Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Ivy

"After I had been living there for a month I came to view its inaccessibility as some sort of corporate scheme concocted to discourage perspective residents from lower income level (i.e. those people who relied solely on public transit) from moving there.  Anyway, The Ivy, like all my other havens before it, became a prison."1

This is where I live.  Different name, same angle, same principle.  You have no reason to be there unless you live here, or visiting.  Children can play without fear in the street.  We always drive less than 25 miles per hour.  Running across the street, not looking left or right, I guess the premise is "kids will be kids."

You never hear a horn, it's as if they all have been disengaged.  You never hear a car door slam, you don't have to.  We are get in our cars from our garage, get out of our cars in the garage.

A very pretentious area, with tailored lawns, joggers run as early as 4:30 am, you can it's that safe.  In the evening strollers are pushed by mother and father as if in admiration for the area they live. The man thing done on Saturday...the hum of lawn mowers throughout the community.  Scattered throughout the community are the token or symbolic blacks who have arrived, to afford to live in this economical area.  Great school system which is why we live here.  But you can never let go of the corporate scheme of discouragement. Or is it just the great American dream and I see too much in it.  Nah, it's a prison.

pg. 55 Willow Weep For Me, Mary Nana-Ama Anquah, At One World Book, Published by The Ballentine Publishing Groups, Copyright @1998 by May Nana-Ama Anquah

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Tribute to Linda Jones

Spent the morning sitting on the front porch listening to my MP player thought of music that had a major effect on my life - emotionally.  Music when your young and in love. This of course would be many, but the ones that had an influence, played over and over....and it would be Linda Jones.

Linda Jones, soul singer and I mean soul.  Words to her songs were words you could feel, but not speak.

Linda was born December 14, 1944 in Newark, New Jersey.  Signed with Warner Brothers subsidiary Lorna Records in 1967 she released one of her best singles "Hypnotized."  In the top ten songs on Cheri's list, in Cheri's life this would be in top three.  Why....take the time and listen to it.  Hormones racing, cute boy, looking at him and oohing.  And strangely if given the chance you would be that song...."I'll do whatever you say, command me and I'll obey..." 

"What Have I Done (To Make You Mad)" released in 1967 when Linda says "she's been true," and "I gotta know, wanna know, just have to know now, baby."  You don't have to be a woman to question this, it happens in any relationship.  She's stunned, he's stunned and you don't have the answer. "What and the hell did I do?"

"I'll Be Sweeter Tomorrow" Why....simply because "I know you love me, the way I am."  If you can find someone who loves you the way you are....why wouldn't you want to do more, be sweeter than you were yesterday.  Released in 1970, this was my ultimate goal.....find someone to love me the way I am....dysfunctions and all.

Another song of hers that resonates within in me is "That's When I'll Stop Loving You" released in 1970.  Linda gives us many equations of when "I'll stop loving you." Birds no longer fly, raindrops no longer fall from the sky, one and one are no longer two, the rays of the sun  no longer give us heat.  Lastly, "when this old heart, refuses to beat."  Now that's love.  Whew!

"Not On The Outside" released in 1972.  Why....because "you think my heart is made of stone, when your near me there's no reaction, your wrong."  It's Linda speaking, talking about the quarrel.....no feelings in the prelude of the song.  "When you smile at me and I don't speak, it's not that I don't care, Lord I'm so weak."  It's my life now.  I never stopped loving him.

Her last song released in 1972 was "Your Precious Love."  It's a song we have heard many renditions, but Linda sings with passion, strength especially when she says "darling, don't you know, that I love you too much,.  Now that's too much...to me....Can't happen, won't happen.!  This does not make me dysfunctional...that I just am.

Sadly, Linda died March 14, 1972 due to a diabetic coma, sadly at age 28. 

Don't take my word for it...Listen to her, and believe me you will remember the time when you were once "Hypnotized."  Who he was or she was, only you'll know, but you will smile in remembrance.