntering away. Her eyes darkened, and mouth watered, fangs  cresting through her pale gums. “See you around, Michael.” She walked off, hearing his car drive off in the distance.

She walked around to the garage, the large door was down and side door shut. She caressed the window of the door, pushed it, shattering the glass. She reached in, to unlock the knob. Her bare feet and jeans scraping across the cool floor. She found his car closest to the door, and caressed the hood, warmth still lingering. She adjusted her tobacco colored leather jacket. She could smell him stronger than the motor oil, paint and gas that was housed inside. She walked the length of his car, heard footsteps that were not hers nearby. She paused, eyes fixed on the door. She didn’t want Michael to see her…not yet. She closed her eyes, listened for him. She heard his heartbeat, and music playing in sync with it. She heard him laugh, sweeter than the music.  He was on the phone with his sister. She giggled. She tried the driver’s side door. Unlocked, sat in it and closed her eyes. She let his lingering warmth attach to the leather housed on her body. She could just take him from this life, make him, make him hers. She smiled, the thought. She wrapped her hands around the steering wheel as if she were holding his hands. She could slaughter the one whom stood in the way of her destined. She could burn the house down and take him as her sister Gaia had done a century and a half earlier to get her Chosen. She smiled. Gaia was always the more aggressive of the two of them. She made James in the woods not 30 feet away as the house burned to the ground, as the icy adulteress laid inside, sick from the laudanum she’d given to her. Gaia and James were in Rome at the present, in love and immortal.

She had loves for their lifetimes, never making any of them. She had always been afraid to make the mortal immortal. She had marriages before, human ones of course, four…and made a widow 3 times by the passing of time to their hearts and minds. She had loved them all of course, but she loved them enough to give them life…not, the quasilife she walked in and through. The decision to make the immortal mortal is not one to be taken lightly. After Gaia’s rebellion against familial advice, she was that much more leary of such a decision. She had to know more about Michael. She had to know more. The thought of him as forever frozen as a young man, his eyes aware and altered by her blood, him forever being hers, delighted her to the roots of her hair. He would be hers. She leaned forward and kissed the steering wheel before getting out of the car, slamming the door.

She deliberately walked in front of the garage, across the lawn looking through the window. His back was to the window, and she stopped. She stared, watching him type and stare intently at the screen intrigued her, excited her. She walked closer to the front window, watching him almost simultaneously move back from the desk. His eyes caught her wide grey ones again. There was a tingling that went through him, she felt it. She smiled, he grinned, and then turned and walked away.