When I worked at Touchstone Theatre, Ysaye M. Barnwell of Sweet Honey in the Rock came to work on a community project, gathering songs and stories from the African American community in the area. She is an inspiration musically, communally, and personally.
I was just doing some research on creative additions to the Brit Milah (ritual circumcision) and came across a Kahlil Gibran poem that she put to music. It is beautiful, but more something I’d give myself rather than give my son.
I was struck more than anything on the cycles of life. How this lifecycle event (my child’s bris) put my memory back to my work at Touchstone and with Ysaye. I begin my official work writing a play tomorrow, January 1, to fulfill my obligations for the grant I received. I want to get The Reading Theater Project up and moving again, even if in baby steps. The religious school I run needs a lot of creative and leadership support right now. And I’m going to have a baby any day now.
I could use a little creative inspiration right now. I need to find my creative voice anew, as a mother, as a stay-at-home whatever I am, as an independent artist, as a leader.
If the inspiration comes from the memory of working with a brilliant African-American woman and her music, all the better I say. We are all connected, all the same, despite our differences.