Ngala-Najla

I Celebrate Myself…


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I’m Stealing Hanif Kureishi’s Study!

Surrounded by books, music (which he plays when he writes) and pictures of family…

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Verano

Maybe it will be different the way we will remember
The summer
The way in which the wind competed with the heat and lost
Remembrance of time lost with things unsaid

Maybe it will be different the way we will remember
The way the mug of chai touched your lips in between words
The taste exchanged with expressions of pain
Creamy spiced pain

Maybe it will be different the way we will remember
The way laughter escaped me in between bites of double chocolate cake

Maybe it will be different the way we will remember
Our shadows closer than our own passive bodies

Maybe it will be different the way I will remember
Five months from now, awaiting another summer
Memories separated from emotions
Thankful for that brief but unforgettable exchange

Copyright © 2007 RNLH


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Fascinated, Addicted and Overwhelmed—BLISS!

I find that I have a new addiction, well maybe not a new one but…

I told myself that I would go straight to bed, without staying up to read articles on writers and their experiences writing, but here I am yet again, reading another article. I think I have a fascination with Zadie Smith (still reading White Teeth), I am fascinated by her mind– she is seemingly unpretentious. I’ve read articles, watched interview with her on Youtube, and I love the fact that she is a young women of color, still wraps her hair with the headscarf sometimes :). She writes from her heart. It is obvious that she is a lover of words and books.

I am also fascinated by Junot Diaz, Edwidge Danticat, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Jhumpa Lahiri, to name a few—young writers who write with passion and expand the world’s perception of what it is to be an “other.” I especially love it when they highlight their influences, and pay homage to just great writers, no matter their race, gender or creed. At the end of the day “real recognizes real,” as they say in New York; meaning beautiful words cannot go unnoticed by one who inhabits them within, as well.


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This Morning…

I woke up with a song in my heart: “Jah Live” by Bob Marley. I had to play it, when I eventually got up from my bed. Before I played the song, I reached over to my makeshift night stand and read a poem by Rilke. I just flipped through the pages and came across this beautiful poem that I placed an asterisk next to sometime ago :

[ You Who Never Arrived ]
You who never arrived
in my arms, Beloved, who were lost
from the start,
I don’t even know what songs
would please you. I have given up trying
to recognize you in the surging wave of
the next moment. All the immense
images in me — the far-off, deeply-felt landscape,
cities, towers, and bridges, and un-
suspected turns in the path,
and those powerful lands that were once
pulsing with the life of the gods–
all rise within me to mean
you, who forever elude me.You, Beloved, who are all
the gardens I have ever gazed at,
longing. An open window
in a country house– , and you almost
stepped out, pensive, to meet me. Streets that I chanced
upon,–
you had just walked down them and vanished.
And sometimes, in a shop, the mirrors
were still dizzy with your presence and, startled, gave back
my too-sudden image. Who knows? Perhaps the same
bird echoed through both of us
yesterday, separate, in the evening…

The interesting thing about both the Rilke and Marley pieces is how they contrast each other. Bob’s song is very determined and triumphant. Rilke’s is actually hopeful that what he desires is actually out there– genuine love.

Two masters of words, blended together in my mind, this morning.

Updated: 11/30/07– Rethought the Rilke poem (in a meeting yesterday, by the way) and I do not know if he was really talking about love per se. A very spiritual man, Rilke was probably talking about God as the “beloved” that he is seeking. Maybe the poem is about this elusive validation that we all seek. Maybe.


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Caribean Beat

Found a really cool site that highlights the beauty of the Carribean. I especially love it because it demistifies the stereotype of  people from the West Indies looking a particular way, or thinking alike. There is no one way of being West Indian, as there is no one way of being African or American. We are a range of hues, tongues and scrumptious dishes, but we are all West Indian.