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Sunday, August 04, 2013

I recall stifling a grin when Papa George explained his third wife, Louise, in these words ... .

"Some things you just gotta have in order to know you don't need!"

Given the chasm that has developed between the haves and have-nots in this country -- one can hardly imagine how we're going to save ourselves from the doom of environmental disaster being brought on by our country's excesses.  It is we who have consumed the King's share of the earth's resources over time, and it is within our power to try now to trim our needs to what is more equitable for the sake of humanity.
 
And ... there's a racial factor here in that so many people of color have been held down for so many decades that a backlog of wants and needs has developed through advertising and incessant promotional campaigns, and that we're now being encouraged to set aside in order to save the planet.

White folks tell us that many of the conveniences that we've been educated to see as essential are not.  We're being told that we not only don't need them, but that we must now simplify our lives by living in more sustainable ways.  "We've had all that stuff, and we know that you don't need it -- not only that, but your having it will put us all at risk of losing our space ship, Earth!"

I'm not sure just how well that's working out for us ...

From the look of the photos taken at the protest march from the Civic Center to the Chevron Refinery in Richmond yesterday, not as many African Americans as one might expect in a city with a 25-30% demographic were among the 1200-2000 passionate activists in that crowd.  Hope I'm wrong.  We've got work to do, environmentalists, and, unfortunately, the debate is shaped by decades of greed,  unequal opportunity, and access that precedes our recent urgent concerns about survival of our species and sustainability of the planet.  It won't be easy to undo an international appetite whipped into a frenzy by corporate power and that has now grown out of control.


It will be difficult, indeed, to convince a family without a roof over its head that sleeping under the stars is a privilege to be savored. 

We have generations of folks, worldwide, who have yet to learn the lessons of Papa George's at least one too-many marriages.

Return of "The Blues" ... .

Trauma of that dastardly Supreme Court decision gutting the Voters Rights Act must have been deeper than suspected.  I'm having a difficult time climbing up out of the Pit of Depression that caused my $1992 ambulance trip to Kaiser Permanente's emergency room two weeks ago.  While it has been possible to push it to the back of my mind during the day, the pain runs deep; penetratingly so as night falls.

My work remains meaningful; the public encounters continues to feed me and those with whom I'm in contact on both my tours and the commentaries in our little theater.

I was reminded of a conversation with cousin Paul or his wife, Shirley, or with cousin Armand, with whom I visited in New Orleans last December.  It was after one of our visits to St. Louis cemetery in the successful search for the grave of our cousin-in-common, Amable Charbonnet (bd 1790), that talk came around to the actual burial procedures suggested by the historic setting.

(By way of explanation of how so many could be buried in the same family crypt); "... as the remains decay over the years, they're pushed to a drop slot at the back of the crypt to make room for the new burial."  There was a word for that but I've since forgotten what it is.

 For reasons unknown, this is the rising image of my thought processes of late:

Just behind memories-in-progress -- like yesterday's heady experience of awkwardly pretending to be dancing in a Green Screen Production for public access television -- with a choreographer and a
company of young robotic hip-hoppers -- there sat images of 9 black-robed ghost Justices stripping away all of the joy of our adventure.  Their awful freedom-gutting decision further eroding all that was won through the excruciating pain endured by my generation.  The contrasts in my life are crazy-making!

... and at a time when my life is winnowing away in the moments with not nearly enough left for me to do it all over again.  

There will be others to fill my place in this March through Time, but despite this feeling of urgency and purpose -- mine will surely be running out, and soon.

I'm being diminished -- gradually -- by recent deaths of dear friends and acquaintances, with each a reminder of the approach of endings ... and wondering just how well am I managing my own exit?

... and I find myself wondering if I'll know when it's time to leave the stage?

Maybe, having put such thoughts to print I can let them go.

There are two memorial services to face up to over the upcoming two weeks, and then, perhaps, the Dance of Life can begin anew.

Meanwhile ... .

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