Friday, November 2, 2018

Grow The Seed

I must admit, growing up I did not enjoy The Wizard of OZ movie.  I don’t know if it was the green creepy witch, her even creepier flying monkeys, or just as creepy demon possessed trees throwing apples at my head.
Then there were the thoughts of a random tornado blowing me and my home into some other yellow road lined dominion, where I could be put on trial for murder.  Yessss?? I guess the threat of strong winds is possible when you are born and raised in Florida! But up until Irma, I had not experienced them and I primarily lived my entire life in the Sunshine State.  And YES, it is doubtful that a 2 story brick apartment building would be as easy to pull out of the ground as Auntie Em’s flimsy wooden house, but anything is plausible when you are a kid.
Another reason I didn’t care for the film was I could not relate to Dorothy at all!!  Not only was she running around a farm in her Sunday church clothes, she was also talking to every random stranger along the way.  Both huge no-no’s in MY house!  Either of those things was liable to get you a behind whooping.  Place the two together, you better be calling on Jesus!
Then one day I saw The Wiz!! Still the same story but it had so much more pizzazz!!  The wicked witch looked just like one of the deaconesses at my missionary Baptist church and could sang (not a typo) like her too!!  The Flying Monkees rode on these ultra-cool motorcycles. They resembled those parked outside of the local bar in our neighborhood frequented by one motorcycle club or another.  Dorothy still had an Uncle Henry and Aunt Em.  But we knew Em, was short for Emma Dean, or Emma Mae and they were from Queens!!  Sure, she still had a wind-filled storm, but it was a very reasonable New York snow storm while trying to take out the trash.  Diana Ross wouldn't have even been out in snow if not for that darn Toto!!  My first dog was a black poodle named Preppie, not sure if I would have run after Preppie under the same circumstances.
Then Dorothy ran into Michael Jackson, Nipsey Russell, Ted Ross and Richard Pryor.  Not a stranger in the bunch, I knew them all!  So, you can see exactly why this version was a much better fit for me.  No threat of a whooping anywhere.
I take that back, stopping instead of, walking pass where the drug dealers and prostitutes hung out at the Poison Poppy.  That would have been sure death!

It wasn’t until I saw The Wiz that I finally understood the story, L. Frank Baum, was trying to convey when he wrote The Wizard of OZ.

Everything you need… to do what you want to do… is already there!!

Dorothy was walking around with those beautiful red/silver (depending on which movie you are now going to search for on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime) shoes the entire time!!  Through all her adventures and dangers, she had what she needed to get where she wanted to go all the time.  Just like God has done for me, she also had the right people in right place at the right time to encourage, support, and fight with her.  The same was true for the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion’s wants. 
Michael Jackson always reached inside of himself to find words of wisdom when Dorothy needed them.  Scarecrow pulled out the words he had stored within himself, who knows how long ago.
Nipsey Russell, cried for Dorothy, Toto and even Teeny.  "Teeny, Teeny, Teeny!!"  Tin Man provided the emotional support needed.  The number of tears he cried, let us know he meant that!
Then Ted Ross (my personal favorite), when any of his friends were in danger jumped into action, although he always thought he had no courage.  Plus, in The Wiz he had a super cool name, Fleetwood Coupe DeVille.  “Mama had high ideals, you know what I mean!!”
Definitely #squadgoals.
Yes, the seed we need is already there waiting for us to discover it, nurture it and grow it to maturity.  But Warning!!!  Just as with the crows, and poison poppies, and Wicked Witch of the East, there will come fake friends, bad influences and obstacles.  It is up to us to discern the frauds, avoid the temptations, and persevere through the obstacles until we find our way home!!  My most profound lesson came from Richard Pryor.  The movie ended with him sitting all alone in a place he did not want to be in because he was pretending to be someone else.  “The Wiz” allowed the perspective of others to dictate his life which left him unable to show the real Herman Smith.
Woo got a little deep there didn’t I! 
Alright, alright, alright, quit your crying you bunch of Tin Men (Women), don’t make me pull out the Crisco oil!
Besides I couldn’t end this without doing this……
“Come on and ease on down, ease on down the road!!  Don’t you carry nothing that might be a load, come on and ease on down, ease on down the road!” Scom On!!(my best Michael Jackson voice and knee kick)!!

Bibliography

Ruhlmann, W. (n.d.). The Wiz [Original Soundtrack] - Original Soundrack | Songs ... Retrieved 11 2, 2018, from AllMusic: http://www.allmusic.com/album/the-wiz-original-soundtrack-mw0000025345

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz By L.Frank Baum With Pictures by W.W. Denslow. (1900). Geo. M. Hill Co. Retrieved 11 2, 2018, from https://archive.org/details/wonderfulwizardo00baumiala

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