Poem: Haiku “Bad Books”

“Bad Books”

Our future firewood

revolutionary reads

save the stories please

Top 5 Methods for Fixing Everything

We have experienced another year of alterations that cinched the seams of us all. Making us more creative as we have looked inward, allowing us to touch the sensitive parts of ourselves that we buried under work. Making us work harder to be shown as irreplaceable and durable. Our worth tossed between the inevitable revelation that we must still take care of ourselves and others, financially, emotionally, physically, psychologically and spiritually.

Here’s what I’ve learned:

1) No one needs another TOP 3-5 list

Listening to the needs and wants of others helps you push product, whether the product is you or your ideas. But many folks, these days, aren’t seeking that type of click-bait. They need more than a list, a list of which you’ve devised based on self-help ideas gathered in most common places. Without strategies that help people apply these ideas and skills you suggest, your posting becomes a reminder of deficits. It is advice without advising.

woman in white long sleeve holding wooden paint brush
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Point your audience in the direction of what you intend to share with them. Names and links that allow individuals to take a deeper dive into the subject you are illuminating. In the medium of writing or research, this would be included in footnotes or endnotes. This is how you support your reliability speaking on a topic. Even this caters to the speaker’s position but it also reassures and supports the audience.

2) Commiserate

I know we want to present ourselves a particular way to the wider audience we can reach and possibly be exactly that which they want reflected back to them. Is that really you? I mean, go ahead and be a cardboard cutout and wave at the public with an ever-present grin. That’s less work than being a cog or an automaton. Which is definitely more work than being a bot. So be yourself. If that allows you to be real and raw with others, honest in a way that frees anyone from the binds of what suppresses us, then that is good work.

When ignorance arises to attack that good work, it’s not a sign to stop. It is not welcomed; to find that opposition to our best selves be given power to silence us. Question our intentions for the betterment of everyone. If that work isn’t good enough for others, it must be good enough for you. Assure yourself of what you share and why you share so when it is called into question you are ready for that conversation or confrontation; even if that confrontation is with the Self.

3) 2022

The highs and lows of the last 2 years are palpable. Partnerships broken and made whole. Lives lost to the very same mortal toils as before the before. The distance between family, friends and the ideas they ponder. Getting back to normal has not happened. Believing “normal” is what we need is a reminder that some of us would prefer a blindfold. Live as we always did, some of us willfully ignorant, others vying for a liberation found on the other side of pristine glass.

4) Do something for you

Read more books. Question. Be kind. Be honest with yourself. Rest. Let the inevitable guilt go. Enter each day as if it is a new year. Don’t commit to a daily routine that makes you feel beholden. Praying, eating, sleeping, exercising, and drinking water can happen when you need them to, especially when you may need more prayer and water than you think.

5)…

I wish you good fortune today and tomorrow. May your dreams be realized, may you realize your true dreams.

Pose Season 3: Oh! We Buddha

Season 3 of Pose began “On the Run” and started with a bang. Or rather the crashing sound of the universe as Billy Porter’s Pray Tell enters a room and says “Oh! We Buddha…Nam Myoho Renge Kyo, Nam Myoho Renge Kyo, Nam Myoho Renge Kyo.” For me, hearing that phrase, repeated 3 times at the top of the show, was a signal. A blessing on the final chapter of this journey.

In Episode 3, “The Trunk”, Mother Elektra’s past comes back for a reckoning. We see the timeline reveal how Elektra became the woman before us. The trunk was the only thing she had left from her family home before she was kicked out. The trunk is where we first saw Elektra place a dark secret; a wealthy client who overdosed on his preferred drug. To protect herself, the girls rally to “cocoon” the man, this specter on their safety and survival. He remains there for years with the company of Elektra’s finest furs and pine scented air fresheners.

She had to leave it all behind. She only wanted her things, but her things were in her mother’s house. What is in mother’s house, belongs to mother. Elektra sobs “but what’s inside belongs to me…please, it’s all I have!”

When Blanca, Ricky and Papi come to help, they are thrust again into the face of violence and fear. Upon bringing the trunk to their apartment, Blanca suggests they hide the large black box as an altar. A dead body resting beneath a space to pray. It is a clear symbol of life and death existing simultaneously. Inextricably linked to one another and the challenges we face in between.

Blanca tells the trunk, its contents, “there, there, you’re safe now”, despite the stench of decomposition, the heaviness that made it difficult to carry. “This trunk held some of her most prized treasures, all her dreams. And she gave them all away for us.”

I can’t help but to believe that the presence of Angelica Ross on this show has helped to weave in the very practical aspects of Nichiren Buddhism. Cut to Candy in a flashback of the House of Abundance before they fell apart. Elektra again takes it upon herself to go to the piers to work. There, she meets Cubby, Lemar and Angel. She sends them to her home, calls herself mother, disappearing in the night to feed her growing family. This is the first family to retrieve her trunk from her own mother’s home.

“Oh, I thought somebody without a hammer said something.”

Lemar retorts that he didn’t know what kind of “house” he was joining, as they attempt to break in. With fierce protection, Candy guffs “huh, you say something…oh I thought somebody without a hammer said something.” This is the House of Abundance. Which begat the House of Evangelista, the House of Wintour and the House of Ferocity. Three strong houses built on the desire for freedom, autonomy and a stand alone spirit.

Pray Tell continues his journey to accept the circumstances of his life. His health conditions and his alcoholism. Elektra continues to ebb and flow between the role of matriarch and an independent woman who needs no one. Except now, these two Icons need their chosen families to show up for them so that they may alter the course of their lives.

Nam Myoho Renge Kyo

Nam Myoho Renge Kyo

Nam Myoho Renge Kyo