Pop Culture, Theory & Essay

The Moments of Impact

water-dropI have a confession. I like the movie The Vow. I’ve watched it a million times via cable movie channels. Part of my like of it is from the soundtrack. I’m one of those folks who latches onto the movie playing in the background. That can make or break a movie for me. Picking the right music makes all of the difference.

Think (if you’ve seen it) the first episode of The Game this season and the closing music while Derwin was leaving the show forever as Miguel’s “Don’t Look Back” played. While the song has nothing to do with parting ways – it’s actually a song telling a woman to leave and not look back if her man doesn’t make it home because he’s outchea cheating – it sounded great in that scene and brought it all together. For a moment, I felt like they got it right. For a moment.

Back to The Vow. You know the story. Car accident. Wife loses memory. Can’t remember husband. He tries to win her back. He loses. Until he wins. The end. Nothing remarkable there.

But what does stand out to me are two sets of quotes about moments of impact:

My theory is about moments, moments of impact. My theory is that these moments of impact, these flashes of high intensity that completely turn our lives upside down actually end up defining who we are. The thing is each one of us is the sum total of every moment that we’ve ever experienced with all the people we’ve ever known. And it’s these moments that become our history. Like our own personal greatest hits of memories that we play and replay in our minds over and over again.

The moment of impact. The moment of impact provides potential for change. It has ripple effects far beyond what we can predict. Sending some particles crashing together. Making them closer than before, while sending others spinning off into great ventures. Landing them where you’ve never thought you’d find them. That’s the thing about moments like these. You can’t, no matter how hard you try, control how it’s gonna affect you. You just gotta let the colliding parts go where they may. And wait. For the next collision.

#realn*ggatalkinshutthef*ckupho

If we are to view life as one big set of collisions inspiring a million tiny changes and every so often monumental, epic change, then all of life is about the crash. The moment you meet that woman who inspires you to become somebody you didn’t even know you could be. Or that man who makes you realize that it’s okay to trust. The person who lets you take off your cool. But Newton’s Third Law of Motion states that for every action is an equal opposite reaction. Now technically its supposed to be to the actual forces colliding – kind of like Iyanla and DMX – but living within the spirit of the law, you’re meeting you husband means that collision possibly sent somebody waiting in the wings on the love they feel to be returned off into a tailspin they don’t even know exists. They’re the train heading towards the blown bridge. And they won’t know until its too late.

Well the interesting part of these collisions is that from the ashes often arises a fire-y bird. I shall call it a Phoenix. I’ve seen change have various affects on people. But the most common – though often ill-inspired – is the change that pushes somebody towards new heights. I’ve seen a woman who lost her man because he cheated become the beauty queen we all saw. Not to say she went out and got him back or immediately got another man, but I witnessed her become free and beautiful in her own existence, set adrift on memories bliss while realizing that new memories are but a short walk on the sidewalk.

I’ve seen some of my best friends face adversity after experiencing some huge loss and restructuring their life to never lose that way again, sometimes for better, sometimes for the worse.

I’ve personally altered my mentality after going through, at the time, what would be the most significant collision I’d ever experienced.

But these collisions were necessary to help shape the personal narrative of all involved. Some people need change to grow. I remember years ago my daughter’s mother suggesting that I needed to be fired from my job in order to realize my full potential. She felt as if I’ve been to able to rely on stability to make it through life and the resulting contentment stopped me from truly becoming who she felt I could be. By the way, there is no force stronger than a supportive woman. I truly believe this. A woman who believes in you enough to think you need to LOSE a job to become a great? But has no doubt in your ability to dust yourself off? I’m not sure I ever said thank you for that. I probably should.

Either way, moments of impact that change your life. I look forward to those. Nearly every day I wake up I realize that something could change my life that day, good or bad. I’ve prepared myself if its my time to go. Seriously. But I also know that the possibility for greatness is right around the corner. I just need to find the right set of buildings. But it’s there. The person I’ll bump into. The idea I’ll happen upon. The impact that’s waiting on me to show up so the energy can finally be woman-thou-art-loosed.

I’ve experienced some already. But there’s more.

What about you? Have you experienced that person, place or thing that altered your world? Has there been any collision that sent you into the great abyss of greatness?

Let’s collide.

-VSB P aka THE ARSONIST aka MR. IMPACTION JACKSON aka GIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRL HE A 3

Filed Under:
Damon Young

Panama Jackson is pretty fly for a light guy. When he's not saving humanity with his words or making music with his mouth, you can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking her fine liquors. He believes the children are our future and is waiting to find out if he is the 2nd most interesting man in the world.

  • nillalatte

    damn, damn, damn, I hate you right now Panama. I’ll get back to you.

    • nillalatte

      Altered my world? Plenty of times. But, most recently it’s happened again, and I was doing okay until I read this piece tonight. :\

      It started two weeks ago with a text that read: “Even when we’re away from each other, you’re ALWAYS right here with me… ALWAYS!!! (if that makes any sense)” and the exchange ended with “… to allow someone to come into my life who might fee the same way, I gotta let you go.”

      But, he did change me. When I think about it, I know there are limitations on our relationship, so I distract myself with work, research and taking care of me. When I think about it, it’s a struggle between my mind and my heart, so I don’t think about it… until someone writes a piece that makes me think about it. >:|

      • nillalatte

        *feel

      • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

        Sounds nice, Nilla. I’m happy for you.

        • IcePrincess

          Uuhm, did we read the same comment Val? Lol. I thought she was saying something sad.

          • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

            Oh snap! I missed that part. Yikes. Thanks, IP.

            Wow, sorry to hear that, Nilla.

            *BIG hug*

            • nillalatte

              LOL… that was funny. You confused even me Val. :) No worries. Life goes on.

              • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

                :-)

              • IcePrincess

                So you and your Asian persuasion broke up? Sorry Hun. If it makes u feel any better, me and my Amor are going through it too. I hope we can pull out of it, but idk. Ima give things a couple more months to see improvement, or ima have to pull the plug. It sux cuz i really love him. But sometimes love is not enuf….

                • nillalatte

                  Humm… broke up? Don’t think we were really ever together. According to him we were ‘dating.’ I was hanging out and going with the flow. It’s all good. As I said, Life goes on. :)

                  • Smoothazbrutha

                    Wow, that’s real deep that you didn’t know you weren’t in a relationship. I once heard a female comedian say, “many women don’t know when they are in a relationship, but let me tell you this, if you hit this twice…..You in a relationship”

      • Todd

        Look on the bright side. At least you can go meet TUK now. :) Or, if you want to keep going with your Asian persuasion, I do have a single Asian friend who could use someone. And I’m being serious. LOL

        • That Ugly Kid

          We already established that Nilla can’t handle alladis.

          • nillalatte

            LOL… TUK, TUK, TUK… I love your level of confidence. That will take you far. Just not in these drawz… LMAO

        • Brother Mouzone

          I lasted about 30 minutes myself, but it was only because I was too young to c*m….I was 11, she was 14. Didn’t actually “bust” until a couple years later…took about 10 minutes..lol.That’s why I’m a VERY young dad.

      • http://missrosen.worpress.com esa

        ~ you’re ALWAYS right here with me… ALWAYS!!! (if that makes any sense)

        Miss Nilla ~ i’ve felt myself in your story, as it has unfolded over time, a familiarity to the last man i loved, who yesterday gave me this HUGE hug and when i walked away, i just felt that alwayness you describe. there are different levels of connection, and that’s part of our path.

        i love that P quotes physics in his post, because that’s my philosophy. for every loss there is an equal and opposite gain. and i dont mean, trade in one man for the next. i mean transcending one plane to the next (if that makes any sense) (smile)

        • nillalatte

          um, y’all are reading that backwards. HE sent me the first part, I’m the one that wrote I gotta let you go. lol.

          • LMNOP

            Oh… I thought he just sent you a really long text/ series of texts that was like “I feel like you are always with me, I love you, etc., oh and by the way, bye.”

            • nillalatte

              Ha! Yeah, no. I pulled the plug. I have issues. ;)

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      hate is such a strong word, no?

      how about, love you P so much for making me think. how about that?

      • nillalatte

        No, Panama, no. Okay, maybe ‘hate’ is strong, but I don’t like emotions. So, making me ‘think’ generates emotion. Emotions are not good. They make people crazy. They make crazy people insane. I’m one element away from insanity. Get the picture?

        Thinking leads to unanswered questions. It took me a long time to learn/accept that sometimes there is just no answer to the question ‘why?’ There are too many dynamics to consider in other cases and causes headaches/heartaches. Nope, now is not the time to start ‘thinking.’

        I don’t know about being in or getting the abyss of greatness, but I definitely make changes, quite frequently actually, that I hope propel me to a new level of self awareness of what I want both personally and professionally, what I feel, what I find acceptable in relationships and with whom I associate in general.

        It was a great topic, just hit a little close to home at the moment, that’s all.

  • http://www.cornerpolitics.net Breazy Taylor

    I like to think that the impactful collisions happen probably a million times day. Just like all of thousands of earthquakes that happen in southern California, some big enough to feel some not so. Each day we come across things (collisions), people or things, that could potentially send us in any number of ways. Obviously some of the collisions may not register on our richer scale, but they are still there. Life is all about collisions, we just need to (if possible) recognize the collisions that will effect us the most.

  • Charlie

    Reading The Autobiography of Malcolm X, in 9th grade changed my life forever. It wasn’t so much the book itself, but what the book lead to. I started to question everything. First I got heavy into black culture and history, but became too militant and angry, learned more about the history of religion, slowly went through the process of deist to agnostic, and finally atheist, got interested in our government; still a news junkie till this day, grew an appreciation for life and now more open then I’ve ever been.

    I maybe should credit the first collision to the book that caught my eye in my high school library which actually recommended Malcolm X book and the only reason I even picked it up. It was called “Hip Hop HighSchool”… Meh Malcolm X sounds better lol

    • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

      Reading that book was definitely transformative. And, very soon after I read it I found out that Malcolm X actually had lived in my neighborhood in Queens, New York. The house that was firebombed was only a few blocks from where I lived.

      • Todd

        So you’re from East Elmhurst? AKA the Black neighborhood that’s far from the others, but managed to get the Langston Hughes Library? (For those outside of Queens, it’s the borough’s answer to the Schomburg Center in Harlem, with a more literary focus.) I’ve always found that neighborhood odd, especially considering what’s surrounding it. Nice place to live though.

        • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

          The Hurst in the house! Yep, Todd, it is a historic neighborhood. It was great spending much of my formative years there. East Elmhurst was one of the few Black communities that had such a diverse economic mix of Black folks.

          And, back in the day my mom was very involved with Langston Hughes Library. I spent a lot of time there as a kid. It’s an amazing place.

          • Todd

            Have you been in the area recently? They moved it out of that storefront to a much larger facility down the street. It’s nice, but it doesn’t feel the same. Also, $20 tells me your parents had friends in Addsleigh Park. LOL

            • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

              I was there about 3 years ago, Todd. I didn’t get by the library. But, I’ve seen photos of the new place. It’s beautiful. Helen Marshall has really been looking out for Langston Hughes for all these years.

              Lol. St. Albans? Yeah, we knew some folks over there. I had a really good friend that lived in Addisleigh Park.

              What part of N.Y. did you grow up in?

              • Todd

                I grew up in Hollis. I had to drive through Addsleigh Park to get to my school. It was interesting learning the stories of those big houses and the people who lived there. I’m glad I’m relatively close to the area, so I can swing by and see people I grew up around. Plus the story behind The Rock on Farmers Blvd is interesting. Ironically, I met one of the people who painted it working as a security guard in a job I had in NJ. Small world, isn’t it?

                • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

                  Hollis! Lol. That’s cool, Todd. Seems like it was a nice place to grow up.

                • Kema

                  Hollis in the house!

                  *sings* It’s Christmas time in Hollis Queens

    • IcePrincess

      I love Malcom X’s story. Like when he learned how to read in prison & then became a beast! Very smart guy, he was.

    • http://dominicanabanana.wordpress.com Asiyah

      That book changed me, Charlie. Or, rather, made me be myself.

  • http://vagabondaesthetics.tumblr.com Malik

    One of the great formative choices of my youth was buying Madvillainy over Illmatic.

    • kid video

      Cassette or CD?

      Yes…it does matter.

      • That Ugly Kid

        So I guess I’m the only person who was underwhelmed by Madvillainy, huh? Oh…okay.

        • Jay

          Don’t know about an “impact” moment personally but All Caps and Fancy Clown are 2 of the greatest hip-hop songs of the last 10 years IMHO.

          • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

            strong statements.

      • Malik

        Cassette?

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      Interesting. Why is that exactly? I do find it interesting that those were the choices you had considering that by the time Madvillainy came out, Illmatic was easily one of the most classic albums in hiphop history.

      I mean, don’t you own Ilmatic too?

      • http://vagabondaesthetics.tumblr.com Malik

        I was very, very invested in backpacker hip hop back in the mid 2000s. So there was a lot of hype in my circle around that time about Madvillainy and I only had money for 2 albums at the time when I bought Madvillainy. So I settled on 1 classic (Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers) and 1 new album. Madvillainy, and Wu era 93-97, have informed my tastes in music more than anything else I’ve ever listened to in my life.

        Illmatic is obviously a great great great album. I just feel if that would of been my foundation for hip-hip and music in general I would have mad different tastes and inclinations when it comes to music and everything in life in general. I eventually bough Illmatic even though I had previously heard all of the tracks from it out of order on youtube in like 5 different listens rather than just sitting down with it for 1 playthrough.

    • nomadanare

      Easily one of the greatest hip-hop albums of all time.

  • naturalista88

    “What about you? Have you experienced that person, place or thing that altered your world? Has there been any collision that sent you into the great abyss of greatness?”

    The passing of both of my parents & my maternal grandmother within an eight year span really changed me; made me question my faith, caused a lot of anxiety & fear about what was to come in the future, but it also made me realize that I am not a super heroine & that I didn’t have to suffer in silence so as not to be a burden on someone else. I recently went to a few counseling sessions on my campus & I’m looking into finding something more long-term so that I can deal w/the issues of my childhood & possibly move forward w/my life.

    • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

      By my 25th year I’d lost both my parents and both sets of grandparents. I have learned that I didn’t mourn in those moments. I mourn very slowly over a long period of time.

      My mourning has turned me into a wanderer. I guess I’m looking for that place called home. But, it doesn’t exist anymore. And, I’m not sure exactly how to really deal with life when there is no home to go to.

      So, I just keep wandering.

      I think I found home for a moment once. In someone’s eyes. But, well, she’s not around anymore. So, once again I became homeless.

      So, I just keep wandering.

      • A Woman’s Eyes

        Aw Im sorry Val and Nilla.

        • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

          Thank you.

      • Sahel

        You wont find a home,you now have to be the home for someone else who is coming up. Thats my take because i went through the same thing. We have to replace the ones who pass and when our time comes we get replaced as well

        • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

          Interesting.

      • Diamond Jim55

        Maybe its just me but i feel that protracted mourning (more than a month) is disrespectful to the deceased. I’ve lost both parents and two daughters so I’ve known grief. If we truly know them like we think we did, there can be no doubt they would want us to go on strong. Of course we all are going to deal with it in our own way, this is just my take on it.

        • camilleblu

          they say that a parent losing a child is the worst thing that can happen to a person…i am a parent and still have my parents and i just cannot comprehend such loss…for you to have lost 2 children and your parents and still have the desire to keep moving speaks volumes though there are no words….

        • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

          I agree with Camille. I too am sorry for your loss.

          And, I definitely get what you are saying. I guess we all mourn in different ways for different amounts of time.

      • http://missrosen.worpress.com esa

        ~ I guess I’m looking for that place called home. But, it doesn’t exist anymore.

        Miss Val, this hit me, hard. it reminds me of a moment i had walking along Bennett one lovely Spring day three years ago. i had left everything: my family, my career, my man—and i no longer knew who or what i was.

        but more than this, i didnt know where i could go to be safe, to be home. then—epiphany!—i heard a voice tell me i was a snail.

        a snail? i asked, feeling eeww at the thought.

        yes, the voice told me. a snail is at home where ever s/he goes.

        maybe it is this: no matter what may be, to be free is to be at home in the world. home is not a place, but a state of mind. i cant say i’m there yet but i put my faith in the journey forth ~*~

        • LMNOP

          I always think I’m like a turtle, I carry my home on my back. I would suggest to that to the voice in your head, because you could be at home wherever you are without being slimy. :)

        • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

          That’s beautiful, Esa. I hope I can learn to adopt that point of view.

        • nillalatte

          “maybe it is this: no matter what may be, to be free is to be at home in the world. home is not a place, but a state of mind.”

          Love it. I think this is why nature and I are content with each other. I find the world (most of it) home. :)

          Has anyone told you today how awesome you are?! :)

          • http://missrosen.worpress.com esa

            (heart)

        • http://TheNewEve.com Bunni

          Esa, you make my heart smile!! Oprah needs to give you a show on OWN, and then I need to buy your books and give em to my relatives for xmas, and THEN you need one of those awesome “quote of the day” desk calendars :-)

          • http://missrosen.worpress.com esa

            Miss Bunni ~ you just gave me the best giggle with the “quote of the day” desk calendar ! i had no idea how much that tickled me, so yeaa, i’m gonna add this lil dream to my life ~*~

      • LMNOP

        Naturalista and Val, I can’t even imagine losing my parents at such a young age. I’m so sorry.

        And Val, I’m a wanderer too. I don’t have any particular reason, but I’m looking for home too. I try to make every place I live feel like home, but I feel like one day I will just know I’m in the right place. I’m hoping it’s soon. But I’ll still want to go to new places I’m sure.

        • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

          “I try to make every place I live feel like home, but I feel like one day I will just know I’m in the right place. I’m hoping it’s soon.”

          I totally get that. I try too. It hasn’t quite worked yet though. And, like you I’m hoping I can find home soon.

          Thanks.

      • Sweet Ga Brown

        Val, you have to find home within yourself. Always keep the memories of those that you lost but move on in life utilizing everything they have taught you. One thing I learned is that no one else can be your home. You have to be grounded in you. Continue on your journey in life and you will overcome this time and be a blessing to those that need your wisdom.

        • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

          In my mind I totally get that, SGB, but my heart is harder to convince. I’m working on it though.

          • http://dominicanabanana.wordpress.com Asiyah

            Val and Naturalista,

            Group hug.

            • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

              Hiya, Asiyah.

              Thanks.

  • Negro Libre

    Moment of impact: seeing Halle Berry in the Flinstones; I guess that’s when I found out I was biologically heterosexual.

    • IcePrincess

      Loooool! Ain’t nun wrong wit it!

    • Todd

      Interesting choice, but alright. :)

      • Negro Libre

        Well, it’s residue from J.Collins talk yesterday. Since, many people who come out as gay often refer to a “moment” in their lives when they knew they were gay…I was thinking out loud that if this is true, their must be a moment when you know you are straight; or isn’t there?

        • LMNOP

          you know, I think when you grow up in a heteronormative society, straight is the default and you assume you’re straight until/ unless you find out otherwise, which is why the moment you realize you are gay is different than realizing you are straight, which you probably already assumed you were anyway.

          • Sweet Ga Brown

            You might have a point. I had lil “boyfriends” here and there but I think I knew I was definitely into guys when I got hot flashes from watching Silk the Shocker(what kinda name is that) and Sisqo videos. I realized attractive guys had a physical impact on me when I saw that DeAngelo-How Does it Feel video.

            • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

              Lol@Sisqo

            • IcePrincess

              Omg silk da shocka was my HUSBAND back in the day! Tall dark & handsome, and a thug too? *double swoon*

          • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

            Exactly, LMNOP.

          • blackphilo

            This version of “heteronormative” critique is reductionist–as if opposite-sex dynamics are generally unburdened by confusing factors. There is a significant difference between assuming one is straight and knowing one is.

            For example: How can a straight guy express affection for his male friends? Can a straight guy appreciate male beauty? If he finds such questions troubling, does that suggest he’s gay?

            Of course, once he’s confident that he is straight, heteronormativity will make his sexuality less problematic in the world. Different issue, though.

        • http://missrosen.worpress.com esa

          i agree. i knew the moment. i was 3. he was in his 20s. i climbed on his lap at a party. i still remember how happy i felt. i still remember how it horrified my parents to see me express attraction. sexuality of any kind freaks many people out ..

          • LMNOP

            From a parental perspective, that would freak me the fck out not because there is anything wrong with sexuality, but because you were so young and I would be scared that maybe someone had been abusing you.

            • http://missrosen.worpress.com esa

              to clarify, i just was sitting in his lap, talking away. i wasnt “doing” anything suggestive. in fact i remember being super clear in my head that i had zero idea how to act on this attraction. i wasnt thinking of kisses or touching or rubbing or anything. i knew how i felt but i didnt know what to do with my feelings, other than to be snuggly.

              with all due respect, i think it’s a leap to think a child sitting on an adult’s lap had been sexually abused, but i get how times have put very disturbing images in our mind regarding children and sexuality ..

  • minxbrie

    2012 was the year from hell for me. I would say I’ve been having it rough since 2003, but 2012 definitely took it home.

    January 26th, my Nanna called to tell me that my Uncle Geoff had finally passed away after battling cancer for a year. In June, I watched my Papa bawl as he admitted that he had cancer AGAIN after being in remission for 9 years. July 13th, my step-dad was taken off of life support after an accidental drug overdose.

    I learned how much I hate the word “strong.” On many occasions, I wanted to quit my job, quit school, hole up in my room and never resurface. Instead, I went to classes, I did my job, and I kept going. Because I had to. To me, strength is a choice. Some of us are afforded the chance to be weak, while others aren’t. I don’t know how NOT to be strong and it has made me a very isolated person.

    I’m still working on putting my life back into place because I’m too quick to put everything that I love on hold in order to survive the day to day. I’m not sure that I’m destined for greatness anymore, but I’m working on creating some kind of alternative for myself.

    • namia

      Your last paragraph is so me.. ‘ I dont know how not to be strong’…. i almost lost a pal once because i rarely complain about life….or situations that impact me negatively and if i
      do its short lived… she likes to take care of pple ….. very long story

    • http://missrosen.worpress.com esa

      ~ I don’t know how NOT to be strong and it has made me a very isolated person.

      (heart)

      i did this for a very long time. one of the beauties of youth is energy in large supply. i could use all my pain to fuel my passion, and it served me very well until the pain became to great. then i had to stop. and learn that dealing with pain head on is where one finds their greatest source of strength.

      it appears as weakness, yes, i judge myself harshly. but i also know what i have lived, and what i have done, and what it has taken to both face and tell my truth. it feels like weakness because it goes sooo fukkinnn deep. but this too shall pass and from it we shall see ..

      we are all isolated until we open up. it’s rather like a flower, and there is beauty in bloom. consider strength and weakness are merely labels of the ebb and flow of pain ~*~

  • Kaya

    When I was about 11, my mom and I were walking to the supermarket near our house. I suggested we cross to the other side of the street and so we did. A few minutes later, we watched a van lose control and crash into a tree across the street from us. If we had not crossed the street, our trip to the grocery store could have ended up very differently. But it is not just those moments that come to mind. It is also those happy moments of meeting new people who open your world to different experiences. I agree with Panama that each day is a collection of those moments and that is what makes every day exciting :)

    • LMNOP

      Wow. That is a pretty amazing story.

  • Michael H.

    When I was a kid, I remember it rained on and off one summer day (circa 1993) and that Spike Lee was coming to visit at the high school across from my neighborhood. It was a big deal for that little town. Brothas rolling up in the parking lot on the same radio station bumpin “Nothing but a G Thang”, givin’ the nod to the ladies in biker shorts and airbrushed graffiti tees. High top fades and Cross Colours and Air Jordan 8s with the two straps… I was just a nappy headed kid, excited to be around all of the cool brothas, peeping the game and creating my own aspirations to be just as cool. As the anticipation built all around; people talking about “I wonder what he’s doing here”… “I heard he has family in Peach Tree”… “I think he’s doing a movie down here”…We sat in the bleachers in the gymnasium until it reached a final swell like a Tokyo subway train. The doors closed. The PA sparked on and all drew silent. I snuck off of the bleachers to sit on the floor courtside. Some Public Enemy started playing and I saw a line of fine Sistas with some skin tight majorette looking tight outfits on… Good lord… It looked like they were hand picked based on their ass because I have never seen so much round thick fine black booty in my pre-pubescent life..(I think that’s what started puberty for me) They ushered through the middle of the gym and did some dances and kept our attention for about 10 minutes until Spike showed up and everybody went extra nuts, star struck. He sat down on a stage platform designed with all of these posters from Do the Right Thing and School Daze and whatnot. I moved closer to get a closer look and, Spike Lee wrapped his bony hand around the microphone, his frame looked like an old/young dude, thick glasses and deer in the headlight gaze. He spoke and everybody got quiet. Honestly, I can’t remember much of what he was saying but towards the end, something surreal happened. Towards the end of his speech he was looking out in the audience like he was looking for someone as he said, “One of you will be the next Spike Lee someday. I can feel it.”. He said thank you and everybody clapped and there was a procession to meet him, shake his hand and exit. So I was ready to meet this cat too. I made my way to the podium and when I got up to where he was sitting, Spike Lee looked at me and said nothing. Not hello, just looked at me like he saw a ghost. I thought to myself that this dude is a mean old self centered motherf*cker. Probably didn’t like kids. He then took my hand and shook it hard and squeezed it and stared at me and smiled and nodded. I left that school that day and the sun was out, and it stopped raining and I remember this well because I could still smell the musty rain atmosphere as I walked back home. I never said a word to Spike Lee and he never said a word to me. The difference is he spoke to everybody else. Perhaps he knew, that I knew, that he said what he had to say to me in his speech on that podium… If it was some sort of gimmick or cheesy personality quirk…Who knows… That day, I felt like I was passed a torch or something. I will never forget that day, and I will always use that memory when I think of how much creativity I’ve bled over and for through these years, how much I’ve have accomplished creatively, scholastically, and professionally. Mostly, how beautiful Black people are; their culture, souls, lives, and minds. Above all, I’ve understood how we are all sensors to that beauty, and how greatness is contagious… be careful how you choose to spread it.

    • http://www.styleillusions.com WIP

      Nice.

    • Angel Baby

      Where can we follow some of your creative work (i.e. blog, tv, etc)?

  • Leila

    Moment of Impact: While I was in Grad School in ’07, went to Shanghai & Hong Kong for 6 mths. with the Business School and came back a different person, met a guy from CT who instantly changed my life – he taught me to be more free and live in the moment. Trip also made an impact on my career as now 6 yrs later, I’m managing 2 accts based in Shanghai and Hong Kong.

    Another moment of impact was meeting a guy who is one of my best friends. I met him weeks before getting laid off and he got me through the layoff, very supportive which was comforting because I moved cross country for this job only 10 months prior….on a separate occasion, I literally almost smacked right into him at the airport when I got back into town. i was walking with my head down and looked up right before bumping into him. at the time, i was very upset after an argument with a family member. He had never seen me upset cuz i’m usually smiling or laughing. he always seems to be there when I need him.

    • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

      What would life be without friends!