Friday, May 16, 2014

Who Remembered Their Mother?

On Mother's Day, mothers were recognized for their care, love and sacrifices while raising their children. Some have done it with partners and some single mothers have done it alone. Some have had the privileges that come with a comfortable life, and some have struggled through hardships in places that are challenging, neighborhoods that are poor, streets that are not safe and housing that is barely habitable.

Some mothers cared for their children in homeless shelters or maybe even on the streets because there is no partner or the partner was downsized and they are unemployed, have lost their home to foreclosure or a health crisis drained their savings and bankrupted them.

Some mothers have had to carry water miles to shacks that are sticks and straw while navigating through territory of marauders, rapists and predators. Some mothers have nothing to feed their children. Some children themselves have become mothers to their little brothers and sisters because their own mothers died from an AIDS epidemic that went unchecked by the uninterested. And yet...

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

For Mothers

It was Mother's Day and mothers everywhere were celebrated.  "Mother" is supposed to be synonymous with "nurturer," "fierce protector," "first teacher," and one who would lay down her life to save her children.

Kevin Durant, who received MVP (Most Valuable Player) award for basketball, thanked his mother in an emotional speech that ended with his mother getting a standing ovation.

A black man who grew up in a rough and poor  neighborhood claimed his stature as a successful professional by saying "we weren't supposed to be here."

He thanked his mom:
“We weren’t supposed to be here. You made us believe,” Durant told his mother. “You kept us off the street. You put clothes on our backs. You put food on the table. When you didn’t eat, you made sure we ate and [you] went to sleep hungry. “You sacrificed for us. You’re the real MVP.”

But there were some mothers who did not celebrate Mother's Day. Mothers in Nigeria spent the day in tears and anguished pleas "Bring our girls home."

Poet and author Aberjhani spoke for them...

A few Thoughts...

When I think about it, my own life is no less rich and the living no less inspiring than my pioneering ancestors and I come from a long line of Indians and outlaws so don't ever turn your back on me!

Life is, after all, a slice of human consciousness lived from its place in human evolution. "From here to eternity" as it were-- from earth to the stars, from personal space to cyberspace, from a small local footprint to the world reduced to the size of a notebook and sitting on your lap!

As a child I lived with the perpetual and immenent threat of annihilation. That's child abuse! It wasn't a kid-friendly world and I couldn't understand why the grown-ups who were in charge weren't doing something?

So at age seven with my face in the window eyes turned up into the night sky and staring at the stars I made a vow: "When I am a grown-up, I will do something."

My writing is that something and I write to "simply change the world." If that sounds like a lack of humility it isn't because I know that one person absolutely can change the world and I've met some who have.

Kay Kennedy put together an anthology that puts the reader in the midst of history to view it from the inside out.

When I was in high school and even college, history classes were stale and boring featuring memorization and regurgitation of dates that coincided with events that had no human face, certainly no magic, and no life!

Anthologies are great fun and stores are rich remembrances. History books chronicle; stories are little narrative slices of living. History comes alive through story. I often think of my grandmother and her story, her life-- the history she lived. In her lifetime she saw humankind evolve from horse and buggy to man on the moon.

I was a sixties kid and for the youth of the sixties, turmoil, disillusionment, and revolution were everyday 'business as usual'. Like a radio perpetually on low volume, fear and death dronned on in the background. The superpowers threatened to extinguish all life on the planet, the Vietnam War was escalating and peers were being escorted home under American Flag blankets. The civil rights and equal rights movements were testing human civility, and faster than one could recover from one shock another real life hero would fall to yet another assassin. Despair was commonplace. Contrast that with a man on the moon... we could conquer space travel but couldn't make nukes or war obsolete! It was a time when youth needed hope because hope was scarce. When it was finally resurrected, it came in the form of idealism and a philosophy of brotherly and universal love. Perfect principles; imperfect execution.

For others who contributed to "Looking Back," the history is different for each because the "times" were different as well as the perspective of the individuals. The stories of human societal evolution are enlightening, heartwarming, poignant and spellbinding. They put a human face on the past.

And there are people now who are putting a face on the future...