As my tagline states, this blog is ‘a place to practice the craft’. I meant the craft of writing, but it could also be the craft of living, engaging, witching, mothering. Launched a handful of weeks after the birth of my son, it has been many things — a creative outlet during the long days and nights of new motherhood, a digital sandbox to hone my writing craft, a place to find a writing community and make what are now old friends, a path to tread tentative steps toward intentional and ‘professional’ writing, and a repository for parenting mementos that I’m already grateful for, seven years on.
Those mementos include a post for each of Ruben’s birthdays. Number one was small on fanfare but big on joy; two a day of firsts with first tram ride and aquarium visit for him, first foray into fondant foolery for me; three was spent on the half pipe and dirt mounds of the skate park, inspired by his prodigious way with wheels; four an epic piñata and a dinosaur theme; and five, marveling at the wonders of the universe and his mamma’s baking skills as he sliced through an astronaut helmet cake to discover a solar system within.
On Day 12 of my Iso calendar, also known as Wednesday March 25, 2020 in the now nonsensical Gregorian calendar, I heard an interview I’d recorded on January 26, 2020 BC (Before Covid) with Lucy Armstrong on The Upshot. It aired on MainFM, my local community radio station. If you didn’t catch it, you can stream it anytime on Mixcloud.
The premise of the show (also hosted by Kya) is a casual chat with locals to Castlemaine and surrounds, asking the same handful of questions, culminating in the biggie— the meaning of life. The interviewee chooses music that holds special or significant memories. For one of the questions, I went on a bit of a musical rabbit hole to pin point the Ethiopian music I used to hear as a child far from my first home, music played by my mother that filled me with a longing I couldn’t place, and strangely, feelings of joy and sadness simultaneously. Even as time eroded my grasp of Amharic and I could no longer understand the lyrics, those songs struck at something deep inside me. After failing to find just the song that did it, I looked into the word ‘tezeta’ which popped up from some rarely visited nook in my mind. Bingo! Tezeta is not only the style of music I was thinking of, but the title of many songs in that style by a range of musicians. Continue reading →