I wasn’t even looking when I got my first real full time job. My cousin’s wife asked me to come in because she would get $100 for each applicant she referred. I did not have classes that day and frankly I was tired of getting spat up on at the day care center where I worked part time. The free lunch she threw in sealed the deal. Our office was located in area surrounded by thirty or more eating places where my co-workers and I spent every lunch hour. I had a work uniform that consisted of these very fashionable black knit pants (96% spandex). They fantastic. So much so that they expanded with me, doing such a wonderful job that I did not even notice. Then one day, six months later they reached their limit, all 96% of it. I quickly rushed over to the mall to find a replacement and apparently even at the store I had reached the limit in the size they carried. Horror! I was then kindly referred to the store next door where I was told I might find more options. That instantly put an end to my lunch time indulgences.
As an artist I am very well versed in the importance of perspective. The rule is that the things that are further away are smaller than the things that are closer to you. I remember when I first started painting I really wanted to get it perfectly right. So much so that I would keep sketching and erasing until I was satisfied with it but by then the excitement of getting my subject on the paper had long dissipated. This a process I would repeat again and again. It truly became a hindrance in my production. It took a very long time before I was comfortable with not getting it perfectly right. Also I found that sometimes my work became a lot more interesting when I ignored this rule.
“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.” Pablo Picasso
I would say that during my upbringing I was exposed to new and what some would consider foreign experiences. My father was very well traveled and my mother worked in an organization whose workers were mostly expatriates. Also living in the an area of the city where embassies favored meant I spent a lot of time with children from almost every corner of the world. We had our very own United Nations compound. Sometimes we would eat in each others kitchens much to the chagrin of my mother who did not appreciate her kids eating in other homes uninvited. This is where I had my very first encounter with mushrooms. The spongy texture and taste was very strange to me. I did not like them much and really only started eating them as an adult. Like many things they are an acquired taste.
About a month ago a friend and great supporter of my creative endeavors sent me a image of body paint art asking if I had considered it. I thought about it for a second than immediately dismissed it. Approximately a month after that I was at a party where I overhead a friend sharing with another friend who is a photographer, about how she was dreamed of doing a body paint photo shoot and was looking for an artist. My ears perked up and I went over to offer my services. She explained how wanted her body covered with west African symbols known as Adinkra for they held deep spiritual meaning for her. This last Sunday with as little effort as possible everything fell together seamlessly as three women gathered in our makeshift hotel studio to fulfill this dream. It was truly a spiritual experience. I believe that had it not been for my friend I would have missed this opportunity. So yesterday I sent a quick note to thank him for attracting this wonderful thing into my life.
Sometimes your are flapping so rapidly trying to reach the sun when all you need to do is spread those wings and soar.
With pillow talk and pretty things, oh
By candle light and long walks by the lagoon
Ginger me with intellect and wine
Ginger me Boy with kindness and cool
Ginger me Slowly
Ginger me Slowly
With poetry and roses in the afternoon
With trips to Monaco and to the Nile
With power and humility, oh
GInger me boy
Ginger me with your love
Ginger me Slowly
Ginger me Slowly
Ginger me by Somi
There are not many things that give me as much pleasure as dancing. My parents enrolled me in ballet classes when I was nine. I thought my dancing skills were decent but not teacher. She said I just wasn’t graceful enough. I would not quit. Nothing cements my determination like a naysayer. I wasn’t the greatest dancer but I enjoyed it immensely. Then about three years ago I discovered Afro-beats. A genre of music that has a beat that is undeniably rhythmic and contagious. My whole being succumbed to the movement, it was almost spiritual. I still feel this way when I hear this music my body moves almost instinctively. Now I know I wasn’t a bad dancer, I just hadn’t found my beats.
Every year around this time my mood turns somber as I enter a period of reckoning. With just a month out from my next birthday I take stock of what I have accomplished this year. This year there is plenty to be happy about. This blog is one of those things. It has given me a little space where I can create without restrains. This daily practice has enabled me to notice creative opportunities everywhere. Just last weekend I designed two cute baby outfits for my friend’s baby shower something I would never have considered before. Even though I did not accomplish everything I had hoped to this year I am excited about future. As I continue on this creative journey I am filled with gratitude.
The For Rent sign has gone down in the window of the next door unit. For weeks it had been empty. I almost passed on my apartment because of the previous inhabitants. The Saturday afternoon I had gone to check it out they were sitting outside smoking and drinking, playing loud music and yelling over it. I even asked my landlord if they were always like that. ‘Just call the cops if it gets too much’ he had said, which gave me no comfort whatsoever. Eventually I was won over by the large living room, wooden floors, large windows, extra closet space, garage and cute dinning area. They were a rowdy bunch. Loud parties that went on till four in the morning, spontaneous fights, smoking right outside my open windows. But whenever they met me outside they were friendly and courteous. In a strange way I felt the void after they left. Now someone I haven’t yet met calls that place home. I wonder.
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