Thursday, February 19, 2009

Muhammad Ali

Three magical days with Muhammad Ali and his wife's sister, his caregiver Marilyn, and her best friend Rhonda, from the old neighborhood back in Louisville, Kentucky. Three days watching the foremost superstars in the world - Beyonce and JZ, Maria Shriver, Magic Johnson, Shaquille O'Neal, Alan Iverson, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan, Yao Ming, Ray Allen, Spike Lee - all were like little kids around him (ok, Shaq is a BIG kid)...the dignity he carries inspite of living with Parkinsons, which as I have watched him is like living in a gravity chamber where 4 G's of pressure hold back and weigh down each movement, each eyelid, each foot. Yet the Dignity lives on. The History lives on. And what would we be like if this icon could bridge the gap of Muslim and Christian and Jew like no other. Where would we be? How would we confront these atrophied notions of humanity and race? Would he not help us craft a poetry of tolerance?

All I know is that his effortless dignity has taught me much more than even his words - floating like a butterfly and stinging like a bee...perhaps now, stinging with his silence, as he floats along through a world few of us can know.

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