The M-1 Railway…

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I was thinking about a recently-departed friend when I took this picture. She would’ve loved seeing this on Instagram were she here today. That being said, I was moved by the progress of the railway that being constructed. For the first time in nearly six decades, the city of Detroit is once again having mass transit! And I don’t care what anybody says, EVERY major American city should have one. Even if it’s known for manufacturing cars. Besides, the auto industry isn’t the powerhouse that it once was, nor will it ever be again.

This small three-mile strip between Jefferson and Detroit’s New Center area is just a testing of the waters, as it were, to see if The Motor City can hang with the other cities that still maintain it. Once the auto industry boomed in the early 50′s, the railway vehicles were off the streets. And since then, many Detroiters-myself included- have mourned not having any. Seems like we’ve got our wish!

And BTW, I can’t wait to be on the trains once the rails are completed! And I will be ready, if the will of God allows it. Woodward Ave is partially outta commission between now and 2016. But it just might be worth it!

Namaste.

Autumn Air

Day 321

Summer’s ending
The shortest season
Of the year
Wishing that I knew the reason
Why this particular time of year
Excites me
Leaves turn from
Green to red
The scorching heat
Dies down
The residue of
Summer’s breeze
Blows over into
The autumn season
From September
To November
Before it begins
Its gentle freeze
This autumn air that I breathe
Is one that’s pleasant
The crisp sound of leaves
On the ground
How sharp and clear
Around this time of year
As I embrace its presence
Rain turns to snow
Yet the temperature
Is mild
As I walk through the villages
Of the city
The leaves on the trees
Are a bright orange and red
Its sight, how very pretty
As the holidays approach
And the year nears its end
I will continue to savor
This autumn air
And forever breathe it in

(c) JVLIVS 2013, 2014

A Random Act of Kindness

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A recent picture from my current 365 Project: The backstory behind this is both shocking and encouraging all in one. That said, I’ll just dive right in on it!

I was at Burlington Coat Factory in Roseville, MI, and I choose some designer socks to complement my suits whenever I’m attending meetings at the Hall, or out in field service. Understand, even though I’m still studying for my Insurance License, I’m still unemployed, but I had money on me, but the event that followed still has me in amazement. I meet this beautiful, voluptuous woman who was looking good from head-to-toe, literally. She had an armful of stuff, and judging by how she was dressed, I ask her if she was just getting off work, and she was. I’m not even gonna lie, I was admiring her curves, but I snapped back to reality. Long story short, we struck up a conversation, and she asked me if I had gotten off work, and I told her that I was (then) recently laid off after 20 years of custodial work for Detroit Public Schools, and was going to school for Business (I plan to resume classes in January), and was studying for my insurance license, so I had many things in store for me, still do. Like I said, she had an armful of merchandise, but she managed quite well. She noticed the socks that I had, and she complimented me on my choice of socks. I told her that they were five pair for ten bucks, and I had to get ‘em. Time had passed, and it was her turn to pay for her stuff, she didn’t have much. She then paid for her things, and when it was my turn, she gave me ten bucks for my socks! Catching me way off guard, I said thanks (I hope I did, at least-everything happened so quickly), and I used the money that the lady gave me to purchase the socks. Both the cashier and I was shocked by her gesture. I immediately paid for the socks and dashed out of Burlington Coat Factory to thank the lady again, and she was gone! No where to be seen. I still don’t know what to make of it all, because I did have money on me. I hope that we cross paths again so I can thank her again.

I did, however, say to myself, and to God, that should I one day, come across someone in a similar plight as mine in the future, I’d do likewise for them.

Under the same circumstances!

Namaste.

Tears of Silence

A poem that I composed earlier this year…

Loneliness and bitterness
Plague my soul constantly
Ill-treatment nonstop
From strangers
Family
People in the job
Even people in the congregation
On the tail-end of other
People’s frustrations
When will it stop
I love, give, respect the wishes of
My fellow man
Yet, in return I get just the opposite
I did not ask for this
Yet I’m stuck with it
A hardened heart
And a calloused soul
Is what I obtain
To keep from going insane
But on the flip side
Those with way too much pride
Have now received what they’ve
Dished out
And now they’re the ones who are
Hurting inside
Their cause has now
Elicited and effect
They’ve reaped what they’ve sown
Paying off that karmic debt
Sucks to be you right now
Now you know
Not to mistreat folks simply because
“You can”
God SEES what you do
And you will be held accountable
You’ve reveled for years in your
Selfish lust, greed and violence
Yeah, I said it once,
And I’ll say it again,
Sucks to be you right now
As you gnash your teeth and weep
Crying tears of silence

(C) JVLIVS 2014

I am a womb twin survivor!

I know that I have brought this subject up more times than necessary in recent years.  And unfortunately, this particular subject still remains either questioned, or worse, ignored.  Even by parents of womb twin survivors have difficulty comprehending such an issue.  Me being a twin/twinless twin/womb twin survivor.  But ironically, those who are of a multiple birth-such as myself-are perhaps the only ones who can understand it.  But growing up twinless remains both a blessing, and a curse for me, even as I approach 40.  For as long as I can remember, I always wondered why I went through the things I’d gone through.  Constant abuse by friends, coworkers, and even family, yeah I went there.  It seems to me that in forty years of life I went through more maledictions than blessings in life.  And I was wondering why I kept crying all the time, became obsessive with both life and death, why I always held back from expressing my true emotions to people wishing that I had the “testicular fortitude” to just let ‘em have it without any fear of the consequences, constant loneliness, had no one to talk to, fend for me and vice versa, it was just mind boggling to me all these years.

I could go on and on about what my life has consisted of.  I was a loner then, and I remain one now.  I have mentioned that my mother was pregnant with two boys, and sadly one of us made it.  Other than my twin, I have no other siblings, which leaves me the only child despite the fact that my birth certificate says “twin”.  I’d take that one step further; only surviving child at that!  I still say that I’m a twin (which I am), and I still say that I came from all boys (which I did).  To this day, I’ll talk to anyone who’d listen to me on this subject.  And I gotta admit, even at my age, as entertaining as it may be on occasion, it gets real redundant and even depressing sometimes.  But for years I was wondering why my grades were down most of the time in school, why it was hard for me to concentrate, why I had so many problems in life such as stuttering, and not knowing how to react when I’m being slighted.  Even my own relatives made me into their punching bag when things didn’t go their way, and yet people wonder why I’m to myself, at the same same time emotionless towards some folks in the world, be it friends, coworkers, family, even girlfriends.  For a long time I have borne resentment because I begged my mother to have more children, but being the Christian that she was and is, she was following Biblical standards to remain celibate until she remarried seeing that she had divorced my dad at the time.  And no longer having both parents under the same roof had made things even more complicated, if not confusing.  It was around that time (maybe some months later), that mom had revealed to me that there was another child in the family, but sadly, even before both of us was born, he was dead before then which-little did I know at the time-would have a very profound effect on my existence for decades to come.  Again, I could ramble on about the negatives on the subject, but I have noticed these things about growing up twinless; most things I’d do, I’d do in doubles, even to this very day.  I live the lives of two, eat for two, think for two, drink for two, even talk for two!  Most things that I do, say, and even think of are double because I make up for, or feel the need to, anyway, this longtime deficit that has been a part of me these past four decades.  I mentioned earlier that being twinless was both a blessing and a curse.  I’ve pretty much harped on the curse(s), and I got some stories to tell, too!  But now time to reveal the blessings of being such…

Even though my brother didn’t have a chance to see this world, I did!  And that’s something to brag about.  And it could’ve been worse, mom told me had he lived, he would’ve ended up being severely retarded, and that might’ve made things worse because we’d have to give him constant attention which would’ve drained all of our energy and resources.  Had he lived, we might’ve been conjoined (siamese), one of us would’ve been the good twin, the other, the evil one.  At least I didn’t have any extra limbs attached to me.  I thought about Andy Garcia just now as I wrote this.  Even though my twin didn’t survive, I still feel his spirit in me sometimes.  That’s the “connection” amongst multiples down to this day.  And according to the Bible’s promise of a resurrection, I hope to be reunited with him again.  So I have that hope as well as opportunity.  And another ironic thing about all this is that when I interact with those who are twins, I feel an instant “chemistry” with them most times.  Be they young or old, I can identify with my fellow twins.  What’s surreal about all this is that I tell folks that I’m a twin, yet the only evidence of it is on my birth certificate!  And BTW, I’m the oldest of the two, the Alpha Male of the bunch!  So in the new world, it’s gonna be some big brother/little brother action the way it was supposed to be to begin with!  So despite this longtime void that I’ve inherited, the only good thing so far is that-depending on me between now and Armageddon-is that this is all temporary.  The video below, for me, uncovered a lot of unlocked secrets about being a twin survivor.  And for a long time, I thought I was dealing with a case of either OCD, ADD/ADHD, I may have ‘em, who knows?!?  Right now, I’m trying to live better at 39 than I have for the past three decades.

Namaste.

The NEW Homestead!

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For the second time in ten years, I am once again a suburbanite, and a homeowner. At times I still miss Mt. Clemens, but this is doing me justice living here in Saint Clair Shores. The cops don’t play, my insurance dropped like a stone (Thank God for that), it’s peaceful and quiet, and things are accessible despite having to get to some of them in a very convoluted way. I am thankful that I have this place. I’ll never again take God’s grace for granted!

Namaste.

Lost In My Thoughts

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As I write this entry, I reflect on the transitions that are taking place in my life right now. I’ve been very dormant as far as doing real photography is concerned. The bad weather we’ve had since this year began, then Mary died after a series of heart problems, which made me shut down for quite some time. We had TWO District Conventions at Ford Field here in Detroit-both were international, so I had the privilege of shooting pictures of our international delegates from distant parts of the globe. Go to http://www.jw.org and see for yourself.

Other events that took place had seemed to impede the path that I really wanna take down the road to being successful in life. I lost my job after 20 years (19 to be exact), got into an accident (rear-ended), my grandmother passed, and so far the only thing that’s keeping me sane is going from door-to-door preaching God’s truth to whoever has a willing and listening ear. And while we are advertising the JW.org website, some congregations had run out of tracts to publish while others had stacks of them! It’s all good, either way. Another transition that’s on the horizon is that I am seriously considering going into business for myself be it insurance, eBay, or even my photography. After 20 years of doing the same thing, I could use something different. Thing is, it’s gonna be an entirely different atmosphere. I have to put in the work, cover taxes, keep track if every penny that I spend, etc.. It’s all up to me if it’s to be! That said, being a JW, talking to folks is a no-brained most of the time, so it’s the discipline that I need to work on the most. I’ve been making that a serious matter if prayer as of late. As the Bible says (as I quote from King James); “…ye have not because ye ask not…” So with so much on the brain right now, it’s real easy to be lost in thought right now, but I’m gradually getting myself back on track.

Namaste.

Left Hander’s Day!

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As you well know, I do not celebrate any of the holidays, but in this case, one would make an exception. This iconic international day in honour of the lefties, the southpaws, the cack handed, the “Devil’s Side”, if you will. Originally observed on August 13, 1976 for left handers in a right handed society. It was also created to promote awareness of the inconveniences that lefties face in a mostly orthodox environment. And me being left handed but forced right, I had to adapt spending years being something that I was never meant to be in the first place. But as the years went on as I’ve gotten older, I’ve begun-and still do in reference to other things-to gravitate towards the left. I could delve further about my backstory in all this, but let’s just say that a certain family member of mine, I don’t see in the same light anymore, but that’s another story altogether!

Let us move on!

I posted the image above on my Instagram page, and it blew up immediately! It’s been said that lefties make up about 10% of this world’s population. Thankfully, although I found out about my left handedness so late in life, I am a part of that ten percent. I would not doubt that number would be more due to persons born left handed but were forced to be right handed. Some, like me, ended up being ambidextrous, the ability to use both. But in spite of what I’ve went through, I still claim my left-handedness for two reasons: 1) I was born as such to begin with, and 2) I am a twin, my brother (God rest his soul) and I were fraternal, so one of us was gonna be left handed, and the other, right handed. With that being said, that gave me all the more reason to take back what was taken from me. So as I commemorate this day in observation if left handedness in a right handed society, I take my part in supporting anything that deals with the use of what’s falsely referred to as “Sinister”, “The Devil’s Side”, as well as any other BS myth that downs the use of the left hand! One fact that I know personally to be the truth: Left Handers are the most creative, artistic, outspoken, even athletic people on this earth! Thankfully with the awareness that we have today, the current generation of lefties won’t have to go through the crap we went through. God forbid we still have some idiot parents who go by those non-biblical, mythical lies about left handed people.

Namaste.

http://www.anythinglefthanded.co.uk
http://www.lefthandersday.com

Time Waits For NO ONE!

I’ll just make this as brief as I possibly can.  With grandma’s passing earlier this week, and going through some things (I won’t reveal what they are just yet), let’s just say that the pace has picked itself up and me along with it.  I’ve said before that this year had been one of closure, and I have a lot of closed chapters to share in brief the chain of events that have taken place since this year began.  Even though I am currently unemployed, I’ve been blessed in as well as with other things.  I may be moving soon, I have one more year of school left, still don’t know how I’m gonna finance it, but I wanna get this final year (and some change) out the way ASAP!  I had my car fixed, I cut my losses with Detroit Public Schools after 20 years of being with them.  And that was a big mess that I got caught up in with Sodexo in 2011, and it’s gotten worse now.  So if any of my former DPS/Sodexo/Powerlink/Aramark coworkers have returned, I wish them all well.  And it’s a huge mess that’s gonna get worse.  So peace of mind was my first priority.  

With all that being said, as time marches forward, I’m marching along with it, and I’ve gotten this sudden itching to go “shooting” again.  But with Mary gone, that void still remains quite large, but nothing compared to my grandmother.  Moral is, if there’s anything you wish to do in life, NOW is the time.  Case in point:  In recent years, My grandmother as well as Mary had moved on to greener pastures north of 8 Mile Rd.  While their stay was short-lived, it was one of peace and serenity to say the least.

Namaste.

A wanderlusting visionary from Detroit. Suburban resident, businessman in the making, bodybuilder in the making, photographer, writer, designer, poet. Artistic, creative, critical, and analytical thinking person all in one. Cross-dominant (not to be confused to "Ambidextrous"), left-handed most times, twin (R.I.P. my bro), devout JW, I'm a loner until you get to know me a WHOLE lot better…

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