For some, art cannot exist without faith, and Eugenia Moseby has a lot of it.
Whether it be faith in herself, in her work and in her purpose, her conviction rings through every line (of poetry) written in her new work, Turning Point, a book that targets young adults and seeks to build confidence in the lives and decisions of her audience.
“The main lesson,” she shared, as we discussed her new title, “is that we create our own turning points with the decisions that we make every day. Just because we were born in a situation or find ourselves in a situation, doesn’t mean we have to stay in them. We can find a turning point, and my turning point was through Christ and making decisions to believe in the promises of God.”
But like everything else in life, a strong faith is not born out of nothing; it is a process that requires perseverance and a steadfast dedication. As a mother of three, a full-time manager, and a new author, Eugenia is no stranger to unpredictability, nor is she one to give up at the first sight of hard times. Instead of holding onto past difficulties of obtaining an education, balancing work life, and raising a family, she chooses to look towards her faith and her writing.
In fact, it is her life experience that informs her purpose, and by looking back into her past, she acknowledges that her personal triumphs are evidence of her underlying strength.
That’s how Turning Point came about: “I’ve been writing for years…I started writing in third grade and just continued writing. So when I was initially writing these pieces, it was me just journaling things that I learned, writing down poems from situations in my life and experiences and probably about a year or two ago, I figured that I might as well just put this together in a book! I’m sure these are lessons that I learned that someone else can learn as well and maybe they can avoid some of the mistakes I made.” For Moseby, reflecting and using her words to mirror life observations on paper is a means of achieving artistic freedom, and her contribution includes passing that message on to a younger generation.
Eugenia writes for teenagers (specifically targeting middle school ages up through college freshmen) because through looking back in her own life, she recognizes that this particular time period is when we all try to find ourselves. And with everything plaguing our community and world today, her main goal is to inspire and add positive affirmation to combat the disparaging and unfavorable light cast upon our youth. For her, art has a beautiful ability to encourage confidence and fortify personal voice. That is what her audience needs more than ever.
At this stage, her own artistic voice is cultivated from a variety of influences: her children, her father, her “many mothers”, her pastor, even renowned artists. “I absolutely love Maya Angelou! In fact, on my wall, I have Hughes and Angelou, as well as Hughes’ ‘Dreams Deferred’ poem (“Harlem”). In fact, I have a poem in my book entitled, “The Comings of a Dream Deferred”, which I wrote in reverence to my dad, because he had all of these dreams and ideas that he never got to do anything with before he passed away. But I get inspired by everything around me.”
For Moseby, everything is connected- her past, her father’s dreams, the work of legendary artists, and the advice she gives her own children. She also highlights ordeals with her family in tandem with the experience of being black in this nation.
That is the key point here, that in order for us to step out of the mindset of an individual and think more collectively as a community/unit, we need to realize how we (unconsciously or otherwise) draw inspiration from our shared experiences, and nothing and no one stands alone. However far removed we wish these racial injustices were, they are right here at our doorstep. Waiting for yet another unfortunate situation to come any closer is only doing a disservice. Eugenia believes this so much so that this is the focus of her next book; and in this work, she plans to take the message of perseverance from Turning Point and bridge it with more social and racial issues that the youth are dealing with.
“When things popped up during the Mike Brown incident, I was right there in the middle-I work in that neighborhood, and of course, all of the rioting was right outside my job every day. The things that I see in the community bother me; and so, the next book that I’m working on actually speaks to more of those things because I want to stir up inspiration. Yes, there are things going on around us, but can we look at the positive? Can we look at the grounds that we are growing and can we continue to keep moving forward?”
Eugenia provides a fresh perspective to age-old challenges, and her reflective art encourages everyone, despite generation, to seek wisdom in the triumphs of our past and the promises of our future.
Find Eugenia’s work at www.turningpointbyejm.com