African Diasporans creating, decorating, and artistically altering by hand
I AWOKE EARLY THIS MORNING AND I THOUGHT ABOUT HOW I FELT AND THE VERY FIRST WORD THAT CAME TO MY MIND WAS THE WORD JOYFUL: cheerful, happy, jubilant, full of joy, lighthearted, in good spirits, bubbly, exuberant, ebullient, cheery, mirthful, radiant! And it appeared to be a positive place to be seven o'clock in the morning sitting on my couch.
I realized that I was indeed blessed, bountifully blessed in so many ways that it was nearly impossible to surmise. I had my Mother next to me and all her wisdom at age 86 that alone spoke volumes because I have watched so many leave to never return. I know I buried an entire generation that, actually, I was never able to mourn for. The time went by too swift or shall I say, seemingly swift because I completely lost track of time in a deadly fog. It appeared that for every three month for a straight ten years I was bidding fair-well to love ones that, were an intricate part of my daily life. They were family grandparents, brothers, cousins, aunts and uncles that, I would never see their eyes, their smiles, their spirits again. Indeed, it was a hard pill to swallow. I overstood through it all that, I lived and I had to live for them to the best of my ability.
In my Art there is pain, love, joy, hope and many other emotions since, I had to have some other place to put the hurt and pain along with the other feelings, in a more positive form of creation in order that I not completely self-destruct.
I originally started making my dolls after a trip to Africa, particularly to the the Slave Castle Elmina where, I heard the stories of the suffering our Ancestors endured, still a heavy topic that most people refuse to speak of. Wow! a lost greater than my own personal lost yet, it was such a part of my entire existence. It was an inconceivable lost that had me tied and bound thinking of those Ancestors that, I could not break from I was saddened and depressed upon my return to the states. When the voice said,"make dolls"! yes the voice I could hear so clear,in my head said, "make dolls so you can tell the people about us!" And from then on I have been making my dolls and the joy I receive is priceless. The joy of seeing men, women and children run to my dolls with excitement, their faces lit up with smiles while simultaneously there mouths are sprewing out question after question: Who, What, When, Where and I answer each and everyone. They give me so much joy that I just cannot contain it and I don't have to, do I?
Joyful is what I am today believing that everything happens for a reason and that, what you give in life is really what you get back, no bones about it. I decided that, no matter what, I would only give the truest and realest part of myself in all that I do. Sincerity, I declared, would be my calling card making no mistake to let loving and caring guide my every actions even, in the mist of negativity. I had no alternative but to let my light shine to illuminate any situation. This thought was a constant reminder, due to the lost in my life, I knew that all the hurt I felt at such an early age could only have been a lesson that, I was forced to learn: NOTHING IS PROMISED TO US AND WHEN WE COME HERE WE COME TO DIE, NOT TO STAY FOREVER!!! A harsh reality but a seriously real one so, with that in mind I decided to live a life filled with the people I love and that, I would enjoy them to the fullest! My conviction was to always give to others what I know I honestly deserve. Give what I want to get in all matters and to not be afraid to love.
I know we might feel gloomy on rainy days but, we must remember that the Sun is always shining! Together we can make it if we put forth the necessary ingredients and passion needed to succeed. I am sure many might have experienced the same things I have and to you, I say keep your head up and stay focused because you can manifest your dreams and hopes with magnificent results if you just stay JOYFUL !
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