true dat.

I'm writing an about page for this little blog. It's proven hard to do, what with a constantly nursing baby on my boppy and one-handed typing off to the side. But really, I can't blame sweet Rowan. The truth is I was feeling stuck. Suddenly I'm forcing myself to define my blog (+ myself). But I don't like being pigeon-holed! So much so that: during an icebreaker in college one of my professors had each student describe herself in one word. Absurd! Little rebel me, I decided to sneak an extra word in: pigeon-holed

{let's fly away}
Anyway, it reminds me of a conversation I had with Claire about helping creative writing students find their voice. Langston Hughes' poem "Theme for English B" popped into my head. And it seems so apropos for me now. The moral of this little (non)story is to be true. 
The instructor said,

      Go home and write

      a page tonight.
      And let that page come out of you—

      Then, it will be true.

I wonder if it’s that simple?
I am twenty-two, colored, born in Winston-Salem.   
I went to school there, then Durham, then here   
to this college on the hill above Harlem.   
I am the only colored student in my class.   
The steps from the hill lead down into Harlem,   
through a park, then I cross St. Nicholas,   
Eighth Avenue, Seventh, and I come to the Y,   
the Harlem Branch Y, where I take the elevator   
up to my room, sit down, and write this page:

It’s not easy to know what is true for you or me   
at twenty-two, my age. But I guess I’m what
I feel and see and hear, Harlem, I hear you.
hear you, hear me—we two—you, me, talk on this page.   
(I hear New York, too.) Me—who?

Well, I like to eat, sleep, drink, and be in love.   
I like to work, read, learn, and understand life.   
I like a pipe for a Christmas present,
or records—Bessie, bop, or Bach.
I guess being colored doesn’t make me not like
the same things other folks like who are other races.   
So will my page be colored that I write?   
Being me, it will not be white.
But it will be
a part of you, instructor.
You are white—
yet a part of me, as I am a part of you.
That’s American.
Sometimes perhaps you don’t want to be a part of me.   
Nor do I often want to be a part of you.
But we are, that’s true!
As I learn from you,
I guess you learn from me—
although you’re older—and white—
and somewhat more free.

This is my page for English B.

Do you have an About page? 
Did you "define" your blog there? 
How was that experience?

Wishing you a beautiful, springy Easter + weekend. 

10 comments:

Hollie said...

I've always disliked these kind of assignments. They make me feel as though I'm self-evaluating! (And I'm my own worst critic.)

LatteLisa said...

'about' pages are tricky bastards ;-)

sami. said...

i love this! i find it equally hard to step back and define myself and my blog! so instead i just don't haha.

xo
sami

Sarah Klassen said...

About pages are difficult... I tried and feel like I need to work on it more. It's one of those ever-evolving things, balancing how much people may want/need to know... oy.

Anyways, hope you have a fabulous Easter, xo

Annie said...

I do have an About page and I agree that they are hard! It's difficult to sum up yourself/blog in a sincere, not corny, all inclusive yet brief way! I did my best... lol

Claire Kiefer said...

I don't have an about page and the mere thought of making one stresses me out, haha! Thank you so much for that conversation--I totally used Theme for English B in class that night. :) Sometimes I need an outside perspective to help me . . . I get overwhelmed and stuck in my own head and frankly, sick of planning lessons!

Diana and I are very ready for you to join us for Cobras. :) We have such lovely dinners and poems and convos every other Wednesday. You'd love it.

E. Charlotte said...

I loved this! The Hughes was well placed. I like trying to define myself sometimes with these kinds of exercises. Narrowing myself down always has a tendency to open myself up. I realize just how far I reach and just how far I can grow.

Robin (noteverstill) said...

I have one, though you just made me go check it! And that turned out to be a good thing because it mentions the ages of my kids, and those were not current. -so maybe a piece of good advice is to be vague : )
Other than than I'm pretty satisfied with it; I don't think it has to describe all of me, just the facets of me that are blog-relevant. You're free to look at as food for thought, of course...

Coffee and a Book Chick said...

I've probably rewritten my About page at least five or six times this year alone! :)

kelli g. { bug miscellany } said...

i've been trying to write one for a while, but everytime i come back to it, it feels forced and cheesy.

i'm considering just using photos instead. what do you think?

(ps - haha what did the prof say to that? in my head i thought "oooh snap!")

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