I don’t have anyone to kiss at midnight tonight, but hopefully, you do.
Monthly Archives: December 2020
One of the things I think we all have learned this year is how selfish and hateful many people are. After four years of a Donald Trump presidency, people have lost all sense of decorum and decency. That was never more apparent than when the pandemic began, and people were asked to wear masks, social distance, and not gather in crowds. While many of us followed these directives, many others did not. They protested the mask mandates and the temporary closures because it “violated their personal freedoms.” Yet, they seemed to not care about others’ rights as they derided the Black Lives Matter Movement. Many people’s ugly personalities came out over 2020, and they became so prevalent we saw “Karens” and “Richards” everywhere we looked. People need to understand that they are not entitled to deny someone else their life, health, or livelihood. We’ve seen a Republican Senate that has refused to offer aid to starving and jobless Americans. When significant problems arose, they abdicated their leadership responsibilities for partisanship, Trumpism, and denial.
I hope that 2021 will be a year of healing. I pray that we will see a return to kindness. I want 2021 to be a year of hope. The Trump presidency will end on January 20, and hopefully, the Senate will be in the hands of Democrats after the January 5 runoff in Georgia. If the Republicans retain control of the Senate, we will see at least two more years of inaction and hatefulness. This coming year could be a year of great change and finally be a time when the United States moves in the right direction and lives up to the words of the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all
men humans are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
The past year saw many people fight against the idea that all people are created equal, and they have done their best to deprive us of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This needs to change, and the United States needs to finally live up to its promise. We need equality and rights for all people wherever in the world they may be, and we need to be a world leader in making sure that comes to fruition. We need to put aside our differences and work together to make this world a better place before destroying it and becoming more akin to those dystopian novels of destruction where there is even greater suffering or injustice.
Let us pray that 2021 will be a better year. I pray it will be a year of hope and a year when we begin to work towards equality for all. I pray that we will work together to create a world that is devoid of discrimination on the basis of age, disability, genetic information, military service or veteran status, national origin, pregnancy, race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation.
I wish you all peace, good health, prosperity, and equality in the new year. May 2021 be a hope-filled year for all of humankind.
I was feeling a bit off last night, and I just didn’t feel like writing anything. I had a very low-grade fever and an irritated throat (not sore, just some sinus drainage), and that always makes me feel like crap. I plan to write more tomorrow since it will be my final post of 2020.
Cento Between the Ending and the End
By Cameron Awkward-Rich
Sometimes you don’t die
when you’re supposed to
& now I have a choice
repair a world or build
a new one inside my body
a white door opens
into a place queerly brimming
gold light so velvet-gold
it is like the world
when I call out
all my friends are there
everyone we love
is still alive gathered
at the lakeside
my honeyed kin
beneath the sky
a garden blue stalks
white buds the moon’s
marble glow the fire
distant & flickering
the body whole bright-
with the hours
of the day beautiful
nameless planet. Oh
friends, my friends—
bloom how you must, wild
until we are free.
About This Poem
“‘Cento Between the Ending and the End’ is composed of language scavenged from the works of Justin Phillip Reed, Hieu Minh Nguyen, Fatimah Asghar, Kaveh Akbar, sam sax, Ari Banias, C. Bain, Oliver Bendorf, Hanif Abdurraqib, Safia Elhillo, Danez Smith, Ocean Vuong, Franny Choi, Lucille Clifton, and Nate Marshall. All of whom have made for me a world and for whom I wish the world.”—Cameron Awkward-Rich
Cameron Awkward-Rich is the author of Sympathetic Little Monster (Ricochet Editions, 2016), which was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award. He is a Cave Canem fellow, a poetry editor for Muzzle Magazine, and his second collection of poetry, Dispatch, was published by Persea Books in December 2019.
Also a critic, Cameron earned his Ph.D. from Stanford University’s program in Modern Thought & Literature, and he is an assistant professor of Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Currently, he is working on a book about maladjustment in trans literature and theory.
Just a quick FYI: “Cento” is a piece of writing, especially a poem, composed wholly of quotations from the works of other authors. (I did not know this until I looked it up.)
I am not making any New Year’s resolutions this year. As I wrote yesterday, “As 2020 ends and 2021 begins, I think we would be better off realizing that there is hope for a better future. Too often, we make careless resolutions that are never kept, and so one year blends into the next with little change.” In the past, I have resolved to lose weight, work out more, and be more organized. This past year, I have lost weight, which I am proud of, but I haven’t worked out more.
For one thing, there are no regular gyms in the area. We have a Planet Fitness and a Snap Fitness, but neither are particularly close. They are both in another town. When I was in graduate school, I used to enjoy working out. I had someone I regularly worked out with, and even when we didn’t go together, I liked going. To be truthful, it wasn’t as much about working out. I liked being able to use the locker room and the sauna. Usually, there weren’t many guys in the locker room, and rarely did anyone use the open showers but opted for the showers stalls with curtains. There were often guys in the sauna, most wore a towel, but others did not, especially the international students. This was the university’s fitness center, so when there were guys in the locker room, they were all about my age or a few years younger, but they were all over eighteen. Faculty had their own locker room. There was always eye candy inside and outside the locker room, so I got to work out and check out other guys. It was fun. I don’t work out at our university fitness center because the cadets at our school are very fit and handsome, and I’d just feel out of place. Plus, it’s not a very attractive gym because it is in the basement of one of the buildings. I miss getting the chance to see hot guys in the locker room. It proved to be a good motivation.
So while I’d like to work out more and lose more weight, I will probably just do my best to get more organized. I may have become slightly more organized this past year, but not by much. The most organizing I have done was downloading an app called “AnyList” to collect recipes and make shopping lists. I have the app linked to my laptop, iPad, and iPhone, and I can add recipes from the internet that I want to save and create recipes of my own. It also allows me to choose a recipe and add the ingredients to a shopping list. It also has a feature for meal plans, which I don’t use as often. I also downloaded another app called “Glucose – Blood Sugar Tracker” to keep up with my morning blood sugar readings. You can keep track of numerous health-related things in this app, but I mostly use it for my blood sugar, weight, and blood pressure. It also allows me to save to a spreadsheet these readings. Since I downloaded this app, I have gotten much better at keeping up with my blood sugar and weight, and to a lesser extent, my blood pressure.
So, while I am not making any resolutions this year, I am hoping to accomplish a few things I want to do to better my life. I hope 2021 is a better year for all of us.
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, this person is a new creation; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
—2 Corinthians 5:17
As I write this, I am sitting here thinking about how this year has been a tough year for all of us. Millions have lost loved ones. Many have lost their job. Others are worrying about where their next meal will come from. Some have lost all hope. There is no doubt that this has been a year of sorrow for much of the world, but God assures us that better things are to come. In Romans 8:18, Paul says, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” In Romans 8, Paul is continuing to develop his theme of Christian assurance, which he started in Romans 5. Paul elaborates on the Christian’s hope of glory, based on the knowledge that God has determined to bring us glory in the next life.
As this year comes to a close and there is hope on the horizon for an end to this pandemic, 2021 will be a time for starting over and a new beginning. The end of this horrible year is a wonderful time to take stock of life and look for ways to improve and grow. In many ways, we have put life on hold for the past nine months, but 2021 holds so much hope and promise for us. The dictator-wannabe in the White House will soon be evicted, and president-elect Joe Biden will usher in an era of hope, healing, and renewal.
This time of year is when we usually make resolutions, but as 2020 ends and 2021 begins, I think we would be better off realizing that there is hope for a better future. Too often, we make careless resolutions that are never kept, and so one year blends into the next with little change. This year, we have seen a great deal of change in our lives. For example, we wear masks when we are out in public to protect others and ourselves from COVID-19. We practice social distancing. I think about how shocking it is to see someone out and about without a mask or how uncomfortable and aggravated I become when someone stands too close to me in line. We still have months to go before we return to any semblance of normal life, but we can look forward to a leader who will call for national unity and ask for all Americans to help each other out by following health guidelines.
While I don’t have any specific resolutions this year except to look hopeful for the future, we all still have areas in our lives that could stand some improvement. As this new year begins, let us look at our lives with honesty, sincerity, and openness. Let us approach change with a positive spirit and work toward finding ways to become the people God wants us to be. Most importantly, ask the Lord for guidance and strength, for it is through His power that we can conquer our failings and turn them into strengths. God can see us both as we are and as we can be, and we need that sight to truly change and better ourselves. He has a great and abiding love for His children. Rejoice in the love of God. He has given us a new year, desires to provide us with a new life, and present us with new hope in the months ahead.