Erika Roberts is a creative force. With words written and spoken, she brings power to her art using her strongest tools: language and love. In this new blog takeover series, Erika not only gives us a look into what it’s like to be a collaborator forced to work from a distance during a global pandemic, but she’ll also introduce the GHC team through the lens of the shutdown later in the series.
Rounding our way back we arrive here in a garden of moments. Trees full of reflections and a forest full of poetry.
I want to thank you ALL for spending time with mE over the last 11 weeks as I share my vulnerable thoughts.
In the beginning the blogs were specifically about how I was handling the quarantine, and the pandemic. That changed with the rising racial climate that was happening. As a Black woman, it was having a real emotional effect on mE. I was caught between fits of rage and lows of insecurity.
I still worry about how I take up space in this unapologetic statement. I still occupy that space but I stay worried from time to time. My frustrations have not dissipated. They are here. I am using them in my artistic expression.
The blogs were meant to give the audience a mental break by allowing another perspective to be seen and experienced. As the messages through the blog became more important, the more I felt it led to “interview” (word used loosely) my teammates. These were conversations. We talked. We laughed. We sat and enjoyed the overlooked freedom to just be.
These last few weeks we have been talking to the Glass House Collective’s team on everything from racial unrest to planting for the future.
I have sincerely learned a lot about myself through these blogs. I learned that I am a pretty good writer (Lol). I learned that when you surround yourself with people that share some of your core beliefs; great things can happen.
As I sip on a refreshing cup of Turmeric & Citrus tea at Wildflower Tea & Apothecary I begin thinking about the past blogs and how they got us HERE. I put in my earbuds, turned on my favorite playlist, grabbed a journal, green pen and let the words flow.
Over the last 4 weeks I have been having very vulnerable conversations with my teammates. Some of them made mE reflect on how I approach life. Each Collective member played a major role in how clarity with accountability can dance in a beautiful movement.
Each member had words that they were to think on and write about. I picked each word for them because of their role during the pandemic.
These words speak directly into how each of them has handled the world as it began to shut down. It also describes how their personalities exist within the community work that we so lovingly do. I believe that when you know your team and their strengths, their presence becomes more intentional. Knowing their weaknesses can strengthen your organization.
We are fertile ground. We are amazing soil for future farms of positivity.
What are you planting in your lives?
Will we know you by the fruit that you bear?
Bringing forth for the harvest of life is rewarding. Remember to remain strong and forever ready. Pull up the weeds that intend on your strangling progress and leave what belongs. Cry often and cry hard. Tears water the grounds of ready soil.
This was a true blog takeover. I was given an opportunity to share from a very vulnerable space in my life. This is different from mE writing a poem. I can be creatively vague in stanzas and my meaning not be lost. I can’t do that in these sentences. I MUST be clear. I added poetry for flavor. It has been an amazing pleasure to take this over and be heard.
This is what it looks like when Black voices are being amplified.
Thank you Glass House Collective for the agency to express my feelings within these virtual walls.
Teammates thank you for allowing mE to sip and talk about life.
This was an honor.
Thank you again for reading my words. I am humbled.