Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Awake From My Slumber

Well, I stand up next to a mountain
And I chop it down with the edge of my hand
Well, I pick up all the pieces and make an island
Might even raise a little sand
Voodoo Child by Jimi Hendrix

Have you ever lived your life day to day in a haze? I have since August 29, 2005. It’s a new year. I have been in deep thought for the past few weeks about what direction things were going to go in. Things became clear to me this weekend after I helped my cousin move her things back into her Lower Ninth Ward home. I was so happy for her. A close friend of mine was helping me and made the comment that stuff like that gives him hope. It gives me hope to. After we finished we took a ride around the neighborhood. That’s when I figured out my New Years resolution. Sometimes we have a tendency to find the positive side of everything no matter how horrible it is. What usually happens is that we ignore the negative part and the pain and let it eat away at us because we don't want to look ungrateful. As happy as I am for my cousin to be home and as good as her remodeled house looks, she would have gotten that anyway because she earned it. She didn't have to lose so much just to get a little.

Many positive things happen to me in 2007. I moved back into my home. I got promoted. I bought my first ever brand new ride. I had a few minutes of notoriety on NPR talking with Sister Chideya. I even went to a college to talk on a panel like I have sense(Thanks Bart). While all these things may have happened since Katrina and were related to it, really all of them had more to do with who I am and what I stand for. That means that I can take pride in all those things but be absolutely pissed about what the hell is going on here at the same time. I have to be because what I lost was too great and means too much to me just to let it slide because I have a new bathtub. That goes for everybody. You don't have to choose. You can love where you live now and be angry your baby almost starved to death to get you there. The truth of the matter is that if you were making 5.00 an hour in New Orleans before Katrina and you now make 50K a year, you always had the ability to make 50k. If anything, you should be pissed about the fact it took a flood and weeks of struggling for you to get it. It should have been in plain view for you to begin with.

Now, everybody can’t handle both ends of the emotional spectrum. Things have to be black or white. To try and fit in with the surroundings I am currently in I denied myself the full range of emotion and ended up going crazy in the process. I can’t worry about any of that or how anyone feels anymore. I must be true to myself. Here is my resolution for the new year, I am about to get back to being full blooded Cliff every damn day. That means I am going off about things that bother me no matter who doesn't like it. I’m going to crack jokes so funny you piss on yourself. I am going to drink even more Crown and Miller High Life. I am going to sit on the lake and BBQ every chance I get. I’m going to see my family even if it means I have to put miles on my ride. Cars never meant that much to me anyway. I’m going out and get my dance on (I roll with the two-step). I'm going to play my music and sing off key. I’m going to work hard at my job and bask in the glow of other people’s accolades of me. I’m going to raise these kids, show love to the people who love me, give the game of life to a young brother who wants it and maybe if there is time and a little extra money, squeeze in a lap dance or two. I guess I can blog and read a few books in between all of that. That's who I am and if you don't dig that then it's your problem.

My dad’s favorite saying whenever something gets me down is “If you can wake up from it and it didn’t kill you then it wasn’t that bad and you can learn from it”. Well, two and a half years was a long ass sleep.


Anonymous said...

Kudos on your rebirth. Your Dad was right! Looking forward to your future posts.

Anonymous said...

Right on!

Another Conflict Theorist said...

Peace Brother,

This was a Hell of a Post, man. Written with clear vision and a pure heart. I really enjoy reading your posts, man.

Be Cliff in '08.