As part of a writing challenge, I wrote a scene inspired by Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18, Adagio Sostenuto. The music is wonderful, and you can listen to it by clicking here.
While I listened, I had these thoughts:
A great understanding
She realizes her true worth
A pleasant place has been found
Seeing God in natural things around her
As I began to write, the “her” in my thoughts became the girl in an image I discovered on a Black history website. No names were included with the image, so I named the girl “Netta.” The Rachmaninoff music moved me to write a poem-like paragraph within the scene that highlights a time of joy for her as she makes her way to a favorite and secret hideaway:
Netta was free.
No pig priming. No cotton picking. No running with the dogs to stomp the land.
No itching legs and bleeding palms.
She could sing, she could run, she could laugh,
See the sky, and look beyond what it was to what it could be.
It led her down deep to the place of peace.
Though she wept, it was a cleansing joy,
a soul-lifting moment of free.
The image of the young girl (Arkansas, 1935) and the story it tells bring up a great sense of sadness in me. I cannot help but try to imagine a time of happiness for her.
School Picture Day is the annual Fall occurrence of best wear and toothy smiles in schools across the country. My school’s Picture Day happens next week, and the event is stirring up fond memories of my mother preparing her children for that day.
Other than Easter Sunday, the Lowe Kids never looked better during our elementary school grades than we did on Picture Day. Mom would make sure we were wearing our neatest and nicest. And on the evening before the day, she would “press” the girls’ hair with the hot comb and use foam curlers to set the curls overnight. When we left for school, Mom had her little girls ready to stand before the camera, with a send-off of “Don’t let that cameraman touch your hair!”
Just wanted to say hi and say I’ve missed reading your blog. Or rather to ask if you have not been writing it. I rarely comment, but I love your writing and subject matters. I especially loved the post about your hero, your brother. It moved me (I keep it to re-read occasionally). I had an awful childhood, lousy youth, life-threatening automobile accident at 21 that changed my life, tried to commit suicide, and then was saved. Had a wonderful 36 years with my wonderful husband and suddenly lost him to multiple myeloma and horrible doctor care. Then I crashed and 16 years later I’m trying not to waste what little time I have left. Your blog helps me. Anyway, hope you are doing well and enjoying life.