8 feet of door for the mfg. facility, Casting de Khrysopoeia - Made by master-welder Sam,
a Lebanese immigrant that has been welding since he was 13. He has been a business owner since he was 15, starting back in his home country. Now at at 50 and now in America for almost 35 years, he owns a magnificent facility where he employs 10 men of all different races, colors and creeds. In our interactions of him developing work for me, I could sense that there's not a pretentious bone in his body, not a misogynistic hair embed beneath the layers of his skin. Let me tell you how rare this is in America, especially and in Detroit when you're a double-minority - I can only really speak to this Detroit/American perspective because it is the only earthly coordinate where I have created things. It is the only place where I have sought to manifest the images that live in my head. In this city, where people tend to forget what matters as with any other developing city, I can see the whole of the world.
By this I mean, I can circle my block and it is as if I have circled the whole of the earth; walked the full equatorial circumference of the entire Universe.
For that it holds all of the secrets of existence.
As I journey through the process of living my waking dream, I realize this - although it is fulfilling, it is a trying process.
Working with Sam is refreshing. He's an honest, hardworking man that owns a stunning fortress with steel stock stacked along the vast never ending walls.
I asked him, “…and how is business going, it is good?” and this genuine inquiry made him smile the purest smile that I have seen in a while.
He replies, “Oh, it is very good. I can feed my family which is all that matters. I can never work again and move my entire family back home to our country and be ok, and generations beyond the living will be ok”.
We pace around his fortress of steel and discuss the key to living so that our doors, as people of color will open. His conclusion after living his dream for nearly 40 years is to find what you love to do, whatever makes you happy and work damn hard at it and the doors will open.
This resonated deeply.
The doors will open despite whatever your circumstance, whatever oppressive variables you face and that in order to be successful in America, as people of color you have to work harder than anyone else. You have to sometimes take breaks from talking about it and sharing accounts of your story so that you can work countless hours to defeat those oppressive circumstances.
Earlier that day, I had brunch with a new friend (of course, I was the only person of color at the restaurant located in Detroit, a black ass city) and we discussed the nature of overcoming. I felt very confident in my views that one's doors will open, once you do the following:
Identify what you love
...and why you love it.
Then what you're willing to do to get there -
This typically looks like the hours in which you're committed to living the life, the art life
as David Lynch calls it.
But most importantly, what is your threshold of tolerance? What are you not willing to do? What are the things that you may face along your journey of living your art life that you are not willing to do for any reason, whatsoever. These things are non-negotiable and not up for debate. These things are the things that will never feed or nourish your purpose, in fact they act against it and they don't align with your morals.
Carry the answers to these simple inquiries and your doors will open, for the simple fact that your circumstances will begin to evaporate into irrelevance.
The doors will open…