In pursuit of happyness / Sometimes I make things…part deux

It’s been four years since the last time I posted some of my visual art work on the blog. It’s been nearly that long since I created what I consider really good art. Art from the soul.

In February, I was laid off. This is the third time in four years that I’ve experienced un(der) employment. It’s been hard on me. It’s been hard on my soul.

A couple weeks ago, I decided to surrender my circumstances and let go. I never knew it could be so easy. Though, considering it took me two months to shake off the bonds of my depression, it wasn’t that easy.

I reached out with my spirit and I made a decision to be happy. I didn’t want to cry anymore. I no longer wanted to feel the crushing weight of despair on me. I was tired of the nagging whispers in my head that told me I was worthless and I should take my own life for not being able to take care of myself. I was in a bad way.

But no more.

I put my heart and soul in the Hands of the Heavens. I felt the spirits of my Ancestors move within me and I found my strength.

I’m still underemployed, but I’ve found a daily routine that includes healthy forms of self-care. I exercise. I breathe. I make time for prayer and spiritual work. All the parts of myself that I neglected to pursuit a capitalist paradise, I tended to. I started making art again. I cooked warming, nutritious food. I cleaned my living space and I could feel it’s sigh of relief. My home stopped being a prison and returned to being my sanctuary. For the first time in a long time, I feel my heart leaping with joy and my body tingles with energy. I dance and I sing on the daily. I still want to cry sometimes, but they’re happy tears. It seems more like a miracle than reality. I feel like I found a missing part of me. I’m grateful for it and pray I can maintain this inner balance when my path opens and I’m fully employed again.

The most popular post on my blog that never fails to get hits year after year is my post on being broken, but not shattered. I continue to struggle with self-love, self-care and battling my inner demons. But I also continue to be hopeful and inspired. I’m still here.

So, I wanted to share what I’ve been working on and hope that I can pass on some of the joy, beauty and grace that I’m enjoying now.

Peace be with you, dear readers.

Cosmos:World Tree.jpg

Cosmos / World Tree



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For Mama (Remember)

mommy corrected

Torri L. Shivers-Forbes

Remember when you rocked me
Singing soft and sweet
Love in your voice brought tears to my eyes

Remember when you prayed with us before bed
Winding music boxes–gifts from my grandmothers–
Dark became less fearful as you tucked me in

Remember when you listened to my stories
Encouraging me to write them down
I know you thought I was strange, but you never let on

Remember when we broke each others’ hearts
Drowning, both of us, in our own pain
Rough waters made it hard to see….
And so we lost each other for a time

You challenged me
I stood defiant
Engaged in risky business
Trying to kill the ‘you’ in ‘me’

You saw my bleeding wrist
And you never asked me why
I think it’s ’cause you knew
We were both the same

Ran from my future that was your present
Called it survival
But you never turned your back on me
Not once

Remember when you showed me faith
Crusading against each others’ Gods
Never noticing that my devotion was inherited

Remember when you called me for help with this thing or that
Realizing that you needed me I finally understood
You lent me your strength, but forgot to keep some for yourself

Remember when I took care of you while you were still trying to care for me
Exchanging the bitter for the sweet
Remember! Do you remember?
When you helped me to forgive

I remember
Every pain and every joy
Every tear and every laugh

I remember
That the worst and the best of me all came from you
I remember
You told me you were proud
Please remember
I’ll always love you

*My mother and I had a complex relationship. I sometimes wish that things could have been different between us, though I don’t know how that could have been. We didn’t communicate well and we often had trouble hearing and seeing each other. As I mention above, I really believe that was because we were so much alike. Sometimes, I think mom was afraid because of what she did see and neither of us were well equipped to confront it.

Despite how things improved with us by the end, it is difficult to think of the good times without juxtaposing them with the bad. We loved each other, but it was not without struggle. I think it had to be for us to reach a place of healing and understanding. In the end, we finally saw each other.

Her life and death give me strength. Her continued love carries me through. What is remembered, lives.


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