My hands are shaking, it’s the middle of the night. I stare out at everything through my minds eye, wondering what to write. I remember as a child, thinking to myself, “Why does everyone worry about what they will do when they grow older?” I was too busy enjoying life. It turns out that several years ago I hated myself for not answering that very question, not having planned ahead to a career or home or family, why hadn’t I gotten it right? I mean everyone else around me have homes and families, and very successful careers. And I hated myself for not being just like them. I felt frowned upon for not being like, or “living up” to my own potential. So, I hated myself, because I thought no one else loved me, not the way I love myself. Until one day a friend of mine , told me with utmost sincerity, “You, my friend, are one of the best writers I’ve ever met!”, it was as though he’d thrown me a safety net, and I was eager to scurry off, so I grabbed on to the net and climbed, until I grew my dignity back and slowly began to find, that mine has not been a worthless life, but I have had many experiences throughout my life, so much so, that I began to write. And what I’ve found has been an incredible transformation, I’ve actually taken pride in something, for the first time in my life. Today I think of myself as I writer and a man of God, and now I write because, a writer, writes……but I will prepare for God, by considering all possibilities in this , the “Story of My Life”. God has always been a presence for me , something I felt inside, something so honest that it kept me sane, kept me in a world of confusing truths and beautiful dreams that sometimes come to light, but mostly he has given me the desire to learn everything, through voracious appetites, and mad desire to write, after all a writer …..writes! Now, my hands are shaking and my desire has gotten here, in front of this blank page, anticipating the words to come to me in this “The Story Of My Life!”
I suppose this story must begin with a simple fact, my mother was white and my father was black. I don’t pretend to attack, that is not my intent, in fact, I find things so much more easily now, since my self esteem is back, that I much prefer at the beginning, tit for tat. My very first memory of anything at all is of being in my crib and soothing my gums by gnawing on the little plastic runner that ran along the top of the crib door or sliding gate. It soothed my gums and apparently stopped me from crying much as a child, or so I’m told, this from my mother who has helped me with the early days of this story I now convey, with shaky hands gone away. Aside from that, my earliest memories are of Germany, where I was born to Military parents and began school on a military base named Scwaebisch Gmuend, where I have such fond memories of playing in the woods with my brother and sisters, in fact, playing anywhere and everywhere as much as I could. It was such a carefree time and we were so insulated from the outside world by living on this military base that it all comes back to me as some Samuel Clemens tale, with playful abandon in everything we did. Sitting in the cherry trees after baseball practice, or sledding down “Farmers Hill” after the first winters snow, or playing on the rope swing near the edge of the woods or playing cards with my whole family when the electricity was out, these things I remember fondly, now let’s get down to what the whole Black / White thing was about.
I have begun writing this at the behest of a fellow writer, who is curious about my life, along with several others, who are curious about what it was like growing up in a mixed family during the 1960’s and 70’s. The curiosity about the black and white thing is what I will be tackling here. I will be adding pages from time to time in pursuit of answering those questions that any curious onlooker may have. I intend to do this with complete disregard for decorum or appropriateness for there is no way to write about racism in America from a black AND white point of view by doing otherwise. I do not mean to offend, but the very subject matter may be offensive to some regardless. The above is just a preface to see if I have it in me to write this. So, for now, I leave it to you, shall I continue? Please, tell me what to do?!……….I am Dartanion2……….and I await your decision………cheers………t xx
Alice Lawson said:
Dear Tony, i just lost what I was writing the touch screen erased it somehow so I am starting here again. I had a rough night and was unable to get the swelling down or the head settled but found what you have written here today as a wonderful endeavor . I remember when I shared in the earlier part of our friendship my seeing you in spirit and asked if you had warm colored skin. I loved your skin tone so much but I had visited you in the vision and then told you what it was about and how I saw your Mom and grandma. I hope those writings are not lost because it was so long ago. Do you remember? I also saw four nations and you were wondering about that but these still are strong yet Father God’s hand was upon you. This area of sharing and writing is such a meaningful part of your life’s journey and meant always fir you to explore and share. You are soaring more and more in all you are doing …you not only received the gift of closes and encouragement but you are clothed with such a new covering of light and energy to cause you to rise up and be what you really are and were born to be . At first in the beginning days of this journey you did not quite have a fix on all this as you searched so diligently trying to connect with others but through the heaviness of your progression of pain something amazing has unfolded . I continually see you in spirit in prayer and when your last picture came out through this Cosmo site of you and it was so confirmed to me much to my heart delighted. You have others now in your life with this this experience of seeing you and you are among the friends you were searching so hard for ! Your family is so precious! I knew this as Father God brought me to see but only now is more of it confirmed . Write more dear Tony. I love what you started in Mulatto Run and can not imagine how far it is going into your future as a writer, educator of others as you share and friend who is so very dear now to so many like minded people through Cosmo. I do not want to loose this again so I will leave my encouragement and love to you dearest friend Tony. Hugs and blessings with hugs and kisses Father God style style to you from my heart..your Kate.
Hi Kate, I hate it when that happens…….I’ve lost two posts on my blog just like that…..very frustrating!!…..I’m so sorry to hear about the swelling and your discomfort my friend…..I wish you would fill me in on what’s been going with you lately……..thanks so much for your words of encouragement on this matter……I think I will take the overwhelming advice of everyone and have “The Operation” and continue this write on Mixed Marriages……..you have been a blessing of late and I will be praying for your health sweet soul………hugs-n-smiles……..t xx
Cherie Sumner said:
Dear Tony, you know that I have been wanting you to write about your experiences of growing up mixed race, and it is NOT to form an opinion of how unfair and racist the world can be. No, my reasons are to understand how your life experiences have made you who you are today. You have this inner strength and optimism that I admire. You are outgoing and charming. I was always ashamed growing up that my father was racist and it hurt me. I had good friends of all races, and I never considered the color of skin as ANY factor at all on how I felt about them. So, it dismayed and displeased me to have a father that was so judging on a shallow and illogical basis to devalue someone.
I am encouraging you to write your story on growing up mixed raced. I think there are many people that really do not understand all the different pressures and ramifications of simply being born into that situation. It could really expose a lot of truths that need to be shared. I understand it will be a controversial topic to delve into and do it in an honest manner…..but I only see it as beneficial.
You represent an eclectic mix that makes you who you are……and all I see is my beloved friend, Tony….a loving and caring man. xox Cherie
Cherie, your words are the words I was hoping to hear, I mean I knew what you would say….I just needed it in writing, so I could use it in the future in some torturous way. (lol)……..kidding, I’m just kidding………..I respect your opinion, and rely upon your advice from time to time, for situations where I’m teetering with indecision….I am so lucky to have you as friend………seriously, you are a shining light……..much appreciated……….tony xx
Georgina Richardson said:
You know I`ve told you my opinion on other pages before about how I detest racism, its such a cruel and ridiculous way to treat another human being simply because they are different shades of a perfectly normal colour. We are all exactly the same on the inside, we all bleed the same colour so why on earth should the colour of our skin make any difference to people. When I hear anyone making a racist remark I always give them a good telling off and they go away from me very red faced and I make sure other people around that person deffinately hear what I`ve said to the person I`m telling off. I wouldn`t care if people were green with purple spots they are still normal human beings.
I was pleased to hear that you had such an enjoyable chidhood, that was lovely to hear. My father was in the Army for 23 years and I was born in Tidworth near Stonehenge. I was born in Tidworth camp. When I was 2 we moved to Dortmund in Germany and stayed there for 3 years. Then we went home to England and shortly after wards when I was 4 we went to Malaya for three years. When I was 4, I started school in a newly built army school there. We came home to England and shortly afterwards moved again to Dortmund for another 3 years.
My father came out of the army in 1969 and we moved to Leeds in Yorkshire. when I was 18 I went to live in Liverpool where my parents were from, then in 1977 I moved up to the north East near Durham and that was when I met Geoff and I`ve lived up here ever sinse. The funny thing was I only came up here for a weekend break to see my parents, but I had missed them so much I didn`t want to go back to Liverpool, so I stayed here.
We have both had an interesting upbringing haven`t we. That`s another part of our lives that we have in common with each other! We are so alike in many ways aren`t we? I`ve really enjoyed hearing all about your childhood.
Love G xx
Curtis Longstreet said:
Terrific write Tony. I second the (or third) the idea that you continue to tell your story. You wrote such a profound and beautiful poem about your background the other day, and it’s still among my favorites. It made me cry actually (go Steelers! lol) for a lot of reasons. You became the articulate reasoned ‘voice’ for people of ‘mixed’ race, to me anyway, in that poem. You’re a ‘statesman’ Tony. And you give off a dignity and suble charm that inspires me. My belief has always been that I don’t really know someone until I shake their hand, and at times I question myself about friendships conceived on internet sites and such, but with you I’ll put my head on the chopping block and call you a ‘friend’ and I’m honored to know you. Writing is indeed a wonderful way to express thoughts and ideas and what a priviledge it is to share words and dance in that inspiration circle…great blog always, Tony.
Reblogged this on Metaphysics and the Movies according to Dartanion2 and commented:
Sometimes I wonder what it is that drives me every day…..to keep fighting…..to keep pushing through the pain………and then I remember………..I am a loved man…………and I remember this post I did a few months ago………..have a look ………tell me what you think………..tomorrow I go back onto regular medication so I should be tackling more posts later in the week………..you guys are the coolest………….smiles………….T xx