In the Light of Love – April Pope

Life Awaits… Enjoy the Journey!

Be Strong and Courageous read my daily verse.

I took a deep breath and walked into my boss’ office with a folded letter in hand. I couldn’t look her in the eyes. I knew fear had caused me to make the wrong decision. “I’m sorry I couldn’t give you more notice. I’m leaving for Honolulu tomorrow.” I knew they’d ask me to leave. I wouldn’t get my last paycheck. I had to do it. I had to look out for the best interest of myself and my little one.

Their response hit me like a ton of bricks. I was stunned, frozen, relieved. “You have to do what’s best for you. We’ll make this easy for you. We love you, we thank you and we’ll see you in May.” They hugged me tight and tears ran down my cheeks. I did it. This was it. I was one step closer.

After a house full of people and three martinis, Crissi Montes and I packed my entire life in less than an hour. It was time.  I’d be leaving for Honolulu in less than 12 hours.

I arrived at my final stop close to 11:00 pm that night, Mom’s. I was angry and frustrated. I had given away precious time I had set aside just for her.  I finally learned how to appreciate her. I got her, I understood her now. And I let someone take this sweet time away from me. I watched as the woman in her came alive as she gratefully prepared lunches for her child and two grand-children. She liked to feel needed.  No matter how much of her life Satan stole, she still had a heart to nurture and to love.
The next morning stress consumed me and I yelled at her. “Why did I even come here?” I thought. I knew how they’d affect me. Chaos and negativity would seep into my pores.

As we made our way to the airport, I imagined what Jesus must have felt; drained of all emotional and mental energy as he hung on the cross. Stress had won my battle. I began to dry heave reaching for the nearest bag. It had taken over. I felt like I had deep, open wounds down my back, lashes like Jesus. I could feel his arms stretched out, nailed to the cross with absolutely no physical energy left.

I needed my prayer warriors. Whatever God was doing, for months the enemy was surely trying to stop him.

We arrived at the airport and with tears again in my eyes and sorrow in my heart, I apologized, squeezed her tight and walked through the doors of the airport. The night planned for chatter, love and laughter never happened.

We checked our luggage and our blessing had arrived.  I, my child and nephew had boarded the first flight to Honolulu. I thanked God.  It was almost over.  Peace and tranquility awaited me on a small island far away.  A quiet condo in Waikiki whispered my name.  I’d soon be sitting in front of a very large body of water allowing the mystery of the waves to refresh and renew me.  It had been a very difficult year.

The doors to Delta flight 731 closed and I exhaled.  The announcer came on the speaker and welcomed us. Then I heard, “Pope Family of 3, please come to the exit door.”

This is where my journey began.

The flight was over the weight restrictions and the last 8 standby passengers had to exit.  Mail would need to be delivered before we were.

We walked to the service desk and checked our options beside a disgruntled passenger.  A Delta representative standing by said, “Send them to LA. They’ll get out with no problem.” If it weren’t for what I’m about to share with you, I’d hate this woman.

A long plane ride and six hours later, the 3 of us stood in Los Angeles Airport, LAX, with one suitcase, a purse and two back packs.  We waited for the next flight to Honolulu…and waited and waited some more. Nightfall approached and I mingled with the other unfortunate soul I had met earlier.  We laughed.  He was looking forward to enjoying a vacation with his girlfriend and 4 year old son.  They just happened to already be in Honolulu and he was stuck, in LA, with me.  After he treated us to dinner, we agreed to make the best of our situation.  After all, we were in California! Sadly, he failed to keep his promise.

A short skip and a jump over a fence and we were at Walgreen’s.  We’d need T-shirts and shorts for the swimming pool at the hotel he eagerly booked.  I was happily along for the ride.

The kids were fed, safe, jumping in and out of the cool water.  I enjoyed a nice soak as I floated in the jet filled jacuzzi.  “Maybe we’ll just live here.”  I shared with my little Cali-girl.  It’d be a nice pit stop, refresher, before my final destination.  A friend with an extra room was only a few hours north.  It was her dream. Close enough to Georgia but still in the midst of the suntanned surfers and the laid back atmosphere.  Best of all, my little girl would still be with me.  It wasn’t so far that it frightened her.  But, was it what God asked me to do?

You see, when her little 12 year old heart heard of our big move, it closed.  How could she walk away from friends and a Daddy she just invested the last three years in?  She’d known too much what saying goodbye meant and she was tired.  She didn’t want to do it again.  Could I force her into the same childhood as me, moving here and there?  Was it fair to her?  For nine years she knew what it felt like to live without a father. He was there now.  She finally had her Daddy.  How could she leave all of this behind?  How could I leave without her?  She was my gift, my joy, my strength.  She was my entire life and it was my job to protect her.

With fear as my best friend, I kidnapped my own child and left Georgia, Honolulu bound.

6:30 am the next morning, the 3 of us and our bad tempered friend were headed back to LAX to attempt our departure once again.  Little did we know eighty percent of the population of California would also be headed to Hawaii.  At 9:00 am we learned that we were looking at another long day ahead.  While packing in Georgia, I failed to prepare for the worse.  I was stuck in California without a phone charger, laptop or a fresh change of clothes for the children.  But we managed to make the best of our time and headed out the door.

Our new friend selflessly came out of pocket for bus fare.  We walked along Venice Beach and appreciated many talented artists.  The children’s eyes opened wide for the intriguing skate board park, smooth as glass but made with concrete and the fascinating little shops along the boardwalk.  We walked, explored and walked a bit more.  We hopped in the next available cab and headed to Santa Monica.  Ferris wheels, souvenir stands and a million people surrounded us.  The soothing sounds of a young violinist eased the tension of our unplanned adventure.  We stuffed our faces and rushed back to the airport with our excessively intoxicated new friend to try again.

Through the security check, we watched and waited.  We prayed our names would appear by an available seat.  Disappointed, now Sunday evening, we made our way back to the service desk.  All flights for the next few days were not only sold out but over booked.

I had spent all the time I could with our new loud, bad tempered, drunken friend; no matter how much dough he dropped.  The kids needed food and I needed stillness, peace, silence. I needed to think.  I had to talk to God.  What was going on?  Didn’t he tell me to go?  To trust him and step out on faith?  We quietly slipped away and disappeared into the night.

In the peaceful hotel room with the children fast asleep, I had a chat with the Almighty.  “This isn’t your plan is it?  I was wrong to snatch her away like I did and for thinking he’d take her from me.  I didn’t trust you, did I?”

The next morning we went straight to the Delta agent.  With six more hours to explore before our next attempt to fly, we hurried to see Hollywood.  Marilyn Monroe, George Lopez, Funny T-shirts and filming crews filled the streets.  “Mom, can people climb up to the Hollywood sign?” asked Honesty.  “I don’t know.” I answered.

A short time later we rushed back to the airport with only minutes to spare.  The hundredth time through security and they decide to give me a pat down; an innocent face in a long, green skirt.  We made it to the terminal as the last passengers were loading.  Honesty and Jaccob would board next. I wrapped my arms as tight as I could around my child as our strength held back our tears and she boarded the plane back to Atlanta.

An hour later, I had hit break-down mode when my hopeful heart was let down as I watched the flight leave for the islands without me.  My child of 12 years was now gone and I was stuck in a strange city without luggage or a cell phone charger with close to no battery life left.  I had to think and it had to be fast.

Back at the counter, the over booked plane tickets were selling for $1200.00.  I called my Delta friend and the knot in my throat prevented me from speaking.  I listened on the other end of the line without a clue as to what I would do next.  He didn’t know either.
It was 3:00 pm on Monday and I had received news about a train heading north to a friends house just four hours later.  I was exhausted and needed rest.  I needed time to come up with a new plan.  Never before being in a train station it definitely was a challenge.  I felt creepy eyes on my back and stood in two different lines before finding my way to the ticket booth.

An hour away from LAX, I walked up to the window to purchase my way out. I had a plan.  I would rest in peaceful California for a few days.  I caught myself before hitting the floor when the service rep said, “Ma’am, those tickets are sold out.”  I took a deep breath fighting back the overwhelming despair that was about to take over.  My index finger came up as I tried to calm my emotions. “One moment please.” I said.
Earlier that day, I had the opportunity to take a ride through downtown Los Angeles.  There must have been fifty beds made out of cardboard and blankets along one alley.  Garbage covered the streets.  Over loaded carts and resting bodies filled the central park.  “How did they get here,” I thought.  “What they must have been through.”  Then I realized how they must be all alone.  Someone forgot about them, someone stopped caring.  Someone walked away.  Depression or some other form of mental illness began to sink in and the battle became too strong for the fight of one person.  These souls, loving just like you and me, gave up. Despair had set in.  Abandonment crept in.  They didn’t find soft eyes, gentle hands or encouraging words.  All they had was what Satan filled their heads with.  They didn’t know how to overcome.  They didn’t know how to conquer, how to win.  They gave up on life.

I pulled my little pink suitcase behind me and headed for the serene courtyard as the weight of the overstuffed backpack cut into my shoulders.  My ankles were swollen from the thin cushioned, non-supportive flip flops.  I could feel the bones in my feet rub together as I walked.  Piercing pain shot through the soles of my feet, up through my knees with every step.

In a distance I could see a small fountain.  I needed the rush of the flowing water.  I needed its refreshing power, its energy.  I took a seat on the colorfully painted tiles that surrounded it and my tears began to surface. I took another deep breath and looked down into the water. I watched the large koi fish.  They were strong and fed.  They swam in their little pond without a care in the world.

My head went down and rested on my suitcase. My phone was two seconds away from going completely dead and I had no one.  No friend to call, no hero, no parent to come to my rescue, only myself.  “God, please show up.  What are you doing?”  I prayed.  I couldn’t hold back the overwhelming emotion any longer.  I hurried to the ladies room hiding my panic and locked myself in a stall.  I sat down and let the tears fall.  I was homeless.

I waited on a response from my friend with the fear of someone calling or texting unexpectedly and killing my battery.  The responsibility of making sure my child was being safely picked up from the Atlanta airport weighed heavily in my thoughts.  I couldn’t use my battery.  I had to trust.

Soon the text came. I was instructed to take the next train to Ventura, California; to my friend’s sister’s home.  I purchased the ticket and found the bar.  That night I was given two heroes.  One was a very kind bartender with the perfect phone charger and two perfect dirty martinis.  Needless to say, he earned a very generous tip.
Around 9:00 pm, after a long train ride, I was picked up by an angel.  My lips had started to crack from dehydration and the bright lights on the train provided absolutely no chance of rest.  You can imagine my grateful heart when she offered an ice cold bottle of water.

I felt like the disciples long ago, like Peter or Paul.  Earlier this year I realized a deep desire to become a missionary.  This was it, my dream to travel near and far ministering without knowledge of where my next meal or bed would come from.

Exhaustion had caught up with me.  We arrived at her home and I exhaled as I sippied a soothing cup of hot tea.  I didn’t waste any time and curled up in a soft, warm bed made just for me.

I was up early the next morning, sifting and solving my dilemma.  I had a place to be and had to find a way to get there.  I was greeted by a gentle smile and a warm cup of jump start also known as coffee.  I smiled as I thought about her struggles.

I had heard about the losses this small, tender woman had recently faced.  My heart had felt her pain.  How could I bring her comfort?  I imagined what it must have felt like to lose a child after 30 years of caring for her.  How could you let go?  A divorced, single woman of 11 long years.  She had just lost her best friend too.  A lifelong companion, her joy, her comfort, her dog.  She needed love; someone to wrap their arms around her and never let go.  I connected with her sorrows.

And out of my mouth came a few words from God. “I cry a lot. I love very deeply and the pain from a broken heart rightfully outweighs any joy that was ever felt.  I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to do that again.” I shared.  “You’re still young.” She said.  I told her about a recent night spent with God.  He wanted me to leave my child behind as he called me to a new place.  “What are you doing!?” I cried out.  “You know I’m not strong enough.”  And God answered me and said, “I know. But I am.”

Seconds later my one way ticket to Honolulu, Hawaii was confirmed.  We routed my journey and I was soon headed north with a free meal in hand.  I shared a few other stories with her lovely roommate, a little prayer and boarded another train to Santa Barbara, California.

It’s funny how God gives us the desires of our hearts, as he promised, when we least expect it.  For as long as I can remember, I’d always wanted to see what a train ride was like.  I even tried to find the time to take one but from my hands, it wasn’t happening.  I sat beside the window and slowly exhaled.

The beauty of the California coast was breath taking as was the train attendant.  I curiously made my way to the café just to say I’d been there and walked back to my seat where I enjoyed every sweet moment of the view.  An hour later I was transferred to a cozy and comfortable bus for 8 pleasant hours of peaceful California.  I had just received another gift.  The bus made its way through the California mountains and the vineyards I’ve dreamed of.  I was living one of my favorite movies.

We arrived at our unfamiliar destination a little late in the evening and the foreign taxi drivers frightened me.  A soft and gentle aspiring attorney offered to share his cab.  We shared our love and hate for our over analytical minds and our desires to provide legal help for the unfortunate.  He was close to 200,000 in debt because of this dream.  It was just money to him.  He had something bigger to focus on.  He shared how he also began writing after a broken heart.  It had opened us as a friend had taught me.  We smiled, shook hands and parted ways.

I arrived at my hotel room a little past 10:00 pm. I dropped the suitcases and backpacks and headed straight for the whirlpool bathtub.  After another cup of soothing hot tea, a steamy bath and a good read, I tucked myself away in the extra large and crisp bed.

8:00 am came early the next morning, now Wednesday.  I grabbed a banana and met my 3rd friend from India of the Sikh faith.  We shared our differences in respect and with curiosity.  We appreciated our common beliefs where love is the ultimate foundation. One world, one love.  We shared things most close to our hearts.  Best of all we shared love and he dropped me off at the San Jose Airport for one last long day of travel.

After a short flight, I was back in Los Angeles.  I walked outside the Los Angeles Airport for the last time.  I pulled out a sandwich and water and sat peacefully beside the busy roads waiting on my flight to Honolulu.  I recalled a verse God shared with me not long ago.  He said, “You can’t see my plans for you but soon you will understand.” Love and peace filled my heart as a bus passed by with the words, DIVINE TRANSPORTATION written on the side.  I smiled.

A week later I’m sitting in the breezy outdoors of the spiritually protected Honolulu, YMCA just blocks away from the famous Waikiki beach.  I have a new home on a woman’s only floor with free gym access, aerobic classes and a much desired tae kwon do class waiting for my arrival.  I live the life of another dream, the life of a nun.

I’ve met a new best bud that lets me drive his amazing Lexus and a handful of sweet, loving, kindred spirited girls that I enjoy spending my time with.  I’ve met with the church where I will serve and have been asked to head up a new homeless ministry.

I’ve also met a very spiritual yoga instructor that will teach me great things.  And a very wise 74 year old christian man that said, “April, we’ve waited a very long 5 years for you,” that I will be learning taxes from and starting a few non-profits with.

My daughter is in the great hands of the Almighty and I am at great peace.

My new journey has just begun.

If we’re not learning, we’re not growing. I’d like to share a few lessons I learned along the way.

I learned that when we follow Christ, we have to be ready for an adventure.  We must always remember that it is he who is in charge.  The only thing we have to do is follow.

I learned that what we may perceive as a blessing may just be another lesson.  Learn from it (or them) and let it (or them) go.  A recent favorite quote spoken in the 2010 Karate Kid said, “We can no longer be friends. You are bad for my life.”
I learned not to count my blessings until I’ve received them.  I believe to have expectations is to set ourselves up for failure.  If we don’t expect, it is easier to remain humble and grateful when the unexpected happens.

I learned that we should always walk in gratitude and in love and keep our eyes open.  We shouldn’t be so quick to think God has forgotten us.

I learned to always look my best for we never know who we’ll meet.

We must fight the good fight.  I learned that in order to get where we are going, we must be persistent.  Today, I will take my first step toward my law degree and it will be perseverance that gets me through.

And lastly, I learned to always look for opportunities to laugh and to make someone else laugh.  Life’s hard and we’re all in it together.

God said, “There are blessings and curses laid out before you. Choose wisely.”
Until next time…Life awaits, ENJOY THE JOURNEY!

 

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Adventures in Urban Mysticism Volume TBD : Intro

I used to get excited when melancholy feelings came around because it meant a creative breakthrough was about to happen and that made me happy.  When I wrote Adventures in Urban Mysticism (AUM) Vol. 1 Rebirth, I was going through the healing of a pain that I had not encountered but stemmed back to childhood and as long as some may argue as many lives.

I encounter similar themes in my Life three years after the events that sparked that writing, the end of which I could only say was the greatest gift that I received. It’s funny because what made me feel alive at that time was to go out and do something different, to give my Soul a chance to breathe.  I prayed for dreams, followed signs, the etc. yada yada blah that I have written about many times and this time around, as the job near its conclusion, as I walk in shaky relationship territory, feeling more uncertain and vulnerable than ever, the fact that I am undertaking this Journey, fully conscious of alone-ness, is never more apparent.

What do you do when you have found that God is real?  How do you keep going once you’ve pierced the veil?  When does suffering stop?

I am filled with more questions than answers and the only thing that has any meaning is Love.  I feel a great deal of emotions.  Where AUM Vol. 1 began with Rage, this TBD begins empty.

I feel empty.  I feel as though these words are hollow and lack the passion that the words that have come before have.  I feel that I am only a vessel and the words pour through.  I feel like I am a pawn in a cruel yet beautiful game of the Universe as it continues its alignment.  And really that’s okay.  I can accept that my Life is more than mine, even if that’s All it is.

The phrase, “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle.” is used to inspire hope in people who are suffering.  The fact that one is strong enough to get kicked repeatedly in the spiritual junk and keep going, and not fall into rage must mean something.  But do not confuse my words because I am not here this time to inspire.  No this time, I’m going further than hope, I am going for honest.  I said it before, the world is ready for authenticity.  And honesty is the only thing that’s going to ring the alarm for the collective to wake the f*** up.

I feel lost in a sea of experience.  Where the idea of self-mastery in order to give my hypothetical children a better life, that goal is no longer one I wish to experience.  What good is that if my healing is going to play out over a lifetime?  Even if I tell children the Truth, they shall be scarred by my humanity, which is not bad at all, but can afflict nonetheless.

So what then, is it?  What is driving it this time?  For that illusion and the chase, the end result of reconnecting with a lost Love and having a child did not happen the way my Ego envisioned.  And I am totally cool with that because through my failed world-view, I learned to appreciate the beauty within my decay is the same beauty as that of my growth.

I know I can express.  I have done it twice now.  I don’t care if it sells as I continued to do it and have done it on here for the last six years.  Right when I thought I was stepping away, here, Life hit me, and I know I had to submit, I had to say I’m done, in effect tapping out but I’m still in the ‘fight.’

I do not feel like a victim.  I am just being honest.  I am using a lot of ‘I’ language and I feel like I don’t want to do that but I cannot help it because in the end, time and time again, I find myself, with people I can call, but no one who can relate to what it is that…  I Am.  Not who I am, or that I am, but that… I Am.

It’s not bad.  It really isn’t, it’s just one of those things that happens.  Each one of us is in isolation yet sharing the collective experience through subjective lenses.  If I am poetic, it is not be design, though that riddle, the ending of which is found at paragraph’s last, was in fact by design, for merely I carry the message.  A message that is not mine, but is using me to express.

Where it was once an effort, because I was in denial, this is just how I write, because I am at last in touch with how I feel.  Great, a feeling man, like that doesn’t isolate me further.  LOL.  Deliberate sarcasm there.

“Look around you, how many Great Spirits do you see?”  The Teacher asked and I said them all for I see that spark in all.  I have that hope in all, yet, sometimes it feels blaring and obvious that I might be the only one in the room that sees the Truth of our beauty.

I have never felt like this, willingly an instrument.  It is new.  I have traveled the gamut of feelings, good and not-so.  Where I find the feel right now is so empty and void, that I am forcing myself to write in hopes that it does the trick.  But it isn’t, it can’t because it’s not meant to.  I am just meant to serve and this is my services.  That is my purpose.  To pout out these words, whether I find joy in it or not.

And that is funny to me because now I feel it, that impossible scratch, the nudge that needs to be explored before a slap occurs.  I’ve been brought to my knees before.  If that happens again, it shall be because I am bowing to honor by choice and not by necessity.  I have to think the fact that these words are being revealed that I am honoring it.  No time to be Jonah…

I wanted AUM Vol. 2 to be Redemption.  Had a plan for Vol. 3 to be Revelation.  I guess like any Journey, it cannot be described until taken.  I went away before and that was powerful.  But something inside me is saying that’s not it, not this time.

This time it’s different and there the uncertainty enters the stage, ready to give the performance of its, uh, my Life.  Life has never been certain, I have never known much about my Life.  I did focus my energy and my thoughts to ‘manifest’ but I could not appreciate.  I focused and ‘manifested’ and did appreciate.  But that wasn’t what I was seeking either.

That epiphany led to healing and I suppose where I am now is open.  I feel ripped wide open.  Light, Dark, Grey, are interesting ideas but they are swirling around like some congealed something.

Whoever says it’s all bliss, is lying.  It is All Love, that is no lie and truly the Truth so bliss is a part of it.   But Love is so deep and has so many elements to it, even writing about it lacks the beauty that is found from the sand that irritates and becomes a pearl.

I think I’m exhausted or rather my Ego is.  I sense my Ego can’t even fight because at last it ran out of Kool-Aid.  It is what it is.

It is what it is.

It is what it is.

Exit.

Yes.

Word.

Beginning, In the

Love Like a Star

Sometimes all you can do is wish upon a star and hope that you are heard. Yet what happens when your wish comes true? What then do you do? Most often, our guiding star is Love. Blame Hollywood or perhaps something more Infinite.

We all wish for Love.

We are Creatures of Creation by the Creator. We are blessed with Great Power and have the ability to make wishes and Dreams come True. But there is a part of us, The Enemy Within, that will destroy whatever is created.

The Spiritual Journey allows us to view both sides of Creation, the Light and Dark. I believe Balance is acceptance of both, fighting neither, for they are already at odds. When at odds, you have a choice, to accept, embrace and stand firm, to let go.

We don’t really give ourselves the space to do any of this. Feelings feel so powerful when felt that they take us on a ride, detach us from where we are. They can be so strong they push others off keel.

A lack of mindfulness permeates the air of the World today and can be deadly. Where does this leave One who is aware, who strives to grow and share such. For we are All Human and can get pulled along with the tide.

There is an old saying: People enter our lives, for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.

The lessons that come from each we encounter take us further into the Truth of who we are, which in the end is Love. It is hard to Love because Love is easy. To simple Love as Love is, resists everything that the physical level of ‘reality,’ or ‘illusion,’ or Both, can tell us.

It defies reason, logic, the makings and trappings of the Mind. But just as people can enter our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime, Love comes and goes in Its different Incarnations for All of the Above.

Love can be passionate. Love can be gentle. Love can be chaotic. But I have to believe that through the experiences of Love, we are given the conscious choice to grab the reins of the Spiritual Journey, and ride gracefully through the Healing that can come.

Healing in the form of Pain, moving beyond it, seeing the ugliness for what it is but being able to Love it too, because at the core, what scars us, is what we have the choice to consciously perpetuate or release.

Life is not easy. But it is. Life is hard. But it’s not. We need each and every cut and bruise in order to enjoy the gentle touches, the warm embraces, the perseverance, all the things that come on our own and shared with others.

The Soul asked for it in the first place. Perhaps instead of wishing we can take the pressure off of Wishes and Dreams. What if we could just Love Like a Star is bright? What then might the World look like?

Were we to Love like Stars, would we grow like the Stars in their abundance in this ever-expanding Universe if we allowed Love in its abundance? What then might our experiences be like as we make our ways through each day?

Questions that were dreamed since the beginning I imagine. One day we’ll get it aligned for the Universe is already aligned, in perfect balance, one day I am certain our Love will be just the same for we have the stars in our DNA.

The Way of Movement: Step Into the Now

When you step into the Tao, you step into the now 

By Sleep Sunshine

It’s always the ‘suddenly it’s 3am’ moments that last in our heads

And though they last, the past has past and suddenly

the night turns your mind to blur into a delirious  ‘I don’t know’

What’s in your head could be said to be silence and stillness and nothingness

For nothing is needed to achieve something lasting

Everything came from nothingness, stillness

Think about the eyes of storms.

You can analyze and question everything in your wake

But to awaken requires shutting out certain thoughts


Analyze everything into the acceptance that there is only one answer

and one direction

For we tell the same kinds of stories all the time

Time and place, faces and places, it’s all just the setting

The same lesson, the same lessons chosen

It can’t be explained to a T, but it can be felt in steps taken lovingly

For when you step into the Tao, you step into the now

The Man Behind the Mask

Just caught Iron Man 3 a few nights ago and saw some interesting foil work going on between Tony Stark and the Mandarin. I don’t want to spoil too much for anyone who has not yet viewed the movie, but the underlying theme of the movie dwells with the Human+Being hiding behind the mask.

I have often reflected on masks for I have worn many in my Life. It has been a challenge to be an expressive, sensitive man in a culture that boxed men into basically three over-arching categories: The Alpha, The Flame, and The Metro. Add in a dash of the other categories that existed in High School that added an ‘ette’ to differentiate between males and females (i.e. Dude & Dudette, Nerd & Nerdette, etc.) and it is easy to see that people don’t really know who exists behind the mask.

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This has always been funny and at times tragic to me because I have never felt like I related to any of the things pop-culture was putting out. I wasn’t Alpha-tastic, Flaming, or Metropolitan and though I had some Nerd-like tendencies that bordered line of Geek, I have been active in various sports and martial arts since I was a teenager.  I didn’t grow up in the ghetto or a trailer park but I could relate to the anger I heard expressed in the Hip-Hop and Rock of my developing years.

For me to see Iron Man, the rich, Playboy Tony Stark challenged and feeling anxiety, gave a glimpse into more of what makes a person Human other than the obvious stereotypes:

Men are either funny or angry but never sad or Women are sexy and crafty but not always sexy and intelligent.  This was very welcome and unexpected from a Hollywood Blockbuster that will be seen by many.  I am pretty sure in a few weeks we will be able to chalk another W for the stereotypical roles in a few weeks.  Cough Fast & The Furious Cough Cough

I have written about comic books in the past and how they are brilliant in speaking to the Inner Child.  The evolution of comic book movies, now that they are viewed as economically viable, allows for the story arcs to explore the deeper archetypes that Human Consciousness travels. Which is great because we no longer need to sit through a 2.5 hour Drama to get the meat of humanity. We can now be entertained while looking at underlying themes.

Was it always this way? Perhaps as art has often been a forum for social commentary. I guess this was the first time I really felt like it spoke to me. Could also be reading Life as a Dream as I Live it…  The more we change, the World around us changes.  I have looked for deeper meaning in music videos so it should come as no surprise to find a deeper meaning in a commercial blockbuster such as Iron Man.

And if you aren’t looking for anything else but to be entertained, it delivers!  So… check out this movie!

To see a super-hero look more Human than not brought a sense of realism, reminded me of what makes Life so beautiful; the ability to see and discuss, to  share and relate.

And who knows, you might also get the opportunity to accept and embrace some of less glamorous parts of what makes you, you, and take another step along the Journey in Growth and Love.