HE’S the man sitting upright in bed. With the big ears and hope-filled eyes. He’s lost some weight. A little thinner around the cheeks than he once was. His short hair now peppered with grey. His name is Juan Carlos Pajon. A man whose body was literally opened up by a vehicle that struck him 7 weeks ago. And I say “him” because Carlos was exposed. He was outside his vehicle, having just swapped a flat tire for a spare when the vehicle struck him at speeds upward of 80 mph.
The rain fell for so long. And since darkness had occupied so much space in their lives, it was hard for either to imagine a day when the sun would actually shine again. But in time, through silent prayers and things hoped for, a day came where their eyes witnessed the sun breaking through the dark billowy clouds above. On this day, the last Sunday of a most arduous year, the San Diego sun rose to its highest point in the sky. By mid morning, all the earth below was doused in soft light. Dead corners of society where dark shadows crept now sprouted with new life. Birds high up in the trees sang beautiful melodies that the elderly, scattered in bushy parks below, made their calculated chess moves to. With the rain now surely an afterthought, the residents of San Diego looked to one another, smiled and breathed sighs of relief… That is all but one couple.
Imagine you’re on a plane. You have a window seat. You raise the cover on the window and a rush of light pours in. You gaze out on the stratosphere. White fluffy clouds blanket the sky, stretching into the endless distance. Now, the captain makes his announcement. The plane is about to make its decent. You follow the flight attendants instructions. You raise your tray table and seat back to their upright, fixed positions. Time passes and the next time you look out the window, there’s a city awaiting you down below. From this vantage point it looks so nice and organized. Colorful houses neatly laid out with trees and pools. The world below looks so inviting, so decent, so promising. But you know it’s not. Because you live in it. You know the world can be cold and unforgiving where people die unexpectedly and kill one another for senseless reasons. But your plane is making its decent toward that chaos. My aunt, someone’s mother and sister, no longer has to deal with that world below. She’s finally free. And you wanna know something, I think she opened the door to her new residence with a smile of relief on her face. Not relieved to leave her love ones behind, but the relief to be free of the worlds pain. She is with the lord, in heaven, and there is no greater place.
Worked the polls today. And boy were they long. But I met some amazing people. Met a 99-year old lady. She was just four months from having lived a century. I met a 94-year old man and just now, I shook hands with a 92-year old woman who was just as spry and giggly as a school girl. There really is a certain beauty to have lived and seen all those years.
A painting I began in October of 2015.
“When writing is a struggle, I paint what I feel inside…”
For the longest time and for reasons even I myself don’t quite yet fully comprehend, I’ve been putting off watching, Fruitvale Station. Saw it tonight with moms, though. First and foremost, rest in peace Oscar Grant. And prayers for the family you left behind. Secondly, Ryan Coogler, good sir, you came with the fire in this film. But after watching Fruitvale Station where police brutality was highlighted in the senseless shooting of a black man lying facedown, a thought came over me as my mom wept on the couch behind.