Today, I started writing my book. I wrote some about Mom and about me and about identity. I got a solid sketch of an introduction down, and I feel good.

Where I go from here, well, I just don’t really know. I’m letting the words carry me forward. I spent a good portion of the day on tracing my family back as many generations as I can. I found that my dad’s side includes a great-great-great-etc. grandfather named Christopher Columbus Cumbo, and I also found – much to what would be the horror, I expect, of my Papa – that our first ancestor on American soil was an Angolan slave named Emanuel Cambow. There has to be something to be said about that.

My mom’s family came from Italy – both sides – from near Naples. I see where my love of pizza comes in.

I think my research into my family and into my mom and dad will carry me on a beautiful and difficult journey. It’s not always easy to know more about ourselves or the ones we love, but I am eager to keep on this path. My feet feel steady, and I have a gentle hand guiding me forward – she speaks ever so softly through every image of her face and every entry in her journal. I know I can’t misstep.

So here on the first night of my year of writing, I feel deeply at peace. And I feel tired. It’s glorious.

Baktun by Monica Ramos“Baktun” by Monica Ramos