My job sponsored a writing workshop for high school students recently and they were given an assignment to complete. I was a little bored so I decided to join them. *Ai, yi, yi* This came out…a whole paragraph (lol) I swear it was like a page and a half written. I found the notepad tonight and decided to share it…bc……idk. I need to? I feel compelled to share that I am going through a healing process of some sort right now. A lot of it involves writing and I think it started with this piece at this workshop….anyway I would like to know what you’ll think?
“keep in mind I’m an artist…so I’m sensitive about my shit” – e.badu
… I can’t believe I’m doing this. I actually chose the question from the short list of possibilities. I thought it seemed compelling and not cliché. Now I was sitting in this auditorium full of kids with high school tuition bills that amount to more than my collective college loans – doing this…this thing that has in a single moment started to turn my life inside out.
The question was compelling, albeit simple.
“When was the last time you lost something?”
Come on man.
I could go in two directions here. Tarana –lite….(”are you kidding me I’d lose my head if it weren’t attached! I lost my fourth pair of hoop earrings just yesterday…”)
or Tarana – real…
I lose something everyday. I start my mornings off by lying in my bed and watching my ten-year-old daughter get ready for the day. I have a bird’s eye view of the bathroom from my bedroom, so I watch through the crack in the door as she washes her face and under her arms (or not) and then brushes her teeth wildly. After what seems like forever she emerges from the bathroom, but not before taking a long, deep look in the mirror at her beautiful face. I watch her make scowly faces, smiley faces, silly faces and then she might mock sing in her air microphone or give herself what seems like, from my vantage point, a pep talk. It’s at this point I usually bark some order at her from my posturpedic throne and she quickly moves on to her next morning task. What she doesn’t know is that this is my favorite part of the morning. It inspires me daily because for that brief time I am able to remember a time when I was that carefree and cavalier with mirrors and other objects of reflection. It was a time when I loved myself – for real, because I didn’t know that I shouldn’t. I was into me because ‘me’ was ‘aight.
Watching my baby ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ and giggle at her image inspires me to want to get my aged body out of the bed and take a stab at finding that sparkle that I see in her eyes. But the moment I fool myself enough to take a step in that direction – the moment I get myself in front of that mirror, I lose it. It’s just me. The me that I loved so sasha fiercely is gone and the me that is left is lost. I don’t love this person. This me is touched and tainted. This me is a before picture that happens to be after – incapable of looking directly in a mirror, no less mustering up a giggle. For me the mirror is for business: eyes – clean. nose – clean. mascara and eyeliner – fine. But smiles, laughter, air songs – impossible.