Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Confession Tuesday: Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday Ms. Walker and happy birthday to me, too!
February 9th, 1944

No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow.
~Alice Walker

Today is Confession Tuesday and today I am confessing and celebrating. Today Ms. Walker turns 66 and I turn 45. I confess I feel special for a lot of reasons including sharing a birthday with a beloved writer, an amazing woman.

I chose this image because I swear she and my mother look a lot a like here. They're born the same year. While many people are colorstruck, I grew up during the "I'm Black and I'm proud" era. My mother is the same lovely brown Ms. Walker is and I coveted my mother's complexion and her smile. Like Ms. Walker, my mother is also fierce. Growing up, I was daddy's girl but it is clear to me as adult, I am my mother's daughter.

My mother and I have had a challenging relationship but I have always loved her and I've never doubted her love for me. Like my mother and Ms. Walker, I have had my challenges with my own daughters. I am grateful that my girls love me despite my flaws.

While I don't have Ms. Walker's talent, I am equally passionate. I feel connected to her. I know she's not perfect and knowing that helped me come to terms with accepting myself. Because of Ms. Walker's work, I discovered I could love myself and accept my shortcomings.

I know it's easy to worship the accomplished but for me, it's not worship, it's identification that draws me to the writer. What I've learned about her life and from her work is that our life's work comes at price, that we cannot be everything and do everything well. To me, Ms. Walker is beautifully flawed and I don't mean to romanticize that at all.

Ms. Walker, if you saw this, I'd fall over with joy. You probably won't but if you did, I'd want you to know I am grateful you chose the path you did, that you helped me find my own and I am unabashedly proud to share my birthday with you. Happy birthday and many, many more.

22 comments:

Olugbemisola (Mrs. Pilkington) said...

Many, many happy returns of the day! Hope it's a loud, proud, and love-filled one. Thank you for sharing so much with us.

Ah Yuan // wingstodust said...

Woah, it's so cool that you share the same birthday as Alice Walker. 8D

On that note, HAPPY BIRTHDAY. *throws confetti everywhere* =D

Tea said...

Oh, I love Alice Walker. I've always meant to read The Possession of the Secret of Joy. Sorry if my title is a little off.
I like Alice Walker because she seems so serene and thoughtful. When she was a child, I think her eye was injured by a bb gun.

You write beautifully. You should write a memoir. You do write poetry, right???

Tea said...

Must stop and add I love the powerful quote in the above right hand corner. Thanks.

hcmurdoch said...

Great post! You and I are the same age (my 45th is coming up in July) and so are our mothers! Enjoy your day!

Zetta said...

It takes a GROWN woman to write nice things about her mother on her own birthday! I hope to reach that point someday...HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

rhapsodyinbooks said...

Happy Happy Birthday!

I too was a daddy's girl who turned out like my mother. (which was not the best outcome as far as I'm concerned but probably some inevitable gender thing)

I suspect there are many people out there who were influenced in a positive way by Alice Walker, but I think there are also people out there who have been influenced in a positive way by you, so maybe the birthday Karma works better than you think!

Lu @ Regular Rumination said...

Happy birthday, Susan! This is a beautiful tribute to some wonderful women in your life, and I hope they do see it!

jennysbooks said...

Happy happy birthday - to you and to the wonderful Ms. Walker!

Neesha Meminger said...

Happy glorious birthday to two fierce women clanging the bells for change! Much warmth and celebratory confetti thrown your way!! ~*~*~

TheEnglishist said...

Happy birthday!

Lorin said...

Happy birthday! May you have a wonderful day and a blessed year!

Michael said...

Happy Birthday!!!

Jodie said...

Happy birthday! I hope you've had a lovely day (with cake).

thestonebow said...

Happy Birthday, Susan! Wishing you exactly the day you want. Be well!

thestonebow said...

Happy Birthday, Susan! Wishing you exactly the day you want. Be well!

ThomG said...

Happy 45th birthday. Here's to a new year of growth and meaning.

susan said...

Thank you all!

My youngest is taking me to dinner. Off for now.

Ello said...

I almost missed your birthday! I'm coming in late to say I hope you have a wonderful happy birthday and that I think you do a spectacular job at your two blogs that I consider essential reading. I hope you had a wonderful day!

Ali said...

Hope you had a great birthday dinner. Many happy returns to two delightful and inspiring women!

January said...

Happy Happy Birthday! Hoping this will be your best year yet.

Jessie Carty said...

what a great way to celebrate your birthday!