We have a rule at the Museum that if a kid digs up a treasure from the Treasure Chest, he or she has to a) sing a song, b) tell a joke, or c) draw a picture. Earlier today, two fifth-grade regulars performed an off-key rendition of "Danny Boy" for me and my friend Maria, and I certainly thought that was going to be the musical highlight of the afternoon. A few minutes ago, however, two small hapa children, one of whom was wearing a shirt that said "I Like Trucks," sang Bob Marley's "Redemption Song." Including the verses. I am pretty sure that their performance represents at least one version of the American Dream.
I've been sick for most of the past week, a state that is doubly unfortunate given the near-constant renovations occurring in my apartment building. Because I couldn't leave, and because I also couldn't deal with the nonstop jackhammering, the only thing I've been able to do is lay on the couch and try to drown out the noise with Netflix. I've gotten through two and a half seasons of Parks and Recreation in the past four days, and I'm very proud of Leslie Knope for having been elected to Pawnee City Council. (Incidentally, the show's treatment of small-town life and/or strong women probably merits a separate post. When I am feeling better.)
Hence, more or less, the absence of posts. But I think I've also been holding back a bit because of perfectionism, which is an issue that takes on unique dimensions in This Internet Age. On the one hand, the fact that a lot of the gatekeepers of content have fallen is incredibly liberating and democratizing - here I am, writing something you can read, and I didn't have to pitch it to anyone. Voices: diversified! But on the other, there are some things that require time to write about, that require reflection, that require patience. Which means that if you have something to say, but you take too long to say it, it's entirely possible that you'll miss the chance to join the conversation.
So I'm going to try to perfect less here and write more, with the knowledge that this is essentially my (open) sketchbook, on development and communications and health and culture and race. After all, the toddlers I heard this afternoon weren't exactly on key. But their performance had other merits. And I still wanted to hear them.