Last night my friend invited me to a quaint spot in the heart of my beloved city Dallas in an area known as Deep Ellum. For the locals here, Deep Ellum is known for its eclectic style,artsy venues, and vibrant street art. Deep Ellum is the place where you can go and express yourself showcasing your talents. If you’re a musician, poet, writer, or artist this is where you want to be in Dallas. The goal or mission I believe for this area is to simply inspire someone. Inspire them to express themselves using their creative talents. So it is fitting for the spot that we visited to be called The Prophet Bar and by definition, the word prophet means a person regarded as an inspired teacher and to me that was the Prophet Bar is.
Once I entered the energy the vibe radiated everywhere in the music and the people. The ambiance reminded me of the lounge in my favorite movie Love Jones. One has to be living under a rock if you haven’t seen Love Jones. Since it was open mic night I figured I would sign up. Now it took me 2 drinks and several minutes to decide if I was going to put my name on the list. After several moments I did it. I was nervous, but decided I was going to say my poem. Well as time passed and the music continued to play I would not be able to participate in the open mic. My time was up, I had waited to long to make up my mind if I was going to say my poem or not. The live band that was scheduled to perform that night was setting up. I had missed my opportunity by being afraid and I was scared to have my voice be heard. I mean for me it is easy to write my feelings, but to articulate them make those words come to life off paper and vocalize them I had never done before. I decided at that moment I would never be afraid again nor would I miss an opportunity to be heard.
Growing up my grandmother would tell me ” children are to be seen and not heard” . Meaning that I needed to be quiet when out in public or among other adults. I discovered that while growing up my voice is heavy and at times I can sound like Bea Arthur or Ertha Kitt. I mean as a female who wants to be talking like I’m two octaves away from sounding like Barry White or Telly Savalas. So often times I really didn’t talk, but I had no problem reciting essays or speaking in front of the class. I knew how to reach the audience by making eye contact, being humorous, and my body language displayed this. I was fluid not stiff in my movements as I spoke in the front of the class. I was never really nervous. Public speaking to me was easy and I felt comfortable on a stage in front of an audience. However,over the years, though I lost my ability to speak. Meaning that I felt my voice was not being heard. I would say things and felt no one was listening so I kept everything inside. When I discovered I had a tumor on my pituitary gland I spoke of this to no one. I mean here I am at the age of 21 and the doctor tells me I have a small tumor in my brain and I don’t tell anyone. I knew something wasn’t right with different symptoms that I encountered migraines and discharge from my breasts and I wasn’t pregnant and I kept all of this inside me. When my marriage was deteriorating away like an old leather handbag I told no one. My thought process is who is going to listen to me and actually care. Simply feeling voiceless I didn’t say anything. It wasn’t until at the age of 40 that I decided to use my voice. So that is when I decided to write my blog which turned into my book.
Sitting at The Prophet Bar listening to the artists and soaking up the creative energy that surrounded me, I realized my voice needed to be heard. It was time for voice to speak and not just on paper. Use my heavy vocals and speak to my audience no longer do I remain silent. No longer will I miss my opportunity to share my talent which has been given to me. Now is the time to for me to express myself for my voice is to shine bright. Now is the time for I am a writer and a poet who speaks and is no longer scared. I have words with meaning and have a voice so I will use it.
So today I ask you, how are you being heard in this world full of noise? How are you expressing your talents? Where is your Deep Ellum ? Where is your Prophet Bar?
Have terrific Thursday and use your voice!