I choose to set aside the news for an entire day and I wake up to a country that can no longer ignore the racial tensions that have marred it since its birth. To say that violence is not the answer is a miserable cliché. To say that, sometimes, there can be no other outcome but violence is an even sadder state of affairs. This is not a race problem: it is our problem, the answer to which is complicated and multi-faceted. But it is our duty to make sure that change starts occurring. Sitting on the sidelines got us here. And here is far from pretty.
With sadness in my heart, I choose to celebrate women who hold their head high, whatever their endeavour.
One. I could not watch the video that Diamond Reynolds live streamed to Facebook in the aftermath of her boyfriend’s shooting, by the hand of a policeman who stopped them for a broken tail-light, but it won’t be difficult for you to find it. The audio I heard was heartbreaking enough. This woman, who watched her man being shot at close range, next to her, had the calm and the presence of mind to start filming, and narrating, composed, what was happening. The altered policeman’s voice in the background; her hope that Philando Castile, her boyfriend, is not dead; the sound of handcuffs being put on; her realization that her man has gone; her 5-year old daughter in the backseat who says “It’s ok. I’m right here.” Two mighty women.
The waste of intelligence. A community that finds it natural to suffocate with the care of home and children so many women’s intellectual energies is its own enemy and doesn’t realize it.
Three. I am now at the end of volume three of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels and it is hard to detach me from the book. Every moment I don’t have to sacrifice to some other pursue, I am nose deep in it. Elena Ferrante has a man utter the sentence above, some time in the early 1980s. That nothing much has changed in much of the world is dispiriting. So. Let’s not forget the goal.
Four. I can’t name a single Dolly Parton song. Country music is not my thing but I have always admired the woman, who comes across as gutsy and real. I liked her take on her creative process and how she feels about it at this stage in life.
Five. For LA readers. Santa Barbara is one of the easiest and prettiest getaways from Los Angeles. The downtown area, near the ocean, has become hipper than hip – it is a college town after all – and the colonial beauty of the city is still intact. For a fabulous and romantic lunch, book a table at El Encanto Hotel and ask to be seated on the terrace. Nestled in the hills, you will be afforded a view of century old eucalyptus, the entire town and the ocean beyond.
Top image: a Rothko sofagirl posted on Instagram. It seemed fitting.