Music: vernacular of the soul


Monday, May 5, 2008

The Art of Stealing Souls

the title of this post refers to the belief that a photgraph can steal a soul

Know anybody that believes that?

“How sad it is! I shall grow old, and horrid, and dreadful. But this picture will remain always young. It will never be older than this particular day of June. . . . If it was only the other way! If it was I who were to be always young, and the picture that were to grow old! For this--for this--I would give everything! Yes, there is nothing in the whole world I would not give!”
Oscar Wilde (Irish Poet, Novelist, Dramatist and Critic, 1854-1900)

Picture taking is something i enjoy doing
I'm not a bootleg professional by any means
I just like taking photographs for posterity's sake

Something to show the great great grandkids (yes i plan on being around that long. That's if we don't fuck up the world by then)
I have only a handful of pics of the moms in her younger days
and only one of the pops (insert sad face)

No pics of them under the age of 20

Have you had any family heirlooms passed down to you?
Do you have pics of your parents when they were younger?
What are some things/keepsakes you have around that remind you of your grandparents?

As a first generation Haitian American, i'm terrified of not passing down my culture to the mini-me's that are to come
My grasp of Haitian creole is mediocre at best
but i'm determined to pass on the little bit i do know down to any big headed bastards that should exit my womb

Are any of you first generation citizens?

I need to get up on the haitian cuisine. That shit is delicious
I however, am too friggin lazy to put in the effort
i really should get the moms to write down her recipes for me
That woman knows her way around a kitchen

The ole haitian immigrant is always regaling me with friggin stories of his youth
I started to write them down but ima start recording them instead
(If things go according to plan, he's gon kick the bucket before i do
I already know ima be actin a fool all splayed over the casket
awwwww. now im bootleg sad)
Those pics,recordings, and writings are going to be the only tangible things i'll have left of the old bag

28 public opinion:

Roddykat said...

Yea man, you gotta have something to pass down to your yoots. I have some pics of my mom and pops but not together. Also some stuff from other fam. I know where some other stuff are at my moms place, so I got something. The one thing I wish I done was to get some recordings from my grandmom talking about when she was young and family stuff. I have a picture of her on top of my entertainment center. The cookery stuff is still in good hands, but i can get some recipes from my aunts at any given time, so I should be good for a minute.

As for wifey and I, she's not from here (Zimbabwe) and sadly I could tell you what gen I am in this piece. Off and on, I'm trying to learn her language(Shona), but it's sloooow going. She won't let me take any pics of her too often or ever.

Awww @ the pics of you and the fam.

DollFace said...

You and the fam are so cute. Instead of having your mom write them down, maybe she can show you how to make the meals. You write them down and then show your future Dejanae's how to make them. That way, not only are you passing along your heritage, but you can start an easy tradition.

Urban Thought said...

One way to stay grounded in your roots is to take those trips back to the place your parents call home.

I know a few folk who go on pilgrimage just for that reason.

Pictures are a great thing. Don't have any of the ken from back in the day. I don't even have too many of myself (all of three I believe).

Is your father just as funny as you are? He appears to have a great sense of humor (based on the pics I see).

Anonymous said...

I .HEART. These pics

God forbid I should have kids, but in the Meantime My little cousins and niece and nephews ARE damned straight speaking Spanish, comiendo Rice and beans and learning to like Arepas, plus I LOVE Latin food and I'm a quick EXCELLENT cook so they get it all... or else, also If my dog doesn't understand English directives but gets them in Spanish... does he speak Spanish???

My grams (OG status) stays pulling me to the side and telling me I'm the only one getting the Jewelry.....I don't believe her but I humor her any ways

I hate my childhood pictures but i have lots of my mom and aunts and uncles, not so at all of my daddy (although he was a fine mofo in his teens)

t.r.b said...

firstly, i always love when you speak on the culture....fascinating!

however, i AM a believer that pictures steal a piece of your soul. the last family portrait we took, i was 8 and after 6th grade, i didn't take a picture again until graduation and i only did that to appease my this day i'm cool on the photographs.

i remember my aunt showed me a picture of my great-grandmother from the 40's in typical 40's style (red lips, updo, ruffled form fitting dress) it didn't look like my granny at all to me. old pictures are just that...old news.

Have you had any family heirlooms passed down to you? i have my great-gran's rose china and crystal glass set, and a painting of a 'family tree' my grandmother had done where all of her siblings are the apples surrounding my gran's apple- i've always loved it.

Do you have pics of your parents when they were younger? i've seen them always, but no desire to have them.

What are some things/keepsakes you have around that remind you of your grandparents? my family is so close and full of ghosts too strong to die, so everything is a reminder.

The Jaded NYer said...

awwww! you and your dad look like you have a good relationship; that's nice to see :)

I'm also first generation, but sadly have failed to teach my girls much about DR or any Spanish (except the bad words, because I'm one of THOSE moms lol)... terrible, I know.

Heirlooms? the nameplate I wear is my mom's because we have the same name but she doesn't go by it anymore. I also have my grandmother's fan, ring and her cast-iron pots. And a lot of memories.

we do have a lot of family pics here and there; I've just borrowed a huge stack from my cousin so that i can scan them. they'll be popping up in the blog here and there.

Pajnstl said...

All of our family photos were lost during katrina. i only have the ones that i'd stolen for my senior book. I dont have any of my mom KILLING the'fro game.

Thx for shring your family pics!

1/3 of what I used to be said...

Loving the family pics and that opening quote:-)

Have you had any family heirlooms passed down to you? nope no heirlooms..well my grandma's house in the middle of the country maybe
Do you have pics of your parents when they were younger? Yea they were sooo cute:-) One of my sisters look just like my mom when she was younger. I'm amazed at my gene pool:-)
What are some things/keepsakes you have around that remind you of your grandparents? This glamour shot of my grandma makes reminds me of her..she was soo pretty and I'm happy she passed that on down lol

Anonymous said...

Nobody passed me a dang thing, I had to steal the oh so few pics the family has ever taken of me. That's probably why I'm always taking pictures. For some mysterious reason the camera's batteries always died whenever I was on the scene. Didn't matter if I had solos or was the star of the show, the camcorder just didnt catch it-oh well, I'm adopted.
I love looking back over things and I try to keep recordings of my life to pass down to someone.....not that it's anything interesting anyway...--Chanell
Yes, learn the recipes so you and Fiona and A can cook me something great!

karrie b. said...

look @ u stuntin like ur daddy. i wish i got some pics of me and mine before he up and left.

we workin out wednesday or what?


Stew said...

got some pics of my pic from when they were younger. not many though.

when i was younger my grandfather gave me a dollar. i never spent it. not an heirloom, but still special nonetheless.

jameil1922 said...

omg i have this pic of my mom as a little baby and the most adorable one ever!!! love it!! there are some good pics of my grandma in her late teens/early 20s too. she was GORGEOUS! love it. i'm not down w/that wilde quote. i don't mind aging. that brings me closer to my ultimate goal: happiness w/myself and in Jesus.

Ms Sula said...

Awwww.... Your pics with the fam are so cool. Your daddy seem like the coolest dude ever.(and your Afro is serious!!!)

I am such a sentimentalist when it comes to preserving one's culture, history, heritage. It's a beautiful thing what you're trying to do. I asked my mom to bring me old pics... I plan on doing a scrapbook project with all of those.

My cousin's girlfriend is Haitian, I've been lucky to sample some really GREAT food! Diri ak Pwa is where it's at! :) You need to learn how to do it and invite me over. :)

Have you had any family heirlooms passed down to you?
My great grandma distributed her jewelry amongst all of her grandkids and great-grandkids when she passed. I received a small gold nugget that my parents turned into earrings... that was stolen when some bastards raided my apartment 2 years ago... *Insert extremely sad face*

Do you have pics of your parents when they were younger? Yeppers, but more so of my dad. My mom lost her dad when she was 15 and their house was raided by relatives afterwards, they didn't keep much. But I have pics of them in their late teens and a lot of pics in their twenties. My second sister is a carbon copy of my mother. It's scary!

What are some things/keepsakes you have around that remind you of your grandparents? We all inherited my grandma Christine (mom's mom)traditional attires when she passed (Kinte, wedding jewelry and the likes). It's still kept at her house and used when any of the grandkids are getting married and/or having a traditional ceremony of some sort.

This blog was so inspiring... It makes me me miss home even harder... *sigh*

Jadore.Tokeyo said...

i'm actually 2nd generation. my grandfathers(mom and dad) were from the dominican republic and my grandmother puerto rico. i still have yet to learn spanish, but my aunt is determined to teach me.

i was actually cookin spanish dishes since forever and am actually going to dr for christmas. i can't wait.

i only remembering seeing one pic of my grandparents, and it sucks because it's blurry and i am told that i'm the only grandchild that looks exactly like him.

but i plan on teaching my children about their spanish backgrounds.

love the pics!!

Freaky Deaky said...

I'm the unofficial pack rat/keeper of the family archives. I have plenty of pics of my mom as a teen, her wedding photos, etc. I should digitize all of them but I haven't had the time or desire to.

I have some jewelry and furniture from my grandfather and if I ever get married I'll get my mom's engagement ring.

Nope, as far as I know my family has been hear for at least a few generations. Not really interested in the slave owner part of the family and there really isn't any African-American culture in general I think needs to be passed down to my future brood.

Canon Obama said...

loves the Oscar Wilde quote...

got alot of pictures of my fam when they were younger. fam is important to me. no matter how many personal problems I got, fam always make me feel better

Mizrepresent said...

I'm not Haitian, but my kids are...and i'm glad to see my daughter really diving into her mixed heritage...naw she can't speak no creole either, but she tries to cook, sometimes. I can cook most Haitian dishes, learned from my ex, bc, it was a requirement...but i have to tell you, after 20+ years of eating rice and beans at every meal, i haven't cooked rice in 2 years.

Rashan Jamal said...

I got pictures of my mother's side of the family when they were kids, going back to my great grandmother. She was born in 1904, and we got flicks of her. Moms digitized them, and printed out some glossy joints for all the kids. I love them.

My father side, i got pretty much nothing.

12kyle said...

Its good that you are involved and concerned about your culture. A lotta folk aren't.

Nice pics of the fam!

Desy said...

hahaha... the hand on the head pic is just priceless...

no pics of my parents during thier youth but i truthfully feel it's a haitian thing... they kinda had poverty to worry

my dad tells me a gazillion stories... and most of them are trapped in my mind... he hates the idea of holding on to people thru tangibles... hence his desire to be cremated... he doesn't want us to have a place to 'go'; cause he will always be with us...

i speak creole pretty regularly... but u kno, it's got those English inserts every now and been to Haiti twice... goin back with the rents and doin it big during festival in o boi (not the real name, but u kno... o cap, o boi, dats how dey

did i mention of love being haitian... LOVE IT!!!

mp1 v.8.0 said...

That's good stuff to have pics with the pops. I'm getting kind of jealous over here.

I wish I had more pics of the moms growing up too. I'm trying to make sure the mads has all of those memories for her chilluns too.

swag_ambassador said...

i got plenty pics of my parents when they were younger, and it always amazes me that I have a lot of the manneurisms ma dad had when he was younger.. crazy how the lineage gets passed down..

pops was a beast in the young shorts LOL. and momma was a diva in the hot pants.

Eb the Celeb said...

first... those last couple pics are so much fun

now on to answering the questions

Have you had any family heirlooms passed down to you?

Nope...I'm hoping to though... my grandparents are very young... most of my grandfathers have passed but the women in my fam live forever.. I have 2 great grandmothers still alive that are in their 80's

Do you have pics of your parents when they were younger?
Yes... I have pics of my parents with me since they had me in high school... that's the youngest of pics that I have of my parents

What are some things/keepsakes you have around that remind you of your grandparents?

My dolls, my grandmothers are the ones who started me collecting them.. Also I kept the obituaries o f my grandfathers... I dont know whether or not that counts

soupasexy said...

awwwwwwww, that's too cute.
i miss my fam even more whenever i see people having fun with there's

good to know u intend to pass on ur traditions and culture, and u so damn proud of it too. good girl!

Jinta said...

i have a few pictures of my parents wnen they were young. it always is amazing to look at them and think: i'm now older than they were then

Ms. emmotions said...

i know this sounds weird, but never seen a pix of my dad when he was a kid..

Anonymous said...

The family pics are classic.

Thank God I have pics of my parents in their youth. Got their wedding photos, prom pics, even a couple of my mom when she was just a baby. Of course there aren't many of my dad before high school=(

Girl, you better get with it in the kitchen!

Thought Process said...

First time to your stop. I Likey!! You and your father look like yall have a good relationship. That warms my heart to see that nowadays.

Nothing beats pulling out the family photo album. Some pictures are like looking in a mirror only without the tight bell bottoms and butterfly collars!!