I’ve been thinking and reading a lot about the Zimmerman verdict. I recommend Roxane Gay’s How America Profiled Trayvon Martin and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and Karen Bender’s What Great Writing Can Teach Us About Trayvon Martin. Read bell hooks Was Right.
I’m supposed to be at a meditation retreat but had to postpone it. Thich Nhat Hanh started the meditation center. He’s a Vietnamese monk who is a political activist, and I started practicing mindfulness because I read his book The Art of Power and Anger. I planned this trip because I felt a little out of practice and a bit overwhelmed
Michelle Tea used the phrase “feeling avalanche” in one of her articles and this week I drew a stick figure underneath a feeling avalanche and texted it to Melissa Chadburn, who is writing like a motherfucker in Iowa and currently answering freelance questions. In her writing bio, Melissa describes herself as a lover and fighter and she totally is. You can tell this from her writing but also from this photo and this one, too.
A few weeks ago, my uncle told me that my father used to be quiet, sensitive, and a romantic. He told me that he became bitter when things didn’t turn out right. My uncle could’ve been talking about my father. He probably was, only that I’ve never heard anyone describe my father as quiet, sensitive, and a romantic. I’ve heard people describe me in those terms. Let’s say that maybe my father was like me when he was younger and that maybe he did become increasingly bitter and maybe one day he just gave up. Lately I’ve wanted to know the series of events that led up to him giving up. My father and I look alike, we have the same interests, and I think of him as my cautionary tale.
One thing I know is that my father didn’t have community. This weekend I wanted go to the meditation center because it’s a community that sustains me. When I hear news–personal or political–that causes me to feel sad or experience a feeling avalanche, I go to my community. I consider community a big part of the solution.
Other things I read this week: Shatter My Heart, The Rumpus Interview With Pam Houston, a discussion about sex work in Marie Calloway’s book. I’ve also been reading all of Stephen Elliott’s new Daily Rumpus Emails. Today the subject header was Optimism. I like to think of myself as an optimist. Anyway, sign up for those emails if you haven’t already.