The Proof is Here

August 9th, 2022 → 9:53 am

“Hear my soul speak:
The very instant that I saw you, did
My heart fly to your service. — Tempest

Seeking Forgiveness is a love letter to my son. And the proof of it arrived in the mail yesterday. Exciting!!

Filed under: Blog & Books I'm Reading & Literature/Theatre/Art & Self/My Life

“You don’t know what it’s like to be Black!”

August 3rd, 2022 → 6:12 am

“These are but wild and whirling words.” — Hamlet

As detailed in my Mother’s Day op-ed, as well as in chapter 10 of Seeking Forgiveness, my son went through a phase where he said these words to me A LOT. Most often during minor arguments, for example over brushing his teeth or doing his homework, but once in a while over more substantive disagreements as well. I can say that the phase seems to have passed – not the arguments, we do still have those (lol!) – but my son seems to have realized that it’s generally more constructive to say things that extend a discussion, rather than shut it down. And I always appreciate having the discussion with him.

Filed under: Self/My Life

Rain and Flooding in St. Louis

July 29th, 2022 → 7:28 am

“The rain it raineth every day.” — King Lear

St. Louis has experienced record rains in recent days, breaking records over 100 years old. The flooding has been shocking. While my family and our home are alright, I have very close neighbors with washed out basements, washed out cars, ruined roofs. One person (in St. Louis alone) has died. I’ve long known climate change is upon us, of course, this just somehow makes it more real. More…directly on all our doorsteps.

Filed under: Other

The School System in America

July 25th, 2022 → 6:37 am

“Never was such a sudden scholar made.” — Henry V

Chapter 9 of Seeking Forgiveness is out, and it describes the experience of trying to find an elementary school where our interracial family fit in. Bottom line: it was not easy, and in the end, we were all schooled, not just my son. You can read more about it at the Before Ferguson Beyond Ferguson racial equity storytelling project.

Filed under: Blog & Other & Self/My Life

When you have one of those Uncles…

July 17th, 2022 → 4:46 am

“A little more than kin, and less than kind.” — Hamlet

Chapter 8 of Seeking Forgiveness came out yesterday, and it depicts a racist interaction I had with a real family member. Over the years that have passed since this incident occurred, I’ve come to understand a little more of the nuance behind it. But even with context, the interaction was pretty hurtful and inexcusable. Managing family – the love, the expectations, the disappointments, the support, the confusion, the kindness, the traditions – has been one of the challenges of my life. I continue to be challenged by it today. But perhaps the most important thing I have learned over the years, is not to give up. Love, understanding, and empathy are worth every ounce of effort.

Filed under: Blog & Self/My Life & Stupid/Evil People

The LEGO Minifigure

July 14th, 2022 → 6:36 am

“The prize of all-too-precious you.” — Sonnet 23

In Chapter 7 of Seeking Forgiveness, out this week, a LEGO minifigure becomes the wordless bond between Miles and Rachel.

Filed under: Blog & Other & Self/My Life

I’m baaaack!

July 13th, 2022 → 7:09 am

“O let my books be then the eloquence
And dumb presagers of my speaking breast.”  — Sonnet 23

After a rather long hiatus, I’m back to talk about my latest novel, Seeking Forgiveness, currently being serialized in the racial equity storytelling project Before Ferguson Beyond Ferguson, but soon to be published in the fall. Stay tuned for more!

Filed under: Blog & Self/My Life

The Coloured Shakespeare

July 30th, 2018 → 6:51 am

    “I spy entertainment in her:  she discourses, she carves, she gives the leer of invitation.” 
    – Merry Wives of Windsor

My third novel is at last complete.  It is even more controversial than my last one, but it was important for me to see it through.  I leave it as a legacy for my son, whose own remarkable life was the novel’s inspiration.

Filed under: Blog & Literature/Theatre/Art & Self/My Life

England – Part II

July 25th, 2018 → 5:21 am

    This nurse, this teeming womb of royal kings,
    Feared by their breed and famous for their birth,
    Renowned for their deeds as far from home
    For Christian service and true chivalry
    As is the sepulcher in stubborn Jewry
    Of the world’s ransom, blessed Mary’s son.
    This land of such dear souls, this dear, dear land,
    Dear for her reputation through the world,
    Is now leased out – I die pronouncing it –
    Like to a tenement or pelting farm.
    England, bound in with the triumphant sea,
    Whose rocky shore beats back the envious siege
    Of watery Neptune, is now bound in with shame,
    With inky blots and rotten parchment bonds.
    That England that was wont to conquer others
    Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.” – Richard II

This is the second half of the description of England in Richard II, and it is rank with anti-Semitism, disappointment, and contempt.  England is great and blessed, feared and exalted, but also, in hock, prejudiced, and shameful.  We all have two sides.  Good and bad, ying and yang.  England does too.  Heck, Shakespeare himself did.  We all do.  It behooves us to face this truth sometimes, and not be selective about it.

Filed under: Blog & Literature/Theatre/Art & Politics/Politicians

England – Part I

July 23rd, 2018 → 6:19 am

    This royal throne of kings, this sceptered isle,
    This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
    This other Eden, demi-paradise,
    This fortress built by Nature for her self
    Against infection and the hand of war.
    This happy breed of men, this little world,
    This precious stone set in a silver sea
    Which serves it in the office of a wall
    Or as a moat defensive to a house,
    Against the envy of less happier lands,
    This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.” – Richard II

I just finished watching Season 2 of The Crown.  It ends with this famous quote describing England.  And most commentators that use the quote today end it there.  But the passage itself in Richard II does not end there.  It continues along a darker vein.  Presenting only the first half of this description is selective, inappropriate even, as it presents only a shining image of England.  But – like most things in life – there is another side.  I’ll quote that other side in my next post…

 

Filed under: Blog & Literature/Theatre/Art & Politics/Politicians