I recently rewatched the documentary The Pieces I Am by an empress of the written word the remarkable Toni Morrison. As the screen faded to black, I sat in solitude left to wonder what are the pieces of me? This year has seasoned the atmosphere for such a reckoning.
It’s given us time to analyze what makes us; what has broken us; what has healed us.
What has built us.
Let us start from birth.
I am my parents
And I am not.
I am my ancestors.
And I am not.
I guess I am simply me.
But I am not.
I always believed we have 3 origin stories. One given to us by our parents, one of unfurled whispers of who we were before and one we are given the choice to actively write. Some of us only acknowledge one, some of us only know of one, some of us know of none, and there are those who choose to funnel the power of all three.
I guess the last one could possibly be me. I was born premature, taught to smile as soon as my face hit the air — wouldn’t you be a bit upset if you were forced to wake early into this madness? I was launched into a world that would sneer and campaign against my existence. It might be the reason I battle against my internal current of cynicism and anger. While I’m here I should at least do some good or be of service in some kind; move through the world with the audacity of my momma. What better activist than a Black woman giving birth an idea or even a human being? What better protest against a world which deems you not enough by disregarding this messaging, remaining steadfast, and dropping the anchor “I’m not going anywhere you just gotta deal and I’m gonna make more of me.” ? Unflinching. Uncompromising. Unapologetic.
Take up all the space.
I was born early to get a head start on something.
Whatever I do, I made a vow to myself to leave a few pieces behind scattered within the hearts and minds…