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  • Writer's pictureChris Siders

United in Grief, Mr Morale & The Big Steppers

Not entirely sure where my mind is at.

I just know I’m exhausted. I want to spend days crying my eyes out.

Thinking about a recent podcast interview the host told me:

“Goodness. That’s a lot of deaths going on at one time. How are you grieving all this? I know when I grieve I just do self-destructive things, and not being aware of it.”

With the recent shootings, I decided to reach out to my old friends that I cut out of my life. The conversations were healing yet challenging. The disappointment and grief expressed by old loved ones is a tough one to swallow despite how I feel I have been wrong in the situation. Everyone is in pain. Focusing on my journey in life, trying to live while grieving is like being present in purgatory. Kinda feels like I’m not going anywhere.

As I’m sitting here with 6 friends at this table eating ramen I have the biggest urge to throw my phone and lose my shit. My body is shaking. Intrusive thoughts are coming more often.

Maybe it's all the changes coming about. I now got a music manager, locking down an entertainment lawyer and an assistant. At palms up academy last Wednesday night, Arianna Basco during the B-Sides segment gave a challenge to artists in the space to freestyle a poem in support of my call for manifesting abundance in life. I broke down. As I stated in a previous blog, my advancement in my career has pulled me away from loved ones.

Nowadays I find myself, doing things I don’t normally do to ease myself.

The shootings at Monterey Park and in Torrance close to my side of town hits really close to home. It reminds me of a tarot reading I gotten a year or two ago. In this reading I was told that someone I know or really close to is going to get caught up in an active shooter situation.

Despite how I feel about others I must show up. The feeling of being alone in situations is something I experienced too much of and I don’t want others to feel.

It’s pretty fucked up, speaking for myself, that it takes life or death situations to get my ass up and let someone know I’m present. A bullet makes the world pause. Death causes the world to wither further.

I read a post recently that another word for love is grief. I find it interesting that love holds the potential to separate, while grief brings people together. Tragedies. Seems like affection & compassion is a foreign language only to be presented out of pain. I reached out to people I vowed to myself I’ll never speak to again. That’s where I found myself texting old friends repairing things. People I dated. The want for my world to be okay. It's seems so out of reach and a deferred dream.

My obsessiveness for everything to be okay comes from a place of control. A place of guilt. Ideas I’m not doing enough.

There’s an spoken word OG, Ak Toney, who written a powerful poem called “the killing of a klansman.” He ended the piece saying, “a poem is not going to change the world.”

I had it in my head as a college kid, that I can change the world with my writings, and music. I wrote relentlessly. Everyday with the goal of changing and challenging my community. I question now if I caused more problems. I lived through poems more than conversations and dialogue. That’s a problem. “What is the point of addressing the problem with no solution” as my OG told me. At that point it’s like what the fuck you doing?

When everything is okay, I gotta make it a better point to check in. I’ve gotten so many messages from people this past week, and I constantly time and time forget to check in getting caught up in my bullshit.

I think I often underestimate my placement in peoples lives. There’s the thought of “I don’t matter, so I’m going to act like I hold no value.”

For example, those old friends that was deeply hurt when I cut them off. To point of baring deep resentment. My feelings of thinking I never mattered made it easy for me to let go unfortunately. Reaching out after the death of one their fathers, I expressed a ton of different discoveries including my deep seeded trust issues and not updating my toolbox being stuck in survival mode for a decade. I had to put my feelings aside to be of support, because I wanted show up still. Despite everything going on, how we made feel about each other I have to show up.

Sadly, that same thing repeated itself. In other relationships.

These are my brothers at the end of the day. Literally since 7th grade. Throughout high school. Through college. Through majority of adulthood. That’s history that can’t be replaced or thrown away.

History is energy. Energy can’t be destroyed.

Circa 2017

In conversation, we said the things that we learned as kids acquiring the street smarts don’t translate in the vast world around us. It's messed up. Young black men. Men of color get caught in a trap where there’s a lack of resources to pull and add to our toolbox. A majority of us just have play everything critically and learn as we move.

We came up in a school environment where the neighborhood bank got robbed damn near every two weeks. Dead bodies found in cars. Drug shakedowns and investigations. We aren’t presented with opportunities to get uncomfortable and grow from it. One false move can be fatal. No room for error. Error is the death sentence.

Maybe that’s why I’m so harsh on myself? Maybe thats why I’m over-protective of my being?

All this is part of ego. Again, the thing I was trying to kill at breaking sound. A friend of mine, told me you can’t kill ego. Only integrate it. Just like my old issues of feeling like a monster.

Upon reflection I question if after a year and a half of not speaking, if I have grown much. Its terrifying to think I haven’t.

Because its begs the question:

What am I doing? If these poems can’t change the world, it can’t change self.

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