In light of the choice of Don Cornelius to unplug, I’ve decided to highlight my thoughts on suicide.
Initially, my thoughts on suicide would be formed by much of my childhood and partial scenarios passed to me by my mother. Although she was suicidal her Self, I’ve never dealt with her removing her energy pack from her body. In fact, in many times that I felt she should have left, she remained a while to fight it out with the rest of us. A choice that I am grateful of. However, had she so opted out of a life she didn’t ask, or her ego — the only part of us that matters to most of us when the discussion of suicide arises — doesn’t recall if birth is ours to ordain, I would have honored her decision. Our hypocrisy tends to peak from the foxhole of lies told for reasons unknown when we discuss topics such as this. While homeless, even my closer family members hinted at their philosophy that it was my choices that led to it, and yet the choice of death shouldn’t ever cross my mind. It is considered cowardly to kill one’s Self, and yet most of us live day after day, year after year with decisions made for us by others afraid to take to task those that are most responsible. Suicide is just another choice.
How I frame which suicides I would like to pattern my own after can reveal much of my own conformity, however. I am endeared greatly by the tales of the Igbo women of Nigeria that would jump overboard when captured by what then were European traders offered up humans by elite Afrikans. This is a noble suicide. It is suicide as a weapon. It is suicide as a message to the world that registered with me best as being translated as,”Enough is enough”. It is the martyr’s creed beyond romantic martyrdom. Martyrdom as an actual objective and necessary response to human oppression gone polar. If placed in a similar situation, I deem such a suicide as honorable and in deed, quite worthy of repetition.
I’ve publicly noted that I don’t believe all suicides should be during the dark hours of our lives. I once took a blade to my wrist during a period of bleakness. In that sort of condition, I do think it is much easier, as to be respected as a choice, yet and still, however, an easy one. For me, my life is not the life of easy decisions. I believe in the harder choices and the riskier agendas. This is a belief like much of Asylum: written more in blood on your minds than in electromagnetic ink.
That being said…
Don Cornelius opted out of the game of social existence earlier today. I frame suicide in the phrase,”social existence” because life is more than my interactions with people. We claim that suicide is “selfish” and yet most arguments against suicide are the apex of selfish thinking. Who did Brother Don owe? Did he owe you? Did he owe me? Had he owed somebody, would it be any less his choice to avoid payment than the many payments you or I have avoided in life? At what point can I be liberated from the clutches of entitled immature minds and decide that my life is indeed mine, and I’d like to place a final period in the manuscript? I see the vibration rippling through the Afkan(Afrikan-Amerikkkan) mental space and I embrace it fully. It is noble for one to choose to leave when their days could easily be lived out in rote formation.
I’m not totally convinced of the events of today regarding Brother Don, but I do see the vibration of the thought that has grown a body, and I pick it out like fabric shed from bedding and entrapped in the sleeper’s hair. I hold it above my eyes and I even save it in a jar for later appraisal. The liberated mind, or the mind aware of what liberation should be, does such with every notion and possibility on the plane of existence.
I do enjoy life. I’ve walked through the cages horrible men make when attempting to confine the horrible men they’ve defined as ‘horrible men’ and I called it ‘Alma mater’. I smile with every stigmatized person in my country and I call that smile, ‘camaraderie’. I’ve shared my life story in a manner so candid that I inspired others to be open about them Selves when most would have simply gone about their business hiding behind “professional decorum”. I opened my hand to life and waved a clenched fist as I struggled with the ceremonious ritual of being Afkan during the fall of western capitalism. What I owe, and whom I owe obligation and responsibility to should be remitted in a fashionable manner. And when my debts are done, I shouldn’t be held by ties that I did not choose, but should be liberated as a human to make the choice to cut my own damn umbilical cord from the mother of all mothers.
I didn’t run when my number was called, but carried a flag through the fray with my heart exposed to all the elements a group of people nurturing the trauma of being born Afkan can hurl at you. I am not a coward. I am Owl of Asylum. I do enjoy life with all of her funny ass ways and idiosyncrasies. And in that I have loved her, I have no compunction when the time comes to love death. Let’s hope we have a gross amount of hours and years before such a romance should begin, yes?