AMANDA JO WILLIAMS
I grew up in rural Georgia. I spent time outdoors most days, playing army and setting booby traps in the woods with my brother. He did crazy things like do a number two in the woods for you to stumble upon. When I was eight or so I witnessed my grandmother, drunk, fall into a big fire. She would burn heaps of trash in the indentation of what was the well underneath. My brother and I had been playing in the yard. I was making a little village in the dirt and around tree roots, collecting water for swimming pools. When she went into the fire I sat and rocked because I was frozen. My brother was a hero. She asked him to bring her towels. She had to get pig skin grafting and wore a colostomy bag there on out. I would have to clean it with q-tips after dumping the big stuff out into the toilet. Childhood stories like these, the tragic and joyful, we carry around in us all our lives. Like an aged cheese or fine wine, they just get better.
My mother played piano. I really enjoyed listening. I once composed my own sheet music that I tore up in a rage. I had wanted to hurt her but instead I hurt myself. Years later, in my thirties, I found it taped together. Mama had saved it.
I quit college at 19 to move to NYC to model. Though I never got comfortable in front of the camera, I accomplished getting my face into popular fashion magazines. Runway shows were terrifying. I learned to drink wine before walking down one. I use the same trick now-a-days for musical performances and job interviews.
I had my twin daughters at a young age, 21. I got married to my husband at 25 and had my son at 26.
My life has been full of adventures and I don't want to quit having adventures. I've had a fantasy for years, that if I were ever imprisoned I would master skills of the mind, soul, spirit, and body. I value my freedom in the world so highly but the world inside us is bigger and richer. In other words, we can always be free if we choose it. Freedom takes discipline.