i adore these images of Nina Simone singing, moving her body to her own rhythms and sounds, spending time with her loved ones. this song is one of my top 5 Nina song’s too. she’s absolutely gorgeous.
feels so good to be coming back into health. the cough remains pero everything else is pretty much gone. my mother reminds me that this cough is older than i think. she tells me stories of this cough. when i was 4 years old, moving from Colima, the place i was born to Los Angeles, the place that raised me.
there is so much i don’t know about that time in my life, in my family’s life. my curiousity is growing and i want to hear the stories from all sides. i want to hear what my older sister and brother remember of that time in their lives too. why my parents moved to Colima for 4 years only to come back to the same life they left behind. i think i remember someome once telling me that my mother was pregnant when they left los angeles to Mexico. there are half told stories i have made true that my mother moved the family to Mexico in an attempt to change my fathers ways. i can understand that kind of love. i imagine my mother has so many untold stories of her hopeful love.
this cough…i remember this cough at age 24. i was working in the bay area doing some memorable work in sf public schools and this cough was there too. it was about that time that i decided to up and leave the bay area (partner in hand) to come home to l.a. this cough knows me. has seem me through a lot of transition. i can almost swear that this cough was around during my teen years as well, as i figured out how to live life in a way that supported my parents and siblings. my older brother got into so much trouble in those years. my sister with her heart in our house but her body in college tried to support me by offering an escape. introduced me to art, films, cheese, and new people.
this cough came across the border with me, my mother says. no doctor nor here no there could figure out how to get rid of it. and here she is again, causing heads to turn back at me, asking if i’m okay. the memories are rising. my cold hands, my cough, and a million images of the people who have seen this cough, who know it because they’ve known me intimately. lovers, friends, companions, my mother all witnesses to this cough. i, witness to myself. oh, and the cities too. this cough is a world traveler, been with me in sur africa, paris, morocco, austin, fort benning georgia, and as already mentioned, l.a., mexico, san francisco.
and the melancholy sets in. for all thats lost, never known, left behind in colima in those black sand beaches, left behind in that dark garage we lived by in whittier when we first moved to California, left behind in that car when my dad called my grandma a witch and he slapped me for my response, left behind in that City Terrace house as our family fleed for my brothers life, left behind…and not left behind at all because all those images i carry in me, as if they were part of my dna.
the stories are streaming in.