Looking in the Mirror

Spiritual Revelations for those seeking Humanity in Humans ~~CordieB.

Archive for death

Michael Jackson – August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009 – Man in the Mirror

I’m Gonna Make A Change,

For Once In My Life

It’s Gonna Feel Real Good,

Gonna Make A Difference

Gonna Make It Right . . .

As I, Turn Up The Collar On

My favourite Winter Coat

This Wind Is Blowin’ My Mind

I See The Kids In The Street,

With Not Enough To Eat

Who Am I, To Be Blind?

Pretending Not To See

Their Needs

A Summer’s Disregard,

A Broken Bottle Top

And A One Man’s Soul

They Follow Each Other On

The Wind Ya’ Know

‘Cause They Got Nowhere

To Go

That’s Why I Want You To

Know

I’m Starting With The Man In

The Mirror

I’m Asking Him To Change

His Ways

And No Message Could Have

Been Any Clearer

If You Wanna Make The World

A Better Place

(If You Wanna Make The

World A Better Place)

Take A Look At Yourself, And

Then Make A Change

(Take A Look At Yourself, And

Then Make A Change)

(Na Na Na, Na Na Na, Na Na,

Na Nah)

I’ve Been A Victim Of

A Selfish Kind Of Love

It’s Time That I Realize

That There Are Some With No Home,

Not A Nickel To Loan

Could It Be Really Me,

Pretending That They’re Not Alone?

A Willow Deeply Scarred,

Somebody’s Broken Heart

And A Washed-Out Dream

(Washed-Out Dream)

They Follow The Pattern Of

The Wind, Ya’ See

Cause They Got No Place

To Be

That’s Why I’m Starting With

Me

(Starting With Me!)

I’m Starting With The Man In

The Mirror

(Ooh!)

I’m Asking Him To Change

His Ways

(Ooh!)

And No Message Could Have

Been Any Clearer

If You Wanna Make The World

A Better Place

(If You Wanna Make The

World A Better Place)

Take A Look At Yourself And

Then Make A Change

(Take A Look At Yourself And

Then Make A Change)

I’m Starting With The Man In

The Mirror

(Ooh!)

I’m Asking Him To Change His

Ways

(Change His Ways-Ooh!)

And No Message Could’ve

Been Any Clearer

If You Wanna Make The World

A Better Place

(If You Wanna Make The

World A Better Place)

Take A Look At Yourself And

Then Make That . . .

(Take A Look At Yourself And

Then Make That . . .)

Change!

I’m Starting With The Man In

The Mirror,

(Man In The Mirror-Oh

Yeah!)

I’m Asking Him To Change

His Ways

(Better Change!)

No Message Could Have

Been Any Clearer

(If You Wanna Make The

World A Better Place)

(Take A Look At Yourself And

Then Make The Change)

(You Gotta Get It Right, While

You Got The Time)

(‘Cause When You Close Your

Heart)

You Can’t Close Your . . .Your

Mind!

(Then You Close Your . . .

Mind!)

That Man, That Man, That

Man, That Man

With That Man In The Mirror

(Man In The Mirror, Oh Yeah!)

That Man, That Man, That Man

I’m Asking Him To Change

His Ways

(Better Change!)

You Know . . .That Man

No Message Could Have

Been Any Clearer

If You Wanna Make The World

A Better Place

(If You Wanna Make The

World A Better Place)

Take A Look At Yourself And

Then Make A Change

(Take A Look At Yourself And

Then Make A Change)

Hoo! Hoo! Hoo! Hoo! Hoo!

Na Na Na, Na Na Na, Na Na,

Na Nah

(Oh Yeah!)

Gonna Feel Real Good Now!

Yeah Yeah! Yeah Yeah!

Yeah Yeah!

Na Na Na, Na Na Na, Na Na,

Na Nah

(Ooooh . . .)

Oh No, No No . . .

I’m Gonna Make A Change

It’s Gonna Feel Real Good!

Come On!

(Change . . .)

Just Lift Yourself

You Know

You’ve Got To Stop It.

Yourself!

(Yeah!-Make That Change!)

I’ve Got To Make That Change,

Today!

Hoo!

(Man In The Mirror)

You Got To

You Got To Not Let Yourself . . .

Brother . . .

Hoo!

(Yeah!-Make That Change!)

You Know-I’ve Got To Get

That Man, That Man . . .

(Man In The Mirror)

You’ve Got To

You’ve Got To Move! Come

On! Come On!

You Got To . . .

Stand Up! Stand Up!

Stand Up!

(Yeah-Make That Change)

Stand Up And Lift

Yourself, Now!

(Man In The Mirror)

Hoo! Hoo! Hoo!

Aaow!

(Yeah-Make That Change)

Gonna Make That Change . . .

Come On!

(Man In The Mirror)

You Know It!

You Know It!

You Know It!

You Know . . .

(Change . . .)

Make That Change.

–And When The Groove Is Dead And Gone, You Know That Love Survives, So We Can Rock Forever… Michael Jackson

Peace, Light and Love, CordieB.

In the Course of One’s Lifetime

Eternal Solitude I, ~CordieB

Eternal Solitude I, ~CordieB

In the course of one’s lifetime

what will one learn?

will one learn of hatred?

what bridges will one burn?

~~~

In the course of one’s lifetime

in the blink of an eye

will one find the answers

to the who, what and why?

~~~

In the course of one’s lifetime

what will one sing?

will one sing a love song?

what gifts will one bring?

~~~

In the course of one’s lifetime

what crafts will one master?

what gods will one serve…

in the mists of disaster?

~~~

In the course of one’s lifetime

What will one fulfill

Will one’s cup flow over

what bridges will one build?

~~~

In the course of one’s lifetime

What heights will one climb?

How far  will one fall?

In the depths of sublime?

~~~

In the course of a lifetime

what will one foresee

when one takes his last breath…

what will one’s thoughts be?

~CordieB.

———————————————————————-

Opening lines from Gregory David Robert’s Shantaram:

“It took me a long time and most of the world to learn what I know about love and fate and the choices we make, but the heart of it came to me in an instant, while I was chained to a wall and being tortured. I realized, somehow, through the screaming in my mind, that even in that shackled, bloody helplessness, I was still free: free to hate the men who were torturing me, or to forgive them. It doesn’t sound like much, I know. But in the flinch and bite of the chain, when its all you have got, that freedom is a universe of possibility. And the choice you make, between hating and forgiving,can become the story of your life.”

Quote for the Day:  You can be so heavenly bound until you are no earthly good – Dr. Oscar Lane

“In the Course of One’s Life Time ” inspired by  Simply Snicker’s Poetry Prompt.  This weeks words were, climb, course, and craft.  Let us keep Linda and the Midwest, USA, in our prayers, as she and her community have endured natural disasters due to flooding this week.

Troy Anthony Davis – Remember Him…?

Troy Anthony Davis
Troy Anthony Davis!
Remember Troy Anthony Davis. . . ?  I wrote a post on him some time ago.  Well. . . we must remain vigilent in our endeavors.   I truely believe in Troy’s innocence.  And the facts speak for themselves, he was not afforded a fair trial.  When there is any doubt, I believe the weight of favor should be given to preserve life at any cost!    Please read the letter below, written by Sue Gunawardena-Vaughn, Director, Death Penalty Abolition Campaign,  Amnesty International USA.  Take time out to watch the video and send a letter to the Governor of Georgia.  Our voices may save Troy’s life.
Dear Dean,
The state of Georgia seems determined to kill Troy Davis. But your thousands of calls, faxes and emails have sent a powerful message that such an injustice is totally unacceptable. Georgia officials need to keep hearing your voice: Ask Governor Perdue to stop the execution of Troy Davis.
You’ve heard the facts already:

  • 7 of the 9 witnesses have recanted their testimonies
  • No murder weapon nor any physical evidence has been found to link Troy to the crime
  • One of the remaining two witnesses has even been implicated as the real killer

A new animated video, featuring original music by State Radio, illustrates the injustice of Troy Davis’ case. Video produced by Citizen.

Despite this mounting evidence in favor of Troy’s freedom, he continues to wait on death row.

Watch and share the story of Troy Davis by forwarding this new video to friends, family and supporters of human rights.

We are anxiously awaiting the court’s response to the latest round of arguments in Troy’s case that could be handed down at any moment. So the fate of Troy Davis is still very much in limbo. We need you to continue rallying support by spreading this video of Troy’s story any way that you can.

Each time you forward this video to a new person, you help build a stronger case for Troy and help tip the scale in favor of justice.

In Solidarity,

Sue Gunawardena-Vaughn
Director, Death Penalty Abolition Campaign
Amnesty International USA

————-

Sweet Revenge Turned to Eternal Regret

To the dismal chambers I watched him walk
His breath so shallow; he could not talk
I gazed into his coal, cold black eyes
He’d finally face well deserving demise . . .
For killing the man I loved so much . . .
..the wife I can no longer see, no longer touch
…the child who brought all my earthly joy banished
Due to an evil man; soon rightfully before my eyes vanquished
I felt my blood flow warmly through my veins with sweet revenge
Closure! My love one’s death finally avenged . . .
. . . . . . .
Two years have passed since the revenged death ejection
Of the man convicted solely on witness recollection
Seems evidence proves the man who walked the mile
Was not the man who stole my joy; my love, my smile
With hatred, I watched an innocent man die in vain
Funny, his death never brought closure or eased my pain
I still recall that young man’s mother’s scream
Agony in heartbroken eyes, such as I’d never seen
The pain of unjust reality literally took her breath
When her innocent son was sentenced to death
Her agony leaves me feeling numb, emotionally wrecked
Sweet revenge has turned into eternal regret

~By CordieB

 

 

The Grief Process

This was very hard to write for me; as there is no greater loss that I can imagine than that of the loss of a child. Yet it happens; more often than we want to admit . . .So often people guilty because they are told they must move on . . . yet healing requires grief and time. Those who intend to bring comfort must understand these cycles too. So I write this for anyone who may be going through such despair. . . and I pray that you find joy one sweet day. . .

 
There are five stages of grief; and most people experience grief in the order stated below. . .

Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance

Grief’s Cycle …By CordieB

I don’t believe what’s happening;

Surely this can not be real

I’ll awaken from this nightmare soon

I’ll see, I’ll touch, I’ll feel . . .

your loving eyes; your tender heart

You..are still here! No!

We are not apart!

Oh God why did you take my love….

Such a loving soul was he

If you were such a loving God

Why allow such tragedy?

This world is filled with such despair

What does it mean, who really cares?

There are no answers to eternity

If only you would just take me…

instead; I’d rather be the one –

Please take me God, release my son…

Just leave me be. . . let me be free

Into my solo destiny

Alone ..through misty haze I see – and want to be

No desire to communicate –

I’ve lost my will; such is my fate…

Why is it that he had to die?

I plead, I beg, I must know why…

My heart’s so cold; ice cycled blood I cry . . .

Such agony; I hate- despise…

I can not pray . . my heart still cries

I can’t imagine going on . . .

without my loving, caring son . . .

Time passes by; seems like a distant dream

I cry sometimes….

yes, with time …the sadness weans

and with each day as life goes on…

Your love; it helps me carry on

I miss you still, so much – yet I fear

I’ll lose your vision through the years. . .

Yet memories remain so rich and clear

I feel your love down in my soul

Memories bring me comfort; love keeps me whole

My God holds me each day, each hour

So wondrous is God’s healing power

I don’t have answers to this life . . .

Yet live I must, through peace or strife

as death’s essential to all life

And though I do not understand

I see a glimpse of life again

And I feel so blessed to be the one…

you chose to be your mother, Son.

~Written for Valeria Harrison, Mother of Jamal, for which I wrote an article recently, entitled Lessons from the Hood – Perhaps you can find it; I’m tired ."   Valeria read that post . . . and commented. . . .let us keep her in our prayers and pray that men will lay their weapons down!

Lessons from the Hood – Perhaps you can find it; I’m tired

Jamal

Jamal - RIP

It’s 5:15 in the morning and I’m turning over in a blissful dream; for which I forgot the second I was awakened by the evil one – the telephone.  It’s my daughter, Michelle, she calls me for the most trivial things. . . so I’m not really alarmed by the fact that it’s 5 in the morning . . . just slightly agitated.  I immediately notice, however, the urgency in her voice  . . . I sat up, realizing this is not another trivial call to ask is 100 a high temperature for her 1 year-old.

"Tu-Tu’s been shot," she’s crying in the phone.  "Aunt Sandra and Tan need a ride to the hospital."

I rub my eyes, trying desperately to get my self together.  A thousand memories come into my mind . . . like when my sister informed me that my other nephew, her son, was found dead near the house.  I was at work then. . . I remember the horror of the reality. . . I’m trying to focus back on what my daughter is muffling on the phone through her tears and sobbing. . .

"What do you mean, Tu-Tu’s been shot.  Where is he. . . what hospital?"

"He was found by a lady last night lying in the street.  The police came by Aunt Sandra’s house this morning to let her know that he’d been shot twice in the stomach.  No one knows his condition."

I’m trying to keep my composure.  I’m so sick of bad news; so sick of crying, grieving for my young.  After a bit of conversation, which I can no longer remember, I hang up to call my sister.

Tu-Tu is her Grandson.  She loves him, as she loves all of her children and grandchildren, but the worry we have for our young men is such . . . indescribable.

His other grandmother, Ms. Peggy, answers the telephone.  She informs me that Sandra has already left to go to the emergency room.  She’s in tears, crying. . . "why would someone want to shoot my baby . . . why they wanna hurt my baby . . .  "

I look up and realize it’s on the news.  A 15 year old boy was found around 11:15 last night shot, apparently twice in the stomach.  The victim remains in critical condition . . . anyone with information . . . please contact the police. . .

I’m feeling really scared now.  I feel so helpless.  I wonder how long he had lay there before he was found.  I say a prayer that God mend his wounds. . . heal his tissues –  bring them back together – please God – let him survive!  As I pray frantically in my mind for a miracle, others are praying too.

As I arrive at the hospital, I see my sister and my niece, Tu-Tu’s mother, Steph, sitting outside – with the look of somberness I’m become far too accustomed to seeing.  My heart drops . . . I’m trying hard to hold my weight up.  I’m strong . . . I can do this.

My niece is the first to speak.  She and I are the same age – actually she’s a year older than I.  We are like sisters.  We never had to experience the experiences our children face when we were growing up.  We had such good times in our youth.  It’s so sad that our children can’t have the fun we had. . .

"He’s in recovery.  They performed surgery.  He’s recovering from the surgery.  The doctor’s say that he’s a lucky young man. . . the bullet took a part of his liver off and the other bullet is still inside of him – it can’t be removed.  They say he can expect a full recovery, almost.  He’ll be able to function pretty normally.  No need for bags or anything like that. If either bullet would have been a fraction of an inch higher or lower, it would be a whole other picture."

I feel relieved.  "God still hears our prayers," I say to myself.  "Thank you God," . . I say out loud.  I visit my nephew for a short time.  He’s pretty doped up with morphine, but he acknowledges my presence. He tells me he loves me and to go home and rest.  He’s so brave.   I break down and cry when I look at his frailty.  He looks younger than 15 in the hospital clothes and bed.  I am reminded again how much danger our young men face each day in this neighborhood. . . city.  I cry, I sob at the miracle of survival and at the sadness of the existence we face each day.

In the aftermath . . we don’t know why Tu-Tu was shot.  It’s a suspected robbery; but he had nothing of value, other than a metal dog chain – which was snatched from around his neck.  He was riding a bike.  It was stolen too.

Now here is the kicker . . . the part that I don’t understand.  Tu-Tu knows the assailant.  Although he doesn’t know the motive, he knows who is responsible for leaving him for dead.   Yet, he refuses to identify the assailant to the police.  "That’s snitching," he tries to convince me, his mother, his grandmother, his sister and all of us who feel it is imperative that he identify this boy who shot him; leaving him for dead.

He becomes angry when we report the suspect to the police ourselves.  He believes that there will be retaliation against his family or something.  But what can you do.  Do you sit like a pawn awaiting the day when he may try again . . . do you fear to that degree what the street will label you if you let the police know who tried to kill you?  Are we putting Tu-Tu’s life in danger by reporting it ourselves; thus having the "street" labeling him as a "snitch."

The police are no help without Tu-Tu’s testimony.  All we say, they consider "hear say."  They can’t pick up this young man and take him off the street because his victim refuses to finger him.  Although many people, like his mother, sister, grandmother, and myself are not afraid of the punk or the consequences, Tu-Tu is sticking to the rule of the street – No snitching under any circumstances.  To do so will bring danger upon those you love.  We realize that this person is dangerous; and he will kill eventually.  But we are left with our hands in the air.  Our words hold no value to the law.  We are not eye-witnesses.  The police do not take our words at face value.  And yes, I know the law is meant to protect the innocent from false testimony – I have no answers.

Tu-Tu and his mother go to court.  No questions are asked of Tu-Tu; only of his mother.   She’s informed, matter-of-factly, that she can only answer the questions by saying yes or no.  Questions like:  Is Tu-Tu left unsupervised while you work?  Yes.   Has any of Tu-Tu’s friends been killed this past year.  Yes.   Is he part of a gang.  No.  It seems they are victimizing the victim even more.  A committee will decide what the next action will be.   Tu-Tu’s mother is informed that if anything happens to the suspect, Tu-Tu will be arrested.  So far, we have heard nothing more on the findings of the committee.  Inquiries only give us the run-around.

A month has passed and Tu-Tu goes back to school only to see, guess who, sitting in the front of the class.  The boy makes the gun gesture with his hands and point the gesture to his head and at Tu-Tu.  A fight ensues.  The boy’s uncle comes to the school and asks the police to please take him off his hands.  His parents are no where to be found. . . he has been nothing but trouble.  The police inform the boy’s uncle that the boy is a juvenile.  That they can’t lock him up for hear say.  They ask, what would we charge him with? The uncle says, I know he is a killer.  I can’t prove it by eye-sight; but I know.  The police say their hands are tied.  It is not enough.  The need an eye witness.  The only eye-witnesses refuse to testify or are dead already.

The police pick up the boy and some friends in Tu-Tu’s neighborhood on the same day.  Word on the street is they were looking for Tu-Tu.  They were found with a gun in the car.  The juvenile is again released – as the gun could not be proven to belong to anyone in particular.

So . . . I ask you . . . what is the lesson.  I’m too tired to figure it out.   Perhaps I should send this to the local news paper. . . because no one seems to care about young black men killing each other . . . as long it stays in the hood.   Would not the police and court response have been different if this had been in an affluent neighborhood?  Why are these two still in the same school.  Are not our kids suppose to be protected in school?  I just don’t know what to think. . .

It’s been two months since Tu-Tu was shot.  Each time I hear gun shots I’m reminded of the incident and call to assure he’s in the house.  I’m afraid to let my own son, who is also 15 out of my site.  Although he and Tu-Tu hang out, Tu-Tu won’t even allow Sam to walk with him to the corner store any more.  Sam often walks anyway.  Homecoming game is out of the question.  It’s scary.  It’s sad.

It’s yet another beautiful, yet deadly day in the hood.  Another young man was shot last night.  My daughter called me around 10 last night to let me know Jamal was shot.   This morning around 5:15, she called to confirm he didn’t make it.   This morning we mourn the loss; reflect upon the life.  Jamal was 19, married young.  He was trying to do the family thing.  There is always envy in the hood when one tries to do the right thing.   We do not know who did it.   .   .     We will most likely find out on the street today who it is.  It won’t make a difference though…

Written by CordieB.  I wish it were fiction; but it’s true.

The latest news article on Jamal is here

The Tables Turn, Turn, Turn

It’s not been the most pleasant of weeks.  Along with having a bad cold, I’m sadded that another young person was violently killed this weekend in Richmond.  . . . G’s cousin . . . beautiful person, Erica, only 21.  Although I’ve never met her, her smile and tributes from friends and love ones speak volumes of her soul.  The insanity of the violence among our youth is depressing to say the least. 

But today I simply want to share wise words from the Bible in memory of Erica . . . and all the young people who have lost their lives far too quickly in my human eyes. . . I also must remember . . .

To everything there is a season, and
a time to every purpose under the heavens:

A time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck
up that which is planted;

A time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a
time to build up;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones, and a
time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to
refrain from embracing;

A time to get, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

A time to rend, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence,
and a time to speak;

A time to love, and a time to hate;
a time of war, and a time of peace.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens. . .

Ecclesiastes 3:1

I ask, when will the time come for Peace!  Do we simply wait for the tables to turn or do we do something to promote it?   I feel that we must shift the paradigm of war and violence; it is time we started making positive steps to ensuring peace in our homes, our neighborhoods, our communities, our world!   It all begins in the homes. . . we can control that little bit of our universe, don’t you think?  It will grow if enough seeds are planted.  Do the tables simply turn without our interference in any manner?  Will it all balance itself out in time?   Do we not have to sow in order to harvest?  Is not what we sow not what is harvested?  Continue being indifferent if we must, but one day our peace might be shattered . . .    Therefore, I must do something. . . .

Peace, Light and Love, CordieB.

In Memory of Ms. Deborah Jeane Palfrey (March 18, 1956 – May 1, 2008)

I know very little of Ms. Deborah Jeane Palfrey, other than what I have seen on the news.  However, as a woman, I feel a kindred  spirit with her.  Therefore, I dedicate the following three songs to her and to all woman who are “going through something” today or any day.  I invite you to take a moment of silence and listen to the first song – Little Girls. 

“I don’t know the ins and outs of this case any better than you do, frankly, but I can only imagine that Deborah Jeane Palfrey felt very much alone. That’s the part that gets to me. The government against her. The media shoving cameras in her face. All those men who once courted her services desperately scuttling away. She did, of course, have her mother. As reported in the San Francisco Chronicle last year, “‘All I can say is I love her dearly and everything is going to work out OK,’ said Palfrey’s mother, Blanche Palfrey, who, reached at her home in Florida, complained about the stress the whole thing has placed on her already bad heart. ‘I’ll put my trust in God.'” — Sarah Hepola

Remember, whatever is going on in life, it will BE alright.  We as woman need to stop judging each other and start being there for each other.  There is nothing so comforting sometimes than the unconditional love from one of your girl friends or even from a woman who is a stranger.  A peaceful and reassuring reminder to someone’s whose spirit seems lost that everything will be alright is so easy to give, yet we as humans often miss the opportunity.  Because, when all is said is done; it will be alright if we live through it. And, sometimes that gentle reminder is what keeps us going.  Unfortunately, Ms. Palfrey either chose to move on to another realm or someone made the choice for her.  I simply pray that she has found peace in heart heart ; light in her travels, and love in her spirit.  I also pray that God will send an extra dose of comfort to Palfrey’s dear mother.   I wish the same for all of you – from the bottom of my heart.

Peace, Light and Love, CordieB.

Little Girls – Patti Labelle . . . Little Girls sleep at night, safe inside our dreams, is it a scheme? we think we grow up into queens. . .

 

Almaz – Randy Crawford – “Almaz, pure an simple born in a world where love survives . . . so young and tender, but will life bend her?  I look around she’s every where. ”

 

Street Life – Randy Crawford – “Street life, there’s a million parts to play; Street life, until you play your life away;  . . . .Street life, but you better not get old; Street life, or you’re gonna feel the cold.”