Injury & Response (vol. 2, no. 4)

Here are a few things I’m sharing this month

1. Question I’m living with:

Resmaa Menaken, during a conversation with Krista Tippett on how he introduces the idea of white-body-supremacy (as opposed to white-supremacy) to audiences committed to diversity and inclusion, said the following:

  • I said, “How many people in here believe in diversity?” Everybody shot their hands up. Boom. Everybody. I said, “Answer this one next question.” And I said, “Don’t bring your hands down. Answer this question. Diverse from what?”

2. Quote I’m considering:

  • “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response.” – Viktor Frankl

3. Poem I’m pondering:

WHEREAS my eyes land on the shoreline by Layli Long Soldier

WHEREAS my eyes land on the shoreline of, “the arrival of Europeans in North America opened a new chapter in the history of Native Peoples.” Because in others, I hate the act

of laughing when hurt, injured or in cases of danger. That bitter hiding. My daughter picks up new habits from friends. She’d been running, tripped, slid on knees and palms onto asphalt.

They carried her into the kitchen, she just fell, she’s bleeding! Deep red streams down her arms and legs, trails on white tile. I looked at her face. A smile

quivered her. A laugh, a nervous. Doing as her friends do, she braved new behavior, feigned a grin—I couldn’t name it but I could spot it. Stop, my girl. If you’re hurting, cry.

Like that. She let it out, a flood from living room to bathroom. Then a soft water pour  I washed carefully light touch clean cotton to bandage. I faced her I reminded,

In our home in our family we are ourselves, real feelings. Be true. Yet I’m serious  when I say I laugh reading the phrase, “opened a new chapter.” I can’t help my body.

I shake. The realization that it took this phrase to show. My daughter’s quiver isn’t new—  but a deep practice very old she’s watching me;

4. Something inspiring:

  • Evolve – a video jointly produced by Blue Chalk Media and the Red Door Theater Company that “takes monologues drawn from law enforcement perspectives as well as from communities of color and puts that conflict on stage. The result “challenges our biases and takes this charged, complex conversation to a level that generates compassion and empathy.”

5. New blogs:

  • I got invited back by my alma mater to give a talk during “Career Day”. Not really. But, if I had, here’s what I would have said: Career Day at Taylor High
  • I do not know their names. Our interactions were brief and distanced. Yet, these five people have had an outsized impact on my life: Five People
  • If you have had to say goodbye to a pet then this post may not be for you. It’s been over ten years since saying goodbye to Junie. It still hurts: Junie

If you’re reading this newsletter for the first time, you can read previous issues hereview lists of poems, questions, quotes and songs I’ve shared before here, and subscribe here.

Thanks so much. And, have a great day! – shawn