songs made of hollow shells, or how one deals with sudden BS.

i’ve been better about triggers these days.

no, not triggers on guns. but there is another aspect to
guns that falls in with what i’m sharing here. and that is,
hollow shell casings. if you’ve ever seen one up close, you
may understand what i mean. they have that foreboding air to
them, and rightly so. there was one time that i was on my
travels somewhere uptown, not too far from Sugar Hill. i
happened to see something flash in front of me on the gritty
pavement, rolling slightly. i stopped short and picked it
up and discovered that it was a shell casing. more than
likely someone was letting off a shot or two from the roof
as a way of horsing around. as i picked it up, there was a
breeze that began to wind its way under my arm and it made
a breathy but crisp note that lasted a couple of seconds.
it had a melody all its own.

it struck me funny that i could hear something like that
from something that is an insignia of conflict. you see
hollow shells, something bad went down. someone got hurt
or lost their life. and one thing we say whenever a situation
like that happens? ‘wish we could have seen it coming.’ in
ancient days, the cultures relied on arrows to wage war
from a distance. the Japanese in particular used an arrow
called a kabura-ya. this arrow, made with perforated deer
horn or wood at the tip, was used to signal the enemy that
the battle would soon commence. they also were used to
chase away evil spirits and call divinities to aid them.
now, they’re sold at Shinto shrines as relics of a bygone
era and as spiritual totems.

over the past couple of days, i’ve been fighting off the
adverse effect of moods brought on by different triggers.
there was a time that i had no idea what brought all of
it on. i’d feel down about one thing, and then other things
i hadn’t even thought of swooped right in. it was like
getting jumped afterschool, that feeling. what i’ve now found
is that i can identify how and why i get into that tailspin.
for me, my trigger is all about internalization and how
i burst at the seams when i see i’ve let down one of my
family or one of the good folks i care about. and it’s
been me jumping the gun, and that pulls the trigger over
and over to the point where i have occasionally gotten
headaches because me feeling like i let them down gets
joined by the feeling of helplessness on things ranging
from who i am to worldly issues. i realize that that is
how i’m built. i care deeply, and i am actively mindful.
after this recent episode (caught a cold and a bit of a
headache), i’m learning to listen for the warning song. to
me, it sounds much like what i heard that day holding that
shell casing in the breeze. if more people did that, i’d
wager we’d see real progress in how we deal with each
other on these streets and in our own homes. and we would
all know how to let our inner divinity grow as it’s supposed
to and let that other mess fall by the wayside.

thanks for reading, until the next time…

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