Black Dwarf Star: Screenplays, Books, and 136 Months

Damn near a year. That’s how long it’s taken me to revisit this blog. I considered deleting it, and even announced a shutdown date a few months back. Obviously, I didn’t shut it down. Really, I think I like it here with you; it’s peaceful here (for now). Also, as for the day I write my last blog here? I prefer to think of it as somewhat of a future formation of a black dwarf star…a far-off event that is likely, but only theoretical at this point.

So let’s dig in.

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Ephemeris: An Earthly body, a Charted Course

My father did what he loved and was loved for it, and that’s certainly a privilege not everyone gets to enjoy. But I still believe I’m capable of it; everyone is. Some of us just have a few extra things to carry along their way.

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Bolide: A Brief Study of Black Privilege

“There are cities on fire as I write this because it appears that, once again America would rather gnaw its own foot off before it allows itself to walk peacefully toward an equitable future.”

I wrote those words awhile ago, but they were true twenty years ago, and twenty years before that. In all likelihood, they will also be true twenty years from now.

Hear me out.

I’m not a fatalist, and I don’t plan on becoming one. But I do think that the freedom we seek is one that comes like a bolt of lighning that can strike a stone and split it in two.

Instead, what we’ve won for ourselves thus far is freedom that moves like water. It’s precious even as it is muddied. and it’s powerful enough to corrode stone as long as it coninues to flow.

So it will.

I also like to think of our true freedom (the version that includes the level of equity we’ve been rallying toward) as a bolide. It looks bright as a swollen moon, burning it’s way across the sky. It’s beautiful and terrifying, because freedom is those things too: emancipation for an oppressed people is beautiful.

But to the oppressor? Terrifying:

A bolide /ˈboʊlaɪd/ (Italian via Latin from the Greek βολίς bolís, “missile”) is an extremely bright meteor, especially one that explodes in the atmosphere. In astronomy, it refers to a fireball about as bright as the full moon, and it is generally considered a synonym for a fireball.

Thinking of the cultural shift occuring before my eyes as a bolide is soothing to me, and the ability to consider its definition in an optimistic way–especially in the political turmoult of this moment–is actually the bastion of Black privilege. Meaning, no matter how powerful the one who observes a bolide percieves themselves to be, that power is limited.

They can only track it. Create a narrative around it to make people fear it. Try as they might to destroy, while knowing that the latter is an impossibility. Still, being able to do any of the latter is a privilge.

I accept that.

But…Black people possess a different kind of privilege. I can only describe it as an innate knowledge that our movement toward freedom is not a benign, far-off bolide burning across the sky as it is studied and characterized until it’s archived. Made myth.

No.

It’s a bolide that will explode and light up the atmosphere, because it’s fuel source is Black joy and resilience, in equal parts. Those two things are like patience and fire, perpetually tempering each other and thus, our resolve. Those two things can move mountains. Those two things are the gifts we hold dear while the shift occurs, and balance is restored.

Happy Juneteenth.

Corona: On Quarantines, Finishing Things, and Rings of Light

I remember staring in disbelief at the email about my office being shutdown. I read it again and again, with my eyes zeroing in on words like “indefinitely” and “as this unfolds.” Aside from rejoicing inwardly at not having to make the nearly forty minute commute each morning, I also felt a wave of uncertainty about my mom, who is a visiting nurse who assists vulnerable people for a living. Then I thought about my son and other relatives, and how they would fare in all of this. I let all of those panicky thoughts whip themselves to frothy liquid inside my brain on the drive home from work that day until I remembered three things. One, I’d been complaining about my commute for ages. Two, I knew damn well that I had a book to finish, and working remotely could help me power through the last of it. And the last thing? That was easiest to remember: it’s best to choose patience over panic any day.