My late brother Barry, like many men of his generation, was socialized to believe that being a man meant being the breadwinner, being right all the time, being in charge, and having everything in his life exactly as he dictated. By the time he left our family home at the age of seventeen, his mental models were set, largely by the autocratic, violent example our father provided, despite the two of them being so antagonistic toward each other.
In the midst of a great racial reckoning in the United States, many people are thinking and talking about race. In the United States, mainstream society tends to discuss race as being about people of color, but I want to focus on whiteness.
People of color, including and especially blacks, have been trying to change systemic and institutional racism in this country for hundreds of years. Personally, I’m newer to the struggle, yet as a white person I understand that we white folks must bring ourselves up to speed about the history and the mechanisms of racism, and work with…
Like every writer, I can lose myself, and suddenly I’m in writer’s block. Though writing always comes back to me, whenever it’s blocked, I’m convinced I’ll never write another sentence worth reading. If this sounds familiar, keep reading — I’ll show you how I’ve learned to return from this hell.
For me, writer’s block is connected to depression: both states occur when I’m ignoring a feeling, which disconnects me from myself. After I read this piece in my writers’ critique group, several people told me that their experience was similar, though they had not articulated it before.
Mulling it over…
I write personal essays exploring contemporary issues and the arts, and about finding joy and beauty despite degeneration, pain and increasing disability.