Artfully Told

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
(20 x24)

With more life behind me, than I have in front of me, I’ve decided to be proactive in the telling of my story. From the ticket stubs from concerts I attended to telephone numbers I use to call daily, these are the fine details and broad strokes of my life.

It’s extremely important to me to tell my story, because I think it’s an interesting one and someone might learn from it and I care how it’s shared.

Recently, I started an online archiving class. The first thing I learnt is, everything that I’ve already saved and collected can be used as part of my functional archive. Which was great news for me, because for years I’ve been told “my stuff” was junk.

I don’t know about you, but I got a little chuckle out of being told that “my stuff” absolutely needs to be kept. Everything from old address books to calendars to correspondence to notebooks, full of my musings and incomplete thoughts. Yup, it turns out it’s all important.

Receipts too! The ones from our favorite restaurants and telephone bills, paid late and shut offs! It’s all part of the legacy! And of course instant Polaroids and Kodak moments, all of it tells our stories, how I lived before I fell free from the tree that grew in Roxbury.

Sigh… aren’t you happy that you didn’t throw everything away? Me too.

We all have a story, and it needs to be preserved and shared for family, for friends, for strangers and more importantly, for you, you are the gatekeeper.

I’m still learning best practices for mapping a functional archive, but I’ve got boots on the ground and I’m motivated. I’ve even started logging my art on, it’s an easy to use, fee-based website, where I’ve archived over a hundred of my paintings.

I see my legacy as vibrant and intact, an affirmation of an ordinary life lived extraordinarily, sometimes misunderstood but never misappropriated.

A Tree Grows in Roxbury and the leaves unfurl, hang there, providing shade and a breeze and then change color and wither away from the branches. Our lives, our story is like that leaf, eventually falling free. So while I’m here, I claim it and the sharing of the story.

We all have a story, how do you want yours told?

Published by DaNice D Marshall

Pronounced Duh-NYSE. Published writer. Roxbury native, residing in Boston, Massachusetts.

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