Without A Map

Soul Food Cafe Project: Chocolate Box- Echoes of Childhood
Reclaiming Rituals

AI Artwork- creator unknown

When I was a little girl

I wasn’t afraid of the dark, I wasn’t afraid of ghosts, I wasn’t afraid to go down

into our basement with the sketchy door that would slam shut and was impossible to

open from the inside so the only way out was to crawl up the shelves under a window

that was clotted with dust and cobwebs and from there I was still small enough to

climb out and if you think I was relieved I wasn’t.

I felt triumphant.


I never conquered our attic though. Attics creep me out. They still do.


My family were a practical bunch and after someone passed away the really didn’t visit

those graves after the funeral until someone else died and we would take flowers for

our family and friends who resting at the same graveyard- you  know, so nobody felt

left out.


Sometimes we stood around and shared a few memories and then we’d leave our

flowers and then we would go home and spend the rest of the evening telling ghost



I looked forward to those trips to the graveyards because I knew I was going to hear

some great scary stories at the end of the night  and I was convinced, and I still am that

those stories I heard after the Cemetery trips were true.


When I was a kid, one of my Great Grandmothers used to give me a diary every

Christmas. She would also give me a book- one year she gave me the Little Prince,

another year she gave me Black Beauty. I was always flattered that she did this

because I wasn’t as close to her as I was to my other Great Grandmother, who we

called Nan.  So looking back on that, I am touched because this Great Grandmother had

about a million and half Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren.

I think she is the reason I always had a notebook, a pen and a book to read on me at all



I was off to a good start when it came to being adventurous and creative

and as I got older and lost confidence in myself, all of these little lessons, these rituals

got left behind with my plush Snoopy Dog that had the metal rod in his neck and nearly

took my eye out with it when I was a about 9 years old because  I had started to use

Snoopy as a pillow and one night the rod broke through his neck- he bit me.


After I  patched  Snoopy up I put him back up on my

bookshelf and never mentioned our mishap to my Mom  because I was afraid she’d make me

throw  him away.


When she asked me what happened to the corner of my eye, I said it was a mosquito


No. Of course she didn’t believe me.

She is still asking me about that puncture wound and I haven’t changed my story.


When I was a kid I wasn’t afraid of ghosts, I knew how escape from scary situations and

I used to love it when I had the chance to go on an adventure without a map.

I’m thinking that it would be great to do these things again.


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