I feel unsettled yesterday. 48 hours after having the latest numbness abate, I was asking myself the question “is reading enough?” in ways that remind me of when I used to ask “how much is enough?”
I’m in the early chapters of Whiteout and Take My Hand and today reading doesn’t feel like enough. I know that other days reading fiction has been a way to simply get through some unpleasantly awful days. At times, books and the characters within them have reoriented me to what’s happening around me and to what happened years ago in nonfiction or what might have happened hundreds of years ago if it weren’t fiction.
And I was having a hard time yesterday with the adage that hope is a practice. As my colleague said, resilience is repeatable, and can be frequent and more each day than I’d believe or tell myself.
I noted to a few men earlier how I was numbed over night by what I’d seen. On Monday, I lessened my SMS exchanges with my brother who seemed cynical and bitter in ways that I didn’t want to contaige myself.
After that lessening, I saw the dedication of Whiteout, oddly and curiously a YA novel with six authors , that states:
To Black kids everywhere: your joy and love warm the hearts of the world. We still see you.ISBN: 978-0-06-308814-6
Yesterday evening, I was in the company of nine men slaughtering three pigs as the first in a multi-day process of providing hundreds of pounds of pork to local communities. I realized it was the type of care for others and taking care with others that Mariame Kaba was interviewed about five years ago emphasizing how collective care is what sustains us as people who swim through days and air that is affected by other people and the social dynamics and cultural norms that we create and that we then perpetuate.
Then, this morning, I came across the 15 word phrase that I’m reciting so I memorize it:
the good brown earth got on with doing what the good brown earth does best.And the Good Brown Earth, Kathy Henderson, Candlewick Press, 2003
I’ll have to figure out a 15 word mnemonic for: T-G-B-E-G-O-W-D-W-T-G-B-E-D-B. Brainstorms strongly encouraged in the chat.