Monique Matters: Two books in conversation

I am reading two books—gifts—slowly

Sipping them like a 

Strong drink or a hot beverage

That has the power to wound or to heal…

I am reading two books—challenges—slowly

With sorrow for the here and now

Of this moment

With sadness and loss close and distant…



Exposes the truths and hurts of being vulnerable

Reminding me

You are your best thing.

In conversation with each other I understand this message of grief that is good…

The list, perhaps a checklist of reminders, keep me…

  1. We are not alone in our grief; those in authority and those in association with us are also grieving
  2. Grief is a choice and a key to a growth mindset
  3. Grief is a healthy response to loss and disappointment; denying loss causes many to get stuck (or sick and tired)
  4. Grief helps us make transitions in life
  5. Grief is healed in community
  6. Grief takes time
  7. Grief is a key to spiritual growth

Balanced with reminders about all the things, I wish I could have done

Arms thought weak are always strong enough to hold

Dear ones close and distant…

Regret, an emotional response to the revelation that I just got in my own way

Regret is neither good nor bad

Regret is a thinking pattern of revisiting things that cannot be revised

And yet it is…

I dedicate these morning thoughts to Monique Corbin in the spirit of #SayHerName.

Though here for only a season

Like seeds blown prematurely

Her impact is significant.

She loved students

Guided them lovingly

As she lifted her chin and tilted her wrapped head to wonder…

What do you need?

How can I help you?

Forsaking some rules to protect the most vulnerable…

She cared.

I am reading two books:

Viral Justice and You are Your Best Thing.

Their subtexts are as important as the title banners under which they fall…

How [do] we grow the world we want and

[How can we use] Vulnerability, shame resilience and the Black experience

As a source for our health, wealth, healing, recovery and repair…

In conversation with each other, the answer rests therein…herein…in these books, on these pages…in concert and as a collection. In solidarity and digested with intention.

This thought, these lines from BB:

“When you say, ‘I don’t trust any antiracism work that doesn’t embrace and see our humanity,’ I can feel the call for love. I get it so fully right now. It’s like you’re telling us that if you don’t see the heart and the love and the humanity and the joy of the Black experience–of Black humanity–then the antiracism work is bankrupt.” (p. xx) and the response of TB:

“I don’t want to talk about how this thing really bothers me–but I need to and I can only do that with some semblance of safety. I want this book to be a soft place to land. ‘Give our humanity breathing room.'” (p. xxi).

Burke, T., & Brown, B. (Eds.). (2021). You Are Your Best Thing: Vulnerability, Shame Resilience, and the Black Experience. Random House.

The reminders that our ‘bodies tell stories that our mouths will never speak. A paraphrase of a subtitle on the chapter titled WEATHER…I feel this. (Benjamin, R. (2022). Viral Justice: How We Grow the World We Want. Princeton University Press).

The key to our health and wellness is our stories and our truths…

Purging ourselves of these pains and these hurts…

In solidarity, collection and cooperation with our selves…

We are human and want to do more than survive.

We deserve this.

Rest in peace Monique.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s