Excerpt from “Between the World and Me,” by Ta-Nehisi Coates:
“I was one wrong ticket from Vienna, Milan, or some Alpine village that no one I knew had ever heard of. It happened right then. The realization of being far gone, the fear, the unknowable possibilities, all of it -the horror, the wonder, the joy- fused into an erotic thrill… And at that moment I realized that those changes, with all the agony, awkwardness, and confusion were the defining fact of my life, and for the first time I knew not only that I really was alive, that I really was studying and observing, but that I had long been alive- even back in Baltimore. I had always been alive.”
Lately, I’ve been crying a lot. Silently, in solitude. I find pockets in my day and space to release the spillage of tears that build up from small reminders of South America. I constantly struggle with wanting to share everything with my loved ones and battle with fear of oversharing and borderline bragging. So I stay quiet. I quip about a few things here and there but not even I have encompassed the enormity of it all.
I currently sit in my friends expansive living room with broad windows lined with wooden frames. The windows allow a constant flow of warm natural light and offer a view of the fertile land of Brasilia. There’s a window to my right that is slightly ajar and letting in happy bird tunes carried in by a gentle breeze. I am at ease, for the most part, but deep down I feel a raw yearning for missing home. The feeling began a few weeks back when I found myself physically tired after a tremendously demanding trip to Peru. My time was limited and I felt the pressure to see as much as possible in a short span of days. I reached a resting point upon my arrival to Bolivia, a place I dedicated to recollect my thoughts and plans. After an arduous day of finding a place adequate enough for my budget and needs, I felt it. I felt my adventurous spirit begin to break down, to reach an exhaustion period that could only be mended with familiarity and routine.
I received my first bikini wax when I was 16, when I was young, naive, and easily corrupted. My teenage-hood wasn’t one that caused my parents headaches or involved nightly escapades to drink beer acquired from bums outside the local 7/11. I was relatively calm, confused, and enthralled by things most teenagers paid no mind to (holler in classic rock, magical realism literature, and British TV shows). But I did get my first bikini wax when I was 16.
I can’t remember the exact reasons why, but it probably had to do with the media molding me into looking a very unreachable idyllic way, one that I still fight with today (I’m winning the battle I promise!).
I have been a tremendous fan of Nomadic Habit ever since I stumbled upon her subtly evocative photographs sheered with softness but with an underlying strength. And either it’s because of her nature of being a consistent traveler or her seemingly grounded self, I feel that in the many influences we are exposed daily, there is an elemental understanding I have with the artist. This video was recently posted on her blog, a video I felt a connection to my Latin American roots. Please watch and definitely, I HIGHLY encourage for you to check out her blog, Instagram, and Vimeo.