Braving the Days: To the Minute by Jordannah Elizabeth

Braving the Days

Photo By: T.J. Beach

The very first installment of “Braving the Days” was published on December 2, 2016. I must admit that I am none the wiser, but that doesn’t take me out of the running to have become a better woman. I believe I have become a better human being in many ways. I also believe that I am learning: in life, less can be more. I didn’t tour all over the world this year, but I’ve been to the local zoo. I didn’t play a big concert, but I played a house concert in front of 10 friends. I’ve held a three day old child in my arms, I’ve read a lot of books, I considered having surgery then decided to learn more about holistic health.

I didn’t end up in a profile in The New Yorker but I saw Ravi Coltrane play his mother’s music in New York City.  I love a man who introduced me to a little Prince who adorns half his DNA. I didn’t do anything fancy, but I’ve eaten a bunch of ice cream, pushed swings at playgrounds, and had girls nights at jazz shows and museums.

It’s been a good year. Last year around this time, I had just turned 3o and I was confused and depressed, desperate to make a change, to slow down. So, I did.

My first post of the column was called:

Braving the days using a few words devoid of superfluity.

And I asked the questions:

“How would one do that or how would that sentence be acted out in real life? Yes, this is how my brain works. Between my thought journeys I write notes. I scribble thoughts and ideas and sew them together hoping to God they make sense. Who in God’s name would give me the opportunity to write free form? Should a messy thinker like me be permitted to write without direction from an editor or without a tightly fleshed out theme?”

I think I’ve gotten myself together since last year. I don’t think I’m a messy thinker or a writer without direction anymore. Since that post, I’ve written vigorously, taught many classes and workshops and read at least 51 books.  I’ve calmed down, stopped being so down on myself and focused on my health and my family – and now here we are.

To the minute.

I’m alive and well. I still hope to use a few words devoid of superfluity. I don’t want to be superfluous, but it’s okay to be simple. It’s okay to grow and actually come out doing better than you were before. Being a good writer doesn’t mean you have to live a tragedy.

Being an honest writer doesn’t mean you have to ooze emotions every moment of the day and have climactic events more times than you have a good night sleep.

I guess it happened for Bukowski, but obviously I am not him. This is not to say that next year won’t be full of turmoil, but I doubt it.

Life is what you make it and being an adult can be about making a place for yourself that can last. I don’t own any running shoes…Happy New Year.

You’ve gotten to read me here for a year. Thank you. And thank you TERSE. For a providing a place for my journey.

 

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2017 Summer Reading List by Jordannah Elizabeth

Braving the Days

Summer of 2017 seems like a surreal season of confusion and great opportunities for new beginnings. It’s been a rough few years. America has morphed into a country that cannot decide whether it wants to evolve or stay the same. For me, books have been a comfort. Books have been a staple for my stability and understanding. This reading list consists of books that can help you focus on your own consciousness, one’s relationship with racism, morality, feminism and utopian concepts. I think it is most important to understand that his list is completely organic. This list was compiled since the Spring as I’ve cruised materials for classes I am teaching for my own practical intellectual expansion.

I am sharing this list for no other reason but to give access to a collection of books that are intriguing, and maybe, hopefully the combination of these pages will incite growth in you. I can say that they have served me well.

Negative Dialectics
By: Theodore W. Adamo
The Use of Pleasure: Volume 2 of the History of Sexuality
By: Michel Foucault
As Consciousness Is Harnessed to Flesh: Journals and Notebooks, 1964-1980
By Susan Sontag, Edited By David Rieff
Modernity and Self-Identity: Self and Society in the Modern Era By: Anthony Giddens
Vulnerability in Resistance
Edited by Judith Butler, Zaynap Gambatti, Leticia Sabsay
Aesthetic Justice: Interesting Artistic and Moral Perspectives
Edited By: Pascal Gielen, Niels Van Tomme
Towards Collective Liberation: Anti-Racist Organizing, Feminist Praxis, and Movement Building Strategy
By Chris Crass
The Heidegger Controversy
By: Richard Wolin
Race Woman: The Lives of Shirley Graham Du Bois
By: Gerald Horne
The Art of Cruelty: A Reckoning
By: Maggie Nelson
New Heaven, New Earth
By: Joyce Carol Oates
The Prophet
By: Kahlil Gibran
Black Reconstruction in America 1860-1880
By: W. E. B. Du Bois
The Human Condition
By: Hannah Arendt
Beyond Respectability: The Intellectual Thought of Race Women
By: Brittney C. Cooper
Against Purity: Living Ethically in Compromised Times
By: Alexis Shotwell
The expanding circle
By: Peter Singer
Practical Utopia: Strategies for a Desirable Society
By: Michael Albert
Wit and Its Relation to the Unconscious
By: Sigmund Freud