Monday, January 28, 2008

JIB Coming to America, Freewrite status

It's Monday morning And we just got back in the country last night. I almost don't know what to say you know? What to say?

We were slated to leave Wednesday evening (early morning stateside) but there were some issues with the ticket. A missing leg and also something about going through Addis Ababa.
So we ended up leaving on a 11:55 pm Air France flight out of Djibouti to Paris on Saturday.
Air France only operates a weekly flight back and forth to Djibouti. So we left on the same plane we came on. Made it to Charles de Gaul in Paris, had some more last minute seeming ticket trouble when trying to head to our scheduled flight to Amsterdam. But then it was alright, because we just switched our flight straight into Detroit that afternoon.
8 1/2 hour flight during the daytime you know? Different from night flights in that it's harder to spend all your time sleeping.

It's a little strange to be back honestly. My sisters headed to Memphis out of Detroit and I left on flight last night onto Hartford heading to school. Got in around 11 and hit campus around 12 something. So I'm freshly here and newly minted although all my clothes are dirty. Class started this past Wednesday and I was slated to be here on the 20th. So I literally stepped on campus wearing the same clothes I left Djibouti in Saturday. straight from the airport. Had to get here.
It's always strange coming back from a trip like this. All of the things you can possible relay, all of the things you could possible say. And sometimes you have to say them in stages. Sometimes it just won't do to say everything at one time.
We have quite a lot of footage, photographs, audio, etc. You come back with an experience in your mind that has affected you, not always in ways you immediately understand.

We spoke with university students in Djibouti one night in a white room. Filmed, photographed, spoke via several Haitian (all over the world eh?) translators that graciously showed up for us in our time of need. Imagine sitting in a room of young men, you don't speak the same language, and yet you are attempting to find something, you are really attempting to talk or get at some questions, and some answers and some feeling about
who you are or might be.
Who are you?
Who am I?
Who are we together, if anything? Do we have any part in each other? What are your thoughts about living, about yourself, about creation?
What if any connection do you feel with other people across the diaspora?
What do you think of black americans?
How do you feel about a couple of black females coming across the ocean to talk to you about your dreams?
And etc. Questions about Djibouti, the various ethnic groups in the region.. somali.. afar..
Seeing this in the faces.. a really beautiful people you know.. a really beautiful people.
what is this life of travel, but more than travel.. exchange, or a delving deep and out and far and wide, what is this life of searching for answers in the stories we tell about who we are, the stories we CREATE! about,
our lives, what we wish, what we wish to see.
It was a little surreal actually, to be there talking to them... like maybe I'm crazy, but I really think our various answers are within us,
on a personal level and a collective level,
answers to whatever questions we are seeking after
and I am seeking after specific questions.
Pretty much involved with our beauty,
and qualities of greatness you know, and shining forth and shining true.
and searing forth like fire, like a blaze, a shearing
And believing in that, and finding that shiny stone, and spreading out, pouring out
like water, who we are?
Is this myth, is this fantasy? I keep coming back to the same words.. i know.. i know..
but there's a feeling that I get and have to tell about..
it has no explanation although it has many.
But this thing about who we are.. I mean who we are and who we can be
being wrapped up together, being the touchstone.
And maybe that sounds silly for that to be thing one is searching for on a journey,
like it's not something you can touch. It's not a chest with an X that marks the spot,
It's not the holy grail or the lost ark of the covenant.
It is something that's in you or outside of you and takes a lot of forms,
like a phoenix or a mythological bird or animal that can be anything, many things,
a swiftly changing body,
a swiftly changing self.

You know this dance we are doing is anthropological.
This movement we are doing, this two-step, this cupid shuffle, this grand-jete
is trans-cultural, trans-national and personal and specific, it's country you know
and city, it's broken and whole, it's down-home, good-home, it travels across space, yet is specific.
and Everything informs. Everything informs something else.
Maybe I am dancing just to dance, or taking photos because or like it, or writing
because it makes me feel good or helps me out when i need to help myself, but these
tools are tools to intersect with the world as i know it on a critical level.
It's to touch the very stuff of life.. like gauze or cotton candy or just a rock on the earth.
to intersect to reach my hand into time, into the making of it. into the making of it now.
like now you are reading this and now we are talking, and now we are choosing what is to come tomorrow.. or yesterday, whatever your conception of time.
It's to fiddle with concepts of space and touch the various fabrics of worlds that
We just stepped out of Africa.
We just stepped out of Africa.
You know.
We just friggin stepped out of Africa
and into time.
And I was speaking on the phone last night to my aunts and my father on speakerphone at the house in Memphis..

and someone said, "It's a different world over there isn't it?"
And it is and it was. But I said, "It's a different world a part of the same world."
And it is and it was. How do we navigate that knowing and that knowledge. I mean really, how do we walk across the fabric of this world and live.. I mean as we like to joke around and say, "Can I live?!" .. with it's stitching across land and language ( and language, oh goodness what is language even?)
How do we make ourselves together and apart?
There are so many questions!
How do you do it?
We met some ambassadors you know.. and people in ministries in Djibouti and Ethiopia, and people in tourism, would have met the president, but we actually got in a day later than expected..
and frick!
oh frick Dubai ( I've got a word for you.. )
and just some people I wanna know.. rode in a bus with the coolest lady from Nigeria,
folks from Togo, Ghana, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Egypt, America, Haiti, Congo..Burundi..
There's stuff to do in this world you know.
There's stuff to do in this world you know.
I've gotta do it.
Geez, let's just do it.

*Strangely I left my photo upload cord in Memphis ( I never do things like that. I don't know..)
so am not currently able to upload any pictures, or until I catch up with someone around campus.

*Also wasn't able to use the comp as frequently as I'd planned in Djibouti, but I'll be updating this week. And catching up with all the people who caught up with me, sending love, a word, or gifts! Thanks and love, peace and love! I mean you all really helped us out!

Intisar meaning Victory

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

there and back

we made it!
and are on our way back! today.
more soon!
and please keep us in your wishes!
thanks to everyone who helped make this real.
i shall have to tell the stories.


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Update: To the moon and back!

sO you want to know the deal?
I'll tell you the deal. We're almost there. We've received about $1200 dollars of contributions from friends and family.
We are almost there.

Roundtrip costs from Memphis to Djibouti, East Africa:
$340 x 3 ( As opposed to the $5,806 per person it would be otherwise. Insane insane insane I know..!)

Travel Insurance:
$25 x 3
Visas to Djibouti
$50 x 3

Safety net money while traveling from Memphis to Amsterdam to Paris to Addis Ababa to Djibouti, and back.

Malaria pills
Yellow fever shot for two;

Hotel, meals, on-site transportation, direction, and guides while there are courtesy of the Africa Travel Association and the government of Djibouti.

Total: A whopping $2985 for a journey for 3 people halfway across the world! yeah!

If you will contribute anything!
If even just 200 people out of the group contributed $5 that'd be $1000. Or if you can just give $3 or $2 or 50 cents!
It's that serious. We are almost there!

I will bring something back for everyone who contributes! Even if you just wanna send me a good wish message (I'll appreciate it and bring you something back..) don't know what.. that's part of the journey!
We are wanting to document us! you! me! from our! your! our! perspectives and do something that has never been done!

Contributions can be made securely via Paypal at
We fly! this evening for Amsterdam!
ANYTHING you can give will help us make it!

See you on the other side!


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Timeline to Djibouti and some books I like..

3:00 AM Monday morning, January 7:
Intisar Abioto surfs the internet late at night, like so many other nights searching for answers to thoughts and opportunities and people/orgs to talk to that might be cool. She is sleepy and her sister Amenta tells her to go to bed, but keeps on anyway.
Finds this site called ATA, thinks this might be cool, sees something about young professionals network.

searches on google for more information, and finds a random blog that says something about a trip to a place called Djibouti and that they are funding young people to go. The trip is less than two weeks away and it said the registration form was due noon the next day. School starts soon too. She thinks.. well.. then decides to try anyway.. She writes a couple of semi-urgent emails.

Monday morn 8:30 CT/9:30 ET

Intisar calls the ATA office in New York to see what's up? She talks to a very nice lady and tells her about the project and if it might be possible for them to come. She says that the applications for the Young Professional Network were due months ago from students, but she will see about it. Intisar tells her sisters and parents.
Intisar spends a hectic day wondering how to make this happen. Sometimes she lets herself get stressed. She wonders if she can pull this off.

Tuesday Afternoon:

Nice lady from ATA calls back to say The People Could Fly Project is approved to go to East Africa and that the ATA and the gov of Djibouti will take care of their expenses while in Djibouti for the symposium. They have been wanting to go to Africa since May. It has been less than a day and half since Intisar came upon the blog. She tells her family and sends out some emails to friends and family.

Wednesday, 01.09.07:
She looks up flight routes through Northwest and other carries to Djibouti, East Africa. She tries to find one with the least stops from Memphis, TN to Djibouti.

Thursday and Friday, 01.11.07: She makes calls to anyone and everyone while the business week is still alive. Kalimah heads to New Orleans from Virginia to get her passport. Intisar calls the mayors' office and a county commissioner and a state senator. She leaves combs through her email address book. She needs to raise some money. Sometimes she gets stressed and sometimes she is afraid and sometimes she is alright. She thinks about how important it is for people to visit Africa and other continents.messages. Calls and writes friends and PR at Wesleyan University and Spelman College. She wants to make this process easier for other young people who want to do this. She is posted up at the computer. Many people express their congratulations and best wishes. She appreciates them all and keeps going. What lies ahead?

Saturday, Sunday, Monday, 01.14.07:
Kalimah passes through Memphis on her way to NY. Intisar is still posted at the computer and telephone. She falls asleep in the chair Monday night. She coordinates passport appointments for sisters and tries to bring things together. Holds event downtown. Receives donations from family and some friends that visit. Aunt Jane brings the globe from her house and wants everyone to find Djibouti.

Monday, Tuesday 01.15.07:
Still needing more she resources she makes more calls to more people in a day than she ever has, perhaps within the span of some months. Keeping the hope alive. Sometimes taking brief naps, but keeping the hope alive. It ain't over til the fat lady sings, and that's her, and she ain't fat neither. So..! Amenta and Mommy head to New Orleans to get Amenta's passport. She has to retake her passport picture, because in it she was wearing an army fatigue jacket. The lady at the desk tells her to go around the corner to the potato chip store. There is a lady there who takes passport pictures. She tells Intisar this when she gets home, where Intisar is still posted at the computer and phone.

Wednesday Morning 1 AM, 01.16.07:
Intisar is posted up at the computer writing this and sending emails again..
It ain't over till the fat lady sings and She's the fat lady.
Plus I think this trailer is worthwhile to check out.
I found it today while researching for people and orgs to call.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Flying Easy Donny Hathaway

I think we all need some Donny today. I think we all need some Donny today.
Cause you know, this is a wish.

DivShare File - 01 High Flying.m4a

I think we all need some Donny today.
And I've been saving this one for this, the moment.


Flying Easy - Donny Hathaway

We're flying high on a velvet sky,
With the wind on our wings
Climbing easily on the breeze

We're flying easy and we do just what we please
we drink the breezes as we drink wine,and the nectar is sweet
Now the feeling we have is fun

We're flying easy drifting on a summer breeze
The trip is smooth and we gently glide
We ride the rainbow and we see to a tee
how happy we can be

We gather gold from the evening sun
And it's heavenly hues
And we don't have a thing to lose
[Flying Easy lyrics on]

We're flying easy and we do just what we choose

The trip is smooth and we gently glide
We ride the rainbow and we see to a tee
How happy it can be to be free

We float and there is no thought of time
Cause were singing of love
And the pleasure is so devine

We're flying easy not a worry on our mind
We're flying easy not a worry on our mind
We're flying easy on a breeze
Flying, flying flying

on the going and the coming

Sometimes when you are on a journey or an expedition you have to challenge yourself to keep going. Just keep going you know? Keep going, Ok?! Keep going.

Friday, January 11, 2008

just a moment

Sex Ed: 101

So Kalimah just got her passport in New Orleans
and one of her shorts just made top ten finalist
in a competition hosted by Dogooder TV.
She's on her way to NY to serve as a production assistant for the filming of
Spike Lee's new film. Yikes! Yeah, this has been a good week for us.

But check the film out!
Amenta is the main actress, but it has the whole family in it as well as some superior acting by our friend Ming. It's about 1 minute half. It has a $3500 scholarship attached and she needs votes to win,
so kindly vote for it as many times as you feel like.

Video 9

Sex Ed: 101



Thursday, January 10, 2008

going to Djibouti.. going to Djibouti..

Dear Friends,

Exciting news! The People Could Fly Project is headed to Africa. The Project has been sponsored by the Africa Travel Association and next week we are traveling to the East African country of Djibouti to take part in the 11th Annual Eco and Cultural Tourism Symposium, being hosted by the Ministry of Youth, Sports, Recreation, and Tourism of Djibouti.

We will be traveling with the ATA's Young Professional Forum. The Project will be visiting with students at the University of Djibouti and sharing with school-age children the story of The People Could Fly by master children's book author Virginia Hamilton. Hamilton passed away in 2002 leaving a great legacy of multi-cultural children's literature. The Djibouti Government has graciously offered to sponsor our hotel accommodations, meals, and on-ground transportation.

Since we began The PCF Project last spring my sisters and I have worked to make the dream of documenting the dreams and stories of young people across the African Diaspora a reality. With a belief that anything can be accomplished we've taken our cameras, our hearts, hopes, and minds across the US, from our home in Memphis, TN to Philly, Washington, Jena LA, New York, San Francisco, St. Louis, Inglewood, Detroit, Atlanta, Nashville, Connecticut, Detroit, North Carolina, and Mississippi. We've filmed, photographed, and interviewed young people of color and anyone and everyone in the making of a documentary about the power of our dreams.

You see, we know that the dreams of young folk and people of color are possible! We know that our stories are important, despite the dearth of in depth and positive images on the lives of young people of color. Our mission throughout has been to find and show these important images and stories within the faces, from the very voices and dreams of young people of color, to create images that speak of how powerful we are and can be.

...And now we are poised to take the grand flight to Africa.

And now we need your help! Our flight fees have largely been acquired. We know that we can raise the remaining funds for the journey. We are spending of ourselves, our talents, and our gifts to meet the remaining funds. In exchange for your contributions, your gift will be acknowledged officially with a signed 5x7 photograph from Djibouti taken by Intisar Abioto and other memorabilia from the journey. Gifts of $50 and up will be acknowledged with a matted and signed 8x10 photograph from Djibouti.

Attached you will find the official invitation from
the Africa Travel Association
to The People Could Fly Project and a broader description of the Project.

Please forward to your network, asking your friends and family to contribute online at

Footage, photos, and updates from Djibouti will be updated periodically on our blog where you can see more from The Project (The story of how this trip came to be is amazing ! That's on the blog too. ) And read our recent interview with poet Nikki Giovanni in The Memphis Tri-State Defender!

We believe and pursue with veracity and belief... Anything and everything can happen.
In Flight and Faith

and Aisha Abioto
The People Fly Project

Consultant: Arnold Adoff
Poet, Author, Husband of Virginia Hamilton

Bill T. Jones

I have a personal story to tell about Bill T. Jones. He came to Wesleyan last year. And I shall say numerous times I cried or almost did, and not always from the dancing. In the mean time here's this pretty photo. I mean, she fly. If you know what I'm saying?


Wednesday, January 9, 2008


This is actually a post I wrote in August and never published. It gets to many of themes of the project.. but hasn't yet hit upon it completely.. there's some empty spots in here, because I've just now edited it for general readability.
This blog also kind of serves as research notes.. it helps me see what i am thinking .. so take it all in stride..

It's kinda late here, kinda late ya hear? but I need to, must heed to, you know.. the creed.. of meeting. the greeting, not fleeting, just leading
to the next post, the next time I'll host,
a thought, I
ought to share
with myself, and thus maybe with you
afterwards.. after math.. not shady though, not hazy
just bright or maybe sometimes shady, but the kind that is under a tree in summer.. yeah,
but more like in fall, and speaking of the seasons,
august 2nd marked the date, as we ro..tate..
that the light begins to wane, get ready,
gettin steady for the beginning of the end, not of life, but of this cycle, this stint,
tis a hint
or something.. I'm just playing here.

Umm shout out to Girls For Free.. (style) at Wes..

But back.. sometimes I stay up really late to write these posts or anything really...

I hope I can devote some good feeling here or honesty to the cause I was feeling before I got tired. I just finished watching Pan's Labyrinth for the first time. I really am actually too tired.

Pan's labyrinth.. and other fairytales, folktales, myths and this book I was reading some time ago The Hero with the African Face and coming to a thought that I'd never had now ... just as if it was happening to me while watching this movie.

The trials, tests, slips falls, the triumphs searchings and questionings in a story..
are part of one story yes .. but also part of a Great story, a Great story by which, by which we ascertain the measure of ourselves. But more than just you having to go through challenges,
because sometimes that word challenge can be spoken in a way to make you afraid, or to give you the impression that it will be deathly hard to make it- I kinda believe..
I kinda believe, I certainly believe there is something more to it than this.
More to it than that.Hopefully I can explain this in further detail.

Baba Yaga,
There are I believe.. Eastern European stories about this witch.
Her house has chicken legs and can move around. In some stories she is mean or something and I know that the word "mean" doesn't explain much, but that is the best way for me to explain it, as I halfway don't remember the story at this time in the morning.
But we have to remember that oftentimes in stories and myths, things and people and
occurences symbolize other things, An aspect of ourselves that needs paying attention to. or dealing with. or thinking

A\nd Baba Yaga is an old lady mind you. She is an old, crazy, lawless witch who maybe does some horrible things. But in the land of storytelling she might represent the wild woman or
the wild person or that element. An aspect of ourselves/ that need not, must not be contained.
..tid bit.. hit miss.. tip top.. pop lock

what else?

A good friend of mine told me once
that she believed there were actually native americans who could fly. That she bet.. and not on some exotification tip.. /like" woo woo..
native americans "( you know the way certain ethnic groups are often portrayed in certain kinds of films... I think my next post will be about this)

But she too had done work on dreams..
the sleeping ones and talking to people about them..

And so I just came to the real thought, maybe the first clarified thought of this matter..
It's kind of amazing the way research or a thought search can unfold..

..But after thinking about Pan's Labyrinth and all the aforementioned and pretty much talking to myself with the relief and benefit of clarification through having spoken with other people about the things you talk to yourself about
( you can't be as vague with other people as you are with yourself.. )

But what I was saying was.. the point i was trying to show to myself was..
(and the world is so big sometimes the greater task is not to take in everything or understand it all, but to simplify ... The world is so big it is easy to see and want to encompass all,
and you are searching.. you have to start somewhere..
a big idea turning smaller then getting bigger again through focus.. or just sifting,
really still big)..

I want stories.
I'm looking and looking out for the hidden and apparent meanings in our stories... the stories of our lives.( i will need to come up with my own working definition of the word story)
Like our "seemingly" regular day stories ( no day need be ordinary ( CofL to the rescue, eh?( plus there might be hidden references in these writings (but if you ask me or something i might tell you) how many parentheses within parentheses are there in here though))))).

but yeah..

i really believe we can fly.. take that however you wanna take that


so imagine this.. and these are new thoughts.. you are getting the crisp crack o' dawn crust here.

so imagine this
what if in our lives . . day to day or weekend to weekend or feigned monotony or real monotony w e are living in our mythologies and What if we are not separate from these \
fairy tales? What if they walk with us day by day . . t h o s e stories you heard as a ch i l d or made up. what if we are imbibed in them.. the inextricable matter

Sometime in the past 400 years since slavery in the Americas - And slavery in America is so mythological these days- some someone enslaved told a story, some someone whose name I do not know, but who existed for sure, told a story about flying africans. Living their day to day lives..

imagine that then /an african american living their "day to day life" one day dreamed a story ... ONE day dreamed a story. Naturally they were in that story.
See Today when I/we think of this story, we think of those people that were enslaved, and we posit them in the third person.
But for that person, this person living,
this same story would be first person narrative. They undoubtedly
visualized themselves as one of the people who could fly.. had to. It was their own face they saw.

As I can imagine it, as I can imagine it, see as I can see it, that must have been a deep yearning ..They must have seen themselves rising up on the air
whether they dreamed it at night or . . in the day, don't matter.
they dreamed it.
It must have invaded them. This call and wish and desire

They imagined themselves fantastical . . they took a magic and a yearning inside of themselves and crafted a story, crafted a dream for themselves, crafted a way of coming.. and what would happen.. what happened?

...Now we are here.. freer than they seemed/seamed,
but still wanting to execute our freedom/s to the fullest extent

This kid envisioned this story not seeing or knowing how or where or when to get to freedom..
.. Man what i'm really trying to say is that Hidden in our stories, hidden in plain view are our mythologies, our folk tales, our faerie tales.

We are them or if not a specific story, the quality of stories. We are bound up with stories and maybe flying in a dream is really flying.

So i want to listen to stories and sometimes this might involve someone telling me what happened the last time they walked down to the corner store ( i have a story about that I'll tell later) or the candy lady or .. the mini- mart.. Sometimes it might involve those things which are relevant.. but inside of these mundane seem/seaming stories is a fairy tale or a seeming so,

by the way what is a seeming/ what is a seam/ing and is there really any difference. can we break apart the seemings, can we unstitch the seamings and get to the inside

or the wish and want of one.. If africans enslaved and other peoples around the world can make up stories and mythologies about themselves and their lives, and about their selves beyond ! realistic! (what's realistic yo? ) explanation or better yet as they as they know themselves to be! regardless of a seeming/seaming reality.

Like were they really ever slaves? Is that a reality one should accept? ( Question. question. make. create)
Were they really? They had to imagine/know/create that they were not. Was that science-fiction in their time? Was freedom science-fiction? What else is science-fiction today?

If they can, which they did, I am certain that we can. I don't think all of the stuff we see is really real.. and there's some stuff we can't see yet really that is.

So I'm wanting to search for the mythologies and folktales that are inherent in the lives and stories of young people, and all the cool folks i like, yeah cause i can say that too.. not too academic here all the time here... all the cool folks i like however and whenever you are.. all the cool friggin folks i like

so the people could fly is real
that magic is real
cause it's in these real for real life people
these real for real life people

and i wanna say this real quick.. cause i can!
but black youth.. latina youth.. asian youth.. particularly
we need this magic making, making bringing, waking, in ourselves
and about ourselves..
suddenly i think of that langston hughes poem that everybody and their momma
and daddy be quotin

Well, son, I'll tell you:
Life for me ain't been no crystal stair.
It's had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor—
But all the time
I'se been a-climbin' on,
And reachin' landin's,
And turnin' corners,
And sometimes goin' in the dark
Where there ain't been no light.
So, boy, don't you turn back.
Don't you set down on the steps.
'Cause you finds it's kinder hard.
Don't you fall now—
For I'se still goin', honey,
I'se still climbin',
And life for me ain't been no crystal stair.

and maybe i should have a moment of silence here,
not crying though

if i could turn this upside over and maybe just a little on the side? i could maybe just look through that crystal on the slantwise against the light so that it hits me on the angle and pierces me straight through the eye

calling out the crystal stair.. from the inside place, winding up out of
those depths shining,
curling up like the breath of smoke, tiered. winding.. out to ..
in to..

in my interpretation i think langston speaks of the crystal stair.. its plausible existence..
potentiality and purpose.. ( however not to associate the idea of the crystal stair for laziness or some substitute)

time to go
more now & laters, member those?

"we walk up on the air like climbing on a gate"- the people could fly, virginia hamilton

paulo coelho, the pilgrimage.. again

So I posted this back before last summer, but some things bear repeating.
By the way I would like to recommend his book "The Alchemist' to anyone
and everyone alive.

When you travel, you experience, in a very practical
way, the act of rebirth. you confront completeLy new
situations, the day passes more slowly, and on most
journeys you don't even understand the language the
people speak. so you are like a child just out of
womb. you begin to attach much more importance to the
things around you because your survival depends upon
them. you begin to be more acceSsible to others because
they may be able to help you in difficult situations.
and you accept any small favor from the gods with
great delight, as if it were an episode you would
remember for the rest of your life.

at the same time, since all things are new, you see
only the beauty in them, and you feel happy to be
alive. that's why a religious pilgrimage has always
been one one of the most objective ways of achieving
insight. the word peccadillo, which means a "small
sin" comes from pecus, which means "defective foot," a
foot that is incapable of walking a road. the way to
correct the peccadillo is always to walk forward,
adapting oneself to new situations and receiving in
return all of the thousands of blessings that life
generously offers to those who seek them."

The Pilgrimage by Paulo Coelho

Out of Africa (or on the subject of African Films)

I actually meant to post this earlier. I think it's relevant. You might too!

Out of Africa

Monday, January 7, 2008

comfortzones dangerzones

So today seemed a little stressful. I've noticed these days I always start out these posts with So...
But it was.. just a little. You know when you think you have to make some critical decisions and then you get all stressed and everything seems so intense and you feel like you can't stop. It seems like there are so many things to be done.

Today my sister was reading an article out loud from Psychology Today. Basically it was about the different ways the mind tricks itself, or you.. for that matter. It went on to give a couple examples, but most notably for me personally something about- and this is my own description of it- how we as people have comfort levels .. but as opposed to comfort levels of feeling good, they are comfort levels of worry or a comfort levels of fear. Comfort levels that many times we have grown accustomed to.. so that no matter what happens, even if things appear to get better or a quality in our physical surrounding changes.. we might still create something to be stressed or worry about. So in a nutshell although we might perpetually be in shifting set of scenarios (what some people call growth, or change, or life) but still live with the same set of emotional values, the set point of experience.
With this in mind I think about the experiences of people in the past who perhaps did not have as many amenities as we do.. But were they any more or less happy? Maybe so, maybe not, you know?
Or how I've heard tell that even people who've suddenly become rich and no longer think they have to worry about money, eventually still do not feel any better or worse than they did before they received the money.
Check the age old adage that "money can't by love" or happiness for that matter.
But what does buy these things? What does get you love or happiness. I think there are numerous ways to be wealthy, or happy, or secure.. with Freedom from gnawing worry, fear, and cripplin doubt. Take this for instance...

Perhaps our level of fear or doubt is something we are accustomed to. Like as familiar as your baby blanket or home-cooked meal. ( though not as lovely naturally)
Like I have this thing about lateness, and as strange as it seems it is a familial trait, passed down... ( but skipping that story) I think it is a set point. Like I might have weeks to do a paper or complete an application.. but historically I have always waited until the very last minute. It's like there is a ticker, a boiler level, the teapot screecing, a point of uncomfort and fear that eventually pushes me into get working, but in the worst possible way.. I get into this hype like I'm running so fast.. I have to get this done.. I have to get this done.. and everything around me feels red, inside my body and out. I am in the danger zone.

I mean naturally it is by no means comfortable and eventually I always become mired in some pain-staking existential crisis.. like what is this?.. why am I doing this to myself?.. I have to finish this assignment or my life and my academic career will be doomed? I have to do this... and then I start getting crazy.. and spiraling downward from there.

But in some weird way, do you think that we become addicted to these feelings of worry and crisis and defeat? It's like a way of looking at the world. If you think something is the only reality, many times, maybe most of the time you actually don't see or perceive other ways of being as possible realities.. and possible for you. It just does not register.. either on a conscious or subconscious level. Or if you do see those possibilities sometimes we just fall into the old way and the same old story. It's kind of comfortable right? I have seen myself do this to myself time and again. Do you think we get addicted to the story? That a level of pain or uncomfort can become the comfort level/the set point/ match point of our lives. Where we think we feel alright. And only you can stop. Only you can actively decide this is not the story I want to live.
Sometimes it takes a great energy, sometimes it takes an energy to push past that immediate force... a kind of motion through fear, even whilst feeling it.

I would like to make that leap. I'd like to move. I would like to do that right now.
SoHere's to the night..

Sunday, January 6, 2008

How I wish that I could come back as a flower..

My father just bought Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants on cd.. He had it on tape and I remember some, though not all of the songs from my childhood. This is one of my favorites. The lead vocals are by Syreeta Wright.

DivShare File - 2-06 Come Back As A Flower.m4a

The strangest thought came to me on this morning
As I awake to greet the coming dawn
The sun was hardly peaking through the garden
It felt that with everything I was one

Then I wished that I could come back as a flower
As a flower
As a flower
How I wished that I could come back as a flower
As a flower
To spread the sweetness of love
To spread the sweetness of love

The dew had finished making love to many
A rainbow smelling sweet was in the air
I envied all the silence I saw growing
So unmoved by things outside themselves

Then how I wished that I could come back as a flower
As a flower
As a flower
How I wished that I could come back as a flower
As a flower
To spread the sweetness of love

How I wished that I could come back as a flower
Oh as a flower
As a flower
How I wished that I could come back as a flower
As a flower
As a flower
To spread the sweetness of love
To spread the sweetness of love


Wished that I could come back as a flower

Wished that I could come back as a flower
Sweetness of love

How I come back as a flower
How I come back as a flower

Sweetness of love
Sweetness of love

The Great Debaters

gO See the gREAT DEbaters
go see The GrEAt deBATERS

please i say you know
go see the great debaters

i mean it though, you know?


no sleep till brooklyn or bangkok or botswana

By all means possible by all means possible by all mean possible by all means possible
FLY by all means possible by all means possible SWING by all means possible by all means possible by all means possible REMEMBERby all means possible MOVE by all means possible SPEAK by all means possible MASTERY by all means possible REALIZATION by all means possible BLOOM by all means possible by all means possible PEOPLE by all means possible by all means possible I MEAN by all means possible by all means possible FREEDOM by all means possible by all means possible JUMP by all means possible by all means possible by all means possible by all means possible by all means possible by all means possible by all means possible by all means possible THEY SAID by all means possible by all means possible MEMPHIS by all means possible by all means possible by all means possible by all means possible by all means possible AFRICA by all means possible by all means possible by all means possible TOUCH by all means possible by all means possible by all means possible by all means possible by all means possible by all means possible WE MEAN by all means possible by all means possible I SAY by all means possible by all means possible by all means possible by all means possible by all means possible JUMP by all means possible by all means possible by all means possible BREATHE by all means possible by all means possible by all means possible by all means possible by all means possible by all means possible by all means possible JUMP by all means possible REALIZE by all means possible by all means possible by all means possible by all means possible by all means possible by all means possible by all means possible by all means possible SING by all means possible by all means possible by all means possible by all means possible by all means possible by all means possible DANCE by all means possible by all means possible by all means possible by all means possible by all means possible LOVE by all means possible by all means possible SEEK by all means possible by all means possible by all means possible by all means possible by all means possibleby all means possible by all means possibleby all means possible by all means possible

.. yeah yeah by all means possible

Friday, January 4, 2008

Passports. .

If you don't have a passport, would like one, need a renewal, or would just like to know more about how you get one ! visit
The Passport Home
for specific information on the application process.
There are over 9,000 passport acceptance facilities in the US where you can send off for your passport and 13 regional facilities where you can apply in person and get it in the same day.
Please check the site for specific details.

I got mine about a year and half ago in Houston, Texas a little bit too close to the day I was leaving for Senegal. But we made it though, didn't we?


Thursday, January 3, 2008

this boy

I was talking to this boy. Somehow I didn't manage to get his name. I had set up a table at one of the Kwanzaa events with some information about the project, some photos on display,
some books, and an interest list you know. And he was just hanging around. just kind of standing over by where I was behind the table, sort of looking at things, but sort of not. Just standing around. So you know, you start to talk to people, because you need to or why not? The interesting thing was I don't think he particularly felt like he had anything to say.. he was just there. And I'm like should I say something? And proceed to ask the normal questions "adults" sometimes ask children.
Like what school do you go to?
How old are you?
What kind of things do you like to do?
So goal oriented you know?
He was pretty cool though, some people you just like.

But you know what though? I think that's the case with a lot of things. Sometimes you don't particularly need to say anything or ask any kind of question. Make up a momentary reason to be. Sometimes you don't need to have pretend to have a purpose
for doing any one thing
or not doing it at all.
Sometimes you just want to be around people or a person. Sometimes you just want to see what happens. Sometimes you just want to see what anything or everything is about.

I wished I'd had something I could have given him, because I know what that's like I think.
And people gave me things when I was younger that helped me out in whatever big and small ways. And that is always nice. And sometimes they still do. This scholar writer by the name of Clenora Hudson-Weems gave me a copy of her book, Emmett Till: The Sacrificial Lamb of the Civil Rights Movement after I did a reading of the story of The People Could Fly, at a Kwanzaa on Monday evening. Alright then.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Kwanzaa cometh and goeth

So I haven't really posted in a minute. The holidays have been upon us, so Happy New Year you know. It's gonna be great you know. I've been trekking around the past week. But here are some selections from this Kwanzaa past, etcetera, etcetera. I think I like the word etcetera.