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Monday, March 3, 2008


This was first written, Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Promise Of New Life

Let me begin with this disclaimer: we all know that winter and spring are still kissing each other...cold cloudy evenings, gray chilly mornings, mornings limping along like tired old people, afternoons letting their bright skirts show for just a few fleeting flirtatious moments, suddenly suprising sunsets, raindrops tapping on ur windows, night winds poudning their mighty thick clouded chests.

But the tack we take as our ships move towards the sweet shores of spring are ours to choose... to shake and shiver in the cold mists of the ocean waves, or, climbing higher, look ever further to where we faintly hear the birds singing and the see the waves breaking on the teaches ahead.

See the profound prohecies of the plants proclaiming that out of the cold winter come the green and red promises of spring:

I headed off to the YMCA on Pearl Street. New beginnings for me. The last time I had been here was three months ago. And as those three months had passed with dreams dashed, new hopes budding, suprises, challenges, and always the moment by moment call to love and be loved, I had failed to attend to my body's constant reminder that if I really wanted to be happy, I would have to constantly address its challenge to live healthily... to exercise gently and faithfully.

As I strode slowly around the Y's upstairs indoor track, I smiled as men and women of all ages passed me again and again. "That's ok," I thought to myself, "I am enjoying watching so many folks embrace the gift of choosing to support their bodies in becoming strong and healthy. They have much to teach me!"

In the downstairs swimming pool were adults helping little children to swim. In the hot tub were parents helping children who were physically challenged to relax in the hot, bubbling waters. There were racquet bally playes poudning and sweating away, people lifting weights, others using various exercise machings... all acceptheir call to be happy by choosing to be healthy.
Beautiful day!

I spotted this wonderul picture, entitled "Old School," on the back of a car in the YMCA parking lot.

"Old School," I thought to myself. I found myself going back to the late sixties here in Tacoma. I first heard Aretha Franklin's soul voice on an FM station in Tacoma that was so far to the right on my radio dial that I I was sure I would lose my fragile image of myself as fledgling left wing thinker. War and shocking assassinations had pulled me off the sports pages and out of the movie theatres and finally I was beginning to realize that I was twenty-eight years old and did not know one solitary thing about being a Black man in America. I was lost and angry. I had so many questions.

And on that FM station which was on the far right on my radio dial I found Aretha challenging me to have respect, Marvin Gaye asking me what was going on, and Les McCann challenging me to make it real! Yes, I'm "Old School," and grateful that the artists of the time shared their sweet soul light with me!

With those memories walking gently through my mind, I headed out to the Tacoma News Tribune. I had a few questions that I wanted answered about our new way of posting to In Our Neighborhood. AFter all I am an old, old dog (sixty seven last September 9) and old dogs learn new tricks slowly, if at all.

I got to the TNT quickly. This was the first time I had come there during the day.

The two people working the front desk handled my questions warmly and efficiently. They said they would get Mr. Briggs to come down and help me. While I waited for him on the first first, I sat back in a big, confortable chair, and permitted myself to be overwhelmed by the size and beauty of the first floor at the TNT... wow!

Mr.Briggs answered my questions quickly; and I was on my way to the pharmacy at Target to pick up my pills. (Thanks LG for patiently following up with me). Lots of people were going shopping that grey Thursday morning.

When I left the store I smiled watching the wonderful black birds looking for food...
"All living things are always seeking what is necessary for them to be healthy and happy," I thought.

"All living things are always seeking to love and to be loved." And with that comment, dear readers, I leave you with this question... WHAT'S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT?!


Lorraine Hart said...

I'm suddenly smiling...thinking of the heavenly Mavis Staples with her poppa and sisters....

Respect yo' na na na na
Respect yo'self...dee dee dee dee
If you don't respect yo'self
Ain't nobody gonna give a good na na na na na
Respect yo'self

What's love got to do with it? Everything...whether it is creating or destroying, it begins within us...while we're busy looking outside.

so glad you were able to make the journey over the Trib-bridge to the new site Oneal!

Kim Thompson said...

Welcome Oneal! Great to see you again here!

M. Sugimura said...

A lovely walk....