- It has been seven months since my last (legit) post.
- That sentence sounds like I’m in confession.
- That title is inspired by the refrain of a childhood game. I don’t quite remember which game but here’s three things on my mind:
“So, if there’s one thing that I’m hoping 2016 will be full of, it’s that feeling that anything could be possible. I hope that everything will feel possible, whether it’s in July or October, or even if it’s the 20th of December 2016.”
At the end of a long day at the Goethe/SSDA Flow Workshops, I feel like I’m back in secondary school. My hands– all of our hands– have been running across paper all day, responding to prompts that our facilitator, Muthoni Garland reads out from the front of the room. We read texts and respond to them. We break off for tea and lunch around our table and have the chance to speak with one another.
“I want to be a writer who can give you the illusion that you have two hearts. My tales are tragic, rather than sad, meaning they have a catastrophic force. Some writers can give you two heartbeats—one for the beauty of the words, another for the event. I want to be a writer who can give you the illusion that you have two hearts.”
– Yvonne Vera
Photo by Kevin Tosh
Things I’ve been thinking about in the time that I was away: how social media (and blogs) can give us only snippets of a person’s reality; how getting to know people as human beings humanizes them in ways that even the best literature or the best films or the best interviews cannot; how much knowing people– actually knowing them– takes them from a flat idea to something much more concrete, more nuanced and more complicated. And, how liberating it can be to not carry the burden of being a nice person.
Photographs: Kevin Tosh.
I’ve been sitting on this post for a while now (although I suppose another way to say it would be that I’ve been “lulling over this post”). You know when you have so many thoughts that the only way to put them in words is to write them down, but then writing them down only makes them feel more and more confused and at some point you’re kinda tripping over everything and you can’t really tell whether there’s a point or whether the point will be legible to anyone reading except for yourself or whether even *you* can actually see the point? Well. Yes. That.
January was full of lots of beautiful things: a lot of art, of good food, of friendship, but it was not without its low moments. I remember speaking with a friend a few hours after the new year had begun and they confided in me that it felt like there wasn’t much to celebrate given that some rough things had been happening around them at around the same time. To this person, I love you, I love you and I really hope that January has brought you some kindness and some beauty. <3
Photographs: Kevin Tosh
In our old family home (and probably yours, too) there’s a cabinet that’s filled with photo albums. We’d look at them once in a while on our own, but when they really came out was when we had visitors. After lunch, or during tea, guests would receive a stack of photo books whose height was directly proportional to how long it had been since they’d last visited us. First time visitors got the whole tour: spanning pre-baby photos to present day reality, more common guests only got only the more recent ones. People who visited all of the time usually would get nothing. The ritual was reciprocated when we visited other people as someone played the narrator, giving us context as we pored over volumes of family memories on our laps.
Photographs by Kevin Tosh.
I don’t tell this story much, but the first time I cut my hair in college, I hid away for a day or two. When I finally left my room, I kept my hair hidden under a Kenyan flag bandanna, so that for about 2 days none of my friends– with the exception of Princess Daisy, who had cut my hair– had any idea. I felt like the self version of Coyote Ugly. Before college, I’d only had my hair this short many years before as a five year old, an age during which I looked so incredibly awkward that my hair would have been the least of my concerns, if I had even cared about how I looked.
Dear Diary (or, I guess, dear Internet),
This year I: finally graduated, moved back home, turned down my admissions to Columbia’s MS in Journalism program, wondered if I’d made a mistake on both of these, floundered as I tried to figure out what to do next, applied for a bunch of things, got rejected for a bunch of things, got a job in consulting as well as a research fellowship, ended up stranded in Kenya due to visa issues, and then I (and this was where/ when the magic truly started to happen): made my sisters and friends do things for me and for this blog.