Claire Amsden - Senegal

January 3, 2013

My soul is a tapestry – the threads are all of my experiences and memories. As the pattern takes shape my personality is shown. I’ve been using a lot more Senegalese threads recently; their textures and colors are different and it’s changing the way I’m weaving myself – because aren’t we all in the process of weaving ourselves together? It’s up to each individual to become the person they want to be. My patterns are changing. They’re becoming more complex in some places and more simple in others.

Oh! If only you could see the swirls and stars! The stripes and zigzags and shapes!

I can’t even see it clearly myself most of the time because it doesn’t stay still. It’s not static, it shifts with the seasons of my moods and changing environment.

The contrast between my American threads and my Senegalese threads has made me take a second look at my American threads. I took them for granted, overlooked them, forgot where they came from. I can’t ever forget where I come from here.

Sometimes I feel like a circus is going on inside me. The construction of a city. The fall of an empire. Something is dying and something is being born and it hurts and is beautiful and sucks and makes me leap for joy all at the same time and sometimes I just want to take a break but I can’t because I wake up in the morning and I’m in Ndianda, Senegal and my name is Astou Ndao and that’s not going to change for a while.

And then sometimes, I feel like nothing is going on. I’m just being. Literally the only thing I’m doing, the only thing I can possibly do in that moment is breathe.

And that’s ok.

Claire Amsden