The TEDtalk is coming!Mar 14, 2022
It has been a minute since I have checked in here... I am still alive and kicking. Many of you are aware that a majority of people living on earth have been working with or working through some stuff in the past few years and I am no different. In the past couple of years I have hosted daily live events on Instagram (@wforchion) and Tiktok (@billosophy101) while also producing the Billosophy101 podcast (wherever you get your podcast from). Each of the mentioned endeavors have taken their toll on my body, mind and spirit. I recently had a wonderful recharge. I presented a talk at the TEDx youth Randall Middle School event in Fishhawk, FL. The talk will be uploaded soon to the TED page and I will share the link here once it is live. Keep an eye out for more events like this popping up in the coming year.
Here we areOct 15, 2020
Dreamcatcher BF Billosophy
FailureOct 6, 2020
Dreamcatcher BF Billosophy
Noeli Acoba's interviewSep 16, 2020
Dreamcatcher BF Billosophy Clown
Summer has happenedSep 16, 2020
The summer has come and gone and with it so many memories. For the past two summers I have occupied most of my time as Director of Circus Smirkus summer camp in Greensboro, VT. The summers have been a mini wonderland of natural beauty, natural talent and magical possibilities. Running the camp this summer amidst a pandemic was emotionally taxing. A "normal" summer means that I have to get all the campers and staff into camp and back home again in one piece (yes, that is understating just a bit). Running a camp during a pandemic means I have to get everyone into camp virus free, make sure they remain virus free at camp, make sure no who may be carrying the virus enters the camp, then get everyone home virus free. All that while making sure the facility and the equipment is sanitized and disinfected on a regular basis. That is quite enough to keep one busy for a summer but this summer also included Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity conversations as well as Anti-Racism training. Combining the two of those tasks was emotional draining. Running the camp was physically draining and through all that I managed to record a Billosophy101 podcast episode with Chase Culp, an Allies podcast episode, and a Vlog post with Noeli Acoba, and writing for an innovative virtual interactive project to be launched shortly.
I have taken a moment to rest and recuperate after reuniting with my children that I was unable to see for 2 months due to Covid quarantine protocols at camp. You can look forward to new Billosophy101 podcasts popping up regularly. There are a couple of other collaborative projects I am working on in the Brattleboro, VT area that will be finding worldwide release soon. I will keep you posted. Stay tuned.
Dreamcatcher BF Billosophy
Allies podcast featuring William ForchionAug 10, 2020
Dreamcatcher BF Billosophy
ShineMay 26, 2020
Dreamcatcher BF Billosophy
FocusMay 25, 2020
Dreamcatcher BF Billosophy
Soul Full Sunday 5/24May 24, 2020
Dreamcatcher BF Billosophy
Tell your story and color it too.May 23, 2020
Dreamcatcher BF Billosophy
Loving What IsMay 22, 2020
Dreamcatcher BF Billosophy
HappinessMay 20, 2020
Dreamcatcher BF Billosophy
UprisingMay 18, 2020
Dreamcatcher BF Billosophy
Soul Full Sunday 5/17May 17, 2020
Dreamcatcher BF Billosophy
The Comfort zoneMay 16, 2020
Dreamcatcher BF Billosophy
Facing FearMay 14, 2020
Overcoming our obstacles.
Dreamcatcher BF Billosophy
GiftsMay 13, 2020
Dreamcatcher BF Billosophy
TransformationMay 12, 2020
Dreamcatcher BF Billosophy
PowerMay 11, 2020
Dreamcatcher BF Billosophy
Soul Full Sunday 5/10May 10, 2020
Dreamcatcher BF Billosophy
Uncage the RageMay 8, 2020
Dreamcatcher BF Billosophy
BalanceMay 7, 2020
Dreamcatcher BF Billosophy
PerspectiveMay 6, 2020
Dreamcatcher BF Billosophy
Happy DepressionMay 5, 2020
Dreamcatcher BF Billosophy
Nothing happenedMay 4, 2020
Dreamcatcher BF Billosophy
Soul Full Sunday 5/3May 3, 2020
Love into your self. Savor the moments. Use your love jets.
Dreamcatcher BF Billosophy
Good GriefMay 2, 2020
Dreamcatcher BF Billosophy
First of MayMay 1, 2020
Dreamcatcher BF Billosophy
CurrencyApr 30, 2020
Dreamcatcher BF Billosophy
PerfectionApr 29, 2020
Dreamcatcher BF Billosophy
ImprovisationApr 28, 2020
Dreamcatcher BF Billosophy
Soul Full Sunday 4/26Apr 26, 2020
Dreamcatcher BF Billosophy
TrustApr 24, 2020
Dreamcatcher BF Billosophy
Sacred & NewApr 23, 2020
Dreamcatcher BF Billosophy
Expect the unexpectedApr 21, 2020
Dreamcatcher BF Billosophy
Stepping forward with purposeApr 20, 2020
Soul Full SundayApr 19, 2020
Nourishment for the soul.
Dreamcatcher BF Billosophy
Poetry FridayApr 17, 2020
Dream into life
Meditation # 6Apr 10, 2020
Support an Independent ArtistApr 9, 2020
Yes, There is now a William Forchion patreon page. Support innovative creativity and become a patron.
Meditation #4Apr 8, 2020
You are enoughApr 6, 2020
Be now hereApr 6, 2020
BiasAug 9, 2019
In 1987 I was an eager energetic young man with dreams of performing on Broadway. In the spring of that year I was coming to the end of my first year at The American Musical and Dramatic Academy. From the beginning of our training at AMDA we were encouraged to strive for greatness. All of our instructors pushed up to learn technique to absorb choreography to find proper placement for the sounds we spoke and sang. Each of knew that we were going to take the musical theater world by storm, once we were allowed to audition. The spring of 1987 I did my first regional theater and summer stock auditions.
The audition was a cattle call audition, where hundreds of young singers, dancers and actors were gathered together herded into a room where they were given the chance to show their stuff. To one side of the room was a long table with many people sitting behind it. The people behind the table were the directors or choreographers of the different theaters represented. The audition process sorted out the singers from the dancers and the actors so that the people auditioning could be seen in the best way. I chose to go with the dancers who could sing group. In the room we were given choreography to learn. Each of us knew this was a crucial part of the audition. The folks behind the table were checking to see who was picking up the choreography and who wasn’t. They were checking to see who asked questions and who did not. They were looking to see who hung at the back of the room and who moved up front. After we had learned the dance combination the choreographer sat to the side of the room and let us show the dance to the folks behind the table. We were rearranged around the room and told to do the combination again. We were then asked to sit along the walls as groups of three and four dancers were called to show the combination. Some dancers were given a polite “Thank you” as they were ushered to the door. I got up a few different times with new combinations of dancers and each time allowed to sit back along the wall. The day went on and more and more dancers left the room. We were given a new combinations. Our groupings were changed. When there were about a quarter of the original dancers left a man sitting behind the table said “Congratulations” you made it through day one, We are going to need you to come back tomorrow 10am and we will do some vocal work and some more dance.” What and exhilarating sensation to make it through all those cuts and to be asked back. This was the first step to having someone hire me to perform in their theater. The following day I returned to the audition hall excited and ready to knock some socks off. We were called in individually. When it was my turn, I entered the room and greeted the folks behind the table. There were not as many people behind the table as there were the previous day. I was introduced to the guy sitting at the upright piano, whose name the decades have erased from my memory. We vocalized though some scales where the folks behind the table had a chance to hear my voice, my range and whatever else they needed to hear. I sang my uptempo audition song, then was asked if I could come back for the afternoon dancer call. I replied with a big smile and a resounding “Yes”.
At the afternoon dancer call there were only about half of the people who were asked back from the previous day. There may have been twenty of us in total. We were all called into the room where the people behind the table introduced themselves to us. They said their names and what theater they were from. I thought “wow!, I made it”. Why else would they be introducing themselves if these were not the folks I would be working with? We were given new choreography and I danced like I was on Broadway. After each time we did the combinations they would call one of us over or call out one of the dancers numbers and say “Thank you”.
When there were just three of us left one of the folks behind the table said “thank you so much, I think we have seen enough. You have all done an amazing job I wish we had spots for everyone.” This fella looked at the other people sitting behind the table and each gave wordless shake of their heads punctuating the negative. He then spoke to me directly “Next year we are planning to do Carousel and Huck Finn and I know we love to have you in the company. This year we just don’t have anything that would showcase you well.” The translation of that comment was “We don’t have any Black parts for you this year.”
I spent two days dancing my butt off and singing from my heart only to have no black roles this year. Many of my friend left that audition thrilled beyond belief. My friends had gotten gigs at theme parks, renaissance festivals, regional theaters, summer bus and truck tours. I had one Black friend who got a summer stock job performing in Dreamgirls and Little Shop of Horrors. I was pissed to say the least yet I was not going to let anyone know just how pissed I was. This is not how life is supposed to work. I worked hard to get the skills necessary to go to work. I did everything my teachers had told me to do to prepare for life in the theater and I was not prepared for this. I was prepared for rejection, I was not prepared for exclusion.
I hid the only way I knew how. I hopped onto my bicycle and rode far and fast. Every day I would hid my disappointment in my workout. Riding a bicycle through NYC traffic tends to narrow ones focus. If I was not riding my bicycle I was running or swimming or taking Afro-Brazilian dance classes. Essentially I was trying to run away from the theater with each workout and yet the theater was where I felt the most alive. That summer I did run away. I was hired by the National Park Service to be an ocean front lifeguard. I chose to be stationed at Great Kills National Recreation Area in Staten Island, NY. Technically I would still be in NYC, Staten Island is one of the boroughs, so not fully running away. I continued to take dance classes in the city when I could. I was working as a lifeguard because the US. Department of the Interior had an initiative to give minorities access into the National Park System and I was running from the theater where being a minority excluded me from the bulk of the work available. Getting the park service job took the same tact of preparation that the performing did. To prepare for the lifeguard job I ran, swam and worked out in the gym to make my body ready for what would be needed. I went to multiple tryouts over two years before I exceeded the requirements necessary to be hired. I applied the same logic to my theater training, I measured my training growth and progress off of me and did not compare my performance to anyone else. As I watched show after show on Broadway I began to see the shows differently. I did not look at the shows and think I wish I were in this show. I looked at the shows and noticed how many people of color were in the performance. I constantly looked at each performer and wondered if that character could be me? Rarely could I see me on the stage. I love musical theater and thoroughly enjoy great performances on the theatrical stage yet died a little with each performance seeing stereotypical performances by people of color….
Before you judge me, what do you know about me? (air)Jun 17, 2019
As a child I feared that I would die by drowning. It is somewhat funny that I did not have a fear of water. Remnants of the fear continued into adulthood but the fear was not debilitating. As an adult the fear would come in snippets at the fringe of sleep. In those snippets I would flash to another existence and I was drowning. I could feel the water fill my lungs. I could feel my lungs leaden and starving for air they could not get because they were already full. Throughout childhood I was quite familiar with my lungs straining for air. I am an asthmatic. All too often my lungs would betray me and stop working fully. The asthmatic response seemed to be so random. I could run and play for hours and then bam I could not breathe. I could enter a house and become short of breath. I could eat or drink something and then be starving for air. I did not make sense. Sometimes the asthma attack would last a few minutes and sometimes it would last days. There were nights that I gently cried myself to sleep. I had to cry gently so that the crying would not take away any more of my air. My cries were not for how laborious it was to breathe, the cries were because I was not sure if I would continue to breathe once I fell asleep. When I was twelve years old I was playing a game of tag with my brother and some friends at the Hammonton Lake. The local town lake had a floating dock. Two sides of the dock had shallow water and two sides of the dock had deep water. While trying to avoid being tagged I ran and jumped off the dock into the deep water. I jumped as far as I could to evade the tagger and mid stride I realized I was jumping into deep water. I did not panic. I can remember telling myself “sink to the bottom then push off toward the dock”. I took a big gulp of air and hit the water and willed myself to sink fast so I could jump back to the dock. I was sinking but there was no bottom. And still no bottom. I could not feel the bottom so I started reaching for the top flailing. Maybe just maybe if I flailed my arms for the top of the water I would start swimming. But I did not start swimming, I did start running out of air. The more I flailed the more I wanted air. I was twelve and I did not have a strong conviction and I was about to give up my struggle for air by trying to breathe water. Someone grabbed me. Whoever grabbed me was shoving hard. I did not have enough time to wonder who it was because the next thing I know I was touching the dock. I grabbed ahold of the ladder and climbed atop of the dock followed almost immediately by my big brother. I was gasping for air and my brother flopped down beside me also gasping for air. Although he did have enough air to say “Don’t jump into the deep end again. Next time I’m not saving you”. The following year I taught myself how to swim. By the age of fifteen I was a lifeguard. At sixteen I became a Water Safety Instructor where I was teaching others to swim and training lifeguards. I became comfortable and confident in and around water. I now have my advanced Open Water SCUBA certification. I have taken deep dives on the Cayman Trench in Jamaica and on the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia. My comfort level in and around the water remains and yet deep within the recesses of my mind surfacing irregularly is the fear that I will die by drowning. My adult brain reasons that my struggle with air as a young asthmatic is why I fear dying by asphyxiation. Will it be drowning in water? Or will I drown on land as the asthmatic? Last year my mother died in a drowning accident at a spa. For a brief period after her death waves of panic would overtake me as I lingered on the edge of sleep. As I would fall asleep I would sink below the water and starve for air straining to breathe only to snatch awake chewing on fresh air. I am not sure these are premonitions of my own death. I do believe this is the fear of life being taken away before it has been fully lived.
Before you judge me, what do you know about me?Jun 15, 2019
At 19 years old I moved from rural South Jersey to NYC to pursue a dream of performing on Broadway. I only knew one person who had performed on Broadway and had no idea how I was going to manage the task of getting to the Great White Way. Some of the beauty of being young and clueless was I did not have to know the way I knew the beginning and I knew where I wanted to go the rest I would fill in by living. Not long after I arrived in NYC I heard a radio news report about the life expectancy of young Black men in urban areas. The news report stated that 3 in 10 Black men in urban areas would not live to see their 30th birthday. Although I had grown up in a rural area the life of the performer was lived in urban areas. I had a legitimate fear and the threat was the city itself. Every day I would hear on the radio or see on the news reports of young Black men killed in cities around the country. Many of these young men were killed because of mistaken identity. Some were killed for being Black in the wrong place. For unsuspectingly walking through gang territory wearing the wrong colors. For looking like the vague police sketch and fitting the vague police description. For appearing as a threat while wearing the hood up on a hoodie at night to keep a bald head warm. Some even for running down the street and making the police on the beat suspicious. With each incident my fears were pushed further. Each time a young Black man was gunned down I wondered if I would be next. Each night that fell while I lived in an urban area I did not know if I would return home alive. To coin a phrase “I kept my nose clean” I did not hang with the wrong crowd, I wore colorful bandanas with rainbow unicorns on my head so that no gang members would suspect me of being from a rival gang. After all who would have a beef with the rainbow unicorn gang? I truly hoped no one would have a beef with the rainbow unicorn gang. As I drew closer to my 30th birthday I felt that each time I stepped foot out of my apartment I was tempting fate. While living in San Francisco in the early nineties there was a murder of a well known activist one block from where I was living. Having such a horrific event happening so close to home is unnerving and this event had a compounding issue. The report of the suspect was for a Black man 6 foot 4 inches with a mustache and goatee between 200 and 220 lbs with an athletic build. That was me. Each day I would walk in the neighborhood I would slow as patrol cars passed me. I would make eye contact with the officers. I would smile. I would give the officer no reason to suspect me to be a murder. I would also brace myself for the arrest. Two full weeks of this occurred before the suspect was apprehended. I did not breathe a sigh of relief. I gave a silent prayer that they had gotten the right guy. My silent prayer was that they did not get another Black man like myself who was trying every day to survive being Black in the city. As I reflect a little smile comes to my face. The smile comes like a sigh because I would say I have lived a realatively stress free life and yet fearing for one’s life every day for a decade does not sound stress free to me now. One might asked “so why would you subject yourself to that kind of stress when you could easily resolve the issue by moving?” The only place I knew that I could ply my trade at the level I wanted was with urban areas, that is why. I am grateful that I survived. I am grateful that the career I sought materialized. I grateful that I could share my passion and my success and some of my struggle with other young Black men along the way. I hope those others received the hope for survival that I wished upon them. So before you judge me maybe this will give you a different perspective of who I am.
I'm eager to spread the wordFeb 18, 2019
Vermont poet, William Forchion, reads a poem from his book "Sacred & Sacrosanct: a collection of poems at Brooks Memorial Library in Brattleboro, VT.
The heart keeps beatingJan 29, 2019
Each morning I write my poem for the day. Okay that is not completely true, some days I write two and three poems or a long poem with multiple stanzas. I have posted a poem a day on twitter and facebook since April 17, 2018 and will work to continue with that until April 17, 2019. I have learned much about the process of creating work on a daily basis. My work has previously been motivated by my desire to create work, it was not something I had to do or was expected of me. A poem a day must happen whether I feel the need to create or not. There have been many days where I had to motivate myself to write the words. I have had to give myself prompts such as a week of themes (i.e. for the next three days I will write about trees). I even made myself write haiku for a couple of days. I can actually feel growth in my work from the process. More importantly for me, I feel that I could share this process with anyone. And I feel that I have learned much about guiding someone else through this path a growth and development. A poem a day has already spawned a project to succeed it but I will wait until April to share it with the world.
New sunrisesJan 2, 2019
Happy New Year! 2019 is here and with it new resolutions, new goals, new challenges. I have never ascribed to making resolutions for each new year, instead for the past for years I have set goals for the year. My goal setting is conservative, last year I set 5 goals and achieved them all. This year I will most likely do the same by setting 5 attainable goals. My goals last year included speaking engagements, publishing my writing and working as an actor. Each of my goals required a laying of a foundation, some research and lots of follow through. Each of my goals required help I could do most of the work but I needed someone else or others to attain successful completion. My goals for 2019 are not necessarily bigger and better than 2018 some are extensions of 2018 goals and some will be the next steps past 2018 goals. At least one will be nurturing a goal I had set years ago and let whither. With my goals in mind I look to you and with you more than just a Happy year, I wish you a Focused, Love filled, Healthy, Prosperous, Safe 2019.
#ApoemAday now available at AmazonDec 8, 2018
New podcast on theearspoon.comNov 3, 2018
Check out the latest Billosophy podcast on theearspoon.com
Into each life a little rain must fallOct 17, 2018
Into each life a little rain must fall. 2018 has proven the year of torrential downpours in my life. Early in the summer I was ordered to move out of the house I believed I would die in (in old age) as the result of divorce proceedings. Most of the rain during this portion of my life was coming from my eyes. I reeled twisting like a flag in a hurricane to find a place suitable for me and three kids (Serenity and I will split the parenting 50/50). Only days after finding out I must leave the house my mother died unexpectedly. Yes, she was healthy as an ox (a very healthy ox) and we had just made plans for her next visit to Vermont when she drowned in a Float Spa. There is a little comfort in knowing how much she was looking forward to taking the relaxing float she needed. I miss my mother dearly on the regular. I had only found a place to live the day before she died. I so looked forward to sharing the fields and the old house with her. My mother was my sounding board as I transitioned out of marriage, as I rediscovered who I was in the world and the community. In a very brief time I was introduced to two major life transitions that I had no choice but to live death and divorce. I have questioned how to share this information with my community of family, friends and colleagues as I felt great shame in the divorce and an unbearable pain at the death of my mother. Some of the sleuths out there have read deeper into my poems and writings and posts causing them to private message me about life. I have shared with a few of you as I seek a healthy way to deal with my grief and shame. So this is the rainy period of my life. My mother was a gardener who never lamented the rain. There was much I learned from her including ways to process life now. This is a transformation just as the trees transform each year growing leaves, processing sunlight and rain and earth nutrients, then dropping those leaves. Human lives can do the same. Just as in the spring when the new leaves sprout the tree becomes different (possibly new). Quite possibly this is my time to shed leaves and take a moment to become new / different. As my mother the gardener did not lament the rain, I will drink of the substance of life allowing it to feed my soul for growth. With each rain the gardens grow to produce that which we need to sustain ourselves. I pray, may there be rainfall in your life, enough to sustain you and sunshine enough to grow. And I pray the same for myself.
Words begin to flowOct 13, 2018
Not long ago I began to breathe again. And now the words want to flow again. A week ago began to share some of these words via this portal it was a bit tedious but I stuck it out. I hit save and when the screen refreshed all the words were lost. Everything had been erased and the screen was blank as if no words have ever been written on the page. What had happened? I do not know I resolved to believe they were not meant for the world just yet. I did not proof or edit as I wrote I let pour out my heart. The pain of loss and heartbreak. The difficulty of shaking hands with a new me. Discovering a new me that I have been spending years uncovering and empowering to take his place in the world. I new me that embraces the old me with gratitude for innocence and sacrifice and naive doggedness to push on and lay the foundation for the me I am today. The me that endure emotional and physical obstacles to reach here. Much work has been done and more work is to be done. A website renovation, goes with the presence and purpose renovation. A clear mission, a focused goal, a clear knowledge of self, a validation of skills and talents. There is only me to stop me. I day I speak aloud the mantra "I Am Enough". Each day I let my eyes look upon the words "I Am Enough". Each day I absorb into my knowledge "I Am Enough". I have now idea where i am going and I do now who I am and what state of being I will be in when I arrive. Now to let the words flow freely as I move on. #IAmEnough #Billosophy #gardensofEva
breathing againOct 1, 2018
Earlier this year I had begun to write about grief after the loss of far too many friends and family in very short period of time. I discovered it is one thing to intellectualize the process and yet another to experience. When my mother died suddenly on June 30 my writing slowed to a trickle. I still have a need to express myself through the written word, I simply could not make it happen. I continue to write my morning tweet poem using my mother's memory as fuel to push on. My head swims with so many words that need to be released from the cranial prison, yet my body and soul are not cooperating. Why? In the past when I wrote I would share it with my mother either first thing in the morning on our morning phone call or last thing at night when I walked the dog. Often she would praise the imagery that my words conjured in her. Sometimes she would not get the meaning at all yet would comment on word choices. I miss those moments of connection. I miss those moment of having someone who lovingly looked upon my work with compassion and appreciated that effort if not the aesthetic. Without my mother in the world I do not know that I will ever be understood. My head cheerleader and president of my fan club is no longer here. Even in middle age I am like many children in seeking the approval and support of a parent. I had that for so long a may have begun to take it for granted. And now it is gone. Now, 3 months after the great departure the tears have slowed, the waves of grief have more calm space between them. I can sit and breathe easier and see that someday maybe someday soon I will sit down and write again. First I will take a moment to breathe.
GriefSep 5, 2018
If you have been checking in for the musings or words of yours truly..... In short I have been debilitated by grief. Many may know that my mother Eva Forchion died unexpectedly on June 30, 2018. The two months that have followed this day have all blurred together. My morning call to my mother no longer happens. My evening call, when I walk the dog before going to bed, no longer happens. I no longer receive those whacky inspirational text messages from my mother or the blurry photos of her doing some odd thing or other no longer randomly pop up. Rationally I know that I am not the first to go through this. Yet this is just, wow. My children have been wonderful in sharing their process and helping with my process. My youngest noticed a tear rolling down my face and placed a compassionate hand on my forearm and said nothing. With each of my children we have share the smile of unknowing and long face of sadness as we each deal with death in our personal ways. I do know that my job is to keep living, right now that job is pretty hard.
Life is unpredictableJul 21, 2018
A little while ago i began writing about grief. I was writing about my discoveries on grief. The writings began with my the death of a close friend and how that death made me shudder, how that death made me re-think living. Not that I had any intention to stop living, I began to look at living very differently. Three weeks ago today my mother died suddenly thrusting me into a revisioning of living after the death of someone close. As I begin my writing will reflect the hole that is in my emotional being and what living with that hole is. Stay tuned as I dropped nuggets of this process.
Fables July 11thJul 17, 2018
Here is the recording of my story from the July 11 Fables storytelling night at Next Stage cafe in Putney, VT.
living lifeJul 16, 2018
My blog well has been dry recently. I have been busy living life in the aftermath of my mother's death. Life continues the same as it ever was, it is the living that has become hard. My mother was, one of if not, my best friend. We spoke on the phone daily and sometimes five or six times in a day. (there were many days like that) I continue to work. I continue to care for my children. I have a small hole in my heart where my mother, in her physical form, once was. I am at peace with her death. I am at peace with her life. I miss our conversations. I miss her intrusions, I miss her in my life, even though she is now more present in my life than she ever could have been in life, I miss the soul filled human that was her. I now set out to discover who I am without her here.
LifeJun 13, 2018
Life is neither easy nor hard it just is. It seems to be what it isn't when we imagine it to be other than what it is. Removing expectation allows Life to be what it is.
tweet tweetMay 17, 2018
#ApoemAday continues on twitter. I am continuing my campaign to write a poem a day as a twitter post each morning. I will continue as long as the spirit moves me. Check it out, like it, retweet it, make a comment. You can find me on twitter @actorbat.
a morning thought...May 17, 2018
Step into your higher self. I am not sure I could say more pretentious words, yet what if there is truth to the words? And what if the words I speak are spoken to me? Well, now that I share this it no longer is just for me because I have shared it with you. The doubt that I have just expressed keeps me from “stepping into my higher self”. The doubt only serves as a backpack full of lead where the parachute could possibly be, where the parachute needs to be. The craziest part of this whole dilemma is that it is a wholly internal struggle. I know that as I recognize my struggle each face I look into faces their own internal struggle some as metaphysically simple as mine others physically life threatening. Acknowledging the other struggles does not diminish my own, it give another perspective by which to view it. The new perspective is also distraction from the process. Acknowledging the others does not attend to stepping into my higher self. Or what the heck it means to step into my higher self. Approaching the statement fuels the questions of what does it mean? How is it possible? How will I know if I have done it? And asking the questions I recognize marks my map as being no where near to my goal. The more I work this out the more it feels that I am attempting to untangle a knotted ball of twine from the middle with the ends attached. A difficult task but not impossible.
a poem a day (5/10/18)May 10, 2018
when the world becomes unbearable
with frustration fear anger,
suit up in your garments of love
for they have no power in the closet on the hanger.
(poem a day poems are posted each day on Twitter: @actorbat)
sometimes life interferes with lifeMay 10, 2018
I am keeping up with the challenge I have waged on myself of writing a poem a day. And in the process I become aware of the speed bumps and obstacles that can be placed in our path to success. While I have kept up with the challenge I have not kept up with posting those poems to my blog. In this revelation I can identify how I placed an unnecessary obstacle of posting in two places in order to validate my task. When in actuality the task was to write. Posting the writing is an extra added bonus or an additional opportunity for failure. An easy add on that impedes the probability of success. In identifying this speed bump I am given a reference point from which to look back over my life and see similar patterns. I do not find it hard to find the similar. In assessing the pattern I pose the question to myself "How do I do differently?" How do I create a new pattern of success?". I am struck with the realization that identifying the pattern is the first step of doing differently. Identifying may not break the pattern yet I realize it is the start. I also realize that I have presented to myself the need to do different and identify that makes me at least two steps along the this path of my journey. Along this journey the learning never stops as long as the living is happening.
a poem a day (5/3/18)May 3, 2018
Embracing the divine is to know
hope is not an action
being is as powerful as doing,
every law can be broken or re-written,
miracles occur regularly,
love never causes hurt.
I too am Compassionate CreativityMay 3, 2018
Spring has finally settled in. The warm weather has hopefully truly claimed it’s place and the creative juices have begun rising like the sap. That was an attempt at poetic prose since the creative juices in me never seem to cease. There is always some outlet that needs to be accessed as a release valve for the creativity that constantly wells up inside me. I am currently editing the audiobook of a dear friend. We recorded the audio last year with sessions once a week over a couple of months. It was quite a fulfilling experience listening to Kali speak her words from the book each session. Now I get to revisit the words again as I listen to soul touching stories of her book “I Am Compassionate Creativity”. Many of the stories resonate at a deep personal level, although the stories of Kali’s life there is a common thread that is also in me. Each day I work on the project I am fortified by the words and the content. I am encouraged to boldly be me. I am empowered to find my authentic voice each day. I am eager to complete this work so that more people can have the chance to experience Kali’s powerful message in another way. As my creative juices flow I reflect and identify that audio editing was not something I set out to do as a creative outlet and yet here it is.
A poem a day - continuesMay 2, 2018
April is National Poetry month. For the past four years on of my poems has been displayed in the PoemCity Festival in Montpelier, VT, which would theoretically make me a "Poet" with works displayed. This year I tasked myself to write a poem a day for the month of April, as a tweet (I began in the middle of the month). I found the process rewarding and not at all burdensome. Using the tweet format did provide some limitation yet I found that the tweets could be sketches of larger poetic works. I will continue tweeting a poem a day and they will also be posted here (for those who do not tweet).
a poem a day (5/2/18)May 2, 2018
with each new day dawns new opportunities,
new aromas to smell new food to taste,
fashioned from our mind new worlds new cities,
bringing yesterday's sadness and sorrow into this new would be a waste.
a poem a day (5/1/18)May 2, 2018
As the teacher, what I must do,
is create an environment
that is physically and emotionally safe for you.
Grieving (Stanley Strong)Apr 30, 2018
I drove past Stan’s shop the other day and was hit by a wave of hurt. He is still not there. He is supposed to be there. He isn’t coming back. He isn’t coming back. Six months after he died and I still look for him. All the stuff I wanted to say to him the next time we spoke is still waiting to be said. My eyes start to leak. Hell, I should call it by it’s name…. I am crying. I am crying I cry I don’t want to cry. I don’t know why half a year after his death I still cry when I pass his place or when I sit down and think about him not being anywhere. The big smile under the bushy mustache anytime I passed by his shop. We weren’t that close. We were as close as brothers who have a few things in common. Man, this aches right in the middle of my chest. It feels like a giant hand is squeezing my heart not enough to stop it but enough to make it have to really work. I don’t only miss Stan when I pass by the shop. Stan is in my garage too. My bike has a couple little drips that Stan was gonna get to when I brought the bike in some time. Two years of riding and we were gonna get to those drips. We both knew without saying it that if he didn’t get to the drips when I brought the bike in it was a good reason for another visit. I must have stopped in 10 times to deal with those drips only to leave after a good chat with plans to drop by next week to deal with them. We had time. The time we had together was so much more important than the bike or the drips or any of the material things that surrounded us. I’m not guessing at that, we actually talked about it. We had advice for each other. What we shared flowed both ways. And now it doesn’t flow at all. My eyes flow from time to time when I think of him. Did I really appreciate him this much when he was alive? Did he know it? Yeah, he knew it. Stanley was one of the guys who would say “I love you” to me while surrounded by gruff biker dudes and it was not awkward. And I would say “I love you” right back. One day this might not hurt so much, but today it still does.
a poem a day (4/30/18)Apr 30, 2018
The space within is greater, itself, than the thing
the unknowable far exceeds the known,
it is not hearing or seeing that is accepting,
it is fully grasping the un - known.
a poem a day (4/27/18)Apr 27, 2018
The divine enters,
on rays of sunshine,
in the song of birds,
with the breath of wind.
With each creation the divine becomes again.
a poem a day (4/26/18)Apr 26, 2018
The leaf is me,
alone on the tree,
awaiting my buds in the spring.
Grieving (4/26/18)Apr 26, 2018
When is it okay to not be okay? Drowning in air, unable to breath as the muscles constrict daring me to stop breathing. Fighting breathe unsure why I am fighting when succumbing would be so much easier. My vision blurs allowing me to see only what I don’t look at and nothing that I try to see. I would cry but that would only make my vision worse. All this for what? What is the root of this? Are these feelings and emotions just visiting or did I create them am I creating them? Is this normal? I am saturated with…. This….. It has no name. “This” is the brick that is sitting on my diaphragm making it hard to breath, not allowing space for my heart to beat normally. “This” is the brick of false reality that signifies that “This” is not a fantasy, “This” is real. And yet “This” is not real. There is no brick, even though it feels like there is. “This” is not real, there is nothing to fear. “This” is not real, I am okay even though I feel “This”. Fantasy, Dream, Nightmare, Reality, Feeling, Fact all blur into “This”. Why am I creating “This”? Or Wha is creating “This”? What am I to learn from “This”? And I have just shifted from feeling “This” with my heart to rationalizing “This”with my head. I am not sure that my head and my heart will ever be able to reconcile their accounts. And I don’t care if they do because for the moment I am distracted by that dilemma and I can breathe. I am okay within the distraction. I am okay and I am also not okay, for now.
a poem a day (4/25/18)Apr 25, 2018
pitter pitter pat liquid life feeds emerging flora,
permeating warmth awakens the solstice sleepers,
earth's aroma touches multiple senses reminding the heart to continue.
GrievingApr 25, 2018
I had begun to write about grief and grieving from my perspective a little while ago and abandoned the writing almost immediately. I found that although the words filled me I could not get them to flow from me. A nerve was touched. I so wanted to share and thought that I was truly at a place to share. Well, I am not sure that the flow will be constant but the words have begun to pour forth again.
“I know that I will be okay, right now I am in pain” is what I want to scream in the face of everyone who tries to reassure me that I will get through this. From October 28, 2017 to February 23, 2018 one person per week, close to my life died. Through this period I gained a close personal relationship with grief. I learned first hand how grief could be a deep soul rending pain. I also learned how one more person dying could have no affect for lack of a new way to interpret the impact of the loss.
I have chosen not to run from the pain. I have made a concerted choice to linger in the deep hurt and not run from it in search of pleasure or distraction or gratification. Embracing the adage “the best way to get rid of an enemy is to make them your friend”. I asked this hurt, this pain, this grief to be my teacher. Instead of asking the question “Why is this happening to me?” I asked the question “What is it that I need to learn?” I am not sure there is enough lifetime to learn it all, so with what time I have left I will continue my conversation with grief.
a poem a day (4/24/18)Apr 24, 2018
aroma fills the air of coffee ground,
bronwies cupcakes cookies scones,
bodies in motion a city of sound,
a warm seat in the sun to soothe my bones,
with so many choices an oatly chai restores my health,
ownership of moments like this is how I measure wealth.
a poem a day (4/23/18)Apr 24, 2018
wrapped in birdsong,
shishle of leaves under foot not mine,
evidence of autumn past,
this is now.
a poem a dayApr 24, 2018
step into the sunshine,
let your flame burn setting the nearest star to blush,
dance to the rhythm causing the gossiping to hush,
sing the song only your heart knows,
this is how you get paid what the universe owes.
In thoughtApr 17, 2018
A mindless moment,
A momentary projection of perfection,
A shadow of an afterthought,
A glimpse of the divine,
as time wraps around itself illuminating the soul.
the silence stopsApr 16, 2018
I am sorry for my silence of late. The silence stops now and the words flow forth. Here we go!
Be careful what you ingestJan 29, 2018
( I wrote this in 2014 and it is pertinent today)
BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU INGEST!!!
Bad sound can be as detrimental as bad food. Yesterday i listened to hip-hop on my morning (only my second run in over 6 months) to get me pumped. My ear holes were bombarded with self loathing, deceit, misogyny, and oh so much more and this set the tone for my day. My day was okay even great by some standards but seen through that negative veil it was horrible. Today I went for a run listening to my calm meditation Pandora station in the rain. What a difference a day makes. My body hurt embarking on my third consecutive run in three days. I will just say, angels lifted me. I ran farther, not faster, I finished stronger. I feel great. What does today have for me? I don't know but I am ready to embrace the unknown. Be careful what you ingest, if it will make you better stronger, empowered, loving, caring, whole take it in. Feed your soul and your heart will sing.
The heroes can restJan 23, 2018
As far back as I can remember, each day when I wake up, they come. The eyes. I call them the eyes, because that is all I can see. They do have more than just eyes but they are covered from top to bottom and only the eyes shine through. I can understand some of what they say but there is so much more they say that I do not understand. I do not know if they are in my world or if I am in their world. I can not remember a time before or a place other than this. The only thing I can remember is here, this place with all the eyes and the beeps and the blinking blips.
I don’t want to be here but I don’t know where I want to be. I don’t even know if this is all there is. I do hope there is somewhere other than this, somewhere unlike this. I would run from here but don’t know if there will just be more here wherever I run to. Will there be more eyes? Will there be more beeps? Why do I have these tubes all over me and they do not? Can I run? How do I know what running is? I don’t remember but it seems right. Then the eyes come again and I lie still. I don’t want them to know that the poking does not feel good. Maybe that is what they want? I hurt. The poking hurts. When it hurts I must go as from here as I can.
I fall deep within to a place so small It is enormous. No matter which way I turn I can’t see any walls. It goes on forever. I know I have arrived because my heroes are there. The soldier, the philosopher, the brainiac, the kid, the muscle guy, the weirdo. The weirdo is there for distraction. Sometimes he needs to distract so the other guys can do their work. It was pretty weird at first but each of my heroes looks like me. Some are older than me. I mean like grown up old and the kid is younger than me but he has super powers I never had. He can puke at will, which totally freaks adults out. My heroes are always keeping an eye out for anyone who might want to come in and hurt me. In the middle of all my heroes they have saved a special place for me, but I haven’t seen that place yet. The say I am already there so I guess the me that goes to the hall of heroes is not the same me that lives in the hall of heroes. Maybe that should freak me out but it doesn’t. I am tired. Tired of running. Tired of falling. Tired of poking.
I wake up today and again there are the eyes. These are not the poking every day eyes these eyes are different. These are the red eyes. The sad eyes. They always have redness where all the other eyes have white. These eyes always leak like I hurt. Something about these eyes make we want to remember a place that is not beeping. A place where there is a warm brightness up high. A happy warm place where nothing hurts. Is this a real place? The warm leaky eyes go away when the serious eyes push close to me.
“Swelling” “Stabilization” “O.R.” “Stat” “The window is closing.” I don’t know what it means. I blink and they are gone. I blink again and the kind eyes are there leaking. The kind eyes say “We are trying to get you back.” Blink. Then the serious eyes are there touching the beeps and blips. It is time to fall to into me before the poking. Whatever is happening does not seem like a good thing. I look into the leaky eyes as I begin to fall. “I love you”. I fall.
The hall of heroes is different. All of the heroes are in a circle. It is a perfect circle and they are all facing in away from the walls that can’t be seen. I freeze. I stop before I reach the circle. Two heroes step away from each other pivoting on one foot and create a gap in the circle large enough for me to pass through. Slowly I walk through the gap into the circle. As I pass through I can see myself. I have never seen myself but I know this is me. I can see me entering the circle and I can see me looking at me in the circle at the same time. It should be weird but it is not. Okay, maybe just a little weird and kinda cool. But it is good weird not creepy weird. We smile at each other, big toothy smiles. The whole place begins to glow with a golden white light that gets more and more intense until I can’t see anything but brightness.
“Honey, can you hear me?” The brightness lessens and I can see those eyes. The white parts are not red in the same way. They are leaking. “Honey, can you hear me?” I nod my chin up and down.This is different. Deep down inside there is a spark. I know you. I know you. From the middle of my chest, right next to my heart I feel the word rising out of me. For the first time since I can remember I need to say something to the eyes because they are not just eyes. I know you. My first attempt to speak is just a “croak”. But then I manage the word that needs to get out. The word wedged deep in my soul that if I can let out will let all other words out. I can feel it dislodging. The word that is no longer stuck in the dry cracks of my throat behind the rubber tongue. “Mom”. Those eyes leak like swollen rivers. I can remember rivers. She reaches up and pulls down the mask that covers her face and kisses my forehead. She squeezes me to almost breaking. “I’m here. I’m right here.” she says into the pillow while she squeezes. “Where.......?” I can’t say anymore because she cuts me off. “You’re father is in the next room. The car is completely totaled... Everyone else is fine... We have been so worried.......” She goes on but I can not hear it. I hurt and this is a different hurt. This is a hurt that makes sense. I don’t need to fall anymore. I know I will fall once more because I need to let the heroes know they can rest.
In betweenJan 4, 2018
In the space between you and me
where nothing appears to be
there are millions upon millions of particles connecting you to me.
U.S. - Turkmenistan cultural exchange stage 2Dec 5, 2017
November 11 through November 20 saw Bill Forchion, Sara Deull, and Keith Kaplin take part in Stage 2 of the U.S. State Departments Cultural Exchange in the Arts (Circus) to Turkmenistan. The three circus experts facilitated workshops in Physical theater, Aerials, Juggling, Balance skills and Acrobatics at the Turkmenistan Institute of Culture, Circus Department and Turkmenistan State Circus. The three also gave presentations at the U.S. Embassy American Corners in Dashoguz, Turkmenabad and Mary. Forchion, Deull, and Kaplin made presentations at Specialized Art schools in Turkmenabad and Dashoguz and were honored with performances by Students and Professors of the schools.
|Oct 18, 2017|
sometimes the best way to speak my mind is to remain silent.
Farewell to a friendOct 12, 2017
My heart is heavy with the death of a great friend. Stanley Lynde shared his dreams and passions with me and an entire community. Many a day we would discuss the metaphysical and the motorcycle. I will miss his honesty, his laughs, his hugs, his friendship and so much more. I will forever have the memories.
BillosophySep 20, 2017
A time to grieveSep 12, 2017
Culturally we pay little attention to grieving or the grieving process. Many of us do not know what it means to grieve. What is grieving? I could give a dictionary definition but instead I will dig deeper and pull an answer from my soul. Grieving is the honoring or celebrating of a loss. Grieving is the acknowledgment of change in a situation due to the erasure or removal of a feeling, item and/or being. Often grieving is used in association with the death of someone. We can also grieve for the loss of an idea, an ideal, a fantasy. The grieving process can be and is different for each individual and is vitally important for emotional health and well being. Grieving is often seen as a dark place, a place that should be avoided. Grieving is an important place, a place of learning. As manure is beneficial for the garden grieving can be beneficial toward personal growth. Just as there is a time to grieve now is my time to take a closer look at grieving.
Be what you areAug 7, 2017
|Aug 5, 2017|
WindAug 4, 2017
From where do you come?
no one seems to question the wind.
it either is or it isn’t.
yet we as a species struggle with GOD.
what generates wind?
not the stirred air of a fan.
not the gust of a closing door.
what makes that which blows the leaves from the trees?
what makes that which wreaks havoc in the trailer park?
we accept that wind happens
we don’t question why.
we don’t question how.
we do question an energy greater than us.
I guess this question of wind can be scientifically reasoned and we wholesale accept those reasons.
we accept that someone smarter than us has made sense of it.
if we did not accept the science and fully searched for an answer our brains would probably explode.
I do not question the wind. I ponder the wind.
for as long as there is wind anything can happen.
for if this thing that can not be contained or fully explained and conjures itself into a half existence can have a tangible and lasting effect.Then, anything is possible.
There is no art without struggleAug 3, 2017
A Billosophical perspective of the creative process.
Create !Jul 21, 2017
In the momentJul 5, 2017
no matter how much effort I exert,
AshgabatJun 2, 2017
continueMay 12, 2017
impromptuFeb 7, 2017
I was last in line to be born in my house.
My eyes and my lungs were flawed from birth but did not stop me from getting here.
I have grown into my voice.
I have run from border to border to better know where I live.
I sat down to better know where I stand.
I have fallen for things and people.
I have held firm to beliefs and ideals.
I have stood in the shadow of greatness and learned to cast a shadow of greatness.
I can never go back to the beginning
Each day brings me closer to the end.
Each moment serves me new nuggets of wisdom.
Each friend brings more knowledge and hope.
Knowing what I know, seeing what I've seen
it's time to radiate life from the core of my being.
MorningFeb 3, 2017
The dream has become the nightmare has become the dream.
I got it wrong
A revolution comes full circle
The beginning is the end is the beginning
A cycle of repetition
The revolution does not bring me some place new
it brings me back again from what I left.
or I will be here again too soon
water flows into the bowl filling up to flush down.
Then it fills again only to do it again.
Same bowl different crap.
If I am the water
I want to fill the cup, not the bowl
to hydrate the body to cleanse the soul.
It is time to wake up, to break the cycle, to end the revolution.
I wake up and make my life a line.
From birth to death,
The next moment unknown.
I no longer will race back to a beginning I know from an end I don’t want.
The cycle repeats because of the perceived comfort in knowing what is.
In knowing I can prepare for pain.
I embrace un-knowing.
I have no need for pain.
The revolution which just began, has just ended.
It ended when I woke up.
I don’t know what comes next
The cycle is broken.
I lovingly step into the moment to embrace a loving un-known.
If a loving GOD is the force that set all hearts to beating
And that heart beats with purpose based on a foundation of love.
I have one prayer as I proceed with passion
“Love’s will be done”
I am awake.
at the intersectionFeb 2, 2017
The revolution begins at the crossroads
where reasonable objection meets moral obligation.
A place where continuing with the same is just not bearable any longer.
The revolution begins with a pause
a moment of reflection
possibly a full stop.
When it begins it does not move swiftly.
The movement is calculated.
For turning one hundred eighty degrees brings one back to the place
that birthed the path, the process that needs to be turned from.
The revolution should not be an evolution of the unwanted.
The revolution should be the birth of something all together new.
A new thing created in love
A creation protected by love
not nurtured in fear, doubt, frustration or anger.
The revolution begins at the crossroads.
The revolution may be simply staying put ceasing to move further
along a path that is unfruitful, unfulfilling, unhealthy.
The revolution might possibly begin nurturing the charred soil in preparation
of new growth, new hope, new possibilities.
The revolution need not be violent.
It should be caring, loving.
The revolution is inside me.
It is also inside you.
It lovingly aches to come out, to be born in the world.
It yearns to vibrate throughout the universe as a word, as a song, as an action.
We will recognize the revolutionaries, for they will radiate.
They will shine, Oh, they will shine.
The radiance of the revolution will illuminate even the darkest of places depositing hope, love.
There will be love in abundance.
Lay down your arms.
Open your mind.
Open your heart.
Each of us was created in love.
This is the crossroads.
Groovin'Jan 9, 2017
From the moment before the doctor slapped my butt the music started.
This is my song.
I didn't miss a beat, this is jazz I altered the meter to fit my need.
Not everyone will harmonize well and that is okay, they can listen.
Some might feel inspired to move or wiggle or shake a leg,
well then go right on with your bad self.
I'll share this groove.
This is my song.
GOD looking down or hearing in surround sound adds an "OH" and makes it good.
If pride is a GOD-ly thing then my song would make GOD proud.
As I child the song was shy.
As a teen I found the volume.
As an adult my song is loud. loud enough for anyone to hear.
I don't have to give the devil a solo.
The devil can dance or step off.
This is my song.
You can't un-hear it.
If you hear it and it makes you move
I hope it inspires you to find your groove.
One day soon I roll up as you're moving along
And I'll hear you say "this is my song".
and I will smile
and keep steppin'
This is my song.
This is my song.
nothing / no placeSep 9, 2016
I just went to a most amazing place. A place I have feared to go. What I feared was the unknowing of what I would find. I have always known the general vicinity of this place yet did not know it’s exact location. Well, I found it. I so wish to share it with the world and that is impossible. For sharing it destroys it. Sharing it complicates the understanding and awareness of what it is. Today I went nowhere and experienced nothing. Technically I was somewhere but in the moment everything dropped away. Everything dropped away. There was no baggage, no fear, no expectation, no story, no color, no shape, no hope, no desire. Describing nothing is a process of illuminating what isn’t there. Everything isn’t there. It is calm. That is the only description I have. It is calm. Everything remains at the fringe of this place keeping it in perfect balance, keeping it calm. I have finally given myself permission to enter, however brief, however fleeting in the nothing.
The power of wordsAug 7, 2016
Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me.
This resonated poorly with me as a child and still resonates poorly with me.
Long before I had heard this saying my soul had been nearly crushed by a word. As a result I feared words. I did not want to wield them clumsily and possibly crush someone else’s soul. As I grew older I also discovered we individually place weight on words, we individually add power or meaning to words. I can give a word the power to destroy me. I can also give power to a word to buoy me out of the depths of despair. Which makes me question Do the words actually have power? Or is the power added by each of us as we receive? Do we empower the words to harm us? Do we empower the words to strengthen us? We have to answer these question for our self, individually. While I work toward my answers I will purposefully work to put together words that educate, empower and entertain. And I will infuse my words with the essence of my soul.
untitledJul 16, 2016
Before they spoke my name
I existed in a place where words had no meaning
Everything existed on purpose
We were all connected
Each of us was all of us
and all of us were unique
For without each individual there could be no whole
what is now called living was once called flowing
my being explained my doing
and my doing did not define me
words now cross my lips
meanings cloud my mind
my doing confuses my being
when I emerged into this world
this piece became the whole
separated from the all
all became unclear
the flow forgot to flow
words were needed to define
meanings became necessary to explain
it all seemed to happen
when they spoke my name.
overflowingJul 8, 2016
Stand facing the sun
stand facing the moon
for one is not the opposite of the other
each one is
stand facing your friend
stand facing your enemy
for one is not the opposite of the other
each is what we choose them to be
look all around you
look deep within you
if you can see the beauty within you
you will definitely find the beauty around you
when you find the love within you
you will share that love with all around you
it is the sharing that makes that love grow
it is the sharing that makes love grow
it is the loving that makes it all worthwhile.
creativeJun 24, 2016
I inhale life asthmaticly,
straining to breathe
as my soul contorts
pressing against the walls of my being
striving to expand
struggling to become more me
creativity wells up
fear sits reluctantly in the corner begging for attention.
hope permeates the entirety of my space as a vapor
my eyes are open yet unaware of place
my mind is open filled with GOD's grace
I must breathe
I must breathe
my life depends on it.
In my eyesMay 24, 2016
I twist my head
then crane my neck
the shadow engulfs me cooling the air as it does
my breathing quickens, and quickens
my heart races like a squirrel in taps shoes crossing a marble floor
determined and fearful
exposed and over prepared
I am supposed to be here
rapidly expanding and contracting lungs
my thoughts, droplets of water within a vapor cloud
where am I?
I am supposed to be here
the shadow is me
I am the shadow that envelopes me
is there meaning in this?
here I stand
so why am I not here?
where am I?
I am supposed to be here.
I am rapt in the thought of me wrapped in the thought of me.
I twist and crane to get a glimpse of me until I stop
realizing that of all that I see the one thing I will never lay my gaze upon is me.
The Day AfterApr 24, 2016
Today is earth day.
Stop. Don’t look at your watch or check the calendar.
Today is earth day.
You live on this earth and today is a day.
So why is just one day a special day?
three hundred and sixty four days I am allowed to walk past trash with a clean conscience.
and one day I can tidy up a little and cleanse my guilt.
I refuse that reality because, today is earth day.
Oh yesterday was also and tomorrow will be again.
It is not my job to fix what someone else broke.
It is my job to not let it stay broke If I want it to work.
This is my earth
This is my day.
For as long as I live it will be that way.
powerApr 18, 2016
What power you have
with your smile you hold back an army of sadness.
your hope dams a river of despair.
your uncertainty does not allow frustration a firm footing.
your tears are not weakness but strength to purge.
What power you have
to bend to the breaking point and return to upright.
to think what has been unthought before and know it will come to be.
your tears wash away the years of untruths to reveal the true you.
What power you have
to stop being what you have been told to be in order to be who you are meant to be.
InsideApr 17, 2016
I sit in silence
I am not angry, scared, frustrated, sad
I am thinking
in the silence joy springs forth from my soul
so I sit in silence and appreciate that which washes my soul
I appreciate the washing away of anger, sadness, frustration and fear
I slowly fill with hope.
my being begins to shine
my face does not change, the smile grows on the inside
I choose not to move
I choose not to speak
I choose to let the beauty of this moment remain pure
I choose to honor the divine spirit flowing through me by not diluting it with anything
I sit in silence
silently I sit
and now you know why I sit in silence.
selfJan 5, 2016
Self, selfish, selfless, explaining self, discovering self. Who am I? How do I answer the question? Do I answer with what it is I do? Or do I answer with what I have done? Or do I answer with what it is I am capable of? I am amazing. Is that really who I am? I am horrible. I am capable of anything I set my mind to do. So, therefore I constantly seek to broaden my mind. I seek to expand my capabilities. My seeking is not because I feel lacking. My seeking is because I have longing. I long for more. I long to be more connected. I long to be more creative. I long to be wiser. I long to experience more amazing. With all my longing I do not long to do more. I long to be more, more aware, more present, more open, more me. I long to continue evolving. I long to continue becoming me. So, who am I? I am Bill a human being actively engaged in the process of being.
ghostDec 11, 2015
So many seek happiness
refusing to let go of hurt, pain, fear
unable to grasp, with hands full
unable to settle for that which can not be found
so many seek happiness
not knowing how afraid they are of wanting joy
not believing they are entitled
not realizing the only thing keeping them from knowing joy
is the daily bath in fear
all too often it takes more than wanting
there is a divine knowing in knowing we are worthy of this we need
within each we must know it is ours
we are worthy
we are worth it
before we do anything to get it
we must be and be fully
it is our being that owns it
humanDec 10, 2015
today is the day.
today is the only day.
I am being who I am meant to be.
I am not a human doing.
I am a human being.
patiently waitingDec 9, 2015
all too often I stand in the place of darkness and search for light.
today, I stand absorbing the darkness.
I stand, accepting that I am the light.
Inside I begin to see clearly.
the map begins to draw itself, not of where I am but of who I am.
I discover this is not darkness, this is unknowing.
the longer I stand the less unknown I become.
enoughDec 7, 2015
You are enough.
You were born perfect.
And then someone told you to try harder.
You heard your shape was not the same as some others.
Your skin is too fair, too dark, to freckled, too plain.
You could be smarter.
You make someone else feel dumb.
Somewhere we forgot to wash our hands of this.
And our hands soiled the rest of us, until we began to swallow the filth without question.
It is time to forget.
It is time to remember
mistakes are learning in process.
you can be no one else but you.
your uniqueness is what makes you special.
there is nothing wrong with being special.
the downs are there to emphasize how wonderful the ups are.
and the in between is neither up nor down.
When I say “You” I more often mean “I”.
I was born perfect.
I am enough.
TruthDec 1, 2015
my eyes well with tears for my truth looks like no one else's.
Validation, respect, purpose can be looked for and never found until within I find it and match it to that.
Unique does not come in degrees. no matter how hard I fix my gaze I can never see myself, I must know myself unseen.
Yet, we are taught to accept nothing we can not see.
Truth is a matter of perspective and no two of us has the same perspective.
My truth is also untrue... and my eyes well with tears... and my tears stain my face... and my soul shivers inside seeking comfort.
I am butterflyNov 9, 2015
as I age I become new.... the journey has begun..... wings unfolding.... ahead not only learning to fly but learning to land... having been a creature of the earth for so long it seems strange to consider the air.... with wings I regard wind in a different way... from the air the earth which seemed so comfortable becomes something altogether different... new... new perspectives... new opportunities.... new information... a new normal... as I once was the earth... I will be the sky.
TodayOct 5, 2015
No one warned me about today, or yesterday, for that matter.
I wonder about tomorrow, yet cannot put much energy to it because I first must manage today.
Was I told that life might get in the way of living?
Did someone ever say the chemicals that make you wonderful could one day drive you mad?
It is today.
We are the same and yet so very different than what we once were.
When did the gravity of life increase to nearly crushing?
When did I become too weak to stand under the weight of living?
When did I start considering giving up?
When did okay become okay?
And striving for wonderful left to others?
When did I forget how to breathe?
No one warned me about today or yesterday, for that matter.
Sacred vs. Sacrosanct.Sep 4, 2015
I have until recently not considered the word sacrosanct. I had held the understanding that when something was sacred it was held in the highest regard. Now I have discovered Sacrosanct. The definition of sacrosanct is something that is extremely sacred. To be held in a higher regard than sacred. I had not considered that there could be more than sacred. My mind is opening to the idea of what is beyond sacred what more there can be. What does extremely sacred look like? feel like? The idea of beyond sacred the reality of beyond sacred rocks my world my physical world, my spiritual world. In my travels I have been to many sacred places experiencing the awe and wonder. I now feel that I am called to discover the sacrosanct places of the world. Just as I was drawn to find the definition of sacrosanct, I feel something deep within me needs me to find these sacrosanct places in the physical world to connect with my sacrosanct soul.
TodayAug 3, 2015
I did not conquer my fears
I did not master the impossible
I fed three hungry angels
I took a deep breath
I sat still and discovered one beautiful thing
and then another and another until I realized beauty had surrounded me.
I felt pain but not enough to make me stop
I found a reason to smile and another and another
eventually I will sleep.
no matter what I wake up to,
no one can take away today.
trash dayJun 16, 2015
it is so easy to get lost in other peoples problems.
wading deeper and deeper thinking it will bring me closer to the end,
when all the while more see my interest and place their problems before me.
stay the course we are told.
must I see it through? even when I know I am on the wrong path?
No! a resounding no.
make mistakes. learn. move on.
fall down. get up. dust off. move on.
our own problems are more than enough for most of us to bear.
I lay my burdens aside. not for others to bear.
It is time to take my trash to the curb, I will place it alongside my recycling.
you may sort through it if you choose but I have discarded it because it is only burdensome to me.
as I release my problems I release me from your problems.
I choose not to fill my house with your trash as I empty my house of my trash.
I identify that this is my way, not the only way.
I turn from the path where others lay their burdens at my feet.
I turn to the fresh mown path, bramble free.
a path illuminated by the radiance of an unencumbered me.
The ProcrastinatorJun 13, 2015
All the things I wanted to do today, I did yesterday
I thought that maybe today I would take it easy
but instead today I did the things I wanted to have done by the day after tomorrow
because I thought I might be busy tomorrow finishing the things I didn’t get to today.
And here I am disappointed by my progress
for I am only half way through the things I need done in two days
and the day is nearly over
which will mean tomorrow’s task will fall behind as well.
A few deep breathes to clear the mind.
A few more to unburden the soul.
Okay, I am back on track.
now where was I?
Oh my, that break was not scheduled in.
Where does that put me?
All the things I wanted to do today, I did yesterday and tomorrow’s stuff is done as well.
the stuff for the day after is mostly done and today is half way over.
There is so much more I could get done today.... but wait ....
maybe tomorrow I will do that.
priceless masterpiecesJun 4, 2015
creating is much like fighting for air.
LoveMay 14, 2015
“I love macaroni and cheese” What is the difference between my love for mac and cheese and my love for my wife? Or what is the difference between her love of a new hair do and her love for me? I long to find the difference. A while back I can remember a Pastor giving a sermon on love. He said there were three types of love Agape, Philos, and Eros. This seemed so wonderful to me. I would now have the ability to love in degrees. All love was not the same. Philos is brotherly love or the love we have for friends and family. Eros is romantic love, the love we have for a partner. A dynamic physical love. Agape is unconditional love. GOD like live. An irrevocable love. The degrees did not help. Agape is unattainable as we are made up of GOD we are not GOD like and can therefore not achieve an unconditional love. Eros is a love that only one can share and yet the love I have for my wife is more than just an erotic love. I don’t covet her only for her beauty, her looks, her physical. And Eros does not cover what I feel for my children. And what I feel for my children goes far beyond Philos. Philos, my friends and my extended family fall squarely in this category. With every relationship I have had it irked me to share my love with new shoes, a movie, some stranger in a movie who happened to say some witty line or the weather. Even with my growing distain for the use of the word love I learned how to love beyond Philos and Eros. I learned to stop using Love to describe how I feel about a pair of shoes or the smell of barbecue. I searched for a new word to let my wife know that what I had for her, what I felt for her was something that no other could conjure in me. For years we would say to each other “You complete me” which became trivial when we heard the leads in movie say it to each other. It also became cumbersome to wield. My wife reverted back to “I love you”. And I reverted back to not feeling special in receipt of her love. I found myself not wanting to speak the word. Not that I didn’t love my wife, but that I wanted to love her more deeply more purposefully. In the past year I found a new word. I created a new word for the way I wanted my love received. “ILYSM” (pronounced ee- lee - sim) the spoken acronym of I love you so much. And yet upon finding that it was not enough because what I really mean to say is “I love you completely”. “ILYC (ee - lick) is that any more cumbersome than latin? I will discard ILYSM and reserve it for use with my children. As I explain this I wonder how much the average person considers to what degree they love? Does it really matter? Well, Yes. I long to be loved not like a pastrami sandwich or a Lamborghini. I long to be loved for me. I long to be loved and to love in a divine purposeful way.
journeying onMay 12, 2015
If I were to map my life’s journey it would be clear to see how often I visited the little town of Confused. That place of great uncertainty, where fear threatens each moment begging to be acknowledged. I only recognize the fear from past experience when I thought we were friends. When I invited it in not knowing who he truly was. And I fed him well until he refused to leave and he slept with me at night and kept me company by day. He introduced me to his friends doubt and shame. Under his influence I nearly tossed my map aside and I nearly gave up on my journey. I awoke one day without fear. I stepped outside to find hope and dreams had been waiting all this time. They hadn’t given up on me as I made a few wrong turns. It was I who had laid them by the wayside, but they had found me. I tried to rush off quietly so that we could get away before fear and doubt woke up and chased my dear hope and dreams away. They would not hear of it. At their insistence we stepped back inside. I pulled up the blinds and threw open the window. The giant that had taken over my life proved nothing in the direct light of day. The bully cowered in the presence of hope and dreams then scurried away, disappearing down a dark alley. My old friends reminded me that this is the home that I had built. Fear had me think I was lost and that I was nowhere, when in reality I was exactly where I should be. Fear had made me think I was powerless, when I was at the center of my place of power. Fear nearly encouraged me to run from this. Had I run I might never have found my place again. For it would have been all too easy to mistake running from myself as the journey I was on.
controversyMay 1, 2015
We need to stop being black. Because when we stop being black they stop being white. And when we stop being what divides us we can begin to unite. When we unite we UNTIE the bonds that have held us separate for so long. We stop giving the power to those we do not want to have the power and we give the power to ourselves, Each other. This is not an argument this is an agreement. We see things the same way. We know we have been doing things the same way they have been done and we have been expecting change. We are the change. We are the revolution. Let's untie and unite We are brothers and sisters of mother earth and father time.
make it stop II / BaltimoreApr 28, 2015
I am a racist
I do not belong here.
I was born black in a white world.
who made this so?
and why have I accepted it?
why have we accepted it?
This world is full of color and yet we swallow
like the chemicals they manufacture to make us dependent on the chemicals they manufacture to combat the disease we have gotten from the chemicals they manufacture.
We swallow the idea that the other colors are meaningless.
We accept that to see the colors in the middle is extremist.
but only accepting the opposite ends of the spectrum is normal.
Those who speak of disparity are hushed
not by the ones who sell the rules but by those who listen.
I am a racist.
My children fight to figure out if they are white or black.
because each means something completely different.
one means they have to defend their history
one means they have no history
One choice or the other.
We have been sold and have bought what has been reduced for sale
that which we don’t want and don’t need.
What we know:
White or Black or Other, we bleed.
Each time we kill, a piece of us dies
The ones we hurt have families who hurt
We can not make sense of the senseless, so let’s stop trying.
I will stop being a racist.
Today I stop being Black.
I now am the color of my soul,
my color covers the spectrum of the rainbow.
I will see you as me
and within me I will know you.
My name is Bill a derivative of William.
That which I am, I will.
I will be you.
I will be love.
I will be light.
I will be.
make it stopApr 28, 2015
Okay, now it’s Baltimore, Another riot.
I can no longer stay quiet.
No I will not pick up my arms
to do some mother or father or someone’s child harm.
I have family in blue and now in battle gear.
We fight terrorist over there
and you rioters are my terrorists here.
When you feel you can’t be heard and the profanities you sling seem absurd,
You lash out with weapons not your words.
Although you may not get to see
You best believe the hate you cast
will most definitely be received.
It never goes where it needs
hate does not discriminate.
hate grows happy when someone, anyone bleeds.
My brothers, my sisters, my cousins decide
tomorrow or tomorrow’s tomorrow
will today’s actions bring you pride?
or shame? and cause you to hide
we need not be a tool
dancing to strings pulled by some fool.
Stop the stupidity, stop the anger, stop the hate, stop the rage
lay down your arms.
Let the scribes write the positive of today on the page.
GOD lives within us not far off above
Fill yourself with GOD, overflow with love.
Look across the lines see a mother, see a father, see a child, a son, a daughter, a grandfather, a grandmother
and know they have a name.
They will stop being rioters or cops when you do the same.
unlockApr 17, 2015
You hold the key to happiness. You hold the key to joy.
just holding the key will not start a car,
will not open a door,
will not unlock a lock.
We must partner our dreams, goals, and desires with the key to accomplish whatever it is we set out to accomplish.
We must take action.
Sometimes when you have the key but don't know where it fits you must ask for help. You may have to actually ask for some assistance.
You may have to humble yourself.
Yes, you may find the solution on your own, eventually.
But there is no need to postpone your happiness.
There is no need to postpone joy.
Use the keys that you were given at birth,
Use the keys you have picked up throughout life to unlock and share.
Because the more you give of hope, happiness, love and joy
the more you have to give.
And the more you give the more space you have to receive.
ProcessApr 16, 2015
When I write from my heart I am usually surprised when I read what I have written. The words capture the essence of what I am feeling or was feeling but are not what I would have chosen to write if I were thoughtfully crafting the work. I read the words and know they came from me. I can remember the process of the writing. Yet the words seem strange. I have spoken and written about my writing before. I feel when I am writing that I am transcribing words that are being spoken into my ear. My writing is artful listening, hopefully. I do not know who or what the speaker is. Is it me? Is it the muse? Is it Angels? Is it GOD? I do not need an answer. Frankly, I don’t want an answer. I just want to continue hearing. My goal is not to be a great writer. I seek to be a good listener and a good scribe.
her innocenceApr 14, 2015
I look you in the eye
not because you are the object of desire
it is not that you set my heart, my mind, my loin on fire
I nod to you
It is my bow
to the honor you are born with but may not know right now
it is not the curve of your hip
or the pucker of your lip that catches my eye
It is the Queen in you
the hope that one day you will be president
the hope that one day you will know your power
I look you in the eye and see a daughter, a sister, a mother, a grandmother
and hope you do not know their struggle
my hope that should you choose so in this life
you accomplish more than just wife
you turn from me and laugh
you think your underwire ignites my fire
that your hip makes my heart beat dip
I look you in the eye
and send to you via spiritual wifi
honor, courage, strength and love
for with this, the girl you are
will become the lady I see.
innocenceApr 14, 2015
Young black man
I wave at you
not because we are friends
although we may be one day
because not very long ago you were unseen
not very long ago you could not grow to be a man
you could only be a boy
Young black man
I nod to you
because maybe your father
or your father’s father was worth only the work he could do
and you are worth my time
Young black man
you see me and laugh
you see my nod and don’t understand
may you never know
I wave at me in you
the me that did not know hate
the me that did not know injustice
the me that did not know I was not a leading man
the me that did not know what was ahead
Young black man
one day you will wave at me
when you wave I hope you wave at you inside of me.
listeningApr 13, 2015
Cymatics: the study of visible sound vibration.
Life is the result of sound taking shape. We are essentially the existence of GOD’s spoken word. We are not listening for GOD to speak. We are GOD’s speech. Each of us is a complete story. Our lives are not chapters in the book of life. They are complete books. In religion we are taught to listen to GOD. We are taught to pray to GOD and wait for a response. Life is that response. If we are the spoken word of GOD then GOD’s response to us will come in living form. GOD speaking to us will not be a disembodied voice wafting out of the ether. GOD speaks to us constantly through the people, places and things in our life.
something diedApr 9, 2015
(this was in a notebook I found I wrote this about an accident I nearly had while riding my motorcycle in North Hollywood, CA around 2003)
This morning a late model silver Toyota Tundra pick up truck ran a red light. It is such an odd moment when disaster jumps in your path. My life did not flash before my eyes as I decelerated towards the moment of impact. What did flash before my eyes were my options. At no point did I give in or give up and think there is no way out of this. I did not brace for the hit or ready myself for pain. Instead I saw that I had room to brake. I might even have room to accelerate around this thing.
(the motorcycle skidded to a stop 6-8 inches from the side of the truck. The female driver of the truck was more shaken than I was. Having averted disaster I drove off. The driver followed me to the alley where I was parking my bike to explain that her dog was choking in the back seat of the truck and she was distracted. I calmly looked at her and said “nothing happened”
So much life happened in the brief moments of this averted accident. Within that brief moment I lived fully. I saw options. I chose accordingly. The outcome was that nothing spectacular happened. And yet that was spectacular. The rest of that day was a haze of magical possibilities. Yet I cannot remember anything else that happened that day. I think at times that in the movie version of my life that would be the moment I died. The moment my soul refused to give up. And here I am dead refusing to cross over continuing on as if nothing happened. From that moment many many magical things and magical moments have happened in my life. And I wonder did I die that day? Or did I start living? It may not have been that day. It may have been that that day was the day that caused the scales to tip allowing me to see everything differently. I made a choice on how I wanted to live that moment without panic with full clarity of what lay before me. In that moment I focused solely on the option I had chosen. Nothing else mattered. Much like in meditation we un-focus everything except what we need to process through. In that moment my focus or hyper-focus on the situation at hand allowed me to slip through some gap in all that I had known into the space that I now live in. A place where the waking world is as surreal and malleable as the dream world. A part of me may have died in that moment. That part of me sacrificed itself so that this part of me could live fully.
|Apr 8, 2015|
The time is now. As a youngster I was terribly impatient. I wanted the special things to happen right now. So I impatiently waited. I held my breath. I did nothing. I bided my time. I wish I could say that with maturity I have become more patient. I haven’t. I still want the special things to happen now. With maturity I do not just sit and wait for the special. I work toward the special moments. I create in the waiting time. Somewhere in my maturation I came to an awareness that some of the special moments are divine and some are man made. So instead of idly waiting for whoever creates the special moments to create the special moments I would create some. So I toil away in the waiting time creating moments. In the process I also discovered the specialness of now. Yes, now is a special moment created just for each of us. What makes it special? Just look around. It may be the people, places, and things in your life. For someone else it may be you in their life. Each time I find myself waiting for the special. I look around and realize the time is now.
contemplationApr 1, 2015
I dream a wonderful dream. I don’t want to wake. There are dreams within dreams and dreams within those dreams each layered and interlaced. Being aware of one layer makes me aware of the other layers. Like the house of mirrors I lose track of the original. And like the house of mirrors I can never see the original only the reflections. When I eventually wake will these three beautiful children remain? Will all that I covet continue to exist? How much of this world only exists in my mind and how much is a universal truth? I don’t want answers. I don’t want the anxiety of knowing this will go when I choose to un-blink. Regardless of what the next moment holds for us I am glad I dreamed you into my life. I am glad I dreamed your love into my life. Like a childhood toy that eventually breaks, I will always have this even after I wake.
Draw a new mapMar 31, 2015
“Aim for the target”. “Keep your head up”. “Shoot for the stars”. I heard all of these and more growing up and I did as I was told. “I aimed high”. “I pushed to the limit.” I discovered there may be another way. In 2005 I ran the length of the State of Vermont. From the north west corner (Highgate Springs) to the south east corner (Guilford). My prep for this was run, run, run. The running was not difficult because I like to run. But running in Vermont can be difficult because no place in Vermont is flat for long. When I trained I would decide either how far I wanted to run or for how long I wanted to run. In the process of all this running I figured out how to flatten out the state. Keep my head down. When I ran I would look about 6 to 8 feet in front of me. No matter if I was running uphill or downhill the road six feet before me looked the same. No obstacles. Also by looking down I placed my body position in a constant state of falling forward. I leaned in the direction I was going. Everything was flat. All my runs became flat runs. There were normal flats, slow flats (uphill) and fast flats (downhill) but they all looked the same. I accomplished this discovery by not listening to what I was told. I did not keep my head up. And yet I found a new way. I didn’t overcome the obstacles I removed them before they became obstacles. I found a new way. A way that worked for me. I relate this story not as a means of telling anyone how to do something my way but rather to illustrate that I found a new way that works for me. Each of us works to accomplish a great number of tasks in our lifetime. Often we take advice from others on how best to achieve our goals. This anecdote is to say you may already have the solution, “Go with your gut”. Find your way and have a blast discovering it.
just livingMar 27, 2015
Not every day is a special day.
Some days have to be ‘the day before’ or ‘the day after’
and since yesterday was a good day, yeah just a good day, and tomorrow isn’t here,
today is a special day.
My hopes and dreams are still alive today.
And there is weather and food.
And the people I love are close by.
Today is a special day.
I have a feeling about tomorrow, a good feeling.
But I’m gonna soak up today while it’s here.
Black FridayMar 26, 2015
Today is black Monday or Tuesday or Wednesday.
Everyday is black day.
Although I have tried, I have never been un-black.
I have been told it is okay to be overwhelmed by being me.
Thus making it okay to be my own burden.
I am black.
Yes, I can dance, I just can't dance out of my skin.
I have tried, to be less black for this interview, to be more black for that crowd.
I have bleached my hair.
I can not bleach my soul.
I have wrestled with myself, only to stop when considering who the winner will be.
I must unburden myself of the burden that I am a burden.
I must dance into my skin, dance into my soul.
I must, by loving me, let others know how to love me.
Today is Black Friday, My Friday.
Today is the day I stop bearing the overwhelming burden of being me.
Today I stop being only black and start being all black.
Today is when being fully me helps you be fully you.
Today is Black Friday.
Tomorrow is Black Saturday.
Each day will begin black and end black.
Forever it will be that way.
resurrectionMar 26, 2015
I died 5 years ago
the moment I let doubt overshadow hope
when I stopped believing that which I am was ‘enough’
and started accepting “I need do more”.
I stopped breathing.
When I started listening to my ego
and stopped following my heart
it slowed at first, then it stopped beating.
Consumed by keeping up with the Jones’s (whoever they are)
I stopped dreaming.
There is food on the table but my soul stopped feeding years ago.
The shame is no one misses me.
No one misses what I did not do because it was not expected to be done.
No one knew that I was the one
the one who conjures the miracles
Unseen miracles are not missed.
I miss me.
As of today I stop doing what is expected of me.
Today I return to the place I died,
to the place I remain unmoving.
I have found the courage to breathe life into me.
We need, Hell, I need me to bring back the miracles.
I need me to once again close my eyes and see that doing things is not living life.
I died 5 years ago.
Today I resurrect me.
in this skinMar 25, 2015
I did not choose the color of my skin.
I did not choose on my body what parts stick out and what pokes in.
I did get to choose the me I am today.
what I’m gonna wear,
how I’m gonna act
and what I’m gonna say.
Following the lead of parents and teachers and mentors wise.
I fall down
I get up
I keep my eyes on the prize.
My voice may be strong but need not be loud.
My word filled with truth do my ancestors proud.
With trials and errors I’ve found my style.
When you see my actions or hear my words, I hope you smile.
I did not choose my height, my sex, my skin.
I did choose to live fully in the skin I’m in.
being / doingMar 24, 2015
For the second time in less than a week I could not sleep. My head, like a freshly kicked bee hive was abuzz with activity. A call to action. All that must be done parading through my mind and yet this call to action was more than about the doing. Many times in my life I have asked for a sign. Some affirmation that I was on the right path. Each night before bed I go outside and look to the night sky wondering if there will be a sign. A shooting star perhaps? Each night nothing. This sleepless night was a sign. It also made me aware of the other signs that I have been given yet was not aware of at the time. The most prominent sign is in my name “B”. I scanned my life last night. “B” business, bill, billosophy, brand, body, being. My life has become a string of “B”s. What does it say? What does it mean? It is not cryptic it is simplistic. “B”. Any reader has gotten it by now, my sign was, is to just be. Whoa Nellie! How do I provide by just being? I have a family. I have a mortgage. There are repairs to be made, vehicles to fuel. None of theses things get done by just being. So what must I do? There is that answer again “BE”. It can not be that simple. We all know or think we know that in order for something to happen we must “do”. I have gotten to where I am by doing. I have done heaps. And now I should just be? I am a man of faith. I have been given my marching orders. Today I begin being not just being but fully being. Today and each subsequent today until the today that I am given new orders. Until the today a new sign is given I will be fully engaged in being.
nothingMar 23, 2015
Nothing. Nirvana. The idea of striving for an equilibrium where existence is amplified by the absence of things is both welcoming and daunting. In living I am in a constant state of gaining more. More experience, more friends, more memories, more things. In identifying what more I have I am more greatly befuddled, trying to wrap my head around less. I have no idea how to un-tether myself from the balloon of all that I currently know. I know how to learn and even the learning is gaining more. I am not sure how I gain the knowledge of nothing. I grasp at it and seize nothing. I question my action, my intention, my awareness, I gain nothing. Am I missing the point? Or is this the point? And maybe it is not for me to strive for nothing? Maybe I should not be trying to grasp nothing? Maybe the question is the answer and the answer is nothing. For the absence of the answer to the question may be the same as the absence of the question for the answer? I see that it is impossible to search for nothing as it is impossible to find nothing. In this discovery, this understanding I stop my quest, I stop hunting this illusion. I stop playing this game and I allow nothing to discover me. I empower the nothing to find me where I am. I allow nothing to target me, just being.
searching for intelligent lifeMar 13, 2015
Searching to find myself is pretty ridiculous. I mean, because after all I am right here. I can look on a map and tell you right where I am. But what if I am not from here? I wonder if there is anyone else who feels that maybe they are not from this planet? At times I feel connected to a place that is disconnected from this earth. From time to time there is a longing within me to return to a place that I have never been. A calling from a far away place that wants me to return. Have you ever written something that upon reading made you question who wrote it? I just did. I have just strung together words that express what I am thinking yet would never come out of my mouth. Questions I dare not speak, for fear they will alienate me even further from those I long to, need to connect with. Words that make me feel lost although I know exactly where I am. I feel I must protect myself from you. I don’t think I am from outer space. I was born here. I grew up here. So why do I miss a place I do not know? What is this that I am feeling? Will the answer help me connect with my higher self? Will the questions drive me crazy? Until I have answers here I am. From here I will continue to string the words together in an order that tries to make sense of the that which fills my head.
validationMar 12, 2015
The following is as true as I can remember.
Two years of study at a college in my community.
My grades standing on their toes struggled to reach “D”.
As far as I could see
a diploma was not to be.
Without matriculation would I have validation?
So I trained my body to do what I need,
and hoped my mind would take the seed.
Decades and continents, so many friends, so many faces.
My learning was in the world from these people from these places.
and oh, what I learned would not have come from the ivy-ed walls.
Information gained from back allieys, back streets and hawker stalls.
What semester would have trained me to see a fuller spectrum of light?
that my worth is not from validation but birth right.
Each day continues my education,
for only I can issue my validation.
PainMar 9, 2015
While working with Cirque du Soleil it was discovered that I had a degenerated disc between L3 and L4 in my lower back. With the support of the amazing physical therapists and physiotherapists we came up with a regimen of exercises that would enable me to live relatively pain free. It is just over a decade since this discovery and I have recently made some changes in my life, some changes in my routine. The result is I am experiencing some pain. So now I search to find a way to get this pain to leave my body. While some may suffer silently I have chosen to write about it ... my way.
The result of toil and wear has born in me a parasitic presence that feeds on my soul.
Constantly it gnaws on hope and joy.
Eroding all but the want of its departure.
wearing away, wearing away.
I long for its absence.
A moments rest.
I would accept nothing, if it meant being devoid of this.
Simplicity no longer exists.
This parasite has attached itself to simple, making it anything but.
Who was I before? Will I ever be again?
You are not my friend. Go away.
Your presence does not make me stronger. Go away.
Only in your absence will I be stronger.
I could use that strength to fight you now.
As silently as you arrived, will you please leave?
the legendMar 6, 2015
In many cultures throughout history there has been legend, some say of a woman, some say of a man, and in some it is just a being that has the power to transform dreams. This being has the ability to reach into thin air and take grasp of dreams and imaginations and breath life into them making them real. With all tellings this person was tall in stature, standing a full head above the average man. It was also consistently noted the hands seemed to have experienced great toil yet moved with precise dexterity. It is also said the hands could deftly cull bad dreams and discourage them from existing. Not so widely recounted, this person would appear to those plummeting into the pit of despair to gently embrace them not allowing them to hit bottom. Among the different cultures this being has known many names but most commonly they are referred to as “Dreamcatcher”.
the road aheadMar 5, 2015
I didn’t dream of growing older, just growing up. I had big plans back then, of what? I don’t remember anymore. I know I wanted to travel. I wanted to meet people. I wanted to be a good dad. I didn’t dream of working or what job I would have. It was not a thought that I would have to provide for my family. Well the thought was not of providing financially. I really never thought about money. I knew and have always known that I could provide emotionally and spiritually for my family and my friends and strangers and whoever. I have always known that I can take care of the world. From time to time I wonder if I can take care of me. From time to time I wonder if it is possible to dream too big? When I question this I then wonder if this is the space outside of my normal? the place were growth happens? Is this how I broaden my horizon? by stepping out of my comfort zone? If so, then I have lived most of my adult life outside of my comfort zone. Toes on the edge, I have been living. For here I am again, uncomfortable. Looking down an unfamiliar path at uncertainty. I am not scared by any means. Yet I don’t not know what lies ahead. I guess none of us really knows what lies ahead even if we stay well within the comfort zone. So in reality all that lies ahead is unpredictable. Well, unless I look at the preparation and the process that has been set in motion. Then the unpredictable part is the timing of when it all happens. I have struggled my life to this very moment with patience. I remain calm, for the most part, but that calm belies the inner me who franticly needs things to move along and move along to an expected resolve. As these things move along I age. I am no longer that young thing hoping for, working for an amazing outcome. I have aged some. I now wear the skin of the middle aged man. Too late for me to be the next hot young sensation. Fresh and young are no longer my adjectives. The laugh lines have turned to full fledged wrinkles. The joints creak. The mind is still young. The heart is still strong. The ideas are fresh and new and empowering. I hope they are enough to keep me going.
the termsMar 4, 2015
I may never be voted most sexy
not being most popular is alright by me.
To have tried my hardest and not to win is well...
Okay, I need to stop.
I would like to know that my caring and kindness makes me popular.
It would be nice to know that someone covets me from afar.
Oh how I would frivolously spend my lottery winnings throwing money to help others and grinning.
My heart may not be pure but my intentions are good.
I will accept the burdens of fame and wealth,
yet not at the expense of my family or their health.
Maybe I am not to have these.
for my terms the givers are not pleased.
So I may not be most sexy, most popular, most wealthy.
I am happy, I am loved, I am healthy.
frustrationFeb 26, 2015
Things are prepared and do not go as planned.
Moments are lost for no reason.
He stops speaking to you.
what have you said? What have you done?
No matter how much you plead the answers don’t come.
A tear forms, teeters on the edge threatening to spill over the lid to slide carefree down your face. A tear that threatens to betray your calm composed exterior.
Internally, temperature rises.
The outside stays cool not flashing signs of anything. Composure.
Expectations weren’t met.
The results in no way represent the preparation.
She won’t look at you.
Your face is numb. Your heart races on.
Your lungs have been filled with cotton, or so it seems.
This has a name. You wish you were good with names. I wish I were good with names.
I want to remember this name. I want to name this.
I swear. I swear, again. I hate to swear.
Whatever this is, is making me swear.
No. Making me do things I don’t like doing.
This isn’t me.
Wait, I know its name.
Now it’s gone.
nothingFeb 26, 2015
Some mornings there is just nothing.
nothing to motivate or inspire and nothing to discourage.
No want or need for more.
The nothing has no color yet when I think of nothing it is gray.
Nothing is not a room or a place. It is no place. It is the absence of all I know.
It is the unknown, the unknowable
neither comfortable nor threatening.
soundless and un-seeking a vibrational signature
within the nothing I seek the sound of my heartbeat, my breath, my footfalls.
I seek the comfort of me, not the doing me, the being me..
ActivismFeb 23, 2015
I am not a Black panther
or a member of SLA or Act Up or any other.
Yet, I am changing the world.
This mornings actions consisted of cooking an omelette, dressing a 5 year old engaging an 8 year old and encouraging a 12 year old.
I shape the future each day.
There is no need to race around outside seeking windmills to charge.
Moments after waking it is clear what need be done.
Sometimes the need wakes me in the night.
I must comfort my future from the nightmare that disrupts the now.
My activism is not a religious movement, it is not a political position.
It is personal, it is persistent, it is pressing.
My activism is parental.
Black history month runs outFeb 22, 2015
Quickly we race toward February’s end. We race toward normalcy, toward acceptance of oversight. For another year we will box up and store my history. Eleven months where black’s throughout history have at their greatest accomplishment received emancipation. I will, for another year, not be the face of an emerging population. I will not be a fresh voice for my people. I will be identified as an oddity among those whose company I work diligently to keep. In my neighborhood I will again be that neighbor, you know, “the big guy”. Yet, I will not have changed. I will still not be a very good basketball player. I will still not know how to do that handshake thing. I will not speak with the hippest terms. February will come to an end. I will continue to love my family. I will continue to create with great passion. My hair will continue to gray, if I were not to shave it off. My skin will be brown in the same way. My ancestors will still have been slaves. With their memory this path I will continue to blaze.
I am black history tooFeb 18, 2015
Firmly in the midst of black history month, I reflex on my history. My black history. I guess that since I have always been black any history I have is black history. But I question my experience. Growing up I felt other than black. At a time when I was seeking my identity, my similarities, my differences, my culture I felt less than black. My life experience did not resemble the stories being told by black comedians. My blackness did not look anything like what I saw in the movies or on television. I was entertained by the media portrayals of blacks for the most part. In a small part I was left confused because if my experience was not one that the media recounted, maybe my experience was wrong? Maybe my experience was invalid? In group settings I had heard and definitely felt, in groups of non - blacks, that I was ‘not black enough’. In groups of other blacks I had heard and I felt, I was ‘not black enough’. Maybe I wasn’t black? Beyond skin color what does it mean to be black? Or better yet can one look black and still not be black? These were not questions that I could easily answer. For decades I struggled to find my identity. I traveled extensively in search of me. Not just the black me. On one instance, in my late twenties, I was confronted by a Russian immigrant who had only been in the country a few months. We were performing together and I guess working so closely he felt it appropriate to ask, “Why are you not like the real black americans?” Gut Punch! As a circus performer I worked in an industry that was predominantly not black. Every day of my early career I questioned how far I could go. I questioned, who would accept me? I questioned, who would hire me? Because of the questions I trained my ass off. I would not be a token. I would not be hired to fill a quota. I would not be affirmative action in action. I was like the other black americans. I was following my heart. I was putting the best me out there to survive and thrive. Two decades later that question still echoes in my head. Will my children be asked this question? Slavery existed on this continent for more than 400 years. Every descendant of slaves is a testament of strength of will and strength of body. There is not only one black experience. I grew up in the country in rural South Jersey. Culturally I have nothing in common with a black kid, who may share a birthday with me yet was born and raised in New York City. That black kid from New York City will not share the same cultural experience as another black kid from Atlanta. Yes, we are all black but we are not all the same. Who’s black identity is more valid than any other’s? I hope to pass along to my children, who’s mother is not black, that they too can proudly be black. As I have come to discover, I don’t have to identify myself as black, because I am black. I will always be black because I can not be un-black. What I have had to do is discover who I am intellectually, morally, personally. When nothing else about me is outstanding it is by the basest means that I will be described. If I am a good athlete, I will be identified as a good athlete. If I am a good writer, I will be called a good writer. Once I solidly discovered who I was I stopped questioning, as did others, why I was ‘not like other blacks’. My experience will forever be the black experience.
I am black historyFeb 16, 2015
I am Black history
from Africa to America spanning the world, quite possibly
my DNA struggled to survive to make what is me.
My existence is a testament to survival fitness
my life is to nurture the future and to the past bear witness.
My name is the name that to property they gave.
My heritage my lineage is that of a slave
Yes, slave, property harsh words to hear
Great Granddad was born slave, three generations too near.
Granddad laid bricks played music and sang
Hope from Grandma’s illiterate lips, I sprang
A lineage broken in Georgia or Carolina south
passed on and on by word of mouth.
The legacy must pass through me to give my children power
for their momma’s line stepped off the Mayflower.
in both I must help them see honor
for the strength and the pride that made me must endure.
listening and teaching and learning I press on without blame.
learning from the past about my past, I move on without shame.
Each new day, new creation I write a new story
one of survival, renewal, reflection doggedly pushing toward glory
I am black yesterday, I am black now. I am black history.
valentineFeb 14, 2015
we give love, we take love but can we just be love? Not be in it, not make it, not seek it. Overflowing it. when our eyes see they are forced to see with the filter of love. when we breathe our bodies infuse the air with love. when our hearts beat it pumps the essence of life which is love. existing in love is not a fashion statement or trend or social calling card. existing in love is not learned but a result of unlearning how we are taught to fear, to mistrust, to coerce, to become. allow the soul to resonate with its unique signature vibration of love and all answers will be answered all needs will be met. let love lead the way. be love.
give up?Feb 14, 2015
at what point do I throw in the towel? at what point do I quit and say "close enough"? I have given myself the underhanded compliment of being 'too lazy' to give up. Tonight I am tired. the mind will not be quiet. so many ideas. where are the outlets? I am tired. Tonight, I will dream a tomorrow that tomorrow will be real. I will conjure that which I need to thrive. Now, I ask for guidance to lead me to my goal. Not the goal that I think I want but the goal to which I am entitled. My spirit guides, my angels please assist me for I grow weary. As I listen, as I hear I will not give up. I will continue to let the universal energy of love and light flow through me and into everything that I am and everything that I do. for as I give I am ready to receive. may my words and my actions and my deeds be blessed. for as long as it is today, I will continue.
Cosmic GPSFeb 12, 2015
People have said to me “You’re always so happy” and when I hear it I think “if you only knew”. I am a complete human and just like any other I have downs and ups. I am neither a “glass half full” or a “glass half empty” guy. I revel in there being a glass and bonus if there is anything in it at all. That mindset is a choice. It is far too easy to be depressed. If you think about it, at any given moment there are hundreds of billions of choices that can be made and for each of those moments we must choose one. Of all the things that can happen throughout our existence we can only partake in a very small fraction of them. What is not to be depressed about? So in life we must make wise choices to maximize our experience. Knowing there are so many choices can be debilitating, for which choice is right? We each internally hold the answer to that question. Each of us is on a unique journey “the journey of life”. Each of our lives has a purpose and a meaning that is only known to us. We each have within us a “cosmic GPS” system that helps us make the choices that keep us on track in life’s journey. Ignoring this inner guide or misreading it takes us off course. I had heard people say to me “follow your heart” and I did not have a clue what they were talking about. Yet here I am saying the same thing, “follow your ‘cosmic’ GPS”, “Go with your gut”. This is the source of my happy. Try to remember back to the first time you used a GPS device. Can you remember the satisfaction of this little gadget actually getting you where you wanted to go? That is where my happy comes from. Every time I reach a destination, a connection with a friend, or achieve a milestone it is a miracle that I navigated through the billions of other choices to reach my goal. How can I not be happy? Everyone I encounter whether they are giving or taking is part of this master plan or grand journey. I don’t always know if I am heading in the right direction. I don’t need to know. I have to feel with my heart, with my gut, with my happy meter. Having to make one good choice, with the billions of options that exist, opens the door for miracles to be possible. When I think of miracles as being a part of normal life, how can I not be happy most of the time?
it's all about me.Feb 6, 2015
Could I have told my younger self, in a way that he could hear, about today? And all the todays it took to get to now. What would I say to prepare myself for the hurdles, the beautiful beaches, the deep ravines of living that must be lived? I did not know that accepting for richer or for poorer was the easy part. That finding a way to fall in love with the same person everyday for decades would be work. Continually discovering new parts of me is necessary to stall premature aging. Being a parent involves more than feeding, clothing and sheltering. Could the younger me even hear these things? Yes he could, but he could not understand. Just as any of us can identify a foreign language but that does not mean we can comprehend the meaning. If I could go back and talk to the younger me, would I? No, a resounding NO! Today is great. Yes, there are things I would like and do not have. There is a lot still left to learn. Tomorrow I need to wake up and fall in love again as I did today. There are kids who need food, clothing, shelter and love. I have mistakes to make, learning to do. The younger me got me here. I hope the older me is happy with me today. Today I do not wish to race ahead and ask an older me what I need to know today. I will live as fully as I can and thank myself, today.
2 create or...Feb 4, 2015
the fight to create is not a struggle I have with the world, it is a struggle that, incessantly, wages in me. I push and pull, tearing at my soul to create something that is tangible and valid and worthy. if there is fear it is not fear of failure but fear of succeeding. fear of succeeding yet creating something that has no value in the world. creating something that falls short of what is expected of me. my expectations for myself are high. I would not hold anyone else to such high expectations, for doing so would be unfair. ego fully in check can lead to that which is the opposite of the ego assuming far too much power. I do not strive for perfection. just like success, perfection is a metaphorical construct that can not be validated. anything created by human will have a flaw. it is the flaws that give any creation its uniqueness. I will continue to struggle my creations into being. allowing my flaws to character my expression. I will bring to life and to light that which is uniquely me and that which no one else could possibly create. In doing so I will honor myself with my gifts to the world.
Miam day 3Jan 22, 2015
After eating my breakfast at a little Italian(like) place in Miami Beach it was time to head over to the Fountainbleau hotel for another day of solution searching. Unlike many of the want to be TV moguls at the conference I am not trying to sell my concept for money, I am not trying to flip a script for cash. I am looking for a way to tell my stories on the little screen. I am looking for someone to pony up money to make it possible for me to make the TV programs I have developed. Day one I did just like everyone else in the place I went around looking to see what people were looking for and then trying to shape myself and my work into that thing. As I walked the three quarters of a mile from the inexpensive parking garage to the very expensive hotel I gave myself a pep talk. I braced myself for the day. Not a block into my walk I stopped bracing and changed my tune. I decided not to become what they were looking for. I decided to introduce them to me. I would not and should not change for them. I am unique. I have a unique story to tell. I just need to get the ear of the right person. I decided to listen to the angels. Let them guide me through the chaos. My plan was to talk to everyone, don’t try to sell anything just talk. I would ask “what kind of content are you looking for?” most of the distributors I spoke with told me they sell content they don’t buy it. Did I still have hay on my back from falling off the horse cart? In my mind I knew that in order to sell a product that you did not make you have to buy it somewhere and this is that somewhere. So many times my angels told me to move on. So I did. Why was I here? if all I was going to get were locked doors. I was not going to bang my head on the market floor so I decided to sit in on some panel discussions. i let my heart guide me not my head. What felt right did not always seem right. In the first panel discussion I was blown away it seemed the panelist were saying what I have said before. The were posing the same hypotheticals I have posed. It seemed that my angels were speaking. After the first panel I wanted to ask the panelist further question. I asked one of the panelist who is the content acquisitions guy for a major internet channel, “if I am nobody in the cyber world yet I have content of high quality how will you ever find it? His response: “Send me a link to your work” as he handed me his business card. Before he left the room I did not see him hand out another card. I wanted to check out the Jay Leno chat after that but moseyed my way there asking the security guards if they needed any chocolate. Heck many of the booths on the market floor had chocolates they were giving away why not share with the folks who are working the hardest? Only one guard accepted my offer of chocolate. Jay Leno spoke like an angel he said many poignant things that pertained directly to me. He spoke of authenticity. He spoke of keeping the skills sharp. Each panel seemed to speak directly to me. I did not feel like I was trying to find meaning yet I felt like I was finding it. There was even a moment that may lead to something down the line but I will leave that for another time. It was a fantastic day and yet I have nothing magnificent to say. Accept I was fully me today. I did not conform or contort or bow or bend to be anything but me and it felt great.
Miami day 2Jan 21, 2015
On this journey, regardless of the end, I must acknowledge the help that I have had along the way. At times I am filled to overflowing with gratitude for the people who have gone out of their way to accommodate me or just give a kind word. I feel compelled to honor them by doing the same, giving back whenever I can. So the reason I am in Miami is for the NAPTE (National Association of Television Program Executives) conference. This conference is where a great deal of television content is bought and sold in North America. Although the buyers and sellers represent buyers and sellers around the world. My part in this process is I am a seller. I have created “content” that I would like to produce. So my day begins with getting up at 5:30 so that I can get out of the apartment by 6:30 to make the hour drive from Ft. Lauderdale where I am staying to get to Miami Beach where the conference is being held. The Fountainbleau hotel is the setting of a wonderful carnival that is NAPTE. It doesn’t demand a second look to catch a glimpse of major TV personalities because many of them are here to represent the products that they have on sale here. It is sometimes strange to think of myself as belonging. Yet here I am I can have a conversation about the business with broadcast personalities and internet sensations before lunch. Of course I post my selfies with these folks not as way to gloat but as a means of documenting that yes, we are of equal status. Yes, I belong. I have to remind myself from time to time that “I am a producer”. I have come here with something I have produced therefore “I belong” here. And in this place, where I belong, my belonging honors everyone who helped me get here.
Heading to MiamiJan 20, 2015
As I plodded around the house this morning at 4 am wondering “what lay ahead for me?”. Not getting an answer and not expecting an answer, I had a moment of clarity. I have been here before. Not at this very moment in time or even this place but at this metaphysical intersection. I guess it would be better described as a cliff instead of an intersection because here I was yet again about to take a leap of faith. I recognized this moment as feeling all too familiar. I felt this moment 10 years ago when I was about to run across the state of Vermont. I imagine this is what those biblical dudes felt like when GOD commanded them to do what they did. It is not for me to determine if my task is as noble or honorable as any other but this morning I head off to Miami. Fortunately this time I am not running. Throughout my journey I will keep my eyes and my ears open for the next instructions. As I move forward with the same uncertainty that we each face the next moment with I will allow that faith to guide me to places I may not find on my own. In the past I felt somewhat like a puppet being manipulated on this journey I feel as I have guidance. I am soaring with a legion of copilots who have vantages of every possible angle. My job is to continue on the path and remain fully aware of my skills and abilities and remain open to changes in course as suggested by my guides.
the cart before the horseJan 13, 2015
I look at my life and at times it seems I have ordered things all wrong. Have I put the cart before the proverbial horse. So many work their butts off to have the beautiful house on the perfect piece of land in the ideal place. I have that. I have those things. Did I work for it? I’m not sure. I have had a string of “dream jobs” most of which did not feel like work. Yet I continue to dream. For me as one of those “creative” types I don’t long for the dream job. I long for the opportunity to be creative. Along with that I long for the opportunity for my creations to resonate with a majority of the inhabitants (specifically the humans) of this earth. I am not sure if it is macabre or just a little sick... and I am not trying to benefit from the misfortunes of others. In my head there is a little voice that prompts me. That voice nudges me. I don’t know if I am unusual or if everyone has one (or more) of these voices. When Bernie Mac died that voice said “they’re making room”. When Michael Clark Duncan passed away that voice said “a little more room”. Geoffrey Holder passed away last fall and that voice said “it’s your time”. Each of these people I professionally looked up to. Powerful black men who made it in “the business”. Most recently Bill Cosby, who instigated some of my fondest childhood memories, fell from grace. Be it either from his own doing or the doing of others he was toppled from his pedestal. And the voice stopped hinting. The voice shouted “you have a positive message. You have unique ideas. You need to be heard. Take your place”. The voice sounds nothing like the ego, for the ego tries to tell me “You deserve it”. As effusive as the voice may be it is also humble. I realize talking or writing about the voices in my head comes off like crazy talk. Like so many other accomplishments in my life I know where I want to be and I know where I need to be I just don’t know how to get there. And just like any of my other accomplishments I will not stand still in fear. I will move forward. I will make mistakes if necessary. I will take my place. The place where I am recognized as the Entertainer, the Educator, The Inspiration, The Artist, The Producer, the Father, the Friend. Looking at the adjectives that describe me I omitted a few because I can hear the echo of teachers and professors and coaches from my past telling me to specialize in one thing. Although there are all those adjectives, I want to say “I did”. These adjectives would seem to say differently. But I will say again “I did specialize in one thing, Me”. None of us are one dimensional. There is no need to unbalance myself and specialize only in one aspect of my life. I have, over the course of my life honed me to be as true to me as possible. By doing so I am able to speak that truth through any of the things I do. The leader in me is ready to lead and there is a void in leadership. Where will I lead? Follow me and find out.
New YearJan 7, 2015
The new year has rolled in. Every year as with every day of my life I am faced with new challenges some large others small to near insignificant. I have had to realize that pushing further with the documentary project would have been an exercise in futility. It just was not showing a path forward. I, like many other do not want to quit. I do not want to be seen as a quitter and do not want to be labeled as a quitter, so decided to shelf a project before completion is always a tough decision. Pure Vermont has to be shelved. I need to take the energy and time necessary to work on that project and appropriate it toward other more viable works, creations. There is a place in my mind where I understand that some of the basic developmental work has been done for the project so shelving it is not the same as trashing it. The project can always be revisited in the future should there be the want and the need to make it so. 2015 sees me developing some TV projects. (more to come on those developments soon). As of September 2014 I have set aside time each day to write. So, I would have to call myself a writer now. I am as yet unpublished but with the amount of written work that flows from me I would still have to call myself a writer. With yet another new category to check in my life I head into 2015 with plans to catch and share some very big dreams. I go forward turning ideas into actions in order to give them life.
Have and Have NotJul 2, 2014
Forget Black, White, Asian, Indian and what other delineation we have been fed to accept no movement will work until we know what it is we are working towards. The real class separation is between the “haves” and the “have nots”. Now, this delineation is not what you probably think. Having and not having has nothing to do with finance it has to do with opportunity. Since the beginning of time this has been so. In order to succeed we must first believe there is an opportunity for success. For the artist who thinks they must first start with money to buy paper, pen, ink, marker, camera, hammer or whatever to make their art will never find the means to make meaningful works. Oh yes, finances can make the process move more swiftly. But the finances alone will not give the work meaning. Would the Civil Rights Movement have moved any faster with more money? That thing that the “have nots” want to control is not just one thing it is many small things hope, desire, passion, joy, individuality, love. The “have nots” use the same weapon no matter what front they are fighting on, they use fear. That fear is sold to us in many shades fear of failure, fear of harm, fear of shame, fear of embarrassment, fear of financial ruin, fear of self. Their arsenal is huge. The ones we usually look at as the “haves” quite often are the “have not” for the only thing these “haves” have is money. Many don’t have happiness, joy, love, vision, dreams, goals and they don’t want you to know it. For what you must have to truly be a “have” is not something you can hold it is something you must know deep down. When you have that thing no one can take it from you the only way to lose it is if you buy what the “have nots” want to sell you.
Seeking resultsJun 30, 2014
Seeking results. Not everyone gets to see what it entails for another to achieve success. The process. The process is not the same for any two people even two people on similar paths. I have sought for years to become a working performer. I don’t use performer loosely. As a performer I mean one who needs an audience. I do it all. I have found audiences around the world as a performer (Actor, Singer, Dancer, Stuntman, Acrobat, Clown, MC and a few more things that escape me). I recently was made aware of the Audiobook industry. Well, I knew of audiobooks but just not see it as performance opportunity because I did not know what door to knock on. I found the door. An Audio Engineer that I worked with told me about an organization of audiobook producers. I contacted the group. I went to their conference in May. At the conference I was blown away but the support, the sharing of information (among the competition), and the educational opportunities made available to me and everyone. When I got back from the conference I realized if I wanted to do this I needed a space to do it. So I built a small recording booth in my garage. It took me just over a week to built the 3 foot by 5 foot booth, Yes that would be a very small closet. I set up my laptop and did a couple tests of the sound. Then recorded a Demo. I then went a website (www.acx.com) for audiobook producers, loaded my demo and waited. Well, I am not the most patient person. So while waiting I looked at the acx site to see what folks were looking for in audiobook readers and decided to audition for a book. I sent in three audition in two days and on day three I got a response. Someone wanted me to read their book. I am currently in the process of reading the book well really reading and recording the book. I am learning lots about the workflow, the process, the work. This is not the same path I set out on 30 some years ago. The path feels similar rough at times easy at others but work none the less and thank GOD it is rewarding work.
Self recordJun 2, 2014
Recently I had the chance to audition for a film. I had been approached by someone I had just met to read for a part in a short film she had written. She asked if I had the ability to self record ( video taping oneself for the purpose of auditioning ) I said yes. Everything would need to happen in less than 24 hours because it was Wednesday and the film would shoot on Saturday. For anyone not in the performance business this whole process would seem crazy. For that matter many in the performing business would think this process is crazy. Thursday morning I got an email containing the scene I needed to record. I then had to carve out moments in the day to familiarize myself with the lines, find an adequate space to film, and find someone to help me film. It is called “self record” but you really can’t record yourself without a great deal of prep. Firstly you need someone to read the other lines in the scene. Then you need someone to man the camera. I also like to have the outside eye to help me hone my performance. I had figured out how to record my voice doing the other lines so that I could play my character against myself. But I instead decided to enlist my 11 year son to be my assistant. He was great. He kept me on script making sure I did not stray from what was written. He recorded my acting choices and gave creative criticism on for each take. The process was surreal, bizarre and a few other things I don’t have words for. I sent the video out and was flooded with waves of doubt and insecurity. I had to stop myself and ask where this was coming from. Normally in an audition is led by a casting director or the director. In the normal situation you are given an idea of what sort of choices are desired for the character. For this audition I had to decide where I wanted to take the character, what I wanted to show of me and if I did not get the part it would be because I made the wrong choices. Well the waves did not flood me for long. I had made choices. I had recorded those choices. I had sent them on their way. A good director can direct anyone. A good actor makes strong choices. No matter how good you are not every choice you make is going to resonate positively with everyone. That last part put me at ease. I had made strong choices and those choices may not have been what the director wanted or needed. I did not get the part. I was relieved to not have to race to New York, shoot for hours then race back home to fulfill my commitments. I am grateful for the opportunity to have auditioned for the film. I am grateful I had the skills and the resources to self record and send the recording. I am grateful I got to spend time with my son sharing what it is that I do. In the past I would have looked at this as missed opportunity since I was not cast in the film. I look at it today as a blessing. The blessing is that I am still able to do what I do, I am able to share that with my family, I have the skills, I have a loving family that supports what I do.
Pure VermontMar 17, 2014
Since october I have been mulling over and researching for a new documentary film project, with the working title "Pure Vermont: diversity in the 2nd whitest state". One question I have had to ask myself from the beginning is “why do I want to do this?” It has been hard to put a finger on the one "why" since there are so many “whys”. I think to top them all I want to find out who I am. How will I find out who I am by looking at diversity in Vermont? I am not originally from Vermont, although I have put down roots here my roots do not start here. I guess it all starts in childhood. I grew up in what I considered a predominantly Italian agricultural town in So. Jersey, and that is the beginning of my questioning. We identify ourselves partially by where we come from. The kids growing up could say “my Grandmother came over from Italy” “I am German on my mother’s side and half Scotish half French on my father’s side”. I was jealous. I was envious. Forchion, from my dad’s side is a slave name. Mitchell from my mom’s side is a slave name. Names given to my ancestors by their owners, former owners or chosen from the names of prominent land barrens. For most of my life my mother and so many cousins have been researching our origins on the Mitchell side only to reach a dead end where the census records only list numbers of negroes male, female, adult, child. A dead end where there is no bill of sale. As far as I know my ancestry begins when one of my ancestors miraculously had a name. That ancestor may or may not have known where they came from. I was greatly offended in the early 90’s when someone decided that I was now African - American. Up until that time I had filled in the check box Negro, Black, Afro - American. Africa and America are two very large continents. I so wanted a village a piece of land a home a place that I could come from. I would be acceptable to narrow it down to a country Ghana, Mali, Senegal, Cameroon somewhere to root my ancestral tree. Along with this rooting I have wanted to know the myths, fables, rulers and fools of my ancestry. We were not taught about African Kings and Queens in school. Egyptian kings and Queens did not count they were always depicted as white in the text books, I could not relate. I want my kids to know that I am looking for their roots. My bi-racial children can track their maternal lineage as far as they want. I would like to give my children a sense of belonging and moreover a sense of belonging here. I don’t want my kids to simply answer Forchion is a slave name. I want them to know when that name became ours. My documentary Pure Vermont: diversity in the 2nd whitest state is really not about diversity at all it is about inclusion. I no longer want to be excluded because I am Black, African -American, Negro, Native American, Chinese, Thai or wherever my people come from. I want stories of my ancestral Kings and Queens to become our stories. I want to know why someone hates my brown skin, my curly hair, or my brown eyes, I may not change that person but I may change how I approach that person. I want to have no need for Equal Opportunity Employment, no need for Affirmative Action, no need for coalitions for Fairness and Diversity. I want to find a new way to define “Us”, all of us, with honor and dignity.
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