So, lately, I’ve been a bit quiet, on a relatively material tip, considering who I am, what my writing represents and how to express that to a larger, world-wide audience. My blogs have been reflecting the shifts and movement of worldly energies as we are all buffeted by the winds of change, apparent at every level of our lives, no matter where in the world we live. It is indeed 2012 and while it is not a doomsday scenario as so many in the mainstream like to think the weird people on the fringe believe, it is a time of considered change and an opportunity for many to make personal shifts in their lives in order to create a better future more in tune with who they are within.
And, as my own life has been undergoing fundamental change, I have been forced to confront many of my previously inviolate beliefs about the nature of reality, the nature of experience and the nature of consciousness, all of which has led me to the realization that I am responsible for who I am as well as who I am perceived to be, and, the simultaneous realization that the trajectory of my life has led me to a place where I am blessed to be able to communicate effectively on certain issues. The question then becomes, should I communicate on these issues? Or, should I leave them to those more qualified and concerned then I?
Which then begged the question, who is more qualified or concerned then I? At which point it became incumbent upon me to peer up and away from my navel in order to assess the state of the online consciousness scene, and to break that down into bits and parts, attempting to determine if there was some void that needed to be filled, or if I could comfortably move back into social and political discourse – from which I had consciously distanced myself some years ago – in a manner that presents the same information from just a slightly different perspective. My training as a Western-style academic ended when I left the PhD program at Texas State, but, previously, I spent my undergraduate years learning how to learn according to the liberal arts tradition while attending Prairie View A&M University, an Historically Black College and University (HBCU) (91-94) where I was indoctrinated into the Afrocentric viewpoint by such luminaries as Dr. Imari Obadele (PoliSci), Dr. Jewel Prestage and Dr. William Brown (Geog), alongside my own student activism profile where I met such beautiful friends – that are still in my life, my cousin Teffany, Sal, Phillip, Kai and many others whose commitment to the continued consolidation of a normalized black culture remains paramount as we enter the middle decades of our lives.
During the middle educational years (94-00), as a Masters student at Indiana University-Bloomington (Hoosiers), my intellectual efforts were augmented by extensive net-time during the mid-to-late-90s when the fabled Flame Wars were at their peak and I joined theAfrofuturism Listserv, at the time ably adminstrated by Kali Tal and Alondra Nelson, where I met such strong and brilliant souls as Nalo Hopkinson, Lester Kenyata Spence and Art McGee/Dan Freeman. Peter (Oga), and Amneh, with whom i continue the journey of this life to this day, remain close friends whose thoughts and opinions I cherish and count on. That time period of involvement with numerous Afrocentric and Nile Valley-related listservs fed my need and desire to offset my Masters training in Urban and Environmental Geography with culturally and historically-related pursuits that might, I felt, ‘even out’ my continued indoctrination into the Ivory Tower, at least somewhat. The break from Academia that led me to 1stBooks Library (nowAuthorhouse) and then the co-founding of the Afrocentric Publishing company, Conquering Books LLC occured simultaneous to my publishing of my first book, Black Hole Soul and then Temple of the Sky, both written as I interacted with and wrote with the poets and novelists of De GriotSpace and UrbanPoetic(00-03). And then came Soultry, which I co-founded with my sistersoul Marlena (at her invitation), and which also acted as an introduction and opportunity to interact countless poets and writers, my peers, on the Net, many of whom are reaching the highest heights of the written and spoken word.
So many words, so many lives, so many ways to communicate and share experience. There are so many out there right now doing good work, writing upon current issues that affect not only the African American community, but the world-wide African Diaspora as well. Those with specific concerns that include education, politics, culture and economics. The information available to us through the Internet – and access to data in so many different formats – allows us to bolster our lived experiences with statistical and real-world data, the dissemination of which suffers only from the willingness and ability of disparate populations to access the articles, rants and raves decrying the inequalities and outrages of the GWSS as the toils and tribulations of daily life prevent those most in need of this knowledge from taking the time to search for it. There are enough voices out there preaching revolutionary doctrine, existing in opposition to prevailing political, economic and culture forces, and this is as it should be. All energies must exist in equilibrium and the expression of this natural law occurs within the context of social justice, as it does also in the context of existence itself. As above, so below.
So where do I fit into this schematic? I’m not sure yet, but I do know that my perspective is a bit different from that of most, and that I approach many issues of a worldly nature from a more arcane perspective and, hopefully, a pertinent one. I see the juxtaposition of life upon the template of spirit and destiny as being akin to preparing a hamburger to suit your tastes. Some people like meat and bread only, while others like cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, onions, mustard and mayonaise to go along with it. The many possible tastes available span the gamut of experience and we all add different condiments and fillers to our lives that reflect our interests, with some being focused upon singular issues, prefering beef patties and bread alone, while others like to go for the gusto, synthesize information and gain a wider viewpoint by eating the jumbo rather than the plain burger. Both viewpoints, ways of looking at the world are valid and augment each other by providing the purveyor of information with a wide variety of choices, allowing them to see both the micro and macro-scaled renditions of life as we live it, as it pertains to their own lived experiences.
Being a Geographer gives me a holistic view as I interpret information based upon its spatial extent, that space being simultaneously human and physical, material and abstract. Being a spiritual Being gives me a transcendent rather than material view, as I interpret information based upon its philosophical extent, applying seemingly universal precepts of morality to the cyclical depredations of this yin/yang creation, forever spiraling into darkness and then back into the light, the conditions of existence requiring the expression of both in order to fulfill its fundamental purpose of experiential evolution. On a personal basis, the decision to engage in this fashion must be made in full consciousness that engaging fully upon the material planes automatically precludes one from engaging fully in the spiritual planes, relegating one to a measured life lived within the confines of the dichotomous natore of our lived reality, which brings the individual to the basic choice that we each must make regarding destiny and who we have chosen to be during each successive lifetime. The paths of Dharma, the pages of the Book of Life, the entries of the Akashic Record seeth with the roilings of infinite existence and each thought, each spoken and written word adds to the collections, the expressions of G-d’s memories of the future.
So I remain unsure of anything except for the fact that I have to do what I have to do in every aspect of my life. That I am called to do this, whatever this is, to comment on that, whatever that may be in the moment, to speak upon those thoughts and occurences that draw my fingers to the keyboard like junebugs to light. If y’all find anything that I share of interest, then I think that I’ve done what I’ve been called to do, as I appreciate the call to read and listen to your thoughts and words too. In the end, all knowledge is One and each of us are only reminding each other of things that we already know, already feel are true, as evidenced by that chill of recognition that we get whenever we are exposed to Truth in its purest form. The future is Now as the Past is gone and realizing this zen moment is all there is makes us all culpable, responsible for our decisions and free to change the future with each choice we make. We are, then, who we choose to be, and that choice includes an infinite array of possibility.
The Future is Now. And it’s going to be a wild ride, I think. We all had better hold on to the sides of the car as the rollercoaster of life heads over the edge, into the void of potential that lies on the other side of each moment.