Dedication: This week’s edition of TuesDayNewsDay is dedicated to Amy Alexander and her family. Here is her obituary and HERE. We said goodbye to Amy on Saturday after she passed on last Tuesday. Last Tuesday, in lieu of a newsletter, Bruce and I did a memorial livestream on the Facebooks which you can see HERE. It is more and more difficult to speak of her in the past tense. Ryan and I had a talk about that. I have so many unutterable feelings. All I can express right now is my gratitude for her. I could never be more grateful for her presence in my life as a substitute mom. I love you Ma.
This is Amy, Loren and me:
This was us (the family of Alexanders and friends) at Thanksgiving last year:
This is Amy and her oldest son, Josh. Everyone knows him as Skip. I called him Skippo. He called me Stinkie. They are together on the other side now and to quote my post about this earlier this week: “My thoughts also drift to our brother Skip during this time. Time slows down when I think of him. There is something strangely comforting and tragic knowing that they’re on the other side together now.”
The week before last, another friend passed over the rainbow bridge, Paul Vasquez (the double rainbow guy) and I made a memorial video for him live on the Instagrams. You can see that HERE.
Quote: “WILD KINDNESS” by Jack Kerouac
“By practicing kindness all over with everyone you will soon come into the holy trance, definite distinctions of personalities will become what they really mysteriously are, our common and eternal blissstuff, the pureness of everything forever, the great bright essence of mind, even and one thing everywhere the holy eternal milky love, the white light everywhere everything, empty bliss, svaha, shining, ready, and awake, the compassion in the sound of silence, the swarming myriad trillionaire you are.”
Cat Stevens says, “Don’t be shy just let your feelings roll on by, don’t wear fear or nobody will know you’re there..” Today, as we lift our heads to the heavens all around us, it is with acceptance and grace that we move through grief and mourning those souls who have gone before. To be real as can be, this last year has gifted many opportunities for pause and reflection, gratitude and silence, reception and art, Spirit messages and an outpouring of gifts we can only begin to imagine. This may seem folly, overly light-hearted, or flippant – but please, know I say these things with extreme reverence in the midst and acknowledgment of the pain and suffering in our world right now too.
As I sit here on this magical rock, a direct connection to the heartbeat of this earth, I have no choice but to breathe and sigh, sit in awe of the moving spectacle of the water coursing through my toes, the sunlight pouring in through juvenile leaves of Summer. The Elm and Sycamore, the Box elder and Tulip Poplar are my Sacred canopy. The bees gently buzz in puddles left from the latest flood. I have been blissfully swimming in poetry and space, gifts of song and tears, all the while mourning and then once again, with dry and damp eyes, tapping into the divine through connections with others, these plants, the garden soil, growth, and my dearest buzzing, singing, trumpeting beautiful flying beings.
No, I cannot complain. Yes, there has been much loss. Yet, I am making my own type of peace simply by surrendering to what is. Supplication to blessings, even if they hurt. Nodding my head and heading in the direction to which I am called, without an ounce of regret or hesitation.
I love you all. Thank you for Being. Thank you for being there, being challenging, being real, being You.
At this moment, all that exists in my sights are the darkness of the night sky through the window, the golden light of a candle glimmering in my periphery and the glow of this computer screen. Of late, I have read many stories by writers about their influences and writers whom they adore. The most compelling stories depict how the main inspiration was the author’s own life, their own experiences and hardships were their teachers and the stories told themselves, their fingers were merely a medium.
Songs seem to come to me this way. Ideas for paintings, projects, special studies… they all jump into my mind and slam the “Go” button, yet, it wasn’t my choice to press it. Once, I was asked to write my autobiography on one page. That was horribly prohibitive. It takes a half-hour just to get started when telling about my life. Perhaps I am simply detail-oriented or lack conciseness. I see everything as bleeding into everything else, just like a watercolor painting which starts with too much water. Except, in life, those bleeding tales need no judgment, at this point, of too much or too little liquid. Those tales exist only in the memories of my body and when I think back to them or something reminds me of them; I can only experience them in the moment or in a dream. At times, I become overwhelmed with the sound of my heart beating and shortness of breath. Other times, the need to sleep or eat suddenly tips me over and makes me weak in the knees. In more extreme cases, fear fills every pore, unexplainable in the present moment as to why and I find myself floating above, as an outsider looking in, disassociating. Somehow, I can become a shadow when the worst moments resurface. I get lost in the replay and the mountainous weight of knowing there is nothing I can do to change the stories. In those dark and tremendous moments, there are veins reaching into the future, into the people I love, into the choices I make, into the way I look in the mirror, into the way strangers look at me… All this is happening under the guise of a smiling, confident, albeit sometimes distracted, woman.
Imagine what it would be like if those moments disappeared. What would happen if those shocking and depressing moments no longer plagued those of us who share them? There could be a light, a blinding light, swirling out of my forehead. I see light emanating from my fingertips and from each strand of hair. There is no memory in my body, from the earliest of early storage drawers of visions, that does not have a tinge of sadness. I cannot remember ever feeling completely light, free, and without judgment. Fear permeates every facet of life. I could be beaten for not finishing my dinner or having an accident potty training. I could be abused or taunted by any man who walked by. I could be ridiculed for being imperfect by any movement, decision, performance or by simply existing. Simultaneously, I was treasured and praised when I was approvable. In public, I was the gem of the show. I was “the rock”. The undeterminable atmosphere of our home, the lack of comfort, the affectation of normalcy, the quid-pro-quo nurturing, the unending sarcasm, perversion, and the predatorial context into which my sister and I were forced to exist has created, in me, a person who needs to come to terms with the impact such a life has had on my body. The lives and bodies of millions of people in this world are all carrying scars on their beating hearts from childhood. They learned about their lack of importance, their prescribed stupidity and their lack of control so early, the notion that such things don’t HAVE to hold them down may never be realized in their lives. They may never individuate.
I have the privilege of a new awareness of how my body, heart, and mind are all interconnected and I proclaim that the marks carved into my being are going to be brought to light. Immunity to sickness and dedication to health are the core of my focus now. The amount of time it will take to begin to feel whole and happy again may be lengthy. Yet, I am here. I am learning. My body is going to heal. I have magnets in my heart and the celestial bodies and our beautiful, magical planet are connected by those same forces.
I am filled with grit. I am the softest green moss of the forest floor.
In some corner of my mind, I have yet to unearth, there is the North star of hope.
I am seeking Spirit by this river’s shore and in my inner flame’s ashes and smoke.
The room is filled with restaurant sounds; the cutlery is clicking on plates and bowls. Autumn Leaves is coming from the trombone, piano, upright bass and drums. How lovely.
Dedication: Today is dedicated not to a person, but to the priceless concept of forgiveness. Without it, we remain cold and buried in our own asses. With it, we become softer and compassionate toward and acknowledging of others’ simultaneous struggles in this world. Thank you forgiveness. Thank you to those of us who forgive easily. Thank you to those of us who know we need to work on it. …and bless you to those of us who struggle with forgiveness.
Quote: “Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.” Mark Twain
Song: This song reminds me of riding in the backseat of my grandparents’ car on one of our thousands of Sunday drives, as we meandered in and around rural North Carolina, listening to classic country music, the “Country Gold” cassette tape set.
It has been a few weeks since an official newsletter and if you watch my weekly video series, you can find out why. So much has happened since the end of 2019! It was a roller-coaster of a year! As I was answering a journal prompt about last year during my morning writing, it became clear that 2019 was packed with physical, emotional, intellectual challenges and feats. I had major ankle surgery and was laid up in bed for 12 weeks. My new job teaching started in January last year, the whole year of creating curriculum and learning how to teach adults in real life was demanding and in all honesty, I didn’t enjoy it. (Thankfully this year, I feel a bit different and am excited about the prospect of continuing. That surprised me.) Many things were left behind: some relationships, my lack of boundaries and fear of others’ judgments. Surely, the latter two of the three aforementioned castaways will crop up from time to time in cyclical lessons, yes. However, each time growth will emerge and lessons will help to create a better human up in here. We learned why my digestive system was torn apart for years (of course stress will hurt anyone’s stomach) – I’m allergic to beef and beef products, gluten and other hooved animals! We also learned that I have an insane amount of allergies! WTF?! Glad to know more about myself now, so I can take care. I plan to heal and end the allergies and grow back the cartilage which was damaged in my ankle surgery; I know these things can be done.
A part of my childhood was left behind as well. The child within who operated out of fear and scarcity has become known to me. I have a serious desire to feel security and my motivations in attempt to obtain that security were unmasked. I no longer feel the need to look to others (my grandparents specifically) to provide the shelter and protection, something I desperately once needed and am eternally grateful. Adios 2019! Enter stage left and right the new decade with a new abode, new music, new understandings, and new relationships (with others and with myself.).
The album is trudging along. It is a struggle to make time when I am working two jobs. Rest assured, it will be finished sometime soon! I was thinking by the end of January… but I truly don’t know right now. Still aiming for late June for the party. If it happens, wonderful. If it doesn’t, that’ll be fine too.
happy new year y’all, may you find peace and for those under fire, you are in my prayers
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.
If you want to share or talk about anything, please send me an email, my door is open: email@example.com
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.
TuesDayNewsDay Vol.2 Issue 17, October 30th – CAUTION: Trigger Warning – this newsletter contains triggering sexual violence references. Please take care.
Dedication: Today’s issue is dedicated to my therapist Karen. Today, while going through what came up in therapy, I realized I would drive to the place, where in October of 1990, I was first molested. I was seven years old. I decided I would drive there, sit on the ground and take a photo. I would also take something of the earth to work with this healing. As the idea came to me, a light bulb exploded in my head. Karen said, “Anita, don’t take your wounded little girl there without your whole adult self holding her, seeing her, and telling her that you are there for her no matter what. You are her nurturing parent now, hold her in your arms.”
I pulled my car into the driveway for the first time ever on my way home from therapy, realizing I have never driven into that driveway before in my life.
This spot, which I have to drive by every time I go to my grandparents’ house, is also a block from where my mother still lives with the pedophile step-father just across the railroad tracks. When I say this healing is a daily, a moment to moment process, I mean it. Literally facing those places every day has wrecked havoc on my insides – but I am resilient and strong, vulnerable and honest with myself. The place is a vacant lot in a trailer park on Pomeroy Street in Graham, where my home used to sit. Now it’s an empty, dirty space with an overgrown concrete platform over which there was a carport. Under that porch, I remember having to take all of our stuffed animals outside to be thrown away because there was such a terrible flea infestation. I remember sneaking up late at night after everyone was asleep, turning on the television to watch Alfred Hitchcock and the Twilight Zone, my face about an inch from the screen, ever wary of any sounds coming from my mother’s end of the trailer lest I get caught.
Vividly, I remember the game we were playing that night in October. My baby sister, a developmentally disabled boy named Jason, and his sister Tasha and I were playing charades. Jason and Tasha were the teenage children of my mother’s red-headed boyfriend. We played in teams and it was decided we would go into the closet to decide what animal or character we would pretend to be. I was seven years old, my sister was 2. I was on Jason’s team. Jason was sixteen. (Typing this I can feel my heart racing and the old familiar anxiety aching in my chest and shoulders, my left eye and cheek twitching.). When we went into that closet and Jason molested me, I was too afraid to move, too afraid to scream, too afraid to fight, too afraid to do anything at all except to freeze. So, I froze. I could feel his icy cold, trembling hands on me. To this day I can still feel the darkness of that closet, the walls closing in around me. When we came out of that closet, I was sick. I don’t remember anything else. I don’t remember the game, nothing. I remember after they left that night, I told my mother what happened. She said to me, “Honey, if it happens again, let me know.”
Those words etched endless caves into the crevices of my heart. Those words are the haunting. Those words represent the moment I knew I was on my own. With no one else to turn to, my grandparents were gone to Disneyland at the time, I was completely alone. I prayed and prayed and heard nothing. Those words mark the day when I, as a seven year old, realized that god didn’t exist and that I wasn’t worth saving. Those words created children’s tears. They cannot be undone, and of course, it happened again.
Despite those memories buried deep in endless caves and my mother within shouting distance, I went. It was my nurturing, accepting, loving, and whole adult self who sat on that ground. I felt the cold, wet grass and soil underneath me. I looked at the trailers to the right and left of me. My phone was propped on the very metal bracket that once held that trailer to the ground. I snapped a shot of me sitting on that sacred ground. It took less than a minute. Leaving, I searched for a four-leaf clover in the tiny patch of yard, but found none. Instead, now a big green black walnut from that place is with me. I plan to do some ritual with that walnut. It tried to escape twice from me before walking up my back-porch steps in Saxapahaw. Something inside told me not to bring it inside my house, so I left it on the back patio table. It is not clear what kind of ritual will come about, but it is sure to be a powerful one of releasing the physical ghosts of that moment. It will be one of forgiving my mother for not knowing or realizing what she was doing. It will be a process of exorcising the grief and trauma which has been sitting in my bones and blood, blooming into the person you see today. Today is all I have.
Quote: Choice is all we get, change is all that’s real.
Today’s post wasn’t meant to be this way. The events of today were not planned, but have made a mark. The words of my song, Darlene, record this event in a lyrical, symbolic sort of way. Being an artist is a privilege because it lets us put words and visions to feelings and thoughts. We are able to somehow transform our feelings into a universal language others can share. Today with Karen, I admitted to trying to let go of my fears: people won’t like my arts and I’m not good enough to walk in the footsteps of my idols. Slowly and purposefully, she said, “Let’s transform that. You are working on your language, so let’s start here.” So after thinking, my mouth said, “I am letting go of my concern for people not liking my art or me as a person.” I do not need validation of others to justify my existence. This self-work is Sacred. I feed on it; it makes me feel more and more alive and free every day to uncover and unleash the demons. Turns out, they aren’t demons at all. They are one scared, frozen little girl, stepping into who she is destined to be, not solely a victim of her circumstance. I looked Karen in the eyes today and spoke my gratitude for her being here with me this last year and a half of journeying, visioning and healing. It was the first time I’d ever asked to hold hands with anyone. With our feet on the floor, we grounded, I closed my eyes and saw little Anita sitting on my right knee. There Karen prepared me to go sit on that patch of grass, which someday, I will drive by without flinching. I will drive by proud to have been seated there.