I’m here. I made it.
To the top of the Eiffel Tower.
The only thing missing is – her.
I have all the memories
Of our time together
And of me giving her my pink sweater
But I have nothing of her, nothing of hers
But this view
Of the place she loved to visit many times
And the times she transported me to this ville
While we spoke on her telephone
Where is she now?
My heart can only imagine
She’s somewhere without me
Enjoying the views of the world she is no doubt traversing
She was always a traveler, that one
She pulled me out of my shell
When all I wanted to do was live inside it
She taught me how to be spontaneous
And spontaneous, we were, together
I’ve lived many a beautiful night since we last spoke
I do miss her
But I know parting was for the better
I’m not looking for anyone, but me
But I wish she were here with me
So that I could finally tell her
That I’m here witnessing the city that she always wanted me to see
Cheryl lifted her hand to caress his face. His irises glowed like Yemaya. “Goodbye,” she said. “Goodbye,” he responded. “I don’t know when I’ll see you again,” she continued. “I know,” said Robert, smiling. “I know.”
Cheryl turned to leave. She walked towards her cab and turned around once more. “Bye Robert,” she waved before getting inside. Robert stood and watched her leave from his doorstep. She was moving across the ocean like she’d always wanted. He loved that she was so determined to build the future that she’d been craving. Once upon a time, he had felt the same way about traveling. But he was settled now, and he hated the idea of starting over anywhere. Plus, he was determined to start a family with the One, whomever that would be. Cheryl was leaving behind six years of their friendship, of their phone calls, of their dinners together on patio terraces. Sometimes in April, Cheryl thought to herself as she settled into her cab, winter comes.
Robert stood in the doorway of his house as her scent drifted farther and farther away. He turned to walk through his living room and into the backyard. He would plant a new garden that day, he decided. He looked up at the clear blue sky and saw two birds flying overhead. I love the spring, he told himself. He started laying down seeds. His backyard was already awash with budding green leaves and colorful rose buds. The sound of the cab’s engine continued to trail off in the distance. Sometimes in April, was his new favorite thought. Sometimes in April, he continued to think, summer feels like it’s here. That day was Robert’s last day of rehab, where he had been for months. Cheryl had visited him every day and their friendship is what saw him through. They had been through laughter and many tears together. She had fed him when he couldn’t eat and made him cool compresses when he was too sick to get out of bed. He knelt down on the ground in his yard and began parting the soil and planting seeds one by one. The birds he had originally seen continued flying overhead. The sound of the cab’s engine had definitively faded from his street. He knew that wherever she was, Cheryl would have what Robert could not give her. Both knew that a future together was unlikely, but their past had been filled with so many happy memories that neither of them would forget.
The cab made its way to the airport as the raindrops on Cheryl’s window began washing away the tears from the faces of the passing houses. Some six plus hours later, Cheryl landed at Aéroport Charles de Gaulle in Paris. When she exited the airport, she hailed a bright yellow cab. The air outside was crisp and cool. “Avenue de la Porte d’Orléans,” she said to the driver, as she opened the back door. Out of nowhere, she heard loud squawks overhead and looked up. She saw two large birds flying high in the sky, first side by side and then chasing one another. “Ha,” Cheryl remarked out loud, before entering the cab. The cab driver took her luggage and placed it in the trunk. Cheryl bundled her jacket tighter before hopping inside. The car took off down the gray cobblestone streets that were lined with café terraces and budding branches of green. Cheryl wasn’t exactly sure where she was headed – believe it or not, she still needed to find an Airbnb – but she knew that she was headed to where she was meant to be. The two birds followed, all the while chasing each other, as the cab carried Cheryl to her destination.
The two birds continued to fly and dance in the air. It seemed as if their dance involved following the cab as it made its way through the city of lights.
Back in his yard, dusk had fallen and the wind had picked up. Robert had finished planting for the day and came back inside where he started a fire. He was really looking forward to tomorrow because a new day would come. He was finally going on a date with someone new. He took comfort in the fact that Cheryl was going to live the life that she’d always wanted in Paris. The street lights shone bright in their respective cities on either side of the Atlantic. Tomorrow would be a new day for both of them.
Sandra closed the book as she finished reading it to her daughter, who had fallen asleep. The buzzing of motorbikes grew loud and faint in a continuous cycle outside her daughter’s bedroom window that overlooked the busy Parisian street. “Legend says,” Sandra said to her sleeping daughter in French, “that one of the birds died of heartache after losing sight of the cab and never finding it. But others say that that’s just an old wives’ tale. It seems that in the end, no one will ever really know.”
Sandra turned off the lights, and with that she, too, went to sleep for the evening.
April 2003. 10:00 p.m. I plopped down onto my seat on a train at Gare d’Austerlitz. I was seated next to a row of strangers, alone with my Walkman, and India Arie’s silky vocals in her song, “Beautiful,” which rocked me to sleep with its accompanying melismatic guitar chords.
I was 20 years old, an international student in Paris, and I was on my way to the north of Spain, ready to begin the first part of my spring break. I was scheduled to arrive at the border of France and Spain, from where I’d continue by taking the bus for another six hours or so to meet my cousin and his wife in Oviedo, the town in which they lived.
The transition from France to Spain was like going from seeing porcelain to sunny skies and women with blond streaks and funky red hair. I rode through Basque territory and later discovered that the graffiti I saw from my window seat was the manifestation of a separatist movement happening in the north of Spain.
My trip to Spain, however, went smoothly. My cousin and his wife went to work in the morning while I stayed behind in their apartment. In the afternoon, they returned for lunch and siesta. We travelled to a mountaintop village called Oseja de Sajambre, a village of only about 300 inhabitants, where the surroundings were so quaint that it felt like I was walking in a big 19th century outdoor living room. I remember sitting with a huge family during lunch, during which we talked and ate traditional paella. Ever so self-conscious of my Spanish amongst natives, I mostly just listened.
I spent those first few days of my spring break in Spain, and then – believe it or not – came back to Paris mid-week to finish working on a political science paper that was due on Friday. Like the weight of a ball and chain, that paper was the only thing separating me from the rest of my freedom. I left Spain by train on a Wednesday, arrived in Paris Thursday morning, spent the whole day in the computer lab working on my paper, and then went to class on Friday morning. I made it back home after class in T minus whatever time it was, and packed in a rush to make it to the airport for my flight to Italy. Scrambling, I realized when I got to the train station that my metro card didn’t have enough money to let me go through. Thankfully, this really nice African woman let me pass through the turnstiles with her so that I could make the commuter rail train to the airport that I would have otherwise missed.
I cursed the train and all its delays as I watched the time speed by on my watch. My flight was about to take off in the next five minutes, but I was still five minutes away from the airport. I secretly wished that all it would take were those five minutes for me to make it to the airport, go through security, and land in my seat before takeoff. Of course, I was dreaming. I made it to the airport alright, but I missed my flight to Italy. Luckily, the airline agent put me on the next flight out without issue. I loved Alitalia because of the fact that they fed us almost three times on a 2+ hour flight. Europeans know how to treat their customers, I told myself.
I was headed to Florence, and I was supposed to meet the rest of my study abroad friends at the Duomo – a name which meant nothing to me at the time – until I got there. I remember getting the email before my trip, and how one of the girls in my study abroad cohort said that we’d be meeting at “the Duomo.” I remember thinking at the time that I had no clue what that was, but was confident that I’d figure it out once I got there.
I had some conversational phrases from my travel guide lined up by the time I landed in Florence. After exiting the airport, I found the right phrase and asked the closest person I saw, quite confidently, “Como se arriva a il Duomo?” The female police officer didn’t skip a beat and started giving me a detailed explanation in full-fledged Italian, which caught me by surprise: “….sinistra….” is the only thing I remembered. I was supposed to take a left somewhere, and I understood that it wasn’t supposed to be far. Not wanting to reveal my ill-comprehension, I said “Grazie,” “thank you,” and walked away, knowing that I’d find it somehow. And I did.
The Duomo, alas, was probably the biggest cathedral in Florence whose brick dome could be seen from anywhere in the city. Turns out it was easy to find because it was such a significant landmark (good pick, girls). So when I arrived, I waited in front of it…until no one came. This was well before smart phones, so a short while after waiting at the Duomo, I decided to walk down the nearest street, and found an internet café at the end of it. I learned after checking my email that the meet-up time had been pushed back to a later time (which was great, considering that I had made it there after the earlier planned time because of missing my flight), so I went back to the Duomo and waited until my friend Erin saw me a distance away. Filled with excitement, she waved me down frantically until we were all reunited in front of the Duomo as a group. From that point on, my friends and I travelled through the streets of Italy – specifically Florence and Rome – à l’Auberge Espagnole.
With travel guides in hand, we went to museums (not my favorite exercise; due to my impatience, I usually breeze through them in a matter of minutes), walked across the Tiber River (and it felt like I was walking inside my Latin book), and had luscious gelato after gelato. I remember meeting Giuseppe, an Italian waiter who told us that we needed to come back to visit him in 10 years (we’re about six years past that time now).
I have to say that my Italian comprehension was so good, that after scoring well on a jeopardy-type quiz at one of the museum exhibits (and putting all those Latin lessons to good use), the person behind me asked me a question in Italian to see if she could go next, I presume. Stunned that she thought I could speak the language and not wanting to give away my cover, I just nodded yes.
During that time in my life, all I needed was a map to guide me as I walked all over the cities I traveled, visiting all the tourist spots that those travel guides told me to see. La Fontana di Trevi, Piazza dei Populo, Piazza Navona (from whence I bought these two belts that I have barely worn to this day)…I walked it all, by myself, and spoke to natives in the limited Italian I picked up, and understood them from the Spanish I knew.
I remember calling the hostel I was supposed to stay at in Rome on a pay phone, and struggling through my conversation with the owner as he proceeded to explain to me in Italian how to get there once I arrived. I figured it out, more or less (or probably not at all), by communicating back to him in Spanish and asking him to repeat himself numerous times. I knew he was frustrated. So was I.
In Rome, I remember the time that I got lost late at night while I was walking back to my friend’s apartment. I was in a web of alleyways, and there were so many twists and turns and little streets to go down, that I got completely turned around. Luckily, I found a pay phone, called my friend, and he directed me back to his place. But it was always all good. I was never afraid of not finding my destinations because I knew, somehow, that I’d find them. That was a time in my life when I had no fear, just unbridled curiosity and passion for adventure.
When I was a student in Paris, all of Europe became my backyard. I was lucky to always be down to go on a trip somewhere. When my American friends told me about their plan to go to Italy for spring break, I was down. I had a Brazilian classmate who had said that she was going to Germany for a weekend, and I was down. All I had to do was go to the bus station and buy a ticket; it was that easy. So we went from having class in Paris on a Friday, to taking the bus that night to Germany, where we (mostly I) stayed up talking about American politics with a Frenchman (or maybe he was Canadian) and a German. My friends and I visited Munich; we stayed in a hostel, and we took the tram to a concentration camp in Dachau (that is a whole ‘nother story to process). By Monday, we were back in Paris.
In Paris, I saw the movie, L’Auberge Espagnole, with my American friends. It was about a group of students who met and lived together in Spain during their year abroad. They were all from different countries in Europe, and Spain had become their home for that brief period of time in their lives. During their time abroad, they experienced friendship, heartache, adventure, and comical confusion as they tried to navigate an educational system that was completely foreign to them in all their different languages.
I watched L’Auberge Espagnole with my friend, Kuon, and other friends in a French movie theater. I remember feeling that the actors were literally living our lives on screen: the parties, the dinners, the outdoor escapades, drinking wine in the street, sitting on the steps of Sacre Coeur with all of Paris’ university students after finals, and then walking back home with a friend after midnight through all the neighborhoods, cobble stone streets and cafés (Erin!).
Studying in Paris was my L’Auberge Espagnole. Living in that city for six months became my real-world experiment of discovering new friends, places, and different parts of myself. It was the place where I created memories that have lived on with me to this day. And for that, I will always be thankful.
I spent one of the best times of my life this year on a beach with my cousins in the Dominican Republic. It had literally only taken a phone call and a spontaneous Facebook messaging session for the three of us to find ourselves together at Playa Cabarete several days later.
Before that, I had been lamenting to another cousin about a promotion that I didn’t get, but thought I really wanted, and had been questioning where I’d be going with my life next. Her pep talk reminded me that everything that I wanted to materialize in my life happened because I willed it to be; I thought it. That was all I needed to remind me that if I wanted to live a life of travel, I could make that happen.
So I did. In what was probably the most spontaneous thing I’ve ever done, I picked up the phone and called another cousin who also happened to be seeking her next travel adventure. Somehow DR popped up as the mutual destination of interest, and somehow my cousin living there said – in a separate conversation that I started with him at the exact same time that I was on the phone – we could come to his place at any time.
It was destiny.
Being on the beach in DR was exactly the remedy I needed. I remember sitting on the sand, in front of my cousin Jeff’s tent, with dembow blasting in the background, my cousin Chevonne sunbathing to my right, and me just looking out at the ocean, thinking that I absolutely needed nothing more from life in that moment. It was so fulfilling I don’t know how else to describe it. I was content. I had no stress, no worry, nothing plaguing my mind; I was just there.
That’s exactly what life should be like. Don’t plan or over-anticipate. Just freaking Be. Be yourself. And be with your family and the only things that matter: earth, air, water (and fire to keep you warm if it gets cold). I had all of that. Once the sun had set, we sauntered over to the dinner table that had been waiting for us, that had been prepared by the waiters from the nearby restaurant. Our food was ready and the restaurant lights were glimmering in the background.
We spent that whole night eating and laughing in that cool Caribbean air, with live music playing in the background and our feet touching the sand. I couldn’t have asked for a more magical moment than that.
I've been really lucky that I've been able to realize my dreams: traveling, writing, lawyering. Sometimes, I wish that I spent more time developing my biggest passion which is to write. But in order to do that, I need to find some kind of gig that pays and gives me the stability that I now have.
The first time I left the country (the US) was in 2003. I left to study in Paris for six months. As an exchange student and part of the EU student program, I travelled to Germany, Italy, and Spain. I loved Europe and often felt like it was my second home because of the instant comfort and familiarity I felt whenever I returned. I now know and understand Parisian culture. I have a school that was mine and a place where I lived in Paris. I have routines that I practiced, like getting off at the same Metro stop, walking down the same street, and visiting friends. When I was studying in Paris, I took a weekend trip to Munich and then spent my spring break in the north of Spain visiting my cousin, and in Italy being a tourist and staying with a friend. C'était la vie.
I came back to the States and didn't return to Europe again until the fall of 2008. I worked in the Netherlands for three months. I lived in the Hague (Den Haag, as it's called in Dutch) with a roommate. Funny thing is, when I arrived, I was so jet-lagged, that my roommate woke me up on the first day of work, and I remember just standing there, staring at her blankly. And then she went, "Wake up Sabrina; you're in Europe!" Looking back on it now, I am utterly amused at how comical I must have looked, obviously showing no signs that I had a clue where I was, nor why I had come to her country. Hearing my roommate actually say that I was in Europe was the kicker I needed to remind myself to get ready to start my first day working for the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. My time in Den Haag is actually a whole 'nother story 'cause I can literally spend pages writing about it from so many viewpoints. Let's just say that I learned how to balance working on cases of genocide (which was very draining, but about which I felt extremely passionate), and having a healthy social life of great and supportive friends. In Den Haag, happy hour was a very big deal on Tuesday nights - why Tuesday nights and not on Friday nights beats me. I was often the only, or one of the handful of, brown people in my groups, but I've been used to that since like forever. At least everyone spoke English, I rationalized to myself, so at least I was in the in-group somehow.
I left the Netherlands and didn't return to Europe again until three years later, when I visited my friend (let's call him) Nicola in his homeland of Sicily. I met Nicola when we were both in the Hague. Visiting him in Sicily was interesting because I definitely noticed the stares from people, which seemed to teeter between curiosity and hostility, either at again, seeing a brown face, or seeing a brown face in the company of a white face who was clearly getting along pretty well with him.
Tomorrow I go back to Europe for the first time in six years. That seems criminal, based on how frequently I used to find myself there (actually this year is the first time I've left the country in six years, so that's probably the real feeling that I find disturbing). I'll be visiting another friend who I met while we both studied in Paris. I'll be visiting Barcelona and Madrid. I am open to meeting the World and experiencing new things. I can't wait for this experience to begin and I know I'll be sad when it's over. Is there a way that we (I) can figure out how to just keep traveling on a continual basis? If you figure it out, please let me know!
I’ve left behind friends from Germany, Italy, and Spain. I had been with them for a brief moment in time in our lives, which was cut short by the fact that we had to get on with the natural trajectory that our respective lives would take us.
I had met these friends while I was working and studying abroad, and it’s crazy to me how you can totally grow accustomed to having a routine with someone as a major part of your life in a certain place, and then all of a sudden go back to living life without them at all. When I was in Paris, I’d meet my German friend for coffee; we’d walk together to and from school, and we’d meet to talk about life, politics, our home cultures and family. Because he lived so close to me, we would always part ways on the end of my street. And then we were gone.
In the Netherlands, I met an Italian friend who cooked for me and literally took care of me in every sense of the word. We went to clubs, cafés, friends’ houses and restaurants together. We ate lunch together, grabbed coffee together and worked together. And that was our life. Until we both left the Netherlands.
Also in Paris, I had a really close friend from Spain who was like my sister, that’s how close we were. We reunited in Paris six years later and relived our previous study abroad experience by visiting our university, our homes and doing Parisian things like going to the bakery and walking down les Champs-Elysées. Then one day, we had to rush to the train station so fast so she could make her train back to Spain. Literally, as soon as she set foot in the door, her train took off. I couldn’t believe that in that one instant she was gone again. For Lord knows how long. Because I knew the odds were that I’d probably never see her again. For I was also going to make my way back to the United States until who knows when I could return again.
And that was our life. Together and then gone again.
It’s amazing to me that you can have such meaningful experiences with people for a moment in time that makes it feel like you’ve known them forever. And it’s amazing how those experiences get cut short by the fact that your time together must come to an end, and your regular life calls you to return to the routine that you had before you ever met.
Perhaps one day, we will visit each other. But even still, we will never go back to living the life that we used to have together.
And that is hard.
[Update: I did get to see my friend from Spain again when I went to Madrid in June 2017. When we both left Paris in 2003, I promised her I'd come visit her in her homeland, and welp, I did! Two reunions in 14 years? I'll take it!]
Monday, December 8, 2008
I am back in the place where I spent six months of my life living and learning in the French way. Yesterday evening I saw my French family and I feel so connected to them in a spiritual way. I feel connected in the sense that the familiarity of my everyday routine of being a student in Paris did not really come back to me when I saw them, but there was such a strong bond of familiarity, it was like I knew them from another life. Another life that happened so long ago, that sometimes feels like it never happened, but that I could not deny was what brought us together. *Carmen, my French sister, was 13 the last time I saw her and now is 19. I can’t believe it…I feel like when I left her house yesterday I was ripped away from her too soon before we got to catch up on how her life has been for the past six years since the last time I saw her. I cannot believe it’s been six years. It feels like ten or twenty. Because the sense of familiarity that I have, while there, still feels very distant.
Why don’t I feel like I’m back at home? Why don’t I feel the same as I did when I was here for the first time? Maybe it’s because I’m older now. Maybe it’s because my life has changed so much. Maybe it’s because my responsibilities aren’t the same, because I know so much more now, because so much has happened to me since, because I’ve changed so much since. Maybe it’s because the people who shared the experience of studying abroad in Paris with me are no longer here; maybe it’s because so much in Paris has changed that it no longer feels like a familiar city. Maybe it’s because of a lot of things.
But I know right now that I miss my French family. I wish I could have spent more weeks with them so that I could remember how it felt like to be a new American student living with a French family who welcomed me with open arms and treated me with so much love, adoration, and respect. I love my French family and for making me feel loved despite our cultural differences, for treating me like family despite that we began as complete strangers. I love my French family for making me feel like a part of Paris and for making this place home for me for six months of my life when I was only twenty years old. I love them and miss them and want to love them forever.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
I left Paris today. Just as it was all starting to come back to me. The feeling that my footsteps have trodded this city. The feeling of taking the metro everyday, the familiar smell blowing from the vents in the street, finally finding la Rue de Fossés Saint Jacques and walking into the old EDUCO building (#26) as if I were a student there again, pausing in the square in front of the old EDUCO building and remembering how it used to feel to be there, passing by the patisserie with the red awning on the left, right next to the EDUCO building, and remembering how I used to buy sandwiches there with *Kris and all my EDUCO friends before or after class, walking down the street and remembering how to get to la Rue Soufflot, feeling the feeling of walking down la Rue Soufflot and seeing the restaurant Crêpes à go-go where I think we had crêpes for the first time, spotting The Phone House and remembering that *Christina and I met two African guys there who introduced us to the nightlife of Paris, walking down le Boulevard Saint Michel all the way to le Boulevard Saint Germain and remembering the time I walked for an hour from my house to EDUCO because of the strikes that affected the subway (that lasted quite a while), spotting the store Troifoisrien (3 Times Nothing = a dollar store) on Boulevard Saint Michel and remembering how I passed by it one, two, multiple times, passing by Gibert Joseph and remembering how I came to buy my school supplies there…
So much, so much came back to me today, it was really amazing. I woke up in Paris but tonight I sleep elsewhere. I know I used to live there. I know I have a connection to that place. I know that I was a student there who worked hard and took advantage of everything the French education system had to offer me as well as the wonderful city life that Paris had to offer. I know that there was a time that I hung out with a bunch of Cornell, Duke, and Emory friends and we walked, traveled, and pioneered across all the different neighborhoods of Paris. I know that there are memories that I revisited on this trip and more that remain to be re-awakened, such as the times when I would visit *Hien in his apartment right across from La Sorbonne and he would cook for me and we would eat and have passionate discussions on his balcony under the summer sun, his balcony which was so close that it felt like it was almost touching the roof of the Sorbonne. I know that it was all real. And I hope that I can go back to it again and feel like I did when I first came to Paris, with my heart open and ready to discover the world that was all around and inside me.
Things You Probably Wouldn’t Have Known About Denver (or Colorado) If You’ve Never Visited (pics below):
Driving up Lookout Mountain (elevation 7,379 feet) in Golden, Colorado! I have to say that I've been truly blessed in all of my travel experiences. My close friend from college told her friend from law school that I was in the area and within a moment's notice (ok, more like a few days' notice) her friend was at my hotel to pick me up and took me out on the town for a full day of activities in Golden & Downtown Denver - hours before I was scheduled to leave town. Thank you friend of my friend!!!!
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Life is a circle. A circle of events, and beginnings, and endings that turn into new beginnings.
A few hundred years ago – about 4 – a lot of Africans were taken from this land, this very land that I’m in, and brought to the “New World.” They became the African diaspora. We of the diaspora call this the Motherland. The image of Africa we revere is the Africa that stood 400 years ago. That is the Africa we know, or knew. Strangely however, strangely, things have changed.
I’ve never before felt of something and not of something at the same time. I know I have roots here. I know that someone in my bloodline walked on these lands and was of here, just like these people today are of here. I know this is so.
And yet, at the same time, I am not of here like these people are of here. They speak the language; they practice the customs – that I never knew. I never knew.
I am in Africa, nearly 400 years after the time that Europeans altered my history and made me a product of the “New World,” instead of being a young African girl who would grow and become part of a tribe.
This continent does not know me anymore.
Or maybe it just doesn’t recognize me.
I’ve come home, Mom. It’s me, Abena. Do you remember? Do you remember when I used to walk on your earth at dusk, eating my dinner peacefully outside with my clan? Do you remember how I used to play before they came and took me away? Mom, do you remember? And I know how much you yearned when they took me away. Your body ached; your soul cried, and you were barren for many, many years. As a matter of fact, you still have not fully recovered from the hundreds of years that they deprived you of your offspring. Your hard-working, productive offspring. They took the strongest, the toughest, the most able to endure hundreds of thousands of miles of Atlantic ocean and misery and disease and drudgery and pain and suffering and blood and tears and blood and tears and blood and sweat and beatings and rape and brutality and discrimination and racism and prejudice, and they took us all and tried to beat us into nothing, into slaves, into death – but they could not keep us from surviving. Mom, they took us away, but they could not kill us! They kidnapped us, but could not bury us. Mom, we’ve been gone for so long. I understand why you don’t recognize me. But it’s true; I am here! The last time you saw me 400 years ago, they took me through the Door of No Return, and they had you believe that I would not return. But Mom, they were wrong. Here I am, returned! After 400 years I proved them wrong. Mom, when I left, I did not die. I know you thought I was dead, but I did not die.
Ancestors, I don’t know how you did it. But one thing’s for sure – for anyone to go through what you went through, for anyone to endure the hundreds of years of what you went through without end…kidnapped, shackled, tortured, shipped, enslaved; kidnapped, shackled, tortured, shipped, enslaved; kidnapped, shackled, tortured, shipped enslaved…and the fact that you’re still here, in me, in my melanin, in my hair, in my face, and my eyes…Ancestors, for anyone to go through what you went through, and for you to still be present in me: I ask that you please lend me your spirit. Because with your spirit, I will never die; our life will never end; our culture will never cease; and our memory will never fade. Because to live will be the beginning of the end of a new life, that will be born and will survive the circle of events that occur in our history, that are yet to become the future of our present offspring, whom we have yet to know but will have always known when they enter this life, whether or not it be one thousand miles from where you gave birth to them, because they will travel and journey and wander until they make it back to the source of your stream. They will return in different form but will always be the remnants of your soul.
I came, I saw, I freakin conquered!!!
I'm a self-avowed groupie, so when my friend suggested going to Nashville, I didn't think twice because: 1) I love(d) the tv show; 2) I loooove music; and 3) I soooo wanted to see Deacon & Rayna or end up on the show somehow.
I have to tell you that #3 almost really did happen. I got the email of a casting guy and found out that I was a week too late because they had already stopped filming when I got there.
A girl can only dream! See what my experience was like here (I had to dedicate a whole site to itself about my visit to Nashville):