anitalorrainemoore

Musician devoted to Justice, Creativity, and Courage


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Grit and Moss

 

    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.

long exposure of photography of brown tree

Photo by Harrison Haines on Pexels.com

 


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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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AnitaLorraine’s TuesDayNewsDay, Vol. 1, Issue 1 ~ October 2, 2018

TuesDayNewsDay

AnitaLorraineMoore

“Learn to handle the valleys Quincy, the hills will take care of themselves.” -Count Basie to Quincy Jones

Dear Humans,

Here comes the new Anita Moore newsletter every Tuesday describing what’s going on with me musically, emotionally/intellectually, creatively, and about life in general and things that move, touch or inspire me. We’ll start with a #freshquote and dedication – the #LivingQueryoftheWeek (respond in the comment section) and #UpcomingShows !!

Dedication: Auspiciously, my late brother Skip used to start a new journal on October 1 every year. This issue is dedicated to him. I miss him so much.

Over the last few weeks, there’ve been a lot of life events that have given me great pause. My 96 year old great aunt Helen passed and I sang a few songs for her funeral, I dealt with a staph infection, and my grandfather had pretty serious surgery to unblock his carotid artery (with him being in the hospital it inevitably means that my grandmother’s going to be on edge as well – they are attached at the hip quite literally. It’s the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.) Lastly, the Supreme Court fiasco has triggered many feelings of anger, helplessness, and memories of not being believed, invalidation, and being ridiculed by my mother starting at the age of 7. Call your Senators people. Vote them out if they don’t act upon your testimonies. We cannot allow the perpetuation of this behavior with silence.

I’m working part time with Democracy Matters and have 10 wonderful chapters of students who are doing amazing awareness raising work from Florida to New York. Syracuse University, Gettysburg, University of Maryland, North Carolina Central University, a new chapter at UNC, Guilford college, the University of Miami, the University of Georgia in Athens, University of Florida in Gainesville, and the New College of Florida.

Music has given me quite a bit of inspiration. I am so honored and grateful to have been able to open that door when I did. Many, many other doors have opened subsequently from that divine choice.  This past weekend, I got to perform three shows w/Pete Pawsey. Sunday at the Carrboro music festival, I was a complete rockstar and dressed the part too! With the Radar Clowns – On that day an amazing five piece horn section, smooth piano, energetic drums, and rockin’ Pete on the guitar, I sang my heart out on several songs and we had so much wonderful reception. I felt very tuned in at that moment and realized how happy I am to have started this journey when I did. Thank you all for supporting me. I could not do it without you.

In my personal, therapeutic journey, I have learned a lot about myself and about my motivations for work, life decisions, and habitual responses that honestly I would like to alter for the betterment of my sanity and for the world in general around me. I found that I was doing political service work in such a way that I was avoiding my own process of healing and/or avoiding my own historical traumatic struggle. I was unknowingly convinced that the world was easier to fix than my pain. Well… I am not doing that anymore. I have begun to prioritize my own mental health and establishing boundaries. Going to an Al-Anon meeting weekly, I just began working with my first sponsor. I’ve been doing cognitive behavioral therapy weekly, implementing EMDR sessions throughout. There is a book I’ve decided to write, for which I have begun gathering sources. The album concept is complete and I have all but two songs completely recorded in a demo. Right now I am compiling a list of accompaniment and considering different production styles and offers. I have applied for a potential teaching position at Alamance Community College – critical thinking. *fingers crossed* PS: I love lists.

My struggles have been with food lately and maintaining some semblance of exercise. I’ve been paying more attention to patterns, realizing that hormonally there are some disturbances at certain times of the month when I become desperate, hopeless, depressed, irritated and lethargic. To start, going on morning walks has been really helpful. Waking up early to watch the sunrise is a blessing; I had forgotten how beautiful the sunrise is. This morning it was an amalgamation of all sorts of pinks, purples, and yellows and blue-grey clouds. The moon has also been especially haunting in a good way lately, happy October! *groovy happy dance*  

At this very moment I am sitting on what Bruce calls “the magic rock”, where the creek bends and the water forms soothing sounds. Birds are chirping all around and the crickets are playing their endless tiny violin songs.

With Love, because it saves the world,

ALM

#LivingQueryoftheWeek : What is your most effective tool for self-love/self-care?

 

 

Upcoming Shows:

  • Sat, October 20th – w/Radar Clowns, Rain Dogs by Tom Waits Theme
  • Fri, November 2nd – w/Radar Clowns – Day of the Dead Show
    • 8:00pm, Hillsborough @ #MysteryBrewingCompany
  • Sat, November 3rd – Me-n-Pete Duo
    • 7:15pm, Star, NC @ #StarworksCafeTaproom
  • Sun, November 4th – w/Radar Clowns, Rain Dogs by Tom Waits Theme
    • 3:00-5:00pm, Pittsboro @ #CITYTAPPITTSBORO
  • Fri, November 30th – Anita Lorraine with Bruce Horvath