Sunday, December 25, 2005

And Life Goes On....

It’s been a year, and I'm back home for another Christmas break. I figured that this post may have more significance than the others simply for the fact that it marks the anniversary (exactly to the day) of the creation of this journal. It is because of this that I have decided to reflect back on another year that I’ve had the privilege to live through....let's see...

The year has been one of (if not) the most interesting and inspiringly depressing years of my life. I have been through emotional extremes of joy and pain, have had sorrow tap me on the shoulder while happiness gave me a reassuring handshake, and have heard, felt, and known heartache knock on my door as peace tried its hardest to close the curtains of my soul. I've experienced a great deal (to say the least), and yet, I know beyond a shadow of the doubt that I've only scratched the surface of adulthood, which leads me to question the very validity of the claim that my age and educational status so deftly exclaims through every calligraphical nuance of my signature. Am I ready to lead a life of blaring uncertainties wrapped in a thin veil of analepticly assuaging promises of possible stability? Will I every be able to face the possibility of an inability to accomplish my lifelong dreams without the risk of taking chances that may not include the option of beginning where I started. How can I accept the fact that, despite the tears, love, contentment, and complacent frustration, I will still have to live through repeated instances of even deeper effecting emotions without cracking under the seemingly unbearable, monotonous pressure of them all?...

...I recently ended something in my life that had been atomically fused to every particle of my existence. Needless to say, it hurt. But the truth is, though I may never totally get over it, I’ll live. I figure that that's the beauty of life. The fact that joy and pain are like sunshine and rain never meant a thing to me until I cried tears of both happiness and sadness right before the end of that something came. The bliss I felt for having that something in my life and the hell I foresaw in that something leaving were for a single moment in time interchangeable. I'm guessing that in that same moment I saw the entirety of my life through those teardrops and I grew up all at once...

...Funnily enough this caused me to understand that, no matter how I may ever feel, I will never be truly and completely ready for each and every blow that life has the ability to throw my way. It is an incapability that I willingly concede to. But it is this incapability that makes me who and what I am. Life, at times, sucks harder than a marathon runner at the top of Mount Everest, in the middle of a hurricane (an embellishment?...yes... unfounded? This is something that I admit to. However, as long as I have a healthy desire to live, it is all but impossible for me not to roll with the punches (in spite of the black eyes and missing teeth). I will never be truly ready for adulthood because it does not come with a checklist of requirements. All I can do is plant my feet, take my stance and wait for the bell to ring.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Work in progress.....

I have a question. What does a person do when he or she, after finally realizing what is destined to be his or her calling, chooses to forsake it in order to be in good societal standing and to shield himself from the possibility of complete and total failure? If any of you who read this (assuming that anyone does) has an answer, I would like for you to contact me as soon as possible, because I am at a loss.

All of my previous posts about being unsure of my direction in life stem from not knowing the answer to this question. To put it in explicit terms (for those who do not know me personally) I am the epitome of a person existing outside of his calling, and it hurts me to no end. I am a follower of the belief that whatever it is I wake up in the morning and think about doing, whatever it is I dream of night and day, whatever it is that causes a joy in me that is surpassed by nothing else is essentially what I should devote my life to doing. Honestly and truly this idea is all well and good if one finds joy in doing something that would guarantee an (at least) stable means of living, but if a person who believes him or herself to be worth too much to gamble his or her prosperity on a path in life that is less stable then a tightrope walking elephant, how does this person cope with ( apparently needed) self imposed relegation. Better yet, what does this person do if he or she knows that the path to which they are called is one on which he or she performs exceptionally well. Is this person justified in taking a gamble in his or her future, or is it more imperative that the person think about the possible contributions that he or she is sure to be recognized and or thanked for in a field that is seen to be a more acceptable manifestation of his or her intellect and cognitive abilities? In plain English: should I pursue a music career or should I keep my future vested in the English/Political Science realm of thinking that is now my major scholastic focus?

I've tried integrating music into my life as an auxiliary occupant of my time and mental/creative energies, but truth be told it's not enough, because when I participate in activities with those individuals who have devoted their lives to the pursuit of happiness through this facet of inspired expression, I realize the void that is left in my life. It is a void that I have tried to cover with an alternate usage of my talents. It isn't that I am ignorant of the fact that covering this life problem will only result in a cursory quasi solution for an extensively actual predicament. I know full well that covering this void will only suffice in temporarily securing me through a day to day existence. I am even more aware of the fact that I will never be truly content with pursuing something other than what I feel I was born to do. My conundrum is not a result of a lack of understanding. No. The cause of it (put bluntly) is the lack of huevos and mental wherewithal that is required of me to pursue my life dream.

I try to normally end my posts on a positive or an at least objectively conclusive note, but this one seems to be too important to try to prematurely draw a close to solely for the purpose of perpetuating a sense of continuity. I'll just say that, for now, this problem is still a work in progress.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

When all else fails....

It has definitely been a while since my last entry and it is from this fact that I have drawn a conclusion. The length of time between my posts is exactly proportional to the importance of what it is I decide to let off my chest in them. I don't know if it is a superficial internal desire for suspense or a fundamental internal fear of release (assuming that these ideas aren’t exactly the same) when it comes to writing in this here journal of mine. All this to say I've written a poem not only because it's my (and arguably the) premier literary device for communicating intensely inarticulable (probrobly not a word) ideas and feelings but also because free verse has always had a profound impact on me. Enough for the goes:

My life has been a succession of disillusion and regression.
Plagued by struggle and confession of ethical rejection,
I cry the weary tears of unlearned lessons
I live the dreary years with overturned professions
My mind is lost in the sauce of intellectual discourse
Like prepubescent intercourse, I experience things before my time

With lack of reason or rhyme I struggle to find my meaning in life
In spite of the strife that keeps my mind and heart infinitely apart.
I press on, knowing deep inside that my actions are wrong
I potentially and existentially extinguish my mental energy in trying to reach synergy between the two.
Knowing full well the impossibility of what I propose to do.
I am proverbially screwed.

My reasoning misconstrued by none other then myself
I try and pull outside sources becoming a verbal contortionist
I falsely rationalize incorrectly criticize and internally ostracize my fundamental beliefs
In order to bequeath my desires to the entreats of others.
Now floundering, smothered within the blubber of these opinions
I heed the need for internal redemption,
An indefinite suspension of this inwardly harmful external retention

Realizing that every man is an island with interconnecting bridges
Philosophizing that each person is challenged with internally affecting decisions
I uncover (through contention with adamant outward dissention disguised as genial efforts of prevention) the self sustaining dimension of auto-inspired decisions.
Through this I resolve to change the focus of my attention
From an externally inspired diatribe to an internally conspired mental convention

No longer will I wallow in the shallow minded hollows of the public psyche
Now stronger I will follow the empirically ethereal overarching ideals that guide me.
Finally deciding to be the representative for the state of my being
It is now my own understanding on which I will be leaning.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

debilitating idleness...

I realize now that one can be inwardly bored while being the exact opposite outwardly. I was previously blaming this boredom, a lethargic anti-energy that engulfed my every move, on my lack of steady employment/mobile activity, but when I started to work 4 days a week I saw where I was mistaken. I realized that this boredom came form some place much more deeply rooted and long running. It apparently originated in the mental restlessness that was the unfailing boon of my quest to find what I truly wanted to do in life.

I didn't come to this realization right away of course. What is life if not a continuously increasing sequence of consecutive and varyingly conclusive attempts of trial and error? I did know that I was close when I tried to write this deep seeded boredom off as a result of exiting the intellectually stimulating atmosphere of college (that wasn't sarcasm, I promise) and entering the safe and familiar world of home. But as every child who argues with his or her parent about the various "almosts" and (later on in adolescence) "relativelys" of life knows, almost only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and anything that isn't exactly what a parent requires of his or her child.

After realizing the connection between this oft used statement and my current situation I soon stopped kidding myself and got down to the nitty gritty. It occurred to me that the mental complacency from which I suffered was indeed a result of me leaving a place that necessitated the admittedly draining activity of 'thinking', but it was not the express cause of my boredom. I eventually concluded that it was not the end but the means that bothered me. Needless to say this made me nervous. It implied that the severity of this need for constant mental activity/challenge would relegate the only contentment I would ever find to avoiding the things that were often associated with being content.

No wonder I can't decide what I want to do in life; I have an apparently ardent desire to continue the habitual search for the rest of it. I now have to figure out how to convince my subconscious that profession is not necessarily synonymous with pigeonhole (though it knows better) but is indicative of specialization which ultimately alludes to the opportunity for in-depth analyses. I guess it would help if the conscious part of me actually believed it as well.

Here’s to successful autopersuation...

Thursday, June 23, 2005

That four letter word...

It's been a while, and I must admit it would have been longer had I not made a conscious effort to make an attempt at writing something. I guess I was scared that by writing what I am about to, I would cross a threshold in this here web journal of mine. A point of no returns so to speak. It's kind of ironic that what lies at the root of my reluctance is what has caused me to open up in ways I had never dreamed possible. To put it bluntly, that often indescribable, increasingly commercial, totally under/overrated and grossly misused four letter word has crept past all of my outer social and emotional defenses and taken root at the very core of my soul. I know, up until this point I have spared you of the ordinary and admittedly mushy ideas that this four letter word brings to mind and I intend to continue to keep this journal that way...for the most part at least. I just thought that to avoid including this into the stockpile of feelings and beliefs that I have accumulated here over the months would be a horrible injustice to the very idea, ideal and ideology of this four letter word. So here goes:

It's amazing to me how much one particular word can be used so frequently and unthoughtfuly and yet still retain all of its meaning when its power is finally and truly recognized. And the miraculous thing is, the realization of its flagrant misusage does not even touch the very tips of the fabric of ones awareness until he or she understands or feels it for what it truly is. What is even more amazing, (at least in my case) is the ability for this word to beseech me to take into account all of the times I have used it prior, only to distinctly conclude that my usage of it was in the right direction but in the wrong vicinity.

The crazy thing is I know that no matter how far in depth my explanations attempt to plunge, they are fated to merely skim the surface as far as this word is concerned. It seems to me to be one of those ideas that one could spend his or her entire life studying and eventualy die with the the realization that not even the beginning inquires had been completed. It boggles the mind and eludes common (and often uncommon) perception. It asks for nothing and necessitated everything, and at times it seems too much for me to sanely contain. This causes me to conclude that in order for me to keep what little sanity it has allowed me to retain (no matter how torn and convoluted) I must let some of it escape by sharing it. The good thing is that I have the ability to shape the way in which it is shared. The bad thing is I can't seem to allow myself to take the easy way out and share the less involved aspect of it (if there even is in fact such a thing).

But all in all I reckon that sharing this decidedly more personal area of my life is not so bad. I guess that just as is with everything else, a word (after a little mental finagling) can be explained or shared in ways that are not specific enough to be too uncomfortable/painful for the sharer and not cryptic enough for the sharee to be thoroughly confused/annoyed and eventually offended by. I guess I'll stop here if not for the sake of length then for the sake of my fingers.

Monday, May 16, 2005


School is over for the time being and I'm home now. Sadly, the comfort and solitude that home once provided from the world covers me no longer. Being in school for so long has tainted me with knowledge from a tree that was both foreign and inviting to me. This tree of knowledge with its fruits of acquaintance, experience and higher learning has apparently open the unshutable eye of my mind consequently giving me the unwanted ability to see through the once accepted preconceptions that constituted the very foundation on which my comfort was built. I am now undone.

The idea that I was somehow eluding the damaging effects of this social, emotional and educational experience kept me stable for the most part, but I realize in coming home that the Clayton that I am now is totally different from the one who left home for college 9 months ago. Who knew that a person could die, be born again, and still develop and mature farther in 9 months then he or she has in the 18 or so years prior. As if this idea weren't difficult enough to wrap my mind around, I am faced with the fact that despite the large strides that I have made in my apparently obvious metamorphosis, I've actually lost ground. This leads me to believe that progress in certain aspects of life inevitably leads to retrogression in others.

Through all of this I've come to the conclusion that the inherent necessity for inner peace (my definition of true happiness) which drives me to better myself also necessitates the death of notions which may be commonly perceived as good in order to promote the life and growth of ideals which others (those who don't share the same convictions and mindset) may deem as trivial and unessential. Though this is an elementary concept on the surface, I’ve learned that the underlying acceptances and tolerances that are required for it to be truly put in to practice have implications that transcend the ability of even the most knowledgeable individuals to recognize and accept.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005


It's been a while since I’ve written my last entry. But the fact is, in the time between this and the last one I have changed so much that I wouldn't have been able to articulate my thoughts and feeling adequately enough for anyone ( let alone myself) to understand any time before now. The decision that I spoke of in the previous post proved to be harder to make then I had ever anticipated it to be, and in rereading it I understand why.

The realization that my mental and emotional stability rested on this decision and consequent group of decisions eluded me, and in doing so it threw me for a loop that was worthy of its own name and mini-gift shop. In trying to feel my way toward the right decision, I subjected myself to feelings and thoughts that arrested the development of any attempted thought process other then that which involved the conclusion of this search. I became entangled by the idea of finding the one, true, right answer, and all of my efforts (in order to avoid the anguish which was a result of resting in a lukewarm state of being) were put into trying to find it as immediately as possible. I failed to realize however that encouraging and allowing my mind to operate in such a hyper extended, overworked fashion was causing me more pain and harm then the solution would eventually relieve. When this did finally dawn on me, it put everything into its proper perspective.

I understand now that just as an individual can’t expect to run if he or she doesn't first learn to walk, I can not come to an answer if I do not first allow myself to recognize and complete the steps that are normally required for an acceptable solution. I can no longer try to view situations as if they all have some common theme because, in all actuality, they often don't. I must therefore learn to take things more slowly and give myself enough time to properly adapt to the problems at hand, thereby avoiding my tendency to prematurely expend what little energy I have allotted for taking care of truly vital, internal struggles. Most importantly I came to understand that deliberate, steady progress is stable and preferable to quick and erratic counterpart.

To live is to learn. I just wish that the lessons weren’t so pricey.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005


I've arrived and have come to the point where the decisions I make now will become the crux of the remainder of my life. The past couple weeks have been trying and painful in that I have been forced, through specific circumstances, to make life, mind, and spirit altering decisions. I realize now that I hold a love hate feeling toward those particular types of decisions. In earlier posts it seemed as though I was almost complaining about the lack of struggle in my life, but I have come to realize that I merely need to look beyond what is immediately apparent in my life to find these struggles. I realized that struggle is so deeply rooted in my life that I have taken it for granted.

It is not my assumption that no one else goes through struggle, and I'm well aware that if there were a tree with post-it's of people's problems I would most likely be overwhelmed at the immensity of some and taken aback by the number of them all. I just figured that in trying to write down my feelings about my own, personal, internal, war I could somehow make steps toward adequately solving it.

All this to say, I'm torn between up and down, left and right.....correct...and incorrect. I can't seem to determine whether or not it is the deep turmoil that the problem causes or the diametrically apposed answers to the problem that troubles me so. I acknowledge the fact that neither solution will leave me completely satisfied with their respective results; it is only the possibility that one will leave me significantly happier that drives me to begin with.

If I could live my life in the gray area and be content I most definitely would, but I believe everyone would agree that living life in a state that is always awkward and uncomfortable is no life at all. However, I can't allow this to effect me in such a way that it consumes all of my thoughts and energy. I must strive to live in such a manner that leaves a door open for answers to come in their due time, without false persuasion by my desire to attain closure, and hopefully in doing so, I will reach a conclusion that is truly right.

Thursday, February 24, 2005


I think life would be much easier if I didn't think so much. If I didn't constantly analyzes things and were content with viewing things, accepting things and writing things on the surface level, I wouldn't have this horendous burden of high expectations constantly placed upon my shoulders. My father wouldn't have to work his fingers to the bone, semi-literally to keep me in this institution of higher learning, and I wouldn't be overwhelmed with feelings of unworthiness...

Because I have no plans for the immediate or not so immediate future, I live day to day and hope that no one ever realizes that I am, on a whole, clueless about life in general. In this world of fast food, instant pregnancy tests and globalized news, I feel so inadequate, and sadly I know I’m not the only one. Although this fact should be what comforts me, it ultimately robs me of hope solely because I wonder: if I’m not the only one confused, why do I feel so alone? How do individuals live with never being certain of anything? Why do these individuals choose to act as though the world is their oyster when they are, in all actuality, a smidgen of matter in this immense universe?

Maybe the entire purpose of our existence is not to deny the truth, but to accept it and become comfortable enough with the implications of it to embrace each new day with open arms.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005


I'm about three minutes from attempting to read the remainder of Virginia Woolfe's A Room of One's Own. At least that's what i've been thinking for the past half hour. Before you applaud me for trying to "culture" myself, I must let you know that it's not with my own free will that I read the book. No, the book is for English class. I don't make a practice of reading about women who, instead of trying to activly change the misogynistic world in which they live, take the whiny, materialistic, elititst road (as if that path is not already filled with men who possibly hold more disdain for them then any others).

Anyway, the reason for me reading this "book" is to try to find the definition of art and to discover what conditions are nessessary for its creation. I don't think it's possible, but since I have not yet recieved my Phd, (I am in fact a freshmen and will therefore not be seeing those letters preceeding my name for a few years and possibly a couple hundred thousand dollar's from now) my opinion, apparently, holds no weight in the midst of the great (dead) thinkers. I believe that art is a thing which does not and can not have a concise definition. Like most ideas such as love, happiness, and peace, art can only be accurately described by the individual who experiences it. When there is a group "definition" for art, it looses much of what makes it what it is, and that is something that we as human beings cannot afford.

Just dropping my two cents into the bottom of the world sized opinion jar.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Random Thoughts as Usual

I'm back in school, back to normal. I don't know why, but recently I feel most at home in this place. I go back home and I feel more like a spectator then a participator. I mean, I know the same love and affection is there, it's just that it reaches me differently now that I am more or less absent from the family dynamic. I come here and realize that I want to cut my hair. Big desision sense it has become a part of me now. It's similar to finally throwing away your favorite shirt. You know, the one that seemingly represents how you view yourself and and how you wish the world to view you. With this hair I feel (or have felt rather) like a rebel. A aestheticly deviant individual if you feel where i'm coming from. Now....I don't know so much. Maby it's because my enviornment has changed. Maby it is more diviant to be different when you look less different. It is almost expected for those who appear unique to be unique... but is it not even more unique to look less unique and act unique anyway... maby i'm reading into this thing too much, but seriously, it seems like the more orgional I try to be, the more like others I become... I get clumped into the group that consists of the "unique" folk and my efforts are defeated. I can't be the only one who see's the irony in my predicament. In order for me to become truly different I feel i should adopt physical apparences ( at least where my hair is concearned) that I once viewed as common. Life is funny that way I guess. All this to say .. I think I will cut my hair.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

seven in the morning

I awoke to fox news this morning. My mother had the remote last night, so I had no control over what channels I would watch. I went to sleep to "Mystic River" playing in the background. For there to be so many motion pictures in the world HBO sure has a nack for showing the same ones with almost sickning regularity. I had to sleep for work this morning so I chose to forsake the movie in favor of my job. I couldn't seem to get to sleep after some jaded newsperson woke me at around six. Maby it made me think too much. I love to think...when its condusive to my body's healty operation, but at that moment I wish I could have stopped. Why anyone's mind, when trying to sleep, would race at 60 miles per second at six something in the morning is beyond my comprehension. Being as though I have a whole two hours before I have to be at work I figured I'd write this down. Not that it's profound or a matter of fact, I don't know if anything that I write is profound. Maby it is, I don't know and right now I can't honestly say that I care. Hope anyone reading this has a nice day. I'm praying that I have one too.

Monday, January 03, 2005

"Peel Me A Grape"

....not many people I know listen to Diana Krall... of course I’m a black teenager from South West Philly, so -- assuming that the people I know reside in at least semi-close proximity to my geographic location-- I guess it's not surprising. Sad but understandable... maby. I mean Hip-Hop... the genre of music that is widely believed to represent "the voice" of us (using "us" not solely for the fact that I feel I should be included but also because "us" is much easier to type than African-Americans and has less negative connotations than "blacks") is ironic.

Something that is supposedly used as a vessel through which we are allowed to show who we truly are is taken as just that and is therefore viewed as the proof that serves as yet another thing to fuel the fire of stereotypes and prejudices . For every one of us whom I have known to have done the things that these artists talk about in their music, there are at least ten others who haven’t. This is understood by me because I am part of the "us", but what these artist have to realize is, by making public the ideas that they bring forth in a genre of music that is seen to be as culturally representative as Hip-Hop, they are intrinsicly justifying the social and political attitudes that have plagued us for hundreds of years.

Why should respect be given to a group of people who do not respect themselves enough to entertain their communities with something other then self defeating, socially masochistic ideas of themselves? We complain about not being able to gain equal footing in society, and yet we support those of us who tell musical stories of their contentment with their constant struggle, and how these individuals feel most at home in life and death situations. Although these artists have different goals in life, we must realize that they are us. They are one of the most noticeable representations of our cultural grapevine so to speak.

Understanding this, we should take a little of our respective sweetnessess (it may not be in my dictionary but it fits) including the high expectations, the strong moral foundations, and the deep cultural identities that make us what we truly are as African-Americans, and push them through this grapevine instead of letting the negative, undesirable, bitterness that these huge Hip-Hop artists (the large grapes that everyone goes for first) continue to be a sour representation of us. In doing this, the artist will have no choice but to adopt these attributes for themselves and thereby become a positive force in our still continuing effort to become socially and culturally integrated.

All of this from Diana Krall... maby I should go into politics...