“As a young boy, I dreamed of being a baseball, but tonight I say, we must move forward, not backward, upward not forward, and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom!” – Kodos during one of his campaign speeches, The Simpsons
I am not going to lie, I wrote this blog post two days before it actually got posted, but I feel that it’s appropriate in some metaphysical way, representing the time it took for me to leave America and arrive in Kenya. I left on November 11th, and arrived on the 13th. I think the 12th got lost in Amsterdam somewhere, like so many days of so many people. I am sure we could all have second lives if we simply reclaimed the days lost by others in Amsterdam. So here I sit writing on the 11th while you sit reading on the 13th. Enjoy the temporal-ness of your existence for a moment. Continue reading
Before coming here, I wouldn’t say music played an overly important role in my life. Sure, I listened to music quite a lot, I had my favorite collections, I annoyed the passengers in my car with what might be considered a limited selection, I would even go to concerts, but it was always in the background. I can’t even remember all the lyrics to some of my favorite songs, much less their actual titles.
But always being in the background also meant that each song seemed to absorb the memories of that moment. Conversations were recorded, emotions were stored, actions were remembered. And even though the sounds or lyrics of each song never changed, they actually did. You just don’t get to hear it, because, well, now these songs are singing only to me. I’ll give you the jist of what they are singing:
“We remember! We remember what you did! We remember how you felt! Remember that night? Remember those words? Remember that love, that hate, that joy? In case you forget don’t worry friend, we are here to help you remember! We know humans like to forget, you aren’t good at remembering, but that’s why we are here friend. We are here to help you remember.”
I have never been so grateful. Mom always made sure the kids wrote thank you notes to people who had been kind to us, but if I were to write a thank you note to every artist who has helped my time here, well, that would take a lot of postage.
My songs are with me when I am happy and want to keep it going. They are with me when I am sad and want that to keep that going too (sometimes nostalgia is necessary). But more importantly, they are there when I am sad and need to be happy, when I need that pickup that only good times with good people can give you, and if I am sitting there, and there don’t seem to be any good people around (or any people for that matter), well, those memories are all right there.
For this I am grateful.