I was just on the phone with my grandmother.
She told me that my mother wants to donate a thousand dollars to my album fundraiser. The only thing she wants in return is her own copy. That was the last thing I expected to be thinking about tonight. I told Maw Maw that I’d have to think about it. There are several reasons why I need to think about it and Becky Miller’s voice just popped into my head as I think about them… I feel surprised. I feel nauseous. I feel trepidatious. I think she doesn’t know what she’s getting into. There’s only one real reason for all this fear, Darlene. Darlene will smack my mother in the face via song. I don’t want my music to hurt anyone, but Darlene has fighting gloves, armor and a helmet she wears around my mother. Darlene is a force. Darlene is fierce. Darlene is both scared and strong.
Becky Miller said to me once, “You are not responsible for how someone else reacts to your truth. You are only responsible for being honest about who you are.” I can’t control how my mother reacts to this. I am nervous she’ll hate it. I am scared she’ll sue me for non-support. I’m afraid she’ll deny it and make me out to be the bad guy.
Tonight, for the first time, I read the lyrics to Darlene to my grandmother. I could barely get through the song, reading it more like a poem. I was choking up and holding back tears to be able to pronounce the words clearly enough so she could understand what I was saying. At the end (I was grateful I made it through), she was quiet. I had no idea what she was going to say. I asked her, “You there?” and she answered, “Yes, I’m here. That brought on a few tears. Your Paw Paw’s going to like that.”
So here I am, back to wondering if I should accept the money and give her a record, if I should accept the money and not give her a record, or if I should just reject the whole idea. The brave little one inside of me is afraid that her mother will judge her and hate her even more. You see, in May of 2002, she called me from jail. She’d been arrested for not taking care of her children (I will spare you the details.). She used her one phone call to tell me that I ruined her life. Over the years, she’d called me stupid, lied over and over again, and very nonchalantly said to me when I was seven, “If it happens again, honey, let me know.” after I told her I’d been molested by her boyfriend’s son. Of course, it happened again, and again, and again.
I don’t think about these things every day, consciously. However, they color my existence and make me the sparkly person you know today. I was polished through those moments to become Anita Lorraine, named after both my grandmothers and now have chosen to take my grandfather’s last name, Moore. Anita Lorraine Moore.
It may take some time to come to a decision on this. I hope I make a decision that makes the world a better place for us all. This album is the crux of my inspiration. Some of my music is happy. Some is contemplative. Some is magical. Some is angry. Some is broken-hearted. Darlene, however, is revolutionary and bold. She is a phoenix.
Darlene was raised in two different worlds
One was safe. The other, toil
Darlene paid in the old-time way
Full-grown girl, before she turned eight
Her daddy shamed her in the end
Momma left her on her own to fend
She needed love and a place to go
A place she found just a mile or so
Grandfather’s hands worked to the bone
Grandmother’s love gave her a home
Grandfather gave her all his pride
Grandmother was her sweetheart’s bride
She tried to pray but could not hear
The voice of God within her ear
Darlene knew she couldn’t run
To save herself from his father’s son
She had to freeze, her mind to bend
To save herself from her mother’s men
Grandfather came to the rescue
Grandmother was someone she looked up to
Grandfather’s grown into an old man
Grandmother still, she still holds his hand
You know Darlene’s not the only one
Children’s tears can’t be undone
But if this truth we refuse to ignore
This world would change, we would take no more
Darlene learned how to spread her wings
Sang with angels inside her dreams
Her light shone through the darkest of nights
Into a song… born of candlelight
We are born fearless
Named after our kin
Blood and bone
Show where we’ve been
Blood and bone
Show where we’ve been
Blood and bone
Memories and skin
If you want to learn more about the fundraiser, visit: Sacred Album Recording Fundraiser
If you want to see the live video of Darlene, visit here: Darlene Facebook Fundraiser Live Video Series
If you want to share or talk about anything, please send me an email, my door is open: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please consider donating to my album, 5% of all donations go to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) is the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. RAINN created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE) in partnership with more than 1,000 local sexual assault service providers across the country.)
Thank you ALL for your support of this music, it means the world to me.
$40 = 1 hour in the studio ~ $5 = gas back and forth to the studio! It all helps.