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.
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.
Dedication: The Preacher Keith who surprised me with a musical instrument today at the coffee shop. Tears were brought to my eyes when he brought it out. He said to me, “You will do with this guitar what I cannot and will not. I want you to have it. I love your music, it is music ministry.” What a sweet man. Thanks dude. You rocked my day. Here’s a description of the new little baby, I named her “Preach” – “‘Cordoba Mini R’ features a solid spruce top paired with rosewood back and sides for a deep, full tone.” It sure sounds lovely. I played a few tunes with it today and learned the Gm chord almost immediately. I find that all my instruments have a chord they came with. My Mexican guitar came with A#m7 as her chord. The Ibanez was E. Straight up E.
Song: Precious Memories as sung by the infamous Jim Reeves. In his memory, this was written, “If I, a lowly singer, dry one tear, or soothe one humble human heart in pain, then my homely verse to God is dear, and not one stanza has been sung in vain.” Written by Linnea Crowther – I sang this song tonight on Facebook if’n ya wanna hear it. My Aunt Helen requested that this song be sung at her funeral. I sang it with tears in my eyes. She was 96 when she passed last year. Hard to believe.
Dear Humans, Autumn is sharing her bounty with us in color and for me in creativity! The album is coming along nicely. Some of the songs sound so beautiful, way more beautiful than I could have imagined. There is only one more left for me to record and we’ll be heading into a stairwell for that recording. Lo-fi effects in the house! I’m scheduling and rehearsing with the accompanying musicians who will soon be making the magic up in the studio. Drums, bass, mandolin, piano, guitar and maybe a few more surprises. Those souls who are helping me are doing sacred work for this project. I can’t wait to share our magic with you! If you’d like to donate to the studio costs, you may do so here for the album fundraiser! Thank you! Every bit counts! (You can also read about how I got here if you’re interested on the GoFundMe page as well.) We have almost reached our goal! Together you’ve helped to raise $4170 out of $5200! #SurrenderingToTheSacred
Tuesdays have been fun each week sharing songs with you all. I had no idea it would continue after the initial songs on the album were played, but it felt right to continue!
Last week, Crystal Bright and I played at a restaurant in Greensboro called “Lucky 32”. The crowd was lovely. Thank you to our dear Family who came in support of our music. Here is the link to our duo portion of the show (forgive the poor camera skills *shrugs shoulders* What can I say, I do my best…)
Love to everyone, bundle up and don’t just tell your people you love them, SHOW them!
This week in pictures:
Heart Rock found at school in the parking lot
Celebrating my first nametag with my new name! Anita Moore in the house!