Untitled free verse
Brisk days bring on the hand holding,
Cowboys to girls grasping to keep warm.
The leaves rustle as the Arctic winds blow in
And cause the frosty ice of colder days to form.
The world turns as we grow older,
With heat retained in another’s embrace.
Dreams come true wrapped in forlorn nights,
And the tender touch of a lover’s face.
Living for others or living for self?
The conundrum found in every breath.
To truly be free is to be selfish.
To give selflessly is to be unappreciated.
To take is to mooch or self-preservation?
To ask is to burden another.
To be meek is to punk out.
To want is to be ungrateful.
To be fully whole is satisfaction unattainable.
Yet, we wake, and continue.
In this farce?
Freedom is choice.
Unconsciously living as if these days last forever.
Never knowing if the last breath was the final one.
Late summer landscape.
Harlem and Upper West Side, NYC
©September 2014 Instagram/thejfalbum
Autumn’s onset signals the return of a few routines: the kids going back to school, workers getting back to the daily grind, and the weekly ritual of guys huddling in their respective caves to watch weekend college and professional football.
The cooler weather of the season also signals the impending holiday season and the anniversary of my birth, prompting a reflection on the passing summer season and the year that was.
A verse from the religious texts of my Roman Catholic upbringing recurs in thoughts these days, with its pertinence and veracity becoming ever more obvious:
1 Corinthians 13:11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
The quoting of this Biblical verse on life’s changing seasons is not to make some grand self-revelatory statement, as if I’ve fully grown into whatever “a man” is or have attained some sort of divine enlightenment.
As the hot days end and the leaves turnover, though, the verse strikes a searing cord. Manhood, growth, adulthood — whatever — is fundamentally grounded in responsibility of and for oneself.
Ultimately, there is great clarity and empowerment in the knowledge of understanding that the trajectory of my life is most effectively guided by my own actions; and that fact ain’t so bad.
Top photo: Flickr/Ken, September 2005, New York City
Blue Ivy, Shawn and Bey.
©August 2014 MTV
Los Angeles, California
Jay’s holy grail.
The Heights: where the life is.
Midtown Manhattan skyline from Washington Heights
©January 2008 Flickr/Susan Sermoneta
©2014 Interscope Records
Call Robin Thicke a chauvinist, a ladykiller — throw stones with clean hands. Thicke is a man atoning for his mistakes and mourning the lost love of his youth in his latest studio effort, Paula, an album named for his divorcing wife of nearly a decade, Paula Patton.
In the video for the lead single of the album, “Get Her Back,” Thicke reveals himself at his most vulnerable moment. This is a much different guy than the cockiness of “Blurred Lines.”
The exact reasons behind the Patton-Thicke breakup aren’t clear, nor should they be as their intimate relationship is a private matter. But of the very public display in this video, Thicke is just a man trying to find his way again with or, as it seems lately, without his first great relationship.