Brief Thoughts on the Occupation

 

October 12, 2011

                It’s easy for me to forget that I’m a writer when I’m at my job working all day. It’s easy for me to let my best thoughts evaporate into the idleness of my mind. It’s easy for me to become blind to beauty. The world is dramatically shifting all around me; therefore I cling to employment so I don’t lose my balance. But then again maybe I need to be pushed down like a wooden domino. Perhaps I should allow myself to get swept up in all the change.

                Lately I’ve been wondering if I have become a bit of a hypocrite because I only write about my radical ideas as opposed to running out in the street and screaming about them to whoever is listening. It’s been several years since I’ve participated in an organized protest. It’s been equally as long since I’ve collaborated with like-minded luminaries. I’m concerned that I have grown to rely far too heavily on the tactic of guerilla warfare that is my writing. It may be time for me to join the disenchanted masses.

                At present I don’t know what to make of the occupation of big cities across America. I mean I know I agree with just about every homemade banner and sign that I have seen (raging against unemployment, corporate greed, bailots, etc), and lord knows that I support drastic change in this country. I just feel like something else will need to happen in order for me to be reeled in. Forgive me for what I am about to say but when I see footage of the unrest; I see a lot of white boys with bull horns. I see white guys leading chants, and blocking freeways. I just see a lot of white males— period. All of this makes me wonder whether or not we can we really call what is happening around this country a revolution if is led by the world’s most privileged demographic.

                I am not trying to be overly simplistic nor do I intend to come off as being too caught up on race but this is what’s making me hesitate. This is what keeps me wrapped up in my own occupation instead of jumping head first into theirs.

-YB

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Sacrifice

September 5, 2011

Entering my 7th year of fatherhood I am becoming more and more concerned about this thing called sacrifice. I have been questioning what the word means exactly and how consumed should I be by my own daily sacrifices. I have been wondering to what extent, if any, should I allow the sacrifices that I make for my child to move me off of the path toward my dreams.

Sometimes I feel like I’m using parenthood as an excuse to not dive head first into my literary pursuits. I once read about the great writer Terry McMillan taking her infant son on road trips up and down the Pacific Coast while selling thousands of copies of the then selfpublished book Waiting to Exhale.  Also the award-winning author Toni Morrison once admitted during an interview that on at least one occasion her baby son vomited on her manuscript while she was in the process of writing. She went on to say that she did not get upset nor did she throw the paper away, she just wrote around it.

My daughter is far from being a baby so I can’t say that she’s impeding my ambitions at all. I mean yes I am working, going to school, and trying to plan for her future but so what. I can’t let that be the reason why I don’t do all I can to share my gift with the world. The only person holding me back is myself. Now I just need to figure out how to get out of the way.     

-YB