Thursday, June 25, 2020

Cleaning the Fish

 A couple of days of silence here, not because I don’t have anything to say, but because I have too much to say. And in the midst of deep online teaching—Saturday, Russia, about my book Play, Sing and Dance,  Saturday and Monday  night, Iran, with body percussion theme, Monday through Friday mornings, my book Teach Like it’s Music and was supposed to do a 4-evening Jazz course for Hong Kong and thank the stars, enrollment was low and I was thrilled to postpone it to a later time.

But in this past week, also saw the film Thirteen,Michelle Obama’s Becoming, the old film Black Like Me from the 60’s, an hour and a half  Youtube video on white fragility, followed by buying the book of the same name, had a meeting with my men’s group around the theme of reparations. This subject of how racism literally endangers or ends the physical lives of black folks and eats away at their sense of self and likewise diminishes the lives of all the whites purposefully perpetrating the system for their own economic gain and sense of self-esteem, and most damaging of all because so invisible, the whites whose culturally supported ignorance keeps the whole horror going, this has been with me my whole life, but still I have so much to learn and so much more I can and should do to contribute to the healing. 

And so I have been fishing in these dark waters and pulled up some new creatures I haven’t seen yet and now it’s time to clean the fish to prepare for the meal. Which means mulling things over, adding the new information to the old and thinking yet larger and acting yet wider. And then eating it all to wholly own that this whole history is part of my flesh, blood and bones, parts of all of ours. (On one hand, this is not my preferred metaphor, as I’ve hated fish my whole life—but maybe it’s a good one, as it’s a meal that is not tasty and is hard to swallow and probably the fish is poisoned with mercury).

So that’s my “don’t have anything to say yet” attempt to say some of what I want to say better. I know none of you are on the edge of your seat waiting for the next post, but while you’re waiting, consider seeing the above films or Youtube or reading the White Fragilitybook. Keep these needed, difficu.t, courageous and way overdue conversations going within yourself and with those around you.

See you at the fish fry.

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