Living Past the Age of Trayvon

“You’re shaking!” … “Why are you breathing hard?” … “Somebody said you had a gun” … “Somebody said there was a robbery!” … “He tried to grab my gun!”

The shooting death of 17 year old 140 lb. Trayvon Martin, 100 pounds lighter than his 28 year-old stalking murderer, who claims “self defense”, has torn open a lot of angry, familiar wounds in people.

No Diet, No Detox…Choose a Healthier Lifestyle in 2012

Crash diets and detoxes as a means to lose weight have little value. Carefully measured detoxes and fasts can be important for cleansing reasons, but sustainable long term weight loss and increased health can be achieved by eating cleaner and greener, and consciously taking steps to inhabit your body and your life more fully as an ‘ecosystem’ itself.

All living things function in a series of interlocking relationships. It’s up to our conscious, willful participation and choices as to whether those relationships are helpful or harmful. Eating less or no meat, substituting with healthy, whole food based vegan substitutes, or at least eating lower on the food chain, drinking green smoothies, eating the bulk of our meals with lots of fresh (preferably organic) vegetables and whole grains, eating fruit by itself, and drinking a lot of water each day, including 16 ounces with the juice of half a raw lemon each morning upon waking, will recalibrate your system. Eat as much raw organic greens as you want.

Green, raw nutrition is the source of all life and boosts your health vitality and weight stabilization like nothing else. Make all kinds of chopped up salads, and experiment with different homemade dressings using extra virgin olive oil, nutritional yeast for a cheese like flavor, apple cider vinegar or lemons, Braggs Amino acids for soy sauce, cayenne, lemon juice, tahini, cashew butter, and any of hundreds of quick combinations that taste great and feed your health.

Eat lots of greens– can’t stress that enough. Every day, we should eat something raw so we get all the powerful living enzymes, antioxidants and nutrients. We don’t need to cook everything to death.

I mention eating organic and choosing to vote with your dollar when we purchase food, because it allows us to be more consciously part of the overall health of the system in which we live.  I spend no more money on food than the average person who buys a lot of processed junk foods and commercially produced. I work with what’s in season and priced well. When I do choose to spend more on clean food, I know I am not spending that money at the doctor or on ‘medicines’.

Get outside! Simply moving that body out in the elements, rain or sun, hot or cold, stimulates and tones your immune system, not to mention digestion, mood, bloodstream and cardiovascular fitness.

The modern food system is sick, greatly pollutes and sickens the Earth, and so often are we. Choosing to get healthy in a deeper, more consciously broad and penetrating approach produces brighter eyes, fresher breath, cleaner organs and bloodstreams, supple body systems, and overall enhanced physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellness, as well as athletic performance. You can have the most exhilarating life by getting healthy and giving back.

Podcast: Interview with Jarid Manos and Earl Fowlkes

New interview with Mandrake Society Internet Radio. A follow up from last year, focusing on GPRC especially and our ecological projects and how they mean for people in this time period we’re living in.


In the first half of the show, I’m speaking withJarid Manos, founder and CEO of Great Plains Restoration Council (GPRC). GPRC has been on the forefront of the ecological health movement and Jarid explains the new opportunities for the group as they celebrate ten years of their work. From his Ft. Worth offices, we also talked about their recently endorsed work of saving the native plants and animal life of Prairie Park. My first conversation with Jarid Manos was about his book, Ghetto Plainsman. Now in it’s second printing, he also talks about the book tour to support this provocative true story.

Madonna Celebration Official Music Video Full HD Global Warming makes me miss the dance

Good dance music..  Great dancing…   Dammit — here it is after midnight on Saturday night, I’ve gotta drive down to Houston in a few hours, I’m up trying to learn as much as I can about the impending (world doom)
melting of Arctic permafrost worldwide, which would more than double the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere, what’s the conversion rate of methane to carbon, and exactly how much is a goddamn gigaton of carbon anyway, and how much carbon could a couple million acres of new prairie restoration offset…  provided we could get the new jobs and work funded…

…And somehow I stumble across the video of Madonna’s new single, Celebration, one of two new tracks on her upcoming Greatest Hits CD.

It just hit me — dammit I miss the dance — just the body and soul disappearance into hours of movement, beats, and rhythm.

Funny to even remember that I was one of the paid dancers at an official release party for Madonna’s Vogue album…  Of course they always had us dance with our shirts off. Raw, tribal, athletic dance.

Back in the early 90s, global warming was still something in the future.

Aaiight– lemme get back to The Struggle…

The Relief of Thunder and Black Women

Texas hot… North Texas hot… Mid-summer Texas prairie heat. Hotter than Houston. Weeks on end of 100+ degree temps… 102, 104, 106 degrees. Barely a cloud in the sky. Cyclical summer drought; searing skies without a drop of rain. At 725 feet, Fort Worth is low enough and central-east enough on the Great Plains to still hold some humidity, which makes all the difference, compared with the higher and drier and seemingly cooler Western Plains.

Read in the paper that it was in the 60’s in places like Detroit and Cleveland this weekend. Right now I cannot imagine 60 degree weather. Here, it’s above 80 when the Sun comes up. Here, people fight for rare, scrawny shade tree parking spaces. And I like heat, so if I’m saying something, it’s hhhot.

Been a long slog of a summer, days and weeks on end of work at GPRC as we catch up on a crucial body of work that we’d expected done from an associate but found out otherwise. I also have to finish the second edition edits and new epilogue for my book. Very soon.

Great lengths of solitude and endless work, broken only by interface with my core executive team and our youth. Little else. Weeks of sleep deprivation. Brain cells smoking. Still single. My son has been gone to Colorado only since July 4 but it feels like forever. It’s hhhhot.

I’m not complainin, just communicating. Right now I dream of ice-cold watermelon and a friendly smile.

For those who know my past, you know my faith in people is still relatively new, and has always been a little tenuous. Lately it feels a little shaky again.

Weak, flaky people drive me crazy. I don’t even go to church, but I know what the Bible says about ‘girding your loins”. I’d like to see a little more stamina, selflessness, skill and strategy and less inadequacy in Our Time of Great Struggle. Ask Jane Goodall. Or ask Nelson Mandela. That old mf spent 27 years in prison before he even really got started.

The Sun is my father, the Eye of God. Normally I seek out his blaze, to twist out my bones and purify my soul. But even I have sought relief from the constant glare this summer.

In times like these, I inadvertently pull back from people. This afternoon, after the gym I decided to run along the Clear Fork of the Trinity River. Stupidly I forgot my running shoes, so I just walked. The winds picked up, a few clouds rolled in and began condensing, and by the time I got to the little pecan grove a singular thundercloud was boiling above my head like a pristine atomic blast. I caught sight of movement way up there, past the roiling lip of white, black and grey clouds sliding over the bright blue. A vulture, a tiny black scythe, was slicing in and over the storm lip, buffeted by winds, like he was more than curious.  Having fun. God pulled the shade, and down here it suddenly seemed ten degrees cooler.

On my way back, the thunder began rumbling. A few bolts of lightning flashed electric white with that purple edge. Beyond the storm cloud the sky was bluebird clear, but we were in shadow. My eyelids grew heavy as if a giant hand had palmed them closed. The wind offered something, then left and it was calm. I would love to get struck by lightning, when it’s my time. Ride it all the way up and out.

I opened my eyes. About 30 feet away, a fine black woman with her hair pulled back was walking in the direction I’d come, her basset hound on a leash. You know how black recognizes fam and, even at that distance, heads helplessly catch; you’ve never seen each other but you suddenly have a momentary conversation like you’ve been knowing each other all your lives.

“I saw the thunder and lightning, but I still had to come,” she said, smiling beautifully. White teeth.

“Isn’t it nice?” I asked, forgetting my ‘always-cool and reserved’ and unconsciously praising my palms to the sky.  I smiled broadly back.

“It sure is,” she said, helplessly raising her arms a little too.

“Okay, well you have a blessed day,” we both said, passing out of each other’s lives forever.

Sometimes I think I owe my life to all the random black women in the world who have lifted me up in moments when I needed it most, as if I were grandson, son, future husband, brother, cousin, friend.

In my car, I opened the windows and the sunroof as I drove off. The thundercloud only dropped three big drops of rain; they landed on my windshield like liquid cats then quickly scrambled off.

Essence Music Festival, New Orleans July 4th Weekend, 2009

With Congresswoman Barbara Lee.

With Congresswoman Barbara Lee.

New Orleans is a city that seems to have simply given itself over to sweat. It is so humid, there’s no escaping it, so people just go with it.

Worked all weekend networking. Met a lot of great people, had a lot of real conversations.

Met Congresswoman Barbara Lee, who is the author of Renegade for Peace and Justice, and CNN Commentator Roland Martin, author of Listening to the Spirit Within: 50 Perspectives on Faith. Also connected with my friend and author Clarence Nero, who is the author of Cheeky: A Child Out of the Desire, Three Sides to Every Story, and the just released Too Much of a Good Thing Ain’t Bad and is on book tour now. Cheeky is my favorite of his because it is tells the story of growing up in the lower Ninth Ward’s Desire Housing Project, and really communicates a sense of place and feeling inside that environment, and a sense of the outside world so far “out there”.

in 2009, everything in N.O. is still directly tied to The Storm. Rochelle D. Smith’s short book, The After Path tells her personal story immediately after.

In many places, the city is still ‘immediately after”, even though it is four yeas later now. Didn’t have time to really hang out and explore the city because I had to rush to Austin, but I’ll be back sometime. People asking if we (GPRC) could expand our Ecological Health work into Louisiana. First things first, though, here in Texas.

Wan’ hear an Orangutan laugh?

OK… we’ve all had a stressful day — it’s a stressful life (but we’re still blessed). So, anybody wan hear an Orangutan laugh?

Here’s a picture of a bebe orangutan being tickled when they did a study to chart animal laughter :).  hey– after Tiananmen Square, we need some humor




For mo’ on this story, see MSNBC’s great “Cosmic Log” latest entry:

p.s. dont let palm oil plantations destroy what’s left of their Indonesian rainforest home! (Sorry– couldn’t  resist getting in a lil activation 🙂   I don’t know why I love orangutans so much. Poor lil ugly dudes just want to live peacefully in wild Indonesia– a beautiful tropical forest nation of islands I will never get anywhere near.