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April 9, 2017

Missing My Mentors

“It could be argued that as people and as artists, we are what we are—however, we also become ourselves, all of ourselves, by having our largeness mirrored back to us.” — Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way Every Day, February 10, 2009

Maya Angelou, Edith Whitfield Seashore, Angeles Arrien, Joan C. King

Each and all of these women did that mirroring for me. With Joan, every conversation with her began with, “Hello my dear.  How are we going to evoke your greatness today?”  With Angeles, it was always knowing and recognizing me each time we met after an extended absence.  With Edie, it was her happiness in our friendship.  She, who was wanted by so many, was happy, even honored spending time with me.  And Maya Angelou, who showed possibility to all young black women in the 1970’s who read I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.

These women have too soon left my life, leaving a gaping hole that I don’t know can ever be filled.  And while I allow myself to pause, to grieve, to experience the inertia that such loss and emptiness brings, I am also anticipating and waiting for the positives, the silver lining in this dark cloud of loss.

In the meantime, I say, “Thank you.”  Thank you to Maya Angelou for living your life so fully that you could stand as a beacon to those of us who aspired for something more.  Thank you to Angeles for your reminder to walk the spiritual path with practical feet.  Thank you to Edie, for your unwavering honesty and directness that embraced and appreciated the same in and from me.  And thank you to Joan, coach, mentor, and friend for your willingness to energetically join me in whatever space I was in and patiently reflect my greatness.

This article was first published in July 2014.  Though the grief is no longer fresh, the missing of these mentors continues, as does the recognition of the gifts that they brought and that they continue to bring.  It seems fitting to include them in early postings to this new website.

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