Sunday, February 15, 2009

Stronger Neck Muscles and No Hands 12/18/08

PhotobucketBush behind Kwame Nkrumah's grave.
(Accra, Ghana 2008)

... Africa is also ... capturing the green and yellow of the trees in the designs on tye dyed fabric so that each piece of cloth becomes a photograph. A woman with skin like coal, teal spandex tights, and a leopard print shirt rises from a low squat. Two bricks and four wooden crates are the play pin for four of the most beautiful, round, brown babies you ever saw. The oldest one is in charge. Smocks and heart shaped baskets hang from trees. A roadside stand where the "Jewellry" lady sells her products is also her dining room table and bed. The living room has more life when it's outside .. And sometimes the Queen's crown is a propane tank. As long as everyone is careful and moves with respect, nothing will explode. "Bluemenders" "Blokbuxter" and "Tako Bell" mimick America. The little boy that screams it (America!) from across the street every time I walk by has a terrible cough that has turned the white parts of his eyes entirely crimson red. I hope it's just a cold. His parents wouldn't let him hug me.

PhotobucketLittle girl carrying a bucket of water on her head.
(Cape Coast, Ghana 2008)

I've been holding the water in the bucket on my head with two hands and now I want to let it go ... but my neck muscles aren't strong enough. Everytime I take my hands away the water just spills everywhere. I am most often drenched and defeated. It's absurd to think that I could have made it from the well to the house without using my hands. Especially when no one has ever shown me how. I've taught myself many things, so this just has to be another one of them. I have to concentrate. Everything is big until you break it into smaller pieces.

At this point in the game, everything has got to become about stronger neck muscles and no hands. No more spilling the water. I've got to trust and be trusted. If I do spill it, I need to be moving forward with the objective of making it all the way to the house in dry clothes. I can work on learning how to pour it from my head into the bowl on the table after that. Making mud also means making my way through it. The hope is that one day, after I've reached the house, I can turn around, see nothing but dry road and splash some cool water on my face.

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