I Need A Magic Eraser For My Brain.

brain eraser

My eraser would be purple.

There will always be that one guy. That one guy who means more to you than all the others. Maybe you dated him, maybe you were just friends, but there is that guy (or girl depending on who is reading this).

This post is NOT about that guy. It’s about the need in this world for some type of brain eraser. Like, you could just rub out the bits that are unpleasant or hurty. And I know that they made a movie like that called “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” but this is a totally different idea. Also, it has nothing to do with that guy. Nothing at all. Really. I promise.

The magic brain eraser I’m imagining could be used for lots of things. Like, sure it helps you forget what you wish you could forget but it also could clean your kitchen. And it never gets dirty. And it’s purple. I mean, if you wanted to use it to erase that guy form your brain then that would be ok- that’s what the magic brain eraser does but it’s not all about that.

That night you got really drunk and did something beyond humiliating? Magic brain erase it away. Sure, your friends will still remember and laugh about it but you won’t have to endure the pain of knowing what they are talking about.

That time your beloved fish died after you only had him 2 days because you don’t really know how to take care of pets? Erase it. I mean, the pet shop might stop letting you buy fish and you won’t be able to figure out why but I’m pretty sure you will be really happy.

That time you burped accidently at a lunch with your crush. Erase that and quickly. You will be much better off.

That huge fight you had with someone you love. Magic brain erase it. I mean, I can’t promise that person will start talking to you again but at least you won’t know why and then it’s like -hey they just stopped talking to you for no reason, so they’re the jerks.

I’m going to be honest with you guys. This post might be just a little bit about that guy. And even if I could I probably wouldn’t erase him, although I probably should. Also, I would really like to forget that thing about me killing my fish, because that happened and it really hurts. Anyone else need a magic brain eraser? Remember it would be purple…..

Also, this song perfectly fits my feelings about this: Hurricane Drunk

Also, you should just listen to Florence and the Machine.

Will Not Be Tarnished

The Nile in Uganda

Beautiful, Peaceful- This is My Uganda

Yesterday, a place I love was attacked. Yesterday, people of all nationalities were killed while watching the World Cup Finals in Kampala, Uganda. One of the places that was bombed was a place I know well. In 2008, I sat in that very same rugby club and watched the opening ceremonies of the Summer Olympics with people from all over the world. Everyone cheered as their respective nations walked around the stadium and I will always remember how happy I felt at that moment. They served good food, they had comfy couches, everyone who came there had a smile on their face. That night in Kamapala, Uganda at the rubgy club was one of my happiest. And now that place is gone. In the last ten  minutes of a thrilling match the world split apart for those in my favorite rugby club as well as those at a nearby Ethiopian restaurant.

I don’t understand this kind of disrespect for human life. I simply can’t comprehend this type of hate. Honestly, at this point I don’t care who perpetrated this attack and why- it won’t change what has already been done. Later, I will wonder and speculate. Today, however, I just want to remember that place as it was and send all my thoughts and prayers to those who are in hospital recovering and the families of those 74 who will never recover. Today, the attackers will not occupy my mind- they don’t deserve first thoughts- first thoughts are reserved for those whose pleasant and happy night was brought to an abrupt and violent end.

One of my favorite Ugandan hang-outs is gone but I won’t ever forget the way it was. My memories will not be tarnished by hatred. I will not be afraid to travel back to the place I love, the place where I have found some of my most joyful moments and experiences. Despite last nights events, Uganda will remain in my mind as one of the most peaceful places I have ever visited. A place where I not only witnessed peace, but where I found my own.

The Cultural Exchange

I find myself thinking more and more of Uganda lately. It’s been two years since my last trip and almost four since my first. I miss it dearly and as it seems I won’t be able to travel there for another year, I am thinking about some of my most cherished memories of my time there. The following happened in 2006 during my first trip to the Pearl of Africa.

It was my first solo trip from the village where I lived in Nsumba to the nearest town with internet access and chocolate, Mukono. I was a bit nervous because I had never navigated the taxis and wandered around Mukono on my own before that and it was only my second week in Uganda. The nerves were for nothing though, as I had no problems at all finding my way to Mukono, using the internet, and grocery shopping. I was sitting in the taxi on the return trip, (I say sitting but it was more like perching because though the taxis are only supposed to hold 14 people this particular one  had more like 23 and there was very little room for sitting properly), daydreaming away as usual when I realized we had made one of the many stops taxis make along their routes. At this particular stop vendors would come up to the windows of the taxi and sell things like roasted maize and roasted sweet bananas. A little boy sitting between me and his Mother reached into his worn trousers and pulled out a couple hundred Ugandan shillings. With a hundred shillings you could buy one roasted sweet banana, he bought two. I smiled at him because he looked so proud to be buying something with his own money. He smiled back and offered me one of his roasted bananas. I was shocked. He had just spent all his pocket money on two sweet bananas and he wanted me to have one. Perhaps it sounds silly but never in my life have I felt more honored. He continued to insist that the Mzungu next to him should have one of his purchased sweet bananas. His Mother looked at me and smiled and I could see the pride she had in her generous and tender hearted son. I accepted the banana, the first I had ever eaten roasted. It was delicious. Every bite tasted better than the last and as I finished it my heart felt like it would burst from the emotion I was feeling. Here was this little boy who was growing up with so much less than I ever did and he wanted to give something to me. I remembered my groceries at that moment and realized I had two large bottles of coca-cola. I offered him one. His Mother refused and told me it was too much but I insisted. She accepted the bottle from me and opened it with her teeth, which I though was particularly impressive. She handed it to her son and he took a long drink. His eyes lit up and he thanked me over and over again. Wa bali nyo. Wa bali nyo. The little boy’s Mother told me he had never had Coca-Cola before. In my entire life I have never felt so connected to this world as I did then. In that moment, which took almost no time at all, my entire being felt peaceful and blissful. It was the absolute perfect exchange of cultures. Roasted sweet banana for a Coca-Cola. We didn’t speak the same language, didn’t even know each other’s names but in that moment we were so connected to one another. That sweet child gave to me without expecting anything in return and I don’t think he could ever know exactly how much it was that he gave me, it was so much more than a banana. Whenever I am having a dark day I think about that moment, that brief beautiful moment, and I feel the shadow of what I felt then and it is more than enough to keep me going. To this day there is nothing that tastes so sweet to me as a roasted banana.

Posted in Love Tagged bliss, cherish, Coca-Cola, cultural exchange, happiness, , , moments, Mukono, Nsumba, , roasted banana, taxi,

Thursdays with Grammy

When I was little, I took piano lessons. For three years I dutifully spent half an hour every week at a lesson with one of the best pianists in my city. I also spent countless hours attempting to perfect what I learned in my lessons. I got pretty good for a ten year old, not a prodigy, definitely not a prodigy, but I did display a certain amount of talent. So, I quit. I totally rocked every recital I ever had, but I didn’t love it. I mean, I loved (LOVED) the attention and the compliments but I didn’t love the music. So, I quit. I knew it broke my Grammy’s  heart, after all she had spent many of my practice hours with me, pushing me, urging me to be a perfect pianist. My Grammy has played the piano for most of her life and she plays beautifully- she has always loved the music. When I quit she didn’t fuss at me or tell me I was making a mistake, she just accepted it and we moved on.

I discovered a complete and undying love for music when I was in University. I mean, I had always enjoyed music, but something in my mind or attitude shifted after I had matured a little bit. University was the first time I remember feeling emotionally connected to music, not all music (no offense but death metal doesn’t really do it for me), but many different types of music all of the sudden hit the heart of me. And I LOVED it. Unfortunately with my new love came regret. I deeply regretted quitting my piano lessons- and I have continued regretting it for the last six years. Despite the fact that I now had an intense desire to learn, I felt that piano lessons were out of the question- I convinced myself they were too expensive but the truth was I was embarrassed. I didn’t want to be the weird old girl taking elementary level piano lessons. Then, it hit me, my Grammy had given piano lessons all the time when my Mom was growing up and she had been the one to practice with me all those years ago. So, I asked her if she would give me refresher lessons (…for free…) and she agreed (because she is awesome).

Every Thursdays from now until I play better than Mozart, I will be taking lessons from my Grammy. Not half-hour lessons either- more along the lines of an hour and a half. Today was my first lesson and I actually surprised myself, I remembered quite a bit more than I had expected. In fact, it should only be a couple of weeks before I am playing at my former level, which, is not particularly impressive, but at least I’m not starting from scratch. An hour and a half is a long lesson but I enjoyed every second of it today. I even played a duet with my Grammy that sounded pretty terrific. Also, the memories I’m making with my Grammy are pretty extraordinary. So, no more regrets about quitting when I was ten- in fact, I think now is the perfect time for me to be re-learning and then pushing past that and learning more. I love the music, I love to practice, and I love love love my Grammy.