Sign of the Times

Sign of the Times

July 21, 2020

Openings are one part mystery, one part miracle. Who’s to say when they will occur, or what will result. 

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On bee-ing free: racial justice, surviving apocalypse, and paying attention

On bee-ing free: racial justice, surviving apocalypse, and paying attention

July 15, 2020

White supremacy doesn’t just uphold police brutality and mass incarceration, migrant detention and colonial extraction on Native land; it’s death-dealing and ordinary and wants to last forever.

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Writer's Habits: The Importance of Non-Writing Writing

Writer's Habits: The Importance of Non-Writing Writing

July 10, 2020

...if you saw me by the side of the road, perhaps taking a photo with my phone of some wild grapes, you wouldn’t think I’m writing, but I am—more non-writing writing.

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On bee-ing free: racial justice, surviving apocalypse, and paying attention

On bee-ing free: racial justice, surviving apocalypse, and paying attention

June 25, 2020

White supremacy doesn’t just uphold police brutality and mass incarceration, migrant detention and colonial extraction on Native land; it’s death-dealing and ordinary and wants to last forever.

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Self-Deception in the #PublishingPaidMe Marketplace

Self-Deception in the #PublishingPaidMe Marketplace

June 18, 2020

If I think too much about the racial inequalities in the publishing industry, it might push me to the point where I stop writing.

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A Scream

A Scream

June 11, 2020

It seems insidiously cruel that we don’t get to be asymptomatic carriers for the prejudice and hatred that others infect us with.

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A Quiet Truth

A Quiet Truth

June 05, 2020

In America they kill their children. Someone thinks this of us. It may be true. If we are brave enough to see and accept that it is, what will we do about it?

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On Constructive Anger

On Constructive Anger

June 04, 2020

Being Black and being a woman, I have a complicated relationship with anger. Sometimes I am reluctant to show anger, irritation, or frustration for fear of being labeled an “Angry Black Woman”...Unfortunately, I am frequently angry when existing in most spaces.

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A Moment for Communal Listening

A Moment for Communal Listening

June 04, 2020

In an effort to come to terms with the voices that we have ignored or silenced as a nation, we will be taking a week to listen and honor the Black voices within our creative community. 

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Out of the Wildflowers

Out of the Wildflowers

May 28, 2020

And the wildflowers. The wildflowers pushing against all odds, against this endlessly small room, this seed encasing the pivotal word: might. They come. They are mighty.

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This is the Day

This is the Day

May 07, 2020

All we’ve ever had is this day with its daylily moments—bright, crisp, delectable. Shriveled by the next morning. As my hair grays and my bones grow fragile, life feels more and more like those time-lapse nature films we watched in grade school. As the pandemic arrived, someone sped up the projector. Sunrise, sunset. Moments quick as a hummingbird’s heart.

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Postpartum Balding in the Time of the Pandemic

Postpartum Balding in the Time of the Pandemic

May 05, 2020

Every day I read about the spread of corona, concentric circles that keep edging closer and closer to my world. And the economic ruin it's triggered. Climate change. The election. Meanwhile, a bald patch forms at my temple. I cut my hair into a bob and wear it down every day to cover it. 

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Social Distance, Then and Now

Social Distance, Then and Now

April 30, 2020

In those months, months of northern winter when my husband took the car to work and I existed alone with a baby in the American suburbs, the sheer brutality of our way of life rained down on me and showed me that I had not, before, understood.

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Feathered Hope

Feathered Hope

April 23, 2020

Are bird songs only a matter of mating propositions and territorial disputes? Or might the Carolina wren tell bawdy jokes? Does the tufted titmouse have political aspirations? Is the mourning dove actually a comedian?

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Atonement

Atonement

April 21, 2020

Finding myself in a seven-year-old world of hurt, I hastily replaced the garbage can’s lid, kicked off my skates, clutched them to my chest, and sprinted through the Pauls’ and Toners’ grassy front yards to the quiet haven of my own room.

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My Year as Beloved

My Year as Beloved

April 16, 2020

I lost another friendship due to the devastating effects of alcoholism, the second friendship I lost to the disease last year. Intellectually, I understand her reasons for abandoning the friendship— she was stuck between choosing her alcoholic lover or a friend. I know deeply what it is like to confuse love with pain, choosing iron shackles of loyalty over goodness and growth for one’s soul.

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Ordinary

Ordinary

April 09, 2020

I, too, crave the ordinary. I desire the familiar comforts of a beautiful home, a healthy family, steady income, and fulfilling work. It’s so easy to shut out noise around me – the evils that haunt me – the challenges that face my world, my country, my neighborhood.

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Awaiting Further Instruction: A Letter to Virginia Woolf

Awaiting Further Instruction: A Letter to Virginia Woolf

April 07, 2020

Dear Virginia, I’m writing with some wonderful news.  I’ve done it!  I have secured a room of my own: a third floor home office in which resides a perfectly adequate writing desk, yellow flowered armchair ideal for reading, and windows overlooking my backyard.  As per your wise suggestion, it is even possible to lock the door.

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On Transitions

On Transitions

March 31, 2020

To end, I will not offer any more of my own words on this transition—the small one (me leaving Ruminate) or the big one (the pandemic). Instead, I turn to the words of the regular contributors of The Waking. Collectively, their voices tell a story—one of grief, hope, and resurrection.

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Contemplative Consequences from a Decade of Singing

Contemplative Consequences from a Decade of Singing

March 24, 2020

Don't dwell on if the notes you sang were fine-tuned or not, as you can't take the notes back. A lot of plans in life fall flat, but the best that one can do is learn from it and aim to do better the next time.

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The Annunciation

The Annunciation

March 10, 2020

To DeFeo, her Annunciation wasn’t specific to Mary or Christian interpretation. It was a promise to her, in particular, a “realization of all that is good in this existence…and of certain powers creatively.” 

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How to Find Water (For Thieves)

How to Find Water (For Thieves)

March 03, 2020

Krishna is a thief. A good thief. He steals wonderful things—milk and kisses, butter too. Love, actually. That’s why he’s dark—and radiant; he tries to hide his goodness in the night.  

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Put Down the Ducky: Sesame Street Wisdom for the Age of Attachment

Put Down the Ducky: Sesame Street Wisdom for the Age of Attachment

February 20, 2020

I love my thinking mind. I have awesome thoughts; they keep me responsible, help me earn a living, form my sense of identity, entertain me. I’m scared to put them down, even for a short ten minutes.

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All Saints

All Saints

February 18, 2020

Perhaps, I might be excused for wondering, who in the hell loses their vision at 29? Answer: the same people who die at 34, who leave behind widows, who fight in wars they do not believe in, who waste away in prisons for beliefs deemed inappropriate.

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Psalm for My Earthly Soul

Psalm for My Earthly Soul

February 13, 2020

I will lift you up on eagles wings / And you shall rest with the fawn by the stream, / bathed in the light of the sun, / still and knowing that I am God, / my kingdom shall come / and you shall have your daily bread

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The Portrait

The Portrait

February 11, 2020

This portrait was, by contrast, honest. It contained texture and dimension. Beauty informed by design and ineffable grit. Its splendid composition carried a story of what it felt like to live in a female body—and the contradiction and cultural weight that came along with it.

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Black Space, Dark Matter

Black Space, Dark Matter

February 06, 2020

I allow the same for my soul. Sit in the unshapen, breathless; being. No push to rush away the restless, the flush of alone and feeling of being lost in charcoal soil. According to divine creation, there is pause, quiet, unwind from action.

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Holocene

Holocene

February 04, 2020

The trees are still a vibrant green, hardly a red leaf in sight. It’s hard to think of “loss” in this space so thick with greenery, but there’s no other word for it—loss of the seasons, loss of species that can’t cope with the persisting warmth.

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Dreaming of Predators: Entrepreneurship and Healing Creative Wounds

Dreaming of Predators: Entrepreneurship and Healing Creative Wounds

January 21, 2020

And entrepreneurship is petrifying. Of course my throat is closing. Of course my body is resisting. Of course I wake from nightmares clutching my neck. Vulnerability once meant death.

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In the Beginning was the Beginning: On New Year’s Parties and Boundaried Beginninglessness

In the Beginning was the Beginning: On New Year’s Parties and Boundaried Beginninglessness

December 31, 2019

I’ve been thinking a lot about beginnings, and anyone who thinks a lot about beginnings begins to understand there’s no end to thinking about beginnings. New Year’s is a beginning, and time. So is creation: the first brick of a house, the first step across the threshold of a door.

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