In the Bus Bag
Writing My Wrongs: Life, Death, and Redemption in an American Prison, by Shaka Senghor
The first time I planted trees with my family*, it was pouring down rain. I had signed us up to participate in Green Seattle Day — despite the fact that getting up early on a November Saturday and digging in the mud was not my (or as far as I knew, anyone in my family’s) idea of a good time — because I wanted to plant a seed (if you’ll pardon the pun) in my children. I …
On April 7th, one of my dearest friends, who lives in Texas, called to tell me that her cousin, “T,” whom I’ve known since she was in elementary school, and T’s baby daughter had been in a crash the night before. The list of injuries was shocking.
T: broken leg (fixed with surgery and several screws), bruised lung, fractured pelvis, c2 spine/neck fracture
Baby Girl: lacerated spleen, bruised lung, spine/neck c2 fracture, severed arm
After our conversation, my friend sent me photographs of T’s vehicle, which had been hit by an 18-wheeler. It looked like a crumpled aluminum can. First …
“If you breathe air and drink water, this is about you.” – This Changes Everything
Almost all of my adult life, I’ve received the message that environmentalism isn’t for black people. Black people aren’t “outdoorsy.” (Don’t tell these folks!) We don’t camp (ahem) or hike or kayak, and we damn sure don’t mess with wildlife. And anyway, we don’t have time to worry about polar bears and glaciers when we can’t even walk home from the corner store without fearing for our lives.
But here’s the thing: Preserving the natural environment is critically important to black people …
Parenting is really hard. It’s harder than I ever imagined, and I imagined that it was going to be hard. My baby whispering skills are legendary, but with actual children, I have no idea what I’m doing. Most days, I feel like I’m failing at this mom gig.
Then yesterday, at the 8 stop, I looked over at my progeny and saw them doing this.
It wasn’t a surprise — they read every time we wait at …
Around midday today, I boarded the 27 behind a young woman wearing white pants, a gorgeous green and blue blouse, a Seahawks cap, and a long, light-blue wig. Her magnificent outfit alone is reason for sharing, but there’s more.
As I passed the woman to sit down, she said hello as if she knew me and then asked about my kids. I couldn’t place her at all, so I assumed she was someone I see when I’m out and about walking. But this woman interacted with me as though I must know her as well, announcing almost immediately that she …
“Part of the mystery of walking is that the destination is inside us and we really don’t know when we arrive until we arrive.” — John Francis
I don’t remember how I came across the talk, because I had never heard of Francis or his extreme walking before I happened upon it.* A little background:
In 1971, when John Francis was in his 20s and living in Inverness, California, two oil tankers collided under the Golden Gate Bridge and …
Some months ago, I turned 44.* One of the many blessings of being over 40 is a deeper understanding that right now – this year, this day, this moment – is your life. There is no ‘maybe someday’; there is only now.
One thing that’s been on my “someday” list for a long time is to try riding a bike to get around. In the 13 years I have lived without a car, I have taken fewer (probably far fewer) than 13 bike trips. This is mostly because I am terrified to ride in traffic.** But, it is at least …
I have a lot of sheroes. Some of them are world renowned, or breathtakingly talented, or otherwise leading big, public lives. Many are ordinary people who conduct themselves with dignity and integrity. And a few are just ridiculously good at riding the bus. Today, I add another person — one who has integrity in spades and a PhD in busology — to my list of ordinary sheroes. Fellow bus chicks, I present Ms. Janis Scott, “the Bus Lady.”
It just so happens that I attended the same university as Miss Janis. …
A group of young women are passing the long wait for our bus with conversation.
Woman 1: “It’s the body’s attempt at achieving equilibrium. I learned that in psychology.”
Woman 2: “Girl took one psychology class, and now she’s an expert.”
Woman 1: “Two, honey. Two. I failed one and then took it again.”