i was raised by immigrants that knew nothing but hard work. refugees that misplaced themselves to be placed in a place that wouldn’t give them fairest chance, but a better chance that home did. a home didn’t want them there at first, but a home that one day – hopefully – would accept me and my future children. i was raised by these migrants who didn’t speak the language, but their fair skin blended, giving them the fairest chance as long as they kept those lips stitched. and now as I watch them go, slowly into the ground that once didn’t want them to stand proudly, I don’t see the holes they rest on as much as I see the worlds they built for me. worlds without whispers as voices, worlds without blinders for eyes, worlds without ceilings so when you tell me keep my feelings to myself, or to see your reality while you disregard mine, or you tell me indirectly that we won’t evolve – expect me to speak a little louder, push a little harder, and grow a little more aware.
there’s no reason to be great, AGAIN when we are already great… we should always strive to be greater, but saying great AGAIN implies that some time along the time we weren’t great anymore… 1863 slavery ends, we got a little better… 1920 women gain the right to vote and we get better… in the 60’s civil right movements made our country immensely better…just recently, same sex marriage becomes legal and again, we get better… waves of immigration are at a high from 1880s through 1920s, and since more families, including my own in the 70s, have come to the United States seeking the opportunities for a better life because here – it’s already great… that means we were able to evolve as a country, accepting and including all races, gender, religions, personal preference, and making our land a beautiful diverse home…have we had setbacks while fighting for these justices? of course, but we always prevailed as a country for the better… so when you say want to be great, AGAIN, my only question is to what time, what period, what greatness should we regress to? i just ask that we try to stay level headed in these times…that we continue to use love as a platform and an agenda…and that we hopefully to progress as individuals and as a whole… let’s remain great and get greater…
Last time I felt you was the day of your wake. I slid a note in your suit pocket near your heart and I wrote to you while trying to fight the urges to cry, trying to thank you in the most appropriately way. It’s my attempt every day since that moment to try to peel the memories of these last hours we breathed synchronized and remember the times when you taught the young boy in me. It’s a feat that comes with immense challenge because I have noisy memories of that day when your casket was concealed with plastic and sealed, making the distance between you and I even greater. You were raised that day in the mausoleum and hidden behind a piece of tile that wore your name and numbers that are still imprinted in me like my own genes. Still to this day, I come back to this place and look up to you like I always did, recalling the words I wrote to you and though my eyes water up while I sit there recollecting myself, just know I am just celebrating everything you brought me, everything taught me, and everything you still have yet to give me.
Day 25 – New Beginnings – 451press
I spend most of my mornings with my blood rising, my urges from last night overlooked so I drag through days lethargically. Ideas grow storms in me as the needs and desires pulse side to side and the building blocks in me wait to come. Inside, I am swaying and the lean is mounting with each denial. I thought the thick skin I wore over years of being deprived would shield the bullshit, but I am absorbing more of the falsehoods every time I am invited into the flower you bloomed. Maybe you blossomed, maybe the way you saw us flourished, but I am still waiting to be wet. I spent most of my nights with the sheets reeking of the cold air coming from my window, trying to cool myself down till next time.
It feels like forever since I leaked on this page but I felt like it was needed or was warranted for me to speak on a higher truth. The honest reason I find myself here, again, is because I had some people urge me do this again, but more so, I had a heavy month in December and now I want to let it rain out a little. Yesterday, like any holiday, I took time to visit my grandfather at the cemetery where my graduation still hangs and reads, “para ti, Abo.” I still live with this notion that every moment and choice I make, I do with him there hoping I am pleasing him. Like any human being, I am prone to make mistakes and fall short of things. Last month, was hard at times. My mom suffered two minor strokes and I saw myself bottling it up rather than speaking up. If you know me well enough, you know that keeping my thoughts in was never me. This thing we call life and try to live everyday never seemed this delicate before to me then it did in December and not because I feared losing my mom (because I knew things would work) but I realized that I could be a better son, a better friend, a better sibling, a better lover, and a better person. I am not afraid to make the mistakes I will make, I am just afraid to how I will correct these mistakes. However, I started to think about my grandfather’s fight and how he stayed alive for another eight months for the people around him and then I saw his fight in my mom last month. Somewhere I got weak and naïve. At one point, I lost my eagerness to care fully and love properly. I don’t write this with the intentions of saying I am sorry. I am typing this saying, “I will fix myself.” I will correct my wrongs over and over because the blood that made me didn’t boil over years so I can let it settle.
I never understood how people could start to define themselves due to one account of their life, or how one word could describe them. Maybe because I feel that I am a collection of everything I even learned, experienced, loved, and because – I will be everything I discover moving forward from this point on. However, I can take moments from my life, dates to be specific, and connect the dots to see how they shaped me. March 13, 2012 is one of those days that I will be forced to carry the weight until I shed it pound by pound. And to be clear, by no means am I waiting for the mass of that day to lower me any more than the ground we stand on everyday only because I am too busy trying to keep my feet off this earth. For anyone who isn’t familiar with my story, here it is. Three years I suffered a traumatic brain injury on the side of my temporal lobe. In the process, I fractured my skull, resulting the bone to break in and push my brain of its normal resting position. Immediately, this caused hemorrhaging in my brain. When I was in the critical condition room in the hospital, it was determined that accident lead to the lost of language or the term the doctors referred to as “expressive aphasia”. My thoughts were the same, but every time I tried to speak them, or write them, they never came out. Early in the process, there was no timetable of when I would speak. It wasn’t until three weeks of being in the hospital that the doctors were hopeful that I would be able to speak or acquire vocabulary 12 – 18 months in. Those words for my family at the time was probably a way of the doctors instilling hope in them, but hope for me was a stage I skipped. Hope is another way of saying we are wishing and desiring something more. I made my destiny a long time ago when I found writing to be more than words on a paper, but an extension of who I always been. I spent a month in the hospital thinking about my reunion with this relationship with words. Just as my family and friends served as a motivation tool to get healthy, writing was a huge part of the healing process. Still to this day, I feel that moment in many ways. From ringing ears and headaches, to shooting pains to parts of body, numbness in my hands and feet, and now the current situation – seizures, I realize it’s something I need to deal with and admit that it’s part of me, but it’s one letter in the long definition of who I am.
My hands are up. Stitched to the heavens humanity worships in their darkest times. I can’t breath. I can’t inhale the tyranny on my skin but I can let out preconceptions of history until the colors on all our hands turn to one. My eyes are up. Focusing on the voices of tired, yet motivated beings. I can’t speak. I can’t express without tripping on the passions that tie the ends of my words. Until the echoes of marching eager souls collide with pavement. My thoughts are high. Filling clouds with ideas and raining the worries we questioned, the ones they won’t answer. I can’t see. Pictures that are painted and sounds that are played by the media are trying to keep my generation blind. Our hands are up, they are down, and they are everywhere. They are unrestricted from the shackles and nooses, free from the torture, so why are their hands clinching so tight and why can’t they breathe, still? Artist paint their work with details and colors and we as a society have obsessed over higher quality and picture so we can see this life with overly exposure, yet why are we tinting our eyes to see this pigment on us differently because the last time I blended all of our colors, I saw dark before the white, and days were still light.
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