TL;DR: Scroll to the bottom to see where you can allocate funds if you are able to.
Oh boy, where do we begin?
My mind is always racing, so this moment that I’m taking to write something down is in many ways the same. The racing, the anxiety, the worry is always constant to some degree, but the topic for the most part is where I observe the greatest shifts. My therapist and I have developed a pattern at the beginning of our sessions where he asks, almost jokingly, “so what’s been on your mind this time?”, and my tear-filled confessions spill out from there.
It’s been a weird year, don’t you think? Weird and distant and uncomfortable as I look down at my dried and cracking hands from constant scrubbing (*reaches for lotion*), but in many ways many of us are getting that feeling of “same shit, different day”. Same shit, but this time some of us are privileged enough to sit it out. Same shit, but this time I find myself residing in NYC rather than just a visitor. Same shit, but my feelings of intimidation by the NYPD have shifted from a certain tension that came from seeing them standing behind the turnstiles at the Franklin Ave 2/3 stop, to worrying about if I should wear my flowery mask or a regular one, all black clothes or add some color, so my Black body isn’t perceived in the “wrong way”. Same shit, but a different day for the weight of complex and layered anxieties and relative privilege to come down on all of us, but specifically for people who look like me, in ways that continue to look and feel as we have seen and felt them before.
It’s a lot isn’t it? And I’m hardly scratching the surface. I can hardly capture the tensions and the privileges and the relative anxieties and fears and exhaustions that I’ve been feeling in this post. There’s been some joy, too, so don’t get me wrong. There’s been laughter, long phone calls with family and friends, hang-outs (from a safe distance) with the people I’ve befriended from my rooftop, and so on. I have to ask myself why I feel compelled to remind whoever might be reading this of my relative joys in the midst of so much pain. But then again, maybe it’s more to remind myself.
Before I sat down to write this, I tried to dig back through my Facebook archives for a post that I remember writing about trying to figure out what “my blackness means to me” (note that we now capitalize Black and Blackness in this house, but at the time that I wrote that post, that was not fully the case). I don’t remember exactly what that post was responding to or completely recall what it was actually about, but I remember writing something to the effect of understanding what my racialization (or what spellcheck wants me to refer to as my “radicalization”) meant to me at the time. I remember feeling that it was such a strong, and in a way scary, declaration for me to spit out online “that I’m Black!” as if I was asking my white friends, did you know that? Do you see me? Have you seen me? Do you hear me now? And maybe asking my Black friends, Black family, non-Black POC friends, etc., and most importantly I was asking myself, do you see me, too?
So here we are again, and again, and again. I got too lazy to find that original post, in part because as I was scrolling back through the years on my Facebook page, I saw many articles that look exactly like the headlines we’re seeing right now. It is heavy to wake up and scroll and see these images as we are seeing them right now, so obviously it’s picking at an old wound to scroll back and see those images in reverse chronological order from now to back then.
Here we are. Again. And Again. And Again. Are you with me? And Again. And Again. And Again.
I’m sitting here in a Black body (with a Black mind? a Black spirit? a Black soul? who knows) wondering. Wondering about what? I don’t know, because in this stream of consciousness my mind stopped right there. I’m just wondering. About everything and nothing. About what work there is for me to do this time around. About where I should be in relation to, or within, the demonstrations, the protests, the acts of solidarity, the donation pools, and so on. Where will I be? Will I be shouting from beneath my PPE at Barclays Center (which is, on a normal day, a lovely 5-10 minute subway trip, or a nice 30 minute stroll, from where I am now)? Will I be handing out water and snacks, dousing tear gassed faces with milk, baking soda solutions, hopeful that the burning eyes will be able to heal? Hopeful that the burning eyes won’t be my own? Something is stirring, something is coming, and I’m going to be honest with you that I’m terrified to be physically closer to it than I’ve ever been.
Are you still with me? Are you wondering, too? Where will I be, I have to ask myself again. Where am I now? Where are you?
Well right now I’m on a couch that I got from one of my co-workers several months ago. I’m in my pajamas, wondering what food I’m about to eat. I’ve had my first morning coffee, and when I make my food I’ll likely reach for a second, after that perhaps a third. I might stay in my 3rd floor watch tower today as I have been privileged to do for the past few months since my corporate work doesn’t require that I leave. Today I feel called to write, to rest, to read some of the new books that have been sitting untouched on my shelf. I feel called to learn. I feel called to use the financial resources I have to help organizations in need. I feel called to link those places in this post so you can help out, too. I feel called to post this, apparently, and I’m not sure why but I’m listening to what I feel called to do. Maybe I just want you to know where my head is at. Maybe the private journal entry wasn’t enough for today so I needed to shout my thoughts out to the world.
Maybe I’ll read some tarot cards today. Maybe I’ll pick up the Christian Bible for the first time in a very long time and see what Revelations has to say (or would Exodus be more fitting? Who knows where we actually are right now). I might make some pancakes, maybe call another friend. Might draw a little, might finish watching Becoming on Netflix, and continue to find ways to occupy and distract myself until I have to fall asleep and wake up and start it all over again.
If you’re still here, have you drank any water today? Have you eaten? Have you checked on your Black friends? Have you checked on anyone? Have you used your voice today? What are you wondering about? I’d love to know where your mind is, too.
Here are some places you can donate. I’m sure there are more, but here’s a start:
Reclaim the Block — “A coalition to demand that Minneapolis divest from policing and invest in long-term alternatives.”
Free Them All for Public Health — “Free incarcerated people & keep everyone safe from Covid19.”