Validation

I bought a book. I rarely buy books, as I prefer to get them for free from the library, as books bought means books on shelves means less space means more stuff means I drown a little more in nothing that matters.

Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates speaks to me as I’ve been speaking to myself…

“As for now, it must be said that the process of washing the disparate tribes white, the elevation of the belief in being white, was not achieved through wine tastings and ice cream socials, but rather through the pillaging of life, liberty, labor and land; through the flaying of backs; the chaining of limbs; the strangling of dissidents; the destruction of families; the rape of mothers; the sale of children; and various other acts meant, first and foremost, to deny you and me the right to secure and govern our own bodies.”

“America believes itself exceptional, the greatest and noblest nation ever to exist, a lone champion standing between the white city of democracy and the terrorists, despots, barbarians, and other enemies of civilization. One cannot, at once, claim to be superhuman and then plead mortal error. I propose to take our countrymen’s claims of American exceptionalism seriously, which is to say I propose subjecting our country to an exceptional moral standard.” (8)

There’s more and more and more. I read Coates and I want to write. I want to write, but always, always feel the need to cite. Still doubting after 29 years that my experience is not enough. That I need something else to put the words to it. That someone else’s words are somehow better, stronger, clearer than mine. That maybe what I think isn’t quite right–is it quite right? And so I go around looking for validation. And I find it, but what then do I lose? And so I try to write. I don’t write about missing you, or thinking of you. I don’t write about my day, as Hillary Clinton’s voice booms up the stairs and around the house. As someone, everyone, claims this is the best country on earth, that other people will be destroyed, that winning is winning is easy and simple.

I think about a lot of things, and I don’t always have the words for them, and I do wonder a lot if the things are right, but I tend to walk around with a strong sense of, yes, yes they’re right. But I also recognize that the questioning is healthy. Time-consuming but healthy.

 

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