The dawn greeted our hermit
Cool it was
Wind swam through the thorny vines
and tall tree shadow lines
I dreamed of the absentee’s return
The whisper of the path which led to me
The window held my vision
As my eyes drifted
Sand crept into my shoes this morning
On my trek away from isolation
In the dark
The Star illuminated
Though still dim, they tasted￼
Of potent potions, salt, fantasy oceans
The chapter I began today
Spoke of caution, beware
Of self-neglect – dear hermit –
Let that light be your guide
I am the gift to which I bestow
To you my love
Feeding your inner glow
Only when you re-member
The missing pieces
Can affirmations be upheld
Love increases and releases
Bless you my sprite,
I’ll hold you in the dark
And foster you
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
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:
Sup everybody? At this moment, the television in this sushi restaurant is playing sports and it’s all I can hear. My brain feels a bit frazzled honestly. Today I began my teaching semester and, since the holiday season began and ended, life has thrown some radical changes – no judgement of bad or good, however. These changes are necessary and welcome as much as they were surprising and challenging.
Dedication: Today, I dedicate this newsletter to my students. I teach at a community college and my students are adults ranging from 17-65 years old. They are from diverse backgrounds and work hard for the education they’re receiving (mostly). Back in 2002, I started attending ACC and worked 2 jobs while taking care of my grandparents. It took me 4 years to graduate with my associates (a 2-year degree) and then transferred to Appalachian. I respect these students and their experiences because I’ve been there. Teaching critical thinking to humans from Alamance County is a feat I couldn’t have imagined getting into – but it is sacred work, as much as I may bitch about the tedious “process” of working in a public education. I found myself looking forward to teaching today for the first time since I began last year. I blasted Lizzo on the radio about being my own Soulmate and taught two fabulous classes filled with students who seem to give a damn. Nothing could be a better gift. I’m real with them, present them with difficult, thought-provoking material, and honor their opinions while challenging them with the task of examining from where those opinions originated. Rock star status.
Song: Soulmate by Lizzo – that’s the song of the day. If you don’t know Lizzo, here ya go. You’re welcome. Soulmate by Lizzo Interview with Lizzo on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, my biggest celebrity crush. Daily Show Lizzo Interview I am in love with Lizzo’s amazing messages – they are transformational and challenging patriarchy at EVERY TURN. *yes, please*
Quote: “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” – Dr. Maya Angelou *application yall*
Dear humans, TONIGHT special airing solo show on facebook live show hosted by Neville’s Quarter! Lex and Brian are hosting and I’m their grateful guest! Look up Neville’s Quarter on Facebook to see the live show tonight at 6!
More shows to come yall! So much love! Tune in tonight~!
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.
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…