i love this passage by june jordan. there is energy, struggle, and enthusiasm for the struggle:
“My life seems to be an increasing revelation of the intimate face of universal struggle. You begin with your family and the kids on the block, and next you open your eyes to what you call your people, and that leads you into land reform into Black English into Angola leads you back to your own bed where you lie by yourself, wondering if you deserve to be peaceful, or trusted or desired or left to the freedom of your own unfaltering heart. And the scale shrinks to the size of a skull: your own interior cage.
And then if you’re lucky, and I have been lucky, everything comes back to you. And then you know why one of the freedom fighters in the sixties, a young Black woman interviewed shortly after she was beaten up for riding near the front of the interstate bus––you know why she said, ‘We are all so very happy’? It’s because it’s on. All of us and me by myself: we’re on.”
what does the last line mean to you?
i have thoughts: engagement, engagement, engagement, i read from that line, which i didn’t understand at first; a line which i first read as stunted, an anecdote which seemed to blunt the edge of the beautiful paragraph that proceeded it, but then the revelation crested and i summoned june‘s insight: engage, engage in the struggle, bliss out when you engage in the struggle, engage, engage. “it’s on”: be in it, live it, live the struggle.
and douglass too, maybe: “without struggle there is no progress.”
always a reminder.