Thursday, June 30, 2011

Haiti Diaries || Day2...echoes of memories

(view from my window!)

Day 2.
So we landed. Went through the chaos of the airport and went through smoothly through customs. The airport seemed different and more tiresome than I remember. Then again the last time I was at this airport I was 10 and I’m pretty sure I didn’t have to wait around the only carrier-belt that held luggage for the entire airport. There were a lot of men dressed in all brown and red baseball hats eager to take newcomer’s suitcases and guide them to taxis and or the person waiting for them outside. And so when my dad, my dad’s friend (call him L) came they were talking their hustle all the way until we got into a cab and put all our suitcases. By the end of it, they expected a tip, which we gave them and then we made our way to my house.

On the drive to my house, there were echoes of memories that slowly started to spring back to me as we passed some houses, some corners... there were also a lot of places that were not recognizable AT ALL even after my dad told me what it used to be. It was strange to see... I still couldn’t believe I was here. ... Finally we reached home. I knew it was home because the same black gate and brick walls topped with barbed wire was still there... It looked similar, except smaller than I remembered. We went inside. Sooo many memories. The couches where we used to watch cartoons afterschool, our halls and corners within the house we used to roam. ... The boys’ room and the girls’ room... my parent’s room the washrooms.. The balcony.. The library/office.. Everything was there as I remembered.. but somewhat different. After deliberating with my dad I realized that it was natural for these places to have looked somewhat changed because they had been un-kept. Everything looked smaller, because I got older. Everything used to look bigger because I was smaller. This is a reality that I’m realizing that I’m going to have to face and accept.

Sidebar. I showered using a bucket of water and an old foldger’s coffee container this Yup, I went old school on that. It did the job. Lol :) ... I’m also slowly going through withdraws. I keep looking at my blackberry anticipating a flickering red light... thinking I’ll be getting some new emails/bbm/textmsgs/news/FB/Twitter updates... knowing that I willingly turned off the data of my phone to not have a crazy-ass bill waiting for me the moment the plane took off...when I get back. ... Did I mention it’s really suffocating hot. I had some trouble sleeping... tossed and turned, but still managed to sleep well, and woke up naturally to the sound of the rooster and the wind of the leaves of trees in my backyard. At 6 am!!!!... w/ ZERO alarm clock folks!! That’s how mornings become good mornings.. and someone like me, can actually become a morning person! lol

Last night there was a blackout and I was too tired to write about what I was seeing/understanding and taking in. But I know and understand fully and well the blessing that my story holds. Not too far from my house a few hours ago I noticed a few camps, several tents...

My sister , kid-brother and lil cousin arrived. They’re sleeping... and this heat and seeing them sleep makes me wanna crash and sleep. Lol.. so I’ll resume this in a little bit.

(strange fruit) – 1:57pm || 28/06/2011

Haiti Diaries ||

It’s crazy how perspective changes things.
to sit at a window seat at a flight overseas I wonder..
is this the view that God has when he sees us running around like crazy ants, in this strangely beautiful mess of a world. From up here, this sky-view almost seems to belittle the tunnel vision that we often find ourselves in when walking on dry land. ... I’m floating between clouds and I have the opportunity to breathe in this ability... To see this.... To breathe this. To be here.

Cruise ships look like reverse shooting stars, and clouds look like a better version of dust. And everything looks like a painting. From here I don’t know where the sea and the sky greet each other. In the blue of their hues, maybe they exchange their own stories... and traces of these conversation tickle down in blurred form of fluffed clouds. ...I’m sure they too have stories to tell. ...perhaps some of their conversation will go along like “you know we’re very alike you and I. ... I’ve seen humans do strange things from here, and the ozone of my heartbeat is breaking everyday at the sight I see, and the cries I hear... and maybe land will just sigh in agreement, or even shudder or tremble from heartbreak”...

Maybe God eavesdrops in this conversation every now and then. And has posted notes somewhere in his memory. ... I dunno lol... But being here I can’t help but wonder if this is what God sees when people look up and ask for help.
I’ll never know.

- 1:11pm 27/06/2011pm
(strange Fruit)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Haiti Diaries || "Departure: Window seat"

So at 4am as I was getting ready and while on the phone with my sister, I realized that I needed to leave the house in 30 minutes. I rush like crazy, almost forgetting my passport, my toothbrush, body wash! and razors... (basically everything to maintain my hygene) ... that would've been oh so tragic. *wheew* ... glad I figured that one out quickly.

I'm currently at Pearson airport right now. Not sure if it's because everytime I've been here I've always left to go somewhere local, but this airport is HUGE!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm also running on 0hrs of sleep, so I may not be entirely mentally alert right now, but I'm typing away, typeouts and delirium alike. ... (forgive me) ...

This is weird, I think this is the first time in toronto that I'm seeing Haitian people. ... let alone at the airport... *squeals* ... I wonder if they know that I'm Haitian. I wonder if we`re all going to Haiti together.... lol... Also, I sort of regret not bringing my beats headphones... blu, the weekends & frank Ocean are sounding a little flat right now. ..:-/
... but there's also the advantage of being able to lean on the window and put my hands by my ear and sleep in a cliché sleeping position by the window. Oh yeah I got a window seat...

....I'm hoping during my layover in Montreal, I'll actually have no problem locating my dad and his close friend. I wonder if their seat is close to mine. ...I also wonder if he's going to ask me to sit by him. Would the airhostess let me? We'll have to see I guess.

I am praying that this flight will go on smoothly. no turbulence. no baby crying incessantly. I hope it's chill. I hope it's quiet. I hope that the plane isn't jammed packed. I also sincerely hope there's someone else like me on that flight lol.. young. half-foreign making the same journey as me. A few hours ago I realized that this is going to be the first time I board a plane to go overseas since I came to live in Canada. I haven't been in Haiti in 12 years (I kept thinking it was 10 years for some reason)... I hope that I don't have any trouble at customs. I hope they don't confiscate the snacks I managed to put inside my suitcase. lol... Damn, I forgot to bring the pillow my mom asked me to bring. ... oh well.

aaaaahhh.. I'm so excited for this trip!!!... I hope I'm able to take in everything... IN... fully and wholly.

I think they're going to open the lounge in a little bit. When I went up to weigh my suitcases a few minutes ago, the officer gave me a death glare when he saw that my suitcases were heavy. I was surprised too. I thought I packed light. ... I guess it's probably because of my hair products... speaking of hair, I had to undo my braidouts while it was still sort of wet. :( ...thankfully it still had some sort of hold.... lol.. it still looks mediocre though. Oh well!.. nothing to do about that now. lol...

Back on the topic of suitcases. I have 1 suitcase full of donations. the other one has my own stuff. so on the way back I'm going to have one suitcase of barely anything in it.. unless I buy some artizana and give it to friends... will they take it at custom though?.. I dunno, we'll see, I'll ask manmie. lol... why aren't they calling me in yet? ... am I at the wrong gate. ...
holy crap. I should go check.


Wish me luck folks.
here we here we go.

(PS forgive the typeouts)
(strange fruit & Haiti)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Everything is a Remix (series)

Class of 2011.. Convocation

I am officially a University Graduate. ...I've been meaning to write about it for some time but I've been incredibly busy with everything... Internship/hustle/personal things ect.. To sum it up in simple terms, it was more than a blessing. On the speicific day of my convocation, my dad came straight from an airplane from my twin sister's grad (the day before) to mine. ...Barely got a chance to breath/rest let alone eat. But he was there. ... he was there for the first time in a VERY long time... So was my little sister. I would've loved to have my twin or either/both of my brothers my aunts and cousins, there but they couldn't for a variety of reasons.

Final Form (Everything Everything Cover) by liannelahavas

This post is going to seem like some sort of acceptance speech.... But I don't even care. lol. I would like to thank the academy... I would not be there if it wasn't for the continuous support and love of my family. If it wasn't for their struggle, for our struggle, our mizè... the many ways my parents sought to discipline me while growing up. The arguments.. the teenage-hormone-infused rebutals...the bullying... the tears... the lunch hours spent at the library all throughout high school... the eating lunch alone in the cafeteria in junior high a couple times (lol)... the on and off honor roll throughout my entire education lol... EVERYTHING led me to this moment.

If only the speech DURING my convocation was as inspiring as the culminating legacy of my family's stories. ...As inspiring and giant as the stance of the man with the french creole accent... the one I call my dad. I wish it was as inspiring and soft as my mother's ways with all the 5 children she gave birth to who are all still breathing today... and countless hundreds of people she continually cares for in her workspace and her life... How can a story like this one not elevate you, even in the slightest.... Maybe it's because I watched too many movies, documentaries, TEDx speeches w/ cool convocation scenes ... or maybe it's because I paid sooo much damn tuition and expected 'too much' (call me crazy!?!?) ... but I expected more, and somehow still wasn't too surprised of the outcome.

..Being a nerd ain't so bad though :) Admittedly I fell asleep on numerous occasions during some of the speeches. ...I remember regretting leaving my phone in my bag. I also remember wishing that the convocation speech was more about the future of the graduates than the achievement of YorkU as an institution... but *shrug*... they say you can't have it all. lol..

I am loved. I am a breathing testimony of the teaching of my parents... the teaching of people around me... teaching of my 22 years old of living. ... teaching of my epic failures and of course God's life lessons (the ultimate teacher). A lot of people kept saying how proud they were/are of me...and it's really quite overwhelming. ...and to be honest I try not to think about what I do as much as I do focus on just doing what I do. I once ran into this quote: "One day I started to work hard and just forgot to stop" (shad?). ... I think that's sort of how I go about my doings... It's kinda cool though, when I stop and think about what I've accomplished so far, and this good funny feeling I have about what I'm going to be doing in the future even if a good portion of that is a big blurr. lol... I'm sure that it's good.... But in the words of a good friend: "Advocate for yourself because no one else will do it for you" - @shanonahash

(strange fruit)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

lost in thoughts

"you wonder why children hide in adult bodies... lie under light-color-eyed contact lenses...learn to fetishize the size of their asses...and simultaneously hate their lips" - somewhere on the interweb.

I haven't done a music post in some time. Thought I'd do it up today lol...

Kids these days. ... I hope that I never loose my sense of wonder, and my appreciation for little things about people. ... speaking of kids these days, just ran into this group called Kids these days, which are pretty awesome! check 'em out. :)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Ces Petits Riens

PH-Wert - Love Theme (For Dilla) by Potentia (PH-Wert)

Have you ever watched a heated debate in sign language? I have... Granted I was not sure whether it was a debate, a story or just a really heated conversation. The only thing that I do know, is that both parties had priceless facial expression while signing to each other and even smiled/chuckled/shook their heads at several points throughout the conversation. I witnessed this a few weeks ago... and found it super interesting. I couldn't help but think that if I could speak with my hands and listen with my eye... I would probably never stop playing the music coming off of my ipod lol...

Sidebar: I'm exploring the different functions of my camera... accidentally stumbled on this feature, so I may just post more of my own pictures up on this. lol.. whoohoo.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Once upon a time... transitioning (pt.3)

" I want to bask in a legacy so bright, that it'll make slavery seem insignificant. And together we use our truth to pay tribute to his and herstories and give credit where it is due. Tribute to the women whose skintones range from mahogany to onyx whose hair coils stretch for days like legs of models on runways. "

- LeBeatLaCréole (May2nd2011, 3:09pm)

- "I don't get it? ... why are you doing this"
- "But you look sooo much better with straight hair"
- "You know you're going to get a relaxer soon"
- " As long as your hair is like corinne bailey rae then it's ok... if it looks niggerish then don't do it"
- "gadé éta cheve pitit la... poukisa ou pa mété pèmanant nan cheve'w??" (look at the state of your hair...I don't get it... why don't you put a relaxer in your hair?)

- "OMG I love love love your hair" x 100
- "*gasp*" x4

Last time I checked I am not my hair... I never was, and refuse to have my identity reduced to my hair or my face or my body. But it's strange how people react to's strange how I used to react to it... It's strange how it changes you... it makes you understand the world and yourself more and more. lol.

Chevys & Space Ships by Stalley330

I remember my mother sitting me between her legs and slaving away at my hair as kid. lol... I remember vividly one day when she broke all 3 combs that she had trying to comb my hair and getting frustrated... I was 9. lol. ...this whole transitioning thing is interesting to say the least.

Yesterday my brother said he liked my hair... and that it suit me. That is the first and only good thing he's ever said to me about my hair since I decided to transition a little over a year ago. Though I've been harlem-spazzing in my head about this... the reality of the matter still bothers me. I keep thinking about: "what if I listened to what people were saying about my hair?" ... "what if I didn't listen to my gut feeling?"... "what if I didn't do what felt right to me?" ...I would've been the biggest fool in the world. I was conscious about the fact that I was going to be alone in my process... and in terms of my family I would be alone in the idea. I would be the only person doing it. (thankfully my twin decided to join in a couple months into it) ... Eventually my mom stop hating.. eventually one of cousins started to do it... eventually.

It's funny because, going into this I never expected my style to transition and my mindset to transition as my hair was. I'm sure not everyone comes out of 'transitioning' alive and 'self-aware' ... but I personally can testify that my coils have brought me these superpowers. lol... I can't explain it, but it does something to your being when you publicly acknowledge the fact that you don't look like people on the magazines. It's funny what transitioning does to your mentality... maybe it's because it's close to your head for that very reason.

It's strange how transitioning changes how you wear yourself.

(^ some of my late night sketches lol)

Strange (midnight) Fruits

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Pray...Tell him.

Pray. Tell him everything.
there are times when silence becomes the voice of your worst fear.
Where it reminds you of the weakness of your flesh
There are times where the downward motion of your tear drops are the only thing that seem to understand what it feels to hit rock-bottom*
... I want to Tell God everything.
I want to tell him that I love him. That I do trust him... that he works everything in his own ends. .... I really do. but times like these are not easy. (lol)
... I peak smiles in the midst of my tears because I know he loves me despite my fears/flaws... and more often than not, I find myself highly favored... my life is breathing testimony.

today my heart is heavy... for myself, for other's losses, for my community and for the world.

What does it mean to love? Is there meaning in suffering? I've seen and heard of stories where the fate of people who suffer are the same as those who don't. ... Sometime it's crazy to see the many ways in which wisdom comes into our lives. But wisdom is meaningless and has no worth without love.... and I understand that he loves me. Money does not love. Money is evil. (lol). Seriously it is. But it's a necessary evil. Convoluted in my sorrow is my search to try to understand money. I'm trying to understand my personal assets and liabilities and how to invest my mind and my time into something that will bring me to a state of semi-genius where I'll be able to be financially stable. I want to say that everything will be OK, but I don't know that. The only thing I know is that I am alive and I have today to make a difference.

I understand that I need love more than I need money. So I'm going with that, and folding this thought into a prayer... putting it in a bottle, hopefully it'll come back to me tomorrow:

Let me be patient let me be kind
Make me unselfish without being blind
Though I may suffer I'll envy it not
And endure what comes
Cause he's all that I got and
Tell him...

* = maybe not rock-bottom..Just super-down

(Strange Fruit)