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.
In between the sea of black that is freckled with brilliant opalescent stars and the golden haze from the morning sun is the dark blue ocean of twilight. It is in this time before the dawn when you will usually find me sliding a backpack and trekking poles out of my car and readying myself for an attempt to ascend to a mountain summit. My thoughts are typically the same. It is very early. Why am I doing this? As I lock the door to my car and join a group of other similarly tired-looking hikers, I think, well, I’m already here, and I’ve made it this far.
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.