Who were you before the world told you who to be?
Before studio owner. Yoga teacher. Mama. School teacher. Home owner. Wife. Graduate. Road Tripper. Traveler. Devoted daughter and sister.
Before any of that, Writer was the word I whispered in my dreams. “Make me a writer, God and Fairy people” was the first wish I tossed pennies in fountains for. I hoped it would come true.
I was four and completely in love with reading when I realized the words on a page, those small curved black bodied things were scribbled together and created by someone.
When I realized that humans could make books, I wanted to be a human who did that.
I grew up hungry, dusty, and trailer house poor.
The adults in my world knew more about surviving than I did.
They told me “you caint eat them words, baby.” “Stories ain’t fed no body we know.” “Get your education and get you a good job with surance.”
Does everything have to make us “bread?” When your Ancestors and mama nem have survived off less than crumbs, the answer is yes for generations.
That “yes” owned me. us.
so I jumped into that wishing fountain and took all of my pennies back. Pushed writer into a safe corner within me where she wouldn’t be touched by a world that would ravish her, including my own mind.
All these years later and feeding my self so many things that ain’t never left me full. I remember.
The gift of yoga nidra- the “peel back”, the laying bare, the undressing.
The remembering what I feel like underneath all of the shit that I show and people see. My practice has been shyly touching the hidden skein in my heart. unraveling a holy thread of memory and truth.
The four year old girl who loved words more than jumping rope, now & laters, bubble yum, and them cabbage patch kids; she’s wide awake. I remember her.
And so this summer I created a space, an altar- in memory. And in honor of who I am. I created a space for me to come to. To unlearn.
And there’s no pressure.
I don’t need writing to yield “surance” as my granny would say. It’s about more than “bread”. It’s salvation and soul food.
I simply need to assure my inner four year old that she is worth the effort and offering.
I release expectations of what I must do with this gift, what it must do for me, and what that name means.
I Practice, imperfection. In the words of Outkast, “Now that’s liberation.”
I choose to show up to my altar with devotion each day. I choose to sit there and listen until I hear that pig tailed Black girl brave enough to be half starving and still spending pennies on making a wish- I wait to hear her laugh and say “you returned, you came back for me-