I see my life through the eyes of a kid who grew up in Brewerytown, swashbuckling my way through fights on the streets and later the jungles of Vietnam before finding my true calling as a spiritual clarion who wants all North Philadelphia children to return to their God-given Nature of Love.
Call me a Schizophrenic reporter, a flawed messenger whose mind keeps him mired in the past that also gives him the strength and resolve to forge ahead despite his failings.
I feel I let my friends of today down when I fail to let myself be a “spiritual being having a human experience.” I want nothing more than to sing the praises of the Universe that gives us so much every moment we choose to live in the present. I want to write about the Love that pervades the moment we live in, the “now.
The most perfect time of my life or anyone else’s life. That precious moment we call “now.”
But the mind’s eye calls up my past, particularly, the events of my youth and how I got here from a tough neighborhood where Love of All was considered a weakness, a chink in the armor needed to get by against mostly imaginary assaults. One had to prove his manhood and create a reputation … “Yeah, the bad guys know us and they leave us alone,” to quote a song of the day.
Fighting for a cause is a good thing, don’t get me wrong. But there are times when you just got to let things go. Like when you believe you must have control of Life in order to live life. No, you can let this world run its natural course and no matter what you do, a Power far greater than yourself will take care of you. That Power will offer unconditional love, if you let it flow.
Let the kid in you grow, Michael J. Don’t put up your guard with those fists you thought you needed to fight your way out of the “hood.” (Or the “block,” as many a drill sergeant in Basic Training once called it.) Give up your old Brewerytown ways and adopt a new set of dreams and hopes. It’s the true gift the old neighborhood has to offer you. Just open your heart and your mind will follow.
Call it the new Brewerytown Way!
(For another look at growing up in the old neighborhood, please see the following: Thanks for the path that preserved my life)