The rioting in Baltimore, after the funeral of Freddie Gray, is all over the news. Everywhere! I've only seen what I've seen online, 'cause I haven't turned on the TV to watch newscasts. One video I saw, though, moved me to tears. It's of a mother who is pleading with her teenage son to come home and leave the rioting. I'm tellin' you, the video footage gets me to the core of my soul. I can't stop weeping. I hear her pain. Her disappointment. Her anger. Her fear. Her strong maternal desire to see her son safe. Eventually, she got him to come home with her. Thank God.
I hope one of the morning or evening news shows conducts an interview with this mother. 'Cause I'd like to know how she knew her son was out there. And what was going through her mind when she confronted him in front of everybody. Truth be told, at the moment she was able to get close to him, I bet she didn't notice that ANYBODY ELSE was out there. I bet at that time, she ONLY saw her baby.
This past weekend I was blessed to see my first theatrical production at Los Angeles City College (LACC): "Flyin' West." Chris Cleveland knows one of the actors in the play, so our tickets were comped. Thank goodness, 'cause the play had its moments, but it didn't make me wanna give 'em a standing ovation at curtain call. But, of course, I did anyway! I ALWAYS applaud anybody who mounts students for mounting their productions! ALWAYS! Haaa!
Last night, I attended a Q&A screening of BET's "The Book Of Negroes." Per usual, Pete Hammond moderated the affair. Dang, I wanna do what he does! I know, I know. Just DO it! Anyway, again, I applaud the filmmakers for getting this miniseries completed, but it isn't really my cup of tea, so I don't suspect I'll see any more of it. I'm hella happy for the project's star, though: Aunjanue Ellis. She's been kickin' around Hollywood for a minute, so it's great to see her take front and center for a change! She's a true talent!
Last Tuesday, I flew to Sacramento to attend a special day at the Capitol as a representative of the Saban Community Clinic. The day-long event that included meetings with senators and assemblymen (and women) was sponsored by the California Primary Care Association (CPCA). I had a BLAST! I had never been to the State Capitol before, so walking around the building and meeting with politicians was really cool. I was put up in the Hyatt Regency, which is directly across the street from the Capitol. How's that for convenience?? And I have to say, the hotel is really nice. However, they sure hiked up the price of a room for that week. I stayed in a room that usually goes for a little over $200. On the night I stayed there, it was $439! Ouch! Capitalism is a real mother!!!
Today, my time with the elderly was terrific! I got a chance to meet the offspring of a few of the residents. I always enjoy talking to their children. It helps me get a better understanding of what they were like as younger people. I mean, when I met the residents, they were 80+, so hearing about their lives at 40 and 50 and 60 is really a treat.
One of the residents asked me my thoughts on "gaiety." When he used that word, I thought I knew what he was talkin' about, but asked him to clarify himself to be sure. Well, yeah, he was talkin' about what I thought he was. He wanted to know what I thought of various religions' edicts about homosexuality. I told him what I truly believe: I couldn't care less what ANY religion thinks about it. I intend to continue living MY life the same way: respecting ALL people from ALL walks of life, and treating them the way I want to be treated. Period.
As each day morphs into the next, I hope and pray more and more people learn to live and let live. I want that more than I want anything else in this whole, wide world.
Yep, my day with the elderly was truly a HAPPY DAY!
p.s. And EVERYBODY oughta volunteer somewhere! It'll make you feel hella good!
Since I moved here to Los Angeles back in 2000, I have had a love affair with Griffith Park. When I lived in Korea Town, I would hop into my car and drive over to the park by 10 AM each morning. There, I'd do push-ups at the site of an abandoned snack cafe. Then, I'd walk up the mountain to the Observatory, then walk back down the mountain. The exercise was exhilarating. And I enjoyed meeting all the new people I'd encounter along my path.
Today, I still enjoy the park. In fact, I'm gonna head over there as soon as I type this post. I've already completed my push-ups for the day, so I'll simply walk when I get there. I'll park alongside Travel Town, then walk to the zoo and back. Yeah, that's what I'll do!
There's no love like the love between Griffith Park and ME! :)
How did I get here? I'll tell you how. By not abusing drugs. Or alcohol. Or people.
Sometimes I say my age out loud and can't believe I'm talkin' about myself. Who's 51? Certainly not ME! I mean, I feel like I've always felt.
Or do I?
Truth be told, when I kneel down to pick sweet potatoes from their bin at Trader Joe's, I feel discomfort. I didn't feel discomfort while kneeling just a few years ago. But I sure as heck do now. That's 51 for you.
Nowadays, more often than I care to admit, I wanna take a nap. I didn't care for them when I was a kid when sundry babysitters instructed me to. But now, at 51, I welcome them. Heck, I look forward to 'em!
My 51-year-old life is what I've made it. And I accept responsibility for that.
My 51-year-old life is mine to shape however I choose. And that makes me feel soooooooooo THANKFUL. And soooooooo HOPEFUL.
It's good to know I surround myself with people who make me feel good about being alive. So, whether I'm in the midst of a hundred people, or by myself...