Surreal. Deep profound sadness that Mandela passed away. Not wholly unexpected but consummately hollow and gaping. He was a man loaded with humanness, the authenticity of common flaws but the consistent pursuit to not be tied by simple definitions. The sheer resilience to be more than what those of lighter melanin prophesied on his life. And in all that self-actualization, his purpose was greater than that of physical and societal emancipation but always, every time, that each man see and find the god in him. To recognize himself as the most blessed raw material. To believe in the extraordinary idea of himself. So this country sits today with heavy-laden hearts because his ability to make us FEEL that way about ourselves allowed his legacy and being-ness to stand so erect in our consciousness, to saturate the hardened defense mechanisms we clutch to fiercely, because the fear of being treated less than who we are still feels so imminent.
We are still amid a thick battle, operating as an unrelenting undercurrent, never allowing us to see each other beyond pigment or for humans to look at each other in profound resonance, a soul seeing a soul. Mandela was warm, like light-the-cockles-of-your-heart warm, he was familiar and I am sitting here realizing that he actually was each and every one of us condensed in brilliance, so we mourn because not only do we revere and are in awe of him, we mourn because we realized through him, the brilliance that is us that we take for granted, we don’t fully comprehend and therefore keep fitting it into a conformity that never celebrated us.
I will teach my son someday that perhaps the most important lesson Mandela embedded in everyone is to strive to be a good person, because you are already an important person. You are seen. being iconic though… that is all on you!