Sunlight Places

So many classic songs assure us that the Night Time is the right time!

Singers be purring about lights turned way down low.

Holding their breath celebrating Oh what a night.

Arriving at Union Station to heed the conductor’s call: all aboard the Night Train.

Always hoping to be inspired by Spirit in the Dark.

Pledging to make this a night to remember.

And I aint mad at how sultry the right night times have been in my life.

Yet, I’m still absorbing the shock of my visit to the Sunken Place. I’m meditating on the importance of Sunlight Places.

How can I find illumination there on my quest to be well through thick and thin?

Here comes the sun?

Welcome the sunshine in your eyes?

Pray to the Sun Goddess?

Shadows and definition. Bewilderment and balance. Light and dark.

Equinox is the word, concept, state of being that helps me dial into the frequency that provides the clarity and wholeness that I hope will define my future capacity to live with healthy fear of the dark and with the persistent hopefulness symbolized by the break of day.

Add Coltrane’s undulating Equinox to the mix and we can discern through one artist’s melodic gift from the All a humane throughline we can walk and find fulfilling in the midst of chaos.  

Innocence is no longer a topic between us. So I don’t seek faith in positive outcomes. It is an axiom that human beings will rip into each other’s well-being in search of power, justice, vengeance.

My meditation, my quest for healing individuality, accepts the diabolical consistency of drama and trauma, even suffering, without giving into a fatalistic wilting in the face of how we be tripping and how we have tripped across time and cultural space.

How to blend the marvelous of darkness with the marvelous anticipation of light on the horizon?

What inner capacities keeps an MF embracing life under the worst circumstances?

How do we sharpen our ears for the songs circling us, the lush, wordless songs that cut through what curses our lives and short circuits us — the bombs, the ugly silences, the cynicism?  

I’m closing this year embracing a personal and intimate covenant with Bobby McFerrin’s Circlesongs.

Welcoming their spiraling, expanding, humbling dynamics which quilt the ephemeral into the substantial.

No matter what time of night or day, day or night, I’m grateful for the music’s humane vocal labyrinth. I close my eyes, lose myself in sensation, fulfil myself in the midst of chaos. 

I know that the Life Time is the Right Time.

BONUS EXCERPT from my book, Black Man of Happiness: In Pursuit of My ‘Unalienable Right,’ WINNER, 2015 AMERICAN BOOK AWARD: “….  Fear and being scared are not synonymous. Fear is healthy. Being scared is not. Fear is hard-wired into human motivation for survival: it’s smart to fear a predator or predatory situation. Fear revs up my instincts to create a solution, create safety. Fires up my mind and unveils the options and associations and the combo of skills and improv right on time that resolve into actual solutions with mutual benefits and re-creations and wholeness. Being scared is taught into us through ritualized Do As I Say Do! Being scared substitutes and rewards outside sanction over the sustained, independent quest for power-on-power, eye-to-eye, harmony within interdependent strength.

But now I know that I can only claim true happiness, I can only find steady serenity on my pursuit of happiness, when I feel the exquisite sensuality, the inherent intimacy, of my unorchestrated inner briar patch of emotional power and potential and unique beauty that, frankly, has been, at worst, beaten out of us, and, at best, tainted as taboo for Black men.

In my youth, besides the example of Aunt Hallie and my other Powhatan teachers, I was struck by the EWF song, “All About Love,” which schooled me, charged me: “if there ain’t no beauty, you gotta make some beauty.” Decades later, I search for beauty within and without, and I call it out in myself and others, and I comfortably rep as a round-the-way Black man who sounds like he’s from Southeast D.C. and not from some generic, mystical place where he has to whisper like he’s asking for help in the library.  .…”

5 thoughts on “Sunlight Places”

  1. The love & light in you, my Peter J, is that daily resurrection power that stays you up ! Inspires & embraces always with the kind of sharp truth that brings healing ! Love you whole~


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