my latest phase of fascination is with culture. not that i haven't always been interested in culture, but lately i just can't get enough of reading about it and thinking about it. my favorite fiction books right now are books that celebrate or examine or somehow illustrate the cultures of the african diaspora. i've loved the concept of a diaspora ever since i first read about it and had to look it up years ago. to me it's all about the dynamics of legacy - what things about life are handed to us, and how do we use it in conjunction with what we ourselves make apart of our present lives? what was lost? what will be gained? what will we pass on? and how will all of that legacy be handed from person to person? i think that with african descendants around the world, it's a little different than with some other races, because of the particular circumstances that have caused us to scatter all over the globe. (i should have been an anthropologist). i've just made the decision to actually leave america (and not just talk about leaving) and go to see some of these manifestations of africa's legacy for myself. i really want to go to africa, the caribbean, brazil, the american gullah islands, backwoods louisiana... i want to see us in all our different colors and languages. i want to understand how we all came to be so different, and find out if we came to remain somehow similar - and if so, how we have. i think in my search i will find new knowledge, new appreciation for things, old familiar things, and some level of personal fulfillment at having reached a goal. i think it will help me to grow as a person and as a writer... and though it will take some time and planning, it's a really reachable goal - and i am so looking forward to the journeys!