BLACK COMEDY


My Dear Readers,20161122_171542

I am sitting in the airport at BWI as I wait for my delayed flight to Chicago.  This has not stressed me out. I have no connecting flight, no dinner or theatre plans, just a relaxing visit with a relative who is pure joy to be with. Fun.

This is not the Black Comedy which is the subject of today’s post. Last night my travel related activities kept me up late and I got to see the Stephen Corbair Show. His skit was about Mike Pence visiting the Broadway play, Hamilton.  It was funny and I found myself laughing.  It was then that I realized that the next four years would be filled with Hamiltonesq humor provided by the Trump Administration. After 13 days of worry and fear, it’s finally registered as the bad joke of Black Comedy.

This sense of “relaxation”  was enhanced by friends earlier in the day. “Five Supreme Court Judges is a quorum,” they reminded me. “Obama has appointed so many federal judges that cases might never reach the Supreme Court,” they added. “Where will they find the case that will overturn Roe vs.Wade?” “What about stare decisis and legal precedent? These were things that I had not considered.

Lastly, they said “In two years when the wall has not been built; millions of his impoverished supporters have lost their Obama care or have had deep social security cuts, those folks will vote for change, again.” This is likely to be true.

Then my friends and I exchanged tales of white friends and associates who wanted to ensure us that  “they were with us”. This was a comforting and reassuring for me who was shell-shocked.

In fact, the day after the election a very unlikely stranger stopped to reassure me.  It was nice.

While there maybe closet and not so closet racists, bigots, homophobes and xenophobes, most Americans believe in equality for all.

In my heart, I know this to be true. We of the left, near left, center left will remain vigilant and fight to keep the values that have made America great.

A deep sigh.  I remain hopeful, after all, I am a black female immigrant from Guyana with two African American sons under age 30 and who has famiy members who are devout Muslims. In the meantime, when the days work is done, lets watch the Black Comedy on late night television.

In Love and Light

Brianna S. Clark

Your Fellow Journeyer

 

 

 

THE COMFORT OF FRIENDS

img_1691My Dear Fellow Readers,

Tonight I find myself a rich and fortunate woman. I am rich in female friends. I love that I have had the priviledge to call so many extraordinary women friends.  Tonight, I celebrated the birthday of  one  my dearest friends, Deartra.

Deartra and I are both widows. Both of our husbands would die within the first two and  a half years of our friendship.  She and I were lucky to have been married to men who we loved passionately and who loved us in the same way.

A month after my marriage to the man of my dreams, my husband who was 48 years of age was suddenly diagnosed with late stage Hodgkins Lymphoma.  My entire marriage of two and a half years was spent caring for my husband, a man who had once ensured that anything that I truly wanted would be provided.  He had been a big man in all ways. His heart was full of fun, and  friendship and adventure.  Then he got sick and within 30 days he had lost as many pounds. His fear was palpable and mine was incapacitating. He would be dead at 50 and I would find myself a widow at age 53.

Almost every night during the time of my husband’s illness  Deartra would come over and sit with me and my husband.  It was a happy a trio, each of us caring  for each other and pushing  away for a moment my husband’s illness and her husband’s recent death. She was there when I could not drive my husband to or from the hospital. She was there when it was just she and I alone with our memories in the dark.

Tonight, as she arrived, I waited and watched for her to get our of her car. In my hands was a bag with one caffeine-free diet soda, a bottle of red wine and unsweetned cashew milk-just about everything she might want. That’s what you do for friends. You give them what makes them happy by showing that you care enough to rememeber  their most peculiar habits and cater to them- just because.

It was  a week after her real birthday-but it didn’t matter;we were joyful and grateful to be in each other’s presence. We scrapped dinner. I drank the diet decaffienated soda; she drank the red wine. She sat and listened while I read aloud to her a short story that I had submitted to Glamour Magazine 17 days ago.  I cried with pride;she smiled with pride.  It is a comfort to be with long time friends.

In Love and Light,

Brianna S. Clark

Your Fellow Journeyer

 

REMAINING HOPEFUL #ORGANIZED ACTION

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My Dear Readers,

Like many of you, I was disheartened by Tuesday’s election results. I was depressed and felt that I had woken up from a bad dream, in a world I was no longer familiar with.  I like many, felt that the Trump coalition was a tiny voice expressing the worst of our country.  There was no way, in my America, that he would be elected president. But he was.

Like in all tales of good vs. evil, in order to understand  the power of evil, you must experience it.   I guess that is what will happen to us as Americans.  From my view point as a an African American female who has two black sons, I am fearful and yet I remain hopeful.  I was glad to see that 90 percent of African American females had voted for Hillary.  I was disappointed that more than 53% of white females voted for Donald Trump. I am sure they have their reasons, and at a moment when my heart is not so raw, I will perhaps comprehend their actions. I am disappointed that many of my fellow Democrats failed to come out to vote.

I was happy to see that half the nation, regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation voted for Hillary.  I was encouraged that many young people between the ages of 18-25 voted for Hillary. I believe that these young people will save the world including our bloated Boomer Generation where many of  us feel that we have been left behind or have failed to keep up and therefore were left behind.

I for one, know that this is not the time to give up. Hillary Clinton may be a lost cause. Perhaps she was the right candidate at the wrong time or the wrong candidate for this time. We will never know. Hopefully, Mrs. Clinton will continue to serve our country in some manner.  Although, many thought she was deeply flawed and was dishonest, I do not believe that many of us could withstand public scrutiny over 30 years,as she has. I know I would have failed.

Over the next two months, I will prepare for my book tour. While I hope to sell books, I want to bring compassion and understanding and education about addiction. For many, addiction has been a moral issue rather than a physical or mental one. Thankfully, medicine and science has advanced to realize that some of us are just genetically pre-disposed to addiction. But more than that, I want people to know that less people would become addicted if they believed their was as social network to support them.

I understand this is a loaded statement. What is a social network? It is people who care and who are emotionally invested in us.  You will ask, “Isn’t this a contradiction to people being genetically predisposed to addiction?” Not really.  A predisposition for addiction, does not guarantee addiction, it only makes it more likely under stress our trauma.

My second point,  that I would like to communicate when I speak on this subject is that there are many kinds of trauma and that poverty is one of them. This statement brings me  back to why I must continue to work and to work quickly, efficiently and tirelessly. With the current administration in place, I fear that many more millions will fall into poverty and they will not have the resources to help.  I fear a America who does not care about health care or addiction or people who do not fit into a narrow neat box.

I will continue to believe and act with ideals of America. I hope you will too.

With light and love,

 

Briana S. Clark,

Your Fellow Journeyer

 

Forgiving the Unforgivable

 

forgiving-othersMy Dear Readers,

No, its not about erasing what happened. There is much more. I cannot give you details about what is on my heart today because what troubles me is the accusation against a man that I know who is accused of raping his 14 year old daughter. I cannot tell you more than this because, to do so would easily allow the curious to find out who he is and possibly cause him greater shame, pain and fear.

The accusation puts me in a strange position. I was a victim of incestuous rape when I was 12 years old. Nobody believed me and my father never went to jail or was ever held accountable for his actions. I believe that after he raped me he harmed other members of my family.  My father is not  here to defend himself and he leaves behind a wife  and other children who are remain conflicted about my story and whether to believe me.  Now, I have come face to face with a man accused of the same crime that occurred to me decades ago. What I find ironic is that many years after my rape occurred, I have stood in the shoes of a man afraid that he will go to jail for a crime he says he did not commit and I  believe him.

Besides trying to help him obtain better legal representation my advice to this man is to find a place in his heart to forgive his daughter. Whether she is lying or telling the truth, this young woman has been traumatized and needs healing.

My friend says that he does not feel animosity towards his daughter or the child’s mother. My friend says that he has put them out of his mind, that he does not think of them- that they are dead to him.

I tell him that he must find a place to forgive her, she is after all his own flesh and blood. He says he cannot find a path to forgiveness when  “the gun” is still pointed to his head- meaning his up coming trial.

I know that forgiveness is very hard, but it is something that the forgiver does for himself.  In trying to convince my friend to forgive his daughter, I believe it will help if I list some basic misconceptions about forgiveness:

  • Forgiveness doesn’t mean you are pardoning or excusing the other person’s actions.
  • Forgiveness doesn’t mean you need to tell the person that he or she is forgiven.
  • Forgiveness doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have any more feelings about the situation.
  • Forgiveness doesn’t mean there is nothing further to work out in the relationship or that everything is okay now.
  • Forgiveness doesn’t mean you should forget the incident ever happened.
  • Forgiveness doesn’t mean you have to continue to include the person in your life.
  • … and forgiveness isn’t something you do for the other person.

The other thing that I need to tell him is that forgiving someone is a decision that he will have to affirmatively make each time his thoughts or emotions reflect on what is happening or has happened. It is a choice that he must make over and over.  Also, I must tell him that he cannot forgive his daughter until he has expressed all of his hurt, pain and anger.

I have told my friend that when  his daughter decided to lie about what happened to her that she was seeking something from him. The question is what was this flawed child seeking when she chose to accuse her father of this terrible crime? It will be part of his process to answer this question.  I do not know the answer.

Medical professionals tell us that bottled up anger and emotions can  cause physical damage to the body and the mind. Not expressing or trying to subdue one’s feelings could lead to depression and anxiety or to stomach aches, headaches, and a myriad of physical ailments.

I know that forgiving his hard to do. It has taken me years to forgive my father and my complacent mother who did nothing to investigate my claims.  At no-time in my life has either parent said they were sorry for their actions or lack there of.  Yet, each time that I have found it in myself to forgive them there is a sense of peace and serenity and a place of calm beauty that is in opposite to hatred and anger.

Unlike me, my friend does not have decades which he can work on his forgiveness. He has  five months before he must face a jury a take a chance they will believe him and not her.

In my world of forgiveness, I would ask that my friend simply say the words “I forgive you.” whenever his mind lands upon his daughter and the lie he says that she has told.  This lie is such a terrible lie  or this accusation is such a terrible one, that even the hardest of the hardest  can not easily digest that one can rape one’s own child.  After all raping your own child is a horrible action- yet it happens everyday  all over the world.  I know that his words of forgiveness will be empty, but somehow I feel that he should recall the love of his daughter and from this place forgive her.

I fear, that if my friend does not work out the tormented emotions that plague him and which he fights on a daily basis, those emotions will not be able to be hidden- and who knows how a jury might look at a man whose face seems filled with fear. I do not think this is what he wants to feel on the day that he must face his daughter and that she must face him.

Perhaps, my scenario of forgiveness works only in the movies.  Perhaps, it is not easy to be brave and open when one has been accused of  such a crime as he has been- but I know this- he must come to a place of peace about everything before he enters a court of law to be judged by his peers.

I have no easy solution. Forgiveness takes time- or a miracle. My friend does not have time. I am hoping for a miracle that will ease his heart and give him peace. I will say a prayer for both the daughter and the father. Tonight neither of them will likely sleep and dream peaceful thoughts.  Both are hurt and the legal system will not  bring closure or heal the pain for either of them. The only path that I know for him is to forgive her.  That is all I can say to him. I hope, he will find away to forgive her so that he can return to a place of love for her- regardless of  her actions.

I believe in  a world of forgiveness. I believe it is the greatest gift to bestow upon another and simaltaneously one’s self.

In Light and Love,

 

Brianna S. Clark,

Your Fellow Journeyer