It’s October and libra season, so I am a big ball of feelings. All the feelings. This is also my most productive time of year. It’s odd because many people are dealing with seasonal affective disorder during colder months while I finally begin to thrive after dealing with SAD during spring and summer. My depression doesn’t go away but it doesn’t bog me down in its usual ways. There’s a level of clarity that doesn’t appear often, and I like to take full advantage of it. I’m focusing on my intellectual curiosities, writing more, listening more. And I am trying to take better care of myself by establishing routines I hope to sustain whenever my mind starts to feel muddied.
I’ve been working on my graduate school applications for the last couple of months. This is the second time I started the application process and yet again I am tempted to change my mind. This time I recognize it is out of fear of rejection and failure. I am challenging myself to push through it and let it go out of my hands and into the hands of admissions committees. To prepare myself for starting classes next fall, I am reading more non-fiction relevant to my research interests (not sharing yet!); to keep my mind off everything related to grad school, I am also reading more poetry and other creative non-fiction.
At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance–A New History of the Civil Rights Movement from Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power by Danielle L. McGuire
Counting Descent by Clint Smith
Recently read & loved:
- The Crown Ain’t Worth Much by Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib
- Salvation on Mission Street by Cathy Arellano
- Dated Emcees by Chinaka Hodge
- The Red Parts by Maggie Nelson
- Jane: A Murder by Maggie Nelson
- For Women of Color, the Price of Fandom Can Be Too High
- Serena Williams’s Biggest Win
- How To Be A Writer: 10 Tips from Rebecca Solnit
10) It’s all really up to you, but you already knew that and knew everything else you need to know somewhere underneath the noise and the bustle and the anxiety and the outside instructions, including these ones.
- As always I think a lot about transformative justice and incorporating practices into my everyday life. And I recently wrote a post about community responses to harm, specifically in dealing with friends and comrades who are abusive or exhibit abusive behaviors towards their loved ones. I read a lot but only so much can guide you in figuring out how to proceed with processes and the complexities of our own and our communities’ responses. This post What is/isn’t transformative justice? by Adrienne Maree Brown asks questions I’ve struggled with since making a commitment to sort out my feelings around transformative justice particularly for survivors of interpersonal violence.
So I’m wondering, in a real way: how can we pivot towards practicing transformative justice? How do we shift from individual, interpersonal and inter-organizational anger towards viable generative sustainable systemic change?
An unrelated recommendation that broke my heart but reaffirmed many feelings I have of my own:
[Trigger warning: sexual abuse, familial violence]
The “how” of mourning an abuser reveals itself in the last thing one expects: to admit there was love. If there’s such a thing as closure on such a day, or in the tumult of days and weeks and months after, maybe, it comes from that. From holding tight to the love of what could have been and of the glimpses that were revealed. At the future for yourself that you have to claim as your own.
- I recently watched Luke Cage and fell in love with the show. Thankfully so did most of the world and a nerd put together The Luke Cage Syllabus: A Breakdown of All the Black Literature Featured in Netflix’s Luke Cage. I already added the books I haven’t read to my wishlist – can’t wait to read.
That’s all for now, friends.