Someone talked about stigma the other day.
I shake my head when this comes up –
I remember someone telling me about my tattoos and how this brands me. I was told what this does to my appearance to which I said, at least you can see who I am.
You can’t always say this about the plain skinned or the people who hide in plain sight.
I hear people talking about the City and how she’s changed. I keep thinking to myself that maybe it’s us who have changed. Maybe it’s us who have forgotten to take care of the streets or how to clean up after ourselves. So, in fairness, maybe it’s not the City at all.
Maybe it’s us.
I keep hearing about the problems with our sanitation and the problems with the homeless and how the City has lost its way because of crime. But again, I don’t see this as a problem of the City. I see this as a problem of the people. I see this as a reminder that we have forgotten what it means to show the pride of ownership. I see this as symptomatic errors that result from real problems.
It is another morning in August, the ninth, I believe.
Well, here I am world.
Here we are in the northern hemisphere, rounding the orbit where Earth begins to tilt away from the sun. The hours of sunlight will become shorter and soon enough the winds will become cooler and even sooner, this year will become last and next year will be another spin around the sun.
I was thinking about the childish games we play, like social chess or interpersonal checkers. I think it would be just as well if we admitted to all of this. Or, maybe it’s more fun if we went back to a simpler time – like say, maybe we can play a game of marbles – or maybe we can shoot for it or play rock, paper scissors or something like that.
Do you remember your early 20’s? Or, maybe you’re in them now. Or, maybe not. Maybe your 20’s were not your glory years or maybe you’ve moved so far away that you forgot what this was like.
Do you remember the nights you went out with your friends? What about the wild nights?
Did you have them?
I had plenty of them.
I go back to them and sift through old memories of nostalgia, especially now when the summer is nearly over. I go back to these times when the summer is near the end and soon enough, September rolls around and the summer is gone.
(Just like that!)
I think about the nights on the water and the places we gathered. I think about the songs which seemed to intentionally play at the same time every night. This meant things were about to get going. This meant the night was about to get hot and pick up speed, which it did.
And so it goes . . .
We’ve been here before. We’ve been through tough times. We’ve seen harder days and better ones too. But hey, this is life and there are no guarantees. The second show is never the same as the first but then again, you only get one shot. So, there is no second show.
What I am about to do is share a brutal piece of honesty with you. It’s not pretty. But pretty or not, truth is still truth.
We can’t recreate the past. We can’t take back what was said nor can we uncross the boundaries. In the end, when we face the anxiety of humiliation and exploitation, the question is no longer why or or how did this happen. Instead, the question becomes what am I going to do about it?
How am I going to improve?
In short, we have to allow for changes. We have to understand that not everything will go as planned and, in fact, not all plans will account for every obstacle.
There will be miscalculations. There will be setbacks. There will be the unexpectedness of natural events. Yet, there will also be days like this when the sun shines and the world awaits us.
So, fix your grin and be ready for it all.
There will be slips and falls and inaccurate assumptions too. As a matter of fact, there’s a word for all of this. It’s called life. Be ready to live it.
There was a time before this time or better yet, there was a time when we were more connected to each other. Everything was different. The music was different. The way we dressed was different.
The world was more user friendly back then. Or wait.
Better yet, the world was more interactive. We gathered more. We talked more and texted less – then again, texting was different back then too.
You had to really mean it when texting began. What I mean is, you had to go by the letters of the alphabet on each number.
Then there’s love. Then there’s the next level of love which has nothing to do with lust or touch or the magical draw of energy from someone else. Instead, next there’s this level of connection in which you know someone and in your mind, you cannot remember a time when you didn’t know them. Or care. Or want them, need them or regard them.
But still, there is more to this because this cannot be achieved without love, or more accurately, a certain love that comes from within.
There is this undefinable thing; this indescribable feature that people share. There is this position we share, here, under the sun. There are times when the world is nearly empty, as is our heart. And there are times when we consider the word “love” and wonder if this is real – or at least if true love is real.
It was later than autumn here on Project Earth. The cool winds intercepted the previous warmth of the September month. We had past the times when the leaves were changing and the woven tree-covered mountains took on the various colors of yellow, orange, purple and even red. The trees took on a sea of color to make the canopy of autumn more vibrant and alive.
I swear, one could walk outside and smell the aroma of the season. One could smell the hint of wood burning from fireplaces and escaping through chimneys to permeate the air. At this moment, I could feel the nostalgia. I could feel the memories and taste the emotions which I admit were bitter sweet and beautiful.
Early morning when the sun was about to show, the night was behind us and the dawn was proof that as young as we were, we were living. We were alive enough to recognize that we beat the dawn and that we broke the night into different pieces of memory. We lived as fast and as wild as we could and throughout the night, we danced and we played and we sweated in the hot celebrations in the downtown scene. We moved with trance-like music beneath the bright lights flashing and strobe lights, beaming and flickering, or pulsating to the techno-sounds and hypnotic beats of club music.