This post was inspired by a prompt from The Book of Me Written By You ongoing Challenge organized by Julie Goucher at the blog, Angler’s Rest.
My life is divided into Sections and chapters. Places and age. Births and deaths. Children and events. Sickness and travel. There is a prequel. There will be an afterward.
Chapters blend and blur. What used to stand out, bleeds into other chapters, reappears later as a footnote. Some things weave throughout the chapters – church, family, children, moving.
I am using this post to organize posts I’ve written about my life events. Click on the links and you will go to the post about the place or person mentioned.
The book begins in Springfield, Mass. I was born. My sister was born. We moved to Detroit.
In Detroit, we lived on Atkinson. I started school. We moved from Atkinson to Chicago Blvd. I changed schools from Brady to Roosevelt. My mother became a teacher. My great grandmother Jennie died. My parents divorced. We moved from Chicago Blvd. to Calvert. Started Durfee. Divide this section into 3 chapters based on Streets.
Atkinson. Started school. Lived down the street from both my father’s church on 12th and my Cleage grandparents. Saturdays at my Graham grandparents. Teaching Pearl to read. Pneumonia. Dogs.
Chicago Blvd. Living in the church house. That covers a lot right there. Piano lessons. rollar skating. Sore throats. Chicken pox. Tonsils removed. Great grandmother Turner dies. Cousins Jan and Marilyn born. Parents divorce.
Calvert. Toni’s school of dance arts. Neighborhood kids and games. Best friend. Youth fellowship. piano lessons. Being a part of and then being outside of. Measles. Grandfather dies. Aunt Daisy dies.
Oregon. On the outside, making plans. 1 year at McMichael Jr. High. My mother married Henry. Northwestern High School. Swim team. Graduated and went to Wayne State. Aunt Abbie dies. Met Jim. That has to start a new chapter.
Went to Wayne State. Met Jim. Printmaking. Drawing. Groups. Publications. Demonstrations. Love. Broken heart. Loneliness. Detroit riot. Moving from Oregon to Fairfield. Graduated from college. Cross country tour. Return home. Maybe Fairfield should be combined with “Went to Wayne.” I lived there so short a time. Yes, combine. San Francisco, New York, return to Detroit.
Moving out. Black Conscience Library. House on N. Martindale. Sewing Factory. Jim. Getting pregnant. Moving. Jilo’s birth. Moving again and again and again. Moving to Brewster projects. Teaching at Merrill Palmer. Getting pregnant again. Moving to Atlanta.
Atlanta. Working at The Institute of the Black World. Martin Luther King preschool. Ife born. Jim working at the Atlanta Voice. Staying home with the 2 children. Nanny and Poppy die.
The Emergency Land Fund. Jim’s job. Moving to SC. Isolation! Getting pregnant. Moving to Simpson County, MS. Birth of Ayanna. Goats and chickens. Moving to St. John’s Road. Various jobs Jim had during that time. Birth of Tulani and James. Move to Excelsior Springs, MO. Jilo, Ife and Ayanna start school. My mother died. Jim’s mother died. My grandmother died. Norway. 4-H Club.
Excelsior Springs MO. Job corps, paper routes, St. Ann’s church. Food Co-op. Altar Society. Schools. Tulani starts kindergarden. Jean, Monette and Raymond in KC. Reunions. Community Theater. Adoption Dolls. Moving to Idlewild, MI.
Idlewild, MI. Jim with MDOT. Cabral joins the family. Henry and other members of the Cleage side are close. Local schools bad. Jilo goes to college. Homeschooling. Interlochen. gardening. Wood heat. The lake. Ife goes to college. Jim’s father dies. Louis dies. Henry dies. Ayanna moves to Atlanta. Tulani goes to college. James goes to college. Abeo born. Tatayana born. Jilo moves to Idlewild. My father dies. Osaze born. Kylett born. People continue to move away and back and to different places. Hasina born. Sean and Sydney born. Cabral moves to Atlanta. We move to Henry’s house. Move to Atlanta.
Atlanta. Family, family and more family. Printmaking. Blogging. Plays. Ballet. Growing old.
14 thoughts on “My Life As A Book – Sections, Chapters, Footnotes”
Would you read the book, Ayanna?
As always, I enjoy your words and the pictures.
Thank you Linda. I wrote it very quickly.
I thought I moved around a lot but you got me beat lol
I find this very moving, despite it’s just being an outline. Struck first by the absence of dates: it’s organized by place. Struck second by the photos on your header and how your face is as open as a girl as it is now. Struck third by the riches of your life, the harvest of your hard work and consistent, loving, principled attention to family and community. Struck third by the fact that although blogging comes right in the last section, next to “growing old,” I have been introduced to you, your extended family, and your ancestors in all these places and stages of life only through your blog.
If I hadn’t discovered blogging, you would never have known all this and I would probably never have written it without the prompts and the need to post something! Wonder what newness lies ahead for me!
it’s a great book!
Telegram style – really great! Enjoyed reading, thank you.
Thanks Karen, I’m glad you enjoyed it.
A very original approach to your life story and it made me want to read more.
Great outline and of course you have amazing photos, some topics written and so much to share. I hate to think we may never have heard your voice without blogging. I will surely be buying the book when it is published.
Great writing…. I have often done something similar but love the linking to full articles…. so nicely done….. LOVE IT
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