I was sitting at my desk, staring at the blank page, thinking about the many words I have etched on paper or typed on screen.
My thoughts drifted to when I started this blog and even further back when I was creating content on Helium.com. I thought about what I started this journey to accomplish.
All writers want to be read. We, in the creative class, hone our craft in the public spaces. We are the visionaries and oracles of the world, reflecting back to many the truth left hidden, lighting darkened paths, and brightening up shadowed memories. We write to be read, to be read, to be read.
And read indeed!
Someone close to me wanted me to stop writing about my childhood, my late father, my siblings.
For a while, they succeeded in ways that my step-sister reading my journal when I was only twelve did not, I stopped writing for a while. I could not wrap my mind around the request and the authority they felt in asking me to stop being who I was.
I took to pen and paper to work out the crooked lines and make straight the reasons why.
Writing allows me to ask why and to process through the what happened. It, writing, allowed me to forgive my late father for his failings and frailings that left my little brother and I trapped in a fate worse-than-hell at 311 Gordon Street. It allowed me to move on and say goodbye to his writings that should be mine, his books that should be my sons, and his degrees that should be on my walls, his legacy now in the hands of others whose blood is not mine, who stole our rights and spent our inheritance. Writing allowed me to forgive. It took years, years, and years, but writing even allowed me the peace to return to a place I hated and find the beauty therein.
So, no, I will not stop speaking or writing about those things that challenge us and motivate us to be the best. The kids today have a thing they say, "YOLO!" It is a true thing. As I am sitting here today with the sun streaming in through my balcony window, I utter the same words my late father once spoke, "I have more years behind me than I do in front of me," In uttering them, I am empowered to live for me and reach for my dreams.
The years have flown by, my children are grown up and growing up, all of the fellas are out making their way in the world. My baby girl will be 10 in December, the same age as my brother's granddaughter, born a week apart these two, my great-niece carrying a combination of my name and my father's name. They are all reaching for their dreams now, guided by our love, moving closer to their independence.
It is in realizing that while I am not a grandmother yet, I have grand nieces and nephews, life has flowed on to another generation, and I have the responsibility to craft out the story of our heritage. I write to tell those stories and to wrap meaning around decisions that affect us all. My three living sons, my nephews, and my nieces, will all one day carry on our legacy.
My life has not been easy, I have had to journey through many valleys to reach a place of peace, to stand on my mountain and declare my right to be fully and wholly me.
Writing has been my constant friend and forever companion, it is why everything I do is tied up in that. It is why I love this medium of web content because my future grandchildren and grandnieces and great-greats will have my words and thoughts, my love for them, my dreams for bringing them all together, they will know that they were loved deeply. They will put muscle around the skeleton of just knowing our names and dates.
I am writing a story by longhand, taking the journey where this contemporary woman chooses to guide me. I am writing poetry by longhand to feel the waves of these gentle tides of memory and moments. In a year of writing, I am preparing unpublished pieces for that thing they tell us will still be around - books. It is because one day I will not be here, and one day, I want someone to pick up something I wrote and wonder.