If I weren’t a journalist, I’d be a dancer. Presenting my body on a stage with a mystic rhythm to conjure Katherine Dunham, bending backward, leaping forward, fingers fluttering, locked tresses springing to life. If my body couldn’t give, I’d have been a musician and create sounds overlaying raw Ghanaian highlife, Jamaican dub, Sade-esque breeziness, Chaka Khan’s fire, Marvin Gaye’s consciousness, the soul of Miriam Makeba, and the elegant chaos of Art Blakey’s drum solos, and on and on and more and more. And if the music couldn’t penetrate, I’d have been an anthropologist, a real one, the kind that lives on the coasts of Tanzania with a small white boat anchored next to my small green house. My Swahili name would be something like Kanzi, Kawaida, Zuri or Zalira and when kids from Mtwara would come to visit, I’d share a bowl of coconut bean soup and lentils and ugali. And if they were ever to ask why did I have so many books in my house I’d tell them sweetly that Chimamanda Adichie is my sister from another mother and Judy Blume’s stories are the relaxing treat I crave after swallowing the delicious denseness of Ralph Ellison’s and Walter Rodney’s goodness on paper. But if I weren’t able to defy the status quo, to pack my bags and head for Tanzania, I’d have chosen to be a documentary film maker, running in the salt-scented wind to set my tripod on the beach at Goree Island before the magic hour ended. Shooting the fleeting shadows of my ancestors’ spirits, the ones who inhaled warm African air for the last time before living a life of captivity in America. And if the cry of those dead proved too haunting, I’d then chose to spend long hours in solitude, in poetry, in the crevices of my mind’s eyes, the ones along the Turkish border where I’d lean my body against the window to watch women laughing in the marketplace below my one-bedroom apartment. Such divine solitude would naturally lead me down a cobble-stoned path to spirituality with other pilgrims and sisters. And on that path, I’d eventually fall into the arms of God.
Thank you for visiting my blog