It’s 1:29a.m: I am putting together a shoebox as a gift to send to Africa… A thing we do at our church at this time of the year so it can get to children less fortunate by Christmas time. In this box I have placed three tiny pairs of shoes and a couple outfits. I’m careful in my selection because I want the contents to be a blessing to whoever the child is that receives it. At the same time it’s a shoebox, and it only has but so much space and want to add BOOKS because it’s good to clothe the body but I also want to clothe a young child’s mind as well…..but it’s a shoebox… And it only has but so much space…
Simultaneously I’m watching “A Huey P. Newton Story” directed by Spike Lee and performed by Roger Guenveur Smith…I don’t remember liking ANY character this man has played, but he has captivated me in this one-man performance. He is playing the hell out of this character. Huey P. Newton… What would he say/do if he were alive today…if he were able to witness what all we’re witnessing as a people….
I clothe my mind…in this moment
I figured out what I’m wearing to church in the morning, I don’t have to iron…my spirit needs to be clothed but I am sure that’s not why I go to church nowadays. I am sure I go because I want my daughters to have that religious foundation…. I clothe my spirit outside of church. Attending church is like…taking my spiritual clothes to the cleaners. Every now and then I/the clothes need…refreshing. I am sure I attend church (when I do attend) to 1. See all my sisters/sistas/sisters -they are actually family, as well as black, as well as in Christ- and 2. to get a new understanding of a section of the Bible. Refreshing. This is my hope.
In this moment Jodeci is playing softly on the radio -Star94.5- in my bathroom “tell me it’s real, this feeling that we feel.” …and now Jaheem is singing “and I see us together again, even if only in my heart” …the phases of love. It’s good and it feels good and you don’t want it to end and then….its over and you’re singing that you’ll get them back again “even if only in your heart”…
I walk back into my room and pack the box and see that it is big enough for all that and a book. Body, feet, mind; covered.
Now I can hear Babyface singing “no I’m never keeping secrets and I’m never telling lies…” …love is such a rollercoaster.
“Huey P. Newton” now recollects his moments in solitary confinement and there are tears streaming down his face…and I think ‘who is our Huey P. Newton of our day?....’
I choose the book for the box and get the wrapping paper…
“Huey P. Newton” ends with “I’m ready for my closeup now” followed by cameras flashing and the sound of the cameras…which turns out to be gunshots… He died at the age of 47.
It’s now 2:22a.m. and even though the kids are fast asleep and the house is quiet, I have too much going on still. I realize that I need rest. So I’ll wrap this box in a beautiful paper, then I’ll wrap myself comfortably in my bed.
“Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah…got me religious” this is not a gospel song, but who am I to say sex isn’t a religion of some sort….. No, thought too deep. I’m turning down the volume on the radio and my mind now. At least until the morning.