Prior to embarking on my professional modeling adventures, I did not understand why on earth so many staff were necessary at photoshoots; you would think that just the photographer, model, and makeup person would suffice? As I learnt from putting together this tiny photoshoot for Anam’s Vault, it is not so. At my first ever casting call, I was taken aback to find multiple people in the room — as I have come to appreciate with time, friends, advertisements that we often consume in mere seconds took a village, and then some, to come together. It’s incredible. But I digress!
For the past twelve years, the Young and Strong Program at Dana-Farber has held an annual gathering for women who were diagnosed with breast cancer at an age younger than the average. Two Fridays ago, on 12th October 2018, Breast Cancer in Younger Women: A Forum for Patients and Survivors rolled around again — and this time I was able to take it all in from planning to execution.
I’m not upset with you — I’m mad at the ocean
How its tides sway from coast to coast
Mocking the distance between us.
I’m cross with Earth for splitting into pieces.
For shattering such that you rise when I set,
That I’m awake when you sleep,
The clock robs us of rest.
It’s like hopping on stones across a river:
Will I make it to you? Will you make it to me?
Or will we meet halfway and drown?
Colliding above the current
That threatens to suck us under,
You forget that I never quite learnt how to swim.
But you can, and you might save me…
Wait for me downstream
As I float up with the debris of our love
Seven years of drought then seven years of plenty;
May the rains that make the river swell
Also water our fields.
© Sylvia Ilahuka, 2018
In January this year, a new nail salon opened in a neighbourhood of Brookline, Massachusetts. I glanced through the window while walking past one day and was captivated by the gorgeous interior, but it also looked like an establishment I assumed I couldn’t afford to patronise — I was wrong. The first time I ventured inside, I was actually in tears from an upsetting phone call; I left feeling so much better, comforted by the ambiance and stellar nail service (plus the tea and sweets they offered me ❤ ). I became a repeat client and, after singing the salon’s praises to my friends enough times, recently went back to document the experience. Come along with me into this hidden gem!
I refer to this recipe as “freestyle” because after the basic requirements are met I almost always add in whatever other ingredients I have available that day. As a result, no two banana bread batches are ever the same; variety is the spice of life, friends. Alright, let’s bake!