She stood by the bedside of Jordan. A lotus. Feet grown from delta mud. She was creation. Exploded from chaos. A holistic believer.
Ruleville, Mississippi. Crooked state. Chosen land. Eternal cost. Chosen woman. Creased face. Her memory wavers like an untuned church organ.
If you see her. Tell her you remember. Her protected skin that matched night. Unafraid. Sleep patterned to that of bats. Called upon. Like Nut and Shu. To uphold the heavens. Keep young mouths breathing. When tempted to swallow swollen faith. She followed the dust and escaped through the vents.
One of the roles of the artist is to re-create life’s perception within a societal context. Some say the conditions of the moment define the creation of art through political, cultural and religious/philosophical terms. With that, there will always be an audience for our voices, so why do we torture ourselves with endless edits and insecurities of not being artistically accepted?
So many of us sit surrounded by genius pieces of art inspired by our immediate communities. Award winning poems and best selling novels. We have garage spaces and storage units full of paintings and sculptures that depict an opulence of emotions. And the fear of our vulnerability being labeled as weak disables us from sharing. And the masses of our culture in the states does not support our profession so we get a “regular job”. And turn our passion into a past time or extra way to make money.
Everyday of the week. In every situation in life. The individual in the position to persuade or that perceived the story will always have an audience that understands and supports them. As artists, we have to identify when in our lives we began to believe no one would appreciate our art and stop this. Because no matter what the discourse is from the expression, it will be perceived by someone that understands and folds our endless nights.
When I saw the “note to self” (visualization/dream board) of Octavia Butler I became inspired! Butler was the first science fiction writer to receive the coveted MacArthur Fellowship and one of the best-known females in her field. She passed away suddenly in 2006 but for those familiar with her work know that this board came to fruition!
Have you created your visualization/dream board for the new year yet?
While in Jackson, Mississippi I had a conversation about life coaches and motivational speakers that are under the age of 40 years old with two Jackson State University professors, one a historian/documentarian and the other a PhD. It was quite enlightening.
Long story short, experience doesn’t make you an expert. A head doesn’t make you a leader nor does a tongue make you a speaker. Social media is a tricky, tricky machine. Make sure it’s passion and not access you’re chasing.