Yesterday my heart felt the pain of emptiness and my soul searched for a way to make sense of the assortment of unanswered questions. For as long as I can remember, I have looked not to social media or Google for answers but to books. Books and words sewn together have long formed a tapestry of sustenance for my soul that held me in the midnight hours and the exploits of foreign worlds and unfamiliar faces became friends through the unraveling of their stories amidst the pages that far too often removed the cache of memories and sometimes torment of my own life.
The words so eloquently presented by the illustrious icon Toni Morrison allowed me to breathe again and to find solace in moments of despair. Her words made it all make sense. Brutal and gritty, yet simultaneously delicate and airy such that every reader whose fingers touches her pages was compelled to give up the things that weighed us down as she called us to action to watch and to feel and to be mindful of ourselves and the world around us. Unapologetic, black and righteous, she defined WRITER as a noble profession and more important as a calling. I have long been clear that our days are not promised and our time in this land shall one day expire, which is why I am uncertain of how the transcendence of icons and angels who walk among us still has the audacity to shock my heart. For me, present-day Queens like Shonda Rhimes, Lena Waithe, Tomi Adeyemi, Tayari Jones, Glory Edim and Michelle Obama, are valuable shields that protect us from the fray of being next in line for greater accountability with our pens. If Toni Morrison, the embodiment of conscious storytellings has transcended, heavy is the crown for those next in line to ensure that our stories, our truths and accurate depictions of who we are and why we exist. Could that be me? Taking ownership of the responsibility to serve as a scribe lends itself to that revelation. And although I write with uncertainty, the presence of reassurance is in the precious instructions and blueprints left behind in her books and her film and her spirit.
This morning, I rise with the expectation of greater from myself and all who hold the power to document the greatest testaments of our time on earth. We must, we shall, we will write like tomorrow is not promised. I challenge you to not only indulge in the work of Queen Toni Morrison but to also place your pen atop the paper and allow your emotions to bleed profusely. This is the purest form of living. This is the price we pay for existence. Write in paradise Queen Toni Morrison. It is because of your courageousness that I shall never under any circumstance put my pen down or apologize for telling and speaking the truth, even if it hurts. Amen.