June 24, 2010

The Sea Inside

It's funny. I didn't really plan on getting in the water that day. The sky went gray in patches soon after we got there. When I did decide to walk up and let it wash over my feet, it was freezing. The kind of cold that chills your bones, hurts your nipples and makes you wonder how folks have it in them to frolic in such frigid temperatures. I retreated back to the sand and there I stayed for quite some time. We talked about things the way we usually do; with an easy air of conversation. Then I felt a shift within. My mood began to match the sky. Bright still, but with bits of cloudiness moving in with purpose. The onset of an emotional storm was brewing. By then, I was lying on the beach alone. I watched as he walked out to the shoreline where the icy water seemed to only slightly take him by surprise as it wet the hem of his shorts. He bent down, selected what looked like a heavy stone the size of a lemon and hurled it over the ebb tide. I watched him take in the horizon and wondered what it all looked like through his eyes. Suddenly I felt the need to move. To wash the thoughts and chase the gray out. In an instant I was up and sprinting towards the water. I leapt in as though I had nothing. I leapt in as though I had everything. The cold wasn't so bad after all. It never is once you're in it. I let the water surround my goose-bumped skin. Wash over me in ways I didn't know I needed. Bring me back to life. And then it happened.

We saw the wave at the same time. A high wall of water; huge and daunting. It crashed into us in the most powerful way. A split second before it swirled us then swatted us like lowly creatures. Panic. My feet and arms were useless. It tumbled us both. Drew us in and spat us out harshly. It's the strangest sensation when water fills orifices where air belongs. You go deaf- save for the thick silence that only water in your ears can generate. You go blind- but can still make out fragments of life as you knew it before you were capsized by an angry riptide. You know not to open your mouth because your lungs...and its contents just became the most precious thing you have. The only thing you have. But you taste the salt all the same. All that matters is that moment.

When I stumbled out towards land, I felt small. As you should when you realize the ocean can swallow anything that dares comes near her mouth. I felt insignificant. But grateful when I realized that when it counted- he didn't let go of my arm. Not for a moment. Not until it was over and I was on terra firma. Not until I was safe. It occurred to me that- had I been out there with anyone else, they might have lost their grip. They might have let go even if they didn't want to. The tide was that strong and for a moment, I was that hopeless. But he never let go.

Throwback Thursdays

Hola Peoples. You already know what's good. It's Thursday. I love Hip-Hop. Let's do this. Today's Throwback does not include a history lesson. It's just underground Hip-Hop at its finest. Either you were there or you weren't. This was always one of my favorite crew joints. It's one of those songs where every single emcee holds his own so immaculately- that it's tough to tell whose album it really belongs on. Lord Finesse did his thing without a doubt- as he very well should, but Sadat rips it. Grand Puba comes off and Large Pro delivers the goods as usual. Everybody brought their A-game. Watch the video closely for some cameos. Fat Joe, Diamond D and even the Blastmaster came out and showed some love. This Bug's favorite line? Man...I don't even want to single one out. Your boy Derek X (my true heads feel me) got called to bless and pulled the S off of his varsity sweater. The Large Professor is on some acrobat shit- flipping the mental ass-whippin'. Puba said he keeps n*ggas movin' like an escalator. What?! But Finesse killed it with, "You can't do me or dis me, don't try to get wit me. My style is tricky like spelling Mississippi." And those, my friends, are Actual Facts.

June 21, 2010

The Climb

Let the record show that This Bug will always share the goods when the giving is good. My girl Jean Grae has done it again. From her collection of songs called "Dusty Jeans" comes The Climb. Love this chick. No homo. I guarantee you'll hit replay as soon as it's done just to catch what you missed. The bitch is bad.

Don't say I never gave you nothin'.

June 20, 2010

Not so long ago

I fell in love for the first time when I was five years old. He was tall, dark and handsome. He had hands that could heal every hurt and words that made everything that was wrong with the world right in an instant. One day, I went to the bank with this man. There were velvet ropes sectioning off the line. Heavy, U-shaped velvet ropes that sometimes keep club goers in line on the street. Not the straight elasticized ones you see in banks nowadays. I detached my hand from his just long enough to entertain myself by skipping back and forth over these ropes. Hop. Hop. Back. Forth. He trained his eyes on me and said, "Jayne, stop that." There was no discernible anger in his voice. Not even the slightest bit of annoyance in the warning. It was simply an instruction. For some reason I took it as my cue to jump over one last time- and then I'd surely find something else to satisfy my idleness. But one inexact movement was all it took. On my final skip, my foot hooked the bottom of the weighty rope and brought down the poles which the ropes were suspended on. Down one by one. Like dominoes. Like giant, Stone Henge dominoes. Everyone stopped and stared. My face grew hot and the tears spilled immediately. I felt an embarrassment that was so new, so foreign to me at such a young age. I wanted the ground to open up and swallow me whole. At least then, I'd be out of sight from so many appalled pairs of eyes. My shame was quickly eclipsed by the abject fear of the consequences of not listening to this man standing before me. But not for long. In one swift movement he scooped me off my feet where the last pole lay on its side. I bawled. I was inconsolable. When I could finally speak- I could only manage to wail, "I....Sorry Daddy...I'm sorry." There, at the teller's window, impervious to the toppled poles and judging eyes... he said calmly into my hair, "It's alright, Dahlin'. Yuh wit me. With me."

Happy Father's Day, Daddy.

June 16, 2010

Think you know

I find it ironic that one of the most serene and calming songs came from such a frenetically paced and agitating film, but it did. I always loved how the guitar perfectly accompanied Billy Corgan's droning lament. But the lyrics never meant much to me. 'Til now.

Think You Know
by Djali Zwan from the movie Spun

Goin' home
can't escape
it won't break

No harm
is worth
what I can't take

So you think you know
think you know the way
So you think you know
think you know my shame

Even though I
still care for you
Its not half of
all I could do

So, so you think you know
think you know my ways
So, so you think you know
think you know my shame

Now it's late
I'm not afraid
to let you know

I'm hurt
to burn
to let it show

Rivers come and
Rivers go
Straight from my hell
to my aching soul

So, so you think you know
think you know the way
So, so you think you know
think you know my shame

Even though I
still care for you
It's not all I
could ever do for you

Just so, just so you know
Just so, just so you know
Just so, just so you know
Just so

June 11, 2010

Just breathe

Change may not always be comfortable but it's as sure as the sun.

Dreams will not always come true but they remain what we make of them.

No one can see the wind but we know it is there.

It's not just you.

I feel it too.

June 3, 2010

Throwback Thursdays

What up, People. It's been a minute since Throwback Thursdays. Things are starting to heat up outside and I can't think of a better way to usher in the summer than with this video. Hope you don't mind not watching it here. Youtube is acting up with this one, so be sure to click the link at the end. Anyway... I'm taking ya'll way back to '89 (cuz I'm goin' for mine). This video featured a pool party that I still wish I was at twenty years later. Antoinette was one of the few females who was really doing it back then in terms of Hip-Hop and Rap. Shake, Rattle and Roll was the first single off her debut album, Who's the Boss. Did I have the album? No. Did I have this video on VHS? True indeed. Her style was way more raw than her counterparts and even her labelmates which at the time included Salt 'n Pepa. Dressed in a simple green tee, tight jeans and her doorknocka shells- she epitomized Hip-Hop style while letting folks know she's not the one to step to...or in this case, half-step to. She was fly, yo. Casually making her way around the party, Antoinette breaks down why she's at the top of her game. Granted, lyrics were a lot simpler back then- but it was a simpler time. A time I remember all too well. This Bug's favorite line? "Matter of fact, I can't let a rapper win. I ain't Rerun. That ain't happenin'." Ah, the days when female emcees talked about something besides the riches men throw at their feet for their deep throat skills. Those were the days. Antoinette, Baby Girl... you paved the way. It's not your fault they got lost on the road, tho. Now here's a shout to the borough and my thoroughbred ladies alike.

Queens Stand Up!