December 18th, 2000

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Where's Fayard?

One of the great things about life... and especially the Internet, is that it points out the interrelatedness of all things. Case in point... bet you never knew I was some kind of authority on the 1920s-1930's era history of Harlem, did you?! Well, apparently I am, because a person from PBS' "American Masters" series is trying to get ahold of Fayard Nicholas and wanted me to point them in the right direction. No, I don't have Fayard's phone #/contact info, but I'm pretty sure I know who does...

You see, when it comes to research (and especially Internet-based research), I'm pretty damn good. I was using the Internet to research material to create the definitive Cab Calloway site about 2 years ago... but the scope of my research expanded greatly during my search, in direct correlation to my curiosity... amongst the material I collected and archived was material on The Nicholas Brothers... Fayard and Harold.

When it comes to tap dancing, there is one real city... NYC. ...and there are only a handful of dancers who get mentioned in the same sentence as the Nicholas Brothers... Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, the Nicholas Brothers, and... all those white entertainers who got rich and famous from stealing some of their moves. (Big surprise, huh?!)

It's hard to go into detail as to the whys and hows of how incredible the Nicholas Brothers were at their peak, but I certainly haven't seen better... unfortunately, there were a precious few well-done films that featured their talents, but I strongly recommend that anyone who is interested in an introductory taste of the talent of that era get ahold of a copy of "Stormy Weather" and see just how amazing these two were...

The Nicholas Brothers

Harlem in the 1920's/1930's was such a rich and creative society, like a flower growing amidst a pile of manure... gangsters, crimes, poverty, discrimination... it took full advantage of where its roots were and grew all the stronger for it, blossoming beautifully and briefly, only to be mowed down in the wake of the Great Depression... sort of like my hard drive that had much of my archived information on that era. I managed to recover a great deal of the info, however... now all I need is time to actually make the site...

**audible sigh**
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What do you do when your spirit feels like it has found its path?

I have been having an odd feeling lately... something that I never really experienced all throughout when I was growing up. It goes a long way to explain questions I had when I was younger. "Why is it, in the face of evidence (or lack thereof) do people get more religious when they get older?"

I used to write it off to fear of death, but I realize that it's not so simple anymore. It seems to me that everyone's spirit wants to find a home... wants to find itself... wants to find contentment.

Well, I've never been content with anything. Not this world, not the status quo
...and certainly not with what I did in life. Well, now, after all this time, it seems like I am much more in touch with my inner voice than ever, which has allowed me to put my thoughts into action. I feel like an arrow, let loose, traveling unerringly upon its arc.

Predestination. Kismet. Fate... I guess if you like where you are going, a certain kind of inevitability sets in. You see your life spread out before you. You become an act of the deity in motion... the hand of Allah. The feeling is powerful, comforting, and it feels, perhaps, a bit empowering. Falling into that mindset would make me so sure of myself, so confident, so comfortable... it would be quite easy, really. It is that kind of belief that comforts the believers... that actually makes strongly religious and spiritual people live statistically longer than others. No worries...

...but I can't help but feel that it is a trap. Nothings certain. I can't afford to believe that I am any one thing, or anything at all... I need to be free to be everything!

It may be arrogant of myself to believe, but I have to believe it for my own good. If I am an arrow fired into the air, I was the one who nocked the arrow... it was I who drew the bow... and it was I who aimed true... aiming at the person I wanted to be at some point in the future. I released, letting myself go upon this course. Rather than rely on anything I adopted from society or that feels external to myself, I must, in some sense, become my own god.
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    Dead Can Dance - East of Eden