I had a mini staycation last week which started on Wednesday, to unblock my mind and find inspiration. I planned my staycation several weeks ago without realizing Art Basel would be in full swing. As I maneuvered through the galleries and exhibits solo, I knew it was what I sorely needed. I started in Overtown Wednesday evening attending Art Africa. I ventured out specifically to meet a photographer, Saddi Khali, as his work is phenomenal. I believed that meeting, shaking hands, and having a conversation with him would transfer positive energy and inspiration. It was a risk as I didn’t know if he would be there. He was there, we met, and I was ecstatic. He spoke and three words resonated with me which sent chills through my body. Those words were, “trying new avenues”. I left his presence feeling inspired.
Thursday evening I ventured back to Overtown, celebrating in the Historical Lyrical Theater. As a baby boomer, the idea of partying with the Sugar Hill Gang and Doug E Fresh as we celebrated Funk’s 40th year was tantalizing, to say the least. I was certainly looking forward to walking through the gallery of my yesteryear. The night proved to be one of the best nights of my life; I met so many wonderful people and danced my way deep into inspiration.
When I awoke on Friday, I felt invigorated. On this day I was going to encounter unique nooks of Miami celebrating art the best way I knew how. Off I went to Little Haiti. The art displayed in the Marketplace sent a jolt through my soul as I felt the passion in each piece. I moved around the corner to the Now or Neverland: Ode to Hip Hop exhibit. This exhibit paid a unique homage to hip-hop, displaying fantastic artwork. It was then on to my next nook and cranny of Miami: Little Havana. I arrived in the thick of Little Havana’s historic Calle 8 neighborhood. Instantly the heartbeat of Havana was present through the music in the background and the language: Spanish with a Cuban flare. The art was Cuban focused and still, I felt the beat of the African drum. What a breathtaking experience.
I left inspired and famished. Ten steps later I was sitting in a Cuban restaurant enjoying a traditional Cuban meal. Art and inspiration were found in an unexpected place, my plate. This meal was perfection! The belly was full and my inspiration was growing. I moved on to a popular location with a reputation of never-failing to excite; I was in Wynwood. I anticipated more art and more inspiration. I moved through the streets mesmerized by the people, street art, and the murals. Gallery after gallery provided magic moment after magic moment.
As I drove home I had a revelation: this is what my soul craved as I was once again inspired and feeling renewed. I thought I would rest since I felt exhausted but just as I arrived home I received a call from a friend. She said, “I have an extra VIP ticket for Art Basel are you interested in going tomorrow?” In all of my exhaustion, I instantly answered “yes!”
So on Saturday, I awoke at 6:45 am and shortly thereafter I was in Miami. It felt like I needed to be back at Art Basel but this time I had the pleasure of joining a wonderful group of ladies. We were everywhere: Sagamore Hotel, Scope, and Pulse, gallery hopping like professionals. We enjoyed lunch at a tasty Peruvian restaurant. Finally, we ended up in Wynwood again. This time, it was the opposite side of where I was the prior day, which made the experience fresh. I left inspired.
As a writer, I get stuck, become frozen, and can’t write. Being a writer and not being able to write is painful. It’s difficult sorting through worthiness, doubting if my writing is good enough or if it will reach anyone and if I do will they relate to what I’ve written. It’s challenging at times to pull the thoughts and feelings from within and put them on paper. These past four days felt like a journey, a journey back to being inspired to write. Interwoven in all of the wonderful art there were pieces of art I didn’t get, art that didn’t speak to me, however, the artist didn’t stop creating. Their art was there hanging on the wall waiting for whoever it spoke to, to pass by and admire. The artist kept creating. That is what an artist does. I am a writer thus I must write despite the adversarial noise in my head. My writing will reach who it is intended to reach and that’s good enough for me. Had I not, “tried new avenues” as the photographer said I may not have journeyed back to writing and feeling inspired to write. I spent Sunday writing and I’m getting closer to the completion of my second book. Whatever it is that you do just do it and never stop!