I recently enrolled in an online writing course through coursera.org. Our first assignment, and our introduction to the 60,000+ students taking the class around the globe, was a 300-word essay themed, “I am a writer.”
I am a storyteller. And sometimes I write these stories down. When the story is too fluid for words, I put it in my body and call it a dance journey. Language does fascinate me though, and as a new mommy at home with my baby, writing about mothering and my creative work allows me to still meaningfully interact with the world outside. Every week I write a new piece on my blog for the series, Wednesday’s Bloom: Textual Portraits of a New Mommy. This ritual of documenting my journey is also my way of creating spaces of visibility for the varied and nuanced work of mothers everywhere. By being vulnerable in my own words, I inspire others to take courageous steps towards identifying and honoring their own processes.
The mothering themes are also heavily explored in my fiction, which often takes the form of short story. This year I am beginning to explore playwrighting as a new method of telling stories. In addition to my fiction projects, I write extensively about the dance facilitation work I do with communities around the globe. I am working on a memoir about the birth of my son. I hope to have a rough-rough draft completed by the end of the year.
I think I realized I loved to tell stories when I did a semester in Ghana during college. I wrote emails home to an eagerly awaiting audience of family, peers, church members, and mentors. Everyone wanted to know what life was like somewhere else. And I felt a special power in being their ambassador, giving them access to the inner knowings of places that were distant, abstract, and maybe even a little unreal. I feel a certain joy when I am illuminating the unseen spaces of humanity. That is what moves all my words onto the page. So in this way, I am a writer too.
#mommyschool is where I share excerpts from the things I am studying as I journey deeper into my mothering. Dance, doula work, writing, histories of the African diaspora, maternity studies, literacy development, sign language and topics of interest galore. Occasionally I will post works in progress, completed assignments from online courses, reflections on the readings, book reviews, and other related materials. I am excited to be in this space of everlearning! For more explorations on my art, writing, and dialogues as a new mommy, visit the Motherhood collection.