Personal Growth

Ordered Steps

This world can throw some heavy rocks on your path

but remember on your path to look up

because yes there is sadness, but there is still joy,

there is defeat but there is still hope,

there are dark places but still there is light

and while some will hate there is still the power of love . .. .

beyond all those rocks, all those clouds . . . there is still God!

“Taxi Driver,” The Movie a look back

I love film, as I am naturally drawn to romance, some action, sci-fi and there is always time for the “who done it” mystery. Now I love musicals, but for me they are best seen in their original genre, live on stage. So how does the movie “Taxi Driver” fit in to this reportage? This movie is not supposed to work for me, even given all the rave reviews. I am uncomfortable with looking or delving into the ugly places and spaces of our society. While harder to do in the year 2016, never ever take away my rose color glasses, at least not too quickly.

But more seriously after the two hours or so time spent in the mind of a crazy man, I came away from this movie with a sense of reverence for the art form that is film. The visually laid out symbolism explaining the environment and mind of the lead character held a deeper impact for me then dialogue alone would be able to have revealed. And although I am highly adverse to films subjugated to dark violence and racism I did get caught up in the vehicle, the conduit use of film to tell this story is art at it’s finest.

The film takes on multiple topics including loneliness, violence, depression, prostitution, pornography to a lesser extent, and racism.

One key characteristic of Travis [Robert Di Nero] was his deep racist attitude toward black people. While he never verbally expressed his aversion to the resident population of Harlem back in the late ‘60s, along with the character’s facial and body expressions and tensions projected a deadly hatred for blacks, my people. And given that “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” is one of my all time favorite movies, and that I am a black woman, this movie was not suppose to work for me? But having seen it just this week from beginning to end, it did work. And maybe it did not work back when because I was this 1960’s young naively vulnerable woman. However, in today’s world of cable TV, shock for shock value reality TV, cellphone video in real-time of dehumanization and murder of black men, today I am it seems able to watch this movie I once called abhorrent and to understand what it was attempting.

And so it has taken me many decades to finally sit through the movie and alas I understand and agree this movie was then and remains to this day a masterpiece of film. This movie took me out of my comfort zone and kept me suspended there long after it ended, trying to understand the captivation. This movie is cinematic genius.

Looking Beyond

“One day you will learn to give and receive love like an open window . . . and it will feel like summer everyday”  author unknown

Don’t get this twisted, she ain’t mad at him, not even one little bit. Pretty fed up with herself though. It’s been hard for her to come to terms with this. She’s been trying to get outside of those trees and see that forest. But somehow she just keeps coming back to the recognition that what they have is no way happiness. Yes they’ve handled arguments a little better lately and maybe that’s as much as one should expect. The only problem is this woman, she still believes in love. She has this innate sense of what love is and is not. She wants it and all that goes with it. She thinks perhaps he may want love too, but not from or with her.

Unfortunately she is learning her idea of a good life is far different than his. And when he is with her? Well it feels like he is doing her one big favor to even show up.

So her wide lens view of that forest she calls her relationship, it tells her it is time to make her exit with some semblance of her dignity still intact.

“Sometimes you have to be willing to let go of something old to grab onto something new. You have to be willing to let a part of you die . . . . in order for another part of you to be born.” —-Lisa Nichols

 

Listening Into the Quiet

Listening into the Quiet By: G. Braxton-Thomas

She really does try to listen to what people are actual saying, and pay attention to the words they choose. However, more often she only hears their tone and the emotion in the voices. And often it is enough. So she is probably not considered a very good listener, least ways not of people. She supposes that’s because she is contrarily an intent listener of the morning. Yes, that is what she said, the morning. She listens to those quiet sounds that come with an awakening day. Sounds of a sun rising out of an eastern sky, and sounds of the dew that softly covers the leaves of the ficus tree and those potted plants set out on her back deck. What a comforting miraculous conversation is had as the dew greets every blade of grass, every flower petal and earthly surface as far as she can see. The dew has a voice that harmonizes with the flutter of a humming bird as it hovers over a pink full flowering hibiscus. And there are the sounds of morning light’s intrusion as it overtakes the darkness that was night. The sun has a declaratory trumpeting sound, duty-filled to ever intently transform the southern sky from velvets of black to shades of purple then orange and yellow signaling daybreak. Well maybe you can’t hear those sounds, but she does, she always has. Even smells have voice and speak softly to her spirit, they tell her that big old magnolia around the bend is in blossom, and that the neighbor has spread the fertilizer. Some smells are subtle, but their voices are ever clear and she does not miss the messages. Those morning sounds are all in harmony and make profound cohesive statements of continuity, of birth, of death, of promise and compromise. Those statements direct her days and give deepest meaning to her life.

A listener of the morning has an innate ability to be patient and still, an ability to connect. She hears and acknowledges the morning, and more the morning hears and acknowledges her.