I was at the MOMA today (Museum of Modern Art) admiring a contemporary drawing by Glenn Ligon when I looked closer and noticed that there was text in it that was familiar to me. I read the title: Stranger in the Village/Hands. Yes, the text that was interspersed in the drawing (a collage really, made of glue, dust, ink and newspaper) was from an essay by James Baldwin that I had assigned in my essay class. It was about the shock of being the first African American to visit a small town in Switzerland. The text was overlaid with images of the Million Man March in 1995. A surprise like this is one of the pleasures of growing older. Everything you've learned comes together, grows richer from different fields of study and perspectives. Another pleasure of growing older is not dying younger.
I guess what made me think of this is that tomorrow is my birthday.