Saturday, December 29, 2007
maybe i just need to upload some pictures from some of the places we've been
or maybe i've seen something cool and want to share it.
Sometimes i know exactly what i want to say,
other times i have no idea, but i know i want to say something
start off from there make, my way from there.
I think I have a couple of things I want to say this evening.
First off, what a great time. I am particularly liking the holidays this year. What a reprieve, time is suspended, and people are allowing themselves tostop the rush, tell people that they are thinking about them without needing to have a reason, and then you can reevaluate about your life, make a plan for the year. There is something about this time of year that is a good time for jumpstarting and planning. I mean summer will be on its way, but you can plan for what you want to do,
apply for things if you wish.
Then too everything is so rich. I mean the colors, the colors are so good, like the food and the reds and the greens and the oranges, and the nice black shoes and coats, Everything around this time of year is just so rich, the colors are thick colors and the clothes are thick clothes and there are so many sizes and shapes.
I just love it, I haven't really talkedabout the holidays thus far, but I really like the stretch of time
between Christmas and the end of Kwanzaa. I mean, geez I really like Kwanzaa this year. I mean it's extended holiday and so much time to reflect. I think this year is maybe the best year I've ever felt about it, even though our family has always done it. But I just think it is so cool, because however you feel about the state of being black or being black or however you live that I think it's a time to feel proud about it and revel in it. I mean honestly I like to see people doing their thing, I like to see people dressed up and feeling good. I like to see that richness of being, that kind of regalia. When do we get a chance to celebrate that? Everyday if we want to, but it's good to see people doing it together.
Alot of thoughts have been going through my head. I've stopped traveling so frequently for the moment, because one it is the holidays and two, I am desiring to approach this project in a different way. It is time for another evolution here. I think we all feel this. Time to get more cunning. Time to use our resources more wisely. Time to prepare for what is coming next. Time to get some greater support. I believe in that. I'm returning to Wesleyan in January. It's been a journey. It has been a journey. From almost a year ago at school to now it has been a journey. It's not over, but we're taking another approach. We're taking another approach, to come back smarter, and harder in the coming months. Come forth in full force. This kind of rising. It's gonna be beautiful. It already is.
I've also been thinking about freshman year or moreso the people I met there. Even though I only spent one year at Spelman and even though we're pretty much spread out across the country and the world right now these are some of my toughest roadies. I feel like we support each other even though we aren't usually in physical presence. Philly, Kansas, Maryland, Morocco, South Africa, Thailand, Japan, Chicago. Man, these people continue to be a constant source of inspiration and support. Life is pretty good with these people around.
I'm looking forward to going back to Wesleyan. I mean, I am. I don't know what's going to happen. I've been so many places, I mean, out there in this world, but mainly in my mind. Mainly in my mind. I took myself to so many places in my mind, its like I have another reason to be there now and another kind of purpose.
In my mind. I say that first. I mean I feel like I was dreaming about this project so hard, about making it happen so hard, that I felt like and feel like it already happened, like I've already been to all the places I wanted to go, even though I haven't gotten to all of them yet. It's already happened.
The other thing I wanted to talk about was heroes. Like heroes. What are heroes? Who saves you?
Here are some words that have been on my mind lately.
I'm also meaning to post some transcribed conversations I've had with various people over the past few months soon,
those flight goggles
sirius a, sirius b
the dogon people of mali
the golden compass
my grandfather and what he was doing at my age
what an adult is versus a child
when you actually stop being a child and are an adult
what that actually even means
THE TRAVEL BOOK: A JOURNEY THROUGH EVERY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD
by lonely planet
The mapped flight paths in the NWA World Traveler mag, which is deposited in the back of every seat on the plane. These are currently on my walls
outpicture your envisioned world.
Senior Thesis dance
and something wonderful by amel larrieux
1234 by Feist
christmas lights as you ride by in a car taking a picture and they get blurred inside your camera
talking to them
people i used to know paper planes foldin em origami
roads grants cash money prizes organizational support relationships
forgetting what they said,
remembering what you thought
forgetting your dreams
remembering them days later
listening to the story
getting my room in order
making a contact list
appreciating and kind of loving this world
kind of loving this world\
kind of do
growing black wings
taking a night ride
i like the sunrise by amel larrieux
mr. bojangles by nina simone
porgy and bess by her again
hecate and crossroads
Finishing what I started
(nyfa.org) which people should check out. They've recently revamped their site and their search is really quite good.
But I liked this alot.
This can be found at the site for
Partners of the Americas
Manifesto de Ouro Preto
Partners of the Americas International Convention
We Can Be the Present
We, the Youth Ambassadors gathered in Ouro Preto on the occasion of the 2007 Partners of the Americas International Convention, have come together to diplomatically discuss our ideas about youth participation in the Americas. In this Manifesto we are sharing our conclusions and inviting adults and other youth to join us in action.
1. That the private, public, and third sectors are the bases of society;
2. That young people are discouraged from political participation, lacking positive role models in the public sphere;
3. That young people need to work to help their families and themselves, yet lack experience to find employment;
4. That young people are willing to contribute to civil society and volunteer organizations, but may face discrimination when trying to contribute to projects and programs;
5. That youth have the optimism to find new solutions to problems;
6. That youth have the capacity to create change and contribute to small-scale efforts that gradually lead to larger ones;
7. That young people are necessary to organizations and have great potential;
8. That it is important to listen to youth and their vision of a better world;
9. That by working together, youth can build a world-wide community of leaders and entrepreneurs to be a marketplace of fresh ideas and innovations such as technology, in order to benefit all people;
10. That youth are both the present and the future of our hemisphere;
11. That actions we take today will affect our future;
12. To better understand each other and work to influence other young people as peers;
13. To support the development of professional skills to improve future employment, and work skills and increase leadership capabilities;
14. That employers should consider profiles, ideas, and leadership and not just previous work experience;
15. That adults need to open their minds to our creativity and ideas; if they say we are the future, we should be able to shape the future;
16. To continue to focus on and refine our abilities through employment, in order to continue our educational experiences;
17. To organize ourselves, to join other organizations, and to network amongst ourselves and others;
18. To be proactive in expressing our opinions and skills and contributing to political issues;
19. To improve our political sense through education in order to better contribute to the public debate and be more aware about what is happening in the world;
20. To demonstrate our interest in and knowledge of issues by forming political parties and supporting youth candidates in local and national elections;
21. To better understand issues related to not only young people, but children, adults, and elderly as well, in order to work for all of society;
22. To remain down-to-earth and keep in mind that we cannot change the world alone, so we must work together amongst ourselves and with others in order to advance our ideas and our view of a better world.
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
part of my questions have been how best to talk about it, how best to talk about what has been happening and the directions we are taking, the inspirations, the ideas, the thoughts, the manifestations. Sometimes they sneak up on you, you know. You are so busy thinking about the next evolution and before you know something else has fallen into place. We are moving fast here, hyper speed. We are jumping gates and fences, crossing the waters. And its an idea though, it starts with an idea. It starts with that emotion, it starts with that emotion like oh man I have to hurry up and do this. Sometimes I feel like I won't have enough time. Sometimes I feel like I have to catch up with myself. And how best to utilize this energy? And how best to use the pulse?
And how best to talk to people? How best to organize this information. How best to put in the work? And sometimes strangely I feel guilty that I am not doing as much as I should be doing or putting in enough work. Maybe I need to stay up later and wake up earlier? There are so many things to learn and sometimes we are afraid of making mistakes. Sometimes really we get so afraid of making mistakes that we don't do anything, or do something halfway, or don't make that phone call or talk to that person that looks so intriguing.
I wrote something in my notebook about a month ago in New York City at the Here and Now Conference that seems appropriate here, for young people however you define young and everyone.
(On a side note sometimes I get tired of the words young people and youth. I want to have a better word to describe. It seems as if those words are so often used in programming or something, a target group not defined by the target.)
" How dare I think that I can come out of school and do what I want to do? How dare I think that I can make art, how dare I think that I can now fly?"
And I was pretty hyped up when I wrote this, but how dare we really? How dare think that we can do anything grand? And if you turn this around like.. particularly as young people or people alive who happen to be young..
there's this idea going on like..
I'm too inexperienced.
I haven't finished my schooling yet.
There are older people who can do it so much better than me.
There are people who do what I do better.
I don't have all the credentials.
I'm just a student, all that I can do is learn from people who have more experience.
I don't have enough money.
I don't have enough time.
These are the ideas that 'appear' to keep us from doing what we really wish to do.
I am fighting these ideas and I am thinking new thoughts like..
I am exactly the age I need to be.
I know exactly what I need to know to get where I am going. What I don't know will come to me.
I'm really powerful. There's no cap on that.
I can create this reality. Every moment is a making.
What I am doing is important to myself and the world.
I have enough time.
I am starting exactly where I am. I have everything I need.
I can go anywhere.
There is no competition. I am running inside of my own race.
The other thing is I am not crazy. Sometimes we think we are crazy. I have spent a substantial part of my life since about the time I started going to school thinking I was crazy or odd.
I am not crazy for thinking I can fly.
I am not crazy for thinking I can help to incite the (already present) idea that others can fly.
It is a collective idea. It is more pulling out the latent strings and ideas.
I am not crazy for thinking I can make something up in my head, just make something up and put it all together, take this thought and this liking and attach this and sew this and make something grand and old and new and carry it out into the world and say,
"Here it is! Let's do this. Do you want to go for a ride in my airplane, or rocket, or whatever it is."
What else is there to do, but this.
I keep coming back to my birth. About 21 and a half years ago. All along the way I've become more and more involved in this world that is. But I'm not really here.
The world and the person.
The girl and the world.
How do they interact? What happens?
What does she make? What does she do?
Does she listen to the voices of others?
Does she start crying?
Does she run her own race?
Does she make something spectacular?
Does she set off in a hot air balloon?
You know after my freshman year at Spelman College I decided I was going to set off into the world. So I flew up to Boston with the for real, for real intention of just walking an and making my way from place and catching up with some friends and just traveling. That was an adventure that appeared to not turn out exactly as I thought it would. By no means a failure it was a stepping stone. I'll tell that tale later, but
what I am saying is that every summer after college I've come up with some scheme to have a big adventure, to travel, to move, to take pictures, to see what is out there and what is in me.
I'll tell you and it's kind of funny, but I started out that summer making a list of what I would need to have an adventure, like kind of in a book.
And that's kind of where it began. This lust for adventure started out in books, or rather that's where it took it's form. I've read so many books about people going places.
The first 'big' book I read was Sacagawea: Bird Girl, detailing the Native American girl's journey with Lewis and Clark. And it pretty much continued from there. Man, I've read so many books, so many books. I remember I wrote this short story called Vemcola Island, about a girl who washed up on a land that had never been discovered and showed them to the world. But this was how I traveled back then. This was was how I did it in second grade. This was where my mind was. I've always been there.
So now I'm twenty-one. I don't read quite as many of the same genre books as I did then, but that is because I am trying to make it happen for real. I mean naturally I don't need the climax and the conclusion, I don't need the story structure that finds itself in a book, but I do need the story, my story and our story and our stories together.
Is that fantasy?
Is that science-fiction?
Can a girl set out and find a way?
There are many ways and means, whatever the wish and whatever the desire.
Perhaps this story that I am telling is just an allegory for someone else.
Whatever moves you.
A Girl Named Disaster
The Ear, the Eye, and The Arm
The Phantom Tollbooth
The Justice Trilogy
ALL the books by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Dragon Sword, Wind Child
The books of Robin McKinley, Mercedes Lackey, and Virginia Hamilton.
I would put some more down here, but I have to go over my grandmother's house for dinner.
Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Yule!
WHatever floats your boat, or flies your kite or everything together!
Friday, December 21, 2007
sAY It RIGHT!
I want to represent possibilities. I want to represent magic, right, that you're in a universe, and two plus two equals four. Two plus two only equals four if you accept that two plus two equals four. Two plus two is going to be what I want it to be. And there's a redemptive power that making a choice has, rather than feeling like you're at effect to all the things that are happening.
Will Smith and Tavis Smiley recently talked about Will's new film I AM LEGEND which I hear,good people, is quite evocative. Besides the movie, he always has illuminating things to say. Let it be known that he is now on our list of people to conversate and mess with. Check out the whole interview on the link below.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
It's Tuesday morning. Tomorrow I need to get some things done. Really though.
Today a friend was talking about how since she's been in Thailand she hasn't been able to write letters or things or even explain what's happening. So she went another route and basically listed and described the whys and wherefores of songs that are on her repeat list these days.
Sometimes you gotta take another route. I think I need to take another route.
I was in limbo land today.
There's a couple of posts I need to make. I haven't put up a single picture from NY about a month ago and other things, but all things in time.. or sometimes just doing it or something..
It's pretty late or early however you figure it.
My sleep cycles have been off mainly because I just don't feel like stopping what I'm doing to go to sleep. I 've been up all night sometimes these past few days, until my mother comes through around 5 saying I'm obsessed or something.
Is this coming to good, end, fruition, or beginning? Do I care so much?
Why do I care so much? If I had a paper to write or something,
you wouldn't be able to keep me from falling asleep, and I wouldn't be able to do so either.
Today I was thinking. What if I abandoned this venture? I mean I was just thinking.
I mean, anything is possible if you're thinking.
I mean I thought what if I just stopped thinking
about this all the time and the next thing to do.
It is constant. And I thought about the road I
would be on if I took some other road and.. I've been seeing this so long I don't see nothin else really though. It's the one reality. And you never lack of energy, when its your own thing you're doing, you never lack of the impetus, you are your own fuel burning, your own lantern lit.
Though sometimes you still get tired and sometimes you get that rushing empty feeling after you've been up many hours just imagining to yourself and putting in the work, or the seeds or seedlings, or rocks or rocks that will sprout water or the boulders or i don't know dust, many grains of sand, many leaves of grass you tread upon.
I want to be honest though. I try to be honest.
I don't know everything and sometimes naturally
I am afraid, and sometimes naturally I try to tell myself to be stronger or more this and that.. and we try don't we, we try.
I don't know everything, but I am learning some things and many things I knew before I was born, most things
I am listening to John Legend.
I saw him Saturday, spotted him in the crowd in LA on the big screen at the Stevie Wonder concert and when I saw him I reached over to my cousin, pretty excitedly and siad ina (siad ina?) very excited pitch, "that's John Legend! tHAT was John Legend" And it was. Not too long after Stevie said he was inviting somebody up and it was him and it was all so beautiful though. Man! He's beautiful. Dudes I was pretty much bursting this entire time and I'm not really a burster over celebrity status type stuff, but
and this wonderful wonderful singing,
piano playing, also blind man named Eric Hall
who just about made me cry. I have to find him.
And Bebe Winans. Bebe friggin Winans.
I have pictures that I have not downloaded yet that I'll put up soon and more
And afterwards after some waiting and getting tired in this dark room with people,
I shook Stevie's hand and took a picture.. story behind that soon to come.. this lady was getting a little off the chain.. but
I don't know. Life is good. I'm trying to slow my mind
down and make some greater strides while staying in a solid place.
And be honest.. and evaluate.. and slow the roll, and challenge and be.. and be.. and be ok being.
I would like to highlight my friend Tiona M. and her documentary film Black Womyn: Conversations. I met this filmmaker and human person my first year in Atlanta as a freshman. Visited her in Philly recently and got to see some of her film which is slated to be released pretty soon. I haven't seen anything like it! She has been working on it for the last five years. This girl works like nobody else I know! Committed to her craft.. she was one of the first people I saw around my age group, though she's a bit older than me really making things for herself, taking no apologies, and making a living by just livin.
"as far as your photography goes..if you are trying to do it for real...committ to it like its your spouse and place it above all else...and sacrifice for it...for the film..committ to it and stay focused..."
... this after i asked her advice about moving out into the world with the work you are doing.. just about a year ago really. But really! check her film out.
be just being,
- I A
This is the sky over Oklahoma this Saturday morning.
My mother was telling me about their
Monday, December 17, 2007
(For Maia and Julie)
Drifting night in the Georgia pines,
coonskin drum and jubilee banjo.
Pretty Malinda, dance with me.
Night is juba, night is congo.
Pretty Malinda, dance with me.
Night is an African juju man
weaving a wish and a weariness together
to make two wings.
O fly away home fly away
Do you remember Africa?
O cleave the air fly away home
My gran, he flew back to Africa,
just spread his arms and
flew away home.
Drifting night in the windy pines;
night is laughing, night is a longing.
Pretty Malinda, come to me.
Night is a mourning juju man
weaving a wish and a weariness together
to make two wings.
O fly away home fly away
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Monday, December 10, 2007
The first is Lizz Wright, she is spectacular.. just spectacular..
The second is some more Donny Hathaway.. High Flying..
you just must hear it.. he's just wonderful... ummhmmm!
DivShare File - 01 Open Your Eyes_ You Can Fly.m4a
DivShare File - 01 High Flying.m4a
Saturday, December 8, 2007
Soul Make a Path Through Shining
for Elizabeth Eckford
Little Rock, Arkansas, 1957
Thick at the schoolgate are the ones
Rage has twisted
Into minotaurs, harpies
So you must walk past the pincers,
The swaying horns,
Straight through the gusts
Of fear and fury,
Where are you going?
I’m just going to school.
Here we go to meet
The hydra-headed day,
Here we go to meet
Can my voice be an angel-on-the-spot,
An amen corner?
Can my voice take you there,
Gallant girl with a notebook,
Up, up from the shadows of gallows trees
To the other shore:
A globe bathed in light,
A chalkboard blooming with equations-
I have never seen the likes of you,
Pioneer in dark glasses:
You won’t show the mob your eyes,
But I know your gaze,
With their jerry-rigged faith,
Their spear on the American flag,
How could they dare to believe
You’re someone sacred?:
Nigger, burr-headed girl,
Where are you going?
I’m just going to school.
Shes just a night bird making a midnight, midnight flight
Sail on, sail on
Well, she's flyin down to me
But, til tomorrow got to set her free
Set her free
So all we got, baby, is one precious night
All we got is one precious night
Throw your blues and shoes and things
And lay it down under the bed
Just wrap me up in your beautiful wings,
Better hear what I say, yeah
Oh, carry me home
Please take me through your dreams
Inside your world I want to be
Until tomorrow no tears will be shed
Hold on til the sun gets out of bed
Hold on, hold on, baby
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
all the people and thoughts and learnings and makings and takings
But here's a little...
I Made it back to Memphis this afternoon, Kalimah came on back last night.
We flew to Los Angeles this past Friday morning
for a cousin's wedding.. made our way from the airport to shuttle to the bus and then
on to where we were staying.. somehow neglected to figure out the route before hand.
It took us a minute.. but it was cool... sometimes it's alright being lost..
sometimes it's alright to linger.. talked to a couple of people.. a welder who asked us if we needed help.. another lady who by her accent I presume to be Indian who pointed us to a bus option.. and a bus driver who said i had to pay him for advice.. he was chill though..
you have to have your camera out at these moments, but sometimes its not practical.. particularly if you are trying to figure out where you are going and have several bags.. we'll work that one out..
but we chilled in LA.. filmed there.. photographed there.. fish place.. shoe shine shop.. church.. wedding reception.. Leimert park.. shoes being sold on top of a car.. palm trees naturally with christmas decorations along the bottom.. you know.. like that paper foil looking stuff that is not foil though,
tried to get up with Austin P's sister.. but next time.. inshallah.
HMmm..I have some more writing to do on all of this.. this will come in legs..
We stayed until Sunday afternoon.. took the 232 on back to the airport and flew back down south to Nashville, TN
to talk to the People and interview/converse with the poet Nikki Giovanni at
Fisk University, where she is commuting from Virginia Tech and teaching. It's her alma mater.
The people on campus were gracious enough to let us stay at one of the dorms on campus. So we woke up the next morning, kinda sorta bright and early, not too bright though.. and not too early.
Headed over to the John-Aurelia library ( named for historian John Hope Franklin and his wife Aurelia) before we made it over to Ms. Giovanni.
Rolled around with her for a couple of hours at Fisk and later at Tennessee State University which is just down the street, another Historically Black College.
Kalimah had to leave on an earlier flight than I did.
But I stayed on until the morning and chilled with our cousins across town.
And had an authentic Haitian meal.. lovely lovely.. we went to the international
food market and everything..
But I just wanted to put this bit up.
Getting ready to head back out
love to love to love
I love Donny Hathaway.
I love Donny. I just love him. I became acquainted with the Donny Live album sometimes about this time last year and there a number of good numbers that do good things for me from time to time,
but this is probably one of my more ... favorite songs in the world right now
as Donny's voice is one of my favorites as well.. dare I even venture to say favorite, but I have many favorites.
border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5140594373764119106" />
DivShare File - 10 Sack Full of Dreams.m4a
I got a dream for the world
peace in the rivers and everywhere
bridges of steel and love and cities that smile
gray empty faces walk by
and hands try to hide all the lonlieness
lighting a cigarette to blow time away
lost in the noise, lonely as a wind
people on sidewalks with no place to go
can they learn to understand
the world of love that I'm dreaming
the world of love
and I, I said I got a sack full of dreams
streets full of laughter and toy ballons
and people with hearts that care
who listen for love wanting the same
wanting to care wanting to share
all my dreams for the world
can they learn to
understand the world of love
that I'm dreaming
the world of love
wanting the same
wanting to care
wanting to share
all my dreams for the world
can they learn,can they learn
can they learn to understand
the world of love peace, peace, happiness
love and kindness
this is my sack full of dreams