I know it has been a minute since I last sat down at this computer to type my thoughts, but trust and believe I/we have been busy. There are a lot of things in motion that will be revealed later. With this in mind, we must always remember to honor the process of revelation.
At one point during this past week, I was frustrated because I just couldn’t find the rhythm that would allow me to keep up with my commitment of one entry/post per day. When I was home, I didn’t have the chi/energy to put my thoughts into written language. Still, there was this strong need to make it happen because I ardently believe in keeping my commitments.
My Libra energy/astrology requires balance, so I am always super-conscious – at times to a fault – of my personal responsibilities/duties (as a husband, artist, writer, brother, son, etc.). If I said I was going to do it, it’s got to get done. Period.
Overall, this can be a good thing. But, it can also be a burden. Especially, if whatever you are doing is externally motivated. The drive to get things done has to emerge from inside (internally). If not, we often feel that we have to force the issue. When energy is forced, things tend to fall apart, or crumble due to the extreme pressure we put into our action(s).
There is no real failure. We don’t fail. Goals just aren’t accomplished. When this happens, you have to examine the why of what happened, not dwell in a perceived loss. Whatever you think you may have lost occurred to make you a stronger person. You never know what you really had until it’s gone, right?
No matter how much encouragement and positive feedback I get from people who read this, I don’t write for anyone but me. I know that my thoughts will resonate with others because I am no different than anyone else. There are a lot of people that feel like I do. They may not write their thoughts down, or create art, but they feel like me. I know this because we speak everyday: on the street, on the bus, at the party, at the meetings, etc. Those that need/want to hear what I think will gravitate towards it. Those that don’t, won’t. Bottom-line: like Stephen Biko, ‘I Write What I Like.’
Liberation means living your life how you want to live it. It means saying what you want, and being what you want. Assata Shakur said, ‘I know a whole lot more about what freedom isn’t, than what it is.’ This truthful statement lives in the heart of most of us because we don’t know how to be ourselves. We don’t know why we are here. We want answers, but we don’t take, or fail to create, the time necessary to find them. Again, our responsibilities can get in the way.
Liberation is a journey, not a destination. Do you want it? Then, you will have to fight. And, the toughest fight ain’t with the government, ‘the system,’ ‘yo momma and them, or anybody else. The toughest fight is with yourself. You have to go in, if you want to get out (part of the hook for some new RAS music).
Gradually, over the last 34 years, I have learned to respect and honor my responsibility to others, while also honoring my responsibility to me. If I put God first, and move according to my heart’s call, all of those ‘responsibilities’ are filled without thought or planning. Life isn’t always about ‘doing’ something.
Growing up, going to highly-competitive private schools in Pittsburgh, I learned to produce, and fill my time with activities. Everything was about medals, honors, and certifications. These things didn’t motivate me intrinsically, but they made other people (mainly my parents) happy, so I did them. My father, who grew up economically impoverished (but, spiritually-rich), wanted his sons to have the education, opportunities, privileges, etc. that his generation couldn’t even dream of due to the racist structure of this country.
When I was accepted into some of the ‘top’ schools in this nation, he brimmed with joy. But, overall, I wasn’t happy. And, the funny thing was that I really didn’t even know it. It took me years (and plenty of substance abuse) to realize I was living someone elses dream: I didn’t have my own.
So, after graduation, when I took my Ivy League degree, and went to work with youth in the South Side of Providence, my parents shrugged their shoulders. When I turned down a prestigious Fulbright Scholarship to study abroad, they frowned. When I got arrested and profiled after months of organizing for community oversight of the Providence Police, they worried.
It felt like I was walking alone in the dark for many years; but I continued, because somewhere in the depth of my spirit, everything was calm and certain.
Follow your heart. It sounds cliché, but it’s real. I wasn’t following the direction that my heart was calling for, so I suffered. Suffering is not necessary. We can find peace in the middle of a battlefield if we want it. Everything is about choices.
When you choose to move with your heart, the world becomes a totally different place. Yes, it is the same imperialist, racist, maniacal world, but you are moving through it with different eyes that are searching for truth. You no longer feel the need to sit and critique all of the ‘ways of the wicked’ because you would rather seek the alternative solution that already exists. The solutions to all of this are already living inside of each of us. It’s a crazy thought for many, but it’s true.
I know all my ‘Leftist-radical’ comrades are probably going crazy right now. ‘You crazy hippie. We gotta fight this system,’ they’re probably thinking. But, my comrades need to understand that our vision/dream for a new world has to be about unconditional love. We have to imagine a world without all of these ills before we can create it. I don’t think Christ is coming back, but the Christ energy must. This is the energy of transformation, hope, and true liberation.
Moving in this consciousness is what some may call grace, or harmony. It feels good when you are walking with this energy, but it is not always easy, or possible to maintain. Old habits/thoughts can often creep in, so you must learn to be patient with yourself. As the Digable Planets said, ‘We’re just babies. We’re just babies man.’
We are in the ‘FALL’ season (just a few weeks past the Autumnal Equinox) – which means it is time to look ahead again at the coming year. In a very real sense, it is a ‘New Year,’ so that means it is time to go inside of ourselves. It is time to be silent, and listen for direction.
What do you hear when you turn off the radio, the T.V., the internet? What is really driving your steps? Follow that. Don’t be afraid if it means walking away from friends, your ‘community,’ or anything else. Your spirit knows. You must follow.
My name is Jonathan ‘Jbro’ Mahone, and I am one-half of (RAS) Riders Against the Storm. I AM TROY DAVIS.