Inspired, or rather Outspired by Afua Hirsch’s book: Brit(ish), i’ve spent the last four days writing a screenplay about the life and death of Mzee Mohammed. I’ve written my first draft. I’m open. The rest is up to you universe!
During our News Years celebrations this wonderful woman came up to me and asked me to write something for her small project ‘the Exquisite Dead’ in which she selects strangers on her travels to write whatever they want (preferably a poem). We attach our emails at the end of it and then she’s going amalgamate them into one great poem.
Here’s what I wrote:
Life is like a yoyo,
With as many downs as it has ups,
We try our best to stay up,
But in doing so we miss the beauty
That darkness offers us,
If we only knew that darkness is just
As nourishing as light.
Like when we rest our heads to dream at night,
It is darkness that sends us soothingly to sleep.
Some say we are most ourselves in our dreams,
Who we spend our waking hours trying to neglect.
Don’t forget, we were born in the belly of the abyss,
We too shall return into blissfulness.
When the suns’ rays attack our days,
We seek refuge in the shade.
In reality: we gain the same amount
from our struggles,
If not more. Smooth seas
Don’t make skilled sailors they day
So we must embrace our darkness as a beauty within itself,
Learn from those moments; allow them to give us strength,
Then, only then, may we be truly infinite.
…Chiaroscuro (The balance of light and dark)
Stuck on the block
Sittin’ in a box
Don’t let the say what you can’t achieve
When people where enslaved
One of the things they did
Was stop them READing
‘Cos it’s well understood
That intelligent people
Would take their FREEdom.
If we knew our POWER
We would know
We cannot be held down
If we knew our POWER
We would see
That we’re rich already
If we knew our POWER…
“Actors need to have an arrogance about them. Not in public or in the their private lives but when they work. Actors have to have that drive, that instinct that says: this role is mine”
A Life in Parts
I feel myself withdrawing, a habit of mine I deploy when I feel uncomfortable, slowly losing confidence, I retreat inside me. My curious Mochileros eye’s have turned inwards and everything turns from positive to negative.
I’m sitting in this hostel, kicking myself for not being out there and enjoying Mexico. I think I have this pre-conceived idea about Mexico, that I’ll be out there, facing my fears, boldly throwing myself out there, meeting an array of people and having the best time! I’ve done a lot since coming to Mexico. Just came back from a day trip to Hidalgo. It’s ok to have a day where I stay in, keep to myself, chill and read a book. I have read a lot today. I’m coming to the end of this book A life in Parts an autobiography by Bryan Cranston.
I’ll never forget the day after I came back from an endarkening experience in Amsterdam which I speak briefly about in #Unfucktheworld in which I got high on space cakes, abandoned my friend Killian, wondered off and got lost for 6 hours scrutinising my heightened senses and began writing poetry based on the subconscious fear a person of the African diaspora inherits Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote about in a book I had just read called Between the World and Me.
The day after that trip, with seeds of the thought of travelling now blooming, I sat on the toilet and watched an interview with Bryan Cranston in which they asked him “What is your best advice for a young actor?” He response was to “Travel… go explore, get lost and wander”. It was from that moment I knew I wanted to go and travel.
Now I’m sitting on a toilet in San Miguel, Mexico wondering if I should stay in this town or leave. It’s just not the quite the right town for me… I want to see other backpackers, young Mexicans. I want to be able to party, dance and have a great time. As beautiful as this city is, San Miguel is just not that place I want.
I met this cool Italian guy, called Guadope, he was a 40 year old traveller, who appeared as if he were 28 with a small frame and hearty beard. He’d lived in Mexico the past 7 years, making and selling jewellery, never growing tired of travelling through it’s spiritful town.
Each encounter I have with a Mochilero corroborates my desire to travel more. But to what cost? I graduate from MST nearly 6 months ago with this idea of beginning my acting career, but now I’m swayed with the notion of travelling. Listening to various people’s tales of travelling, leaves me yearning to explore the world. To dedicate time, months even, venturing off into the unknown and experiencing a countries culture and history.
I love art and acting and writing etc This is a part of who I am no doubt but how do marry these with exploring the world. They’re not antithetical, granted, but how do I fit my love for art in with my love for travelling?
Things to do tomorrow
- Pick up laundry
- VIsit Benitez park
- Go to Mama Mia for Breakfast
- Maybe stay at La Catarina Hostel
- Visit the Spanish school
- Post postcards
“Get your house in order, your relationships, your health, your personal life: that’s your foundation. If your home life is sane, it allows you to go insane in your work.”
A Life in Parts
One of the benefits of learning Spanish and speaking it, is that it forces me to be more concise. No bullshit, straight to the heart of what I want to say; say it. (Besides I don’t know a vast amount of word to be garrulous anyway 😉 I notice now when I do speak English I’m less verbose. What do I want to say and say it! Of course, I want to still be amicable and conversational, but practising Spanish instills a certain discipline of structuring sentences that I never had before.
I’m currently sitting in the museo de Jose Alfredo Jiminez in Dolores Hidalgo.. On our way home from that appalling concert yesterday, Wendy, who I met yesterday, spoke about this town, which was a 40 minute drive from San Miguel. It was the home of the Jose Alfredo museum, the legendary Mariachi musician (I watched the Disney movie ‘Coco’ the other day… Diego Rivera reminded me of Jose Alfredo… just saying!). She told me it was a Pueblo Magico, one of ‘Magical towns’ in Rough Guides and instantly I was intrigued. “I could take you there if you’d like.” she prompted. “Yeah, when?” “Tomorrow” “Cool!” “Meet me at the Mama Mia restaurant tomorrow at 11.30 am, I’m meeting a friend there for breakfast, and we’ll drive in my car.” “Excellent!” and so today we explored this magical town.
One of the things that ran through my mind (a had done so many times before) was the idea of understanding the power of self-value. Knowing one’s history.
Many Mexicans desire the American Dream, that is to move to
America the US, take advantage of its “opportunities”, move their family and their life would be complete. But as Rafael said, that’s all it is. A dream.
Once this country values their own skills and history enough to break the chains of a somewhat colonial neighbour, they’d be able to benefit from this countries resources and skills. They may also understand that they can have their dreams right here in Mexico. Here, many people wish to don designer Italian leather boots. Why? Because brands like Armani are a cultural symbol of wealth. They are loaded with status because of the importance we stamp on it. But when I learned that Armani import most of their leather from Leon, Mexico, I ask myself hypothetically “why do I want Armani boots when I can get just as good, if not better quality, from Leon?” Knowing my history, and self-worth would help me to seek pride in my countries own products and stop looking at cultural stamps as badges of assurance. I don’t know if I’m making sense…
I am living my dreams and now starting to explore the world! I have already caught the travellers and have no doubt that this will be my last backpacking journey.
I want to use this as an opportunity to thank you for raising me in the way you did. The love and security that you, dad the family gave me, built a foundation that has allowed to feel confident in venturing off into the unknown. In the process I am learning more about myself.
I enjoy how much more we communicate when I’m away. I feel like we make more of an effort to understand each other. I hope this continues when I get back.
I love you to the stars and back.
P.s: Please keep achieving your dreams too!