Even memory was not usable, a landscape hillocky with gravitation but without monuments, it did not hold the eye, did not hinder its glide toward the horizon where the prose of the world gives way to the smooth functioning of fear. —Rosmarie Waldrop, “Accelerating Frame”

He marvels how, in small towns, the pleasures of routine so often register as tropisms. One awakens through irritation, producing the mucus that lubricates the social.

This explains, for example, the women who congregate to smile and whisper.

It explains, also, his ambivalent sense of being rooted, felt most acutely as he runs into yet another acquaintance. A smile. Brief greeting, Lingering sense of irritation. One wakes up this way.

He has accustomed himself to this slowness and, on occasion, revels in an existence that might be called bucolic.

Small pleasures have replaced impoverishment. His bones have become soft, his walk languid, his mind dull.

He watches these changes with a sense of wonder.

2 thoughts on “#9

  1. Someone this evening told me you were back – so happy you are. I read your comments on Thinkers Room and completely agree – i made a similar comment last week in response to a post about the “ascendancy of Nigerians” as opposed to African Caribbeans. Writing about slavery seems to bring out the worst in people – not just in white folks but a lot of Africans as well – its disappointing and very sad to read throwaway jokes and comments.

    I’ll stop now since this is off post but just passed by to say welcome back and look forward to reading your posts once again.

  2. Hi Sokari,

    Thanks for visiting. I have been reading your blog, of course, only mostly silent. I continue to learn and share your sentiments toward the world–the one we critique and the better one we imagine and build.

    Like you, I am often frustrated by the African/African-American gap, in part because it seems to negate the bridge-building work of the 60s and 70s, and possibly earlier. Increasingly, I believe we need to reclaim that earlier work and see what potential it has for us today. We don’t need to rebuild roads; instead, we can take the little-used paths that remain visible.

    I’m glad to see you opened your blog to other contributors. It is a valuable way to foster cross-national and cross-cultural dialogues.

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