Refuse to succumb.
his week’s poem isn’t a poem but an excerpt of Toni Morrison’s words from an article she wrote in The Nation. I chose this writing because Toni passed away on August 5, 2019, and I often turn this piece in particular as a reminder of why I must keep making art. Toni wrote this back in 2004 when George W. Bush was elected. Back when we thought that his presidency would be the bottom of the barrel. Before Donald Trump arrived on the scene to prove us all wrong. Her words are even more urgent and relevant now than they were 15 years ago.
So, what helps you to keep making your art and stay hopeful?
Excerpt from No Place for Self-Pity, No Room for Fear
None of this bodes well for the future. Still, I remember the shout of my friend that day after Christmas: No! This is precisely the time when artists go to work. There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal.
I know the world is bruised and bleeding, and though it is important not to ignore its pain, it is also critical to refuse to succumb to its malevolence. Like failure, chaos contains information that can lead to knowledge—even wisdom. Like art.