Healing Creek (In Sight)

On the subject of Healing Creek

People often ask me to talk to them about my writing style. It’s an age old interview question that all artists who write are asked. Where do you get your inspiration from? Melody or lyrics first? My answer usually sounds like “I’m inspired by life experience” or “each one is different”. A generic answer to a generic question. This is not to be condescending. I know the question is posed with genuine curiosity and I want to answer well. However, the first person who asked likely got a candid response about whiskey, pain and being the conduit to a song that was already floating around in the ether. The fifth probably heard “I just write what I feel”. Both are true but in order to thoughtfully  honor the spirit of curiosity and my love for self exposure and nakedness, I’m going to tell you specifically about where Healing Creek came from and why it’s important to me.

There’s nothing easy about knowing it’s time to change. Two years ago, I was living in Brooklyn in a less than healthy relationship,  working at a restaurant I hated going to and putting unfocused effort into my jewelry company and music. Actively avoiding the inevitable, I’d busy my mind with photoshoots, working on jewelry orders, hostessing at my day job or out drinking with friends. Constant motion. It sounds like a decent life but it didn’t feel right without clear purpose or a goal in mind. I was consumed with knowing I needed to shift and fast. When my emotionally tumultuous relationship became physically abusive. The whisper for change became a scream. My spirit knew it was time to slow down, time to be with family in the south where the water is sweeter and my alarm is birds singing outside my window. 

When you pray for change, it presents itself (or the opportunity to access it) in creative ways. I think people look at me and think I have my shit together because I manage to stay calm, speak clearly and look fabulous 90% (ok 70%) of the time. Social media grants us space to present a public version of ourselves that may look very different from our private lives. In 2017 on social media, I was making cute and quirky videos of short songs I’d written. I was growing in popularity on my jewelry site. I was growing my hair out and was living in Brooklyn New York (the most exciting city for the hype black creative) ! I was fly. Inside though, I was a bubbling hot ass mess. It took a physical (as opposed to proverbial) push to pack my shit and leave the city I loved so dearly and come back home to Memphis. 

Love, for me, is uncomplicated in Memphis, it’s easy and I don’t have to beg for it. When I was feeling low and distant from the present, my friends and I would go sit by the Mississippi River. I planned to sit home for just a short while to recalibrate and clear my mind but when my current partner and love of my life asked me to stay home and be with him, I had to consult the river, my heart and my Mama before I could move forward. I had not entirely decided I was ready to receive the pure and abundant love he had to give. I had just gotten out of a hectic situation and prior to that, I was mostly single. I took time to think about it. I took time to distance myself from the pain I’d carried home with me. I took time to go to palm springs and gather water with my family. I took time to take baths instead of showers. I took time to let my heart process the fear and shame. After, I shared my openness and my doubts and watched them wash away in the hands of a very capable keeper of my heart. I was ready to heal. I was ready to move forward. 

Soon after, my sister friend who’d been learning to play the bass and was a close confidante during my transitions sent me some riffs she’d been working on. I was home alone, feeling restless and her energy on a bassline was exactly what I needed. Healing Creek just came out. It helped to release the residual hurt. Within an hour, I’d recorded it on Garageband, sent it to my sister and was writing to another riff she’d sent me. I call that one To Self, it’s a love letter. Maybe I’ll share it with you someday. In the meantime, Healing Creek is here telling you that no matter what stage of transition you’re in, the choice is ALWAYS available to say “I’m done”, “I’m ready for change”, “I’m opened to healing”. You don’t need anyone’s permission but your own. There is no better moment than now, that much I can promise you. Drink that water, love. Gulp that shit.

Talibah Safiya