Shadow Bolt Reigns, my adventurous puppy, gives me something other than myself to focus on. He forces me out of my head and away from the things that keep me mired in negativity. He nudges whatever he can reach, jumps onto my lap, tap dances on my back or chest (ouch!), and licks my face until I get up to fill whichever need he has, which sometimes is just a few moments of attention. Even now as I write this piece, it’s as if he’s thinking “She writes, therefore I must nudge.” All he’s doing is what comes to him naturally. He’s probably just being completely self-centered without a single thought of my actual feelings or my needs, but he has saved my life and my psyche at least once a week ever since the day he showed up in my life. He’s the reason I’m still here to talk to you. He keeps me Doing More because he Requires my best.
On any given day, I have at least 5 pieces in progress. I start writing, I lose my thought, I go off on tangents, and end up either deleting whole chunks of text or copying and pasting into new pieces to be worked on when my mind finds its way back to a steady train of thought. This is my version of writer’s block. I have so much to say about so many things; police abuse of power, the attack in Pakistan, the attacks everywhere, being Black in a world that seems to hate Black people, depression, my depression, my family, my friends, the media, the election, the American people, lies and liars, my desperate wish that superheroes were real… so much and so many things I want to talk about, and I can’t Do any of It Justice because the Words are all there at the same time.
Right now, I’m mostly bothered by the way circumstances have changed me. I never wanted to see things through colored lenses. In spite of the kids making fun of my dark skin, the little white boys in Virginia who called me a nigger, the kids in Costa Rica calling me “elote negra” which I didn’t actually understand at the time, but I knew it wasn’t meant as a compliment… the scary big girl in my first predominantly black school saying that I wasn’t special; that I was “just anotha nigga like the rest of us” I’ve always wanted to believe in the bigger picture. You know, the one that sees that the reason the system is set up this way is because it works better for the top 10% if the rest of us are busy fighting and disagreeing with each other, we aren’t paying attention to them screwing us over with crappy wages, the ever-increasing cost of living, and the never-ending list of drugs and products meant to mask the symptoms of the very curable diseases they infected us with.
I just heard a great line–one of many–on Jerry McGuire:
First class is what’s wrong buddy. It used to mean a better meal, now it means a better life.
Have you seen that commercial with Jennifer Aniston?
For me, its a picture of everything that’s wrong with the world. This rich white lady’s nightmare is flying on a plane that doesn’t have a shower or bar, while the rest of us are worrying about jobs that we might lose if we take a vacation, and that’s if the job pays enough to afford more than a staycation. I’ve never been a fan of Jennifer Aniston, and this ad, while it might be just another job for her, does nothing to sway my favor. The disconnect between the rich and the poor is beyond vast, and so much deeper than skin… but the tools of division are strong; too strong to ignore. So now I see things through my brown eyes. I experience the world through my skin, through my gender, through my heterosexual privilege. I see the biases. I see the isms. I see the media ignoring dead Pakistanis. I see a reality TV star using the fear and insecurities of ignorant Americans to ensure viewership for his next show. I see it all, and am overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of how well it is working.
I want to talk about it all, but I can barely focus on just one thing because it’s all connected. I feel like I’m not doing the other issues justice by not addressing all of them. It’s like I’m betraying my on mantra by only taking one issue at a time. I want to Do More and Require Better of my writing, and myself, because limiting myself to a world painted various shades of brown and white isn’t enough… and I’m still tired of the black perspective. The world is a big colorful place, and there’s a lot more wrong with it than race relations. I just wish I could Say more too.
Do More. Require Better. It’s not just about you. It’s about me and everything I do here too.