It’s like a handshake. Now give me your hand.

I love seeing the things I create inspire other people to create things too.

Especially when these things come back to me in the form of tastes and smells and stories and music. Suddenly, the world is a conversation. It’s not about me anymore, my thoughts and experiences. It’s about what surrounds me. Which frankly is quite a relief. Humans didn’t make cave paintings to sit and stare at by themselves, after all.

For instance, I sent my dear friend Katya a bag of spices from Majid’s spice shop in the Marrakech souk. The package also contained a lemonwood spoon and Italian stationary. Katya, with a first-full of these spices, whipped up a batch of  Moroccan Snickerdoodles. I discovered this fact via her blog, via facebook, while rooting around for another friend’s contact information.

As I read about K’s process of devising a recipe that would suit her taste buds as well as the spices, I am touched that my own discovery, in a market across the globe, could spark one of her own. Though I’m sure she baked the cookies days ago, I imagine her to be sitting by the window still, six stories up in Brooklyn, alternating bites with spoonfuls of yogurt.

And. This past weekend, in Lincoln Center, the New York Philharmonic Orchestra performed one of the poems that I translated from Creole, via a composition created by a 14-year old Pakistani-American girl by the name of Farah.

This is what is meant to happen to poetry, I think. To be translated and turned and shaped by many people’s hands and ears and hearts, through language and into music and back again.

It’s enough to give me goosebumps, or to feel like I must be doing something right, if I can throw my spices and words into the world and wait for something loud and baked and meaningful, for people other than myself, to come whistling back.

3 thoughts on “It’s like a handshake. Now give me your hand.

  1. How affirming to know that one person can make a difference. It is like an echo which grows louder ang goes farther. What a hopeful image, Merete.

  2. Wait, you’ll have to tell me again about the NY philharmonic thing. Did they perform your translated version of the poem? How did that happen? That’s amazing! Love

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