Last night I had a wave of homesickness for my family. I have many families. You are my family. But I have a family of brothers and sisters in Christ that I meet with once a year. We are the Ancient Christianity and African Americans Conference. Every summer we sup and it's good, good, good.
I remember the first year I went I said, "This is a wonderful network." Nun Katherine gave me a gentle and loving rebuke, "We're a family." She told me. By the end of that weekend, only four months into my journey into the Orthodox Church, I was grafted into that family as surely as I am into the Burney's here in Ann Arbor.
I made Ken sit with me as I went through the photographs of last year's conference. I pointed out all my lovies. I felt that bittersweet pang of joy and sorrow and missing them. I'd been thinking of them most of the day.
See, I've got this story. I wrote it years ago. It was my second novel. It's too short although it's finished, and it's beautiful. It's like an unborn fetus one of my other lovies in a different family said. But I love it, even though I know you aren't supposed to fall in love with your writing. Sometimes a story seizes your heart, and you pray for the day you will have the skill to tell it. This story means so much to me that I'd dare say it is a dream of mine, a big dream to tell it one day, and tell it well.
I knew when I finished the first draft of the story Christ was missing from it. He was in the subtext, but He wanted to be, as we say in the 'hood, "all up in it." I told Jesus to have His way today. I've got a new synopsis. It's all grown up now. The last few years, really my whole life, seems to have prepared me to tell this story. That's why I tell you this with a little fear and trembling. Will you pray with me about this? I think the fetus has grown and the birth is imminent now. Maybe I'm wrong. I'm just dreaming aloud with you.
Recently I read Sharon Ewell Foster's AMAZING AWESOME SURELY IT'LL BE A CLASSIC book, Abraham's Well. Please read it. It's about a Cherokee and African American young girl (raga's own heritage y'all) and her family and community forced to walked the Trail of Tears. This book is simply told, brutally honest, and beautifully written. Her finest, and that's saying a lot. It's a book I want my kids, and their kids to read. This is the kind of book I'm dreaming to write.
Now, for the movie. I'm not saying I want the novel I want to rewrite to be a movie. I don't. Some things are all about the words. But this movie has much of the heart of what I need to share in the book. My very own family created this film. A beloved godfather, Father Paisius Altshul worked so hard on this. Give it a look. It's amazing. I'd give you a live link but it didn't work and that just sucked. I'm hoping that this url will get you there just the same:
Consider this a little Black History Month love. Tell me what you thought of it.