Ever since I was a little girl I had the innate feeling that there were angels watching over me. My grandma Alice passed away four years before I was born and I always felt a strong connection to her even though I had never met her in person. I have been told that she was a quiet woman but stern. A woman who took care of her family first and made sure they took care of each other. I was named after her and though I am not very quiet these days, I am very quiet by nature and stern. I'd like to think that I have some of the amazing traits of my late grandmother as well as many others who came before me. I've never been the type of person to focus too much on the past but when I became a mom I realized that I needed to know some of my history so I could understand better where I came from and so that my children could do the same. Being an artist has also formed a very strong connection to those who came before me because utilizing my gift and fulfilling my purpose is a way of honoring their memories.
I've already written a little about those that came before me in a previous blog. This is a letter to them...My ancestors.
I honestly don't even know where to begin because I have so much to say. I don't know you because I never met you, but I do know you and I have met you. I've met you in my dreams, in my daily conversations with God and the universe. I've met you in the eyes of my father and the womb of my mother. My voice, my tears, my brushstrokes, my visions, my spirit, they are all a beautiful compilation of you. When I am near water I can hear your voices whispering in the tide and shouting through the waves. In the sunlight on my skin I feel the warmth of your love and the burning desire of your souls. Sometimes I don't feel human because you are so near to me that I am floating on a cloud watching the world with you. But that is what makes this life such a beautiful experience. I am human and I am here; I exist during a time that you all have created, I exist because of you.
If I haven't learned anything else in this lifetime, I have learned this... I have a responsibility to serve purpose without expectations. There are gifts that have been given to me that are special. Gifts that perhaps were yours and you never had the opportunity to utilize them because of your circumstances so you asked for them to be passed down. Perhaps I am your Sankofa, your hope, your light. Perhaps I am supposed to fulfill a promise that you all once made to yourselves, to your families, to God. I don't take any of this lightly; it is in fact the heaviest responsibility I've ever carried in any of my lifetimes. The difference in this lifetime is that I have you all and the amazing people that I believe you and God conspired to place in my life right here with me helping me carry it through.
I feel you communicating and pushing me consistently. There are moments when I do and say things without explanation. Knowledge and wisdom that I posses that I can't comprehend. There is a miracle in the ability to hear that which the world around me has tried so hard to silence. I hear you, I feel you, I see you and I honor you. I pray that I make you proud and that I have in some way began the journey to healing that our bloodline deserves. Your work, your struggle, your darkness and pain was not in vein.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for everything that you've done in order to create a more promising future for everyone that came after you. I am so proud to come from people of strength, courage and humility. I don't know all of your stories, I don't know what you had to endure in order to survive in your lifetime. I do know that I am better person because of you. I ask that you continue to guide and strengthen me in the moments, hours, days and years ahead so that I can one day be the beacon of light you all have been for me.
your Sankofa, Alicia