bwg journey: stranger to a strenuous day

I’ve been getting our house ready because my mom got back in town yesterday (Dubai via Somaliland) so we had to scrub the place a bit! It smells better and she brought home fresh dates and enormous raisins and all kinds of things she managed to get on the airline like shark oil!

Has anyone seen Chimamanda Adichie’s TED talk – The Danger of A Single Story? I love her work. I don’t remember precisely what she spoke of in that video right now but if I were to extrapolate…the world begs to hear, see, read stories from all sides of this crooked ball. How do we weigh being a writer and being everything else? My mind darts about so much I wonder if I will ever do/be one thing at the same time that I ask, why be one thing, when I can be many? (Or, anything at all for that matter.)

Can I be as diligent as some of the people I admire? The writers, filmmakers, major content producers. They go hard. For them, it seems, very much is at stake. Who knows what precisely? But art and art-making sustains our weary spirits…it is a balm to apply heavily in this tough tide of a place. So that we shine, geared up. Ready to face the elements! And of course the implied connection sought, the community.

kuji at work

Chimamanda and so many others take daily dives into their practice and daily breaths out sharing their work. James Baldwin and Zora Neale, Audre Lorde and Octavia Butler did the same. Each day, Amy Goodman of Democracy Now, for example, is up at god knows what hour and produces a news show that informs the public tremendously.

Just looking at our ancestors, however, is a clue to getting through this life. We have never been stranger to a strenuous day. Stress over the art. For a long time, I have shied away from giving my all. I remember in high school when running the 300m hurdles and running it more as a long distance race. Maintaining my breath, pacing. It wasn’t until I got to the final competitions, racing with more accomplished hurdlers that I realized that the 300m hurdles is just as much a sprint as the 100m dash. Spend it all. Don’t hold back. Sweat it out.

I think
way ahead
of me.
Have hard times
settling into
the moment.

Enjoyment of being,
The process,
What that brings
to me.

I jump from
place to place,
poem to poem.

In the gaps, I
wander and
waver, without gravity.

Sure up, my dear.
See before you
what a word
can do.


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