drafts of creative writing
With my flute in repair for several days, I'm taking a break from practice to write more. Here are some early drafts of creative pieces (so please take everything with a grain of salt).
I'll continue to revise these pieces extensively, probably starting with the titles. If you're interested in seeing these pieces evolve, check back within a month or two!
Today's themes are politics & personal expression. In between pieces, I'll share some of the quotes flying through my social media feed:
"A revolution that is based on the idea of people exercising their creativity in the midst of devastation is one of the great historical contributions of humankind."
~ Grace Lee Boggs, author, philosophor, social activist, & feminist
Every Four Years
Every four years in the United States of America, November approaches and the air grows course in texture. Breathing in political discourse, people forget the sacredness of their shared humanity. Their vision blurs, ideas bleed onto human flesh.
One afternoon, I overhear strangers having a political conversation that tugs at my mind — filtering the light until politics take center stage, my entire life thrown to shadows. Recent realizations about life, my faith, my creative aspirations — nothing but petty preoccupations to distract me from the urgency of activism, social revolution.
After an hour or so of this, their voices grow distant. Light shifts back to normal.
"They love our labor and not our lives. So we have to love ourselves fiercely."
~ Brittany Packnett Cunningham, activist, educator, & writer
One night in July
One night in July, I trade the inability to fall asleep for the chance to squint at my phone. I begin to survey my blog, which glares back at me distastefully — words and images, suddenly too bright. That night, everything I've published becomes trite, grasping for a level of nuance beyond its creator.
Two weeks later, on the phone with a friend — a gifted writer — I listen as she refuses to share her writing with anyone but herself.
"Because if I put it out there, I'm putting out a piece of myself. And if people can reject that, they can reject me. And I won't let that happen."
In her cadence, I recognize the bitterness of that night in July. Of the two of us, she has always been the smarter.
"I want to be the one who finally breaks the cycle of my family's educational history. I want to be the one to finally make a difference. I want to be the one that everybody can look up to with smiles on their faces telling me how proud of me they are."
~ Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman & medical worker who was fatally shot by police in her apartment on March 13th, 2020.
(dedicated to Leah and Grace)
Wednesday evenings, I spend them rapt in conversation with friends. Our words pile into a tower above us, stretching through trees that hover protectively to catch the shifting light in our voices. Religion, body image, womanhood, post-colonialism, our sense of daylight evaporates as ideas race through us. Eventually, we awaken to the dryness of our voices, buried in nightfall and mosquito bites.