Thursday, April 2, 2015

Identity (and Climbing)

April 1st and spring break.  National poetry month and climbing.  Things are ramping up and winding down. The markers are crystal clear on the work and homefront, not to mention other types of involvement race related.  I sat on two different panels in the past month; both focused on race and both were worthwhile.  The last panel was "How to talk to your kids about sensitive topics," which was a little challenging when you're of the direct parenting kind - the say-it-straight-up, be-real kind. In my fam, there's just nothing "sensitive" about race.  When you're in your own skin you're living and breathing that color every single moment.  So what I seem to be re-learning is that it's not an easy topic for a lot of parents - for a lot of people in general.  

As a takeaway to those panels, I wanted people to leave waging a battle with themselves that starts from a place of Identity.   I wanted people to understand that their stories matter.  A lot. And to get to a place of comfort with kids, we have to know our own stories. We have to believe our stories matter. And we have to tell our stories.  Because stories can make the difficult, understandable.  #wagebeauty

One place to start is by celebrating - either by writing, reading, or listening - to the poems people are sharing.  I've been reading from the blog "Woodland Pattern" which features our two Madison poet laureates, Wendy Vardmann and Sarah Busse - both have written for my blog at different times, both wonderful truth tellers.  I've also been rotating through some of Nikki Giovanni's work because she's just so dope, and recently, Toni Blackman's relevance in her music has been speaking to me.  There are so many good ones out there and perhaps by intentionally celebrating National Poetry Month, you'll feel inspired and write your stories down.

Okay so that's that for now - writing has been a little sporadic lately and I haven't been very moved to write anything publicly.  It's been a little like climbing; I love it but sometimes I have to leave it alone for a bit so I can give it my all when I get back to it.  Yesterday I got outside with Lisa and Melissa - super fun and beautiful day!

Here's what we did . . .

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