The light is coming

This past year has been dark but it seems that the light is starting to seep in.

This Saturday issue is a bit different because I really believe in rest as radical praxis. The newsletter, like me is taking a break until January.

But before that: thank you for all the soup recipes! I am in soft food heaven and have the privilege of being a little bit bored. In that teenage way where it’s actually kind of good for you and eventually it’ll be the catalyst for a great creative outburst later. I’m watching a lot of TV and listening to plays in the meantime.

Here are 2 things I really enjoyed:

  • Animals, a play by the great Stacy Amma Osei-Kuffour. It’s a dramatic romcom about a spontaneous marriage proposal that ruins everything.

  • Farewell Amor, a movie I saw at Sundance but just had to rewatch because it stars one of my favorite performers, Nana Mensah. The movie is about an Angolan family that’s been separated for 17 years and after reuniting they use the muscle memory of dance to find their way back “home” to each other. It’s streaming on Amazon, Youtube and Vudu. You can also watch Nana in the charming short film, Real Talk.

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I am thankful

Sandra Lindsay, an intensive care nurse at a Queens hospital, volunteered to be the first person in the United States to be vaccinated against COVID-19. She wanted to “inspire people who look like me.”

I was completely taken aback by my own tears when I watched the video of her vaccination last Monday morning. The significance of a Black woman stepping up to take the first dose of a new vaccine in this country is not lost on me. Dr. Fauci has also been vocal that another Black woman, Kizzmekia Corbett was instrumental to this breakthrough. My mind also goes to Ugur Sahin and Özlem Türeci, the Muslim dream team who gave us the first glimpse of hope this year. I cried hard. I cried again multiple times during the week when my family and friends who are healthcare workers shared videos of their own vaccine experiences. They all shared similar sentiments to Sandra Lindsay’s. They want to inspire and inform. They want to enlist us in fighting the virus.

I keep watching the videos in awe and wonder. This is our version of the moon landing. You know it’s true because like the moon landing many people believe it’s fake. Actually I take it back. This is more important than the moon landing. I love space travel, but not dying is pretty fucking amazing.

Getting vaccinated is a kindness we can show each other and I look forward to when it’s my turn.

At various points this year, I have been enraged and disgusted by human selfishness and the sheer scale of the inequity we live in. But because I work daily to prevent my heart turning callous, I want to focus on the heroes of this time.

I am thankful to the scientists. Thankful to the doctors and nurses. The EMTs and ambulance drivers. The people who clean our hospitals and guard them and the people who feed them all. I am thankful to those who have cancelled family gatherings. I am thankful to the people who live alone who have gone months with no touch or intimacy. I am thankful to those who showed up to work in the pandemic in service of others: the delivery drivers, the service workers, the educators, the people who harvest and pack our food, the people who shelve it and those who deliver it to us, the sanitation workers, the public transit workers and all the other countless, nameless people who make our cities and lives run.

There is so much pressure to make a big deal out of the end of the year. Tie up loose ends and make goals for the next one. I don’t live my life according to the scam of the Gregorian calendar so this really doesn’t phase me.

If you live to be the age of the average American you’re looking at roughly 4000 Saturdays in your life. Every single one of them counts. Thank you for spending a few of them with me. It means more to me than you know.

More light is coming. Abundance is around the corner. Let’s all try to stay alive for it. Promise? See you in January.