Today, I was at the Teachers for Social Justice curriculum fair in Chicago promoting the People's Tribune. It was a great event, and we got to network with a number of activists. I had the pleasure of talking to Sarah Menefee again because she was at the conference. I was explaining how much I loved the writing-sex metaphor (you can't schedule either one. you do it.) I told her that often, I feel a sense of guilt and anxiety when I don't write every day. In fact, if I go for days without writing, my life gets a little greyer.
Sarah said something like, "Don't attach guilt to it. You just miss writing."
You ever have one of those cerebral explosions? I had one because that is such a brilliant way of framing what the heart wants.
Besides, there is so much negativity in the world. Why add to it?
My son also decided to tag along, and I made him pass out the paper and a poetry insert, which is quite phenomenal. It was produced by homeless or formerly homeless poets to raise awareness to the injustices they face.
My son also did something amazing: He embroidered a flame at one of the organizational tables promoting art and education. I loved the fact that he made something with his hands and wasn't so reliant on the phone to entertain himself. (The phone was not available to him, and the I-pad died.)
He also crafted cards for incarcerated children. While I loved the gesture, that reality jarred me and made me angry at the prison industrial complex, even more. I did put my name down to help develop curriculum or donate books. That, of course, won't solve the prison problem, but it's something. I also am working on a poem about what happened, in the poetry section.
All in all, I was really inspired at the great work people are doing through creative arts. That was just one part of it, but I was struck at all the tables that promoted one form of art or another. Next time, we should have a table for people to write a short piece.
Write from the heart, even when your time is limited. #Resist
Dr. Jesú Estrada,