Open Letter to the Displaced

Open Letter to the Displaced

For when Life seems sideways and out of sorts

I drafted this to my boss when he was stuck in England. Enjoy.

Hey Buddy:

Thanks for your emails. I wanted to share this story with you since you’re in exile.

In 2010 when my Life was splattered into pieces because the “expect the unexpected” happened, I got stuck in Joppa, Maryland, for three weeks. It wasn’t all that bad a place to be and I had my own room to dwell in while there and gosh, the walking in the cold, the beautiful park near the Gunpowder River, the foxes!!! But I digress…

My intent was to spend maybe five days there at most and then continue my travels back across the mainland to make it back home to Hawaii triumphantly (how humbling and with nothing did I actually return). Well, “expect the unexpected” happened again because I had been laid off and was being denied my benefits, even though I qualified. It was not that I was ineligible (because I was not penalized and paid out later) nor because I was outside of the State for that matter (because it’s okay to travel if you tell them and have a return date), it was because of some red tape that I don’t need to dive too deeply into because the point is that my Flow dried up! And truthfully, I caused that because of my own Fear of not having money. What a powerful co-Creator in trying to force Life! I was literally stuck without a next step in sight that made sense. Now that was haunting.

It was very frustrating experience because it coincidently (or was it?) occurred at a time when everything else was seemingly out of whack (see lay-off, add in break-up, lost home situation, and Death in the family). That whole trip was a bit cray, as the cool kids of this Generation call it, and here I am, four, oh man (has it been?/I can’t believe it!) four years later writing to my displaced Executive Director, on a Saturday, even though my near decade removed girlfriend tells me that I work too much and we fought about just that last night.

Yet surprisingly, or coincidently (is it?), she is not answering her phone while doing a clean-up project for work also on a Saturday. But again, I digress because at this present moment, the only thing I can think of, is to make the most of this Life always, enjoy it Always, live it ALWAYS, LOVE itALWAYS!, because this too shall pass.

(LOl, Just now, playing in the background, I heard Bob Marley’s ‘One Love’ and the lyric : “Give Thanks and Praise to the Lord and It’ll Be Alright”)

With the passing of time, some the best things can also pass on by.

I let those three blessed weeks of being displaced in beautiful Joppa, escape me, as I have with many other experiences.

Much of my childhood is in the fog because of my lack of presence there. I was always daydreaming, which isn’t a bad thing, but when we moved away from one island to another at a young age, I began to escape into it because I couldn’t understand or cope with the feelings that I felt at the time. That wasn’t so healthy…

Age gifts us with opportunities to and for experience. Experience allows for more opportunities to cultivate understanding. And understanding? Well I don’t understand “understanding” and am still learning to understand “understanding” and how it relates to everything.

I venture it safe to utter that I understand that Life has its own course. You know, I can observe a river and learn that a river runs its course ,whether we like it or not, and to top it off, our dams are only so Damn good!

I do believe the Truth is etched in Nature and in striving to understand that which cannot be understood about Nature, to accept Nature as She is, well, that is where actually having an idea about a thing or two, starts to grow.

I realize now when things happen, which are beyond my control, that I just need to go with it. If only because I do not wish to exhaust myself in fighting the current, nor do I seek to drown.

After all, every river has its ending and there is no sense in rushing the ending of this Life if you catch my drift.

High School is fast becoming a distant memory and college, unfortunately is taking that place with its own pace. College memories are few and far between and the University experience was something that I was so passionate in seeking out.

At the time, I was so concerned about what “I was going to do with my Life” in the future, that I missed out on many great experiences in college that are now past me but were then the present. And what a gift to miss out on!

Oh, the follies of youth didn’t stop there…

I was so eager to find the One True Love of my Life, without even really knowing or working on how to Love myself. I was so quick to jump into my calling, when I hadn’t even begun to listen.

I didn’t enjoy fully the relationships that I did have nor put myself wholly in the work that I was doing at the time either. Let’s not even scratch the surface about my “stellar” academic performances. Sigh. At least I made it through and graduated albeit believe you me, begrudgingly as possible.

My 20s are now more in the rearview than they are nearby and that’s a sobering thought, enough to take me out of the high and adventurous zeal that is a requirement of being a 20-something.

Shortly around the time before I turned 30, I made a list of the 20 things that I had learned in my 20s. The one item on that list that sticks out the most: I estimated that I had spent 7.5 to 8 years of that decade worrying.

And guess what?

That decade and those worries are gone too! And NOW, I can’t even begin to tell you half the things that I worried about because my Life is completely different!

As I fast approach the end of age 33, an age I did look forward to greatly (and have thoroughly enjoyed), I’m left with the same questions I’ve always asked but not as attached to the answers because I have lived with/through how time and time again Life changes…

If there is wisdom in that so be it. If it sounds aloof, okay. If I’m not rooted in the destination, effing great! Because Life is about the Journey and where it takes you. I rather like that I’m on a ride as opposed to forcing it like I had for so many years okay, and so be it, this works for me, Life is effing great!

Anyhow, I don’t know a whole lot compared to others with more decades of Life and honestly, than the children who have not lost their innocence and look upon Life entirely through their Eyes of Presence.

But I can relate to being displaced and I hope in some way, you find peace and ways to enjoy yourself.

I know you will because as much as you tell me that “you can only eat an elephant one bite at a time,” when it comes to all of our work and the more that we’re tackling each day (mostly because of you;p), you still do find the energy to party way harder than I do, even with your extra decades.

Hang in there. This too shall pass.

Cheers!

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For The Grace & The Glory

From The Orange Book

Note: This is from my new project, The Orange Book – Vitamin C for The Soul.  The entire project, a poetry Chapbook, is inspired by the Death of my maternal Grandmother aka Gran. It explores the questions, challenges, and the only lasting Peace I’ve found as an extension of that ‘last’ conversation we had. These words below are from that talk…

“Why did you do it

then, Gran?” ask did

I one Summer day.

Sit back, rewind, for the

Answer is not so far

Away…

It was the last day I

Shed tears far from, for

Her Soul was ready to

Leave on that Summer day.

“When Papa died, we didn’t

Have anything, he didn’t

Want a service.”

An event not so much

For the Dead is it not?

But for the Living Behind

Who mourn Death away…

“I don’t want that either, Honey.

For People to just come and say

‘Mrs. Emm this’ and

‘Mrs. Emm that’ about

What they remembered…”

“But the thing is,

Dear,” a pause and then she said my name

Once more, ”I didn’t do it for them.”

Her voice trailed away…

Naturally, I asked then

Why she did those things.

“Jawal, I did it all for

The Grace & The Glory of God.”

Boom! Drop the mic.

Exit Soul Stage Right.

That’s the day I last cried

Them tears for when she

Passed months later on

I felt as though her Soul

Had already told me then that

It was leaving.