1. Truth: I’ve been reading a lot lately. Because of a bad habit I picked up in graduate school, where I was required to read multiple books simultaneously, I’m currently reading: And Still I Rise: Black America Since MLK by Henry L. Gates and Kevin M. Burke, Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi, Notes of a Native Son by James Baldwin, Anything We Love Can Be Saved by Alice Walker, Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay, and I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou. (Do you see a theme in that list?)
2. Truth: Reading for me is essential. It’s one of the foundational ways that I learn. Because I’m an introvert and a highly sensitive person, it’s the best way for me to encounter new information, especially if it’s going to make me uncomfortable or confused. I need that space alone, just me and the book, (and of course, somewhere in there the author). Sometimes I think I’m a writer because I’m fundamentally, first and foremost, a reader, love books SO much that the only thing that seems worth doing, the only thing I want to do besides read them is give others something to read.
3. Truth: What we need right now are those with the courage to tell the truth. The ones who will keep showing up, no matter what. Those who will continue to resist, persist. In Notes of a Native Son, James Baldwin says, “From this void–ourselves–it is the function of society to protect us; but it is only this void, our unknown selves, demanding, forever, a new act of creation, which can save us–‘from the evil that is in the world.'” I think of those right now who are willing to risk going against society, who brave going into the void that is their own open heart — poets, water protectors, protestors, journalists, comedians (SNL, anyone?), teachers, librarians, park rangers, scientists, etc. It’s becoming clearer and clearer that these are the ones who will save us, or die trying.
One wish: “She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.” May we persist, nevertheless.