The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 9,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.
The Fire This Time
“The Negroes of this country may never be able to rise to power, but they are very well placed indeed to precipitate chaos and ring down the curtain on the American dream.” This is a quote taken from the James Baldwin’s book, The Fire Next Time.
And so it was.
Just a short four years later, in the nation’s Capital, I would be standing in the midst of what seem like hell on earth. Some were running stumbling and falling. Others held on to all that they could as they ran in and out of the shops and stores. More than a few made sure there would be nothing left to burn. Even the bricks were ablaze and crumbling. They were all ages, sizes and shapes, but the one thing they had in common, they were all Black. The area was off-limits to us in the military if not a part of the operation, but I figured out a way around the restriction. I would don my government issued fatigues—our green non-dress uniform—to blend in.
Armed soldiers and military personnel were shouting orders but no one seem to be listening. They took no steps to stop the protestors/rioters. Their orders were to stand by, with weapons pointed down. Even as the buildings continued to burn, in places a corridor of flames, they stood by. The heat was intense, only matched by the intensity of the expressions on the faces of the young, and old alike, who were carting off as much as they could carry. It was a free for all. Though there was no doubt in my mind that some of them were there because of their anger. Dr. Martin Luther King had just been assassinated by the system in the form of James Earl Ray. You could expect no less. Oh the irony, when all the smoke cleared and the flames had been doused the guided as well as the misguided were left living among the ashes. The rage had given in to despair. The Black low-income neighborhoods had been reduced to ruin.
Just a few months before his death, Dr. King and leaders of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) held a meeting to plan and organize a Poor People’s Campaign for the coming spring in Washington, D.C. Organizers intended for the campaign to be a peaceful gathering of poor people from communities across the nation. They would march through the capital and visit various federal agencies in hopes of getting Congress to pass substantial anti-poverty legislation. They planned to stay until some action was taken.
The Poor People’s Campaign did not focus on just poor black people but addressed all poor people. As history records, before their plans could be realized, Dr. King was cut down by an assassin’s bullet. Although feeling the sorrow of his death, a decision was made to carry on with the campaign. On May 12, 1968, the first wave of demonstrators arrived in Washington. One week later, Resurrection City was built on the Washington Mall. This was a ramshackle settlement of tents and shacks to house the protesters. And as I learned firsthand, to call it housing is being generous, at best.
This time I decide I want to take a close look at the other side of the protest, though still up close, but more personal. I had to focus my mind to take in what my eyes were seeing. Some wandered about with a sort of dazed look as just waking up to a bad dream, while others seemed to seek solace and refuge in their primitive accommodations. It was clear, to me, that most were taking on the symptoms of defeat. It would not take much—under these conditions—to become demoralized. People were hungry; there was not much food or at least an orderly way of providing it to those who needed it most, the young and the old. And there was mud all over and if you did not have boots, and most did not, you had to secure your shoes some place and do your moving about in bare feet. It was a mess. The mud seemed knee-deep in places. This was the heart of the “Poor Peoples” encampment. I went as I go to many other places. I was just curious, not much more than that. But what I saw caused me to return.
It was, to put it simply, a hopeless situation no matter how well intended. The King has died. There was a leadership vacuum; it could not be overcome. The best that I could do was pick several out of the multitude to take to the base for a hot meal and a break from the drudgery of living in such inhospitable conditions. And in two short weeks, I would be discharged from the Air Force and out in the “real world” myself. How was I to know though, that Chicago would be my next destination where destiny would wave its unseen hand, again. I did not know if I was creating my own destiny or it was being laid out for me. Either way, I would be there to see it all. It was not a plan, it just happened.
This is Chicago the time and place that the SCLC would try to resurrect the Poor People Campaign. It was not to be. The eyes of the nation were focused on the Democratic National Convention, the “other” event. Fate had dealt its hand and the cards had been played. It was inescapable, the end of the civil rights era was drawing to a close. There would be a last gasp and a whimper from the Black Power movement to be replaced years later with the rap and hip-hop culture. The sign of greeting is no longer Soul Brother, it has been replaced by my nigger. As it is plain to see, it was a turn by degrees for the worst. If they could only see us now. Time stands still as life moves on. Now here we are.
August 26 to August 29, 1968
I came here to Chicago to find a job, and see my father for the first time. Both of the things I did do. Even so, my mind would not let me rest. I could not resist the draw of the action on the streets leading up the 1968 Democratic National Convention. The convention was held during a year that would be remembered as a wakeup call and a warning to our nation. How easily it seems for us to forget.
Headline 2012: The Pentagon Is Offering Free Military Hardware to Every Police Department in the US
It was a social revolution with no blueprint. The Viet Nam war was in full force, and American “politics” had become a dangerous game in my lifetime. First, there was Dr. Martin Luther King on April 4 and the civil unrest that followed. Two months after Dr. King’s death on June 5, as if timed by fate, came the murder of Democratic presidential hopeful Senator Robert F. Kennedy. Was all of this some kind of test? Yes, it was, and the grades are still coming in. For me, it was as if I had been programmed—I did not think of this then—to be an up close witness to the contest of what is and what is not. I had to be there and did not know it, and had no choice. I quit my job not really knowing why.
My 21st birthday marked the beginning and what soon followed is best described as police brutality and all out “war” on the protestors. It was people control, a step to the future that could not be taken back. There were no hot burning flames of the riots in Washington. The soldiers in Washington had been ordered to stand at ease. It appeared that Mayor Daley had issued orders to “attack and destroy.” And they were followed to the letter. Even bystanders were not safe from the swinging batons if they could not run fast enough.
There were indiscriminate beatings it mattered not male or female, young or old they were routinely clubbed bloody. It was as close as you could get to gender equality. No one was exempt. One scene that was hard to put out of my mind was that of a young female protestor—with blood streaming down her ashen face—being dragged by her long blond hair; she was in shock. At this point, she had gone limp the “fight” had been beaten out of her. The only sign of life was a grimace and a moan when her head was allowed to hit the pavement. The cop only let go when he realized the cameras were trained on him. Up to then, it was “caveman.”
It was not the Chicago that I had come to love. I would soon be on my way home to Arkansas, I had seen enough. I now had the space to distance myself from the images in my mind.
The More Room to Lie ♦ The Less Room to Tell The Truth
(It is not hard to tell the truth when you are not living a lie.)
It is said that all of us will tell a lie at some given time. It may seem that way to those who do. It is not an absolute truth and should not be taken as a given. You will meet your highest expectation or stoop to your lowest. These are the things you must decide. If you feel you have to lie, then that is what you will do. When you don’t want to say what is true, do not say a thing; though, you will be telling a lie to yourself. That is the only lie that we all might tell.
A truth does not come from a lie, and a lie does not come from a truth. A lie is baggage that is with us until we tell the truth. It is with us no matter where we go or whom we are with. You must get rid of it, and until you do, you will not be the true you. You know, the person who you were created to be, the real you. A lie lives on until the truth is told. There is no win over the truth. Though the truth may be challenged, it has no equal. With a lie as your friend, you are your worst enemy.
You cannot say a lie is not a lie if you do not know the truth. The truth is the only thing that you can tell that you know will not change. There is not a thing that last that can be built without it. Once it is told, the truth will not change what a lie has done. Though, living the truth will make lies fade. With time, they will lose their strength.
The truth will not undo a lie. It is the same with our past. We must acknowledge our past, good or bad, and then leave it there. Living in the past will not change the present. The past will always be the past it will not be changed. And the present will always be now. So will the future when we get there. The greatest truth that we can tell is to ourselves. If we live the truth, there will be no need to lie to anyone. It is a great challenge to hold on to success when our thoughts are based on lies. What we think and how we act will be the same.
The core of the truth is elastic in the sense that it can be stretched, but only so far. If it is stretched beyond, it will be a lie. The truth is always known. That is, even if it’s just you who knows. Why not tell it. It should be told for all that it is worth, and one thing for sure, a price cannot be put on it. We must be willing to hear the truth and to tell it. And if you want to help your Self, never run from it. For no matter how long or far you run, it is a race that cannot be won. Nor should one want to. Not all has to be told, but what is told should be the truth. It relieves the load and puts the mind at ease. A lie has no comfort zone. It is always running and trying to hide.
It is Not Enough to Say I Am Sorry
We should know what we do to others and ourselves when we do not tell the truth. It is not a mistake, it is wrong. Why can a lie not be a mistake? A lie is an intended act that will cause harm. A mistake can cause harm as well. But it is not done on purpose. There is something wrong with how we live our life when we think we have to lie. It is offered up for different reasons; though, it does not change that it is still a lie.
I have always tried to tell the truth. Life is better for me when I do. There have been times when I told the truth and no one would believe me. It took a while for me to understand why. You cannot tell the truth to one who lives a lie. They will not know it when they see it, because their mind will not let them believe. If I lie to you, I cannot believe your truth. When we live a lie, we are separated from what is real. The trouble with a lie is that it will not let you see the truth. That is, until you do. What is it when you tell a lie but think it is the truth? It means, you should know the company that you keep starting with yourself. And say not a word until you know. A lie is dangerous and a hazard to your health. You are not safe when it is present.
What is it when we say yes but we feel no. Is it a lie to say you care, all the time knowing that you do not? Does it hurt more, or less to know the truth. A lie is meant to mislead. It can, and often does, create a world of make-believe. This is a place where no one is living the truth, the teller or the told. The thing is, one of them should know the truth; though once a lie is told, how can you know. You can start to believe it, which is another lie. From the clothes we wear to the products that we buy, much of it is a lie. And a lie will always do damage. It is hard to know where you are going or where you have been.
Who are we when we shed our garments and our “face?” It is we. I will not be true in what I do, if you are not true in what you do, to me. If I think I love you, and you have not told the truth, then my love is a lie. And that is if I know it or not. A lie will not support the truth. It is a lie when we will not allow ourselves to see this. It is the greatest lie of all when the way we act is a lie. It is not a mistake.
A mistake is not made by the conscious part of the mind. Its roots are in the base of our thoughts. It is not made on purpose. There is no motive. When and where we make our mistakes is all about how we feel. When we feel good about ourselves, mistakes are few. We take care with what we say and do, there will be no need to say I am sorry. I made a mistake.
Both lies and mistakes are acts of thought and are harmful to those who are touched by them. A mistake is no less harmful than a lie. Just as with a lie, it can be the cause of damage. It must be made right or it will. Once touched by either, you will be harmed in some way. They cause many of the bad things that happen in our lives. Even so, they can be followed by what is right.
We do not try to make a mistake. If we did, it would not be a mistake. It would a thing we did with some thought. When what we do is thought out, it is not a mistake when a thing goes wrong. It is how we think that is the problem. A mistake is caused by a thought that we are not aware that we have. It is not a conscious thought. This sets off an action. What you have then is the mistake. It is not one, though, until it is known. At least one person must know that it exists. If not, it can be made again. We do not make a mistake that we know of more than once. If we do, it is not a mistake. It is done on purpose whether we say so or not.
We do have thoughts that we are not conscious of and they distract us from what we are doing. They cause us not to pay attention. If it is not important to you, it is not a thing you should do. The mind will not engage, as it should. This will not let you do it right. You have to focus, but not a thing will help if you are not ready.
What we do now is what we should focus on. We can think about many things, but we focus on one at a time. To try to do more could cause a mistake. To think that it is special skill to do more than one thing at a time is misleading, at best. It takes no special skill to multitask. It does not require any special know how to perform more than one task at a time. It just shares the effort, which takes away from the whole of each. Just as we can see more than one thing, we can only focus on one at a time. That is, unless they are the same kind. If not, you will be drawn to the difference. We can do more than one thing at a time but will not think more than one thought at a time. Try it. Sit two or more things together and focus. Your mind will shift from one to the other.
…for us physicists believe the separation between past, present, and future is only an illusion, although a convincing one…
Time is like the wind you cannot see, we only see what it does. Do we really know what time it is?
What is it that makes time so important? Why do we speak about it like no other. There are times what we say about time does not make sense. It is time, your time, my time, what time is it, now is the time. You will not know when it is time do a thing until it is done. How many times have we said it is time and it was not? If it has become reality then it was the time. One thing for sure, we live for time. Without it, there would be no space for things to go. Time is space. And all things that exist do so in space. There has to be room to exist. Space was here when we arrived. We are the occupiers. We do not touch space, we only move around in it. We live when it is given.
Time Is What Space Is
No matter what time it is time does not change. What happens in the space of time does. Time is not changing, we are. This is what I believe. For you and me, it is personal. It starts for each of us when we are created by our parents and is not shared. You cannot lend nor can you borrow time. And your time is the only time you will have. More time will not be given when we have no more. Time, though, is just not as important as what we do with it. When we think of the time that we have, the first thing we should think of is what we are going to do with it. What is just as important is how we feel while we are doing it. To get the most from the time we have been given, we must understand what it is and how to use it wisely. The longer it takes to know what to do the less time we have to do it. Because for sure, we will not get it back. Our life moves on even when our mind does not. You can live the past in your mind but you can never be there.
There are two kinds of time in my way of thinking. It is the time that was given to each of us—our own time—and universal time/space, which is the greatest of all; it was created. It does not change. What I am saying maybe more clear if it is thought of in terms of the world, as we now know it to be. There are seven world time zones. The United States uses nine standard zones. Therefore, the question is, what time is the right time? With every area of the world having its own time zones, how can you know what time it is. Neither of them is correct when next to the other. Time that can change is invented by man. It is never the same and is not correct. The time that is, which is the time of nature, will always be. If we had the power over the nature of time, what would we do with it, where would we put it? Would we add a little here, take a little there? For sure, it would be the last step to the end.
We should not make our decisions based on time. Time will not do a thing on its own. Decide what you want to do, then make time to do it. This should be the order of how we decide. No matter how much time we have, if we do not know what we are going to do with it, we will not know how much we need. What matters is how you are going to fill the space. If you bake a cake for the required time but use the wrong ingredients, you will not get the cake that you want. What you would have, then, is a cake you cannot eat and time you no longer have. This time was your time. Let us take a look at nature’s time. In a room there are things, they come and go, some are added some are removed. It makes no difference what time these things are moved or changed, the space does not. Time is space. And there is a time for all things.
What clock do you watch to know what time it is?
The segment of time was born by us. The clock on the wall has less to do with the outcome than what we do. The concept of our view of time was imposed on us by us. All things live by the time and will of nature. Though we are the ones’ who live by the clock. We do need it to keep things in order. Just to know why we are where we are at all times. It is a means to know the ebb and flow of life. On a whole, it is a way to monitor and control how and when things are done. It is one of the things a society must do.
A system of time for each of us starts when life starts. There is a time to be born, a time to live and a time to move on. Once we are, there is a time for all things. We do not know the future. We do live for the promise. We do not control time. We do have control of how we live our life. Time does not change things happen. It will be the same no matter the clock on the wall. Time is whole, as it is with space. We will not divide it. There is but one time and it is the same all the time. It is life, it is nature, and it is one.
We may ask much of time, but time does not give. The question asked most, is for more. Time will not answer. It gives not to what we have to say. It stands still, though we do not. We cannot stop it, slow it down or speed it up. Nor can we waste it. The thing that we can do with time is live it. When there is no more time, there is no more to live. We do not start it over. Time goes on our time does not. We should live our time. We cannot get it back once it is gone. Time for all things was here before us and shall be when we are gone. It will be for all time. It is the only thing out of all things that we can depend on. If all things are removed, what is left is the space of time. There is never a void in time. It has been full from the start. In the beginning, there was space for all things.
We are the master of the time we have. Each of us has been blessed with a lifetime. All lives are one. No two are the same. Not one breathes the same breath. When we can, we decide what to do with our lives. This tells the type of life we will have and the path we will follow. As straight as this may be, there are many who do not understand this simple truth. They still try—but can never succeed—to live their lives for and through others. The only thing that you do when you do this is live your time away. Live it, do not live it away. Our time is the only time we have. Do not say I cannot do it for me. I will let someone else do it. No one can do for you what only you can do for yourself.
We never know how much time we have to use the time we have. Time should always be put to its best use. When you do not know what to do next, do what you know now. Your next step should never be rushed or forced. We can never breathe the next breath. It is not for us to know it all. It is for us to know what we need to know. The time of man is not precise. When a thing will be can never be known. Just as it can never be known when it will not. All that we can do is plan. The future is not ours to know. It can be over just when we think we do. Not a thing that was created not to be changed can be changed. The existence of life is one of them. If this is not so, who would turn off the lights after we know how and there is no more to see. It is not within our reach. We humans did not create life. We were created by it to create, a life. The nature of life will not be changed by us. It is not for us to do. We are still learning how to think.
We will be learning about how we think and the workings of the brain as long as there is the power of thought. There can be no end. Just as it is with life, there will always be much left to learn. It would be a lofty goal to want to know why there is life. To think we can know this reveals a great deal, about how we think. And it is a road with no end, as well. We are yet to discover why one would take a life. Just to indicate how far we are from these great feats, researchers who study the brain are still trying to figure out why we sleep. Sleep, a thing that seems so basic to know. We have dreams and no one knows why. Time is what we need and we know we have that. What we do not and will not know, is how much.