Rivka’s Story #30Inks30Day, 20 June, 2020

















Colorverse Mariner 4

Black Lives Matter/Juneteenth 2020

It is Juneteenth, Emancipation Day, a day that marks not the moment when President Lincoln outlawed slavery, but the day two and a half years later when the last slaves in Texas were finally told that they were free. Today and all days I stand with the protestors demanding the equality and justice that should always have been theirs. I can’t do so literally, but here, in this virtual space, I stand with feet firmly planted and my written voice raised to say “Black Lives Matter.”

Maria Oswalt

To anyone who wants to jump in with “All lives matter” — don’t. If all lives mattered equally, no one would feel the need to say “Black Lives Matter.” Black Lives Matter reminds us that too often our country, our citizens, and —most notoriously right now — our police act as if Black lives and Brown lives and Indigenous lives are disposable, negligible. Black Lives Matter reminds us that these attitudes, ones that have infected the entire history of our country, must change.

Clay Banks

I am neither Black nor Brown and I’m not going to pretend that I understand what it is like to live as a person of color in the United States. I’m not sure what to write that won’t be appropriative or just wrong.

Mike Von

But I know the brutality used against Black communities is wrong — more than wrong; it is wicked, inhuman, sickening, and the national convulsion of anger and grief is the only sane response to the murders of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Rayshard Brooks, murders that are the latest in a long chain of killings. I think it is better to speak out in protest and take a chance of putting my foot in my pen than it is to stay silent.

Benjamin Moran

I’ve been reading around the Internet for education and inspiration:

The New York Time‘s 1619 Project has an extensive archive of articles on the history of slavery and its persistent effects on areas such as medicine, where Linda Villarosa explains that even

Today most commercially available spirometers, used around the world to diagnose and monitor respiratory illness, have a “race correction” built into the software, which controls for the assumption that blacks have less lung capacity than whites.

and that the pain of Black patients is consistently underestimated and under-treated.

The fountain pen community has been weighing in:

The The Well-Appointed Desk has been regularly posting links to articles and resources related to Black Lives Matter. I am grateful for their persistence in finding and sharing new links every week, links like It’s Nice That with its list of resources for supporting BLM.

Joshua E. Danley (a doctor on those front lines of the COVID-19 epidemic)  veered from his usual focus on Pelikan’s fountain pens to write an eloquent, careful, and passionate statement “to acknowledge the exceptional pain and anger that we see bubbling over in our communities.  Silence is no longer a luxury that any of us can afford.” At the end, he writes that “Each of us must examine our conduct and values in order to ensure that we lift each other up until no one remains shackled by inequality.”

On Medium, there’s Ursula Wolfe-Rocca’s piece on “Teaching for Black Lives in a (Mostly) White Classroom“:

Clay Banks

U.S. history without Black lives is mythology. The 13 colonies without Black lives is mythology. The Declaration of Independence, the Revolutionary War, those hot, stuffy weeks in Philadelphia in the summer of 1787 without Black lives is mythology. Abolitionism, the Civil War, and the Union victory in 1865 without Black lives is mythology. There is no U.S. history without Black history, just as there is no U.S. history without women, Indigenous People, immigrants, and the poor. Yet too often our curriculum treats these groups as inconvenient interruptions to an otherwise clear-cut story of forward political and economic progress.

Also on Medium can be found former President Barack Obama’s essay on “How to Make this Moment the Turning Point for Real Change” and articles that push back at Obama’s optimism.
Koshu Kunii

There I found Shannon Ashley’s “20+ Ways White Writers Can Support the Black Community.” Her fourth suggestion is “Read more Black Authors.” A fateful coincidence had one of my friends, younger and wiser than I in so many ways, shortly before George Floyd’s death ignited the protests, recommend to me Jericho Brown’s poetry collection, The Tradition. The title poem, a complexity of gardening and the speaker’s relation to the earth and the danger of living Black (and more that I’m still working out), intersperses lists of the names of flowers with the efforts of Black men to get plants to grow,* and finishes

Men like me and my brothers filmed what we
Planted for proof we existed before
Too late, sped the video to see blossoms
Brought in seconds, colors you expect in poems
Where the world ends, everything cut down.
John Crawford. Eric Garner. Mike Brown.


Frankie Cordoba

The list is so much longer now. Say their names:

George Floyd
Rayshard Brooks
Breonna Taylor
Ahmaud Arbery
Sandra Bland
Eric Garner
Trayvon Martin
Tony McDade
Laquan McDonald
Freddie Gray
Aiyana Stanley-Jones (seven years old)
Botham Jean
Michael Jean
Yvette Smith
Alton Sterling

Say the names of the ones I have left out. Stand with the protestors. Be, as Shannon Ashley says, a better human. And urge our lawmakers to declare this day, June Nineteenth, a Federal holiday, so that we have a day to celebrate when a great evil was outlawed and to commemorate how far we still have to go to restore justice and equality to the communities to whom we have denied justice and equality for so long.


*I am oversimplifying terribly. Read the poem.

Rivka’s Story #30Inks30Days, 18 June, 2020

Colorverse Andromeda. I know it says “Redshift,” but I realized that I got my ink names mixed up.

Rivka’s Story #30Inks30Days, 17 June, 2020













Colorverse Opportunity

Rivka’s Story #30Inks30Days; 16 June, 2020

Taccia Kuro Black

Rivka’s Story #30Inks30Days, 15 June, 2020

Colorverse Spirit (tomorrow will be Opportunity!)

I couldn’t decide whether I liked the golem better as a sketched figure or filled in with some colour, so here she is both ways.


Rivka’s Story #30Inks30Days, 14 June, 2020

Colorverse Ham

Rivka’s Story #30Inks30Days, 13 June, 2020

Colorverse Hayabusa (Glistening)


12 June, 2020

It’s been thirteen months since my mother died. I thought when the anniversary of her death came around, words would pour out of me, but somehow, when the date came around last month, I couldn’t decide what I wanted to say. It was hard not to be with my family on that day, though my daughter spent a long time on the phone with me. (She and her grandmother were tight.)

Sarah Collingwood (Feiertag)

I’ll tell you a story, then make confession. 

My mother’s mother (she’s the one on the left) was an obsessive letter-writer. She wrote several letters every day, every letter several sheets of paper (remember, this was before e-mail, before cell phones, back when a long-distance call was expensive and usually meant a birth, a wedding, or a death), and at least one of the daily slew of letters went to my mother. Unfortunately, Grandma extracted a promise from my mother that Mom would destroy all her letters after Grandma died. I think Mom kept one, but I haven’t been able to find it. 

But a year to the day after my grandmother died, a final letter that had gone astray in the postal system arrived in our mailbox. I don’t know what it said; I don’t even know if Mom kept it. (She thought she had, but she didn’t remember where it was.) But its arrival affected my mother strongly. It was painful, but also a reminder that my grandmother had loved my mom and, I think, Mom took it as a hint that there might be a possibility of, not life after death exactly, but of some sort of lasting connection that could not be severed.

And here’s the confession: a month ago, when the mail came, I realized that I had been expecting there would be a letter in it for me from my mother. There wasn’t, and I think I felt so silly for expecting that there would be that I couldn’t find any words for my mother that day. 

I want to note that I realize not being with family on the anniversary of my mother’s death was a small sacrifice compared with the losses of health and life so many others have suffered from COVID-19, from social injustices, from so many other causes. But neither could I let this moment pass without taking the time to remember my mom.

copyright Ruth Feiertag 2019

I still miss her like mad.

Rivka’s Story #30Inks30days 12 June, 2020

        I decided that I need to move the story along a little more quickly, so there are six pages today. The ink is Colorverse Dark Energy — one perfectly suited for this installation.














Illustration and photo copyright Meredith T. H. Feiertag