Ladysmith Black Mambazo opened our first class with “Unomathemba.”
B.H. is unorthodox, and it is difficult to describe clearly how much I enjoy the approach. Kurt and I referred to him as our soul food during our experience with him last semester for Vox.
As he would tell you, B.H. leans heavy on the process, with the understanding that a product must come eventually. He’s less interested in the final story than how you got there.
Thus we begin the journey that will encompass sixteen weeks of discovery, also culminating in one (1) article.
I’m stranded, only temporarily, like the Grinch in the chimney. My wanderlust fails me at times such as this.
Too many interests, hobbies, passions and curiosities is a wonderful complication in my life except for hours in the day and when large investments of time are required.
A college major was the last great wall I breached.
B.H. handed out a flurry of copies, among which I’ve found nebulous inspiration.
• From Diane Arbus’ application for a Guggenheim grant: “…[F]or what is ceremonious and curious and commonplace will be legendary.”
• From the New Republic’s long-form announcement yesterday: “Writing a long argument means introducing complexities…it means giving yourself as a writer time to doubt your convictions.”
• From journalist Mark Kramer in an article from Quill: “If you pay close enough attention, real life will tell you” the “secret story.”
Operating with those three maxims as my impromptu guides, and acknowledging the certainty of their changing in the coming months, I set out on immersing myself into a topic unknown.
I’m pulling my best Odysseus.