Navigating the uncertainties of the present requires gratitude. I’ve spent most of my time mining for silver. The simple gifts I can find in the middle of all this darkness. I make a gratitude list everyday. Especially on the worst days. Acknowledging life’s gifts reminds me that life goes on-no matter how difficult or different it feels. Gratitude gives me hope. Today I am grateful for coffee, my health, a place to live, my sisters, a walk in the woods, good music, honey, sex, sunlight, ice cream.
In the post pandemic world, social is a simultaneous widening and closing of circles. In person, my circle has grown small. In DC, I spend time only with close friends and family in an effort to reduce the risks of contraction. As a musician- I’ve faced so many changes. I can’t play live shows in person. But I’ve played music in dozens of virtual shows. In a pre-pandemic world-I’ve hosted album release parties in Brooklyn and DC. But when I hosted my album release party this year-the audience watched from all over the world. The virtual format and quarantine gives us a global platform we couldn’t have created before. I missed the feeling of a room full of people. The intimacy of sharing air, light and sound. The murmurs and laughter in the audience. I miss that so much. I mourn the loss of what was, what will never be again. But again, there is a silver lining in all of this. For now, I can’t perform and share space in person the way I used to. But online, in some small way-I can tour the world in a week.
Today, my kind of social justice is a celebration of joy. As a Black, queer woman-I am mourning the losses. I mourn the loss of Black lives stolen by police. I mourn the loss of rights stolen by those in power. But I celebrate the visibility of these losses. Visibility is another gift of our virtual worlds. I celebrate and join the masses shouting and singing in protest. I celebrate my sisters’ lives. I celebrate Black elders’ lives. I celebrate the Black, queer love.