Treasure the moment

At the refugee center, Sarah and I greet each other with joyful smiles and warm embrace. In all weather, we meet each other in the spot along the covered corridor by the wooden door. We have found that the tape sticks easier to the wood than the brick wall. We never know if we will…

In between

I love going to the refugee center each week. Every single visit is unique, and I always feel better about everything after spending time there. I highly recommend paying close attention to the experiences in your life that completely shift your being in a positive way. It took me a long time to find the…

Ride the creative wave

I recently wrote a song from my friend Mohammed’s story. The song was derived from a very small portion of the much longer story. We filled several large sheets of paper before beginning to work on the chorus, and it was only a few phrases that made it from the story to the finished song….

Natareya

Something I love about songwriting is that each experience brings a new song into the world that didn’t exist before. During the summer, I do not generally go to the refugee center. My volunteer partner returns to her homeland of Scotland for a long visit, and it is a time to rejuvenate and refill my…

Migration Collection Day

This morning, Atticus and I headed out early (if not bright) to the center of the EU in downtown Brussels. We live on the very outskirts of this international city. When my husband first arrived and was tasked with deciding which commune we might enjoy living in, he chose Boitsfort (strong forest) because he knew…

The domes of Damascus

Yesterday, we stood beneath one of the archways, basking in the rays of the sunshine. It was bitterly cold but bearable in the heat from the sun. It has been very quiet at the center these past few weeks with not many people outside. I imagine it is due to the cold, but we continue…

How do you honor a person with no name?

I recently published a piece about the importance of recognizing and honoring individuals whose ideas have inspired your own work in order to ensure they receive acknowledgment for their hard work and innovation. I wrote mainly from the creative and academic perspective, but this concept certainly extends to all realms of innovation and discovery. Since…

I am a word

Nearly every week (save for a few weeks in July and August), I take the bus and metro to a refugee center near Molenbeek to write songs from the written and spoken words of immigrants in search of a better life. Even though I volunteer, I think of this work as my once a weekday…