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 not 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.
One of my friends is having a baby. This past weekend I attended a baby shower where we cooed and awed over everything baby. It got me thinking about how I had never attended one until I came to the States. I am sure that they have them now but as I recall we would only have such an occasion after the baby was born. It was not customary for a new born infant to be exposed to the outside or to strangers. There were those who were superstitious and believed in the curse of the evil eye. It was believed that the infant was too vulnerable to be exposed to strangers who may have picked such a moment of vulnerability to revenge for any wrongs done to them. After the incubation period the women would visit baring all manner of gifts including foods they believe aided in lactation such as fermented porridge made with sorghum and a mash with sweet bananas. In some tribes there were naming ceremonies shortly after. You have seen Lion King I am sure. Something like that but maybe not so quite dramatic. Anyway this one was inspired by that precious new life.
Last year I went all out for Halloween, turning our office space into scene from the Waking Dead with cobwebs, trash bags and debris everywhere. I even went to several parties. It was a hoot. This year has been marred with so much real life tragedy that I just can’t bring myself to indulge. I will however enjoy the treats. Boo!
Muthoni grew up a tiny village hidden in the dense forests of Mount Kenya. She was one of ten children. As a middle child she felt lost and neglected. Muthoni had a keen sense of adventure often easily bored by the things that captured the attention of the other children around her. She would steal away disappearing into the forest for long periods of time only to return to find that no one had noticed her absence. On one of those solo adventures she ventured out so far that she could not find her way back. After going round and round the same area she finally sat down at the bottom of large tree and started think of her family. She was cold, alone and afraid. She wept as she pictured her siblings all huddled around the fire in her grandmother’s hut listening to her stories of old then she cried herself to sleep. Some time later she woke up in a jolt to find herself cradled in her father’s strong arms as he carried through the forest accompanied by men from her village. She hugged him tightly in gratitude and relief for she thought she was lost forever. All the rest of the villagers who gathered in their homestead let out large cries of jubilation upon their arrival. He looked up at her father and apologized for causing so much trouble. ‘I did not think you would know I was missing?’ she said. He shook his head. ‘You foolish little girl how could I not miss one of my jewels? he asked. She was confused. ‘But I go out everyday and no one notices’ she replied. ‘That’s what you think but today you went too far and you brother lost you’ he said. That was when she found out how much her father had liked her sense of adventure and had charged her brother with watching over her every time she went out. Indeed she had been a very foolish little girl.
Three months ago I tip toed cautiously into the world of blogging. I was not as enthusiastic as I had been with my first few attempts. Previously I had started with a bang and ended with a whimper. This time my sister encouraged me to not overthink the whole process as I am accustomed to doing with everything. So I ventured out here. One blog at a time, one sketch at a time. Consistency being my only goal. I am still learning, evolving, growing and perfecting. I am grateful to her and all who have encouraged me.