Is It A Racial Thing?

What’s he ranting about?!

Confession: I spent Sunday in my lounge clothes away and hidden with phone tucked away! It was glorious!! I slept the majority of the day only to wake now and again to see what was happening with “the game”. This one particular time I awoke it was to some crazed man yelling his head off and a seemingly terrified woman with a microphone looking completely dazed and confused.

I was now wide awake!

I continued to watch the broadcast for some explanation. Evidently it was about one guy talking trash about another guy and the recipient of that trash talking ended up taking the trash talker to the “heart break hotel”. Oh…so normal sports stuff?

The fall out conversations about that drama is what bothered me though. Somehow it became a racial thing.

Look, I was an athlete and I’m competitive. I had a mouth in the past and I can talk my share of trash still. I get the whole adrenaline thing. Emotions going stupid and all. But I’ll never get how we can take things to such a high level that it becomes so juvenile! How did this become a race thing?

Argument 1: If it had been a white man going off on a black man that way, there would have been an uproar. But because it was black on black somehow it’s okay.

IMHO: Agree and disagree. I do think a double standard gets played at times and I can’t stand it!! If Sherman had been white and went off like that on a black guy, I do think there would’ve been more of an issue. I don’t agree with that and I don’t like it! I disagree though that because it was black on black that it made it more okay. It wasn’t. Sherman lost control and was arrogant. That has nothing do with color.

Argument 2: Anyone not okay with Sherman’s mouth is racist, prejudice or has no clue of our black culture.

IMHO: Disagree. Again I’ll state that Sherman lost control and was arrogant. That has nothing to do with color or culture.

It’s a sad day when I speak to some of my white friends and they’re almost unsure whether to express their dislike for how Sherman acted because of how that might make them appear. It’s also a sad day when someone has to make it a white vs. black thing instead of just calling Sherman’s actions for what they were.

Am I just being naive? Oooh how I’ve been told that before. Why? Because I’m not FULL black? I’m mixed black and Mexican. Because I was raised in a well off neighborhood? Somehow these things mean that I don’t know “the struggle”. Here’s what I know… I know what’s it like to go to an all white private school and be called n*** daily. I know what it’s like to sit alone on a bus because I’m too dark. I know what it’s like to not be received by a few of my own because I’m not black enough or latin enough. And no I didn’t just feel that, I was told that. My husband and I know what it felt like to be frowned upon because we married and weren’t of the same ethnicity. Or to be told I was dooming any children I would have because they would be mixed. I know what it felt like for someone to politely suggest that a full black family would’ve been better in adopting our youngest son instead of us adopting him because he’s full black and we are not. I could go on for days with story’s of my husband getting profiled and the ridiculousness we’ve dealt with.

So before anyone tries to tell me I’m naive or sheltered I’m gonna politely ask you to slow your roll on that. I do know. I’ve experienced enough and was taught by my father how lived through the thick of it to know you’re gonna get it wrong every time if you keep that chip on your shoulder. I know enough to know that yesterday’s fiasco of an interview with Sherman ain’t got nuthin to do with anyone’s “struggle”. Black or white.

IMHO: Yesterday’s interview had everything to do with built up trash talk, behind the scenes stuff we don’t know, an athlete that just accomplished what so many said couldn’t happen, an athlete junked up on adrenaline and at the end of the day…poor sportsmanship.

Non of that has a thing to do with color or culture. So could we please…PLEASE not always make things a racial issue?

~Brenda Renderos

The Game of Secrets

I have been one of the players of the game of secrets. And, to my demise, I would say I’ve played well within that game. It’s a game without fun or joy or laughter or silliness. Silliness…. Not an inch of space allowed for such triviality. This is a game of careful calculation, observant eyes and thoughtful understanding of humankind.

In most circumstances I can read quickly how much one needs for the appetite to be satisfied. The appetite of knowing. It would be impossible for all things to be well with me at all times. That would be a  rookies move in the game of secrets. Each of us has a level of desire to sympathize and some even to empathize. So to say that I’m not well is an easy task. But how much of my “not well” will you be allowed to know?

My body has become more intolerable to the feast of bread and pastas and glorious flours. More so the ingredient that glues it altogether but none-the-less I’m left in want of these fine foods. As I have had to put more and more of these foods aside I have also seen how they would fill me. How they would take the place of those things grander to the tongue. I ate a burger which excluded the bread and found myself in wanting. Where once this very same burger would have been a chore to finish, I now was left unsatisfied. The truth was exposed. The meat was thin and what truly filled me was flour and air.

That is how secrets are kept. How much do I share to satisfy your appetite of you “thinking you actually care” so that you don’t realize that I’ve yet to feed you the heart, the meat of what truly ails my heart. And when I see you recline and hold your stomach is when I am safe again. My piece has moved another spot on this game board of greys, darkness and loneliness.

This is a game without fun or joy or laughter or silliness. Silliness. Not an inch of space allowed for such triviality.

This is me. This has been me. This is my struggle. Why expose such unattractive truth? Well as someone who has played so skillfully in the game of secrets I surely did not want to. But this is exactly why I speak it. We as players think foolishly that we are winning with each move around this wretched game board. If we would look to that last move on the board though we would see what awaits. Darkness. Cold. The “what ifs” of regret and wonderment’s never explored. No, the only way to win this game is to lose.

Why do I say this is me? Is this truly my present being? No and yes. Yes and no. I fear that there will always be the small scent of my inclination to hide. But my moves to expose have become bolder and more frequent. There is a passage out of this games cold wet caves. And I can not find it within myself to hide it from you, to leave without you. Yes…you. You who keep the secrets of your pain, loss, despair and disdain.

The only way to win is to lose. Lose by daring to reveal. Win by losing. And to those with the appetite to care…well now you know. You know our secret.

~Brenda Renderos

What About Me?!

I was there for you. Why can’t you be there for me?!

Is that a fair question?

I’ve come to the conclusion the answer is…yes! But for this reason…the answer.

If we could step outside of the emotions of disappointment, discouragement, and feeling let down then maybe we would see the other side of that question. That it is, in fact, a true and sincere question to ask. One that if we can clear our ear of what clogs it, we would find the answer freeing.

Could it be that the one we are asking this of truly can not be that friend? While maybe their heart is true, and although they try as they may, in the end that place we are trying to press them into is not for them? Could it be that possibly, quit possibly, I was meant to comfort them but not the other way around?

How is that fair?

Does it need always be? Fair?

We live in a society where the banner of equal opportunity and fairness fly strong. But is that truth in all things life?

Here’s what I’ve learned.

If I had asked the question of my purpose in those relationships then I would have known. I would have seen how unfair to ask of someone something they simply cannot give. How un-Christlike to care for one on the condition that they will care for you back in like manner.

I’ve learned that I have really good “friends”. Most are those that I am there for. A few are those that we are there for each other and we know how to walk together no matter our circumstances. It’s not a fair ratio but maybe it’s time to get off the expectation of fairness? So that person you are there for has no idea what YOU’RE going through. Maybe they’re not supposed to?

The other day a friend asked me how I was doing. Although we talk almost every day, this friend still asked…how are you friend. My response was that I was good. They had sensed something amiss with me and to that I responded that I had been quit thoughtful and sort of re-assessing my relationships.

And?

I know who I can go to and can count on us being together for the long haul and I know those that it’s a little more one-sided.

And?

The ratio is lopsided for sure.

And?

I’m good!

I’d challenge you to look at your relationships. Are you expecting something of someone they simply cannot give? Are you trying to squeeze them into a role that is not for them? Are you caring for them with the expectation they will or can care for you in the same manner? Does it always have to be fair?

~Brenda Renderos

The Fear?

I’ve found, at times, it takes more strength to walk away then it does to stay, more will power to be silent than to speak, more energy to not do instead of do.

I’ve found that great fear. That if I had to step away for a time, would I return only to discover how easy it was to be forgotten?

After all, we are by nature a forgetful bunch. Always looking to what’s new and improved. The hope always being in the younger while neglecting the stories of the old. What are we taught? You’re only as good as your last…?

And so the great fear emerges and we step not away. To the detriment of our beings we stay. Even when our spirits cry for the desert places and hidden caves of replenishing we turn a deaf ear. Because to be forgotten by those you loved so dearly and gave so much to would bring a reality too painful for the heart.

And what is that reality? That upon our return from this time away the masses will not be standing with flags and cheers and parades of our return. But one or two or maybe three will be sitting on lawn chairs, heated from the days work, with iced tea in big yellow cups saying, “Sit down! We saved your chair. Let’s share our stories of when you were away and hear the plans of what is to come. We saved your chair for it is fitted for you and we did not forget.”

We give the gifts He’s given us with an open heart and open hands. Remembering that Jesus healed the ten, only one came back and He didn’t chase after the nine.

~Brenda Renderos

What We Run From

As I walked by each one they dove or sank back in the water. Heads disappearing in fear.

One by one as I journeyed around the lake they would disappear. It wasn’t as I approached. Wasn’t when I was upon them. These turtle would swim away after I had passed.

What alarmed them so? What triggered their fears to run from the warmth of the sun they basked in?

Then one turtle didn’t dive. It stayed floating with its head above water as I passed by. Seemingly no alarms or worries. What was difference?

My shadow.

Each turtle wouldn’t flee as I came upon them but when my shadow touched them then panic arose. And that one turtle that stayed afloat? It never felt my shadow.

Why would a shadow cause such fear? A shadow holds no bone nor marrow nor flesh. A shadow holds no strength nor life. It is but a shadow. And in this case it was a shadow of what was. What had been. What was passed.

What shadows do we run from? What truth or substance do these shadows hold? They are but shadows of what was and is no longer. They hold not bone nor marrow nor flesh. They hold no strength nor life.

These shadows of our past. Shadows of our pain. Shadows of our thoughts. They pass their way by us. But it takes just a moment, a step, a move within the waters to come away from the darkness of the shadow and back into the warmth of the light.

To the shadows in life they await our response. Will we reside in them? Will we flee in fear? Or will we step back into the light and bask in the warmth of truth and the Son.

~Brenda Renderos