You can have a chip on your shoulder until the chip is your shoulder

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December 11th, 2012

If you run every day, you will eventually feel like running. If you walk every day, you will feel like walking.

You will feel like sleeping every day if you are human and as I’ve pointed out in this blog, all mammals sleep although giraffes sleep less than koalas.

I want a faster metabolism so that I can sleep less and accomplish more.

If you get used to carrying a chip on your shoulder, that chip will eventually be your shoulder, it will possess your shoulders and hips and thighs. You will eventually be the chip. Someone says to me, I get ignored because I am a woman, or because I am poor or because I am Black. Race carries its own weight. But as for being a woman and poor, I can speak to that. I’ve been both and still am. (My husband promised to stick with me for richer and poorer, he’s begun to wonder why that turned out to be for poorer and although it didn’t seem previously possible, for much poorer.) So, you’re female and not rich. That isn’t the point unless you make it the point.

I write. I run. I breathe. And I’ll do all of these more and better in 2013. That’s my story. If the story you carry is that They/They/They don’t give you your due because you –fill-in-the-blank, then that story becomes you. They don’t publish you, acknowledge your art, they don’t believe in you. It isn’t your fault. It isn’t that you can’t get yourself organized. It’s because of this other thing that you cannot control—your gender, your gender preference, your class.

Or maybe your chip is more ephemeral. You believe that you are an artiste. You should be able to simply work on your art and other people should come running to do stuff for you. Produce, promote, publicize, print, proclaim, persevere and pontificate on your behalf. They should see that what you are doing is valuable. Your art is needed in the world. You are the world. Seriously? I have no patience for you if that’s your attitude. I’m going to bed now.

Consider the Lilies

Sit quietly while others eat.
Understand. This is not personal.

Walk the gutter.
Note sunlight on street. Not for you.

You were born without arms and legs.
You were born without face.

Without money in your pockets.
You have no pockets.

You were sowed on rocky ground.
Your parents had no land.

They are landless. Will never have land.
They are not an island. Or water.

They are not. You are not. Of this earth.
Nothing on earth conspires to sustain you.

Chalk it up to bad genes. And no lamp.
No meadow. Wood. Glade. Dappled sunlight.

Make the best of your red checkered tablecloth.
Of your corn. Canned fish.

Crackers. Tomato soup. Onions. Garlic.
You have eggs. There will be more of you.

Pray without ceasing. Imagine writing.
Or painting. Imagine music. Or don’t.

You don’t have time. You don’t have eyes.
Or ears. Your hands work furiously.

But produce nothing. You can’t reach
the sill of the well.

Consider the lilies.

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