Monday, July 21, 2008

Home in sight

Well it's been lovely returning to the land of my birth, but there is something about the place that nurtured you...the place where most of my development as a human being took place...and that's California, San Francisco. My dad's remains are there, and my mother and siblings live there also.

For the person behind bars though, if asked where their home is, few would say San Quentin or Angola or Pelican Bay, so what should a descendant of those Africans traded or lost in places like New Orleans say? Am I really a citizen of either place since I am still far from home?

Philosophically I am still temporary home for the past several decades has been California, but I hope one day to be reunited with family, long lost family in the Motherland, just as I am always happy to meet long lost relatives in Mississippi and Louisiana. It feels weird meeting second cousins who played with my dad as a child for the first time at his aunt, my great aunt's funeral...I wish I'd known them a long time ago. I wish I could have grown up with their kids, but hey it's better to know them now than to not know them at all. So I am thankful.

Family reunions, weddings and yes, funerals are an opportunity to do this. There was a funeral July 13 and wedding party, July 19 and a wedding July 26.

With roots here and there I guess I'll always be lost in a sense. Maybe this was the lesson. I will always be a stranger, there will always be pieces of myself that remain an anomaly. Perhaps this journey is an attempt to put the puzzle together... there are so many of us interested in knowing our ancestors.

Perhaps the more we know the better we will be? Certainly I am inspired by my people, especially the elders who lived through Jim Crow over and over again, most recently August 29, 2005.

They keep getting up. Pearlington looked magnificent compared to the place I visited Spring 2006. Even Slidell is looking better from the coastline. I wish I could say the same for New Orleans, but even throughout the city which looks war torn, shelled and abandoned...there is hope, smiles and will.

I am happy my soul sprung from such a place and divides itself between here and there. It's wonderful that souls are not bound by material or matter, they are all that matters...all that lasts, all that keeps us present when we need to be--what connects us as a species to other species and life forms.

We need to remember this.

I am trying to squeeze a little sightseeing into the schedule before I take off. I've been walking at Audubon along St. Charles, across from Loyola University. I mentioned somewhere that I feel close to my dad when I'm there, plus I know how to get there from the highway and get home afterwards.

My cousin's wife works nearby too, so I can send here a symbolic wave when I drive by Touro Medical Center.

So today I'm off to Meterie to see my cousin and then for a walk at Audubon, and dinner with friends. Tomorrow I'm going to try to get back to Audubon for a last walk and maybe the zoo. I don't like zoos, cages --even ones close to the natural habitat are still cages. Why should animals be subject to display because we can subject them to such? Where are the animal protection folks? I think it's hypocritical to have zoos and be against circuses with animals. Aren't the two one in the same? The same with aquariums. They are all prisons and need to be abolished. It's the more modern form of freak show, slavery.... If people want to see "wild animals" I don't know, look at a nature film or go on a safari. Just our presence in the world ruins natural habitats, so I don't think we should go visit them, because we are often the death of species that let us get too close.

I really want to go by an African Diaspora art gallery and look at art. Tonight I also want to walk in the French Quarters. I haven't done this yet either.

I am trying to avoid mosquitoes.

I watched a great film this morning, "Hitch," with Will Smith. I think perspective dates should watch this before going out. What I liked about the premise of a man who had his heart broken and subsequently became a love broker, is his honesty and the premise that one should be him or herself, yet, be prepared.

Love is not about the sex, it's about the relationship if one wants something lasting. if one wants a booty call then Hitch was not interested in the business.
His clients were decent men, men who didn't know how to package themselves so the women they were interested in would notice them.

Good things don't just fall in your lap, you have to prepare for them.


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