we count. days and hours. until we see each other and then until we have to say goodbye. it gets redundant and old and depressing. but in the counting we find a rhythm that works and in that rhythm i am thankful i have something to count. even if it’s of time that i wish would slow down and speed up accordingly. because without the days and hours separating us or keeping us together, what is there?
"To repeat Octavia Butler response after winning her MacArthur: I’m no genius. They didn’t ask me to take any kind of IQ test before turning over the letter. Sure I worked my ass off these last 16 years, poured my heart into everything I wrote, took as many risks as I could endure, but fuck, which artist hasn’t more or less done the same? Still, as an artist one is always humbled and gratified when the larger world recognizes the impossible work you’ve put into your art. The loot will definitely be awesome for the work—maybe I’ll be able to teach less, to delve deeper into my next novel than I would ever have imagined, I might be able to buy my own apartment and get all my books out of storage, pull my book self together. A MacArthur buys quite a lot of freedom and hopefully that freedom will allow me to become a better artist. That’s the dream, isn’t it? And at the indirect level I hope the award will bring visibility to U.S. Latino letters and inspire young people from similar backgrounds—Dominican, Latino, Caribbean, African Diasporic, food stamp poor, immigrant, ESL, Speech therapy, no one’s favorite student ever—to realize that you don’t need a lightning bolt on your forehead to be amazing—that you don’t have to come from communities or families of ancestral power to be yourself excellent in your art. As I always tell my young people half of what fools call genius is just showing up and doing the work and that’s something anybody can do if they got the heart. Absolutely anybody."
Omnivoracious: National Book Award Nominee Junot Díaz on Winning a MacArthur Genius Grant, the Joy in Writing, and “This Is How You Lose Her” (via peterwknox)