All month, I haven’t been blogging.
I haven’t been blogging because I’ve been writing other things: my GIRLS recaps and other pop culture/film pieces for Cinapse, my assignments for my writing class, my pieces for GGMG mag, and, for a new project, a piece about parenting and race. That last one is a doozy. Talking about race is one thing – you are able to see how each thing you say lands with the other person, and you can explain yourself if you feel you’re being misunderstood. Writing about it is a whole other thing: there is no baseline of acceptance for the existence of racism in this country, so when you’re writing to an audience that is beyond your friends and family, there’s so much groundwork to cover. I’ve been writing about race in a very personal way, as well, talking about my own family and things that have happened to us, how we’ve responded and how I want to respond in the future. It’s been so stretching for me to do so, and I know that when the piece comes out, that will be another hurdle to scale. But I can’t stop writing about race and parenting, because weird micro-aggressions keep happening, all the time. The fact that some people won’t understand the piece is the exact reason I needed to write it.
I haven’t been blogging because I’ve been looking for jobs. Is there anything more demoralizing than filling out a form resumé, that you highly suspect no one will read, for a job you’re not even sure you want to begin with? On Downton Abbey this week, the tenant farmer thanks Lady Mary for his new job with the pigs, and then, when she tells him he is the one who should be thanked for taking on the work, he says, “Work is like old age. It’s the worst thing in the world, except for the alternative.” My biggest freelance project just ended abruptly, taking the biggest source of my income for the past six months with it. So, I’ve been doing like I do: hustling little jobs reading Tarot, copywriting for friend’s businesses, doing childcare gigs. Honestly, I am so ready to be done with this grappling to pay bills, though. I feel ready for a jobby-job, so I hope one comes my way soon, no matter how many dehumanizing resumé forms I have to fill out! The problem is that looking for a job, and stressing about bills, takes up a vast amount of my previous blogging time. So, forgive me, dear readers. I haven’t forgotten about you. Mama’s just trying to make a dollar out of fifteen cents.
I haven’t been blogging because I’ve been taking Instagram photos of Olive. It has become a tiny obsession.
I haven’t been blogging because I’ve been writing out poems for my poetry swap, and sending them out all over the world. I am not complaining about this one at all! Please keep them coming. These poems are saving my soul right now.
Here is one that came to me recently, and is worth more than gold:
Make the Ordinary Come Alive
Do not ask your children
to strive for extraordinary lives.
Such striving may seem admirable,
but it is a way of foolishness.
Help them instead to find the wonder
and the marvel of an ordinary life.
Show them the joy of tasting
tomatoes, apples, and pears.
Show them how to cry
when pets and people die.
Show them the infinite pleasure
in the touch of a hand.
And make the ordinary come alive for them.
The extraordinary will take care of itself.
By William Martin, from The Parent’s Tao Te Ching: Ancient Advice for Modern Parents.
Big thanks to Liza Fox for pointing me towards this poem.
Readers, what you have you been up to? I’m curious, like Elijah on GIRLS is about Hannah, “What’s wrong with her, and what she eatin’ and who’s she mad at?” Enlighten me in the comments.