There is a never-ending connectedness to the human condition that weaves through us all, creating the stories our lives become. Satori Shakoor and her team honor this truth with an intense monthly ‘Secret’ that’s quickly becoming a healing ritual for people of all ages and backgrounds in the Detroit Metro area.
Honoring mothers in May is something we’ve been doing in this country since the 1800’s when women’s peace groups gathered to heal the mothers of families whose sons had fought and died on opposite sides during the civil war. The innate qualities of our feminine selves has always been to nurture, love and care for the lives and souls of mankind and here in Detroit there has never been a better time and opportunity to find the cure for our past discrepancies. This month the Secret Society of Twisted Storytellers presented ‘Monumental Mothers.’
With Lee Thume accompanying on piano, Lady T starts our eventing with her rich rendition of Jimmy Dorsey and Paul Madeira’s “I’m So Glad There Is You,” reminding us of the appreciation that we can share for the life our mothers have given to us. Satori’s own story recognized the courage her mother possessed while on a simple merry-go-round. The love and appreciation that she shared from this experience melts with that of the audience has we travel inside to that space where we see our own mothers in that light, and the night’s carnival begins.
Actress and Production Manager, Yolanda “Mama Yo” Jack, shares her perspective of becoming a teen mom, from wanting no children to becoming the “mother” of the theatre in her career choice as a Production Manager, creator and facilitator of workshops, and finding the outlet for nurturing people in the arts.
Satori then takes the stage and asks, “Who here has had a child who has died? Would you please stand?” She has called me out. I make it to my feet. I don’t want to see that anyone else has experienced this pain, but the audience is peppered with women out of their seats. Satori thanks the beauty that was brought to the world for much shorter time than we all had wished. She follows with the story of her own son’s demise and the joy of being a grandmother to his beautiful daughter.
Vocalist, Ping Spells, reminds us of the sacrifices mothers make to assure the success of our children and the disappointments that we may feel in losing our
dreams. One can only imagine the strength and conviction of how she works daily at the Detroit Department of Transportation and I feel gratitude for the work this genuine and soulful woman provides there. She teases us with a verse and I hope that I will get the opportunity to hear her sing sometime soon.
Detroit R&B singer, Orthea Barnes, describes through her story our need for self-love and its ability to be found through those words from our parents. She speaks of being driven in life to get her mother’s approval, and I can’t help but wonder if she had ever connected these feelings to her song, “Your Picture On The Wall,” as she waits the 45 years to finally hear those 3 little words from her mom. It is time to stretch and glide among the vendors in the entrance hall, and we are thrilled by the site of Debbie Bolar’s Cakes 4U2NV presentation of Reese’s, red velvet, and other assorted cupcakes. She creates wedding, birthday and themed cakes to order, and my friends and I indulge ourselves in the sweetness of life through her craft. Bolar can be contacted by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Part 2 of the event brings Graceful Anointing Dancers, Alexia Pierce and Sheila Dawson, to the stage with their inspiring interpretive dance. The audience loves the emotive quality of their performance. Sylvia Hubbard is an undeniable force all her own. Her story parallels a time in my own life. The audience is plunged into a space of terror, choice, and redemption that leaves me grateful for two things in life; the tissues in my hand and my seat. When my breath returns, I feel a link in the deepest part of me to this glorious woman, and I am honored for a connection that is thicker than blood.
Jacquise Purifoy is “Successful Role Model” personified. Her shocking discovery at 13 years old does nothing to keep her mother from assuring her daughter’s success and I am left with incredible admiration for both of them. After an evening with The Secret Society of Twisted Storytellers, you will simply never
be the same. Bring a friend and you will tighten whatever bond you share. Bring your family and the wisdom will feed your relationships forever.
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by Cathleen Francois,
Assistant Executive Director,