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: 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.