Me-ness

Linnea Ashley on July 6th, 2013

I’m trying to live a negative of myself. Not so polar opposite that i am unrecognizable, and not because i am harboring some deep disdain for the person i am…but because, as the overused adage goes, “if you always do what you’ve always done you always get what you’ve always gotten.”I’m quite familiar with what […]

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Linnea Ashley on November 10th, 2011

I wrote this back in 2003 and it still feels true to me now.The Black Experience. It sounds like a thrill ride at an amusement park. Strap yourself in and prepare to be amazed or dismayed, amused or abused. Strap yourself in and discover what life is like when your skin is browner than a […]

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Linnea Ashley on November 9th, 2010

I was returned to my college days, my peace corps ones. returned to the joy that a tiny slip of paper in my mailbox can conjure.Yesterday I got a package from my parents. And the timing couldn’t have been more perfect, a day more in need of pepping. I almost didn’t trudge down to the […]

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Linnea Ashley on October 24th, 2010

Kampala, Uganda October 7, 2010 “I haven’t even been proposed to here, I think I’m insulted.”I was half joking but in retrospect I can hear how it must have sounded. No knowledge of my constant proposals in South Africa, no context for “love at first sight” in Liberia, it must have sounded absurd.James, a twenty […]

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Linnea Ashley on September 25th, 2010

Iganga Town, UgandaSeptember 25, 2010They smiled at me through my open window, me splayed out in the bed watching a movie on my laptop. I’d just pulled my earplugs out because I…I guess I heard them coming. Our guard grinned down at me as I waved them all in the direction of the front door.There […]

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Linnea Ashley on September 25th, 2010

Iganga Town, UgandaSeptember 24, 2010I love Zimbabwean noses, think John Amos from good times; Liberian bodies, ebony skin pulled taut and shiny over highlighted muscle. In Uganda it is the lips. Full, soft, dark. They defy comparison, only the reality that they are what lips should be.I file these things away and weeks or countries […]

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Linnea Ashley on September 5th, 2010

September 4, 2010Iganga Town, UgandaI was fuming. My mind working out possible solutions to a work problem. The sun glaring down on me, perspiration filming salty and shiny on my top lip. The ground, uneven and muddy, passed unnoticed beneath my feet. .“Mzungo goodbye,” somehow penetrated the roar in my head and what annoys me […]

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Linnea Ashley on July 22nd, 2010

Despite being well versed, hell- down right prolific, in both the art and execution of farewells; they wear on me. Not simply the act of saying goodbye – but the brief intervals between the ends…the end of the job or travel that has occupied my time for a eight months or two years and the […]

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Linnea Ashley on May 25th, 2010

Hope is both guiding light and cruel tool. Marrakech, an ephemeral dream of possibilities, met me at the end of a seven-hour (and much delayed) train ride from Fes. Older and more crowded than every other morocco train ride so far, this one included 18MAD sandwiches (expensive at just over $2 but unnecessary for me […]

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Linnea Ashley on May 24th, 2010

I hate being a tourist. I hate to see so many folks herded together to take the same photos and hear the same stories. To buy the same crafts and eat the same food. It is the sameness…the sameness and the impossibility of intimacy.Don’t get me wrong, I understand hustle. I know that my visit […]

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