Sunday, December 28, 2008

Celebrating the celebration



This clip is just amazing. But run, don't walk to see this film if you're interested in seeing the way my family operates... Now the films specific details (as in what happened to the characters) is not the same as my family, however, and more importantly is the similarities in HOW THE patriarchal, cold, family members are when they hear the truth about their beloved patriarch. This clip, while useful, does not do the actual film full justice.

I am very happy to have a clip from the film "The Celebration" to put on my blog. Thanks to 1TBM for finding it (it is up on her site). More to come.. my son is waking up...

OK- I"m back... a few days later...

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Friday, December 26, 2008

WORKING on my MEMORY

That's what I'm up to today.
I'll be recounting all of the routines and things my family likes - putting them on "paper" so I can start to stop throwing away information, and asking DD to do it/ remember it for me.
Wish me luck.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Judgement Day is coming... NO not the movie



THIS WAS TAKEN MARCH 11, 2008. LET'S BE CLEAR... HUMANS STILL HAVE NOT LEARNED AND NORTH AMERICA AND EUROPE WILL BE NEXT. ON THIS SCALE

"An indigenous woman holds her child while trying to resist the advance of Amazonas state policemen who were expelling the woman and some 200 other members of the Landless Movement from a privately-owned tract of land on the outskirts of Manaus, in the heart of the Brazilian Amazon March 11, 2008. The landless peasants tried in vain to resist the eviction with bows and arrows against police using tear gas and trained dogs, and were evicted from the land. (REUTERS/Luiz Vasconcelos-A Critica/AE)"


At some point things will get bad enough and we/you/I will have to actually fight for what we believe. We are not yet fighting. The fight has not yet begun for many of us north amerikkkan bloggers. I don't say I pray it never comes because then I will work to keep shit under wraps. If I pray the fire does not this time then I will work to maintain power relations that increasingly seek to control all we hold dear.

I know we will physically have to fight, get our smooth hands dirty, get our fine threads ripped, watch our homes burn and have to run out into the streets if not this year maybe in ten or twenty...

Those of us who choose to resist in that moment will knowingly choose to not hide the eyes of our children from battle but instead we will model to them what it means to overtly and fully resist. We will gift them with the knowledge of what it means to defy the powers that be with everylastblastedthing they/we have within.

"Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet deprecate agitation, are those who want crops without plowing the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning; they want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. power never concedes anything without a demand. it never did and it never will. find out just what people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or both."

- frederick douglass

***********************this post reproduced from 1TBM ************************

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

NOT retaining information or being consistent

"..But you always were picking me up a breakfast snack, what happened?"
asked 1TBM.
I had no answer for her.

Of course, this wasn't really just about a breakfast snack. My overall way of being - developing a pattern - a way of being so to speak - lasts for a bit, and then I fall off my wagon. But as I type this, I think it has something to do with thinking there will always be a safetey net. Someone I can always call on, rely on, fill n the gaps... I think it's about my parent stuff - my mommy stuff...

How does that relate to not bringing home a breakfast snack that I always bring home? I think on some level, (1TBM thought it'd be good if I asked myself) I want to sabotage my routines - or routines my partner depends on - so that my imaginary parents will pick up the slack.

Sounds crazy no?

What else - my little boy who likes to lead and act like a "big" adult, also wanted to seen saving money (and we all know how a $1.79 breakfast snack) kills the monthly budget. She needs to suffer.. SUFFER...
in fact we both need to SUFFER... that's why I didn't get any snack either...

I have to get my father out of my head. Fuck!
The struggle and the recognizing behaviour continues.

Monday, December 22, 2008

I played the part of my great aunt and then my father

Went to see my counselor. If you just started reading this blog... I see a counselor. Boy does it help with some of my process. So we've doing some physco dramatic therapy to really connect me to the memories in my past. First I start with my old aunt.

What did I connect with?

MY GREAT AUNT...

I think I'll write some point form notes as the memories fly on to the keyboard..
-her soap opera - on CBS, and global only
-my connection to these and the price is right
-I have a melodramatic sensibility that has really shaped me because I have chosen to allow those fuckin' stories to sink in my head
-she was very focused on males (extremely patriarchal)
-loved her boys (that would be myself and my brothers)
-I understood that I was to take care of her as she got weaker in her old age, not just because of love, but also because I was a man and needed to protect her from something.. (falling down the stairs?)
-NOt sure what this meant, when no one else in the house seem to worry about her...
-I was the one with the compassion...

-She also like to cook, and was very picky about what she ate
-I think I got some of this, but when I decide to - I just eat crap (McD's) when I'm ready.

AND NOW FATHER MONROVIA (that was today)
Here is a summary of how the conversation went today in my session-

Peter: (not really my counselor's name)
"Hello, my name is Peter, and I'll be interviewing you today"
Father Monrovia (played by me when I would have been 12 yrs old):
"Welcome. Is it cold enough for you"
P: "It is pretty cold, thanks for having em"
FM: So what would like to know
P: I was wondering were you're from?
FM: I'm from ***
(snippet)
P: Do you work?
FM: Yes. I'm a teacher for the **** Board
P: Wow - which school, sounds far..
FM: Well it might be .. but you have to do what you have to do you know...
..living is expensive .. you gotta have the paper to get things done, otherwise what are you gonna do - live on air.
P: So, you're in charge of the financial end of things in the house?
FM: Well no. That's more my wife. She spends.
P: How do you feel about that
FM: I think sometimes she's a bit crazy.. but you know wives... what can I say?
P: Do you like your home
FM: Yeah, but I'm not sure we can afford it...It was my wife's idea -
P: What do you mean?
FM: Well, she's a little nuts...

TO BE continued...
(all this to say, I have some of these traits now.. negative )

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

so what happened...

In my last post, I talked about how I was gonna do the p.d.theatre in my session. Well, we talked about incorporating it into further sessions so that's good. I have to say, I am so tired.. Barely getting "enough" sleep.

We continued talking about choices, and who is ultimately in charge of making the right choices.

Accepting the limitations of my folks is a big deal.
Accepting that they are human, mistake makers, triggered, scared, and of course.. will die - without everything that happened in my life being made "right" and "perfect" is really, really OK.

Can I accept that I feel alone, triggered, scared sometimes. Can I accept that I have traits from both of them? Can I accept that I am gift to the world and have wonderful energy to share? Can I love myself, knowing that I will protect myself, and love myself and be true to myself?

I think so.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Blaming my folks (and stopping there) only leads to me sitting on my ass. Re-parenting continues...

Today, I'm seeing my counselor.

Visiting my counselor this week, I kept running into the same realization I've known
for some time now, but really just ignored. At the end of the day: I have to make right decisions - and live by them - no matter how much my father or my mother played a part in fucking me up. If I could just blame them, then they'd just blame their parents and so on, and so on, and it would never end.

No one would ever .. well.. grow.

I think sometimes, that's what I choose to do.
Not grow. Dig my heals in and just let bad choices happen - just because, I can. I can just be. And my little boy feels good about that because that is what he knows.

I been having some really wicked non-conversations with 1TBM about the way I do *interactions* in the house. It's like I can't even hear her.

I refuse.

And it goes past her to other people as well - I simply stop listening to people after awhile. After they get started talking, I'm with them... but something clicks off in my head/brain and I end up missing stuff.

It's scary now, as I type it.

But make no mistake: there is a difference between tuning out, and having a really bad attitude much of the time and being as ass when people who care about you ask you about it because it's spilling on to them in unhealthy ways.

----------------

All that to say, I've been in a rut for sometime now. I'm gonna propose to my counselor that we do some psychodramatic work - so I can talk to my folks. It's gonna be hard - but I have a lot of anger towards my parents and I know that I need to release it, continually.

But down to the nuts and bolts of my this work. What am I so upset about? Being ignored and no one caring that I was being beaten up; not listening to me when I cried out for help; for telling me about fucking Hawaii and to encourage me to deny my feelings; -- Yikes...

I'm doing this work with him (yes, he's a male counselor - very good for me, considering where I'm at in regards to men... it's letting me slow and surely re-build my trust in men)cause it will be safe and at the end of day I still need support for someone who is only interested in supporting me.

I'll write and let you all know what happens. Tomorrow I'm starting two new projects, one of which takes me to my folks house to get to know them like I never have before.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

I'm not a ROCKSTAR...

I'm going shopping this week. Since my son is going to be wearing so much awesome colour - like PINK, and PURPLE... I definitely need to have more of it in my wardrobe.

I'm think I'm getting more comfortable dressing outside the box over time. Mostly, my issue has been the demons in my past which now run rough shot over my adult brain. Or, I should say: I make the choice to allow it to run rough-shod over my brain.

So? what has made dressing 'different' easier?

I think people seeing me out and about... and different comments people have made...
one time I was wearing a long skirt, futuristic shiny material, olive green.. and this guy I've seen in the neighbourhood said to me "only you could pull that off S2"..

Another guy stopped me and said: "Dude, you totally remind me of (a certain African American rockstar, currently touring)"
and I my little teenager was like: wow, cool.

I think I'm giving off *cool* energy and people like it.

And then another piece of me was like: how sad.. looking for external validation from others? But I won't beat myself up about that to much... we live in a external validation world. Pure and simple.

And I also thought.. the only way I can be accepted in wearing the clothing chooses I do.. and the chooses I'm gonna make in the future is if people think I'm some kind of rockstar, actor guy... no other type of ordinary man would do it...

[interestingly, I think I'd like to be a rockstar and an actor too...]

But I can't help but notice that I just can't be a guy trying to wear something a little different... just for the sake of exploration - without anything other reason..

Plain and simple...

Saturday, October 04, 2008

POLY: I am!

Hey everyone! Had my morning cup of starbucks and 1TBM and myself were sitting around the computer when she said: "Hey! Let's do this test!"

So, in between our two year old ripping apart the livingroom and our six year old ripping apart her bedroom (good things, they're safe and happy) I did the test. Here are the results.

It really got me thinking about how I understand my relationship to other people and myself. ummm...during the test I found myself frustrated at mainstream society's idea of what constitutes "real" relationships. Last night 1TBM and myself decided to go downtown to a pub and I saw men on the street for her to cruise and thought about how happy it made her and how happy I was knowing that she was happy with the possibility and the conversation.

Where I'm at now definitely comes out of me desperately trying to wedge our relationship into monogamy. I think that I felt two things (well, more than two but I can identify two now) ummm...monogamous values poured into my brain from my parents and two, monogamous peer pressure bashed over my head by society.

But fuck all that.
As I move through the world with my vivacious self and observe all of the married couples that I'm connecting with there's an underlying sadness of being forced into one and only one kind of relationship with one and only one person, that they all walk with that that I don't want.

I know people might say, "This person is all I need" but has anyone ever said "WHY does this person have to be the only person?" Is something going to happen if another way of having a relationship is considered and done and acted out?

I want to live the way I want to live.
I want to love the way I want to love.
I want to fuck the way I want to fuck.
And I want everyone around me in my family to know choice, to understand options and to make decisions based on how they actually feel, not on whether the peer group (mainstream society) tells them it's okay.

Your result for The Poly Acceptance Test...

Flaming Polymore

You're 89% tolerant, 85% polyamorist, 85% polyfidelitist, and 63% swinger.


You're extremely polyamorous. Monogamy would be one of the worst ills anyone could inflict on you. Love, sexuality, and holistic child-rearing are calls for freedom. Someone saying "I own you" or "you can't love anyone else" would be the worst kind of confinement and objectification. You'd want love governed only by mutual consent of responsible adults.

Take The Poly Acceptance Test at HelloQuizzy

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Explaining the SONYwalkman

HANGING with the kids is an adventure I'm lucky to have - and that I have the time to actually watch them grow up is something that I can barely I like taking one to school, and rolling in the park with the other, or making way too much noise in the library. WE go to cafes, go shopping, and have really funny conversations together. One time, my (almost) 7 year old asked me what a "sony walkman" was on a packed subway train. I had to explain, and it was really funny to say "well, it was a plastic box which held these things called cassettes".. the look on her face was priceless - I was trying not to laugh, but everyone on the subway was laughing too. Kids are sooo cool. At least mine are.

SHOPPING FOR different LOOKS

It's a strange adventure I'm on right now, I'm trying to explore my creative/arts/masculinity critique/ through fashion and design. I simply don't know what to make of this new interest, except to jump on in. I thank 1TBM for supporting me to explore.

Do I currently have some limits.. well, only the ones I put on myself. I went looking online to see what was happening in Europe in terms of style and all I can say is: what the fuck... we are totally repressed and closed minded here!! (men).

I know, there's more to the analysis than that.. it's just that - there are so many styles that I'm just not suppose to wear - simply because I'm a man... and also to some degree because I'm a Black man.

"homophobia, not looking manly, drawing too much attention to yourself" - one, if not all of these reasons is suppose to keep me IN LINE.

We'll frankly, I think I'm gonna get out OF LINE in fact.. as my exploring continues...
Have a look at some of these 2, and let me know what you think. Not many men dress like this and why not? I think it's very sharp. God knows my little boy is saying to myself: no! no! no! people will laugh at you.. just blend in - like what you're parents taught you...
To him (my little boy) I say: don't worry. I got ya. We'll rock whatever we want.







Sunday, September 28, 2008

I decided to wear a kilt to pick up my daughter from school - PEOPLE WENT NUTS!



The picture above is me sitting on the steps of a church in my neighbourhood. I was writing in my journal at the time, about a 1/2 hr b4 I needed to pick up my daughter. On the day I wore the kilt, I could feel people eyes burn through my head - or really - they were looking at my lower half. But the real assault came from the little boys at the school. IN fact, two in particular were just plain angry that I was wearing the kilt, as were their mothers.
So, I arrived to pick up Stinkapee and she comes screaming out of school, as she always does. She's happy! happy! happy! that she can do flips and is dying to show me. Off she races to the playground. In the middle of me spotting her, so she doesn't fall, I hear my first playground buzz: "Dude" this boy who can't be more than 8 years old says, "why are you wearing a dress.. er a skirt?"
"Cause I like it". I respond.
"I mean", he continues "I'm Irish and everything, but I think it's a little weird tradition.."
His friend, another boy, jumps in "I really like it" and another girl overhearing while going across the monkey bars says: "boys can wear whatever girls can, it's his choice!" and Stinkapee pipes up and says: "exactly!"

More to this story.. plus my thoughts.. but I have to go clean the back deck b4 my son wakes up.
OK, I'm back, .. it's the next day actually - but i'll just continue inside this post.

So I continue into the playground, following my daughter as she does her flips and such.. very scary those moves.. but she is very confident.

I hear a woman, whom I recognize as a caregiver. She comes up to me excitedly saying: "I love your kilt!." She gives me a warm smile.

Ok, I thought. In fact, it was more the conservative Euro-Canadian moms that took most of the issue. One, in a group of them actually started at me - in a cold tone: "So, like.. we've been talking.. and .. well.. what's with the kilt?"

Hang on. "We've been talking?" what is this? Highschool. Who are they: the gender code/ style police?

"MAN STEPPING OUT OF LINE, MUST TRY AND MAKE HIM FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE..MUST TRY MUST TRY MUST TRY"

"What?" ---I demand the 3 of them.

A little shocked by my response, they begin to smile and say.. "it's just that .. well.."
"Oh ladies .. it's all about style and wearing what you want"
"er.. er.. of course", they offer. "we just wanted to know" as another woman came breezing through saying "We'll all I want to know is, what's underneath!!"
"That can be arranged, outside of school hours"... and she laughed at the friendly flirting.

"I can't believe you said that!!" said one of the others as I exited and crossed back over to the playground, where Stinkapee was still doing her thing... playing and jumping and all..

Observing the kids got me thinking about how much work - not the kids - but the ADULTS have to do, to deal with the gender stuff. Me included. I want my SON to be able to wear whatever the fuck he wants to wear - but he's only gonna do it - if he's leading my example. It was good to hear other boys be "supportive" but .. wow.. you could hear feel the temperature go down when the Euro-Can watched me. I find them unbelievably conservative. The Irish woman was fine, as was the caregiver - also not born here (I talked to her later and found out.) - but I find the Euro-Canadian performing a low-grade snob persona - to somehow mimic what they think is British and high class. Sad really.

Interestingly, people don't seem to have a hard time with Euro-Canadians stealing African American culture - but let a Black person put on an Irish kilt and heads start to roll.
Just another say on the playground.

Friday, September 26, 2008

I'm back. Never went anywhere really...It's fall - the summer is over...

and I'm back to blogging feelings, and emotions. I'm going to be more regular now - and incorporate more pix, fashion and crucial elements that will take me on my ride. See you all soon. Happy Autumn 2008

Monday, June 09, 2008

JEALOUSLY

Lots more of these posts are coming.
First off, I'm really happy things are happening in my family which are changes. I need to get out of this slush I'm living in ... and 1tbm moves are exactly what we need... Ok, so how do I feel about not being the centre of everything -all the time.. well I feel crappy.. I'm like a spoiled child...
more coming...

Sunday, June 08, 2008

42degrees

That's how hott is feel in the city today.. in fact, it's been that way for a bit now.. and I like it.. makes me forget all about the windchill factor of the winter...

If you've reading over at 1tbm you know that she has kick started (again) after waiting for me to follow thru on my end of our relationship. I really believe in polyamory and have for a long time - but I our relationship has, tome, gone thru som much struggle and more struggle (you can read prior posts to know what I'm talking about) that I foolishly thought, well - I'll close down, stop communicating, close people out, embrace my parents values, monogamy - and be live a nice miserable life... how sweet!

1tbm was like: I can't do this anymore.. I have to do something different... I AM going to do something different.. and goddess glory she did and to amazing results! (I should correct this... it's not that she did something different - it's more like she stopped waiting for me to followthru - she couldn't take the constant BLAhhhhhh that I insisted we live in..

OK so she's met a number of individuals and I am crazy excited about it. I feel like I finally ready to meet new and interesting people. And 1tbm and the way we are starting to do poly again feels great...

Yesterday I took the kids and she went on a date. I prepared a little bunch for her friend - and the two of them were off. I was really excited about this guy (I'm always looking for good men friends who are quality, emotionally present and self critiqing) and I seems to be one of them.

It also helps that 1tbm is very clear about how she interacts with, they need to have, and show a particular energy about themselves before she engages.

Jealously is a big deal for me.. it always has been. I want everyone to be mine, I want 1tbm to be mine, I want everyone to be for me and only me and that's it... But really, I don't have the capacity to be command or even take on that much attention...

This may seem aburpt, but I have to go now...
I have to take advantage of this weather... this is Canada after all... but I'll return soon...

Saturday, May 17, 2008

I'm back ...it's been awhile

This seems like a recurring thing, I know.. but I've come back to blog about difficult times, and struggles I'm dealing with.

First, I think everyone lies to themselves on a daily basis, and I am no exception. The thing is, I choosing to not stop lying to myself. I'm struggling with what I learned from my crazy insane folks about the importance of secrecy, keeping up appearances, and selfishness. It's like they opened my skull, poured their stuff inside - gave my a whirl, and then - left me to *live*.

Fresh in mind right now, is a phone call I had with my father. It actually reminds me of me - and how selfish I can be. No, correction: how selfish, I am.

So, a few days ago, my daughter "Sstinks" had a birthday party. Now, I should remind any of you who might be reading - that I have to struggle and really convince my mother (my dada is not an option) to actually spend time with my daughter. They usually see them when we cart ourselves over there.

So, anyway, the morning of the party, I called Mr. Monrovia, to ask him if could pick her up from the party she was at and drop her home. Can you believe he actually started out by saying that he'd prefer if I would take the subway over to his house, use the car, return the car, and then take the subway back to my house -
because that is what would be convience to him. Silence.

I told him that the party was about 2km from my house(as oppose to his 12km), (and we weren't trying to send a taxi) so could he just please pick her up and bring her back to the house.

I felt angry. I had to explain how we (DD and myself) are the only ones in the house takoing care of our children, and so me being away for that travel time makes no sense. I was made to have to jump thru hoops to be able to get Stinkapee home from a party.

It is this jumping thru hoops that I try and force DD to go thru with me.

Off to go meet the family now...

Friday, March 14, 2008

I think the thing about men is, we don't learn to not be selfish...

This post is my next post. Just wanted to get it started so I don't forget.

Death

I went a viewing a few days ago, that got me thinking about my death. Hopefully, it won't occur for a long time, it got me thinking about what kind of funeral service I'd want to have. I mean, the person who died, I actually grew up around. He lived across the street from me when I was a (pre)teen - on up. Always, really nice.

But at this viewing, and I've been to a few, it no one cried, everyone held in their feelings - it was strange. People were put together in their conservative/ death/ black clothes... it was pretty much standard funeral fare.

But I think for my funeral, I'd like to have a party,
no Black clothing will be allowed,
I want music - and I don't want it called a funeral - I want it called a Life celebration/ PassOVER...

***

This was the first dead body Stinkapee has ever seen. DD, rightly thought it'd be good / healthly for her to see a funeral, and a dead body - so that when she goes to one - mine, DD or her grandparents - or anyone else close to her - she has some frame of reference...

See handled it really well. Kids are so great. They are so awesome. Honest.

Much more later...

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Music about leaving your mom...and more...

(John Lee Hooker)

When I first thought to hobo'in, hobo'in,
I took a freight train to be my friend, oh Lord
You know I hobo'd, hobo'd, hobo'd, hobo'd,
Hobo'd a long, long way from home, oh Lord

Yes, my mother followed me that mornin', me that mornin'
She followed me down to the yard, oh yeah
She said my son he'd gone, he'd gone, he'd gone
Yes he's gone in a, poorsome wear*, oh yeah

Yes I left my dear old mother, dear old mother
I left my honor, need* a crime, oh Lord
Take care of my child,
Take care, take care of my child

Monday, March 03, 2008

Reaching the 'Crossroads'

Here re the lyrics:
Robert Johnson lyrics
Crossroads Blues blues lyrics

I went to the crossroads, fell down on my knees
I went to the crossroads, fell down on my knees
Asked the Lord above, have mercy now, save poor Bob if you please
Standin' at the crossroads, tried to flag a ride
Whee-hee, I tried to flag a ride
Didn't nobody seem to know me, everybody pass me by
Standin' at the crossroads, risin' sun goin' down
Standin' at the crossroads baby, the risin' sun goin' down
I believe to my soul now, po' Bob is sinkin' down
You can run, you can run, tell my friend Willie Brown
You can run, you can run, tell my friend Willie Brown
That I got the crossroad blues this mornin', Lord, baby I'm sinkin' down
I went to the crossroad, mama, I looked east and west
I went to the crossroad, babe, I looked east and west
Lord, I didn't have no sweet woman, ooh well, babe, in my distress

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Coming down the stairs at home, while holding Shmolian - I tripped and fell - slamming my back against the stairs...

I'm ok.
Shmolian is fine.
I began to think though, I should have my back checked though cause it really hurts. So I got in the train and went downtown to see a doctor and have an x-ray. The results were that I will be in pain for about a month, but no damage to my ribs, or anything severe. If I wanted more details, more in-depth information about what exactly was happening in the region of where I struck I could get a CT scan, but he advised against it - saying "why put yourself through all that radiation?" I agreed. [Interestingly, as I write this, I realize that price had nothing to do with any of my decisions because, in Canada - the treatment I received at the hospital is covered by the government.] But the reason I'm writing this has less to do with universal health care, and more about the choices I've made that led me to be in the ER in the first place.

Men move with purpose. Men move with confidence. Men move the arrogance.
Wait, hang on. Those sentences should read: "Men are trained to move with ..." Since the beginning of our relationship - and much more since Stinkapee and Shmolian came on the scene DD has been talking to me about moving more consciously through the house - being aware of how I move my body, being aware of the kind of body that I have - that is - one that is hard, and unforgiving if another body hits it.

I also tend to move as though I am entitled to go anywhere I want. Some of this comes out of being terrorized when I was a young child, and now that I'm older "I want to take up as much space as possible - and walk wherever/ however/ and at whatever speed I want." As I write it - I know it doesn't make a lot of sense, but that hasn't seem to stop me in the past and it didn't stop me yesterday morning when I flew into the air, Shmolian in hand - slam my back against the staircase. (I was going to ignore it, but then thought - if there is a complication - my family will be screwed if it's not taken care of.)

So, as I carried him down the stairs, I allowed my mind to wonder. I was tired yes, but I'm always tired to some degree. In fact, I was tired when I carried him down the stairs this morning, but that this time I told my feet/legs to be more careful, mindful of each step.

[By the way, I think going to the hospital ER / and having Song of Solomon and We Real Cool - made it easier for me to process the whole incident because before I left, DD was trying to talk to me about the choices I made was completely indignant. "What are you talking about? It was an accident and Shmolian is ok - can we focus on my back!?" was my attitude towards the whole situation. Now, I should be clear I didn't actually say anything. But that was the inferred from not saying anything. That's my more of my stuff.

Being upset at DD for speaking the truth. Speaking what is true. [Sound familiar bloggers?] Morrison's opening in her book was layered, poetic, it was beautiful. Hooks spoke about men, Black men and patriarchy and it totally and complete failure. ...
But I did re/discover and exciting music that let Black men speak about their feelings, much more openingly then hiphop ever would (hiphop doesn't)

That music is the blues, and I think I'm going to take the next little bit of time exploring it, using it as a springboard to talk about my feelings.
Gotta go have breakfast with the family now...

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A woman stripped searched... .. my thoughts...

In 2008, women who are African-American and in jail – and are pregnant – give birth on a cold, hard, surface in chains. I wrote this poem after reading the 1TBM post about the European-American woman who was searched by the police. This poem came to mind as I read her post.

_____________________

This is: “ain’t I..?”

Mule
Whore
Invalid
…push …
…push…

Blood oozing from her wrist
Tears running down her chest
Earth tremors


Ah!

!
!
!
!

filthy walls
Filthy voices
Filthy hands
Beautiful baby born

I cry for you mama
I’m sorry mama
Mama! Help me…

Mama? Where are you?
Mama - come back to me…


“injection”

“scalpel”

“hold her”

“I said hold her!”

“We’re losing her sir…”



First at Six tonight:
John McCain wins the nomination
Citi bank reports record profits
And later, our feature report-
The new homebirthing craze sweeping the nation.



“inmate 0983 deseased at 0900hours”

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Personal Emancipation Day 2008

On Feb 13, 2007 - on a visit to my mother's house with DD - after a lot of conversation, my mother admitted and acknowledged the abuse, the pain, she is attached to - and the terror that came to my life in part because of the choices she made in raising emotionally blunted sons.

I wrote this poem and cried.

Here is: "Here and now"

A lot has happened
hate/love/ hurt/ loathe

beautiful/ ugly decisions
soft hand/ sharp hanger
yes - a hanger.

breathe.
time is continuous...time is continuous...time is continuous...time is continuous...time is...
breeze

I need you

You are the only one left

breeze
it's not fair what you did.
it's not right what you said

but you acknowledge
you apologized, no excuse
just truth

i believe
you are

(water falls from my closed lids)
(eyes that scream to feel lips)

I can't breathe.
squeeze.

.......................................light/eyes/open

Monday, February 11, 2008

I'm continuing with this poetry thing... This one is called 'SERVICE'

I wrote - this afternoon. I'm finding that doing this writing is a good release for me.
Here is 'SERVICE'...

_____________________________
the nucleus
not the brain
the head
sausage
meat
this is centre
IT is centre

worship
stroke
suck
stare

obsession like no other
we are led by it

hung/flesh/misunderstood
/itself OK
w/power - produces pain

stop
stroke!
STOP
power

S T O P
suck...

STOPP!!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Loving myself makes way to loving my family, makes way to loving myself which makes way to...

I am seem to be motivated to be doing this poetry thing. I'm not sure where it came from. I'm not sure what to why. I think I've always liked poetry. I know that I am writing for me and that it a relief cause I tend to be very performative. So, here I go - me:

Mouth wide open
A strong voice
A strong soul
Curious eyes
A firm stance

Who's a cutie, potata?!
Who's a cutie potata?
Who's a cutie potata?

no, you can't
no, maybe later
no, you'll have to wait
no, keep quite!

Splish, splash, splaush
Drip, Drap, Drop
Papi! my feet are wet
Papi! my feet are cold
Papi! I love you

Airy sweet sing song
His breath smells like sunshine
over-sized eyes catch
airy sweet sing song says
hi (high voice) ba (a little bit lower)

Family hugs
Kisses.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

daddy will you dance with your son?

twirling around
he twirls around
i smile for him
i worry for him
& for me

look around
eyes shifting quickly
go!
stay!
go!

catch the glares
wrap them up in my hand
throw the back

beats and rhythms fill our space
little feet move with big ones
orange, pink, and blue

toothless grin
priceless

Friday, February 08, 2008

I AM A BLACK GOD... no.

I just read the post over at 1TBM which featured a poem by Donna Kate Rushin called the Black Goddess. I don't write poetry, but I do have feelings ... that I need to jot down

strong wind blows
tossed salad
I'm flying and soaring
wind rushes into my mouth
my chest expands
head aches
teeth and gums burn
hard feet
crack

who will take care
who will take care
who will take care

water trapped in my tear ducks
knock knock
let me out
heavy lids
blow
BLOW
BLOW BLOW!
my throat is tight

turn and face the wind
swim to the surface
inhale
again
inhale
exhale
inhale
exhale

you're still here
safe.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

I feel like train Wreck

No matter how much I seem to be busy, I can't hide from the fact that I am still in severe denial about the ways in which I communicate. Or should I say, in the ways I was taught to communicate. I feel trapped by it, but I'm not. I'm going to .. again.. read my blog again. For the '1st' time .

Friday, January 25, 2008

Holding racism, patriarchy and our feelings TOGETHER...

Maxjulian said...:
I don't know what I didn't get to from your previous post. What is the question.

I feel like you're telling me that I just need to accept in whole cloth what women, or you say no matter what. Is that correct? I don't know. I'm confused. I feel like I should consider where and how I agree.

Having someone wag their finger in my face and holler: "YOU'RE AN ALCOHOLIC/YOU'RE A PATRIARCH" doesn't seem a very effective strategy to promote self reflection, particularly when one is opening themselves up, trying to remove the shrapnel at the same time. Removing shrapnel from yourelf is hard enough without someone repeating, "you've got shrapnel in your leg, you've got shrapnel in your leg." No, I need help ID'ing the shrapnel, specifically, not restating the obvious. And some awareness that I have removed some of it and am committed to removing all of it.

It probably feels good to the person doing that, but having been a part of a little personal transformation, it seems doomed to failure. But that's just my opinion.

I also grew up in the United States, not Canada, so I didn't experience it through books, or television or visits. I've been a black man all my life - who grew up in the good ole USA of lynching, castration - physical, emotional, spiritual.

So, I know that I have male privilege, male power. And it cuts both ways here in the larger culture. Nigga men are the greatest threat to the white man, thus they have received the full force of his oppressive machinery.

Certainly, I have power over women. I, as a male represent a group that poses the greatest threat to women. Its kind of like the concept of "all white people being racist suspects" from 'TheCode.Net.' I get that.

But after we've been beaten over the head with theory and studies and books and told we are patriarchs, we who need and must change have to be met on a heart level by somebody, don't we? Otherwise, its going back to doing my work on my own which I ain't got a problem with.

I'm looking at the opportunities that I have to exercise patriarchal power; I'm looking at how I've used it in the past; I'm disowning and backing away from it when I recognize it, when I see it in real time. Its not like I don't know that I can be a patriarch - but I'm not married, I'm not in a committed or uncommitted relationship; I'm not a minister, pastor or officeholder. I work from home. I don't know whether I agree that because I have a dick, that I am an unequivocal, practicing patriarch, particularly because I've been working at this for a little while now.

S2, you say I didn't like what was coming out of DD's mouth because she is a woman. I wouldn't have like it coming out of your mouth either.

I know DD is a brilliant person, aren't we all? We are all brilliantly human, growing, with much to learn and I think its important to keep our individual growth up front.

I am moving through and past this moment with DD, but it is a process and that whole encounter will continue to percolate within me. If you can't hear how I feel about that, please let me know and I won't mention it here again.

A part of the messy of this path is that we never get "there;" we get closer, better, stronger, more flexible, but we are never there. Even those with an analysis are weighed down by life, family upbringing, pain, beauty. It is how we negotiate it that is important. I don't want to be a wooden, patriarchal, archetype and have my humanity deleted or reduced.

We have to allow each other our own individual humanity, our unique story or else we're talking behind masks, poses, positions.

One more thing by way of metaphor: One of my favorite quotes is by Sonny Rollins - "It took me years to learn what notes NOT to play." And another by Lee Morgan: "I think a definite style comes with living and experience and travelling until you play what you are, you play yourself on the horn.”

Theory is great, as is technique. But it is the fusion of them with lived experience, wisdom, patience, a little distance that counts for much. Listen to any great artist; they've discarded the youthful exuberance and know how to play the notes that count. We're all learning this; so we should recognize.

So, I look forward to engaging with you where I talk to you about my shit primarily and you do the same, where you can be yourself and I can do the same. But this stuff just had to be as it was. Again, sorry you had to be on the receiving end.

s2 said...:
FS, I hear you.You want me to speak from an emotional place. Well talking about how I used my privilege in Black community was hard for me. I feel hurt when I think about how I've moved through the world. There were things that got in the way of how I could deal with how I was treating women. I was angry.
I still am, to some degree. That's why I need to blog/ talk to you...
I was shut down. I wanted to lash out because of being consistently disempowered by my brother. I think it made matters worse that no one acknowledged my pain.

I'd be crying. ..
and crying...
and crying..
and my dad was like -
Seminalson, what's wrong? You ok?!

"No I'm not fucking OK...
and you know why I'm not fucking ok!
It's been 10 years of fucking terror!

What is your soul made of fucking STONE!?"

no answer.
...
...
still no response...

nothing
nothing
nothing

Are you even in there?

You're family is suppose to care, Freeslave.

You're family is suppose to fucking care! YOU'RE FAMILY IS SUPPOSE TO FUCKING CARE!

Freeslave, I'm in pain.
I was seeing a counselor, but I've stopped for too long...

Okay - back to how I treated women:
Now, true - this doesn't excuse my abuse of patriarchal power. All men are patriarchs. If you are born a male on this planet - you're automatically one. But part of me reaching out to you is (and any other men) is to talk about this, share our feelings, thoughts, and do what men are not suppose to do with each other - CARE.

You wrote: "I'm looking at the opportunities that I have to exercise patriarchal power; I'm looking at how I've used it in the past; I'm disowning and backing away from it when I recognize it, when I see it in real time."

Can you expand on this?
You and I exercise patriarchal power just by walking into a room filled with women, and them giving you attention - simply because you are a man. (And let me be clear: I grew up a Black person - as you can see from my picture (!), with the police following me all the time, me not being able to get a cab home, etc. I'm saying this because I want hold the racist experiences I have had, together with the privilege I can wield. I think doing this will keep me from just seeing myself as victim, victim, victim... I'm not saying that is what you are doing. What I am saying is that I want to be friends, and this is one of the ways I think it would be nice to get to know each other.
I also think this work will improve our relationships with other women, and ourselves.
It's all about looking at ourselves.)

I have an experience of trying to have this discussion with other men over the years - which I am going to post about - and they aren't emotionally ready, and back away.
You should know, I feel extremely cautious when it comes to opening up with a man, because I was abused for a long time by my brother. I know you've talked about AA a little with DD, but I would like to hear what you have to say too, Freeslave.
Talk to me. I'll listen.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

S2 responds to Freeslave

Maxjulian said...
I was enjoying the posts with DD as well until we reached point zero. We all need to grow - not just me, men, patriarchs. All of us do. In order to do this kind of work, I have to be around safe people and also teachable people. I need to be around loving, sensitive people.

When I got sober, if people had been coming at me like DD - with a lot of intellectual assertions, without a sensitivity to where I've been, where I'm coming from and what I need - I wouldn't have lasted a day.
Okay, hold on Max. DD not sensitive? Are you reading the posts over at 1tbm? FS, can you please take some time to think, reflect, and think some more b4 commenting more about 1TBM and your exchanges. I like you. You’re smart. When I re-read the conversations, as I’m sure you have – I can see you’ve had a reaction to what she’s said. I know where you are coming from. Your anger and frustration at DD is exactly her point. Her role isn’t to take care of you. That’s what women do. They take care of men. All the time. Come on FS – you know this.
Maxjulian said...Recovery for me was a supportive environment. Most of the people who appealed to my drunk, weren't pushing people to think any particular way. They shared their experience, strength and hope. They encouraged us to use the tools of recovery. But there were no overlords who knew everything, who taught everyone, but who weren't teachable - who appealed to me. That model doesn't work for me, be it man or woman.
You are a smart man. Surely you don’t believe that DD’s comments are hers and hers alone. Like she made Black feminism up. Have I missed something?
Maxjulian said...We typically don't point the finger at folks and indict them as alcoholics. So this process was doomed from the start. What was most disappointing was to open up about myself and have the tenor change to "you are a patriarch, dangerous, etc." It was like this switch: I went from being me, getting butt naked, to being the a choirboy for patriarchy. Everything was you-patriarchy this, you-patriarchy that and I'm like, "I thought I was talking to DD about myself.
Well, what can I say here Julian is: Seminalson? Meet Seminalson.

I know this is hard Julian, but this is exactly why I believe we need each other. Just because we are wounded, and hurt – you know that I am if you’ve read my blog – it doesn’t mean we get away with patriarchal stuff. But, again, this is precisely what I do to DD Max. This is why I see it so well. This is the dangerous part of the work we are doing. We are still patriarchs. >Whether it is said once, 5 times, or a million times, we are patriarchs. Now it is up to us to talk about our emotions, our automatic role in this society as patriarchs and how we can start supporting ourselves and the women around us. And I have a jump-off point, if you’re willing.
Maxjulian said...Little too overthetop cerebral for my little boy's taste. And also, I have issues with the bravado: "you're not going to like me/some people call me a castrator" and then basically trying to live up to those boasts.
Of course you’ve got issue with it, I’ve got issue with what you have in quotes. And that’s because we don’t like hearing those words come out of woman’s mouth. Max, really, the reality for women is that they are second-class citizens in Black community -in the your city and mine, in your state, and in my province; on this continent and world wide. If I were them, I’d be really fucking pissed off too.

This isn’t some theory DD is making up. A long line of women have been doing this work. My mother, a Black feminist herself loves DD. She is 70, a published university scholar and has conversation with DD all the time about these exact same issues. FS, thank god (I’m not religious) you’ve come into my life cause really I am not just talking to you here, I’m talking to myself. You and I need to move past the DD this, and the DD that and start our dialogue. I’m not saying ignore DD. I’m saying that DD is not really the issue. She’s a brilliant person committed to growing and learning. Everyday. I don’t want to fall into a trap where we are communicating like "she said this, and she meant that.." - that’s not useful. If you want clarification on what she’s meant, go to her place and ask her.

Again, let’s start our dialogue.
Maxjulian said...Now, to say that I guess makes me the ultimate patriarch. I felt reduced, in each disagreement, diagnosed, put in a box. And I felt completely unheard by her and I didn't feel a whole lot of heart/emotional stuff coming at me.
I’m a little confused here Julian. The ultimate patriarch? Seems to me, she’s saying we have a lot to work on. And we do. >It’s hard for me to hear, because I pride myself on being super-smart. On being a leader. I can tell you were raised to be entitled to have access a woman’s energy, to be the spotlight. That’s how I was raised.

I was raised Black middle class patriarchal, heterosexual. This means that I was raised with a sense of entitlement to access as much privilege (even as a Black man) as I could. It meant being sent to affluent schools, affluent summer camps, hanging out with affluent white children, going to affluent health clubs, speaking with an accent that sounds Anglo-Canadian, and making noise and complaining if I was denied any access to any of the "privileges" I thought I was "entitled" too. It also meant knowing that I would have access, safe automatic access, to all the Black events, Black women’s spaces where men who were patriarchal would not be welcome; access to sometimes queer events, spoken word nights, and galas – all knowing that my privilege as a middle class, Black, hetero, arrogant, patriarchal – just generally privileged except for my Blackness, would allow me access to nearly everywhere.

And the icing on the cake were having parents who were professionals academics– all markers of significance in Black Community. My father was/is the totally and completely patriarchal – and very, very respected EVEN by feminist. It’s ALMOST LIKE the fact that he could tolerate living in a house with a feminist gives him big points.

But let’s not forget the relationships. My safety pass was also having a Black woman on my arm. Even more points if she was feminist – because I would have the respect of the men (wow! You got that power house! You managed to bring her in line, you must be a real man!) and from the women (for being with a woman with brains) – most important it would mean that people would think that I had politics, and that I knew things and was progressive. But, really at the time, I treated the women as tools for my advancement.

And you know what? The women (straight women) still lusted after me, and who I was. Regardless of what I understood, which wasn’t much. The straight women never really spoke to how I was treating them. They smiled. They may have been angry, but they smiled.

The 2 Black queer women I was seeing at different points back then did however try and speak to me about my actions. They were the only ones who tried to call me on my stuff. They were the only ones who realized that I was doing something wrong.

With them I was extremely dismissive. I ignored their requests to be accountable. I ignored their feelings. I didn’t think they had significant enough value in my quest to "achieve" and "lead", so at the time, I stopped interacting them. Period.

With the straight women, I didn’t think they wouldn’t cause a fuss because had stuff invested in everything in Black community looking a particular way. They hold the community together. The homes, the gatherings, it’s all done by them, or by their mothers. That’s their respect.

So, they said little about my actions and smiled. I didn’t really care. I was arrogant. Anything they might say wouldn’t touch me anyway cause I’m a man. People would just say: well that’s how men are, he’s doing what men do... I didn’t have any problem kicking any of these women to the curb if they weren’t serving my needs.

Basically, if I couldn’t suck from them, gain knowledge, and get "more" they were of no use to me. My needs were paramount and needed to be taken care of.

Well, you used my blog to communicate with DD without really addressing what I said in my original post. I’d love to be mad at you, but I have a bigger issue to deal with. My sanity, building actual friendships that mean something, and being able to look at my children in the face in the next few years. Gotta go pick up Stinkapee again… I’ll write more later...

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Julian, of course I want to talk...

Julian,

Writing with you means a lot to me. The longest relationship I have with a man was my violent brother who now lives on the other side of the planet. It’s been really painful remembering times with him. He was an awful person.

I was enjoying the posts between you and DD. I was happy because she is brilliant, tender, sharp, and intimidating to for most people, but you seemed to be really engaging, sharing ideas and feelings. I was like: Wow … this is exciting!

I was also jealous because I have gotten used to being the one who she connects with. But in truth, I have been intimidated by her and her thoughts, mostly because I choose to allow my programming as a straight male not to allow me to really understand her. I also let my large ego block a lot of my conversations and interactions with her.

I’ve stopped talking to her for a full day (that’s a lot considering we have 2 kids) just for the feelings that come up in me because of her challenging heterosexuality…

Holy shit! Why would I want to defend heterosexuality or mainstream masculinity? It hasn’t protected me, fought for me… none of it…

Freeslave, I struggle with DD constantly around patriarchy. I find it extremely difficult to break from this. I do. I find it almost impossible. I can relate to you being upset with DD. I read your posts and I’m like (to some degree): “That’s me! That’s me!”

I have said things and thought: “DD you just don’t understand me and you expect things to be a certain way – but I want to do it this way.”

I can’t tell you how many times I have demanded DD (very subtly) “Listen to me, or take in information from my perspective as a straight man.” I don’t quite say it like this: “You are now going to listen to me, because I am a straight man.” I don’t have to. It’s assumed because our society was designed for us. It is not accommodating for those who are women or queer.

But you know what I’m realizing?

Our society is also not accommodating to men like us. The sensitive ones (Yes man! We’re sensitive!) DD is an ally, not someone to discard because something has come up for you in the way you guys have been communicating.

So much more coming including why I understand your… and my behaviours…

Gotta go pick up Stinkapee from school!

seminalson

Monday, January 21, 2008

WHAT MORE IS THERE TO BE SAID: well lots actually - great conversation going on over at 1TBM, right now!

"The white liberal lefty men have been smiling their way through something they would like to call anti-patriarchal male "feminist" work for quite some time. I don't much trust what they're building because they don't have radical enough race analysis as far as I can see. So, I don't really talk to them much. I'm invested in Black men creating something that questions the crap that happens in Black community that reeks of patriarchal relations."


- darkdaughta, 1TBM

I (Seminalson)know that I am going to build relations across all colour lines because that is what it will take to have any movement. But really (Black) men, we have to start talking to each other ABOUT PATRIARCHY - and that might mean crying, and being uncomfortable, and being messy - but we come from (and I'm reminding myself here) a long line of folks who went through pain and discomfort...
... ultimately - if we aren't at least talking/ sharing stories , we aren't moving anywhere. . .




Friday, January 18, 2008

CRYING MEN: OH GOD! He's crying.. he's crying... oh god he's angry - hope he doesn't rob me...

I was over at "Race has nothing to do with you" and saw a piece on masculinity over there. Thanks Chris for posting it and linking me. I'm afraid we only have ourselves to blame in terms of the state of the "men's community" in the world right now." Oh wait - is there a "Men's Community.." - how does that sound?! .. wouldn't want to be seen as gay!?

Jesus Christ.

When are we going to get out of the immaturity and move into living. I'm talking to myself here to guys. I've struggled and enjoyed touch in the men's group - and I'll tell you: the mind blowing experiences were amazingly moving. And I wasn't raised around people who went to "men's groups".

But it is needed. We need so much healing. My little contribution is this little blog.
Below is a quote from a student (he is 17) Chris B. teaches. Speaking about emotion, the student says to Chris:

"No one has ever heard me. I want so bad to grab someone and cry in their face so they can't ignore my tears. But the tears dont come, and if I grab most people, they think I'm going to rob them. Even if they are my friends, that thought still comes to their mind. I see it in their eyes - they fear me when I let go of emotion. And they dont know when I need instead of when I am tr.uly angry."

Click above to read the entire piece - it's 4 paragraphs, then come back.

_________________________________
Two days have passed sense I've been able to come back to this post. I'm racing to write because today has been such a full one. Lots of good things though.

I was standing in the kitchen, having some coconut bakes DD made - really good - and we were talking - and I got to thinking. Men will always be in this place of pain and confusion as long as we hide behind homosexuality as a reason to not look at our emotions and feelings. This is an institutional practice. We are hanging ourselves. I am sorry for that late-teenager, for the man who is in his early 70s, for the little boy in me, for countless men around the globe who are basically walking around, emotionally transient because they will be perceived as gay.

I think this should be broken down (for me too) cause it is really basic, I'm sure - but things always seem even clearer when you write them. I'll be back. I just have to jump in the showerb4 the baby wakes up!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Took a trip with family to Monrovia. Dad revealed.

So, yesterday I found out that my aunt's daughter died. By the sounds of it - it could have been prevented. Her daughter was only 30. But I'm going to leave those details aside for a second because I want to talk about going to my parents home, and the fears I have about this. Or I guess - the realizations I'm coming to in the aftermath of being there.

This morning, I was talking to darkdaughta, and I agreed with her on a major point that is actually giving me some kind of release from the emotional bondage I feel when I think about my folks - specifically - my dad.

You see, last night, him and I had conversation. Nothing too deep, but it was - conversation. And it was for about an hour. It helped that the Shomalian was there. He is just so damn charming and smiley that your heart can't NOT MELT on sight of his gummy grin. Reminds me of Stinkapee. Lovely.

Anyway, in talking to darkdaughta, she suggested a couple of things that are really crucial. First, she remembered asking my mother about how I take in information, and then immediately wipe it from my mind - blank it in fact. My mother affirmed that this was my father to a T!

My dad also wants to do the least amount of work in conversation. He just wants to listen passively and take in info - letting the other person talk, and asking odd questions at strange points in conversation - oh my god! he trained me to be like this! holy shit! hedidn't say: ok, be like this, i just lived with it my whole life.

So, now i'm seeing him as man that has gone thru trauma, and not just as "this moron whose done wrong by me and that I will hate for all eternity". I wasn't getting anything out of that.

Now, i have been to this place b4, knowing my dad has context, and my mother - it's just that now I'm at a breaking point in my real and current life. I'm acting more and more and more like him and the results are rapidly destroying my current relationship with darkdaughta.

So, as odd as it may seem, I'm going to make a list of behaviours I have observed in father Monrovia, and put a y or n beside each one, to say whether or not I actually do these behaviours -or I should say, have taken up this method to deal with my stuff.

Let the fun begin! (laughter of the damned)

1. Not cleaning up and expecting others to clean up after him y
I can't believe I'm actually writing this down, but yes - I do do that. I was talking to my daughter about how important it is to clean up after herself and to not make a mess. DD just looked at me as if to say: how are you going to teach something to someone - when you don't even believe what you are saying. IN typing this, I remember my folks, and them always harping on about something or the other, but not really following their own advice. Often I'd heard: "those (fill in a name) are so out of order.They think they can treat me like that? I'm going to show them" And they would proceed to carry out whatever ..to take care of the 'problem'.
Only thing is, they never took what was going on in the house between us brothers seriously enough to intervene. Really, I know it was because no one could see it, my terror, and no one would believe it, of course, because on the outside, we had a Cosby house. Two professionals, a mid-town house, and a car made in Sweden.
Ok, another revelation, I have walked with much of this knowledge for a long time, and have continued to make the same choices, over and over. Why? Because I'm scared of change. I'm scared of what's next. But I know I have too.

Right now, my partner is on a bit of a strike: meaning that she has given up a bit of the house maintenance because every time she proposes and implements a system (after waiting in vein for me to contribute my thoughts - which I will not) I start to take it apart. I'm in a hurry so I can't possibly put stuff back where I found it, that would be ludicrous. Well, for more, see below...(#2)
2. His work is important. It consists of doing basically the same routine repeatedly over and over again, but he believes it is important y
Yes, that's right. I kinda of do that. I am actually making a choice to do that. I just got out of the car with darkdaughta. I was talking about my feelings. Long time since I've done that. Really, I've felt like my life has been spinning out of control. (For anyone reading this, don't just read it and move on - leave me a message letting me know you've seen it - the connection is nice.)

Anyway, we were talking and I was saying to her that I need some kind of direction in my life. I know what I need to do, so why don't I just do it. I said that most of my movements are really rooted in comparison, and competition. My understanding of how to move in relationships has come from what I observed in my old family home.

So, on a daily basis, I had to make sure I wasn't like my brothers - either one of them. That was my daily routine: not being like them. And that wasn't questioned, it was celebrated. And I know what that's done for me now: it's completely messed with how I understand relationship building. Period. Take for example, my relationships in the past few years. I already talked about my brothers. Then there's my relationship with DD in our first few years. We had tons of arguments, and, lots of me trying to compete with her and - her fiercely trying to get me to actively take part in healthy relationship building. I refused.

I needed to win something from her. I needed for her to "be dominated", this didn't work, of course - but I tried. You see, the domination script always made sense for me because I always had my brothers, or someone from my home to fight against. And so, I wanted that in my relationship with her. That was normal for me. It made sense.

And DD loving me (in a way that was responsible and healthy - were I was actively asked to challenge myself?) was - well.. like ... huh? *Does not compute*

And so we struggled. I pushed her boundaries... I push her boundaries. That's all I seemed to want to do. No, really, that's what I wanted. No really, that's what I want - now. Make no mistake, I'm writing these words and I am actively trying to hold back crossing her boundaries. What do I mean? How about filling the air with conversations about "the latest ziploc bag techonology" - this is just an example - when she can't get me to have a real discussion about my feelings. I'm writing this now - but I fear the next few hours, and next few days. Will I last and stay present in this? I'm going to send my counselor the link to this posting so they can read it.

I mean, being shut down actually felt (feels) right. It made sense to me. I know, I know, you're thinking: But Seminalson, I thought you were a progressive man, a man with vision, and you read etc. Well, I do. But let's not forget point #1 right?

Anyway, let's go back to what I was saying before. And then, along came a new diversion. A group of people that could take the place of my family home. A group of people I could easily compete with because I saw them as worthy opponents - and definitely *beatable* Of course, this was my little boy talking. My adult self - let my little boy inside take the lead. [I am starting to figure out why - you see he (little boy) was never listened to or appreciated when he was small and talkative , so, he just tries to lead on everything and my adult body won't stop him. Well, I'm stopping him now.
Well, in point #3, I'll talk about the great intentional community, and how I used it to puff up my ego and continue to fuck up my life.
3. He believes in his books. He's only had them to distract him from his true self
He reads the same books and talks about the same things constantly. y
I'd say I believe in my films, but only the same old films. And it's a little more complicated than that. I like to see other films, it's just that I want to be distracted by them instead of having my true feelings. I have this feeling of wanting to be the knower, and so when I watch a program with DD, I point out to her - how it was made. And I insist, and she says: you're such a technician - stick to the story man. And I get angry. I feel like it has more to do with me being a knower and competing with her. "I's smart too ya know!" But now, it's gotten silly. I've stop reading and learning more about my profession. Can you believe that? I've even stopped right there. Why? cause I was reading and learning in relation to a competition. DD didn't want to take part and so who would this leave me to rebel against.
I remember taking DD driving a few times. I felt like was in my power place. I had managed to make myself the only person in my house who new anything about driving. This was a construction. MY partner is quite an amazing driver.
4. He dresses up nice when he's going outside. He's looks dashing to the perfect stranger. y
I used dashing cause i think that is the word people would use if they saw him. Well, maybe not. Maybe that's just me using "old" language cause that's what I grew up around. Really, he just looks neat, and well groomed, and that counts for a lot it seems. And well there's me. I don't actually think I'm attractive, much of the time - but I do know that most people (women and men) find me charming and well portioned. Ok -some have said attractive, but my point is that I do clean up nice. Little would anyone know about all the baggage I'm walking with. Ok everyone walks with baggage.
Really, often times, I dress in rags and it's hard for me to pull myself out of it. I'd like to wear more colours - hey I know.. - I'll have a photo shoot with all my boring clothes, then I'll get some new colourful ones, snap some shots and put them on-line!... Ok but what's the point if I'm not actually going to DO something with them.. like wear 'em?
5. He distracts himself with outside forces like CNN and CBC News to further move him away from being with his thoughts y
I am constantly trying to distract myself. Oh, let me count thee ways. Actually the media is a good one. I'm always seemingly checking the 24 hr local news website, for the latest "news" read: distraction. Today's item: a stabbing murder in the subway on the east side of town. Quite the event - it caused *commuter chaos* - and let me stay ungrounded.
Well, I'm here now, after much hesistating. Ok, I'm going to push out my men's group listing now. I've had enough of this...!
6. He resents his partner for not being the mother he lost (she died, which left him at the hands of an abusive patriarch) He asks out in extremely passive aggressive ways y
I really like being angry with darkdaughta. Yes, I do. I resent her and all that she understands and expects me to understand. I want to be left to do what I want and I don't want to be held accountable! Ever! Oh my god! she ses boundaries - she is like the mother I never had in some ways - in that I always a peron in my life that set boundaries that I HAD to respect. I didn't have that. Now that I'm in relationship - I don't seem to be functioning. Everyday, is a hellish day. Cause I want it to be. More coming...
7. Interesting that this next one is number #7 considering the importance of it: I think I still don't want to deal with this next one: HE actively jettisons information he deems is unnecessary. Only thing is, the jettisoning decision is, as far as I can tell, based on protecting him (and his little boy that lost his mom) from anything that doesn't fit nicely into his world - whether it is pretend or not. y
JUST ADDED: He like people do t things for him, because he believes he's owed it. y

I have now: teaching media literacy, and shooting some scenes from a film I'm directing. When I come back, I'm going to write about what I do, underneath any of the observations that has a <y>, I guess that'd be all of them.

By the way, post a comment if you're thinking about it. I need all the support I can get in this work.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Just had a car ride with my father: SO MUCH PAIN, SO MUCH TO I SEE IN MYSELF... this is a harder post to write than normal...

I just met my dad. We had to drive to the east end to run an errand.
It's always painful to ride with my folks. What can I say about my dad. As soon as I got in his car, I felt this weight, so my body said - keep in talking, keep him talking. So I thought, ok lets start with what he likes to talk about: his students. He tutors many students - but one he has been tutoring for the past five years. That's a safe bit. I'll start him there.

That faded after about 10 minutes, so I quickly had to move to another topic. My dad and my mother helped out in a unfair mark Stinkapee received on her report card. That has been "resolved" for the time being - but how it all transpired - we rehashed it, again.

I was describing the stance I took with one of the school administrators.
After I had described what had happened (I had essentially told them off) - my dad said to me: did you see that administrator see you later on? In effect, he was asking if I was worried about them seeing me?

At that moment, at had another realization - which DD pointed out when I was describing it to her: it was like he was a scared little school boy in the west indies, afraid of being caught.. and beaten."

I told him: "I don't work for that administrator .. my taxes pay his salary - and he's a power hungry asshole"

But when I told DD about the exchange - I started to realize that when I'm ready, I get very nervous and afraid of different power structures. Power structures that aren't particularly powerful, it's just that I haven't really grounded, or even started to consider the kind of energy my father has put on me. And that's when I realized something else. There is a piece of me that is actually afraid of my dad. He's not stable. He's a madman. But not overtly violent. He is covertly violent - very passive aggressive. HE taught that, indirectly to me.

I need a moment.

I also feel scared for him. ..actually I'm afraid I am him. A nervous little boy. I grew up around folks who were very triggered by people - and they understood they could /should be dominated. Their histories, their own histories ruled their present. The abuse, the tortore.. it hasn't gone anywhere. And it's there for many Black folks, all black folks one could argue. Check out 1TBM, and her post about the legacy of abuse and terror in Black community.

Now make no mistake, I know that there are some situations that might seem helpless, but I am talking about when you have a choice - but you're scared, you're nervous, and it paralyzes you.

My dad seems to really like it vapid conversation. I like to think that he deeply wants more - so I test the theory. I start -"Don't you think men really are brought up to be power hungry, to be controlling. We really need to change the way we live - you know?"
"Well, I'm not sure. That's people." he replies.
This is a person who has been dominated/beaten/trapped by the men in his life. He has only known mean men.

I know he doesn't trust them, and has no real male friendships.

I'm talking friends that you can share you're fears with and trust with your life.

I've tired to talk about other stuff, but it only ends up in me wanting to cry when he blocks me. He simply cannot process.

No, he chooses not to process anything. And for you bloggers who think I should cut him some slack: What I need to do, I think, is admit to myself- what has formed me. And keep reminding myself. Anything else is denial.

The conversation was hard. I think we stopped three times. Once for gas, once for coffee, and again for some Donutbits I was picking up for DD. It wasn't a long trip. I just needed the breathier, like the one I'm taking now.

I'll write more later. ZZZ time.

Class one PROBE ...please acknowledge...

It feels very exciting to read Freeslave over at 1TBM. In fact it feels exciting to read 1TBM...
period.

Well how about some background for starters.. I have gone through many shifts in growing up and becoming adult. When I was in elementary school (my parents sent me to schools in affluent (read: white areas) I always felt like some kind of outsider. My folks weren't concerned about the emotional status of my being, more just making sure (my brothers and) I was at a school with good resources in wealthy areas. The fact that I was beaten up on a daily basis at home.. that didn't register so much for them.

Living is complicated isn't it?
My folks are academics. Everyone understands them as being "big ting" in the city's Black community. I didn't pay much attention to their status. In putting me in "white/rich" schools, I think I was away from the fanfare of the "Black" community. I think that if I had gone to school, deep in them community - maybe I would have been a celebrity. But no such "really good" school actually exists in the "community". How ironic that with all of letters after both of their names, and their "intelligence", it simply wasn't enough to ensure I was at school with any Black people - that actually had solid resources. I remember thinking for a time that being around Black people would solve so much, would fix some of the wrongs. I think differently now, but I still have fantasies.

It was only in my grade 7-8 years that I went to a school, in the neighbourhood I actually grew up in - and some of the students thought I wanted "to be white." They told me it was because of the way I talked. And the way I dressed. And it was tough cause I "knew" more about "Black" people, and history - then those few kids had in their finger nails. But that knowledge didn't matter. And who the hell cares really when you think about it. You're not "more" Black if you're up on history. I guess I told my self that as a defense to safe guard my self-esteem.

What I did learn was that Blackness was something that could be taken away at any moment - if I was not like the other popular Black folk at my school. After grade 7 and 8, it was time for me to go to high school. They call them three names in Ontario: technical institutes; secondary schools; and collegiate institutes. The last one offers only advanced level courses, and students attending there are tracked to go to university. My folks "suggested" I go to a well-known high school, not too far far my house. It wasn't in our neighbourhood, it was literally "on the other side of the tracks... literally." Determined to be different to my deadbeat brother, I agreed to go to that school. "When you apply to university, the admissions officers will know that a 80% average at this school,is like a 90% at any other school." And so, off I went to the school. I was basically with kinds of kids I was at from grade 1-6. White, snobby, and well-off.

I spent much of my time at this school in a confused setting amongst tons of affluent white folks. Although, as I write it here, it would have helped if the my folks had taken more time to explain the complexities of race within the white schools I was going to. It would have help a lot to have some grounding. But that was not part of the ingredients for my parents.

So I did the best I could. I know, with Stinkapee - we have, we do, and we will continue to explain how our society works and the school system being an extension of it. And the same with all of our children. I figure, explain now so they don't feel completely betrayed when they encounter racism, or classism, homophobia later.

Anyway, at this school, I didn't mainfiest as that generic Black hoodlum/thug (read: wasn't Black enough -didn't wear hiphop clothes; didn't talk in a fake "African-american" accent - which does not actually exist! I know! I know! But that is what I judged by. You don't sound like Wil Smith, or Martin Lawrence. These students felt entitled to judge me based on me not falling into the category of what they considered "Black", even though they were White... I fucking told off a lot of people fucking arrogant racist assholes.

It was hard.

At home, I was experiencing physical abuse at the hands of my brother. That started at an early age. I wasn't "man" enough, was too emotional, and deserved to be beaten up for it. Remember, early I was talking about blackness that was something that could be given or taken away - well - that is definitely how I understand masculinity. If masculinity was something that was natural, it wouldn't be enforced. It would it just, be.

In relations to what freeslave said over at 1TBM, I (s2) too have thought about isolation. I feel the most popular loner on earth. Men and women seem attracted to my energy - I'm really exciting/ charming to most people I come into contact with. Only thing is... they are interested in the surface me - not the different parts of me. I learned about compartmentalization being the key to survival. Sadly, it's been the key to my isolation.

One of the reasons I started this blog was, to send out a probe and hope that someone would find it. But really, it is 1TBM 's work that has helped me even reach out to you.

I'm looking forward engaging, albeit a bit scary... it's exciting too...

Saturday, January 12, 2008

HANGINGwith the folks... childhood memories...

Ok, first off, it's late and everyone is sleeping.
It's nice. The house is quite.
Think I'll say hi to Loving Pecola, Maxjulian, sweetness, Freeslave, and others for the generative exchanges over at 1TBM. I read, I appreciate everyone putting their feelings out there.
Today, I picked up Stinkapee from school. We went for a walk, ended up in a cafe where told me more about her experiences in the class room. She had a streamed vanilla creme, practiced her spelling words, and read from her dictionary. Then we went for dinner at a neigbourhood diner, went for a swim at the community centre, and walked home. DD had checked in with us to see how we were doing, and after hearing that we were going swimming - offered to make some dinner too - you use a shit load of energy when you swim.

Shomlee, the 19 month old was in great spirits when we got home, as was DD. She was cooking chicken stew on brown rice - smelt amazing. I did some work on the computer, while Stinkapee did work on her computer, and Shomlee sang songs with DD in the kitchen as she created her masterpiece. We hung out with the kids, until Stinkapee got tired, and went off to bed. ( Just so you know - this description of the two of us, as a mother/father pairing is not our ideal by any means. I would really like to have another partner in our family. I think it would lovely to be able to responsibly and ethically love and share experiences with another person. We are working on this, but that is beyond the scope of this entry.)

DD, came back downstairs, and I started to talk about my family. I was recalling how I spent my childhood with my parents - and thinking about the connections they maintained and why. I thought about how deliberate it was, but how I didn't understand it that way. DD suggested that my mother stayed in touch with some family partly because it was important to maintain family ties - in fact, she did this much more than my father. I can't recall him ever organizing a family outing. He simply wasn't invested in that from my view. This is a piece (among many pieces) that I have taken from my childhood and brought into my adulthood. I think everything will just fall into place, cause it did for my father, even though it was my mother who did it.

And going to these family events largely seemed performative. Meaning - it was us saying: here we are - the family - "perfect and happy." What I mean to say is, we would arrive, everyone would say their pleasantries. Some food would be served, and eventually the conversation would go to academia and race. My folks are academics, and they love to talk all there academia speak. The conversation would, as far as I could see, never head in any emotional direction. No one ever talked about what they were feeling, or how they actually felt about anything.
Sometimes it would get lively with jokes (at each others' expense in the room) or sometimes, they would talk about race - but this was tricky, because many in my mother's family, say her siblings were in severe denial about anything racial whatsoever. I can re-call hearing: "if you just work hard everything will be fine." Often she would get into shouting matches over quotes like that one. My father, would fall asleep and I would just want to go home.

But home was really difficult for me too. My brother lived there and he was physically abusive to me all the time. My parents, could not deal with his violence - I believe it triggered them around their parents. My brother would attack me mostly when my folks weren't around, starting when I was about 8 and lasting far into my teens. I think around 16, I started to take martial arts, and so the attacks when down - and instead my family home became a cold war zone - were at any moment, a huge explosive release would unfold.
One time, in the middle of the night the moment arrived.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

SITTING IN A CAFE, BEING SERVED WITH MY SON, WHILE THE WHITE WOMEN BABY MAMAS ARE IGNORED

I was just visiting 1TBM and read what annakiss
and DD were talking about. No - I think this "movement" isn't working for anyone. Even the affluent white women in a neighbourhood DD and I used to live in would walk with a sense of entitlement - trying to run me off the sidewalk with their BMW strollers, and $9 lattes.

One time, I was with Shomolee - when he was 4 months. We were sitting in a Starbucks. The cafe had about 4 of those mamas - and every staff person at the place was ignoring them and their babies, and coming up to us. You should have seen the look on their faces as the servers asked me what I wanted, AND BROUGHT IT TO ME, said it was on the house, and got me a paper too. I know their actions were rooted in patriarchy. And maybe in a fantasy I called the staff on this, but not for these women. Women who would never ally with me. WOmen who would call the police on my Black ass in a second. White women who are angry with their husbands - for being fucking assholes - and looking to take it out on me. No. NO. I just sat, enjoyed my coffee and the Shomolee.

The 4 baby mamas were ignored all together.

After a while, it became to much for one she had to come over. She tired to passive aggressively state that Shomolee was small for his age. (He was over 10 pounds at birth) I didn't engage. I knew what was going on.

Really, it's clear that this "happy birthing beings/ in touch and in control/ and happy birthing beings" is a big big lie. This was an example I remember with the affluent white women I used to live near.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

I CAN FALL ASLEEP WHILE listeningTO YOU and on a loud nightclub speaker

When I was over at my aunt's place, I noticed something that I really didn't connect with . Sleep. And I mean a lot of it. I grew up around people, and visited people that always fell asleep while you were on the phone with them, talking to them, or while watching TV. And no one, including Ophelia EVER actually admitted to falling as sleep. IT was always, "I'm resting my eyes.." or "I'm not sleeping, I'm just dozing" or "You just thought I was sleeping, but really you were imagining things." This last one is my personal fave!

FUCK.

It sounds kind of funny, but really, I am stuck in the truth of having fallen asleep in som many odd situations, leading right up to - in conversation with DD. I have scratched my own head, thinking to myself - did I really fall asleep? Oh DD would say .. you sure did - "and who do you think you are to just fall asleep... without warning me or anything, AND the deny it!"

While we were at my aunt's house a week back or so, DD noticed in conversation with one of my aunts, and through her actions that auto-sleep, as I like to call it, is all over my family.

I know I used sleep and making myself fall asleep for difficult situations.. like being attacked as a child, or more accurately - after- waiting, no one would come, I would crawl into a ball and go to sleep - hoping when I woke up, all would be better.

It never was.

I still try and use this auto-sleeping today, in the wrong places... I'm no longer that little boy...
... in fact, I think I need to write a post about sleep, being up late, fear, and worling a lot...

In the mean time...

I went reading my older posts. I'd like to link to an older post about what I did in 2006 to try and move some of this stuff. This year I's like to re-visit the men's group, and also re-visit the idea of starting my own. Going to go now... but not to fall asleep.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

WELCOME to the new seminalson - and thank-you to 1TBM for the redesign...

I have to say, voices in my head are saying: who the hell are you to have all these pictures of yourself up... - and I have to say to myself, "I deserve it. I love myself, I love my family, I deserve to have a quality ... thanks to 1TBM - DD for this. Need to keep bloggin!