My goodness

My goodness

Tempest said introduce myself.  Maybe you already know me.  Or maybe you think you do?  Or maybe not.

I write, and I’ve been writing for decades.  I’m really, really old.  Always have been, ever since I was born.

My earliest memories are of outrage–

I’m in a crib, and I don’t want to be, so I learn how to pull out the bars.  It gets easier after the first one, to the consternation of my parents. 

My Uncle Marv is saying something stupid about other black people.  I wish I knew how to talk, so I could tell him he’s wrong.

I’m making up my bed with my babysitter and the sheet is not cooperating.  I bite the sheet, and try to tear it, and end up pulling out one of my baby teeth.  Red blood stains the white, but I haven’t made any holes in it.

And this is when my outrage starts to change, when I begin to cook my anger, to season it and control its temperature.  My babysitter says, “Do you think that sheet cares what you’ve done to it?  All you’ve done is hurt yourself.”  She’s right.  Anger alone accomplishes next to nothing.  To change the world, anger needs art.

Cooking is an art, and the process of cooking is a  metaphor for art.  By art I mean focus, practice, technique, intention.  Insight.  Perspective.  Deliberation, determination, and delight in what one can do.  And the self-assurance to trust one’s tastes, one’s preferences, to make choices and stand by them and believe that they are right because they are right, that’s what they are.  They’re your choices, and they’re right.  With this self-assurance, or soon after it has been achieved, comes the longing to share these choices with others, and out of this longing it is possible to develop the ability to do exactly that.  And then the world can become different.

So those are some things I know about myself and my goodness: what I’ve done, what I want to do.

I’ll post here again soon about something else.

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