On Legacy and History

In January, which seems like eons ago, legacy and history were abstract concepts crystallizing in my mind. I wrestled with what they meant to me and my 2020 goals. I couldn’t quite distill what I wanted to say, but for the most part, I thought about them in terms of my writing career and how to best serve my local community.

As I sat on my words, Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and seven other people perished in a helicopter accident. My OCD seized on this tragedy. Horrific thoughts plagued my mind—I won’t relay them here—but I couldn’t stop filtering my life and my children’s lives through the lens of our own fragilities. I hesitated to move forward. The idea of any legacy shrunk to the very patch of carpet I was standing on.

Then in March, COVID-19 spread across the U.S. On the eve of what would become a nationwide quarantine, I attended a birthday party for a friend’s son with my four-year-old in tow. As I sat on the airplane ride that dipped and glided above the road, I was struck by the silence in the surrounding neighborhoods and the emptiness on the streets. It was never clearer that things would be different going forward and I had to make a choice. In that moment I wanted to give my daughter happiness as we sat on the edge of the unknown.

But because 2020 is a year of reckoning, the subsequent months brought more change and tribulation. Police violence, the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement, an uptick in deaths in the Black trans community, nooses being hung from trees in warning, and so much more. I’m having more conversations with my oldest child about the pandemic, death, racism, and violence. There are more days when I lie down or sit and do nothing as the minutes tick by. Where once we stood on the edge of the unknown, we are now swallowed up in it.

With so much uncertainty, somehow I’ve begun to gain a better understanding of legacy and history as it relates to myself. What’s more important for me is not what I will leave behind but what I’m showing my kids, and others, now. Even on my more pessimistic days, when the news is more often bad than good, I keep holding on. Despite the unknown that looms around us, I still see a future worth fighting for and I’m walking, if a bit slowly, toward it.

What I Read:
Everything Inside
Fiction
Edwidge Danticat

Buffy the Vampire Slayer – Season 8 Volume 7: Twilight
Graphic Novel
Meltzer, Jeanty, and Whedon

Buffy the Vampire Slayer – Season 8 Volume 8: Last Gleaming
Graphic Novel

The Swamp
Manga collection
Yoshiharu Tsuge

The Boys: Vol. 10 Butcher, Baker, Candlestickmaker
Graphic Novel
Garth Ennis & Darick Robertson

The Boys: Vol. 11, Over the Hill with the Sword of a Thousand Men
Graphic Novel
Garth Ennis & Russell Braun

How To Sit: A Memoir in Stories and Essays
Memoir
Tyrese Coleman

The Boys: Vol. 12, The Bloody Doors Off
Graphic Novel
Garth Ennis, et al

Parable of the Sower
Fiction
Octavia E. Butler

A Blade So Black
YA Fiction
L.L. McKinney

A Dream So Dark
YA Fiction
L.L. McKinney

The Subtweet
Fiction
Vivek Shraya


Onward,
DWM


*photo courtesy of Oleg Magni from Pexels.com

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