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1.31.2012

A Deeper Look

*Breathes sigh of relief* Ok, so I finally did it.

Now it's time to share a bit more. I want to provide you with a deeper look into what this blog is made of.

So, coming up with a blog name was tough. Shoot, even coming up with a picture header was tough. #realtalk (pause: I should note NOW that I have a serious thing for hashtags (#). I'm definitely not a twitter expert but hashtags just have a way of capturing so much in so little. Engage in the hashtag with me.)
I digress.
Keeping in line with the theme of paradox that I want to explore, I wanted a title which explained both where I am and where I plan to be...which of course is in balance with life's wonders. After much thought, I had a vision of myself on a tightrope...tipping over...naturally...and trying to find balance from within...and also without.

I also feel that balance is the ultimate end of paradox. Ya know, the ying and yang of life. Actually, I don't think paradox can exist if there is no balance between the opposing elements.
I love the idea of harmonious opposition-peace-the healthy equilibrium between two extremes. Ya dig?

Anyway, it's also about finding tangible balance in every day life.

Take a look at the top of the page and you'll see various tabs which reflect this quest for balance. Umm, The Source (essentially just a Home page....I liked the zen element of "The Source" better) and About page don't count.
All of these pages will develop into sub-pages as time goes on. Right now, there's..umm...nothing.
The Leisure and Pleasure page will be about measures we can take to balance ourselves out in this manic world. Where to go, what to see, what to do...Think culture culture culture. All cultures.
The Rest and Digest page will focus on holistic health-that is the connection and balance between mind, body, and soul. Even though I am not a certified health professional (yet...I'm working on it though), I constantly research different ways to achieve optimal mental, physical, and emotional health. We'll talk about everything from hair and skin health to nutrition to natural medicine, to yoga (which I suck at so badly). Trust me, I haven't perfected health balance by any. means. necessary. But we'll figure that out together.
The Inspiration page will contain different kinds of features of both people I know and people who will hopefully click on the Connect tab to be featured! #bigdreams. I plan to feature "Move-Makers"; people, organizations, and MOVEMENTS doing amazing things, "Taste-Makers"; influential people with artistic propensities-think fashion, music, and art, and "Agents of Change"; people who are making very real and direct social-cultural-political contributions to a specific cause.
I'm constantly meeting incredible people who are doing such great things.
I also just read allot and watch TV, so I guess I won't know everyone I feature. Oh shucks.
But I absolutely welcome guest reviews, posts, and other contributions!
The Reviews page will contain highlights of the beautiful and the ugly, the happy and the sad, the serious and the mundane. I will review different places I've been to, music I love and/or I feel have something to contribute. I will also review other things like books, articles, natural hair products (yes!), and...whatever!
In Haiti Hub, I want to explore all things Haiti. I am purposely making this vague because I think that's fun. You'll just have to wait and see what happens in this most promising corner :)
And as I alluded to above, the Connect tab will open up this blog to those who want to contribute to the journey, which I am SO excited about! It is here I should add that although this blog is essentially about my adventures and interpretations, I want it to be very very communal and interactive.

I plan to post several times a week, if not daily, if not hourly....I kid. I kid.
But really, sometimes I will just post a quote, or a music video, or a picture, or an essay.
I also don't want posts to be this long...ever.
It's only this long because it's an extension of the introduction post. Promise.

Everything is flexible, open to interpretation, and subject to change.
Most importantly, everything will naturally overlap because remember, *Everything is Everything*.

I want this blog to feel accessible, undefinable, consistent, and ENGAGING.

Moving on to the picture header!
The header is the work of one of my favorite people/artists ever , Edouard Duval-Carrié.
Hmm, I suspect this is actually evolving into a triad of Haiti Hub, Reviews,and Inspiration all in one. And I like it.
Move with me.
I had the pleasure of meeting Edouard Duval-Carrié back when I was in college. He is an incredible Haitian artist with an undeniably stunning and powerful aesthetic. He absolutely deserves a Feature and that will happen in the near future *fingers crossed* so I won't go TOO in depth. But let's just say, his imagination has no bounds and his contribution to contemporary Haitian art is note-worthy. 

The piece that serves as my blog picture is entitled "Haiti: History Embedded in Amber", a project on view at Duke University. He completed this project in collaboration with HIGH-SCHOOL students from Florida, where he lives. Please check out the video below for an in depth analysis and explanation of the artistic intent. I'm going to segue (<---otherwise known as segway, which I just found out isn't how you spell it-WHAT?!) into my own interpretation and appreciation of this project, and what it means for "Naika in Balance". Join me...below!

I find this piece to be visually magnificent and kind of ethereal. I love ethereal! I also really like ambiguous, big, bright, colorful, Haitian things. Yes. This peace is not just embedded in amber, it is also embedded with meaning. Although I think the "meaning" or "conceptualization" of Haiti is extremely individual and personal, I feel that anyone can identify the different elements and scenes conveyed in this piece as Haitian. Or at least I can! (See video).

Each block represents something special about Haitian culture to Haitian students, as well as Duval-Carrié.
This piece is about representation, collaboration and cultural, historical, and artistic preservation.
Three ideas which I think carry a certain positive energy about them. Even though those ideas are quite complex, it just feels really good to me. I hope it feels good to you too.
Notably, there is paradox in this piece. I mean how can history be captured or embedded, right? History has movement...it has flow...and even though it's in the past, it also moves forward. It's also multi-faceted and infinite. So in some ways, this piece can't possibly "embed" history.

But it kind of does.
Paradox.
It does embed it! It embeds certain Haitians' experiences, interpretations, and imagination.  Is that not...history? #freeyourmind

There are so many more things I love about this. I love that young people participated. I love that individual fragments contribute to a united whole (#spiritofrevolution).
(I may not like that it's in the garage of an elitist institution, as opposed to the artsists' high school or in Haiti....but that's another conversation. #keepitreal)
I love that it's Haitian. I realize I didn't really delve into my love of all things Haiti, particularly Haitian art.
Haiti is my life-force. She gives me energy. Even though she didn't give birth to me, I'm still her child (meaning, that although I am HALF-Haitian, I am American!). I don't really understand how the love affair started, but I also don't care because it doesn't matter! So if you didn't catch it, Haiti will be an absolutely essential part of this blog. I want to share her past and present with you, talk about her future, her pains, her triumphs, her strengths and weaknesses, etc. I look forward to engaging in this conversation with all of you as often as possible!

So now you know a little bit more about the details of "Naika in Balance". How it happened. Where it is. Where I want it to go. All of it.

Hope you like it. Share your thoughts with me!


Stay engaged,
N

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