“YOUR VOICE IS POWERFUL. Here is our story. “
The forever S7even is one of the most thought provoking and emotional projects I have read in a very long time. Upon receiving RaeAnne’s gift, she carefully explained how I was one of 30 people who would have a first look at her culmination of poems and artwork. Something much more than a book, The forever S7even inevitably is an experience of excitement, despair, mental illness, and optimism life can provide. The book is a selfless, yet very honest expression of RaeAnne and her mother Robin using their past experiences to empower me, YOU, and others to speak! Moreover, it’s a culmination of the close friends and family RaeAnne & Robin have helped inspire throughout their lifetime.
Similar to the art inside of this book, the cover was designed by RaeAnne’s friends. Initially it reminded me of Basquiat’s work; full of energy, confusion, and emotion. From the beginning of the book I was greeted with the task of signing my name and the message to “… Once you finish this book give it away”. This act alone made me more than just a reader, but rather a vessel. A vessel that knows that the content inside of The forever S7even can be very life changing for the next male or female who reads it.
I stress male or female because judging the book by it’s cover (something know one should ever do, but we are all guilty of since we all stereotype) one may think that only women need to read this. After personally reading this anthology, I think more males will have an enlightened experience on just how delicate life can be. You see, the anatomy and biological make up of a man inevitably leaves us “out of the loop” on many topics that were brought to light. And as a man it taught me that women can carry a burden or emotions from horrible experiences caused by other men, yet never show any public signs of weakness….At least that was my first thought after finishing the book due to my encounters with RaeAnne. RaeAnne is a person who is always smiling and bringing positive energy to existence, and to read about her life and mom’s experiences via The forever S7even was one that inspires me to continue to be a voice of the unheard.
More than just a collection of experiences, The forever S7even is a book about hope! Throughout it’s entirety I really liked how unorthodox the chapter layout was made (never in order). RaeAnne provided writings and artwork of some of her closest friends who provided excellent short stories centered around RaeAnne & Robin’s love, while simultaneously integrating this emotion with the number 7.
A beautiful ode to her mother Robin, RaeAnne always reminded readers that the voice speaking wasn’t solely her own, but a culmination of her and her mother’s experiences. The selfless act made us aware that her mother, who is still living, has multiple sclerosis and schizophrenia. However, though these illnesses can require much attention on the person diagnosed with these conditions; RaeAnne and Robin made this collection to be an ode for you and me!
The number 7 is an interesting entity. I think about it more now after reading this book because it’s what helped inspire RaeAnne to name the title as such. Likewise, I’m starting to find 7 in many things.
- My name
- 7 continents of the world
- 7 Dragonballs (in regards to my favorite cartoon DBZ)
Of course the aforementioned can be deemed as silly, but the important factor is knowing how someones creation, someone’s energy and what they speak can impose an everlasting affect on someone you may not know. This alone is powerful and should never be taken for granted. We all have voices. Never be afraid to SPEAK!
Thank you RaeAnne for sharing this gift with me. I’ll definitely make sure the next person who reads The forever S7even will keep your voice alive.