Amelia's Lunchbox

Cerebral Sustenance

My fascination with travel started at a young age. I still remember the first time my mom deposited us “down south” for the summer. Of all the unanticipated elements of culture shock, the one I truly was not prepared for was foreign language. The first time my cousin declared that she was “finna” go to the pool, I honestly thought she had a stutter of some sort and politely ignored it. Upon realizing that this was a preposition for all infinitive verbs, I had to acknowledge that I was a stranger in a strange place. A place where people weren’t “about to”, they were “fixin’ to”. A place where the bike path never stopped and the street lights didn’t call you home.

Looking back, this early experience was formative. I’ve heard it said that “black Americans don’t travel”. Recent marketing campaigns even invite us to disprove this by hopping on a plane. However, in a world filled with pockets of variety in every square mile, one has to seriously ask what counts? Almost every child in my neighborhood went South at some point in summer. (I’m pretty sure most of us had a brief period of thinking that “down south” was an actual place.) Although these excursions to Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia, Florida, etc, were not spoken of with the esteem of the “gap year” of more privileged groups, I’m convinced they taught comparable lessons. The backpack through Europe, the summer on safari, or the meditation retreat in South Asia are seen as worth writing home about, ostensibly because of their exotic nature, but I’d argue that one can circumnavigate the globe without truly leaving the comfort zone. The critical aspects of travel - immersion in unfamiliarity, disorientation, deep listening and deep looking, shifting perspectives, might be just as easily gained by a trip to the other side of town. My travels below the Mason-Dixon Line as a kid from northeastern surburbia widened my perspective more than standing atop the Eiffel Tower or snapping photos in front of the Colosseum.

How far does one have to travel to see the world?

- amelia simone

"…for the creator, there is no poverty and no poor, indifferent place."

- Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

Learned about the wash, rinse, and dry cycle from @aliciazakon this weekend, and when it’s ok to open the hamper and air dirty laundry. Check her book #LaundryandLoveNotes!

Learned about the wash, rinse, and dry cycle from @aliciazakon this weekend, and when it’s ok to open the hamper and air dirty laundry. Check her book #LaundryandLoveNotes!

There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.
- Leonard Cohen

There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.
- Leonard Cohen

On a solo stroll under these lights, a stranger shared a term that captures part of my experience on earth: le flâneur. There’s no direct translation, but one way it’s been described is: “a stroller, a loiterer, someone who ambles without apparent purpose but is secretly attuned to the history of the streets (s)he walks – and is in covert search of adventure…” #tbt #notallwhowanderarelost

On a solo stroll under these lights, a stranger shared a term that captures part of my experience on earth: le flâneur. There’s no direct translation, but one way it’s been described is: “a stroller, a loiterer, someone who ambles without apparent purpose but is secretly attuned to the history of the streets (s)he walks – and is in covert search of adventure…” #tbt #notallwhowanderarelost

Otis Redding

—Try a Little Tenderness

Squeeze her.
Don’t tease her.
Never leave her.

…Try a little tenderness.

What is the last thing you made with your bare hands?

#Serendipity

#Serendipity

It was a kind of silence 
they’d never heard before,
filled with things unsaid 
and unsayable.
Not still, 
missed waves were dizzying.
Not peace, 
tense as deadlocked battles.
Muffled feelings, 
censored speech,
the hush grew 
until it rang.
Creatures with different ranges,
muted by mismatched frequencies,
neither could sound the alarm.

- amelia simone

It was a kind of silence
they’d never heard before,
filled with things unsaid
and unsayable.
Not still,
missed waves were dizzying.
Not peace,
tense as deadlocked battles.
Muffled feelings,
censored speech,
the hush grew
until it rang.
Creatures with different ranges,
muted by mismatched frequencies,
neither could sound the alarm.

- amelia simone

Bunny Mack

—Let Me Love You (Andy Daniell Edit)

Mehlo madala

—One of my favorite parts of learning a new language is discovering its idioms. I have been taking Zulu (isiZulu) for over a month now. My professor is actually Xhosa, not Zulu, but he speaks several languages and is brilliant. In our one-on-one lessons, we drift off topic a lot, discussing food, family traditions, and the peculiarities of language. I asked him to share some unique expressions, and he shared this one. It literally translates to “old eyes” in English, but it means “I haven’t seen you in so long” and has the sentiment of “I’ve missed you”…

I’ve had several people remind me this week that “black don’t crack.”

None of them were black.

#theyreontous

Sunday Dinners

Sometimes on Sundays,
I feed my soul before my stomach.
I partake in the chance to walk slowly on purpose
and fill up on smiles from strangers.
I sample treats being sold from sidewalks and windows,
and taste the daily bread as I pass the church walls.
I wander into museums where eyes feast on sumptuous spreads,
and take the long way home to digest all the flavors.
Insatiable city-dwellers are known for seeking seconds,
but today, I come to the table with my soul already full.

- amelia simone
My oldest daughter is Nefertiti 
the tears from my birth pains
created the Nile
I am a beautiful woman 

- Nikki Giovanni, Ego-Tripping (there may be a reason why)

My oldest daughter is Nefertiti
the tears from my birth pains
created the Nile
I am a beautiful woman

- Nikki Giovanni, Ego-Tripping (there may be a reason why)

People tend to think
that surviving heartbreak
is learning to unlove,
trusting time to wash excess feeling.
But those who wait
often discover,
what’s true does not dwindle.
In a world where so many
go unloved,
selves chief among them,
moving on is managing surplus,
redirecting it to worthy investments.

- amelia simone