Like a firefly in cupped hands

At almost fifty, I can still invoke the memory…

[Memory…its own muscle…is being exercised daily…]

The feelings…

Of a captured firefly (we called them lightnin’ bugs) walking around between my palms.

The curious arousal that made me laugh…nervously…

The released pheromones I detected in my nostril…the smell of fear or its basic physiology, it was different than the aroma of my own flesh.

Held lovingly, and in awe, tickled by its fancy, my entrapment did not keep it from reminding me of its capacity to form light.

Inspired by the brilliant Lorena Germán in her #31DaysIBPOC reflection What I Remember, I wish I could forget; some less pleasant, less useful, less productive sensations but I can’t…because…twenty, thirty, forty and almost fifty years later, when I show up to some spaces, places and conversations, the slap back into erasure and invisibility stings…still.

I try to shake it but I don’t really want to. Sort of like the firefly that has become comfortable in the warmth I create for it. In an open palm, it clings to my hand with a newly found familiar stance.

I want to remember it so I find the courage to persist…to be a racism-resistor…not just for myself but for my students and colleagues whose wings are still growing.

Then I read her reply to herself…an extended invitation to go back and read some more than level one text about Ending Curriculum Violence. Another memory, invoked by profound imagery and then the story.

Cotton and the slave narratives are one thing.

The mythology of functional and traditional family still another…

The loss of pictures and captured moments…

The legacy of the 1900 World Fair and the power of self, captured in an image. Reclaimed from gaze and yet we stare…because we wonder…what was going through the heart or minds of those who are (sic) captured, or maybe trapped, in that moment.

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