Stopping Time in Harlem

I'm in the habit of stopping time. It is an ability I have developed while writing. I go back throughout history,  I take off my shoes, sip the coffee, see textures on pedals and become present of temperature.  I will go back in time to yesterday. I had a very unusual experience crossing the most complex balance of smells between the vague essence of life ending and new ones birthing. Flooding of of past conversations mixed with new and powerful images was simply intriguing and uplifting. I went to my Aunt in Laws, Vivian Leonard's "Home Going" at Refuge Temple 125th st,. Harlem NY. Home Going......says a lot. I learned how to see life respectfully. They taught me how yesterday... and for this I'm so grateful. I witnessed a celebration really, a part of history, a moment starting in the 1930's, single Mom, three kids, apartment on 124th st. and Lenox Ave. Harlem USA. No other place in the world can duplicate this moment in time. I can only imagine what it must of been like....I think of Jazz....the Stylistics..blistering hot summers.. and lots of Pizza and Chinese takeout. But there were other stories of her and my mother in law and ten other children growing up with a "stringent father and sickly mother." Made me wonder how does our environment truly effect our ability to give. Well as the look of it she gave enough. Her children...all college grads (wow)(wow)and her grandchildren.. exceptionally eloquent ...really very special. She gave enough. Those are the gauges we have, in the end, I have learned. Two hundred year old enormous church...300 voices singing, echoing in the swelling bellies of the internal hall. Baptisms and  baking bread in the basement, stain glass pillars reaching the heavens for sure, flower sculptures, as I see it, on top of the elder women's heads. All white, lace, tooling, feathers, embroidery, drapes, sequin's, pearls and other shiny every imaginable shape. Oh and the gloves. I just love those gloves.....historical and in no other place in the world. Then there were the men, all in black suits..... looking tired and wise and very very distinguished no matter their failing posture. I could see their lives in the expression they held so gracefully. What a moment to witness. Almost 90 years of a specific history passing in front of me. What a gift it was......I gained more perspective. When this generation dies we will not see this any longer.....gone....respect.
 I look a bit like an outsider but I feel I fit in somehow.. just fine. My son shares her blood and I became increasingly proud of that. There is one job that she did that may have gone un-noticed. And that is somewhat the point. Many of the younger people related to her were in inter-racial relationships. This is not that normal...(depends on where you live) but this had to do with her and her parents and so forth.....I suppose. Us partners are Dominican, Puerto Rican, German and Norwegian.(simply put that is). So In my opinion this is a vary valuable job she has instilled probably unintentionally or maybe not.  The births then of the grandchildren and the great grandchildren will change the way we see color....we are less likely to hate "ourselves". This is what will in fact change the world. It will take time child at a time. She did her part. I didn't see it before.....she full filled her mission....well done Aunt Mitsi.....well done.


If it is out of control where is it?

I took my sunglasses off
still objects vibrated
I saw nameless colors
the cement was squishy
I knew a new adventure had begun.