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Week 2: Omek

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  • This week marked the week I got back into the swing of things at work. I tend to find the holiday season quite boring because things slow down quite a bit. Now that people are returning from their winter break, my to do list is filling up again with exciting projects, opportunities for collaboration, and research endeavors. As usual, a conversation with my manager reminded me how much I love my job.
  • I finished Angela Davis' Freedom Is A Constant Struggle (2015) and read a few chapters of Out There Screaming, An Anthology of New Black Horror (2023). I had forgotten how much I love gothic horror. Echoes of Carmen Maria Machado’s Her Body and Other Parties (2017) were in my head as a result all week.
  • I also began reading Saving Jesus From the Church (2009) again after first picking it up last Summer. It’s a special book, one I’ll return to again and again I’m sure.
  • In 2023, my Wednesdays at the office varied from busy to overwhelming: lots of interactions, many meetings, few moments to myself. By the time Bible study came around at 6:30, I was ready for bed. The Wednesday this week was radically different: I had very few meetings, got to concentrate on my task list, and I attended my first Omek accountability circle event. I found Omek, a community for people from the African diaspora, in the Autumn of 2023, and immediately considered it too good to be true. I found out this week that it isn’t. It’s actually a community of Black people from all over the world, all professionals at various stages in their career, and many of them live in Amsterdam. The accountability circle had me eat a desk lunch. and check off a large portion of what I had been looking to accomplish during the entire week. Awesome.
  • Our dear friend AR from Stockholm came to stay at our place because she was attended a weekend-long dance workshop in Amsterdam. Five minutes with her and I remember there’s an entire portion of myself that I don’t tap into enough. Our conversations flow flawlessly, as if the last time we spoke wasn’t three years ago. I appreciate the depth we so easily reach, the air that I feel around myself, my relationships, my choices. We spend three evenings over candlelight, talking about work, family, love, trust, faith, Judaism, the war, and so much more.
  • Another great thing about Wednesday was that I had the energy to attend Bible study, which started out small with the usual suspects, and became something different altogether when two other queer people of color showed up. They didn’t even realize there was only one straight person at the table until later. It was a very sweet experience to hear about their journeys. I hope I’ll see them again. We talked about the part in John when Jesus calls Philip and Nathanael and it made me think about feeling seen, wholly.
  • On Saturday, I had the good fortune of meeting NB, a person I met at Omek. Over chicken and waffles we got to meet each other and it felt like we were old friends. It’s spectacular to hear about the experiences of a Black person who grew up in a white environment.
  • Nice IndieWeb discovery this week: Rachel Smith.