48 days, day 11: standstill

{{ I am chronicling 48 days of writing before my July 31 travel. If you are chronicling your summer writing/days and would like to share, please link or comment so we can all cheer one another through. Strength to your sword arm! }}

I am stilled by the events in Charleston. Stilled. All the violent events of this past year -- years -- leading up to Charleston. All the hatred and violence. I thought I would say nothing publicly at first. Who am I to say anything? I write fiction about my deepest beliefs; that is enough.

But I couldn't stay silent, so I posted -- on my Facebook author page as well as my Facebook personal page --  links to other people's words about Charleston. Then I needed to include them in a blog post last week.

I also asked the folks assembling the Charleston Syllabus to include REVOLUTION, FREEDOM SUMMER, and THE AURORA COUNTY ALL-STARS, all books of mine with a civil rights theme running through them, along with my deepest beliefs, including that every human being is worthy of dignity and respect.

Now, I thought, now I shall get back to the work at hand. But what is the work at hand?

For now, since I am stilled, and quiet, and contemplating, I will link to Claudia Rankine's piece in the NYTimes: The Condition of Black Life is One of Mourning. I met Claudia Rankine last November in NYC at the National Book Award events. She was also a finalist. She is beyond impressive, as is her work, and this piece in the Times leaves me absolutely breathless. It asks me for something. It will not leave me.

So I will leave you here today, with some words from Claudia Rankine that describe what I try to do when I am writing as well:

"There are billions of souls in the world and some of us are almost to be touching the depths of how it is and what it is to be human. On the surface we we exist but just beyond is existence. I write to articulate that felt experience... There are some of us who are constantly mending our hearts, I write into that mending, my writing is that mending...."


xoxo Debbie

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