Posts in Reflection
Bigotry is Bigotry: An Analysis Through Experience

Bigotry was something that was always condoned in my school. Now, I’m from a sheltered, upper-class town in Connecticut. By all means, the racism here isn’t the stereotypical Confederate-flag waving redneck type wearing “MAGA” hats and yelling racial slurs (at least not in public) that you’d perhaps see in the Deep South - but it’s just as bad. The people here are just more “polished” about it, I suppose- if inherent racism and chauvinistic ideologies are polished.

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As a teacher, I often feel the central thread of my life is witnessing transformation, and as the mother of a 14-year-old daughter, that thread has never felt more apparent. But last weekend we went to a wedding that made me think about this idea even more. A young woman was marrying a guy she’d met in high school thirteen years earlier. I wasn’t part of her life then. Rather I took care of her and her brother long before that when they were three and five years old. I lived with them in a big white house across from the campus of The College of William and Mary. Their mother was recently divorced and working on a graduate degree.

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I’m no different from a marathon runner. I’ve been training for quite some time now, my dedication without falter, my discipline, impeccable. I can run the distance like the best of them, fueled by my hatred for you.
Fifteen years of hating, unable to sit and catch my breath, knowing that can’t happen until you, yourself, cross the finish line--your ashes scattered onto the grass, carried by ants to form shelter or reinforce an existing nest.
The only selfless act you’ll likely ever do.

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It’s August in the South. Sweltering humidity-ladened late summer days. My thoughts inevitably go to my Grandmother’s porch swing. That swing had seen many miles by the time I sat in it. It was the 1950s and I often sat with Granny on her swing whiling away the afternoon shelling butter beans or snapping snaps. I come across very few people today who know what snaps are. They’re more likely to be called haricots vert or some such. When was the last time you ate butter beans!

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Not-Suicide Note

The first time I remember thinking about killing myself I was eight years old. I remember it like it was yesterday. I had just moved to a new house the year before and I was in a new school. At the old school I had felt like, a star really, teachers liked me, they thought I was going places, They would give me little gifts and things, you know, look out for me. They were talking like I would be a scientist, or like, a mathematician or something. They knew I had problems, but even the problems it was like they were a sign that I was some kind of genius. They talked like maybe school was too easy for me or I was bored or something but I wasn’t bored. I liked school, I was into it, I wanted to succeed, maybe I had some problems with my attention span or whatever but for the most part, I was good.

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The Pendulum of Time

A baby blue bowl floating in a sea
Peony petals rippling the pond
A bird’s nest of freshly kindled eggs.

And this is where sentiment blooms, invigorated in the vein of the pulp. This is where a pollen grain can hitherto germinate, in the buds of white trees. White shoots, not white roots, my father tells me.

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