yesterday the sunset broke out over coney island in orange and purple determination. i was walking the boardwalk with my father. we split a lemonade from nathan’s. he drank that whole shit. and patiently explained why everyone is mapping the human gene, the asthma folks, the liver folks, everyone is in it to to win it because that’s how genes work, there’s a gene for everything. a gene, even, for dancing.
my father and i walk the length of the boardwalk, cyclone stadium to brighton 3rd st. i remind myself to breathe. step by step, breath by breath along the wooden slats. a deep beat beams in the distance. feet hear it, heart drinks it, hips need it. the beat to a dancer, its like the bat symbol to batman. we walk towards revelry. and suddenly my father and i are eyes full of dancers. here, at the coney island saturday night dance party, dancers gather to form a new shore, and crooklyn native pernell morrison spins out a new ocean. the sound system drips fela, mouths open to catch the rain, om nama shiva chants up a frenzy over a downbeat, this is soulful house, i explain to my father.
he looks dubious, house? yeah, dad, it has less lyrics than hip hop or rock, and more beats per minute.
booming speakers dot the horizon of the boardwalk dancefloor like blackened-in versions of the ephemeral trashcans that are row after row like jelly fish awash on the sandy expanse around us.
its a lively crowd, fit women in short cuts mouth the words, eyes wide children dance in antics for short spells then get shy, and the small cypher of dancers before us gets wickedly hype. men in faded nike t-shirts move like platinum selling albums, rapid, heads snap like you need this, 360 spins like have you heard, sky flown into like look at a life loved fully.
a life loved fully.
most things take a while to sink in.
as i move forward on a warrior path, trying to invest my all into everything i do, i’m realizing that most things take a while to sink in. i had a caring phone convo with a desi homegirl from the bay. the next day, i was still hearing her words, still responding to her. last week i stared heartstruck at a new york times cover photo of a young mom and dad, holding their small dead daughter. china’s earthquake, the survived and destroyed. and even now, i’m still feeling the impact of witnessing that moment.
the cd player on my old school boombox finally broke. so i’m digging in the tape crates until i upgrade. this morning i slid in an old school deep forest tape, rewind to sweet lullaby, first song, side A. the song is a comb of comfort, a one/twothree/1/2/1/2/three baseline, a soul stirring chant from the solomon islands, an older sister comforting her little brother, speaker for the dead, she assures him their father who is no longer here is still taking care of them, because that’s what the dead do.
nam and i bonded over this song in the 10th grade. nam had just moved to san diego from vietnam with his fam. he loved madonna *so* much. he borrowed his restaurant working parent’s sedate brown car. we had sweet lullaby on repeat for days.
for more info, lyrics, translations, check out this youtube of sweet lullaby: here.
i guess i’m still savoring that moment in time. cuz i sure as hell am still feeling that song. don’t you love it when you rediscover a song that got you through as a child, only to realize you’ve *always* had good taste in music. 🙂
on my way to the superhero exhibit at the met, but b4 i go:
congratulations to all my graduates. who have achieved goals, of any kind.
stay tuned for more on the news to come.
i love you,