Keep unafraid.

We walk like lions, unafraid.

Stroll like kings and queens through sunrise, unending.

Someone of us have histories, unknown.

Some stories by moonlight, untold.

Some of us sing songs, unrecorded.

Some dance around masquerades, unrecognized.

Some of us carry weights, unbearable.

Some march for rights, unequal.

Some of us remember names, unnamed.

Some sound horns for them, unbroken.

We gather now together, for paths unfinished. Telling stories still unreal.

Of people, and places still unsung, still unseen.

Of how they strolled like lions, free and unforgettable.

This one is in honor of Ernie Barnes painting which just sold this week at Christie’s auction for $15.3 million dollars, money I wish he saw in his lifetime. Still I’m inspired by this story as it reminds me of why what you do today matters. It’s for the legacy you are leaving behind for tomorrow. So again, do what makes you smile. Words, art, do it unafraid. Do it whether unknown, unseen or uncelebrated. History will celebrate you one day. History will tell your story if you don’t story your story today. I keep all this things because I want to get ahead of the story it will tell. I want to tell it my way. That I lived like the woman in the red strapless dress in Ernie Barnes painting. I lived and danced to the rhythms of my life, unafraid, undeterred, heck even unknown. But I lived my way, unfettered, unforgettable, with every single thing I choose to keep.

I keep wondering too why this painting would evoke this more today.

Maybe it was the dancing. Every Friday and Saturday evening. A girl in dark red strapless dress, gyrating her body to good times. A man in blue pants, moving as if filled with the Holy Ghost. I imagine these were good times at the sugar shack. Big daddy Rucker playing music as if the world is coming to an end. A woman in a blue dress and red shoes swings her hips to all the blues she feels. This dancehall isn’t a dream. I remember once stepping in a club like this in Philly, surrounded by black and brown lives dancing to music that moves your soul. I know this feeling of joy. Spirit-filled moments like this are rare. I’m glad it’s frozen forever even if for a moment at the sugar shack. I am glad I am freezing it for myself too, even if through words I keep, unafraid.

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