The cursor blinks. My thoughts rush. My emotions rise. Words come and go today with chaos and uncertainty.
First came a tribute: A poem for Zack TV, a man I never met from a city I know too well.
They done gone and killed another.
Someone's son and everyone's brother.
My thoughts rush. My emotions rise. No more words come.
I try again and get ...
Silence commands blood on our hands.
The cursor blinks and blinks. The poem gets crossed out--overwhelmed by the weight of the conditions of black lives.
I try my hand at a more historical approach,
I write of civilization's cradle, of the Niger and Nile Rivers, and of Empires. I describe the homeland and connect it to theft and robbed identities. I write about the New World and its free labor source and its ugliness swept under the rug of patriotism and capitalism and every other -ism. I write about the fight for rights, and I stop.
My thoughts rush. My emotions rise. No more words come.
Because my thoughts converge on ...
I've known rivers.
And heart completes:
Rivers and deltas.
Where cotton grows.
And nooses still hang.
The cursor blinks and blinks. History gets crumpled up and tossed to the side--too much, too much.
I consider simple commentary next.
I scribble thoughts on the diametric differences on labor and justice.
I juxtapose Pain. Push. Pain. Push. to Privilege. Rest. Privilege. Rest.
I argue justice from different planes never intersect.
I assert that trauma passed down in the cells creates a genetics of fear.
I connect this to systematic racism and systems like schools.
Systems like schools and I stop.
My thoughts rush. My emotions rise. No more words.
I remember a recent meeting hosted by my kid's high school administration, a secret meeting invitations only distributed via word of mouth "as to not alert anyone" else, where the students in middle class mid-America said they experience racism on a daily basis from students and staff and don't feel safe at the school I send my children to each day.
The cursor blinks and blinks. The tears fall.
I can't be sure I know justice, and can not speak on that which I do not know.
I stop writing.
Let others labor while I sit in the pain of this realization.
100 days of writing begins today. For the next 100 days, I am committing to write for clarity, therapy and because a teacher told me to (as part of a teachers group connecting an image or idea each day to writing). Whether for intimate sanity or broad consumption, I am eager to see where my pen or keyboard takes me. I do know I always find it easier to write when the summer sun is high melting away the worries and stresses of "real life" so let the journey begin.
Lately, my days have been as crazy as sharing a train car with a reindeer on my way home from work.
A list of my crazy over the past 3-4 weeks:
All those moments and events crystallized into the realization that my babies are growing up incredibly fast--light speed fast. Sooner than later, it will be just Marcus Sr. and I (pray for me). How did this happen? I remember vividly the day of their births. I remember the first flutters as they grew in my womb. And now that connection seems usurped by their friends and Netflix. I keep looking at massive Marcus (the nickname his teammates gave him and that totally fits) as he's grown facial hair and more inches and an attitude. There's Katie baby, as I used to call her, who is only a visitor in our home. She comes periodically and grabs clothes before heading out again. Kayla has not lived at home since her freshman year of college and to see her as a real adult taking the train downtown everyday is unreal. And yet, this is the new normal.
Don't be crazy enough to miss the reindeer!
It is crazy how quickly time passes; if you blink or look down you might miss the reindeer and no one should want to miss the reindeer or your kids growing up or your emotions as they do!
What happens when your A game becomes your C- game? Society is conditioned to celebrate success, and recently popular is the idea of even celebrating failure, but mediocrity is seen as an abomination. No one dare say they are mediocre at what they do for fear of receiving a serious side eye. Success comes with smiles and high fives and failure comes with pep talks and pity, but mediocre comes with judgment. That's why "my friend" dared not admit that she'd existed at less than her best this school year.
My friend was afraid of the judgement. She had been on her A game for so long and to fall so far from grace into the mediocre was just embarrassing. She'd attempted to rationalize and reason her behavior: Did she simply not give a flying rats ass anymore? Were there internal or external factors? Is it okay to kill Wonder Woman? (<-- That itself deserves its own blog post!)
It was hard to just sit in the fact that "my friend" had simply been okay with, ahem, being average. I think about it as it relates to my children. I am quick (on the ready) to share my kids successes and failures. The failures provide comedy and an opportunity for me to get advice from others. The successes make me look and feel good. I never call my friends or share stories at work of Marcus playing a mediocre volleyball game or Katie getting into the College of DuPage or Kayla having an okay day at work. Why? Why do we despise average? Is it because, going back to the example of my children, that I'd have to be accountable for that mediocrity and have to ask and potentially answer some questions about it?
But that's where my friend found herself this year--average/mediocre at best. She didn't know how to feel about it. She really didn't know what to do with it, so I write for "her" asking: Is being average okay?
It ain't sexy! But it ain't hideous either! Here's what I told "my friend:" Sometimes it's about recognizing where you are and if that place is mediocrity and you survived it, then that's okay because you survived it!
What would you say to her?
Documenting my evolution by filling in space and matter one word at a time.