“We are one at the root – we just part at the branches.” – Rasheed Ogunlaru
As soon as our minds conceive a barrier we subconsciously began a journey to resolve it by paving a path towards a satisfying outcome that will benefit us. In a conscious mind of higher reach we discover an outcome that benefits us all. I write from the perspective of a universal consciousness in which I have journeyed to reach a satisfying outcome that will benefit us all. Why? I believe in the greater good of all humanity even though I tread on a divided line of sub-consciousness and consciousness, I have become more enlightened and choose daily as hard as it maybe and despite some of my choices to fight to stay awake although most of the people I encounter would rather close their eyes and remain undisturbed. I honor the awakened and I respect the choice of the undisturbed.
Growing up I lived in a community that ran a two-block radius on both sides of the street. This community was made up of row houses and black faces. I remember at a very young age what community meant to me and although I was scarred and bruised by some in this tight-knit community, I knew that majority of our neighbors loved me and cared. I remember how we would all play in the street and how everyone knew each other. We shared food, clothes, stories, perspectives, etc. We supported each other at all times.
“Enlightenment is the AWARENESS that ALL is ONE and ONE is ALL. Ignorance is the illusion of separateness.” – Manprit Kaur
In the mid 80’s my family moved to the suburbs and the community wasn’t nothing more than a neighborhood and my sense of community was loss on white faces that wanted nothing more than to make sense of the only black faces on the block. This neighborhood consisted of red brick ramblers and white faces. I remember at a young age what I felt when my morning switched from racing outside to play with other black children to playing with children that were different for me. It was the same, nothing changed but the complexion of their faces. I remember a different feeling when our playtime was disrupted and we were told to go home because it was dinner time. I would stand in front of my house looking over at the neighbor’s home and seeing their father pull into the driveway and hurry them all inside. I felt an urgency, a dislike, an energy I would feel when I wasn’t accepted. I didn’t understand it then but I knew how I felt and I compared it to other times that I felt that same way. Like when I would pass a yard and a dog in all its rage discouraged me from coming close. It warned me with vicious eyes, the showing of its teeth, the hair standing up on its back, I knew that something would be instore for any intruder that didn’t look familiar.
In this community there wasn’t any support. It wasn’t too long after that all the white faces disappeared and in their places were black ones that fit the description of the community I once lived in. Even though they looked like the community I remembered, they remained just a neighborhood of black faces that replaced the white ones from before.
“Begin your own light ensures that you will never need another to pull you out of darkness again.” – Gary Hopkins
In the 90’s I was old enough to work and since I wanted to stay close to home, I went to work at Woolworth as a short-order cook and server. This experience was a page straight out of the history books. It made sense of all the things I felt in that neighborhood with all the white faces and it opened me up to a closely held belief that intuition is a gift worth honing. At the lunch counter I encountered those same feelings from my white face neighbors from all the white faces that sat along the counter. When they would ask me to only provide them with plastic ware instead of silverware, I was reminded of the neighbor that would only allow my brother and I to drink from Styrofoam cups. When they would demand to wait to take the seat in front of the grill to ensure that their food was not touched, I was reminded of the neighbor that insisted that we did not touch foot in their yard. When they became disgusted with having to face the fact that both cooks/servers were black and that they had to find a new spot to eat, I was reminded of my neighbors moving away only because black people were invading their neighborhood.
“If you pick a sore, it will eventually bleed.” – W38
Now here present day I hear news of another black man dead and I am reminded of how I felt throughout my journey in life. No matter where I was I have felt this from all races at some point for more reasons than race alone but I will stay the course since race is the topic of choice. I have felt the energy of hate on race alone: at work, while walking to lunch, while walking my dog, while eating in a park, while minding my own business it made eye contact with me and it even smiled at me and called me friend. All the while I felt it and ignored it but once in a while it gets tough to swallow. I have grown and I am able to articulate how I feel.
“Borrowed time and borrowed world and borrowed eyes with which to sorrow it.” – Cormac McCarthy, The Road
My journey has been shaped by more events of course, that I am not willing to sum up in one sitting. All of who I am tried to block the weight of peoples intentions that were always felt but never spoken, I wanted to believe what the older folks said, “You’re just a little girl, what do you know. I wanted to believe this. but in trying to find my way in this world and sorting through who I am separate from what people believe I am or who they want me to be, I discover that the weight of intention spoke louder to me than words every could. I began to believe in my intuition but never acted on it, I just acknowledged it. This vast world shaping us by the tiniest and the greatest of things and yet most of us never go beyond the question of what influences our actions.
Dare I say that somewhere along our journey we stopped our own internal dialogue short? We stand today and bear witness to a collective mind that believes the outcome for black men is death.
Now during the time right before the white family moved out of the neighborhood, my brother and I was playing with their children. I felt intuitively then and even stronger now that the mother only for the sake of her children allowed us over to play in the yard and over time into her home when the father was not present. She began to see us as children minus the black faces. I was somewhere around the age of 9, I think did she choose the higher mind?
“To maintain any degree of sanity, we must believe that everything is interconnected on some level and to experience that level fully once in a while.” – Vironika Tugaleva
Same neighbor. All of us were playing in the backyard when they were called in the house to have dinner. Well, of course the father was due home soon. This upset not only my brother and I but their girls too. We were determined to continue playing. Once inside the girls called us over to their basement window. My brother was the first to attempt to climb through only to have the window come crashing down and into the house he went. The girls and I got him out in time for the father to come storming around the back of the house to find us flying across the fence in a desperate attempt to escape. Yes, he reprimanded us all but even he choose the higher mind because of his children.
Dare I say again, that somewhere along our journey we stopped questioning our own internal dialogue? We stand to bear witness to a collective mind that believes the outcome for black men is death?
“When love and duty are one then grace is within your soul.” – Shannon L. Alder
My mind ponders the event of another black man dead and for all the outcomes that I have conceived I choose the higher. Why? I do the work to stay awake, questioning thoughts that do not serve the greater good of all humanity. If the call came today to stand for a MAN dead in the street my mind will begin the journey and I will fight to hold onto the higher minds resolutions. It may look like war. It may look like writing. It may look like a protest. It may look like prayer. It may like look giving financially or otherwise. It may look like speaking out and against racism. It may look like fasting. The highest thought is solidarity for now and forever for humanity’s sake.
“Life is not black and white to those who know that the shell of a man is only a vehicle.” – W38
If only we were all willing to take one breath and breathe in an oath of solidarity, just one.
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