From my journal in 1999: “I love understanding as much as I hate being misunderstood.”
This piece, from interviews on the role of women during my Peace Corps service in Azerbaijan, aired on the Women’s International News Gathering Service (WINGS) in October 2008. The conversations here informed my decision to join the Girls’ Education and Empowerment program in Togo.
In honor of my mother’s passing, a song. “In Remembrance,” also known as “Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep,” is a song she and I practiced together and performed at my partner’s funeral in 2015. I was inspired by her critical condition last month to improvise a new version of the song drawing from what I remembered of the one from Eleanor Daley’s Requiem. Words Mary Elizabeth Frye. ©℗ 2016 Carla Seidl Music
I learned this song during my travels in Azerbaijan/Turkey/Georgia, and it has remained with me.
Since you were so lovely,
Why did I stay away?
Why did I not open
my heart to such a love?
Was there another way of loving you
you who woke me tenderly
whispered sweet words
and took me in your arms?
© Carla Seidl
(original loose translation building in turn off of an Azeri translation from the original Georgian)
Improvising movement to my song, “Who Are My People?” four years after recording it.
Earth Flavors, the project profiling local ingredients that I’ve been producing the past couple of years, is coming to a close. I just posted a final reflection article on the site, identifying some tenets of western North Carolina’s “locavorian terroir.” Read it at earthflavors.net, or the final version in Mountain Xpress here.
I recently revisited a folktale a teacher at the school I taught at in Togo shared with me in 2010. It’s called “Honesty,” or “L’honnêteté,” and highlights the problem of corruption. You can listen to my interpretation/translation from the French here:
When you think of St. Patrick’s Day, Leprechauns and potatoes may come to mind. But the Irish aren’t the only people to think about the little people. Many cultures have their versions of small, magical folk. And no matter where they live, fairies have to eat, too — right?