Elderly Reflections on a Melancholy Day

by on August 14, 2018 · 1 comment

in From the Soul

By Ernie McCray

You ever have one of those days
when you just
can’t shake your blues
because your soul feels so completely
battered and bruised
and defused and confused
and mis and/or overused,
seeming as though
it will never ever again
be enthused and amused?

Well, I have.
Just the other day,
for most of the day,
in the form of
a kind of debilitating funk
my spirit seemed to have sunk
like a slab of concrete
wrapped in steel
descending in an open sea
of “Woe is Me.”

Just trying to say I was the
poster boy for misery.

And, there came a moment
when words spilled from my TV
which had been on all along,
unbeknownst to me,
considering my
high state of melancholy.

Some man with
cultural anthropology
was delivering a treatise
about “elders,”
about the high esteem
in which they’re held
in some societies –
for the depth of their spirituality
and their wisdom and morality,
for how they generally exemplify
how those in their community
should live their lives…

And I felt my state of mind
pull itself off the floor
like a pugilist
trying to beat the ten count
and rise
toward the sky,
reminding me
in its rising
that I,
no matter how much pain
had rained on my parade,
was an “elder”
and had more eldering to do
as my life wasn’t through –
and a sweet memory,
like a gentle breeze
wafted into my mind
and put me at ease
and I could see me
seated at the “Elders Table”
at “First Saturdays at the Spot,”
amongst folks of all years,
all of us there
in a spirit
of looking out for the good
of neighborhoods
like the one
we were in
on Imperial Avenue,
a street steeped
in rich San Diego History.

And we were gathered together,
swaddled in our love for each other,
taking the baton
from those in the struggle
for peace and justice and equality
who’ve passed on,
carrying on in their tradition,
keeping the hope they inspired alive,
hope that the community
will survive and thrive
at this stage of its history –
And as to all that,
First Saturdays is where it’s at,
and from where I sat,
my journey to elderhood
unfolded right in front of me,
before my very eyes…

People smiling at each other,
dining on soul foods
from around the globe,
talking about what they’re doing,
what’s brewing,
who needs to be voted in
or voted out,
who is grooving and moving
and who is not.

Been doing that all my life.
A lot.

There were natural body
and hygienic products for sale
and art on display
and books to buy.

And to that I say nothing in my life
has meant more to me
than my health
and nothing has pleased me
more than an aesthetic eye
and a good read.

And then the brothas and sistas
got up and started
Electric Sliding
and Nae Naeing
and plain old Struttin’
which I didn’t take part in
because my back was cussin’
but I have busted many a move
on Imperial Avenue
and Market Avenue
and other Southeast San Diego
lanes and ways and streets and avenues
which behooves
me to say
that just
thinking back to that day
brightened my day,
that I’ll eventually
get past my misery.

That’s an elder’s responsibility.

Photo: 1st Saturdays at The Spot Facebook page

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Madame_X August 14, 2018 at 6:20 pm

Hey Ernie, you might become another Ernest Hemingway.


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