It is mid-April and I have recently come to grips with a level of anxiety which I find my mind existing. I wake up and initiate my usual routine and at some point in the day I recognize I am existing mentally at a level which is fully of anxiety and heaviness. This anxiety is responding to something which is in the shadows and the awareness of its existence has only now provoked within me the courage to name this shadowy and monstrous figure.
In the depths where I find myself at some point during the day, the monster whispers out of the darkness, “It will not matter,” “Speak and write whatever your hearts desire.. I will consume your words immediately.” There are moments I call into question my own purpose. All of the readings, dissection of information and communicating on podcast and videos prompt me to ask in my isolation, “Will this actually make any difference in the long run?” I am simultaneously fearful and angry when I find myself in this mental space. I am angry because I know who I am, what my purpose is, and those words which call me to be courageous in the face of fear. Yet the fear evoked by despair is present, influencing me to believe all of my efforts are for nothing.
One day while in my monthly visits to the local bookstore, I purchased David Blight’s Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom. I am as familiar with Mr. Douglass as I am with a close friend. I have read his autobiography and shared it with young people I mentor. This time though in the pages of Blight, the prophet’s voice came to me as a strong friend in the depth of despair. In the moment he assisted me in naming the monster in the darkness. The monster I see in the darkness with its foul breath and piercing eyes, “You are slavery!”
Read the complete essay by becoming a Patreon Subscriber.