Tuesday, April 25, 2006

What is this?

There appears to be much churning and confusion going on in the lives of people I'm encountering on a daily basis. In checkout lines, whether I want to or not, I'm overhearing cell phone conversations in agitated voices in which people are trying to reach understandings with creditors, resolve issues with loved ones, or convince someone, somewhere to extend them an additional ounce of mercy or understanding.

Behind the wheel I'm constantly driving with extreme caution as I watch tempers flair and frustration played out in dangerous darts and jerks of 'my SUV is bigger than your SUV' at 80 miles an hour (and $3.99 a gallon).

If you say 'good morning' to just about anyone there's a very strong possibility if the conversation lasts more than a minute it will include tales of woe and incredulous exclamations of how they never expected to see things come to this. Truthfully, neither did I, but truthfully I am not sure just what that 'this' is, and, for me, personally, I plan to find out!

This is the day the Lord has made! Let us rejoice and be glad in it! That's the greeting I was accustom to in my youth from so many of the people who surrounded my life. That's the 'this' I want to recapture. That's the 'this' of my quest as I begin this day. Pardon me while I go find it.

Sunday, April 16, 2006


During the recent Judah vs Mayweather fight the same conversation surfaced that nearly always does during a major boxing match being watched at my house. "You missed your calling, Peggy." Someone chirps. I smile, nod 'yes', and quickly return my attention to the battle playing out before me.

It's true. I should have been a boxing announcer. I have an eagle's eye when it comes to this sport that is as legendary as some of its greatest heroes. Before it happens I see it coming! Before Leonard, Merchant, or the paid boxing pundit of the night can spit it out I'll tell you what's going on with that left jab, the low right hand, the legs turning to jelly, or exactly who is the consummate fighter who is smart enough to be fighting "this" fight because it's the one he's in, while his opponent is sure to go down in the next round because he thinks he's in the ring with the guy he beat three fights ago.

I'm so deep into boxing that there have even been a few 'close encounters of the third kind.' A full minute before Evander leaped into the air as Mike bite off a piece of his ear I'd startled everyone gathered around our TV with a shout of "He bit him! Tyson just bit him!"" To this day, I don't know what made me say that then, but within moments it was to become boxing history. I think I glimpsed Mike sizing up the ear or something -- as I said, I can't say for sure, but that's an example of the uncanny or ultra insightful commentary I'm known to offer.

Actually, I've been waiting for someone to take it upon themselves to contact someone significant in the boxing game and make them aware of my exceptional talents. If you ask me, it is a doggone shame I'm not able to share my brilliance with the rest of the world. But, I've been waiting since Ali and Frazier had that Thriller in Manila, and though I am definitely an optimist, I'm starting to wonder if anyone ever will. But I can't let myself get discouraged, now can I? Maybe one day soon the phone will ring and it will be my agent asking me to check my schedule to see if I can fill in for George Foreman or Jim Brown, or Roy Jones or Emmanuel Stewart for the next big bout! Ya think?

Saturday, April 08, 2006

My African Dreams

"Promise her anything, but give her Arpege." I remembered that advertisement this morning as I picked up the vintage bottle of Arpege on my dressing table. I received it as an unexpected gift from, of all people, a visiting African diplomat two decades ago. That's probably why I almost never used it. It was a special gift from a special time when I thought I could really make a difference in the lives of millions of people.

Thoughts like that occurred a time long ago, and, after all the best efforts kept seeming to come to naught, I let those illusions go. I wasn't equipped to be anyone's savior and my own personal little crusade ultimately felt meaningless. But, recently the bottle began to snag my attention, and, on occasion, I now dab myself with a few drops and find myself smiling within at the host of memories the sweet aroma stirs.

Maybe it's the subliminal promise message associated with this scent that has caused me to begin to reach for it. It's probably serving as the subtle reminder to keep the promises I make to myself. Or, maybe, it's a hint that I might have made more of a difference than I was ever meant to know - somewhere, to someone, a long, long time ago.