i had the good fortune to travel to chicago this weekend for the frankie knuckles tribute at millenium park on june 3 2014. it was, for me, a homecoming to the 3rd degree. i spent time with old friends, had dinner a lot, laughed a lot more, and slept way too much. the event itself was overwhelming in a very understated way. there were thousands of chicagoans and frankie fans who milled through the park over the 3 or 4 hours in which the event took place. all colors, all ages, all economic backgrounds were represented. there were no arguments, no fights, no busts, no outbursts of any mention which is said to be a tribute to character of frankie and his vibe-whom everyone was proudly there to honor.
my friends are on different pages in their lives than i. it was apparent that we have changed. it was also apparent that we still cared for and respected each other. i learned that i am truly growing up. i have more to do, but i am starting to feel comfortable with my friends being happy without it effecting my own happiness. this is major growth.
i have given notice at my work. i am so relieved to have taken this action. i have been feeling disconnected with the direction the philosophy seems to be taking. disillusioned would be the kindest way to express my state. it has become increasingly evident that i need to believe in what i am doing on a daily basis in order to stay connected to it. my role seemed to be shifting from care giver to sentry and it was feeling toxic. best to go while i can still tell it’s toxic.
the fear of not knowing what is next is supreme. during my process i discovered that i prolly needed to trust my own abilities and my own life to support me, if my actions were to match my rhetoric. i love my life. i love my recovery. i am over the moon with the abundance that engulfs me. i have every reason to believe that these will continue. and i am willing to work for them.
i will miss some work mates. i will definitely miss the clients. all of them. even the challenging and resistant ones. i will miss the opportunity to talk with them about success and change. i already miss feeling inspired. i am grateful for the time i had there. i have participated in a wonderul opportunity. i felt heard and i felt connected and though it didn’t last, it did feel authentic and it felt meaningful. i was generously given the opportunity to watch a light go on in several clients’ eyes as they got to consider their journeysfrom a different and valued perspective. and those lights that went on inspired a surveyor from the joint commission to remark in her assessment-
“Now let me talk about something I rarely ever do. In over 400 surveys, this is only the second time I am recommending this and do not do so lightly. I would strongly encourage you submit to the Joint Commission Library under best practices (I intend to support your submission in my report to the Joint Commission) regarding the truly amazing work you are doing to incorporate “peer recovery” program into the work you are doing here. Never have I seen the involvement of former patients so ingrained in the day to day operations of an ORT program. I interviewed many of these volunteers and you and your staff are leading the way on what a program like this should actually be modeled after… You have no idea how special and unique this is, but having reviewed programs both nationally and internationally I have never seen this. Keep doing what you are doing and I will look forward to your submission to our library of best practices…”
my work is done here. i am sad to leave and angry that i let it go this long. but going i am. and i do trust in myself and my life. and i hope i am leaving this spot in a better condition than i found it. just as frankie left our world- in a much better, more accepting, more tolerant, and more enriched state.
Written on these walls are the colours that I can’t change
Leave my heart open but it stays right here in its cage
I know that in the morning now, I’ll see us in the light upon a hill
Although I am broken my heart is untamed still
at some point it becomes necessary to surrender to the basic fact that what i see is what i get. i will not escape my own nature no matter how hard i pretend to be different. i am what i am. and i can’t excuse it.
it is easy to use clichés such as progress not perfection and one day at a time. those sets of words (and the hundreds just like them) offer walkways to another day and assist with escaping the crazy of right now. but what they don’t really do is help me not pick up the crazy stick on another day and swing that around.
life really is a banquet of emotions. there are so many and they are combined in beautiful and strange and intoxicating ways. just when i think i am getting a handle on it all, i find more offerings and am forced to realize that i don’t understand a fraction of what there is. and during those times, the struggle is to be present and stay awake not disengage and check out (old pattern).
the work for me is to walk through it not run away and hide. i have many more years doing the latter. maybe instead of running, i can take a short trip and be around people who have known me for decades and remind me of my own connectedness.
there is a celebration of frankie knuckles life schedule to take place on june 3rd in chicago at millennium park. i have been considering a visit. i will run into to people i know and not be only in the life i have now. that may or may not be good medicine.
i met frankie knuckles while he was in the dj booth at the warehouse chicago in 1978 or so. it was a very memorable and exciting night for me. i had never experienced a dj reworking records the way he was. he had 3 turntables and big blunt burning near the decks. i specifically remember being very surprised at his pleasant and welcoming demeanor and his sweet manner. over the years, i never say any change in that armor that frankie wore. if i could ever think of a term for him it would be angelic.
i did not become great friends with him, but he was very integrated into my world especially through 1987. dave medusa (who introduced us) was a huge fan of frankie’s and was actively working to make his dream of opening a club like the warehouse. dave finally took the plunge in 1983, opening up his north side chicago dance hall and i tried to help him make that dream come true. frankie played the club a few times and was very generous with giving advice and insight to dave over the years.
there are just a few individuals , characters, artists, souls, who have had the impact on my heart and mind the way that frankie has. there have been moments in my history that i will never forget nor replicate as i got lost in the magic that frankie would weave as he worked. his craftsmanship was transformative for me. i touched heaven on a couple of those occasions. and the truth in that has helped keep me feeling blessed as i have trudged my way to a happy destiny.
i am still saddened by the news of his loss. i am also still so so grateful that he came into my life (or i passed through his). i stumbled across this interview on the cloud and i found it comforting and insightful. give it a listen.