The person making the object wasn’t trying to express his own personality or his own interpretation of appearance; he was trying to represent something outside himself for which he felt the utmost respect, love or dread – to show us this wonderful thing as well as he possibly could. How the purity of his intention makes itself felt in the artifact I don’t understand but it does.
– Diana Athill
The night before we taught our first art class to the children in Ghana I said a quiet prayer that the deep imagination of these kids would be tapped. I had an idea how the day would go from my previous experiences in Kenya. The children swarm around you and treat you like you’re a celebrity. They’re curious about your every aspect and want to be in your presence. The African children always loved my blonde hair and would make me lean down so they could touch it. They were also fascinated by my tattoos and wanted to touch those as well. Continue reading “Pen & Paper” »
She barely shifted in her chair, each pen stroke centered and focused. Her writing was crisp and clear as I glanced over her shoulder but she never turned from the page. For the first time, her assignment was to write or draw whatever she wanted; a platform of unlimited creativity and self-expression. I watched as she wrote, line after line, the words small so she could fit as much on the paper as possible. After the class had ended and the school day was long since over I asked her if she was done. “Not finished,” she said. I pat her back and nodded because I understood. In fact, in this sense, as a writer myself, I couldn’t identify with her more. She’ll stick with me forever, and I’ll always wonder about the novel she was writing on that paper. As much as I wish I could have read it I kind of like it better that I don’t know what it said. She was an inspiration and an enigma to me. I’m just blessed to have been able to give her the opportunity to unleash the words and phrases she had archived inside her heart. Not one piece of that paper was wasted, she made sure of it.
(1-24-14- Feyaise-Kumasi, Ghana, West Africa)
The road has taught me something: that there’s nothing more dangerous to the adventurous spirit than a secure future, a clear direction and a solid life plan..
Yet sometimes that’s all I’m longing for.. but I quickly remind myself… no, no it’s not! I could never see myself just having gone to school to just get a job with some random company, make money, buy a home, get settled… it’s just not for me, yet it’s what surrounds me. So many of my friends and people I know, just going through the motions, the proper steps in what their “supposed to do” entering into “reality” with house payments, marriages, children… although this really is wonderful for some people, for me it’s a nightmare.. and certainly not the direction I’m heading in. Continue reading “nomad” »