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Welcome to This Wondrous Life. I document my journey and process with simple living, creativity, and community. Hope you have a nice stay!

Thoughts for Morrison

I grieve. This loss, I feel it. In my bones and deep in my soul. I found out while I was on the metro on Wednesday. I glanced over someone’s shoulder and saw the article.

 Toni Morrison. 1931-2019.

 I felt as if I’d gotten the wind knocked out of me. The train stopped and I fought the tears that welled up in my eyes. I got off and walked in a daze. I’m late to this news. Morrison passed on Monday, but I’m not on social media, so I was not inundated with the posts or reminders.

In a way, I’m glad. I’m glad I found out when I did. I’m glad I have not been bombarded with the posts and feels of others. Finding out late, it has given me room to mourn her the way I need to.

Death is hard, whether you know the individual, intimately or from a far. But this has been hitting me deeply. You see, Toni Morrison changed my life.

The first book I read of hers was Song of Solomon in AP English. I remember not being a fan, because the story wasn’t an easy one to read and at that point in my life, my relationship with literature was just beginning, so I couldn’t and didn’t appreciate what was birthed from that story. I struggled through it and I’d decided I would not read Morrison again.

That all changed the first semester of my sophomore year of college. It was in English 283 with Professor Coleman that I read the Morrison novel that marked me: The Bluest Eye. I remember being completely drawn into the story of Pecola. I was enamored with Morrison’s writing style. The three short sentences and powerful use of language. I remember relating deeply to the intra-racial conflict seen in Geraldine. I remember it resonating deeply within me that I wrote my final paper on it. The title: The Bluest Eye: The Role of Societal Constructs and Subjectivity in Beauty.

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Since then, Morrison has influenced how I write and what I write. If you’ve ever read any of her works, you know she didn’t shy away from the difficult issues in our world. She took many societal constructs head on. Her works were always authentic and unnerving. Her use of language was always powerful and direct. She took you into the black experience and challenged you to witness the struggles and tensions and enter into the difficult conversations.

In her own life, she blazed trails. She left her mark and I feel it. I feel the loss. I longed to meet her. To sit a room and listen to her lecture. Now that will never happen, and I feel it. I feel the loss of that dream.

 But, in all of it, I’m thankful. I’m thankful for her legacy. I’m thankful for her impact. I’m thankful for what I was able to glean from her through reading and analyzing her work.  In her passing, I feel more than ever the mandate to write. To write the stories I want to read----the stories I want to see told.

Since then, Morrison has influenced how I write and what I write. If you’ve ever read any of her works, you know she didn’t shy away from the difficult issues in our world. She took many societal constructs head on. Her works were always authentic and unnerving. Her use of language was always powerful and direct. She took you into the black experience and challenged you to witness the struggles and tensions and enter the difficult conversations.

In her own life, she blazed trails. She left her mark and I feel it. I feel the loss. I longed to meet her. To sit a room and listen to her lecture. Now that will never happen, and I feel it. I feel the loss of that dream.

 But, in all of it, I’m thankful. I’m thankful for her legacy. I’m thankful for her impact. I’m thankful for what I was able to glean from her through reading and analyzing her work.  In her passing, I feel more than ever the mandate to write. To write the stories I want to read----the stories I want to see told.

So, here are my words to Morrison:

To the woman who disrupted the literary world, thank you. Thank you for giving me permission to write the stories I want to tell. Thank you for giving me permission to create, to not be afraid to share my black experience. Thank you for not shying away from the uncomfortable. Thank you for making room for me, a black female writer. I will forever be grateful to you, your works, and your legacy. You have left an indelible mark on my life. You will never be forgotten.

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