By Gloria Dulan-Wilson
I know you in the blogosphere have been wondering why I've been so silent lately. Why I haven't risen to the bait of so many outlandish, and just plain insipid issues and articles that have been proliferating as of late. And the reason is simple: I was allowing myself an official period of mourning and regrouping. During the month of June I attended six (6) SIX!!! funerals - three of them peers, three were elders - all of them had lived wonderful, full, meaningful, impactful lives.
You know, when you lose your peers, it's a gut wrenching feeling - and I didn't really realize how much pain I was in until someone asked me to write about my feelings for my brother/friend/classmate Gil Scott-Heron. And that's when I really began to kind of disintegrate. Yes, I did some side writing in response to some of the inanities that came across my computer screen. But I had not gotten back to full bloggability. So most of my comments were circulated among friends and associates.
I had to take a moment to just grieve and breathe and thank each of my departed friends and relatives for being such an integral part of my life. I always wanted to beautiful like my Aunt Mary (Los Angeles, CA); a dynamic, charismatic woman like "Aunt" Clara Luper (Oklahoma City, OK); and a diva at any age like Clarice Taylor (New York, NY), who was such a sweetheart and an inspiration - each taught me how to keep on keeping on regardless of the circumstances. These were the elders. They were and are still around me in spirit. Still working on what they've taught me. How am I doing?
But the sadness is that my three friends, Gil Scott-Heron (poet, artist, activist), Rev. Frederick "Rocky" Bryant (minister), and Jackson Burnside (architect in Grand Bahamas, nephew of Sir Sidney Portier), were all males, all peers, all Lincoln University classmates, all so essential, and all so gone too soon to my mind. These were my brother/friends, who I felt, were just hitting their pace in life; who were really making their indelible marks on the world - and who are now gone. Sure, they have left a legacy - but, truth be told, I'd much rather have the flesh and blood personage here than just a memory.
While the three aforementioned ladies were 89, 88 and 93 respectively, these three brothers were just barely in their sixties. It gives rise to the statements of women outliving men. But in truth, I don't want to give credence to that. I don't want us to continue being a self-fulfilling prophesy. It's that kind of programming that has gotten us into the mess we're in now.
No, I don't want to die sooner; but I do want my Black men to live longer. I want to have the pleasure of knowing that there are still plenty of fine Black men on the planet when I hit 90 (and I do plan to hit 90+, and I plan to look good too).
So, whatever the heck you guys are doing to check out of the planet decades before your time -STOP IT!!! And whatever you are not doing to make sure you live long healthy virile lives - START IT!!! There is no way that our parents should be outliving us.
Who was it that said, on their 80th birthday: "If I had known that I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself"???
Someone else said: "It is better to be seen than viewed?"
Well I want to SEE all you guys (and us ladies) healthy, energetic, happy, rich, and active - no tubes emanating from or into various nether regions. We have to be as vehement about our health and longevity as we are about political and economic issues. Longevity should be as much a part of our program as our one-upmanship. We gotta get this right - we only really get one chance - and it's our lives we're talking about.
FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO NEED SPECIFICS, THIS IS WHAT I'M SAYING: Stop eating pork, lower your salt intake, cut down on the beers, and liquor (I did not say eliminate, just moderate) walk more & dance a whole lot more!! Take your Vitamin E - 1000 Units/daily; B Complex at least 50 units/daily; Vitamin C - 500 Units/daily; DHEA - 200 Units/daily; HGH - precursors - 500 units; Calcium 1200 units/400 units D; Ginkgo Biloba 250 Units; Ginseng - 250+ Units. Eat fresh stuff; stop over cooking the greens, green beans, they are supposed to be bright green, not army green; stay away from Mickey D's, Booger King; and all those other fast food joints. Eat stir fry brown rice with vegetables - not pork; no spare ribs (pork); try baby back ribs (beef); pull the skin off the chicken before you fry it; and eat plenty of fish and seafood - if you're not allergic. Also, when you do have to go to a doctor, ask them specifically about the SIDE EFFECTS of the medication they are giving you - nine out of ten times they have no clue. Go on line and look it up STAY AWAY FROM WEB MD - they are paid to push the pharmaceuticals, you will never get an honest answer. (In the subject line, always ask for the "Natural cures and alternative remedies for the particular ailment - they have a wealth of information your doctor will never tell you - unless he is a wholistic medical practitioner).
Notice, I did not say become a vegetarian - you and I need our protein - and vegetables don't have the right quality proteins for human brains. And, my great grand mother-in-law, Evadne Brathwaite - who lived to 104- always took 2 ounces of Apple Cider Vinegar in either her orange juice or on her salad twice a day - the woman could hear what you were saying at 1,000 paces.) She got up and danced for her 100th birthday, while women half her age were hobbling around talking about their ailments and pains!!
We are in an age of modern technology and science. We are in an age of computers and information. We are no longer limited by some local quack who thinks it's okay to amputate your leg because you have diabetes (hyperbaric oxygen chambers can cure gangreen and burns; can heal kidneys and other ailments). If you have a doctor who dopes you up on all kinds of medication because you have high blood pressure and the pharmaceutical industry is paying them to use you as their private guinea pig, start doing your homework and find what your alternatives are. They're making money on your misery.
We are also in an age when we are supposed to be able to tune into our own inner clues, and not ignore them because we think they will go away, or because we're frightened. You are not too old to learn or adapt to new concepts. We are the smartest, brightest, and the best - but no one will know it if you end up in a box before you hit that mark.
If your doctors are not using either platelet rich plasma (PRP), or stem cells to cure basic illnesses here in the US, take a jet and go to Germany, England, Japan, Singapore - or any one of the other countries who are really healing people (more info about this in another blog).
If know more about Jay-Z and Rihanna than you know about real food and nutrition, then you're wasting your mind and your time. If you think that the green revolution was started by whites, you need to visit your grand and great grandparents who have been using Aloes, herbs, spices, and cocoanuts when whites were calling them superstition and substandard.
When I speak of health, I'm not just talking about physical food. I'm also talking about the spiritual food that permeates your mind, your psyche, your subconscious. I personally have nothing against the different religions that proliferate in the U.S. This country was founded on freedom of religion - Christianity, Muslim, Hebrew/Judiasm, Buddhism, etc. But there is a difference between being "religious" and spirituality. I've come across more than my share of fanatics (as I'm sure you have as well). As far as I'm concerned there is ONLY ONE GOD - and we call Him by many names, and have many approaches to worshiping Him; so no one has the right to condemn another's choice.
However, if you think you are spiritual because you go to a church every Sunday, but by Monday you've called at least 10 people everything but a Child of God; and you've "laid down your religion" more times than you've actually walked with it - then you are actually more negative than you realize; and are fooling yourself about the corrosive effects it's having on your insides. If you use religion as a weapon, a guilt trip, to brow beat people; to hoodwink them into submission, there are some karmic laws headed towards you - big time! If you think you can get by without a Supreme Being, try holding your breath for 15 minutes; or try not thinking for 10 minutes - Hah!!
Even with all we as writers deal with, in terms of the political corruption, pervasive racism, the "black" on "black" crime issues (notice I put "black" in lowercase "b" - because it should really start with an "n" and end with and "r" - but that's not politically correct); somewhere in the midst of all this agita, and harping, and scrutiny, take a moment to still yourself and find that Still Small Voice -- and LISTEN & PAY ATTENTION!
St. Elim Church in Brooklyn, has prayer stations set up on the sidewalk throughout the community.They pray with people on the spot if they need help - Free! No Proselytizing! Another church hands out little cards that simply say "STOP SUFFERING" - how profound! Many of us have walked with privation so long we really did not realize we were actually suffering. Some call it depression, others call it stress. In many instances you can see it on the faces of brothers and sisters as they walk through the streets, ride the buses or subways. While we are arguing about political issues -what we are missing is that many of us really are SUFFERING. That's something that no President, Congress, or legislation can handle. That's something we have to deal with right here in our own communal settings.
As a result, I've came to the conclusion that not everything constitutes LIFE AND DEATH. Especially that crap they run in the "mean stream" newspapers, and on the Continuously Negative News (CNN). And in a great many cases, if it isn't life and death (with the exception of Libya, of course), perhaps we still need to point out the flaws we see, but let's also come up with some viable solutions that we can apply by using some sweat equity - SELF HELP - principles that Black people can actually use. Because in pointing fingers of blame, we're giving waaaaaaaaaay too much power to outsiders, when a lot of this is an inside job - our job. Nobody should or could be able to oppress or deprive us without our permission. It really, truly is time for a major Paradigm Shift. One that makes Black Power look like a cake walk.
I want to write that we not only survived, but we SUCCEEDED AND SURPASSED the oppressors, the colonial monsters in Africa and the Caribbean; the slave monsters in the US, the jim crow monsters (stop calling these m/f's "masters" - they were and are monsters); the health demons that keep decimating our populations are primarily generated from them. I want to chronicle how we survived and succeeded and opulently surpassed them by our own strength, might, intelligence, creativity, IMAGINATION, diligence and discipline (it ain't impossible - other nationalities have done it; it's a mind set, you know, followed by action).
I want to be able to say that we - brilliant Black people that we are, solved these problems IN OUR LIFE TIME and lived to bask in the glory and get those accolades.
NOT JUST YES WE CAN, BUT YES WE DID - But we have to be alive and well to do so.
As I started out at the beginning, and in keeping with the title of this Blog: NOBODY GET SICK, NOBODY DIE - it's a New Rule. We have to be about the business of taking care of ourselves and each other - from the US, to Africa, to the Caribbean, to South America - and where ever else we as people predominate (or just live). When I say ECLECTICALLY BLACK, I mean it - the best and brightest we have to offer from our cultures, brought together for our own benefit - We, the First World People (yes, I'm selfish like that).
So, yes I'm back. Yes, I've got a lot to say. And, as a very famous minister once said: "I never let the subject get in the way of what I have to say." (Rev. Ike) So, I'll be trying to put just a little bit of a different spin on my blog, because SELF PRESERVATION IS THE FIRST LAW OF LIFE and I want you and me to be alive, well, abundant, and blessed.
Stay Blessed &
PS: You will notice that other than my friends, not one political figure was mentioned in this entire piece. 'Cause it's really all about us - we have the power, we are the power; we just need to make it work for us. UP YOU MIGHTY RACE...!