I let the black ink from a cheap ballpoint pen scratch the date on the off-white pages of my brand-new diary. It was October 20, 2001, and within the same sentence of me mentioning my 11th birthday which occurred three days before, I spoke about the attacks that occurred on 9/11.
It always helps me to stop and take a second for myself when I think that I have gotten terribly lost on a hike. I calm my breathing, check my GPS tracker, and look for the clues surrounding me to put me back where I need to be. In life, I try to rest and relish in the section of time I set aside to reflect on the path in which I came. I’ll even, occasionally, look through the lens pointed at my past through previous journal entries and blog posts. I then bring my thoughts to the present and look deep within myself to point me in the correct direction to achieve my desired goals. It’s as though you are a daring explorer in a foreign land or a brave captain on an uncharted sea, referring to a map that you are sketching along the way.
Sometime during the air of mystery that sparks ghost stories in late nights or early mornings, you’ll see me scribbling and hiding my pen and paper like Winston Smith of Oceania in 1984. It’s not for fear of Big Brother, but rather habit from having my little sister bust into my room like the terrifying 90’s classic Kool-Aid Man for most of my life.
The Harlem Renaissance was a time spanning the 1920s when Black Americans of Harlem, New York City created Jazz, produced some of my favorite paintings, new styles of dance, the most cherished pieces of literature, theatre, and so much more. COVID, although happening in a much different time and state of existence, could possibly inspire the same.