About a week ago, I just stopped posting to social media. No warning. It wasn’t planned like some of my earlier off-the-grid exploits. There was just this urgent need to disconnect. And for the seven days that followed, I kept my phone off. (If there had been any type of emergency, I could have been reached through e-mail, which I was still checking sporadically.) When I rejoined the world, there were several messages across different social media platforms from people wondering if I was okay. I was fine. And my time out reminded me of something I’ve always struggled with: the art of rest. [Read more…] about Taking Time to Rest
I’m going to talk about the elephant in the room: COVID-19 fatigue. I’m not talking about the physical symptom associated with the virus — feeling weak, tired, or exhausted. What I’m talking about is the fatigue of hearing about it 24/7, 7 days a week. The earth-shattering, apocalyptic music news shows play as an intro to their coverage.
The virus has transformed, and continues to transform, so many aspects of our lives. And as people battle for their lives and ICUs reach capacity, I’m stunned. Stunned how mask wearing has become politicized. Stunned that with whole industries shattered and millions forced out of work, we’re told it’s simply time to ‘Try Something New.’ Stunned that some people so brazenly and selfishly put others at risk by flagrantly disrespecting public health guidance. [Read more…] about The Fix: Gratitude
When I started my vacation on 10 March, it was just days before the world began to turn in on itself because of COVID-19. Nothing had really changed for me, though. I was still waking up around 3:30 or 4:00 to write while the rest of the world slept. Then, after a run, I’d return to the business of writing for a good chunk of the day before prepping dinner late in the afternoon. My evening ritual of either reading or watching reruns of Two and a Half Men rounded out the day. I had my groove on.
But as my vacation transitioned to an involuntary leave of absence and then a layoff, there was a shift. Since I had the condo to myself, I started going to bed later, which meant getting up later. Still writing in the morning, I’d unexpectedly become an early afternoon runner (lesson learned: not my greatest time to run). Something else was at play, too. My body was adjusting to not zipping through time zones. I had lost my rhythm, fell out of my groove. [Read more…] about How I Lost and Found My Groove
There is a lot happening in the world that inspires, especially how, in different communities across the globe, we’ve come together to support each other during the COVID-19 pandemic. There are also things that cause us to pause and show the worst of man’s inhumanity to man, and, consequently, sends people marching into the streets to demand change. George Floyd’s death reflects the latter. Enter hope… [Read more…] about 2 Things You Can’t Take Away from Me…
Last year, someone suggested in a tweet that I share my essay, “On Being Black.” My excuse, then, was that the timing was bad. I was in the middle of a major writing project. In an already ‘busy’ life, I didn’t have time to scour through file folders to find it and then retype it (the only copy I had was a scanned PDF version). But procrastinating one day, I searched it out and, after reading through it, thought, Share this? Absolutely not.
The essay stirred up a lot of emotion, and a feeling I’d, then, rather deny than acknowledge: that I’m still searching for my way home, trying to find my place in the world.
The world is changing, yet it’s also staying the same. And this essay — seventeen years after it first appeared — begs the question: have I changed or have I, too, stayed the same?
My first literary credit, “On Being Black” was published in the 2003 Winter Edition of Other Voices: Journal of the Literary and Visual Arts. I present here, having only corrected an obvious spelling mistake, the original published version.
On Being Black
From Being Black there is being. Being is, here, in the text of the formula derived long ago: existence precedes essence. Being is what is proper to man, dwelling in this world where the total of all actions undertaken by man are understood by man as being before itself and before others — actions that substantiate the whole of man in being, that do not call into question said whole, and, in addition, allow man, in being, to be with and without being. And being, then, within Being Black, is to re-veal itself as the motivating guide[-ance] beyond the passage in the course of Being Black. Black is not something that you define. Black is not something that you learn to be. Black is not something that you decide to be. Black is. Being Black just is. [Read more…] about On Being Black