Thursday, March 22, 2012

the rhythm of a nation

As I navigate new sights and sounds while traveling, a unique flavor and rhythm of the country eventually unfolds before me. In some countries, I'll find my mouth watering over new delicacies, while in others, its an explosion of color that overwhelms me instead. But here in Botswana, its the beat of this nation pulsing beneath my feet that has me moving, a constant thrum massaging my instep while slowly infiltrating my senses. I find myself stepping into rhythm with the people surrounding me. Vendors hawking their wares on street corners, dogs barking across the valleys to one other, long-tailed starlings crying out in the early morning light. Each new sound I hear completely envelopes me. It's like I've arrived to the beat of a nation swaying in harmony with one another, and slowly, day-by-day, my body begins swaying to its rhythm, falling into the steps of a dance I didn't know I could do.

Here in Botswana, I find myself slowing down from the frenetic grip the Northeastern United States, breathing in deeply the simple pleasures life has to offer, a hot bath, a warm cup of coffee, a smile from a passer-by. Have you felt this way before? A new place that slowly infiltrates your senses until you too, step in time to this silent melody, and find youself dancing to the beat of a new drum? I think Claire Chao has felt it. Her picture below transports me into a whole new world of music that I didn't know exists, and her words capture the essence of musical discovery too. She said, "It's said that the melody in hearing is like the lines in seeing. Then I'm in the journey of discovering the sound I'd like to appreciate, the secret in it, and the sound in my heart!" 

Listen Carefully Listen Carefully by Claire Chao


Kirstin said...

Holly, what wonderful words. And such a contrast between the two pictures. Just magic.

cara said...

beautiful reflection, holly.
so carefully thought out and articulated.

Linda said...

Holly, your words brought some of the magic of the places you are visiting to me. Your journey through Africa is amazing. Thanks for sharing it with me.

Susan said...

How wonderful to be in Botswana. I thought you might talk also about the rhythms you might hear from drumming-perhaps you've not been in a place to hear it. I know South African is filled with rhythm and understand that the word for music, song, and dance are all the same-they are all encompassing.
Love your image and the one you selected as muse.

Anna said...

Holly, exquisitely written and illustrated post!!! Happy traveling to you!

SuperDewa said...

How wonderful that you posted despite being away. I love seeing and reading your perspective from Botswana. Beautifully worded.

Lindsey Garrett said...

You seem truly in your element Holly! Sounds like the rhythms are soothing and inspiring simultaneously! What a fantastic departure from the every day :D

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