It’s been a while since my dear childhood friend and I have met up, let alone conduct a much needed photoshoot! We pranced around various parks in search for the perfect lighting and just the right amount of color. What resulted was a series of CoverGirl worthy shots, all of which were taken by visionary and future trendsetter, Nia Marie.
Once upon a time…we took a detour. And had an impromptu photoshoot.
On November 8th of last year, I had the pleasure of seeing Irish folk artist, Damien Rice, in concert. When I found out that he would be coming to Miami for the first time, I had just finished obsessing over his third album release, “My Favorite Faded Fantasy.” After a 7 year hiatus, he had come back lyrically and musically stronger than ever before. And thankfully I was able to witness it.
A few days after, I decided to write about my experience but never got around to posting it. When I came across it again, I thought it would be appropriate to post it today, exactly a year since the concert:
Damien Rice knows how to captivate his audience. As the lights dimmed, the sound of laughter and chit chat quickly faded. Damien stepped out of the darkness and into the spotlight of the stage, greeted the crowd, and began to sing.
Right then and there, I was enchanted.
It was just him and his guitar. That’s all. Yet he managed to echo the heartbreaks, grief, and pain of hundreds. He would begin a song with a soft melody and end up bent double, viciously strumming—no, beating the guitar. The lights would suddenly go out disorienting us for a second, leaving us holding on to chord of the last song yet yearning for the next.
Often between songs he would tell a story. He jokingly told the audience about how growing up a Catholic boy made him a guilt-ridden man as a prelude to the opening of “9 Crimes.” He also shared the story of a man who thought he had a chance with a woman he fancied. After taking a few sips of wine, he slurred the lyrics of “Cheers Darling.”
But it was “Volcano” that showed the artistic and creative genius Damien was and still is. He made us a part of his performance by dividing the theater into sections, each with a different verse. At his cue, my voice joined the chorus-like sound of the many who sung along. Damien then proceeded to sing his line, his voice rising above ours.
And in that moment, it was just the audience, Damien, and his music. Nothing else mattered except for the undeniable string that connected us all to one another.
Every year, Halloween fanatics search frantically for ways to bask in the thrilling season. The best way to do so is by attending events where the world of horror allows our imaginations to run free, whether it’s through our costumes or the countless shadows we dare to step into.
Poems have been the subject of my english class for the past 3 weeks now. And despite how much I thought I’d dislike poems, I actually enjoy them. Consequently, the following is an assignment that I had a little too much fun with.
To love is to see
To love is to see through all my regrets,
The pain from underneath my chest, and it’s
Endless distress. Oh, how, I want to dress
My best for you, though I can’t quite admit
That I am not the one for you—it’s true.
Bright pearls, tight curls, rich worlds. That is not me.
And with these words I leave your world askew:
You see, we just can’t be. For that I’m sorry.
To hate is to adore too much, so much.
And there remains a line, too fine, because
I love. You hate. And we’ll never be enough.
And so I leave you here with your drink, your crutch,
As I decide to walk away from us.
Once a camera is aimed at my face, I feel exposed. I suddenly become aware of all my imperfections and try do draw attention away from them the only way I know—by being goofy. Sometimes the goofiness results in some genuinely nice pictures; other times, not so much.
Creativity doesn’t come easily, even for the most imaginative of people. But when it comes, one has to be ready to capture it in the strokes of a pencil or in the flashes of a camera. That’s why when Mirella, my close (and awesome) friend, felt the urge to do a mini photoshoot we weren’t hesitant to do so—especially since life has become very stressful for the both of us. In other words, we needed this.
Anywho, Mirella has a great eye for photography so don’t be hesitant to check out her wordpress!
She came down the corridor of the plane, her eyes scanning the seat numbers. She stepped closer and closer into the economy class section until finally she stopped in front of my row. She was wearing a green floral print blouse with khaki Bermuda shorts. The wrinkles on her face, especially around the mouth and eyes told me that she was well past the prime of her life. Her shoulder length hair, tinted a faded red, rested around her face with several rebellious strands standing. With her thin arms she grabbed her biggest carry-on and hauled it into the cubby above our seats.
I watched her as she turned to me and opened her mouth to form the words, “Do you mind if I sit here?” I glanced down to where she was pointing and saw my duffel bag sitting on her spot—23C. With a friendly smile I moved my duffel bag from her seat, “Of course not.”
For a while we sat in silence waiting for the plane to take off. Every time my eyes caught a glimpse of her reflection in the window she seemed lost in her thoughts, her eyes fixated on one spot at the seat before her. I was afraid to interrupt but the awkward silence combined with my curiosity took a hold of me. “What brings you to Ecuador?” I said. She then looked at me and replied, “I’m going to the Galapagos islands.” My eyebrows raised; Charles Darwin, old with a comical beard, riding an abnormally large turtle crawled across my mind’s eye. The image scattered as she continued, “I just need one more flight.”
She then explained to me that she had been traveling the whole day since four o’clock in the morning. She had started off in San Diego, landed in Los Angeles, took a flight to Miami, and now was on her way to Ecuador, where she would spend the night only to take off in the morning on a small plane to the Galapagos Islands.
“How come you’re going alone?” I asked.
I seemed to have touched a sensitive subject for she chuckled nervously and said, “I can’t wait on anybody anymore.” She seemed to be referring to a man in her life. Later she revealed that her ex-husband and she divorced three years back and she had been alone ever since.
Our conversation stalled as the plan began to move slowly, then rapidly. We fell into silence anticipating the take-off. Personally the take-off is my favorite part, but when I looked over at the lady sitting in 23C she had her head up facing the ceiling with her eyes shut. Once the earth tilted and the horizon was straight again, she asked me about myself. I told her the same old same old: that my name is Edysmar, fifteen years old, in high school, and visiting family in Ecuador. I quickly changed the subject by asking her more about herself. She began to loosen up and told me, to my surprise, that she was born in Hawaii. I pictured the stereotypical bronze-skinned woman in a grass skirt, but the image in my mind differed greatly from the Caucasian woman sitting next to me.
“Can you hula dance?” I asked.
She smiled and began to move her hands smoothly and delicately in waves. She looked peaceful while doing it; the muscles in her face relaxed and she smiled with her eyes closed in reminiscence. I asked her to teach me, then the half-hour lesson began.
While I was practicing the hand movements of the hula dance, she described to me the state of the world in her youth. She spoke of the wardrobe, the scandalous music, and gave depth to the history of our world. I listened in awe. The world was so different then and I felt cheated by time. Certainly, I was born in the wrong year. I thought about the 60s, 70s, and the 90s and began to feel nostalgic for an era I never go to see. I enviously told the Hawaiian woman, “I wish I was born in your time.” She merely looked at me through her glasses and said, “Oh dear, your generation is not as bad as you think; you just have to keep your eyes open.”
With that, I fell into silence for the next hour.
The terrain of Ecuador began to show underneath as reminder that the flight was coming to an end. I had fallen asleep and had woken up with the woman still next to me. Some small talk took place but I still couldn’t shake off what she had said to me before. The plane touched the ground and then came to a stop. Then the slow process of getting off the plane began. We hadn’t said our good-byes yet because all the passengers had to walk in the same direction, but when I caught a glimpse of my family I turned around and waved good-bye to the woman I had spent the last few hours with. She smiled and waved back. Then we set off into different directions. However, her words kept ringing in my ears, even to this day. I still feel cheated by whatever force is behind my great mishaps, but I now keep my eyes open to absorb the beauties of my era for when the time comes I’ll be able to share some wisdom to the youth when I am well past the prime of my life too.
Yesterday, my mom and I went to see Carlos Vives in concert. Carlos Vives has been in the music industry for about 21 years now and he is known for revolutionizing the sound of Vallenato. Although he is accused of not being a Vallenato artist anymore by many artists, he keeps his head held high and continues to sing passionately as he did 21 years ago.
All in all, the concert was amazing. Carlos Vives jumped around like a teenager singing, dancing and even acting. Then the show took an emotional, tear provoking turn when he beckoned a little girl to come on stage to sing with him. She outshined him as she sung his song by heart. She had cancer and her wish was to see Carlos Vives before the possibility of her passing away–a terrible fate for any child.