October 21, 2006

And Everybody Would Know Exactly What I Was Talking About

My wife went shopping this morning leaving my daughter and me home alone today. Kaia, my daughter, turned fifteen weeks old today, and spending time with her has become much more interactive and so much more enjoyable, than when she was just a lump of flesh, who only ate and slept.

I propped her up in her chair and brought out the guitar. We sang some songs and played chords. She loves to watch my fingers push down the strings and hear the effects of the vibrations. She smiles, coos, and swings her arms, her eyes darting back and forth following my fingers.

After awhile, I put on Graceland by Paul Simon and we danced around the room as I sang to her. I watched her eyes follow mine as we bounced and skipped around the house. She held on to my shirt tightly, but allowed her self to be swung amongst the lights and shadows flooding the room from outside.

A man walks down the street
It's a street in a strange world
Maybe it's the Third World
Maybe it's his first time around
He doesn't speak the language
He holds no currency
He is a foreign man
He is surrounded by the sound
The sound of
Cattle in the marketplace
Scatterlings and orphanages
He looks around, around
He sees angels in the architecture
Spinning in infinity
He says Amen! and Hallelujah!

As I sang these words, I felt myself get choked up, and I actually started to shed tears. I felt such an overpowering feeling of joy, that I had no choice but to cry. My mind drifted in out of memories and plans for the future. I was back in Africa, and I realized that Kaia must spend a part of her childhood there. Africa is the closest that I have ever been to my true nature. The sights, the smells, the rhythms feel so natural, so much so that I have never felt the sensations I felt while living in Africa, any other place else I have ever traveled.

The music continued to play:

These are the days of miracle and wonder

(You should have seen her face. I could barely get the words out, because there was a huge lump in my throat. This was truly a day of miracle and wonder. We could both feel it. We smiled at each other. She stared deep in my eyes and giggled as I kissed her forehead.)

This is the long distance call
The way the camera follows us in slo-mo
The way we look to us all o-yeah
The way we look to a distant constellation
That's dying in a corner of the sky
These are the days of miracle and wonder
And don't cry baby, don't cry
Don't cry

At this point, I lost it and decided not to try and act tough, and I let go and the tears began to flow. There we were, the two of us dancing in perfection. As if nothing else mattered: there were no wars, no threats of terrorism, or corporate globalization ruining the earth, there was no danger, no greed, no suffering, or anger. There was nothing but her perfect smile, and her eyes keeping time with the syncopated African rhythms and sounds, a little girl in her daddy’s arms dancing and enjoying the hours as they melted away and disappeared.

These words will never convey the feelings I experienced today, but who knows the moment was so perfect, that maybe a fraction of the recounting of it will work its magic on you too. I realized today that happiness is not some far off destination. It surrounds us with every minute of everyday; we simply must be open to recognizing it when we can.

Thank you Paul Simon.


  1. yes, your words are working their magic again...

  2. so beautiful, BZ. I have felt this perfection, too. I hope I feel it a million more times.

  3. Reading this made me smile.

  4. Keep on dancing x x

  5. Ah Jabiz,
    The images your writing created keep dancing in my mind. Thanks for letting us dance with you.se

  6. samantha9:54 PM

    I feel you brother--sheer majic

  7. samantha9:54 PM