Monday, May 23, 2011

Keeping my writing in perspective

Many of the young men I've worked with in Syracuse and in Kentucky arrived through Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya. I remember the first time I found images online and shared them with Dinka men in my Clarksville home and they thought my laptop was magic. "How do you get pictures of that?" they wanted to know.

I watched videos of Kakuma last night before I went to bed as a way to keep the lived experiences at the forefront of my mind while editing my work. I still find it bizarre that I lived in a world where I can compose noises of my everyday in reflection of life, while others live without electricity, shelter, and access to a better life. It is is a strange world, indeed. I try to make my mark in it, I guess, by learning from individuals who arrived to the U.S. and are trying to make sense of our fast-paced, commercial world. Both realities exist simultaneously and I'd debate with anyone about which was in more real. They both are and it is our responsibility to make sense of it. At least we are in a space that provides opportunities to learn about other ways of being.

Even so, it doesn't become easier to process the realities of disparities. It is healthy to pay attention to them and to ask myself everyday, "What can I do to make it easier for others?"

I suppose that is why I wanted to be a teacher and why I continue to think about the world as I do.

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