The Silent Noise of Hearts & Flowers

This is as short story about a woman’s undying love of a notorious player. On this particular evening, they have a date. He is late. She decides to meet him, in hopes of surprising him. Her timing is perfect, as she catches him exiting the florist shop located next door to the building where he works. The look on his face tells her all she needs to know. But she dares to ask anyway, as she mentally prepares to catch her own heart in her hands, as it threatens to burst out of sheer anticipation. Or, because she senses that her lover is about to deliver a blow that her heart cannot withstand.

Are those for me?” Her voice betrayed her as it gave way, collapsing over these four simple words. Her hands automatically reflexed, without any beckoning from her brain, reaching towards the brilliant bouquet that rested so comfortably in his arms. In a failed attempt to appear calm, her lover motioned to swipe his touseled hair from his brow, a nervous gesture she had often witnessed, and had at one time, found adorable.

At that very moment, the collage of colorful petals fell to the ground with a deafening silence. She could actually hear the flowers lying on the ground, where they didn’t belong. Evidently, they didn’t belong with her either. The flowers remained there, sprawled carelessly between them, for what seemed like a tortuous amount of time. He made no move to recover them, but his lips began to motion with what she could only guess, were as many excuses as there were flowers on the ground. Beads of sweat formed on his forehead and upper lip, betraying him as well. He spoke but she could not hear him. All she could hear was the silence of those flowers, and the shattering of her heart into a million pieces.

She couldn’t help but notice what an odd scene the fallen flowers and her broken heart made, lying there together on the ground, in misplaced solidarity. Strangely, they seemed to belong together. And had she been the intended recipient of the bouquet, they would have eventually died anyway, just like their love, which she realized at that very moment, had died long ago. Flowers had always been so meaningful to her in the past. They were little colorful bursts of joy that were meant to grow, blossom, and be given and eventually die at some point, much like the heart, which ultimately does the same.

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

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The Beauty of my Day of Birth

Every year is so much sweeter than the last. My day of birth is more than just getting older. With each new day, I become richer with every breath that I take. I celebrated with my sister earlier today over a beautiful lunch. So precious is our time with family!!

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The Great One!!

Have you noticed how quickly celebrities are checking out of this place we call, “earth?” Do you want to cry but you can’t squeeze out not one more tear? Are you all cried out and all dried up? I can relate. These instances are happening so often it seems. But being at a loss for tears certainly doesn’t mean that I’m any less moved or saddened. It’s just difficult to digest, especially on the heels of other recent celebrity deaths.

Honestly, I’m not sure what emotion ran through me the quickest as I sat in front of my t.v. set for the first time today, and was clobbered yet again with the news of the death of another world-reknowned personality, Muhammed Ali. I could only sit and stare at the screen in somewhat disbelief, and I say that because I was aware that he had been in a medical battle for years and greatly ill as of late. But this still didn’t soften the blow any, when this news blared across my t.v. screen. Death is death and there is nothing more final.

I really don’t enjoy writing pieces concerning people that have passed on, but sometimes, it’s just simply necessary. It’s my way of paying my respects to these people. Once again, I pay homage to a beloved celebrity superstar, who has been a part of so many lives for so many years. I say goodbye with sadness for the suffering he may have endured for quite some time, due to his lengthy medical journey. I also say a bittersweet goodbye, because I believe that he is in a much better place.

Like many people, I grew up hearing and watching Muhammed Ali in my household. At that time he went by his birth name, Cassius Clay. My father was a big fan and often watched his fights on t.v. I recall being fascinated and intrigued by this larger than life man with the huge personality and even bigger boxing talent. All the trash talking and back and forth banter with the late Howard Cosell, was one of the things I enjoyed the most about this great fighter, along with the obvious, his fighting skills of course. Another important point I’d like to mention that impressed me to such a great degree, is that he was a compelling activist and spoke out and fought for the rights of his culture. He was unafraid to be controversial and unapologetic, while exuding a prideful and bodacious self-love that was contagious and often shocking. You couldn’t help but want to adapt a similar mindset after witnessing him speak in front of a crowd.

His influence has impacted the world and his mark will remain forever engraved in our hearts and memories. Thank goodness there is plenty of footage that captured the athletic and intellectual quick-witted prowess, and outspoken persona of this sports legend. All fighters that came after him, as far as I’m concerned, emulate him and aspire to be great as a result of the highly successful and accomplished career of this champion among men. What a great example Muhammad Ali was and will forever remain. Rest in peace “great one”.

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

 

Race Is Not a Card…

Image result for free google images of deck of cardsImage result for free google images of deck of cards

Does anyone know what a race card is? Surely you’ve heard this term thrown around quite often, especially in the media. It implies that an individual of ethnicity, is somehow using his/her own race to attain some type of advantage as a result. But, here’s the million dollar question: How can a person’s race, be considered a card, that a person can flash or present at will, whenever the occasion seems suitable? Yet amazingly, people are accused of this all the time. In fact, every time I hear the term, I am astounded that it has gained so much momentum and attention over the years and is often viewed as a valid concern.

Now it would be unfair of me to speak for other ethnicities or make generalizations concerning my own, but I do think it’s safe to say that being that one cannot change their race at will, (and why would they want to) any more than they can stop the sun from shining or the rain from falling. But for me, ‘race’ consists of a full deck if you will, that people of various ethnic backgrounds reflect 2-4-7. They represent the entire ‘deck’, all day, every day, whereas a card can be pulled, changed, and altered as often as need be.

Furthermore, would you agree that by accusing a person(s) of playing the race card, also implies that there is some disadvantage that would inspire the use of this so-called card in the first place, in order to level the playing field? If everyone had the same opportunities, the proverbial ‘race’ card instance would be non-existent. Interesting that the very people who often tilt the field in their own favor, then audaciously turn around and accuse the unwilling recipients of these accusations, who in spite of so much adversity, still manage to embrace the life-long hands they’ve been dealt, with both resilience and acceptance. Kind of reminds me of the thinking behind affirmative action. Lets start the conversation. What say you?

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

The Purple Rain/Reign Continues…

Image result for free google images of Prince Rogers NelsonImage result for free google images of Prince Rogers Nelson

A few days ago, I wrote a blog post called Farewell to a Royal Prince: https://sporterhall.wordpress.com/2016/04/23/fairwell-to-a-prince/. As I read it over several times, I realized that I did not touch on many of the things that I really wanted to. There is so much to say and I feel that my original article barely scratched the surface. So I decided to write a continuation, to see if I could actually do the artist we all know as ‘Prince’, some justice, at least in my own mind.

What I really wanted to say, was that the energy Prince created in his music was so magically and wonderfully contagious. The infamous guitar riffs captured each and every shred of a person’s being. Never having had the opportunity to see Prince in concert, I’ve only been able to witness his magic on film and radio. I can only describe his self-taught mastery of the guitar as pure and overwhelming electricity. And he shared his electrical musical tantrums with the world; charging through Friends (fans) with abandon, leaving them in awestruck shock, forever transformed by the experience.

I can’t think of any other artist that made fans feel like they were sharing in those high-voltage tantrums, while also releasing their own pent up, stored energy, right along with him, by way of his high energy performances and a one-of-a-kind unique dance style, that included jumping off of risers and speakers that were several feet high. And lets talk about the dancing for a minute. Wow! Prince had a way of bringing the flavor of James Brown, Little Richard and the slightest hint of Elvis into his splits, fancy footwork, sexy gyrations and incredible handling of the microphone; which seemed to bend and fall under his expert command and high fever-pitched screams . He was truly something to watch. As I learn more about him, I realize that I never really knew just how great of an all-around artist/performer Prince was until now. It’s like I’m being introduced to him all over again, and I’m so thrilled to make his acquaintance, even if only in song and on film.

Prince was fearless, an eccentric musical warrior, able to project an overwhelmingly masculine presence, yet was so visibly in touch with his feminine side; a delicate balancing act within itself. But make no mistake. Standing only 5 feet 2 inches, Prince was all man, in every sense of the word. He exuded a masculine swagger that was all his own, sprinkled with little pops of femininity throughout his persona, much like the bursts of color that always adorned his amazing wardrobe.

Prince was able to blend people of all walks of life together with his music, whether that was his original intention or not. He was a master chef of an expansive melting pot, that still gives off its sweet aroma of love, harmony, and selflessness, all seasonings that are enjoyed throughout the world today, as a result of his phenomenal love for his craft and his friends (fans). Not only did his friends (fans) get the show of their lives during his performances, but they also received the bonus of a unique kind of therapy, universal in its healing, as he administered ultra-high doses of his specialized formula to the world.

His talent speaks for itself, and in resounding volumes that will blare out in amplified decibels for many decades to come. I defy anyone to sit still while listening to songs like: Let’s Go Crazy, Little Red Corvette, Controversy, 1999 (Party Like It’s 1999) and seemingly countless others. His music makes you happy, it raises you up when you’re feeling low, it gives you hope when the world seems hopeless. It takes a special kind of person to be able to create such a powerful and positive landscape, all while expressing himself by way of his passion. It’s what makes his death so hard to accept.

Purple, the color of passion, that of which he gave without inhibition, each and every time he stepped onto the stage. Is it any wonder that purple was Prince’s signature color?Royalty never donned an artist so well, as did his birth name, Prince. So much zest for life, now whisked away as quickly and unexpectedly as when he first burst onto the scene with his debut album titled: For You, in 1978.

Prince was an artist who was socially conscious on so many levels. His highly sexual expressiveness, was disturbing to some, but you have to appreciate his raw honesty and  uninhibited way of letting his feelings be known and heard. He made the world feel free as he let us all know that it’s okay to be an individual and to be true to one’s own self. In spite of all the highs and lows of the music industry, Prince did remain true to himself throughout his thirty five plus year career. Even if you aren’t a fan, surely you can respect his hustle. So sad to think that even after all the music that he shared with us, there is still so much more to Prince that we will never know. The hazy mystique of his opaque persona, will be shrouded in even more mystery than ever before. After all, isn’t that what true legends are made of? And so the purple rain/reign continues!!

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

**Prince did not care for the word ‘fan’. He often to referred to his audience(s) and lovers of his work as his ‘friends’, as referenced in this post.

Images: Free Google images

Oh Please!!

Never has it been truer than the old adage: you can please some of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time. I’m starting to feel like ‘some of the people‘ is quickly moving into the ‘none of the people‘ category. It has become increasingly difficult to gain the approval and/or acceptance from others, for simple acts of kindness both big and small. The more you try and satisfy everyone, the further away you seem to drift from that goal altogether. To please or not to please? A most appropriate question in this instance.

So, you might conclude, why even bother? And who could blame you if you feel this way? Especially when you’re more likely than not, to be shot out of the sky. Why would you not opt to fly closer to the ground, where the crash landing is bound to be less painful? But what fun would that be and what about your satisfaction? When you’re a ‘people-appeaser’, it’s very hard to retrain yourself to be of the opposite mindset. And why should you feel like you have to change who you are? How unpleasant of an experience would that be for you, to behave in a way that goes against every grain of your character, just for the sake of what others may or may not think?

You might find, that as soon as you change your modus operandi, those very same people, who couldn’t acknowledge your good efforts in the past, will come for you, with guns a blazing, to show their…wait for it, wait for it…. displeasure in your ‘new attitude’. Which would be more disheartening for you, the seemingly never-ending hard to please people around you, or the facade you decided to wear, in a sad attempt to please those who cannot be pleased? After all, isn’t misrepresentation of yourself, the worst representation of all, since it does not reflect the real you?

What are you to do when going left wreaks havoc, and going right compounds things further to your disadvantage? Should you continue doing what makes you feel good, even at the risk of having your good intentions and gestures promptly returned to you, like a letter that unexpectedly comes back to you in the mail marked, ‘return to sender?’ In the end, you have to be pleased with yourself before you can please anyone else, right? Or are you simply reading this post while concluding, “Oh please!!”

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

The Light is Green – Lets Go!!

Okay, so everyone, or at least everyone should know that today is Veteran’s Day. It’s not just a chance to have a day off from work or school, but it’s a day that should be taken seriously and revered with all the importance that it so rightly deserves.

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been intrigued by an ad for “Greenlight A Vet”. When I learned more about it, I discovered that this is one of the coolest ideas and gestures ever when it comes to our veterans, both past and present. It’s such a small thing to ask, for as many of us as possible, to change one visible light on our respective properties, to ‘green‘ to show our support of our veterans in a lovely and glowing way. I am certainly on board with this idea and can’t wait until my porch light is switched over to ‘green‘ later this evening.

How awesome it will feel to the many veterans that are out there driving and walking around, to look around them and see, all the green lights shining outside the different homes and businesses across the nation, that will pay homage to their courage and bravery, along with that of their fellow service men and women. I can’t imagine the sense of pride and accomplishment,that the simple color ‘green’ will ignite in these uniquely selfless individuals. I am so happy to be able to show my support without saying a word. Never has it been truer that ‘action speaks louder than words”.

So often, in our everyday travels, we rub elbows with so many of these awesome folks, without even knowing it because they blend in with society and cannot always be easily identified when not in uniform. In the same vein, they have no idea who is in support of them as they travel throughout their days and rub elbows with us, civilians. But this simple ‘green’ light will act as a kind of citizens or civilian uniform that will speak volumes. So, I encourage you all to put on your uniforms, by shining your green lights along with me, to show your pride, love and support for these fearless defenders of our nation, who have placed and continue to place themselves in harms way to ensure and secure the continued freedom of this great nation. Won’t you join me?

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

Beneath My Granddad’s Hat…

Image result for free google images of drawings of men wearing hats or caps

My granddad on my mom’s side always wore a hat, one with a brim on it that very effectively hid his eyes from the world. As a little girl, I remember stooping over while trying to peer underneath the hat. I just wanted to see his eyes. Granddad was a tall man, about 6ft 2 I imagine. His ever-present hat made him appear to be even taller, such a majestic and powerful figure as seen through my youthful eyes. When I would call out to him, he would often tilt his head just right, revealing two shiny brown balls of joy that made my heart dance with excitement. His eyes always seemed to be filled with laughter, even when he wasn’t smiling, but the smile was never far away.

It was a rare occasion to find my granddad without his hat. Sometimes, I would stand and watch grandpa sleeping under its safety and security. I used to think it was so funny when he would fall asleep in his favorite chair, his faithful ‘companion’ completely covering his face. At those times while granddad slept, the hat seemed to take on a life of its own, as it loyally watched over its owner. while providing a kind of protective shield from onlookers. As granddad quietly snored, the hat would rise and fall with each intake and exhale of his quiet rhythmical breathing.

It has been a very long time now since my granddad went home to Glory to be with his Father. Even though the window panes of my memory have aged, I still remember him exactly the same way I did all those years ago. While the hat he wore accented his signature style, the man underneath was, is and will forever be…..priceless!!

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

Images: Free Google Images

A Morning of Mourning…

I’ve learned more in the past couple of months than I had ever hoped to. There are so many things about myself that I’ve never noticed before. Crucial situations can do that to a person. You don’t know what to expect until you’re in a situation. And even when you are in the situation, you still don’t know what to do or what to expect. You find yourself going through life in a kind of “trial by fire” frame of mind, getting burned here, singed there.

I spoke about loss in a previous post: Goodbye to My Girls – https://sporterhall.wordpress.com/2015/05/18/goodbye-to-my-girls/ I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was in mourning when I wrote that piece. As a matter of fact, I think I still am. But it’s not the first time. My original surgery date had been scheduled for May 20, 2015. The morning of my surgery was a very emotional one for me. I was not prepared for the wave of emotions that washed over me, literally, as I showered for the last time with all in tact. I found myself feeling overwhelmingly apologetic for my decision to radically address my medical issue. I never imagined I would feel so guilty about it.

I arrived at the hospital, pretty calm as I recall. After all, I had had a very cleansing cry that morning. I had mourned that morning. So I felt pretty clear and a lot lighter. I remember talking to the staff in the operating room. The next thing I remember was the nurse whispering to me gently that the doctor would come and talk to me. I was too out of it to think that there might be something wrong. I felt a soreness on my left side, so I assumed it was from the radical surgery that had been performed. As I emerged from the anesthesia, reality greeted me with the cruelest twist. The surgery had not been performed due to a medical complication. What?!! This had to be the worst kind of joke. Either that, or I must have heard wrong. There was no way that I was put completely under anesthesia for a major surgical procedure, only to awake to find that it had not taken place. The more coherent I became, the clearer the picture came into view. My surgeon made the best call. He didn’t take any chances with risking proceeding forward and I get it. But I wasn’t prepared for the mental fall out of this interruption.

Fate had allowed me to mourn the loss of 2 vital parts of my anatomy and prepare for it mentally. I was thrilled that I had a little while longer to be in tact. But all that really did was mess my head up. I mean, here I sit, writing this piece, and I still don’t feel mentally ready, not the way I did on May 20th. The postponement opened the door for my mind to play tricks on me. I started to toy with the idea that maybe, just maybe, this surgery isn’t necessary at all. Life certainly wouldn’t be so cruel as to play this kind of joke on me, or would it? To say goodbye once is bad enough, but to have to say goodbye again, is more than anyone deserves.

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

Is Support M.I.A.?

Every now and then people do really nice things for one another. Some people are blessed enough to have this happen more times than they can count. Then there are those of us that have a hard time recalling when a gesture was made on our behalf that just blew us away. Well, I’m happy to say that I now know what that feels like.

A very good friend of mine knows all too well my struggle and is often on the receiving end of my ranting. Little did I know that she was gathering information to do the ultimate “good deed”. My friend took the time to research and set up a Gofundme campaign on my behalf and titled it: Hearts Connecting for Sylvia/shortlink: http://bit.ly/1ecBS8O or gofundme.com/heartsforSylvia. I don’t know who was more excited, her or me.

Aside from a handful of very giving people, the most peculiar thing is that the response has not been what we had hoped for. The campaign has been posted numerous times via social media. I am disheartened, disappointed, and down right sad to find that the people I expected to be supportive, are the ones that are quiet as a mouse. It costs nothing to share the link and make others aware of the cause, but that isn’t happening either.

When I view the campaign, it is astounding to me that there have been hundreds of visits to the page, but where is the support? Don’t people realize that a little goes a long, long way? A donation counts whether it’s $5.00 or $25.00, $50.00 or $500.00. Every bit helps and every bit counts. I would never have imagined I would be writing a post like this to express the urgency and the need. I have come to the aid of others on numerous occasions without a second thought. I’ve always been taught that if you’re blessed to give and show your support, than you should pay it forward.

I am trying so hard not to lose faith in people but this instance makes it very difficult. I feel like I’ve been walking a tight rope, slowly and cautiously, all the while thinking supportive people are behind me and there to catch me should I fall. But instead, I look over my shoulder, and not only are they not walking on the rope with me, but they they seem to have left the building. Many of these people I’ve known for many, many years so they know the strength of my character. The life battles that I am now fighting, have inspired me to be more transparent about my life than ever before. It’s not easy to be this open, but it does provide a kind of therapy to release my thoughts. I just need some support to carry the load. I may not be dying or on my last breath, thank God, but it’s a fight every day just to survive. So, I’m appealing to the goodness and selfless nature that I know must exist in most people.

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

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