Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Today I watched Jesse finish one of his drums, cleaning and stretching a hide over the freshly carved rim and tightening the ropes. He's experimenting with coconut wood. He thinks he'll be able to make drums out of all kinds of wood soon. I'm going to miss the old wood that he uses though, it looks like something from a natural history museum.

Today I also finished reading the story of Siddartha Guatama Buddha, written by Deepak Chopra. I really liked it, I mean, the drama of the story was ok I guess, but I really like the Buddhist journey to enlightenment. I think I'm going to be a buddhist for a little a while. It will be fun. I just hope the Christian Missionaries here won't mind too much.

I also reread two stories by Flannery O Conner. I forgot how great she was. I think I'll go back to reading her some more now.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A brief jot from Kenya

I'm sitting in a hostel in Nairobi Kenya. Tomorrow I embark for Arusha, Tanzania where I will meet up with Jesse Borden and stay with him and his family for a week. Last night I was in a hotel in South Africa and started taking a cold. I fought it, and felt much better in the morning. Now I feel myself getting sick again. I will try fighting it again, and will take vitamens. There is a crazy lady talking about riots in LA "and it was the black people beating the pooey out of the white people" The young black African male she is talking to is mad at someone, or somepeople or something, he's is asking why and saying that it doesn't make any sense. I am sitting in a corner, I must appear rather to be a loner. I rather am a bit of a loner. I talked to one of my roomates though, he's from Ireland and just climbed Mt. Kilamanjaro for a charity. he's very tired and doesn't seem to be very comfortable here. I'm eating Portuguese bread I bought yesterday at a South African Spar. (A Spar is a grocery store owned by a particular well-known chain called Spar.) The crazy lady and the young black man are still talking, but I am having trouble folowing them. Maybe because I'm writing this. I drank 2 1/2 alchoholic beverages in the Joberg Airport. The last half I threw away because I heard my name over the airport intercom telling me that they were going to leave and that they were waiting for me. I didn't think I should show up at the gate running with half a bottle of smirnof twist. That would be embarrassing on several levels. I ordered a whisky and a bear on the airplane too. They were complimentary. I love the airlines in Africa. I didn't drink the whiskey though. It's kinda because I'm girly, but also because I'm kinda sick. I'm disappointed in myself though. X-Men 3 was playing on the flight and I watched it. I've already seen it. I bought two books to read on the plane. They Cost like 15- something dollars each. I paid with a hundred dollar bill and got change in South African Rands. I'm sick and ought to go to battle with the fever, aka, go to bed. Good night mister LCD..

Sunday, September 6, 2009


I was editing one of my posts, and had composed a rather delightful portrait of the Christian Missionary. But I crashed my computer, and since it was a Blog edit and not an original post, Blogger did not save my draft. arg. Google would have saved it. Google loves me.

Maybe it's better that I didn't post it, because the portrait wasn't actually very flattering, and I can't have anymore Christian Missionaries hating me here because I kinda depend on them for a place to sleep.

transcribed emotional experience

Last Night I felt like I received a significant emotional release. I was going through the preparatory state phase of Paul Sheele's photo reading segment of his Genius code series, and I as I was trying to relax and feel good and breathe in the delightful scent of vanilla, my mind suddenly poised itself on the hill just above Page Hall at Westmont College, it was freshman year and I was overwhelmed by a strange sense of nostalgia. The scene felt rather random and abrupt to me and the emotion was poignant so I turned off Paul and began to explore this vision and see what it was trying to show me. I let the scene take its course and observed the various pictures and people and the impressions and emotions that accompanied them. Through-out the entire experience I was overwhelmed by what I identified as a verge of potential. It was like the air was charged with an infinite string of significant and wonderful possibilities. It was exciting and romantic and undefinable. All of a sudden my memories unleashed themselves upon me and it seemed as though my entire life were unfolding before me. I've never experienced a my memory so keenly, events and people and places as well as emotions and thoughts and actions, everything was available to me like never before, experiences that I hadn't thought about for years were playing themselves before me now as if I were looking through a time warp, and I watched it all, letting it piece together my entire life as I experienced it. There was my freshmen year roommate, and the first alcohol-stocked party I attended at Westmont at the coyote house where I followed my roommate around and didn't drink, and there was the semester in high school that moved to the Bay area with my grandfather, and I saw the whole campus and I went to all my classes and I followed myself to lunch where I ate alone everyday, and I saw all the people I had come to meet, and my track team and my teachers and I saw me at my desk sophomore year of Westmont recording my God encounters and making my resolutions and lectured the Dolci boys about life, then there was the cruise my family took with the bradfords and my parents let me bring brandon dorn because it was my birthday, and I was confused when tim bradford made fun of me for not drying my back after showering and we met those girls who haunted me for months afterwords because they were so beautiful but weren't Christian, for whose souls I had decided to move to the bay area, and I was jealous of josh and tim bradford because they could talk and play with the mythical faeries and I could only pray for them. And as I traveled through my life it struck me that the emotion I had first interpreted to be nostalgia was actually regret. It was a juxtaposition of the magical potential that hung thickly in the air my entire life and the painful cycle of isolation and fear that constricted my breath and kept me from tasting life. My perspective shifted several steps into the future while remaining focused upon the present moment, lying in bed in a guest house in South Africa, just having returned from 3 months and mozambique and about to embark on a 3 week trip to tanzania. The perspective shift brought an influx of painful truth and reality right into the whole experience and I kicked against its implications. At last I allowed myself to accept what I saw, though I could only face it indirectly lest the emotions make themselves felt audibly and disturb others, and let myself be moved and wept for a wasted life. The relief and peace I felt afterwords was beautiful, and I slept soundly without a dream.

Friday, September 4, 2009

baby clinic

So I was reading over a journal entry I made while sitting in Jackie and Hida's baby clinic at Maforga in Mozambique.

Imagine being in a single room through which hundreds of badly malnourished, aids-infected children under 6 years of age are continuously circulating; each staring with vaguely curious eyes at your healthy body draped in its foreign white skin, perforated by wittingly sharp and relatively clear blue eyes. I try to imagine they see. I wonder if any light makes it through those eyes so clouded by pain and want? In some I can see nothing behind their emaciated stares, its like looking into the eyes of a comatose. Their minds have resigned, refusing to participate in a world so clearly at odds with their existence. In others the anguish is more acute. They reflect the pain with their anger, their suffering takes on the expression of rage and spills back out into the spinning Earth that so arbitrarily positioned them to suffer. These angry ones will cry sometimes, screaming with pain-inspired malice at an intangible oppressor and flailing their impotent limbs against another onslaught of agony. They are at once begging and demanding that peace and justice be established. When they lack the energy to express their hurt with violence they just stare, etching their scarred vision into the forsaken world around them with eyes emblazoned by tormented fury.
Then there are those like little Pashqua. The pain and fear in her face are not disguised, but neither do they dominate. Curiosity as much as concern springs her eyes from a foreign face to humming ceiling fan to colorful picture and on to the next face. The pain fights for her attention and tears well up in her eyes but the darkness doesn't come. She takes in every searing moment as it scalds her soul, not scarring it; purifying. She engages the world that has condemned her, searching out the exception, the relief, the redemption. Her hope is rewarded as the nurses bath her in kisses and hugs and loving caresses. She returns the smiles showered down upon her and receives the comfort of the loving embrace. For a moment she has been found and her problems forgotten. But the moment is brief and even this joy is haunted with pain. She leaves with her eyes open, chewing on a ripe banana, likely to be the 4th person in her family to die of aids.
I sit here helplessly healthy. But I recognize Pashqua. She is my savior, my king. She is the redeemer of the world. She is the one they are worshiping at church, though they have her face all wrong. All hope, all humanity is in her. I forgot to thank her. I'll pray to her tonight, 'protect me as I sleep, bless me when I wake'. She'll look down at me through her tears. I'll give her a banana. She'll nail my sins to a cross. I'll burn the cross. And we'll laugh. Pashqua... Pashqua