Writing on fire or writing when everything is on fire is difficult. I’ve been silent on current events not because I suffer from amnesia but because I have so much to say. But one thing I know from experience is that writing from a place of anger is never a good thing, for me. What has been happening in the US provokes. And each time it happens I think, will this ever end; the discrimination, victimization, injustice…
“Anger … it’s a paralyzing emotion … you can’t get anything done.” ~ Toni Morrison
I’ve been asking myself how does a writer respond to this moment in history. And Jericho Brown challenges in his poem, Thrive, “You don’t get to be a poet without publicly asking questions that people say it’s rude to answer in public.”
Like most, who know too well about the injustices of racism, I don’t have the luxury to be silent or look the other way. Yet my intention is not to deliver solidarity on hot coals nor do I want to tiptoe around certain topics in an attempt to write cheerfully and agreeably, while the world is ailing. Mind you, we’re still battling a pandemic!
“It’s a clear manifestation of the suppressed anger and sadness we’re told to get over and stop harboring.” ~ KE Garland
Some of my American friends (black and white) I’d recently spoken to want justice, peace and acceptance of one another. I want all these things and more for you, and with you. As you might have witnessed protests around the world, all those against racism stand with you. Please take comfort in that.
Of course, I’ve been reading and inspired by how other writers are responding to these events. To name but a few, here are some writers that inspire:
- Cynthia Reyes’ advice on specific actions we can take.
- Kathy Garland’s article, Fire, and where the quote above was extracted.
- Rajani Radhakrishnan with her Lockdown Diary.
- Earthweel demonstrates how poetry doesn’t shy away from difficult topics and can respond to current events.
So, on that note, I feel it’s the right time to take a blogging break and as I normally do every summer. I’ll be concentrating on writing and reading.
Be well, be safe and see you in August!