The Piscean

I’ve always loved water.  Maybe I like it because I’m a Pisces.  Had a great day today.  Couldnt help but notice the blades of grass that were slightly damp from the brief stint of rain we had this afternoon.  Water has a calming, purifying, therapeutic way about it.  Its unlike any other element.    Dug this poem up from 1:32pm August/3/2004

Enjoy… 🙂

The Piscean

Waves from the discontented overwhelm me

I swim towards my former self

I cry but no one can see my tears

I try but my efforts go unrecognized

I keep swimming, for the struggle

seems to be my only purpose in life.

The current is so strong

and my weaknesses are becoming evident.

I escape the dangerous paths of predators

though my greatest conflict is person versus self.

I want to live above the dark murky water

With my own eyes, may I see the bright light that all of the free world is familiar with?

What is it to be free?

Is it to lay lifeless in hope for a re-birth?

Is it to be forced to breathe under the surface of clarity

and digest discord?

No.  It is the voyage of self-exploration

the buried treasure is within.

-SMN

Long Overdue … (Shout out to Catholic school, Higher education, and Incense!)

“I believe in God.  I believe in Zen.  I believe in Karma.  I believe in myself…”~ My Daddy

I don’t know if I’m the only one, but I have prayer templates.  Template 1:  “The Telegram Prayer”  (i.e.  “Thank you Father for waking me up. Amen.”  “Bless this food. Amen” “Stop me from smacking this idiot. Amen”  Template 2: “The Bargain” (i.e. “Dear Lord, if you get me through this I promise I will never _________________”) Template 3: “Begging” (i.e.  “Dear God, please let me get home without this car breaking down. I know the gas light has been on for 2 days but payday is tomorrow.” )  These templates are that of a lazy/”lukewarm” Christian.  What is a “lukewarm” Christian, you ask?  It is a term, I find offensive but one that I must admit describes me from time to time.  Scripture speaks of the “lukewarm” Christian quite often but the bible quote I never forget is the following:

“‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would rather that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.”

~Revelation 3:15-16

When I was about 16 yrs old my friend who lived down the block from my house was having an argument with her mom.  Her mother was always a firm and somewhat serious woman.  She was thick and German with a slight accent.  When she was angry, thunder couldn’t compete!  I don’t remember what my friend did but I vividly remember her mom saying, “I have had it with you.  You are hanging from my throat and I am going to spit you out!!”  I had never heard a parent say anything like that before.  It stunned me.  My friend was unaffected  but I was crying!  All I could think to myself was, “Damn!  That’s some hurtful s*%t!”  So now as an adult, when I do something wrong, I imagine the Creator saying that to me.  I imagine being discarded by God.  It’s a scary feeling.

Why am I “lukewarm”?  Probably because I’m still “finding myself” (that location cannot be found on google maps but for those of you who made the attempt…thank you.)  I’m 27 so if my calculations are correct, I’ll probably find myself around age 89.  Cool with me!  As long as I have a legacy for my children, as long as people still say “Shaun’s deep”, and as long as at least 1 person sort of kind of gets me…I’m good!  Why am I “lukewarm”?  I was a baptized practicing Catholic up until age 19. I am soooooooo grateful for that foundation but I wasn’t encouraged to ask questions about FAITH and DELIVERANCE in Catholic school.  In fact, I will be bold enough to say that compliance, obedience and fear are the fortified teachings of my adolescence.  My favorite part was confession because to me it was like going to a therapist for free and I was an odd child so I had a lot to talk about.  Also, they would always burn incense after you said your assigned number of hail mary’s.

   Why am I “lukewarm”?  Blame higher education.  My first year at Pace University, I had  a tree-hugging,incense burning, bike riding,emotionally  damaged, hippie!  To date, he’s the best professor I’ve ever had and he challenged me to read more, become a more open-minded person, appreciate everything I have in life, and never judge a book by its cover!  That year, I read “Assata” by Assata Shakur, on my own free will.  I studied Emerson and Thoreau (if you don’t know who these people are then its time to do yourself a favor and hit the library.)  I read, “The Forest People” by Colin Turnbull and I swear I wanted to wear loincloth and live off the land like the pygmies!!  

The things I learned led to me becoming more “worldly.”  Good church folk know that being “worldly” is frowned upon in Christianity.  By definition it means you are “contrasted with heaven or spiritual life” (dictionary.com) but the second definition is “experienced, knowing, and sophisticated.”  I was a walking oxymoron!  I went to church every Sunday, had sound Christian values, and knew all my prayers and old negro spirituals just as my mother taught me.  On the other hand, I wanted to learn about other cultures, history, I respected other practices of Faith and knew that it was ok to be different.  I couldnt ignore the obvious similarities between Greek mythology, Egyptian history, Native American Proverbs, and The Bible.  We are all so different and yet we are all the same.

“Lukewarm” isn’t good but its the most comfortable temperature for most people.  I wash my hair in lukewarm water.  I take a lukewarm bath because hot baths hurt and dry out your skin.  I like my food lukewarm.  However, I am well aware that walking the fence doesn’t produce impressive results.  The most successful people are those who make decisions and step outside of their comfort zones.

In conclusion, I’m still “finding myself” but I’m getting “warmer” in life’s game of hide and go seek!  I converted to the United Church of Christ in 2004 and I have some uncompromising beliefs.  I started this post for a completely different reason though.  I kind of went on a tangent (sorry.)  I started this post because I have some  template prayers to address:

  1. Thank You God for curiosity.
  2. Thank You God for a significant other who tries to understand me and relate to me and love me no matter how hard it must be.
  3. Thank You God for my family.  I’ve seen other families on TV and I know you gave me a good one. 🙂
  4. Thank you God for my health.  The hardest thing I dealt with this year was Memorial Day in the ER for Strep Throat and that’s not too bad. Plus, I really like those hospital socks!
  5. I promise to use my love for writing more often to profess your grace and favor.

Are you “lukewarm”?  Do you have any template prayers to address?  Leave a comment….share….follow me on twitter @shutyamouthnow or email me at :Shutyamouthandcallmeugly@gmail.com

~By: Shaun M N

Love

It can transform a person’s soul from complacent to discontented,

longing for a deeper and more spiritual connection to the world.

It can prevail in spite of pain and grow stronger through adversity

It can change a person’s mind or a person’s life

And it can rebuild the crumbled pieces of a cold heart.

It can inflict pain through misunderstanding but it can ameliorate

a broken will and breathe life into it once again.

It can fill you like the sustenance of food

It can melt in your mouth like cotton candy

It is the evidence of a higher power

Nothing can imitate it

It is love

By: Shaun M Nickens

“Where Did You Get That?” Interview with Andre Greaves of Seeled Clothing {Diamond In The Rough}

  I love many things.  One of my favorite things is when you have on a great article of clothing and someone says to you, “Where did you get that?”  I usually just smile and say “It was a gift” or “I don’t remember.”  The cause for these “white lies” is evident.  I don’t want anybody to look like me.  It’s slightly egocentric but a necessary evil when you are attempting to have your own unique style signature.

Seeled Clothing is a t-shirt line for men.  The bold lines and artistic designs make for a great conversation piece.  The t-shirt and jeans is the epitome of the easy-going effortless “I just threw this on” look.  It is the nucleus of several layering options.  The colors are vibrant and eye-catching.

I had the privilege of interviewing Andre Greaves, one of the creators of Seeled.  He explained his passion, his product and what we can look forward to in the future!

SYMACMU:  “Seeled” is an acronym for : See Everything Everywhere Lose Emotions Gain Dedication. Who came up with the name for the clothing line?  Why is it important to lose emotions?

AG: I did. Emotions are sometimes the downfall of success and me and my partner both being two strong-minded individuals/family we have to take the good with the bad and not worry about emotions slowing down the mark we want to make on the fashion world.

SYMACMU: What is the best part of working with your business partner, Myron “King Kage”? Who else contributes heavily to the Seeled creative process?

AG:The best part of working with Kage is he is a Go Getter! His experience and knowledge he gained being in the Music Industry has been vital to our success and a big part of the relationships we have built along the way. Anasa Greaves is our Creative Designer she brings our motto “Wearable Art” and the uniqueness to life in all our pieces.

SYMACMU: At Shutyamouthandcallmeugly.com we believe passion is the space between wanting something and needing something.  What are you passionate about? Do you think your passion is conveyed in the designs of Seeled Clothing?

AG: Positive change, one of our pieces called “Goes Around” is inspired by the prevention of gun violence it shows the effect guns have on the families of the victims and the families of the shooters. Definitely, all of our pieces show individuality, which stems from our passion to blur the lines between Vintage, Streetwear, and S.L.A.T.E.

SYMACMU: Do you consider yourself to be successful? Why or why not?

AG: I am blessed to see my dreams evolve from an idea to now coming to life. I have so much support from family, friends, and fans who believe in the Seeled movement, so yes I feel successful.

SYMACMU: Who is the target demographic for Seeled Clothing?  Is it the business man? The college student? The “thug”? The single father?

AG:All of the above, anyone who begs to be different and wants to express themselves through style and fashion is Seeled Clothing’s target.

SYMACMU: Where can one purchase your clothes?  Will the prices rise as the brand gains notoriety?

 AG :    www.seeledclothing.com, I would like to say, “no.”Honestly, I can’t answer that because of how quickly the fashion world changes and more importantly what it takes to stay competitive and unique.

SYMACMU: What about the women?  Are you thinking of starting a line for women?

AG: (He smiles) We talk a lot about a woman’s line because of all the support our males line has received from both men and woman so don’t be surprised! The most important thing at this point is mastering one project at a time.

By: Shaun M Nickens       

——->>>>>>>>You can see more designs and SHOP at : www.seeledclothing.com you can also follow Seeled on Twitter @SeeledClothing

Feel free to leave comments for Andre and you can email any questions you may have for him to: shutyamouthandcallmeugly@gmail.com!!!!

Emotional Evening

This is one of my favorite times. Fan blowing, candles lit, music playing, breeze coming in from the window, glass of ice water at my bedside, captivated spirit ready to be filled. Intoxicated by the scent of my own skin. My freshly painted toes catch the flicker of the candlelight ever so often. My eyes avoid the clock in a futile attempt to postpone tomorrow. Tears well in the corners of my eyes to drown the Sandman. In this time I forget the laundry that needs to be done. I forget the bills that need to be paid. I forget the hugs that need to be given, conversations to be had and speeches to be made. I don’t think about where I thought I’d be or how far I’ve come. Friends I had or enemies I’ve created. I don’t think about anything but the soft mattress underneath me, the love overflowing from my heart, and my prayer thanking God that today was an additive to my strength and wisdom. This is one of my favorite times.