anitalorrainemoore

Musician devoted to Justice, Creativity, and Courage


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TuesDay NewsDay Vol. 3, Issue 1 – January 14th, 2020

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.

I Love by Tom T. Hall

Dear Humans:

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

Upcoming Shows: Sunday, High Point 2pm-5pm https://facebook.com/events/s/eliqqn-ii-portraits-of-gavin-g/2306691406283389/?ti=icl

Next week, Friday, January 24th – I’ll be playing with Tim Smith at Special Treats on Weaver Dairy Rd in Carrboro! 6-10pm! Come out and get some candy! Ear candy too!

Lately in pictures:


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Conundrum…

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: anitalorrainemusic@gmail.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.

LOVE,

ALM

 

 


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A Letter to tiny Anita

I am making a promise to myself right now.

I will always protect you Anita. I will look out for your best interests and remove you from harmful, hurtful situations. I will never allow anyone to abuse you in any way. I will do my best to recognize quickly if that is happening. I will always validate your feelings. They are legitimate and worthy of consideration, even when everyone else chooses to ignore them or forgets them altogether. I will ask you how you feel and what you think about any given situation, but especially hard situations. I will give you time to consider them and space to come to your conclusions without pressure. I’ll give you all the time you need to pray, journal, and seek answers. When you have found them, I will honor them and be proud of you for the work you’ve done of searching your own soul for your own truth. I will light a candle for your resilience and support you in your decisions and love you unconditionally. I will understand that you are doing your best and that your best will not look the same in all situations.

Lastly, I will remember that it is OK if you change your mind and be open to learning what caused you to do so. You deserve all these things, as does everyone else. However, I will always remember only *I* can provide *YOU* with these things, no one else. I cannot provide for everyone and I am only obligated to you to act in your best interests. Your well-being and safety must come first. I will always believe you, trust. I will always take nurturing care of you.

You deserve love and a safe home to which you can return at any time, I will give that to you. Especially at Christmas, if you need to return home, I will take you home.

I love you,

Anita


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TuesDayNewsDay Vol.2 Issue 17, October 30 Caution: Trigger Warning, references to sexual violence

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.

Song: Silence is the song today folks, listen to your heart beat. – my Tuesday video song series is available here: TuesDay Song Series Video on Facebook

Dear Humans,

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.

Love, ALM


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July 1st… Journal today and Khalil Gibran

Monday… July 1st

Today, right now, I feel peaceful. I am sitting on the couch with my coffee, grey cashmere sweater score from the thrift store, tons of reading material and my ankle propped up on ice. This whole process of surgery and healing has taught me so much I never really understood – how important the pause really is. The caring for your body in a way that reflects that you ACTUALLY care about what happens to it and how it functions. It’s unbelievable to me that I went so long without really taking care of this ankle, or thinking about this at all… the life of childhood sexual abuse survivors perhaps – but I’ll only speak of my own experience. I think back and see so many unspoken, unseen barriers to recognizing the problem. I never want to be that distracted and oblivious again in my life. Therapy, Al-Anon, music, and most of all that Divine resilience spark from somewhere within me (and us all, right?) has put me in this place of submission. I know I’ll be taken care of. What a privileged feeling?

Right now, my mind goes to the families on the border of our country, the refugees trying to find a safe place, a home, the war-torn families of people across this world who truly DON’T know that they’ll be taken care of. Sitting here, I truly don’t know what to do about that. Is there something to be done? Is there nothing to be done? I can’t take on the weight of the world alone. How is it that my conscience (I’m teaching about conscience and morality in my Critical Thinking class this week.) is so heavy from the knowledge of what is happening around me but also the feeling of being incapable of doing anything about it. Is that not the essence of trauma? Am I wrong that everything will be taken care of? Is this a false sense of security in some unseen force? When I have been abused in the past, I didn’t know what to do so I froze and allowed it to happen until is was over and I could escape. Some don’t escape. My escape was in my mind, as my body was being invaded. What of right now? Is my escape the comfort of my mind since there is this seemingly limited amount of impact I can make on the atrocities of this world? (I made 74.50 Friday night performing to send to the Border relief organizations sending lawyers and food/water/proper care to those families.). It seems like so little… I curiously don’t feel shame. That I am proud of, however there is guilt – the healthy spark to do something to rectify wrong-doings comes from guilt. I didn’t create the system in which we live, yet as I live and breath, I benefit and continue to perpetuate its eventuality.

Are we all going through trauma right now, on a cellular and spiritual level right now, if not physical (since it’s all connected)? The world feels to me to be chaotic and mean, and while I sit here with my coffee, it’s hard not to think of all those who are unsafe and literally grasping for their lives.

From therapy, I learned that many truths can be simultaneously existent – the ever-present paradox – the both/and – not simply the limiting either/or. Literally, I believe this is the only mindset which can release me from my own rambling, concerned yet paralyzed state. Also, it’s the only perspective which can shed light on numerous co-existing perspectives of abundance which are hard to see while thinking about the suffering of this world. I never just think about the suffering, I FEEL it. Everyone can. It is impossible not to (even if you are unconscious of it, it impacts you. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.)) – it is all recognizable and at times, insidiously invisible. So why is it that the joys and the love and the light is so hard to absorb and hold? Again, that shift in lens is the antidote for the tunnel vision. A trusting that somehow, those positivities are truly out there in and amongst the negativities. …and if you venture out to the furthest reaches, perhaps those challenges (in hindsight) give us the tools we need to survive.

In an attempt at gross summation and perhaps even over-simplification – maybe we can cradle in our palms these painful knowings and trust that they are providing insights about how to better live, how much more aware I can be to not only see and recognize, but to act upon those recognitions to create a more just world in one fluid, unnoticeable and perpetual movement with the intention of good?

“On Good and Evil” – Kahlil Gibran (I find deep feeling insights every time I open The Prophet.)

“And one of the elders of the city said, Speak to us of Good and Evil. And he answered:

Of the good in you I can speak, but not of the evil.

For what is evil but good tortured by its own hunger and thirst?

Verily when good is hungry it seeks food even in dark caves, and when it thirsts it drinks even of dead waters.

You are good when you are one with yourself.

Yet when you are not one with yourself, you are not evil.

For a divided house is not a den of thieves; it is only a divided house.

And a ship without rudder may wander aimlessly among perilous isles yet sing not to the bottom.

You are good when you strive to give of yourself.

Yet you are not evil when you seek to gain for yourself.

For when you strive to gain you are but a root that clings to the earth and sucks at her breast.

Surely the fruit cannot say to the root, “Be like me, ripe and full and ever giving of your abundance.”

For to the fruit giving is a need, as receiving is a need to the root.

You are good when you are fully awake in your speech,

Yet you are not evil when you sleep while your tongue staggers without purpose.

And even in the stumbling speech may strengthen a weak tongue.

You are good when you walk to your goal firmly and with bold steps.

Yet you are not evil when you go thither limping.

Even those who limp go not backward.

But you who are strong and swift, see that you do not limp before the lame, deeming it kindness.

You are good in countless ways, and yo are not evil when you are not good,

You are only loitering and sluggard.

Pity that the stags cannot teach swiftness to the turtles.

In your longing for your giant self lies your goodness: and that longing is in all of you. [I am brought to tears at this moment reading this line again.]

But in some of you that longing is a torrent rushing with might to the sea, carrying the secrets of the hillsides and the songs of the forest.

And in others it is a flat stream that loses itself in angles and bends and lingers before it reaches the shore.

But let not him who longs much say to him who longs little, “Wherefore are you slow and halting?”

For the truly good ask not the naked, “Where is your garment.” Nor the house less, “Where has befallen your house?”

Another memory I heard singing in my ears while typing this, “I saw a beggar leaning on his wooden crutch, he said to me, “You must not ask for so much.” I saw a pretty woman leaning in her darkened door, she cried to me, “Hey, why not ask for more? Like a bird on a wire, like a drunk in a midnight choir …I have tried, in my way, to be free.”

– Bird on a Wire, by Leonard Cohen.

Nothing is left unresolved, only momentary feigns of understanding…


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Upon watching the sunset from a warm room.

 

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I began to think about a subject again this afternoon that I discussed this morning in the midst of a crisis that should, in the future, be easily avoided from insight provided by the past.  I think very similarly about Black History Month they way I feel about Valentine’s day (if you haven’t read the earlier post, here’s a quote from that day: “Valentines day is so ridiculous because we should be giving love in such an obscene way EVERY DAY!!”)  This is how I feel about Black History Month.  Why don’t we celebrate famous Black history month all year long? And WHY, my friend pointed out, is it peppered with a bunch of white dudes being commemorated, one of which (ahem.. Washington ((who’s birthday is celebrated today))) owned slaves?   I must say however, the benefit of having Black History Month is beneficial and enlightening to white people, who any other time, may not take the time to be curious about anything but things that concern them… like these facts:  Toni Morrison was born today.  She is the first Black woman to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature.  Read The Song of Solomonit’s a stunning book.  Also today in 1688, Quakers in Germantown, PA adopt the first antislavery resolution in the country.

But it shouldn’t be the federal requirement of a nation to get people to commemorate and appreciate the amazing works, unique history, and fallen heroes of a particular group of people – these things should be celebrated and honored all the time and with equal time and attention as everything else.  The fact that we need a Black History Month just goes to show that we’ve gotten only slightly further down the road towards equality.  (please see: http://www.dayinblackhistory.com/ )

I dedicate my blog today to all the rest of the months in the year that are left lonely without the presence of remembrance and beauty that ALL people embody and present to this world.  I also dedicate my blog today to all the slaves that George Washington owned and only after he was dead were they emancipated.  Sending out love to you, all of our ancestors, and current victims of hate, because you all have stared at a sunset such as this and been mystified at the possibility that some greater power is working to make things right, and if there isn’t such a power, our strength comes from the knowledge and satisfaction that we DO work against inequality and the oppressed will not be as such forever.


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Snow falling and discussion as follows

“I awoke today and found the frost perched on the town.”  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3EofN3Flag More than frost today Joni, SNOW is FALLING and I made sure the whole (nearby) neighborhood knew about it at 7:30 this Saturday morning.  Snow is so magical and beautiful, each snowflake actually IS a divine, unique thing…

Yesterday, watching an 8 year old and a 1.5 year old is a ton of fun.  I was sad to go home, but I had to get some work done, and that can’t happen with, “NiNi! What would you like to order from the Kevi Kitchen?!” coming in every 5 minutes. 🙂  There’s something about writing this journal that makes me feel really good and I haven’t been, up to this point, in the last couple of years, been able to sustain a journal or diary.. all the while killing myself with guilt that I didn’t have any follow through.

My inner voice is a mean one.  I talk to myself in a more stern, mean, impatient, and unaccepting way than I would talk to anyone (much less people I love!) and I’ve decided that this has to change.  I’m trying to make this change, understanding that it’s a process, not a destination.  Isn’t that the lesson of life anyway, to enjoy the process because there IS no destination or final resting point?  That’s not the way energy works.

Ponder this.

Along that vein, in this day in history in 1932, the 1st patent issued for a tree, went to James Markham for a peach tree.  That whole process is now being fought by another process.  I don’t believe in purity or pristine anything to do with human creation, divine creation or an original thought. Everything at this point has been touched or manipulated by human existence on this earth, and everything we’ve done or experienced up to this point leads us to the thoughts we come up with.  This leads me to 2 points: 1. nothing should be owned, personal ownership leads to greed…therefore I don’t believe in borders  and 2. Seeds and the natural world should not be patented or owned… the race to the top for money and material wealth is destroying this planet and us as a collective species – and THERE IS NO END POINT!  The process that I am finding joy in now, is the reclaiming of this mentality, the community, the rights of workers, the love of the planet and the genuine love of all beings.  I AM all beings, I am finding the courage to say so and act on it.  Happy February 16th, the first day of the rest of your life.  What are you FOR?