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Mar 08, 2020
Tasha Lomo, a former student in the Pages program, returned to the Wex to sit in on our recent writing workshop for teens with Claudia Owusu, focused on the work on view in the galleries for winter 2020. She shares her experience below.
On February 2, I had the pleasure of revisiting a space that was foundational in my development as a writer and as a person. I had flashbacks to when I was a young high school student finding myself in my writing. Every prompt felt like a time capsule, and watching each student was like watching my younger self in real time.
Participating in the Pages program with Dionne Custer Edwards really allowed me the space to find my voice during a time in my life where I felt I didn’t have one. She showed me a piece I wrote 10 years ago, and I was in awe of how long I have been discovering myself and my narrative through my writing. I read once that sometimes the Universe pulls you back in order to catapult you forward. Getting the opportunity to be a fly on the wall during the WexLab session felt like I crawled back into my old skin, to feel how much I’ve grown, to feel how much I have shed over the years.
Wex educator Dionne Custer Edwards with WexLab students viewing LaToya Ruby Frazier: The Last Cruze | Photo: Kathryn D Studios
In my present moment, I still write. I have also found the courage to perform my work. To read an old work of mine in the Pages publication, I saw how much my writing has evolved. I saw how my writing is still my voice, but in a different light. It is comparable to learning how to play an instrument. When you watch all of your old footage, you marvel at how different you sound in the present. You hear all the mistakes you used to make, and though you still make “mistakes,” they are not the same. Dionne also got the chance to watch me perform recently, and I was delighted for her to witness my growth.
Students gathered in the galleries to write amid the installation Sadie Benning: Pain Thing | Photo: Kathryn D Studios
In the past year, I have struggled to find my voice to write anything down. I was questioning if I was good enough at my craft, I was second guessing my ideas, and overall I felt uninspired. I found myself wanting to feel validated while on stage, so much so that I pushed myself into a very difficult writer’s block. In that time, I often sat with my thoughts and had to reevaluate the purpose writing played in my life.
Rediscovering the Pages program as an adult reminded me of how important it is to tell my story fearlessly and authentically. I believe the happenstance of running into Dionne again as an adult was indeed the universe bringing me back to a familiar space in order to push me forward, to continue on with my writing, discovering the power of my voice as I evolve.