I used to think you could do no wrong. But sometimes, even the stars fall out of the sky, tumbling to earth, merely destined to be a pockmarked stone for the rest of its once glorious days. I tried to call but you didn’t pick up. So I decided to write. I know you don’t have a lot of time to talk. Six little ones will keep anyone’s hands full! How’s the baby boy doing? He’s a few month old now, right? I was listening to The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill a few days ago and it got me thinking…do you have any regrets? Do you ever wish you had done things differently? Or are you exactly where you saw yourself all those many years ago? Me? I’m so far from where I want to be I may as well be a galaxy away from my destination…but I’ll get there. I bought the last album and was a little confused. I didn’t understand it. I kept trying to find traction and meaning from one track to the next, but never quite got there. But your beauty and depth still shined through. No matter how many years pass, those are qualities that will always be there. Have I told you how much I miss you? I do. I really miss who we used to be together. The strength you exuded. The confidence you instilled in not just me, but black women everywhere. You told us it was okay to be natural and sexy and beautiful. You told us we all had a powerful inner voice if we were just willing to listen to it. And when you won that Grammy, we all won. Then…things started to change. We all know that musicians, because of their contracts with big name record companies, don’t necessarily get to express themselves the way they want. Not getting to do what you want is a necessary evil in the entertainment industry. But your expression was unique and singular. Special. So I was definitely surprised when you expressed unhappiness with your record company. But whoever knows the inner-workings of the music world? Certainly not me! Then, Zion came along and we were all surprised again. The Grammy was barely in your hands before it was replaced by a bouncing baby boy. But we were all pretty happy for you. Though some people wondered how you’d keep a hot new career trippin’ along with a new baby in the house. But me, I knew better. I knew it wouldn’t be a problem for the indomitable Lauryn Hill……but I was wrong. As the babies kept coming, your once star strewn path of success faded further and further from view. Until after a while, it became lost beneath the shadow of scandal and speculation. ‘Lauryn’s baby is by Rohan Marley, a married man’ ‘Lauryn’s hairdresser cheated with her baby daddy’ ‘Lauryn Hill’s Unplugged is baffling on so many levels, it’s hard to know where to begin…’ This was the chatter that was so loud and numerous, it turned into a jumble of white noise. I know you and Rohan are no longer together and that your newest baby is by a man whom it is none of our business to know. We all sometimes wander off the path as we search for deeper meaning in our lives. We all have, at one point or another, chosen the wrong man and cried ourselves to sleep many nights because of it. And we all lost a little bit of ourselves when you fell off the pedestal we placed you on. None of us can judge. But we can ask…
…are you happy?
I love and miss you.