If one day you desire to find me, don’t look for me here. Search for me in the quiet space, that place where only you and I can dwell. There will be no more hunger for my body but instead a hunger for my soul. There will be no more pretense, only naked and raw authenticity, our minds and secrets disrobed forever. In that moment I would become you and you would become me, and there would be no more hiding from each other, because we cannot hide from ourselves.
Flesh to mind, mind to flesh. Syncopating, melding into one mind, yet still shapeshifting between the objective and subjective, the singular and the plural; the me, the you, the us. Shapeshifting for survival.
No, don’t look for me here. Search for me in the quiet places, on the planet of my mind where only you and I can breathe and dwell; shapeshifting to exist.
One of my advisors a year ago encouraged me to write a memoir based on a writing prompt during one of our residency workshops. He was so enthralled by what I had written within the ten minutes given, he promptly shared his excitement with my previous advisor, who accosted me at our next workshop.
I have never thought about writing a memoir. Who the hell am I? I never imagined I had anything interesting to share. The writing prompt was meant to draw out a past memory, nothing more. But when he insisted that I consider the memoir after what I wrote, I began to toy with the idea.
Some of you have read the very short opening of my piece. The overall piece is now nearly 100 pages. For both those who have read the opening and those who have not, I’d be interested to know if you read what I’ve shared below (what I wrote during the workshop), would you be curious and want to read more?
Be honest. I have thick skin.
I was born beneath Cuba, across the waters of the West Indies on an island that lives and breathes Bob Marley. It was 1967. While papa, my grandfather, was mending the house he built with his bare hands, civil rights marches were happening in “foreign” the place the locals called America. As King, Jr. lay dead, murdered by the mindset of the majority, I learned to walk on hot stones. The light of a man went out. I was oblivious to this then. I lived in a place where electricity and running water and indoor plumbing didn’t reach us. The outhouse was dark at night. But my uncle would take me there sometimes. At other times the chimmy, as my grandmother called it, would be pulled out from under the bed, squatted over, then slid back filled with yellow waste that reminded us of our simple life.
I was small and grass blade thin but I remember the mangoes and jackfruit and star apples and ackee and ginepes and the flowers I used to make jewelry, little necklaces and bracelets, bright and red and beautiful. I want to remember the name of that flower, but time sends memories away to places we can’t find.
Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.
The waters are not blue. They are the mirror for the royal skies that look down at an elegant white-blue swan reflecting off the mercurial lakes of a thousand lazy yesterdays. The swan glides across the time engorged waters, filled with stories of ancestral swans, regal, majestic. White feathers tinted to match the coming dusk and darkening waters. It rises above its own elegance. We are spellbound by the quiet and peace it exudes.
i want you to know how sorry i am that i could not save you. maybe it was never my job. i don’t know. all i know is that i wanted to see you flourish in a world filled with people fighting their way toward extinction. i wanted to see you transform this place into the paradise you live inside your dreams.
i want you to know that the god inside you is immortal and waiting for you to see her. you won’t need a mirror when you decide to look her in the eyes. you will be seeing inside self.
i want to tell you something more.
we are one, and all our dreams meld into each other, folding over time and space until they are inseparable. our dreams un-begin and un-end atop and inside a circle. in this place, we are one. always.