Day 2 – Steady as you go

It could have been a combination of things, like the feel of my wife’s body lying next to me, or the full moon last night, or the plan that I had just put into practice yesterday that caused me to wake with the enthusiasm of a child at Christmas, eager to begin my day.

While I was sleeping it came to me that Rome was not built in a day and neither would be, my dreams.  I had to pace myself for the journey that is unknown.

As my wife prepared for work, I prepared for my morning run.  There was a wide world out there waiting for me and I had determined I was going to be a part of it.

The key in this equation I realize now is to take it easy and build up stamina while enjoying the scenery around me, that’s when it dawned on me that sometimes too much thinking can drag you down.

How many times have you begun a plan only to be crippled by a lack of enthusiasm and overwhelming thoughts?  If you are anything like me, the answer is far too many.

Usually I would spend most of the day thinking about when, where and how to start so much in fact that I would become mentally paralysed.  But this morning as with all things, my perspective was new and all that matters this time around is taking that necessary next step, and remembering its always, steady as you go.

So as the sun rose up to kiss the morning sky, I made my way from the park behind my apartment building towards the lake and as I came around the bend and the sun reached the horizon I realized one needed the mindset of a long distance runner if he is to be a winner.

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Notes from my personal journal – Day 1- Getting on with it

It was told to me once in my formidable years that life lessons keeps on coming until you get the message.  The first time a lesson comes to us, it is only for us to become aware, the second time it comes to us it is for us to learn, and the third time it comes to us it is for us to move.  Like many things that I was told as a child, I filed this message away in my memory banks never knowing if and when I would ever need it again.  However, today almost some forty years later, I would finally take from this lesson its truth,  life lessons keep coming until you act.

To give you a clear picture of what I am talking about, it all started with me wanting to improve my current situation.  I have been out of work and have been running around in my mind trying to figure out how I would go on with my life when I realized I was stuck.

I was getting frustrated with applying for jobs day after day, to have my applications rejected and to receive the standard line; we’ve decided not to go any further with your application due to the large volume of applicants that have responded who we think are better suited for the position.  Often when one is faced with the situation of having to reinvent himself or having to prove himself repeatedly, it becomes hard to see clearly.  He finds it hard staying motivated and sometimes it feels easier just to sit back on the couch, throw ones feet up and vegetate.  When something like this overcomes you, the lost of a job, it can be difficult looking to the brighter side of things.  Many will tell you that you must never give up, they even may offer some philosophical aphorism they believe will explain you through your current situation.

But what if the reason is not apparent to you?  How does one stay motivated? I found myself asking everyone in earshot.  How does one keep going  putting himself out there and on the line?

My wife who is a God-send told me that we must.  She told me it was up to me to keep myself motivated.  She went as far as to tell me how I could use the time  to do the things I always dreamt of doing but was never able to do  but with one caveat, I would have to plan it out and follow through.

Her suggestions were many.   I could study a new language, or practice an old; I could volunteer (my time) to charity, or learn to swim, the possibilities were there.  I knew she was right and I told her as much but I just didn’t know where to start, I just couldn’t seem to get my head around it but I would do as she suggested.   I promised myself shortly after our conversation that I would make a plan and stick to it.

That was about a month ago and all I have to show for my time  is a flatten couch, a bigger belly, and oh, I’ve started a smoking habit I don’t know if I will ever be able to get from under.  I knew things had to change but I just didn’t know where to begin. I needed more time, precious time which was at a constant pace slipping through my fingers.  See anyone can fall off the wagon and get stuck with the changes of life, even me.

In an attempt, a masked effort to take back the controls of my ever changing life, I called a friend who I hadn’t seen or spoken to in awhile.  My friend is a personal trainer and also a full-fledged food guru, he told me he could fit me in for a ‘quick’ visit in town that day since one of his clients had forgotten to cancel their appointment.

Excited to be out in the mist of life again, I hopped on my bike and travelled across town for my appointment and it felt great to be outdoors.  We met up at a local coffee shop.  The shop was filled with a mixed crowd of young and old people alike, all trying to look disinterested and important.  My friend was dressed in his trainer’s pack and he looked the part; clean shaven, clear skin, no belly; and arms that would make any strong man proud and he was my age.

I slumped to the table where he was seated and sat down next to him. A waitress, a young girl that looked like she should have been in school (High school) came immediately over and I ordered a cup of coffee because I loved the taste of coffee and tobacco, of course my friend is a non-smoker who doesn’t drink coffee but what he also doesn’t do is preach, thus our odd friendship.

However what he did do was give me a look as if to say, “if you insist on killing yourself, then by all means go ahead – I can’t stop you”  and what’s even worse about this is while he is looking at you and you are reading his thoughts, he’ smiles with or at you, one can never tell.

Into our conversation, he asked how my job search had been going.  I told him what everybody was getting, what everybody knew.  We, all were being affected in one way or another by the economic crisis.   After agreeing he then asked me, how I was spending my days, his eyes moving up and down my body before resting at my waist, which made me uncomfortable.  I told him not much was happening and he smiled that unnerving smile again.  He asked me if I had thought about pursuing any other possibilities.  I told him with everything going on, that was all I was doing, examining other possibilities.  He wanted to know how that was working for me; and he and I both knew the answer.

He asked about my writing, if I still enjoyed doing it.  I answered yes, but with the current situation I was finding it hard to focus, that’s when he said to me, I needed a schedule. The same schedule I had neglected to make months ago.  In fact the same schedule my wife had been pestering me to make only a few weeks ago.

After my friend departed for his next appointment, I sat in the coffee shop and told myself that the first thing I would do the following week would be to make that schedule.  No more getting up  in the mornings only to turn on the TV, make coffee and smoke cigarettes;  come next Monday morning I was going to jump body and soul back into life.

But when the next Monday rolled around I woke-up exhausted which frustrated me because I was starting to feel guilty.  Earlier that morning I promised the wife I would do my best to create a productive day and after she left off to work, the first thing I did was roll myself a cigarette, made a fresh pot of coffee and turned on the TV.  I sat there as I had grown accustomed, to think and to dream away the day knowing that nothing would change unless I made the change, when suddenly the phone rang.

It was a former colleague of mine.  She wanted to know how things were going with me.  She also wanted to invite me and the Missus to an event that some local writers and poets were organizing not too far from where we lived.  I tried to get out of attending, I told her I wasn’t interested in meeting new people, besides, I hadn’t written anything in weeks and didn’t feel myself good company; that’s when she told me  what I could no longer ignore.

I needed a schedule; a list  to stay active and to excite me.   I listened to what my ex-colleague said and although I wasn’t too proud to admit I knew she too was right,  I  realized I had become  resistent to change, only focused on what wasn’t.  That is when I made the connection and the coin dropped.  Life lessons keeps coming to us over and over until we move.  After the phone call I made up my mind that today would be my day 1 of  a 30 day plan of action.

I had wrestled with uncertainty and doubt for too long.   I had to step out on faith.  This was no new thing for me because I’ve been here many times before but what I forgot is one has to trust completely in the possibilities of the unknown.

This morning after running three miles,  I took out my pen and began to write.  It is now 0945 hours, my next task is to check out the want ads and apply to at least three vacancies.  This is only the beginning   *Fitzgerald@2012

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Election Day 2012, We should be Energized

I am thinking now about the US Elections.  The newscasters say the US. Elections results today are too close to predict
but what is true is the American voters are feeling ‘pinched’ by this very important elections.
They feel exhausted by the elections; many don’t feel they have any power in these elections, which struck a note with me as now the rest of America will have first hand knowledge of how many Blacks have felt in America for years, they were exhausted too by the process , but they also realized in order to effect change they would have to go forward, no matter what.
Today’s voters state that they have been bombarded with news of the power of the swing state votes, apparently the only votes that matters in really deciding who will lead the American population into the next four years, who could ever forget the 2000 U.S. Election, when the results were hijacked, and the world had only to sit and wait with bated breath, forget what the American people wanted, forget the issues of ending poverty and providing healthcare for all because those issues don’t win elections, sadly what wins elections is the threat of losing something more than gaining something and lets not  talk about religion or race, because this is still a new phenomena in American Election, because if President Obama was white, there would be no push for change it would be business as usual.  But no one wants to ever talk about that in America for  fear of being branded a ‘radical’ and who wants to be labelled a ‘radical’ when the sheer nature of the democratic body that is America is ‘mainstream  recognition’ but I digress, popularity stills rules the race in America and I assume will rule the vote but what gets me going and makes my blood boil is how dare they say the Americans are all exhausted from what is the greatest occasion of all Americans and that is to participate heart and soul in the electoral process and  the priviledge to exercise one’s right to vote for the candidate of their choice.  I for one am not exhausted, in fact I am just getting starting, we all should be so energized.

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Pretty or plain, heavy or thin, gay or straight, poor or rich (A letter from Maya Angelou)


I am not writing to you as a black voter, or a woman voter, or as a voter who is over 70 years old and six feet tall. I am writing to you as a representative of this great country — as an American.

It is your job to vote. It is your responsibility, your right, and your privilege. You may be pretty or plain, heavy or thin, gay or straight, poor or rich.

But remember this: In an election, every voice is equally powerful — don’t underestimate your vote. Voting is the great equalizer.

Voting has already begun in some states that President Obama needs to win. So please use this handy tool to make sure your friends in those key states know where to cast their ballot. You will be doing them a great favor.

As a country, we can scarcely perceive the magnitude of our progress.

My grandmother and my uncle experienced circumstances that would break your heart. When they went to vote, they were asked impossible questions like, “How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?” When they couldn’t answer, they couldn’t vote.

I once debated with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. about whether an African American would ever be elected president. He believed it would happen within the next 40 years at the time — I believed it would never happen within my lifetime.

I have never been happier to have been proven wrong.

And since President Barack Obama’s historic election, we’ve moved forward in courageous and beautiful ways. More students can afford college, and more families have access to affordable health insurance. Women have greater opportunities to get equal pay for equal work.

Yet as Rev. King wrote, “All progress is precarious.”

So don’t sit on the sidelines. Don’t hesitate. Don’t have any regrets. Vote.

Go, rise up, and let your friends and family in early vote states know where they can vote today. We must make our voices heard:

http://my.barackobama.com/Help-Your-Friends-Vote-Early

Your vote is not only important. It’s imperative.

Thank you,

Dr. Maya Angelou

*Supported by Fitzgerald Brown

P.S. — Not on Facebook? Send your friends to vote.barackobama.com — don’t let technology get in the way of your incredible duty to our democracy.

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Everybody Wants Pie

Everybody wants pie

 A necessary evil it is  to care about, who’s on top.  Let’s not talk truth, honesty, or divine rights.  Forget about the separation or the marriage.  Skip the necessary fight or the  price of gasoline or sin.    Lost are the words on men with no ears and a body of mouths.     Everybody wants pie yet  no one wants to admit it.  But here we are; the good, the bad and the ugly, all pretending to have it figured all out – the young too blind to prepare for the road that is long.

Read as much as possible

Forgive as much as possible

Dance through life’s many changing circumstances

Think Optimistically

Pray for success

In your work & in your fellowship

Surround yourself with people and things

That inspires you

BE INSPIRED

Listen to music, at least two generations

Older than you are

And always let a kind word be, Your Shield!

Singers sang about it and poets got naked over it while a whole new generation emerges filled with questions about happiness amidst the outbreak of unending conflicts adds weight to the adage coined by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, “Injustice anywhere directly affects justices everywhere.”

Time never stands still neither does the rain clouds. The dream, led by the church, spirited  into action and then a movement for some and an act of protest for others depending on the side of the fence you were born would create a bumpy ride towards ownership and a novel idea:  Peace and justice for all; without post to the concerns of the needy while the rich continue to get richer and the poor sink further into the inferno of despair makes one want to shout ‘we are but building blocks’ touched by the passage of time.

The hope, that is eternal is the challenge, as well as the cure which no child, women, boy or girl should ever have to shoulder alone or in silence denying the importance of cultivating dialogue and promoting a divine exchange.  Instead we put up walls to safeguard our hidden treasures without the conscious light of humanity that bridles apathy which allows one to know that anyone  would leave misery if they could which demonstrates the true nature of our existence which is inevitably to be led by the examples of our experience which is the testimony and is a sign of intelligence, be it instinctual or otherwise.

The human spirit’s need to rise-up  is natural and necessary and even if they tied me up and stripped me down it would not change what I know to be true, times are hard for everybody because everyone wants pie.

Reprint Copyright 2012.Fitzgerald Brown

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Bad News x3


It never stops turning

This life

It’s like a merry-go-round

Turning

Moving

Never stopping

Some fall off

We mourn

We say a kind word

As the ugliness

Of the physical

Fades into a rainbow

She is an angel now

He is in a better place

Good memories

Are feed

The congregation

Must eat

A choir dressed in white sings

One should never talk ill of the dead

And just as the releasing of a dove

Symbolizes

The freeing of the soul

The transformation

Where one finally surrenders

When things should be looking up

You remember

An Uncle saying

These things

Always come in 3’s

Meaning three tragedies

One after

The other

And You pray

It’s a lie

Foolish superstition

You move

Shaped to go

Forward

But still

You wonder

And then

It hits

The second blow

Just as sudden

And as devastating

As the first

Or was it

The third?

Rest In Peace (R.S. 2/19/2012)

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I am a Snowman

Out in the waking fields
Facing the orange sun
Coming into being
I am a snowman

Made of three parts
evolving into the eternal
I am life

I am
The 1st component
That is determined
To remain strong

Filled with ego
I am
A train wreck
Alive and derailed

I am
The 2nd compartment
That quickens
To human touch
Or the sounds
Of children playing
Or the beating
Of the drum
suspended in time and space
By sheer will alone
I hold onto yesterday’s memories

I am
A party
Waiting to happen
I am
A candle burning
In the wind
I am
A mass of emotions

But this is
No protest song
Nor am I
An angry Black man
Although,
To be or not to be
Still is the question
For many

I am
The 3rd division
The part
That dreams
Dreams
Of distant mountains
And flying away
that wants to hold on
To everything
And feel nothing
But the cool air
On my face

Given
To winter fields
Only to be returned
In spring

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Beyond The Ivory Towers

Beyond The Ivory Towers
 

This poem is about the weight
Of the world on my shoulders
Solid, like my Father’s hand
Through a misty beginning
A miss-step back there
Green fields and a valley of dreams
That have made
Tender flesh strong
And even though
The showers still come
A breaking point
Is in sight
Unity is the finish line
Standing is my goal
But the pain
Of our existence
Will not let me go
Quietly
Neither will the love
A crow nearby
Eyeballs my falling
But his eyes will me on
Beyond
The wasteland
Of broken dreams and doubt
Beyond the ivory towers
That lay wake in the sun
Devoid of flesh and blood
Oh mighty undying spirit
Are you now one with the sun that
That reigns over me
That bakes the sand
Under my feet
To remind me
I am just a step away
A piece of an intricate puzzle
A link in a wide chain of many
Standing
Moving
Falling
Marching
Home
 Blackangelfish (2012)
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Everything Matters (An Ode to Mrs. Whitney Houston Brown)

(An Ode to Mrs. Whitney Houston Brown)

I lied

I lied

Several times

To myself

When I saw

The ending

I said I would not

Be moved

I said I would not

Be shaken

I would not

Give in

I said we must

Accept life

To the very end

I said a lot of things

To push pass the pain

Of your leaving

I said death

Is certain

Tomorrow is

Not promised

And dreaming

What isn’t

Is a waste

Of time

Because I didn’t

Want to look back

But I can’t

Anymore

Rest in peace Whitney

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For those who dare wonder

For those who dare wonder


Ghost haunt me

With looks I see

Coming from you

Who don’t (even) know

I know you

I know us and all

this grime

Is only to help

Pass the  time

You

Silly fool

I know you

My teacher

My preacher

My sister

My brother

My President

My Enemy

My Friend

Blackangelfish – 2012

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