What’s the likelihood of meeting two artists in two days…in the exact same spot?
Under a giant oak tree that loves to drop acorns on your head to get you to notice it. I noticed it. But I was more drawn to Nakia, who was sitting on a quilted blanket with her acrylic paints and canvas.
But she is not an artist in the sense that she is a painter. This is more of her therapy, a way to break out of her writer’s block.
I told her I meet people to help me get my creativity flowing. And for some reason she let me sit next to her as she painted and told me about herself.
Like me, Nakia loves a good story. And one in particular that she told me she actually doesn’t remember. Instead she has relied on the pictures in her phone to piece it all together. It happened while she was studying abroad in Ghana. During the Easter break she was at a spring festival, enjoying many “cultural” experiences. Henna tattoo’s, beaded jewelry, and “wheat cakes.” The latter being something no one had heard about.
As it turns out, her understanding of the Ghana dialect wasn’t as good as she thought. It was not “wheat” but “weed” as in marijuana. Nakia had never smoked pot much less eaten it. And not just one slice, but three. And yes, three days later she emerged from the fog. “Like in the movie the ‘Hangover,’ I went to my phone to see what happened.”
She met a man with a machete chopping coconuts, visited a waterfall and a few other places that she wished she had an actual memory of. But she has the story. And to a screenwriter, what more do you need.
I was in the middle of my daughter's birthday party so I cut our time short. I loved her stories and really enjoyed meeting Nakia. While we talked I spotted Bill from Day Two. I'm not so sure it's the Elm that wants to be noticed, but it's the tree that leads people to me...so I guess I'll go back to to be pelted on the head with acorns.