“My voice is small as it asks, What will it matter to them if I make a book? I am one poet. Isn’t there space for me?” – from Silhouette by Ladan Osman
There are many reasons I stopped blogging. For one, I began to doubt that what I wanted to say had any significance. There are so many voices, so many stories. Why should mine matter? And then, my life was changing. When I started Gullahmama I was still actively parenting teenagers. I still identified myself as “mother” first, than artist and performer. And also — parenting was kicking my butt. My offspring were making choices that I didn’t understand. They were having and creating experiences that worried me, but that I could do little about. I began to doubt my skills in the parenting arena. Who was I to share my experience, or the experiences of my children with others? Unlike my persona on Gullah Gullah Island, much of what I was facing could not be fixed with a song and a smile in 22 minutes time. So I stopped. I shut this part of my life down. I continued to perform, to tell stories, to paint. But I didn’t blog. And in that time (almost 2 years now) things happened: I earned a MA degree and have begun painting portraits. My marriage has blossomed and grown in wondrous ways, and my children — my amazing, brilliant and beautiful children — have also blossomed into adults that I stand in awe of. And yes, I have a smidgen of self-congratulatory pride, that they’ve turned out so well. (So, it is true what my second mother, Gloria Jean, always said to me: “This too, shall pass.”),
A few months ago, while cleaning out storage sheds and such, I came across a box full of stories and essays I had written. I sat down and read them all. And something in me re-awakened. The first thing I ever wanted to be (besides a candy striper, like Cherry Ames or Trixie Belden — who was also a girl detective) was a writer. There was magic in the written word and I lost myself in the pages of a good book. I learned about the world from the well-written words of others. I browsed library stacks looking for experiences, discovering C. S. Lewis, Madeleine L’Engle, Alice Walker, Maya Angelou, Chaim Potok, James Baldwin and myriad others. I love the written word. So I’m back. I may share some of those old essays and stories here, for folk who have the time for a long read. I may just write what comes to mind. I don’t know for certain. But I’m operating on the belief that there is space for me out here. And I’m stepping into it.