This journal was given to me by my Beautiful Valentine. She said she remembered me admiring it during one of our many visits to Barnes and Noble. I give this new journal life, in memory of a life that ended on Valentine's Day. I learned, this morning, of Uncle Chuck's passing through my Dad. Emphysema got the best of him. My mind immediately ran through my memories of him and the last few times I shared with him.
I remember my first "lone" trip to Red Level, Alabama. It was the Summer of 2000. I was headed to Mobile to meet up with my now ex-wife, mom, and still brand new baby girl, Taylor. Dad asked if I could pick Chuck up, on the way. This was before navigation on cell phones and such. So, I set out for Red Level. Driving in the days of MapQuest, I followed those directions like funk on a turd! If you've ever driven to Red Level, Alabama, as a person of color, you'd understand the feeling in my gut and my refusal to stray from the course in any way. Rebel flags on just about every house, except for Uncle Chuck's. His flag was big and American! LOL! I picked him up and on the road, we got caught up. Chuck talked a hell of a lot, but I loved his stories.
My next trip to Red Level was the Summer of 2010. I think I was still in process of moving here to Roswell. I was either picking up or dropping off, on behalf of my father. This is when the attached pictures were taken. We talked for two to three hours, sitting at his kitchen table with his pistol lying peacefully between us. He always kept it close. Chuck loved having company.
My last time seeing Uncle Chuck was that same year, in August. I had to return to Mobile for a video/photo shoot on Dauphin Island. Dad was gonna meet up with us at the house in Eight Mile and take Chuck back to Louisiana with him for a bit. Once again, I passed through Red Level, picking up Uncle Chuck, and talked all the way to Eight Mile. The shoot ended up being all day long, and if I remember correctly, Dad had come and gone by the time I made it back to the house. So, he and Chuck were Louisiana bound.
These are all great times by which Chuck will be remembered. What he will be remember by most, for me, is his collection of short stories, told in the voice of his 12 to 13 year old self. "Country Boys Don't Lie" is the title of his compilation. I read some as a kid, again as a teenager, and again as an adult. I find myself entertained and amused every single time.
Uncle Chuck, I took for granted that you'd be there the next time I was able to breeze through. Yet, I am grateful for every random and sporadic email we'd shoot one another, off and on over the past four years or so. "Don't forget about me!", you'd often command. I haven't, Uncle Chuck, and I never will!! As long as I have THESE pictures, THESE moments, THESE writings, THESE memories of you, I hold THIS Truth to be self-evident! COUNTRY BOYS DON'T DIE!!!!!!! I LOVE YOU DUDE!!
This phrase plays in my mind and in conversations between my Best Friend and I, when talking about the ONE idiot who decides to make one selfish move that results in an ill effect on hundreds, maybe even thousands. When traffic is totally jacked on 400 at an odd, non-rush hour, time, it's almost always because of that ONE nut who decided he/she couldn't wait until Fall to go jumping off the tree! I was thinking about this phrase, "all it ever takes in one", a little while ago and began to see it applying to more than just traffic.
My mind ran to my most recent relationships. Most of you know that I've, now, been married and divorced twice. I think about the pain, misery and devastation that my heart experienced in both these situations. My message here is not to bash or belittle, so put on your grown and mature thinking caps before reading any further. To speak ill of anyone is to think of myself as better or perfect, and I am nowhere near perfect or free of fault. From all I've gone through, I've grown and matured, and I have two of the most awesome and amazing children known to mankind. I'm blessed!
My first wife was the first woman I had ever fully opened my heart to, with whom I shared every journal. I laid it all out, thinking it was best and the only approach to what would become a marriage situation. Not to say I am all that, but ultimately for the weight of who I truly am, she was not the one. For her, I was not the one. After 10 and half years, we parted ways. In that time, I had become a person I said I'd never be. I did things I said I'd never do. Note to all: the ONE for you will bring out the best in you, not the worst. All it ever takes is one, to throw you completely off and take you places never meant for you.
Again, there is no ill intent here. Oil and water. You can pour them both into the same bucket, but the two will never blend or dissolve into each other, becoming one. Is that not what a marriage is, becoming one? To be one is a MAJOR thing, and no man or woman on earth can truly draw a map of how to get there. You simply know when you've arrived, or you already know you're not there and may never be, in your current "car".
Too soon after my first marriage, I committed to a new relationship, which became another marriage. Ignoring all the red flags and bent on satisfying impulses, I was all in, head first. Again, I dropped my entire self onto the table. I laid out all the good, bad, and ugly of Bryan Hollomon Williams. There is so much freedom in truth and keeping it at the forefront. Over time, I realized I was on a similar path to what I had traveled before. I, later, realized it was pretty much the same show, but different cast. Think about it this way. You're the passenger, better yet, navigator in the car. Your job is to direct the driver. You say, "Keep straight, and don't make the next turn." You know that there is a dead end on that road to the left, along with robbers who will take all you have. I mean, you are holding the map and see the dangers according to the waze of the past, right. It's a make or break situation. Your driver makes the turn ANYWAY, without regard to you or the young passengers riding along. At that point in time, I must do what's best and what's right for myself and the young ones in the back seat. We jump out and head back to the main road. When it's too late, the driver realizes that all passengers have bailed, because they've been down that road before and will not be subject to it again. All it ever takes in one wrong turn. You never know if you'll get a second chance, so why even risk it?
Reminded by a couple of folks over the past two weeks, one thing that has never died in me is the hope of finding the one meant for me, someone who could bear the fullness of who I am, what my heart holds, and the dragon in my chest. This person would accept me as I am, blemishes and all, and love me in spite of me. She did tell me that one day, "I love you in spite of you!" Those words went so deep into my heart! She expects nothing of me other than for me to be the man I am. Then she hits me with, "I've waited a long time to love you!" She was given a glimpse of my heart 20 years ago and has grown to love it even more, over the past year. No one has ever fit into my dreams as easily as she does. I've never imagined anyone traveling to my most cherished places with me, until her. I've never moved so slowly in a relationship before, but I've never been happier than I am right now.
All it ever takes is one.......
One to shed the light.
One to treat you right.
One to love your dreams
As much as you.
One to cherish your heart
With a love that's absolutely true.
One to dive into you
To depths untold.
One to confirm that
she is the other half of your half a soul.
All it ever takes is one.......
One who is all you ever needed.
One for whom your heart has pleaded.
One who builds you up
And never tears you down.
One whose got your back
And will always be around.
One who loves
All you will ever be.
One who, in you, greatness
She will forever see.
Sorry, I ran off for a minute there. I guess ultimately, we choose people and relationships that may have never been meant for us. Times past, I was told, "You have to speak it into existence!" I'd try, as many of you all have seen over the years of FB and such. The realization I have come to is this. If what I'm "speaking life" into never existed in the will of God for my life, then I'm doing CPR on space. If you caught that, GREAT DAY! Look at it this way. I stand before the fire of marriage, with my shovel, next to a pile of coal. I've gotta keep this fire burning, so I'm shoveling and shoveling and shoveling. On the other side of the fire, stands my mate with her own pile of coal, who has yet to pick up her shovel, hands clean, breaking no sweat. She puts more effort into criticizing the work I'm doing rather than offering a hand to help. Over time, my arms can't handle anymore and my coal runs out. I've got no more to give. The fire dies. All it ever takes is one to bleed you dry.
If God were in the business of blessing that which He never called, meant, or willed to be, then would He truly be God, worthy of our honor, praise, obedience and adoration?? Would I pray to God for that which He does not condone? "Lord, please bless me with crack money, bullet money, or the strength to pull off this robbery!" MADNESS, right?? It's extreme, but it's the same as asking God or expecting God to bless or be pleased with a union He never had in mind for you. All it ever takes is ONE to set your mind right and show you the way!
You all do realize that this is a simple catharsis for me, right?
HAPPY FREEZING WEDNESDAY NIGHT Y'ALL!! I LOVE YOU ALL, EACH AND EVERY ONE!!
They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. I believe a single picture can be worth a million, but we will stick with what the world can handle, though may not fathom, the thousand. Truth be told, this one's worth only about two hundred and fifty-nine or so. This picture is now my profile pic on Facebook. It was taken this afternoon, as I waited for my son's bus to swing through. In a moment of thought, I flashed back to yesterday. Yesterday, I realized that all my best days, prior to now, were merely "stand-ins" for her. As I forfeit my sight to the sky, peaceful warmth filled my heart, as I played and replayed the smiles of the Spectacular 6 in my mind, during recent events and encounters. The visions fade out, transitioning to a day where I saw a smile on my mother's face I had NEVER seen before, a smile of "FINALLY" and of approval. Again, I had never seen this before on my mother's face. That longed for happiness and understanding is now had, by this soul of mine. GOD IS GOOD!!
Suddenly, my mind goes immediately back to my FB status on Sunday:
"To have someone hold your heart, in her hand, and treat it as though it IS the most precious thing ever given her, by God, is absolutely beyond what any words can express, explain, or describe! IT IS WHAT IT IS! We go through life and circumstance after circumstance, thinking we know, and finally knowledge shows up, only to show you that you've never had a clue before now. WOW! THEN, you realize how much, over your life, you've squandered, misused, and abused words, emotions and feelings. To fully understand this, us, we, you'll never be so blessed. For US, this is. For US, it will always be!"
There is always something more to a picture than it's look, than it's surface. Once you've explored its depths and resurfaced, do you still like what you see?
HAPPY HUMP DAY Y'ALL!! BE BLESSED IN ALL YOU DO AND PUT YOUR HANDS TO!! I LOVE ALL OF YA!!
Okay, yesterday morning, "chapters" came to mind. I was thinking about life and how it's a book, a story told and unceasingly written. In terms of the various reasons and seasons of friendships and relationships in my life, there are those that are meant to carry through the entire novel and those that are only significant for a specific chapter or period of learning and growth. There is purpose to all we go through in life and we HAVE to be able to discern such. If we don't, we may find ourselves dragging dead, detrimental weight into our futures. Lugging along the inconsequential will only cause damage to or even prolong and prevent your true purpose in life.
Some of this may come off as mean or harsh, but it's truth. Not everyone you meet, grew up with or had relationships with is meant to be a part of your life forever and always. I, Bryan Hollomon Williams must recognize this of my own existence, and I have no problem staying in my lane and accepting my insignificance in the lives of others. It is what it is. Truth be told, it's enough work already, understanding and maintaining all that my life holds for me. What is it that makes us want to be ever involved in certain lives of which we are no longer called to be a part? Personally, I think it's discontentment. We all are or have been victim at some point of unhappiness with our lives. Think about it. My life today is a combination of the sums, products, and consequences of all my choices. I believe that the choices I've made in the last year or two have set me in a place of being happy with me again, with my life, and with those meant to be here, in the now.
At this point, in life, I realize that it's 100% my fault, who/where I am today. Over the past 12 months, I've gotten better at allowing the chapters to end. There is so much more ahead, and to be written. Living in the past is not an option. If a person's significance has passed, let them remain in their chapter. Again, this may be a "jagged little pill" as Alanis would say, but it's truth. Be grateful for all who come and go. Do your best to live the life meant for you and show the necessary appreciation, but DO not stop your progress and growth because you feel you should tow along with you, all who have been good to you. God ultimately serves HIS purpose through us and through the people around us.
“People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. When you figure which it is, you will know exactly what to do.” ~Michelle Ventor~
We all are pretty familiar with this quote and it is absolutely true. Now, during my weekly Sunday meeting with my Best Friend, this thought took a bit of a turn, concerning its analogy. My Front Porch Girl is always giving me new perspectives and different points of view. I am ever grateful because there are some days my impulsiveness and emotions set me on a one-track mind approach to some of my writing.
Anyway, a new mental image that hit, while we were talking and enjoying a Flat White and a Grande Blonde in a Venti cup with 4 pumps of vanilla, topped off with steamed Breve. Yeah, Aunt Claudia & Uncle Letroy, that's what took so long when we stopped on the way to church that day we were hanging with y'all. LOL! Anyway, I saw my family and I on a boat on the ocean. There was no land around, and everyone in the world lived on boats. The boats were our lives. Out came the "doggie paddlers". These are the people who are not meant to be in your life at this point, people of the past whose significance has dwindled or died. Yet, they spend their time paddling along side your boat with the hope that one day you'll pull them aboard. Meanwhile, their own boats and families are neglected. We all have been doggie paddlers at different points in our lives, not realizing the damage we do the the relationships that are meant to be. Again, we ALL have too much and enough going on in our own boats to be committing time and energy none of us can afford, on the things we are not called to. If you are in a current state of doggie paddling, BE CAREFUL. Those on your boat may sail away, as you continue chasing unicorns and rainbows. I'm just saying. We all must keep a solid focus on what's most important, and that's all the things and people God has placed in your boat. It's not unheard of to pull up along side your buddy's boat and fellowship a while. Just know and always keep it real that your over all courses are different and that time together will be broken up or ended at some point.
HAPPY MONDAY!! GET IN YOUR BOATS AND SAIL FOR THE HORIZONS GOD HAS DIRECTED YOU TO BEFORE YOU DROWN!!! I LOVE ALL Y'ALL!!
Bryan Hollomon Williams