End of a year and yet…more of the same
इस रात की सुबह नहीं/Is raat ki subah nahi (or, the endless night)
Hope you bought tons of books from your favorite indie bookstores as holiday gifts post-Thanksgiving. Mine is in La Jolla and is the country’s oldest family owned one. Which one’s yours? Here’s an image, circa 1910.
I also hope you gave thanks to those who bring you food even in a pandemic—who’s your local farmer? What do they grow for you? Mine is a community group, an urban initiative, run by a dear friend who has scolded me endlessly for watering the leaves instead of the roots because while Baba was an amazing gardener, I am also known as Queen Black Thumb. But then, this is what I grew—not bad, huh?
Back to you. Who’s your local farmer? And your butcher? And your mail person? I know, I know, asking you obnoxious questions as always. But you know, sometimes, that’s where we land after 21 months of this self-imposed exile—we land where we should. We get more aware, we make more amends, and we build community. Isn’t that what life is supposed to be?
We get more aware, we make more amends, and we build community.
But do we? Do we? No—we fight unjust wars, we let guns be available to young men who then (and again) shoot schoolchildren, we knowingly convict Black men of rape on the basis of would-be bestselling white authors’ words, we actively work to transform Handmaid’s Tale into reality, we throw tantrums about vaccines, and more hissy fits on mask mandates while we violently assault flight attendants because we didn’t get what we wanted.
If you’re wanting a sweet joyous newsletter, this one today isn’t it. We are all exhausted, and we are also very exhausted of each other. Were we always like this? Did the pandemic do a पर्दा फाश/lift the lid on our inherent selfishness in the most powerful country (or so they say) in the world? It sure feels like it.
Dana Newman Literary Agency
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Los Angeles, Los Angeles County 90067, USA