How did I get here? That's a question often asked with exasperation. Why not amazement? Or at the very least amusement? After all, this whole human undertaking is sort of funny — until it’s not. Until someone gets hurt. Until someone pokes an eye out.
It's been feeling a lot like poke-an-eye-out time. Even when the morning's push notifications and trending feeds don’t invite pre-apocalyptic musings, our fraught moment feels pretty fragile. Yet, here I sit embarking on a throwback blog (so not a podcast) with meandering built into its title.
The dread stirred each time I check to see what spectacular affront or distracting triviality is trending isn’t the point of “Little Wanderings.” In fact, I am constantly testing out new strategies for social media discipline. Aren't you? For instance, I don't read what's trending on Twitter before I roll out of bed any longer. I did and it plunged me into a funk.
To launch this adventure — in a time of political urgency and rhetorical insistence — with such a soft approach might seem to miss the point. After all, I’m a black, gay woman of a certain age, living in a riven moment. In a so-called fly-over state, no less. And, still I believe there’s room for gentleness — as well as edge.
After years of working at a daily newspaper, I wonder what might come of resisting the reflex to respond to every headline demand, every bruising "breaking news" come-on. Where might my curiosity and concern take me freed from the requirement to shred or praise each new movie and play before readers have a chance to test their own tastes? Which doesn’t mean I won’t offer short takes on movies or plays or books or…well, dog parks and other frequented public spaces. I'm sure to leap into the mud, too. Old habits remain.
I thought for a spell of calling this endeavor “The Kiss of Death Talks Back.” Liked the noir-ish tone of it. The seductive criminality of it. Black. Female. Queer. My father in a letter sent months after my big reveal as a 21-year-old college student cautioned that those attributes would surely be “the kiss of death.”
They haven’t been. Hey world, don't you make me add "yet."
“Little Wanderings” is my tiny argument that in ruminating on a life lived here and now, in this body at this moment in time, I won’t ignore the quandaries that bedevil the big "us" today and have since the ’80s, er the ‘60s, er Reconstruction, er the founding of the country, er the Middle Passage, er the dawn of time.
You get the gist.
This week's photo: The Little Wanderer's motto: Been fretting since 1961.