“GET OUT”

Get Out

This film was an amazing, well though out, crazy, racially charged, psycho roller coaster ride. There are many things I could say about the movie but I don’t want any spoilers on this so I will just say a few words. One for my horror movie fans- this movie will deliver. I have never been more creeped out in my life! For the curious – keep a sharp eye on the subtle themes in the film. The guy running for example, just take a moment to think about that for a moment. Now obviously there will be those who want to see how Mr. Peele handles the not-so-subtle racial aspect to this film. Believe me, it stands out, but its more than that. It really speaks to what could be the essence of racism, or perhaps humanity itself, the desire to want what we cannot have. The desire to possess something or someone. I don’t know. But I think I will be thinking twice about going on any family visits with Brittany for a while- you know what I mean?

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ELEMENTS

I wonder what a tree thinks about day in and day out

What does the weather feel as it bellows and groans on a dreary night

Why does the fire seem to sing when struck to life?

I wonder if water knows the fear and power it instills just by watching the waves

The elements of time and space sense our presence and continue to play their melody

I wonder what magic they weave?

What emotions do they conceive?

Are we the invaders of their space?

Do they allow our existence to take place?

They are everywhere and amongst all things

Like a god in disguise to watch over us like a spy

I wonder why

I wonder what a tree thinks about day in and day out

As it watches over us as we muck about

Melancholy as a stormy night

Humming a tune to the firelight

As we stare from the safety of distance at the sea

Are they as sensitive as we?

I think they ache to tell us their dreams for us

They whisper, lightly touch and seek our attention

While we innocently ignore their pleas

We are them and they are us

We forget that it is to them we return

The siren call we all hear

Ashes to Ashes

Dust to Dust

HORROR FAN & PROUD OF IT!

Horror

 

Greetings Horror Fans. This one is for you. So first I have to say that there are actually a lot of people like me. I didn’t realize this until I went to Texas Frightmare 4 yrs ago. Before that time, I never realized how many horror lovers there were out there. It was the first time I felt I could truly let my goth flag fly! Now don’t get me wrong, everyone who is in to horror are not goths. They just might have a strong appreciation for dark and twisted cinema. They may be horror genre specific. For example, they may only love zombie movies or vampire flicks. I consider myself a global horror fan. I love them all from zombies, to vampires, werewolves, ghosts, demons, etc. I am connoisseur of horror.

I consider myself a socially acceptable goth. Only letting that part of myself be known to those whom I deem worthy or when I am around my fellow peers. As a female, I often get reproach from other females for being a horror fan. They cannot understand why I would be a fan of horror movies and not the coveted romantic comedy or drama films. Thus, I will explain.

First, I grew up on these films. Classic horror from the Wolf Man, to Evil Dead, Fright Night to the cult favorite Friday the 13th. I enjoy being scared. It is that simple. It is thrilling. Watching someone look under the bed when you know they won’t like what they find. Or when someone looks in the mirror and the face staring back at them is not their own.  The adrenaline rush that occurs when feeling scared is without equal.

Second, I enjoy watching people suffer. Now, don’t take this the wrong way, I don’t like watching people suffer from illness or grief and loss or some other REAL issue. I enjoy watching people running and screaming and begging for mercy in horror movies because again it adds to the thrill, but more importantly it is a form of escapism. It allows me to go to a place and watch a monster attack and watch people suffer or die and fight to survive. And as we all know, there is typically at least 1 survivor who defies the odds and defeats the beast, demon or entity to go on and live happily ever after. This way, I don’t have to hold back tears, think of my own grief and losses or any other REAL issue that may be actually happening in my life or the lives of those I love. I can escape into madness for a little while, knowing everything will be alright in the end at least for one person. Because as we all know in real life not everybody makes it out alright. Right?

Third and finally, horror movies are like listening to a song where the lyrics seem as thought they were made for you. When you are listening you feel vindicated or understood or even inspired. Horror movies do the same. You are angry about something. Watch a horror movie.  You are overwhelmed and you just want to hit something. Watch a horror movie. Need a place to escape to. Watch a horror movie. I think horror movies create a world where anything can happen. When you watch you can typically spot the character who is going to survive. In Friday the 13th heyday, you could always go with the virgin or the good girl. Nowadays it is typically the more sensible person in the group or body count as I lovingly refer to them. I think we as humans tend to try to identify with the character who will live. Once we do, we are swept off in his or her terror, fear, disappointment, grief, growth, desire to fight and finally their survival.

Now I will concede that horror movies are an acquired taste. If you don’t have an appreciation for the movies themselves, this post will not likely sway you to begin an Insidious marathon. But maybe now when someone says, “I’m a horror fan,” you won’t be so quick to judge.

LET IT GO

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

 

Benjamin Button said: “You can be as mad as a mad dog at the way things went. You could swear, curse the fates, but when it comes to the end, you have to let go.”

The curious case of Benjamin Button is a wonderful film for a variety of reasons. Aside from having one of the best casts on the planet, (Brad, Cate, Taraji, etc) it was a film that inspired. The story surrounds an child who is born to a family who abandons him because he is different. He is then informally adopted by a woman who was having trouble conceiving. The child who looks like an old man slowly grows into the ever so handsome Brad Pitt. Of course, his lady love, with whom he befriends in childhood is the lovely Cate Blanchett.

But the story is so much more than the sum of its parts. Yes, it is a love story and yes it is a story of courage and forgiveness. But the unique theme in the story is time. We are constantly chasing time. And while we chase what we can never catch, the universe continues on as it will and no matter how much we try to slow down or “make” time, we can never catch up. Do you ever wish you could talk to Time? If it were a person, I can think of several questions we could ask. For example, why does it seem like my work week lasts 10 yrs, while my weekend goes by in milliseconds?

Time can be a wonderful thing. It allows us to have special moments and make memories. It allows us to see our children grow and it allows us to have life changing experiences (i.e. that first car, first love, first time seeing a sunrise). Time can be brutal. It can make an dental appointment last for ages or you can get fired in a blink. Time can make you think you can hold onto anger, emotional pain and guilt. But at the end of the day, would you want to take it with you?

This movie informed me in a very real way,  that that we don’t have all the time in the world. None of us do. We have to make the most of what we do with our time. No matter what is happening to us within it. We can’t worry about the past. We can’t predict the future. We have to live each day. We have to love each day. Because we are all slaves to Time. And we can’t stop the clock.

Benjamin Button said: “You can be as mad as a mad dog at the way things went. You could swear, curse the fates, but when it comes to the end, you have to let go.”

BROKEN

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Depression can defined as feelings of severe despondency and rejection. But what does that mean? What does depression look like? I would say it is personal for everyone or anyone who has ever had the unfortunate opportunity to meet it. For me, depression means, “No.” Do I feel like talking, No. Do I feel like smiling or laughing, No. Do I want to sing or dance, No. Do I feel like myself, No. Do I want to cry, No.  But I probably will. It means a feeling of numbness and disconnection will envelope me. It means that I will want to be held but not comforted because there is no comfort. There is no comfort for a sadness that runs to your core. It means that I will be ambushed by memories long shoved down. Which explains the tears.

What does it look like? Rain. Cloudy and gloomy. It looks like being surrounded by loved ones and feeling completely alone. Its like going out with your girlfriends. You dance, smile, you think you have a good time. Then you come home, and moments after your hand reaches to lock the door behind you, you crumble to the floor in anguish. Its finding the love of your life and still having moments of profound despair. It looks like isolation. Holding yourself hostage from the outside world.

That’s not even the worst part. Depression is a stalker. It can sneak up on you. Sometimes there are little warning signs, to alert you to its presence. While other times it just stops you in your tracks. It always seems to know where to find you. It always seems to have your name on its list. Its like a shadow.

It’s funny the worst things I hear in my head when I am at my lowest is everyone saying, you are so strong. You don’t need help. You don’t need encouragement. You are the one who helps. You are the strength we count on. You are the one who provides for us. Why does it seem like, people don’t see me? Perhaps I wear my mask that well. Perhaps they see what they want to see. Perhaps this is just a journey I have to take alone. I heard in a movie recently that, “the broken are the more evolved.” Perhaps this is our burden.

Does our evolution makes it possible for us to withstand these bouts? I would argue that although our evolution may make us appear strong, our biology is weakened. We are still human, still susceptible to the stalker. I would argue to focus on our evolution would be a mistake. We are broken. And as with anything that is broken, the focus should be on its repair.

WHO ARE YOU?

Who are you?

The question of who we are probably yields more questions than answers. I, myself just received more revealing news of who I am via ancestry DNA and while the excitement is abundant, the various inquiries inevitably ensued. It doesn’t help, that the face that I see in the mirror does not match my new information. Yet, I want to embrace it. I have always longed for a global connection. In my opinion, knowledge of this sort reveals that we are made up of many lives. We are not just one person, but many.

When we are young, the timing of the question of who we are typically begins in middle school. We are surrounded by our peers and the social constructs that are manipulated around us having us wondering where do we fit in? In my day, (geez, I sound old), there were cliques. I believe it was jocks, cheerleaders, goths/emo, preps, band geeks, thugs, and nerds. Where you fit in, essentially depended on your style. One could spot the other a mile away. As for myself, I never really fit in to any of these groups. I wasn’t into cheerleading, I didn’t engage in a sport or band, I wasn’t a thug, goth or nerd. I think I was mostly an outcast. In middle school being an outcast can be a difficult time. Most suicides occur during middle school life due to the social witch trials that occur when one does not have a clique to protect them. It is kind of like being in gang that way. No protection, no survival.

As we age we seem to progress into our own definition of who we are based on our experiences, and those we choose to surround ourselves. This definition of ourselves that we both consciously and subconsciously seek lapses into our friendships, our partners, our children and most typically our careers. We often need the ability to serve a purpose. Our careers make this possible. Someone will ask you who you are. You might respond, “I’m a doctor, teacher, social worker,” etc. Careers defines us and makes us feel as if we belong.  We finally found our “clique.”

Additionally, sideline attempts are made at self-discovery. We may engage in personality tests, career typologies, love language quizzes etc. These are often utilized to either confirm or inform areas of ourselves that we may or may not be aware. Ancestry research typically comes last and is only a mere curiosity. However, just like the not so subtle words of “you are the father,” having the information on paper to confirm in percentages who we are is immortal. You are now defined.

Just as I found, the information therein tells us that we are connected to cultures around the world. It tells us that we are not alone. That we are a part of something much bigger than just a “clique.”It informs us that we belong. It informed me that I belong. That I am not an outcast. I think that who we are is an ongoing opportunity to redefine ourselves and to reevaluate our culture. It allows for self-awareness and self-discovery. Does it mean our definition of who we are has to change? Of course not. Does it mean that it might? Without question.

 

 

Sorrow

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I lost a friend today

No more late night phone calls

No more teasing tales

No more inside jokes

No more hidden thrills

I lost a friend today

Whose soft smile I will miss

I will miss her warm heart

Her giving spirit

I lost a friend today

It is the emptiness that haunts

Accompanied by sadness and loneliness

I lost a friend today

And I’m still angry

Still not comprehending

Still anguished

I lost a friend today

And I still have questions

Still waiting for answers

Still bargaining

Still hoping for one more day

One more chance to say I love you

The hardest part is knowing

I lost a friend today

And while I believe she is still smiling

Still kind and still warm

I lost a friend today

And where there was once light

Darkness won

 

 

Love’s Philosophy

Love’s Philosophy

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Love’s Philosophy 
BY PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY
The fountains mingle with the river
And the rivers with the ocean,
The winds of heaven mix for ever
With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single;
All things by a law divine
In one spirit meet and mingle.
Why not I with thine?—

See the mountains kiss high heaven
And the waves clasp one another;
No sister-flower would be forgiven
If it disdained its brother;
And the sunlight clasps the earth
And the moonbeams kiss the sea:
What is all this sweet work worth
If thou kiss not me?

I awoke today with this poem on my mind. Having pondered the philosophy of love many times, this poem brings about as good an answer as any. The question of course being, why love? I used to think being in love was all that mattered and while I have experienced many different kinds of love, real love had always managed to escape me. So I thought love was an delusion. Something we create in our minds to make us feel good, something we think we need like a shiny new toy. As time went on and love came and went I realized I had never really been in love. Not really. Certainly not in the way I saw it in the movies. In films, love transcends. It makes you do things, always good things, someone wants to be there and they want to help and provide for you and most importantly they want you to love them.

But that isn’t real love. Real love is messy. Real love is complicated and the person annoys you, usually because they know you so well. Real love is hard. It makes you do good and bad things. It makes you say good and bad things. It makes you remember the pain you felt when someone didn’t love you the way they should. It makes you scared and it makes you want to hurt it and run away from it. But can we really escape the grasp of love? We are all connected in this common delusion. The desire to form a pair. The desire to know any love than none at all.

Real love is beautiful. It is noticing the beauty of things around you where loneliness can render you blind. It is new experiences and new ideas. It is the feeling of friendship. It will keep you grounded or be a partner in crime. It is the boy standing by his car, waiting for you, when you didn’t think he knew you existed. It is the girl who takes your hand in hers when you thought you were friend zoned. Real love will surprise you. Often occurring when least expected. Typically when we have given up.
Real love is to finally find a connection. A thing that is more precious than any shiny new toy. Real love is to find a match. As Shelley reminds us, nothing in the world is single. Everything has a partner. So why love?

Why not?

The Ties That Bind

trauma-bond

The ties that bind us to one another can be powerful. But can they be destructive? These ties can be difficult to detect essentially due to the fact that we are so close to those we are tied to. In a more positive relationship those ties are wonderful and strong. You find a soul mate, a confidant, a true friend for life. However, when those ties are negative you find that you have captured someone whose attention you will always seek, even when we know the audience they convey is one of destruction and chaos.

We see this in domestic violence relationships consistently. The victims (both male and female) feel powerless against their partners. However the emotional connectedness remains. The love remains. The need to be there, remains. This type of systematic dysfunction brings about a chain of events that becomes cyclical. This is a common tune in these relationships and it can take a lot of strength, courage and determination to change the station.

Dysfunction in families is also a common issue. Growing up in dysfunction can also lead to further dysfunction as an adult. Imagine that! The dysfunction can occur in various ways. Some individuals move forward with a more positive outward appearance than inward, while others carry their dysfunction on their sleeve. Regardless, the family dynamic is forever trauma bonded. There may be an unnatural need to be “present” with family members despite the inward discomfort that comes with this. There may be a need to consistently protect or save members of the family. Even when this clearly becomes enabling. The biggest issue comes with finding the strength to walk away. The guilt,  loneliness, hypocrisy and disappointment that comes with walking away from family lingers. But is it necessary?

Truth be told, I would imagine it depends on the issues. Yours and theirs. It also depends on how strong you are. If something happens long enough and becomes physically and emotionally damaging, you have to consider the relationship. What does it look like now? Is there a give and take or is the scale tipped too far to one side? Distance can help clear the blurriness of being too close and one can finally “see” their family member for who they are and the relationship for what it is. At this point one has to ask themselves (even about family), when enough is enough. And make the choice- to break free.

A Persistent Divide

https://www.theguardian.com/film/video/2017/mar/09/samuel-l-jackson-black-british-actors-get-out-video

On March 9th 2017 one of this nations finest actors (in my opinion) commented on the amount of Black British actors getting roles in the US. Mr. Jackson’s argument was essentially made due to British actor Daniel Kaluuya’s receiving the top bill for the film Get Out. Now if you read my previous blog entry on Get Out you will know that I thought the film was amazing. Mr. Jackson agrees but argues that Mr. Kaluuya’s “Black experience” is different due to where he is from and therefore the role might have been more raw/real if it was played by an American Black actor. He then went on to say that he was probably assisted by the director Jordan Peele to portray American Blackness correctly. He ended his commentary on discussing how they (British actors) think they are better because they are classically trained. Now, I am not an actor. But as a regular movie goer, I have enjoyed the acting of Mr. Jackson on numerous occasions and again, I think he is one of the finest.

However, I cannot disagree enough with what he is saying and doing on this issue. I think that we as Black people should stop trying to find ways to continue a persistent divide amongst ourselves. Should it matter that Mr. Kaluuya’s Black experience is different because he is from a different country? I don’t know his journey as a Black man but I am certain he has plenty of experience to share. Oh and news flash but, EVERYONE’s Black experience is different from everyone else’s. It doesn’t make it better or worse. Its personal and individual and it shouldn’t have to be put on trial, especially by another Black person.

Mr. Kaluuya responded to Mr. Jackson’s comments by essentially saying that he is too black for Britain and not Black enough for America. I have felt not Black enough for Black America many times and I am from the States. However, I am sure Mr. Kaluuya’s experience is very different than mine, I would love to sit down with him one day and explore those differences instead of trying to knock him down because of where he is from. For me, I will support his work, his struggle and his ability to continue to get back up even in the face of discrimination. Hmm, sound familiar?

*You will find the video of Mr. Jackson’s comments above*

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