A very good imaginary friend of mine recently asked me not to cause her to feel guilty of the past, for things she’s had nothing to do with. I was perturbed, and again for her sake, moved to check my narrative and apologise in a way, for something that I myself knew nothing about. Specific tangible examples are sometimes meaningless when we are talking about feelings, and as Maya Angelou once said, people will forget what you say write and do, but they never forget the way you make them feel – that goes for imaginary friends too, and makes these things as real as they could ever be.
I do not build my persona on any kind of ‘affectedness’ linked to my very-blackness – not for lack of possible reasons, yet I cannot think of any good reason why the woes of this-black-man are any more important than those of the many blue, red, pink, yellow and green men with whom I share the streets. There is no monopoly on pain and I seek not to own any struggles. Instead I attempt to fluidly live and to be the change that I imagine in a changing world – to most the best of my ability.
There are many causes and movements to ride on; from racial equality to gay rights, to feminism reloaded, to green movements, vegan movements, to the anti-everything movements, to the ‘curve-of-your-cross’ movements, to the ‘occupy wherever’ and what have you movements – to name a few. We all need a dark (or a light) reflection of ourselves to fight every now and then but I shall not have any flag forced upon me.
I cherish all my friends real and imaginary, for it is these persons who bear witness to our lives and help to give it meaning, and who through their challenges, demands, questions and silences help us to articulate, create and affirm who we are and who we are not whenever.
The same, this time less imaginary friend of mine also expressed a worry that I might be afraid. Maybe this friend thinks that I have good reason to be afraid, and maybe it’s well founded – but actually I don’t feel afraid, fear being the opposite of love – I have a healthy measure of respect for the many qualities of fear that surround me from time to time.
I thank this real imaginary friend of mine for touching on these things, and openly conversing with these ideas. In so doing she illustrated the importance I sense, – of finding balance between reaching out to defuse different fears simply by being, concerned, and by knowing when to ‘retreat to advance’ by choosing well whose warmth you enjoy – from which group when. And knowing where each group starts and ends, and watching out for the shifting gates of fright, that have the power to break even the strongest hands held tight.
On The Movements – I’ve been known to not entirely be [for] everything about all of them (and thus no flags), because many of their leaders are far less [for] me than they are [for themselves]. And quite frankly, many movements have more use for stupid people than they’d care to admit – stupid people (as I am too sometimes by the way) who fail to recognise that the same old promise of the same old ultimate solution ends in same old totalitarianism of a slightly different shade, – depending of course on the volume and calibre of stupidity and the drug of choice – anywhere, everywhere.
If I were absolutely [for] anything I’d be of the highest order and I’d raise a flag for [equality and education]. No need for special-day-ceremony, sacred rites, initiation, flags or ritual to decide what you spend money on any time, – only reason. Equality and education (the next monopoly) allow people to see through the fluff, and will help us all one day, to appreciate the dynamic situational merit of political voice, the readily accessible power of simple boycott, the folly of dependency and guilt complexes, and the fundamental virtues of self-love, inclusive society and choice.
So all who live live and all who dead dead – and maybe I wake up dead, or feel differently tomorrow. So the question is what now? Not of the past which is a memory, or of the future which is a promise, what to do [for] equality and education today, now, there is only now…