While I’ve managed to divorce myself from Facebook, create this blog, update other blogs, book my ticket, the month of April was a tough one. There is another ticket to purchase and I hesitate as my plans to El Carmen are not yet confirmed. There is an annual holiday that is only celebrated in El Carmen and Cuzco. While most of my journey will be in areas East of Lima, I want to witness and pay homage to Black Peru. I am after all, African-American. It is like Bahia for me. Why go to a place and not connect with the blackness of it? So I am hoping and meditating intensely that it will work out for me.
I tell everyone that I am excited and terrified. The journey is without a road manager or a tour bus. It is without venue and tech riders. I will be going as a writer and musician and field recorder. I will be going with ten copies of my passport in every pocket and it the spirits make it so, a cellphone in case of an emergency. And my Spanish? I try to practice a little every day. My head doesn’t seem to want to soak it in. Mae Regina is in town from Brazil and she does not know that my head is throbbing because in my efforts to catch on to the Portuguese, I am spilling Spanish over words and working harder than ever to make sense of her every instruction.
I’ve always approached language like a child. Listening to repetition, following facial expressions and how they match words, repeating every statement as much as I can. Yes, my head hurts and that does not even include my efforts to relearn Quechua.
So now I return to song and a poem I wrote once in Quechua I am now transforming into a little song. I listen to Concha Buika and Peru Negro a little every day. I watch Harry Potter in Spanish which is pure comedy. Mae Regina tells me that once I am there, I will pick it up. I will forced to pick it up. Give the length of time to be spent there, that is certain.
ñañaykuna kutichinku phaqchata tutaman my sisters return the waterfall to the night
ipaykuna, mamaykichis llank’aranku t’uruman my aunts, your mothers worked the mud
paykuna kanku llank’ashanku pachawan they are working with the universe
ñañaykuna kutichinku t’antata allpaman my sisters return the bread to the soil
kutichinchis k’uychita takiman we will return the rainbow to the lullaby