Friday, April 18, 2008
...and I started thinking.
When people in the Old Testament (of the Bible, I mean) were met with
certain provisions, or something life-changing happened to them, or God
revealed something new, they did one main thing:
They built an alter.
When God changed Jacob's name to Israel, he built a memorial on that very spot.
Serving as a physical memory. A reminder of what took place.
2008 so far has been a literal dramatic crescendo of events. I mean, one thing after the other. One challenge after another. And I've been presented with an expectant future. Lots to look forward to. And plenty to worry about.
...but I won't.
I'll simply grab a hammer & a handful of nails, along with a couple of pieces of wood...
and construct my own humble monument.
...maybe I'll call it "Jireh".
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
At times, I can have conversations about him with my mom, where we laugh about the person he was. We remember how perfect his smile was, or how he could walk in the pouring rain and would never get a single drop on his suede Timberland boots. I remember how his shoulders shook when he laughed. Most days, I can think of him, and not feel a stab in my chest. This painful realization that he has physically missed so much of my life.
...but today...was one of those days.
Granted, I have been able to walk around with some joy today. But I just wish I could talk to him. I wish he could stand in front of me and trip about how tall I've gotten, or smile at the young woman I am becoming. I want him to tell me that no guy would ever be good enough for me. I want him to slip me $20. I want him to hug me on my wedding day and play with my children. I want my kids to be able to say that "Uncle Mike" is their absolute favorite uncle. I will never have that.
And sometimes, even after 9 years, I still feel his void. I am complete in Christ, yes, but if you could look around my heart, you would see an empty chair with his name on it.
And I know that God's plan is perfect. I know that my brother is in a better place. I know that I will see him again someday. But days like this still happen. And I battle jealousy and anger each time I hear my roommate get so easily annoyed at her older brother for calling...just to chat with her. What a huge blessing in such a small gesture.
But the silver lining appears to me around this time of the day. First off, I can hear pride & joy, not grief, when my mother speaks of him. Each time my family gathers together, we talk about him as if he is only away at college. Not to mention, each time I see my nephew, I see a promise that my brother made.
Secondly, my brother, Michael, is, what I like to call...The.Reason...
But the day
I lost my song…
With no one around
But my notebook
And his companion…
We three became
Started a love affair
In which I
Consistently mourn your absence
Yet rejoice in your eternal rest
Unspoken void in me
I would have
Thank You.We miss you. I miss you.
Your little sis Britt
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Bold and strong.
Fierce and fragile.
Well acquainted with oppression, tragedy, and prejudice.
A forerunner even while behind the front lines.
Initial safe-haven for an unborn child.
Her son's first peer into love. Her daughter's steadfast tutor.
Her man's delicate sanctuary. Strong as iron, soft as silk.
Sophisticated and Kind.
Powerful and Just.
Her role stretches across the span of oceans:
From Teacher. Author. Activist.
To Nurturer. Lover. Provider.
Tributes through planes that sky-write to tattoos on arms.
"Hey mom's" mouthed into cameras to Ms. Angelou's "phenomenally".
Shakespeare sonnets to Tiffany diamonds.
Angela Davis to Angela Bassett.
Negative, scantly clothed images cast no shadow across the shine her subtle crown gives.
Temperamental moods in 5 to 7 day seasons are a necessary sacrifice in order to birth a world.
50 years of back-breaking manual labor condensed into 36plus hours of labor.
But you can keep your gold watch because retirement is not an option.
Her 9 to 5 comes in 24 hour shifts, just different name tags.
And since the auction block she worked alone.
Nursing her own infirmities meanwhile praying that she will
birth a healthy baby girl...
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Scratches across vinyl
Speak to natives like hieroglyphics
Retelling a history and preserving an inheritance
From one generation to the next
Equipping young hands:
With black paint
Chipping away in spots where they
Clutched and driven.
Personifying rage and amplifying truth.
[This proves Hip Hop has Soul.]
Clearing its throat.
Sending vibrations through low rumbles or high cries.
Preparation to rally with the oppressed
And empathize with the tortured.
A sea of hands wave left to right in agreement.
And boomin' like thunder.
Drum sets prey on emotion
At its rawest.
Sticks strike. Setting off explosions.
Land mines of sound.
A power given and a presence commanded.
[Feels like Rock really can be Hip.]
Consonants trip ears with their theatrical tactics
Hummed vowels pressed out of pursed lips
Carry listeners through highs and lows.
Revealing melodic epiphanies
And healing societal schisms with
Ministers of the earth-toned cloth
Stand with feet planted
Fluent in sign language
Whether it be two fingers; side by side
Or an enclosed fist raised proudly
[See? Soul can Rock it, after all.]