Welcome to my memory box:
I have this vague memory of being a small child, being sick one night, and throwing up in my bed. I recall going to my parents bedroom– to my father’s bedside– standing very meekly, in the dark, saying “Daddy, I made a mistake.” I remember him jumping up and coming to my rescue so quickly. Such a loving urgency in response to my innocent and quiet ask for help.
And there’s that cinnamon-colored dress I bought from Sears all those years ago, when I was but a teenager. Strong in voice, soft in volume– I, much like that shimmering dress, would eventually become unraveled. As much as I’d like to, there’s no real guarantee I’ll ever get back into that thing…. ’tis life.
Remember that 2005 Vivian Green album. 14 tracks. The CD was so scratched I ended up having to buy another. “Vivian” came into my life when I was navigating vulnerability, discovering my independence and learning to set boundaries in my relationships. I emerged from the chrysalis of being a malleable, hopeless romantic who was way too accommodating.
Lest we forget the life and times of being a black woman trying to make an impact in the world and the household. Often losing myself in order to prove myself. Oh, the many times I’ve lost myself in my role as a woke woman, a wife, a mom, a black woman academic, a black woman in social settings, in white spaces, in white theatre, in social media, in the classroom, in the church, in my own insecurities, in food I worked my ass off to prepare that got rejected by people at the table… But I proved myself… I proved something…
I remember negotiating with God. “What I can control, I will. And what I cannot, I’ll leave to You. Please continue to give me the strength to walk away from things that no longer serve me… and wisdom to stick with the things that offer me healthy challenges and opportunities. Thank you, God.” Then there was that huge reveal: I’m not in control at all. Everything in my life is happening by way of a miracle.
“It’s good to stop and reflect,” I say as I resume the natural and return to checking items off of today’s list of tasks. ❤
Clinnesha is a writer, wife, mom, meta-artist, and social entrepreneur who feels most accountable to southern, black citizen-artists, elders, children, and families. Her work is at the intersection of arts, culture, innovation, and community.