Monday, June 09, 2014

Just God and Me and God

It was just God and Me and God.


I guess that’s the best way to describe what it was like for me in my first zip lining experience. I have seen the videos and heard people talk about it for years but it was never something that I thought about or even considered. I guess I had just put in the Steve Harvey “Wonderful Weekend” category. Steve said, only white folk would “tie a kite to they’re ass and jump off a cliff”, and zip lining was kinda like that.

Nevertheless, after celebrating a birthday and seeing things a bit differently, I wanted to check some things off of my bucket list. So at the last minute, I jumped in my truck and headed over to the Tallahassee Museum for Zip Lining!

After getting there, the cost was pretty nominal, so I paid the fee and I was ready to go. It took about 10 minutes to get trained in the group of about 15 new zip liners.

Hook this to that -- this way. Don’t step on this. Keep your eyes on that. The requisite safety talk 
Getting Started
gave us tips to stay safe but I could tell we were filled with part anticipation, part fear and part wonder. All ready for the journey.


Once certified – we headed for the first ladder.

Unlike other people in the group, I was there alone. I had asked 5 or 6 friends to join me and they had all chickened out. I wasn’t about to let that stop my progress. So to amplify the experience, I let other members of the group go on ahead and I was the last one up. Just me in the trees.

Being up there was exhilarating. I imagined what early man must have left like. Just being alone in nature. It was a rush that I think I had only experienced in being alone at the beach. There were no actual words said but the moments that I experienced spoke volumes. With my phone on airplane mode, functioning only as a camera, I started my way through the trees.

Although I was attached to a cable, I felt that I was there alone in the moment. In fact I was just 60 or so feet from the ground. Still, in that moment the air seemed crisper, the sky seemed bluer and the tress seemed greener. It was like experiencing them all for the first time.

As my journey continued, a young kid at the front of the group was a little scared to take the first jump. It held up the course for about 30 minutes but it gave me time to enjoy the moment. Everything happens for a reason. I wished him well as he found his way down via an escape ladder. Finally I made my way to the first of several zip lines. I will admit, there was a little trepidation at first but once I was sailing, I FELT FREEDOM!

As the course ended, if almost on cue, a gentle rain started to fall. It was like I was being baptized and cleansed as I made my journey back to Earth.

Later, I spoke to my mother and told her about the journey. She said, “what you just experienced is faith! If you have the faith that the wires would hold you up, then you have no choice but to have faith that GOD will get you through anything. Just have that kind of faith!” Prophetic.


That Sunday afternoon was an experience that I needed. Something that I won’t ever forget. I suppose for me, zip lining was my church in the trees. Just God and ME and God! 

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

The Robert Glasper Experiment

I LOVE Robert Glasper.

As a jazz aficionado, this brother has breathed new life into Jazz. Ala Miles Davis with BeBop! I can't wait to meet and interview him just to see what makes him tick!

I "accidentally" ran into him on satellite radio and was sprung! I wonder if he will collabo with other artists who have passed on. I'd love to see him do an arrangement with Erykah Badu, Nina Simone and John Coltrane. Well one can wish . . .

Check out this newest video from his new project Black Radio, available now on iTunes. It features Jill Scott.

Enjoy!

Friday, November 01, 2013

The FAA Finally Gets It

No longer the Federal Aggravation Administration
From the files of “I Told You So”, the FAA has finally gotten the message that phones and tablets don’t crash planes.

At one time in my career I was a VERY frequently flier taking 2 to 3 trips a week. So as you can imagine time was at a premium. From checking emails to reading newspapers and magazines, my time in the air was a solace away from the world. It allowed me to actually read books! Unfortunately, traveling so much meant that I couldn't lug around a library but I could have different books on my tablet. But then came my friendly neighborhood flight attendant. Of course they would always STOP me at the “good parts”.

Well during all that travel, sometimes I forgot to turn my phone off. Sometimes when times got a little stressful I would even play music (iPod/iPad) during take-off and landing and in all those times nothing happened. I wasn't trying to tempt fate, it just seemed like a rule that didn't make any sense and wasn't based in fact. I never really liked rules that didn't have a rationale, so this one was out of the window.

I’m glad the FAA has finally seen the light as well. It will work to calm those passengers that are a bit nervous about flying and it will work to improve the relationship with passengers and flight attendants.

Looking forward to getting back in the friendly skies, with the iPad in tow! 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

James Webb is a Phenom

James Webb
Years ago James Webb decided that he would change the world through telling stories and he is living his dream everyday.

Webb is an Assistant Professor of theater at Florida A&M University and is using theater to “tell the story” through his latest work, Sibling Rivalry.
 

 “It was a chance for me to really talk about some of the issues that I have experienced in my own life”, he said.
 

 “Many of us have issues, we just don’t talk about them. Having the discussion through entertainment brings them to the forefront so we can have discussion”.
 

Growing up in Moss Point, MS, his days and nights were filled with family and church.“I was one of those six day a week church kids. My only day off was Friday and Sunday I was there all day”.
 

He says that those experiences are what created his destiny and define his path.Webb, started out with an undergraduate degree from FAMU. His path took him to the University of  Florida, where he earned an MFA in Theater. Then it was off to conquer the world. He spent a year in Hong Kong in Disney’s Festival of the Lion King and has scores of New York credits on his resume. He even starred in award winning playwright Ntozake Shange's seminal work Layla’s Dream.
 
Cast of Sibling Rivalry

Even with all of the success he enjoyed, there was still more that he had to accomplish and as an award winning playwright himself he is doing it and inspiring a new generation of performers.
“Being at FAMU, I write a new children’s play for our institute each summer and I am in the process of finishing my doctorate. Having this opportunity helps me to dig deeper and speak louder”.

Webb’s show “The Contract”, dealing with themes of sexuality, loyalty and relationships, won the Lorraine Hansberry National Playwriting Award.
 

He said that being vulnerable and authentic is where growth starts, a growth that he hopes to help germinate. 

Sibling Rivalry is currently running at the Southside Arts Complex 2525 South Monroe Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32301. Show times are: Wednesday 10/30, Thursday 10/31; Friday 11/1 – All at 7pm; Saturday 11/2 at 2p & 7p; Sunday 11/3 Matinee 3:00pm













The Definition of a Spy is to Spy

I am a bit appalled at some of the allies of the United States. They act is if they are shocked that the US is spying.

Come on . . . the textbook definition of being a spy means that you covertly gather intel on EVERYONE not just your enemies. I am sure if you were privy to those records you would see that foreign countries spy on the United States as well. It's one of those pot calling the kettle black kind of things. You know?

Like NSA Director James Clapper says . . . it's par for the course.

What do you think?

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Kendrick Johnson: Was It Murder

At 17 Kendrick Johnson was the pride and joy of his family but that life was cut short when he ended up dead.

Now the family wants answers and no one can tell them why.

After weeks of protesting for the findings to be released, Johnson's family decided to take it a step further. They blocked the doors of the local courthouse and were arrested.

The family says that they will keep protesting until they get some answers.

Here's an update.


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Harriett Tubman: One Hundred Years Ago Today She Was


March 10th is a day that will forever be burned in my mind. Today is the day that one of the greatest American’s that ever lived passed away. Because of her, I am here right now.

Harriett Tubman, the Moses of her People, died 100 years ago today.

Yes, Black History Month is celebrated in February but truly, Black History IS American History. As I think about it we would not be in the place that we are today had it not been for her. She didn't allow herself to be defined on the way that she was born. Nor did she let physical disabilities hold her back.

Some may have forgotten that she was hit in the head with a weight as a young slave. After that she was pretty much relegated to what we would now call narcolepsy. She had sleeping spells that would come on her and put her to sleep for hours or sometimes days at a time.

Still she persevered.

Even with the fact that during her time women were considered second class citizens, with her Underground Railroad and efforts and Union Army exploits, she helped to free nearly a thousand slaves.

She is most widely known for staunch abolition efforts along with those of Fredrick Douglass and William Lloyd Garrison. Yes, she changed history.

Tubman, also knew that women were much more than what the US Constitution was interpreted to mean. She stood with Susan B. Anthony and Emily Howland (yes, this black WOMAN and former slave) and challenged the status quo. Though she did not live to see the results of her work, the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution is also a part of her tremendous legacy.

Today as we stand just months away from the Lilly Ledbetter Act and the resigning of the Violence Against Women Act, I am reminded of the tenacity and resolve of Harriett Tubman. Just one hundred short years ago, our world was so different.

I spoke to a young man a few days ago (he was only 20), who believed that things were finally equal. He truly believed that there was no need for minority rights or anything like Affirmative Action. I smiled and listened to him but explained why I had to disagree.

Without a doubt, I know that the vestiges of institutionalized racism and sexism still exist. Though I hope I am proven wrong, it will be generations more before we can really begin to imagine true equality.

Today I fondly remember one who paved the way for me. I am because she is. I can sit next to whom I choose and not have to serve or bow my head. I can choose and exercise true freedom and support women doing the same. Simply, because one woman chose not to be silent.

Thank you, Harriett Tubman. Today and always we are thankful and we remember.