I recently had a surgical procedure—nothing to be alarmed about—it was routine, but it was the first surgery I have ever experienced. Recovery has meant many things for me. Intentionally slowing down, sitting in appreciation of the countless times my body has carried me through, and reflecting on the process of healing and the reality of backsliding, making the journey unpredictable.
Much of the healing has started with recognizing the times we are in. Collectively, we find ourselves at a place where the panic and common confusion of a pandemic has mostly subsided. Life, while forever changed, is going back to something that resembles normal.
Yet for me, the hole left by nearly three years of tragedy and loss means relearning how to heal. Relearning how to find joy and seek inspiration. Where is it that you find yourself again? Is it in family, in friendship, in community, in art?
Through these transitions, I’ve marked each moment with music. The start of the pandemic saw Fleetwood Mac’s Dreams on repeat in my playlist, inspired by the casual early morning skateboard commute of Nathan Apodaca on TikTok. Last year, it was Jazmine Sullivan’s Pick Up Your Feelings that got me through hard times. After that, the always problematic and prolific Kanye West’s Pure Souls. On repeat at the start of 2022, Kendrick Lamar’s Rich Spirit.
These past few weeks of post-op healing, there has been a soundtrack playing in the background. Beyonce’s Renaissance. The entire album is a vibe, but I am thinking of the lead single, Break My Soul. These lyrics arrived at the perfect time for me and I suspect, for many of us.
“I’m lookin’ for motivation
I’m lookin’ for a new foundation, yeah
And I’m on that new vibration
I’m buildin’ my own foundation, yeah…
You won’t break my soul…”
My soul is heavy as I reflect on the loss of Dr. Willie Thornton. He meant so much to me. A friend, mentor, partner, role model, and so much more. Hi spirit was larger than life and it is embedded in the work I do and the work of Sankofa Impact. He was so supportive of our organization and I will dearly miss his trusted counsel.
Healing is both physical and spiritual. My hope for the Sankofa Impact community is that you find motivation in music and foundation in love. On my healing journey, I will hold space in my unbroken soul for Willie and all of you. God bless.