I have found blogging to be a strange experience. For one, the happenings of daily life have become, for the most part, normal. I don’t mean to downplay the awesomeness of my experience here, but this is a major reason for the sparseness of my posts.
So let’s see, here are some cool things I have done over the past couple of weeks…
Last weekend Timothy and I went for a very long hike with our friend Isaac. Isaac is a very talented artist. He makes beautiful woodcarvings, a couple of which I will be coming home with. He is a really interesting, open-minded guy, and for a living he carves canoes! So on our hike we went up to one of his work sites. To get there it was about two hours along the beach, up and down large rock formations, and into the forest—a really fun and gorgeous trip. Isaac carves these canoes from single, MASSIVE trees with nothing but an axe, a carving tool, and solid manpower. As Isaac goes through the process of cutting them down, carving them into canoes, and dragging them from the forest to their new home-the sea-he forms a connection with and appreciation for each tree. Powerful stuff. Definitely one of the coolest things I have done here.
A couple of weeks ago, Gabriel put together a huge event for the community. He has formed an entertainment collective of Robertsport performers, mostly musicians and dancers, called RAP Entertainment. One of his professional goals is to represent and advocate for local artists. Gabriel is a natural born leader, and has quickly and successfully learned how to manage this group of young people. So with the help of his friends, he put together a three-day event here in Robertsport in which local musicians and dance crews had multiple opportunities to perform. He also invited performers from Monrovia to be a part of this, and the response was AWESOME. I took a little bit of video footage that I will upload to the photobucket page. He worked like a mad man to put this together, but did it with ipressive confidence and maturity. He is quickly building a highly respectable reputation, and is a true leader amongst the young people here. I should also add that he makes his own music…all I have to say is look out P Squared.
What else…I guess that covers the most major events. Cori Rose said my name the other day! It was one of the cutest things ever. Oh man, that baby girl is going to be a heartbreaker. She sure does bring a whole lot of light into this house.
In classic Clare style, I have taken on multiple side projects, and in good time will be able to share them with you. Until then, I am just following my scatter-plotted stars and trying to figure out which of them shine the brightestJ To have choices is a beautiful thing.
I woke up tonight around 12:30 am. Of all things, it was the silence that woke me. For such a small town, Kru Twon is very noisy, especially when there is a death in the community. Celebrations go on 24 hours a day for at least one week, and the latest has been going on for almost ten days. Death is common here, reasons usually being inaccessibility to health care or witchcraft—I can’t imagine which would be harder to swallow. Anyway, you get used to sleeping in the noise, but tonight I was happy to wake up and hear noting but birds, insects, the wind and the water. I am outside on the porch now, breathing in the warm breeze and listening to the cycles of the ocean—in one ear and out the other. It’s almost 3 am. The moon is bright and I can see the spread of its light on the ocean. You can’t make this stuff up. It’s beautiful. Normally, I would be irritated by my inability to go back to sleep but tonight, I am thankful.
This past weekend has been the hardest part of my journey here. Someone very important to me passed away back home. I am trying my best to have faith in God and the universe in that I am where I am supposed to be, but being on another edge of the planet is not easy. Grief will drive a person mad.
This moment, here on the porch, is the first time in days that I have felt release, like my lungs have loosened their grip on my chest, like I can cry to heal instead of spin in circles. This moment is a gift. I believe that those who have passed on look out for us. Someone woke me up tonight. Someone wanted me to enjoy this. Someone wanted to show me peace.
For those of you on my mother’s side, yesterday I was reading by the lake and two doves landed on a branch right in front of me. They were nuzzling each other and stayed the entire time I was there. They knew I needed them.
April 8th, Easter Sunday
I waited this week through to decide if I should post the above entry. Social media is not my favorite emotional outlet…another reason for the frequency of my blogs.
One week after I woke to that rare peace and quiet, I still feel its hold on me. I know that I will look back on that night 50 years from now as an important moment, something worth sharing. I’m going to tip my hat to cousin Rachael and say, “It’s dark, so you can see the light.”
Speaking of Rachael, your Liberian fan base is on the riseJ And based off of what I have heard coming out of various African countries, particularly Nigeria, I think an African tour might be in orderJ I’m not kidding they would eat you alive.
This morning I attended service at St. John’s Episcopal church with Mother Robertson (the really awesome 80 year old American mentioned in a previous blog) and other friends. It was a beautiful service full of celebration, and great way to begin Easter Sunday.
There is music going on at City Hall so I should get a move on!
Peace and love.