packing up sophomore year into cardboard boxes and listening to spanish music my boss gave me. today, i had a nice meal with one good friend and a heart attack watching the scandal finale with another. i wrote for the first time in ages, squeezed in a soothing sunset run through the abandoned umass campus, and finished an amazing internship with praise and a sort-of job offer. tomorrow, my whole family is driving 400 miles to come get me and all that stands in my way is an easy final exam that i need to score exactly 0% on to keep my grade. after this trainwreck of a school year, i am cautiously happy and hopeful, and it feels good.
Break a vase, and the love that reassembles the fragments is stronger than that love which took its symmetry for granted when it was whole. The glue that fits the pieces is the sealing of its original shape. It is such a love that reassembles our African and Asiatic fragments, the cracked heirlooms whose restoration shows its white scars. This gathering of broken pieces is the care and pain of the Antilles, and if the pieces are disparate, ill-fitting, they contain more pain than their original sculpture, those icons and sacred vessels taken for granted in their ancestral places. Antillean art is this restoration of our shattered histories, our shards of vocabulary, our archipelago becoming a synonym for pieces broken off from the original continent.
Derek Walcott’s Nobel Lecture, The Antilles: Fragments of Epic Memory
it’s always darkest before the
dawn dining hall opens
“Also, I was in possession of a positive outlook, which is just a trick whereby you convince yourself that the desolation of your world is a phase in your personal growth. The weird thing is it works.”
—Sam Lipsyte, The Fun Parts
Dialogue cannot exist, however, in the absence of a profound love for the world and for people. The naming of the world, which is an act of creation and re-creation, is not possible if it is not infused with love. Love is at the same time the foundation of dialogue and dialogue itself. It is thus necessarily the task of responsible Subjects and cannot exist in a relation of domination. Domination reveals the pathology of love: sadism in the dominator and masochism in the dominated. Because love is an act of courage, not of fear, love is commitment to others. No matter where the oppressed are found, the act of love is commitment to their cause—the cause of liberation. And this commitment, because it is loving, is dialogical. As an act of bravery, love cannot be sentimental; as an act of freedom, it must not serve as a pretext for manipulation. It must generate other acts of freedom; otherwise, it is not love. Only by abolishing the situation of oppression is it possible to restore the love which that situation made impossible. If I do not love the world—if I do not love life—if I do not love people—I cannot enter into dialogue.
the world is heavy
but your bones
(just a cubic inch)
can hold 19,000 lbs
ounce for ounce
they are stronger than steel
atom for atom
you are more precious than diamond
and stars have died
so that you may live
you need to remember these things
when you say that you are weak