Reflecting on 2014, it was a year of learning for me.
Going from the 31st to the 1st, midnight... everyone watching their clocks, texting, calling, welcoming the new year... there's a lot of energy in the event everywhere. It's a time when people reflect on the year and what happened, and in the imagination of some, a restart. Even though the math of getting older has nothing to do with starting over. Time is all about seconds adding on top of seconds equal to minutes that add on top of minutes, years add on to years, with lives beginning through birth or ending through death. For me New Years is a chance to think about the memories of the previous year and organize some of them. We see that in how some of our social media pages are, whether its Wordpress or Facebook or even here with Blogger.
Looking back, there is a lot to think and write about. And for this post I want to write about a one of the events that really stood out to me and meant a lot. Something I think is perfect for Lens & Words.
My friend and fellow poet, Phillip Campbell, aka Phil Da Poet aka B.Fire aka B.Sunkist aka Pidi Pecan aka Minister of Dopeness took a trip to revisit family in Seattle. Checking out the photos and notice he sent through text, I thought about a few things including Pidi's connection to Seattle, Nirvana, rain, the Seattle Supersonics of the Payton & Kemp era, Keystone cops, the Seahawks, etc.
I'm not much of a traveling man, but in my imagination, I thought about what I would do if I was visiting Seattle and the first thought to come to mind was visiting Bruce Lee's resting place at the Lake View Cemetary. I thought about the Child of the 80s Mixtape that I made at a point in my life where I had gotten very sick and uncertain about the future. It was a difficult time that I worked myself through by making a mixtape returning to the memories of my childhood during the 80s decade. One of the pieces I included closing the first side of the mixtape was a clip from the film No Retreat, No Surrender. It was the part when RJ tells Jason that he knows where Bruce Lee is buried agreeing to take him to the site the next day. It was Jason's first day in Seattle.
I texted Phil Da Poet with a favor asking if he could visit the Lake View Cemetery for me and leave a haiku poem I'd written about Bruce Lee. I've been a fan of Bruce Lee my whole life. First through my father who was a martial arts practitioner, and then of course through all of Bruce Lee's films, including other flicks in the 80s like The Last Dragon or No Retreat, No Surrender with plot lines that idolized the character of Bruce Lee. It wasn't until I entered adulthood and got to college that I started to think of Bruce Lee as a source of inspiration, applying much of what he expressed through writing & film into what I was coordinating through my education and life's work. As a poet, I became inspired by Lee's approach to learning, teaching, and the effort he put into his art, craft, students, fans, and his lifetime involvement in film.
Like the brother that he is, PDP went out of his way to make plans to drop off the poem. He caught the 10, taking a 35 minute ride then walking to the destination with the poem in hand. Along the way he met a Penn State University student from China named Michelle who you'll notice in one of the photographs below.
This was a spur of the moment request and I'm extremely thankful to my brother Phil Da Poet for making it happen. It's an event that stood out to me in 2014 and something that I've been wanting to post about since his trip back in September. If you know Pidi, you know how great of a friend he is and what he does for crew members when the call is made. He's the energy of the crew we refer to as OGSV which probably has a lot to do with his nickname, 'Brother Fire'.
You can view the images from his trip below including the poem I wrote titled 'Bruce 575'. Thank you to B.Fire, shout out to our OGSV brothers and all we're connected to, including the spirit and influence of Bruce Lee.
Happy New Year.
Click on image to increase size to read poem
Michelle from Penn State University
Bruce & Brandon Lee
Photographs by Phillip Campbell aka B.Fire, 2014