The Ivory Coast and Thankfulness
Looking back on my life and the present moment I am often in awe of the blessings I have received; I am humbled and thankful. It is weird how I vividly recall learning the songs in the book that was included with my first guitar when I was around 5 or constantly playing the songs out of the keyboard book that came with my sister's electronic organ around the same time. I remember using Pringles cans as drums, playing them with the backs of pencils. Music was all I wanted to do even surpassing my interest in art. That was until I discovered computers and how they could be used in conjunction.
I never thought growing up in Raleigh, NC that I would ever make it further than learning Metallica songs in my bedroom, shredding it up and taking over the local music store after school.
So I just got back from Africa where I played the Abidjan Jazz Festival and met so many wonderful people including the legendary Paco Séry with my soul sister Divinity Roxx.
I was recently writing a friend in London who was concerned about all the hatred, violence, riots and racial tension going on the US. The more I travel and meet people, the more I see the similarities in people all around the world. One of the key differences however is in the United States, there is almost always an underlying constant feeling of racial tension. It is everywhere; TV, movies, the internet, the grocery store, shopping malls, restaurants, just driving a car or walking the street you feel it. That feeling is completely absent when I visit Africa, The Bahamas, Jamaica even Mexico.
So I just want to thank Paco Séry and the wonderful folks in the Ivory Coast for treating me like their brother and most of all like a fellow human. I felt at home, at peace.