Literally, these two words simply mean "I am here". When I first arrived to Botswana almost four years ago, this was one of the first things I learned not only because it was relatively easy to remember, but because it was used multiple times throughout the day.
|Bush Fire, Gobojango, Botswana 2014|
Now, seemingly worlds apart and a plethora of experiences later, I have had the opportunity to meditate a bit on this phrase and its actual pertinence to everyday life.
|Sunset over the Chobe River, Zambia 2014|
Stability. Constance. Permanence.
For the wanderlust-bitten traveler, this realization is a tough pill to swallow (see last month’s post and my personal apprehensions here). It’s much easier to live life to its fullest when you have no qualms or reservations about making a lasting impression, because you can simply just reload your pack and move on the following day. Never looking back, never questioning "what if".
Unfortunately, in that practice of constantly looking to the horizon, it is much easier to stumble over your path of the “now”. Ke teng has no meaning if you’re physically present but mentally yearning for the next adventure. In my craving for exploration, I have mistaken my recent move to D.C. as a daunting obstacle rather than an opportunity to be here; to be present.
|City street next to National Archives, Washington DC 2015|
|My muse, Samantha Mmapetla, Gobojango, Botswana 2013|
Since my move to DC, I have met so many characters who shove their songs so deeply within them that what remains is a shell of a human being, a persona if you will. Everyone is so focused upon earning the roll of choral director that their actual music has been lost.
In the effort of being present, I fully intend to release my music, and to share it with those who comprise my surroundings.
After all, I’m beginning to
|Columbia Heights, Washington DC 2015|
Alongside the realizations and encounters thus far, ke teng for the first time in a while.
|Costa Rica, 2015|