So here we are again with another Pay Day Thursday.
I have been so enjoying doing these Thursdays and having the opportunity to work with so many fabulous artists.
This week I would like to introduce you to Michele. http://micheledacosta.wordpress.com/ She is a beautiful person with a fantastic heart and spirit. Her photography and poetry is mystical and engaging.
We came together to collaborate on a cause and a poem.
Please take a moment to get to know Michele.
What is your name and where are you from?
My name is Michele D’Acosta and I was born in England. I have mixed heritage – Caribbean and Jewish.
What is your blog primarily about and why did you decide to start blogging?
My blog is a celebration of creativity, the desire to connect with kindred spirits; and, hopefully, a contribution to building a community of poets on WordPress. http://micheledacosta.wordpress.com/
What is your day job?
I wear a few different hats. I’m a BBC-trained professional filmmaker, an executive for a charity called The Peace Project and co-owner of an animation and computer games company.
What accomplishment in your career are you most proud of?
In 2012, going out with my colleagues onto the streets of Sierra Leone and putting crutches into the hands of disabled people who, up until that moment, had been supporting themselves with dilapidated crutches made of wood or, even worse, these disabled people had been crawling on the ground to get from point A to point B.
If we’re sitting here a year from now celebrating what a great year it’s been for you what did you achieve?
To have succeeded in giving micro loans to thousands of disabled people in Sierra Leone to start their own micro-businesses producing and selling crutch tips to extend the life of crutches that over one million war victims in Africa rely on for their personal mobility.
What do you believe happens to us after we die?
Interesting question. I’ve had a couple of near-death experiences. I believe that after we die we have choices about what to do next… in the same way that we choose what to do with our waking life.
What is it that you absolutely couldn’t live without?
I couldn’t live without hope.
How would you describe yourself as a child?
As a child I couldn’t wait to grow up and be free!
What makes your heart sing?
I sponsor the medical expenses and education of a 21-year-old Sierra Leonean called Musa Mansaray. During the 10-year civil war in his country, Musa was shot and left for dead in the African bush. When he writes to me his letters start out with the words, “Hi mum….”
What do you do to relax after a long, busy day?
Close my eyes and dream. Based on those dreams, I wake up the next morning and take another step or two…or three.
Michele is passionate about a cause that I would like to share with you. I asked her to prepare a write up to lead us into the back ground on the photo that we selected to write our poem on. Michele wrote the first half of the poem and I did the second half.
Scattered across Sierra Leone’s capital, Freetown, stand dilapidated two-story wooden houses. The board houses are a reconstruction of the cabins built in the 18th century on the American eastern seaboard, a reminder of the country’s past as a colony that was established for freed slaves.
This West African nation is rich in some of the world’s most valuable resources like gold and diamonds. During the 1990s, a group called the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) began brutally attacking villages to gain control of diamond mines. Rebel forces had a horrific name for their mission: “Operation Destroy Every Living Thing.” The rebels were notorious for murdering, raping, and chopping off limbs of tens of thousands of civilians. Not even children were spared. More than 50,000 lives were lost, and Sierra Leone became the poorest nation on earth.
Photo taken by Michele D’Acosta
HOUSE OF BLUES
written by Michele D’Acosta and Jennifer David
In the sweet
and sour house
the cracks of
Are the dreaming?
Are the shutters
to shut out
This is Freetown,
where freed slaves
were shipped in from
and Great Britain.
At various times,
the battles came.
Rebel wars and
scars on the
In Sierra Leone
Mostly in the hearts
Of it’s people
A beautiful image to some
The harsh reality of existence for many
What is art?
Rejected, neglected with the value of art
Creativity stifled worlds apart
Yet close to us
Real to us,
Because of us
Freed but not to freedom
Freed to the sweet and sour
In the blue tinted house
That was abandoned
Even when it was inhabited
©Michele D’Acosta and Jennifer David 2013
I want to thank Michele for all of her fabulous work and for taking the time to share her passion and cause with us. I would also like to thank her for shedding some light onto this on going tragedy that is still occurring in Sierra Leone. If you would like to help in the cause please contact Michele through her blog http://micheledacosta.wordpress.com/or send me an email and I can direct you to her.
Please think about what you’ve read here today, your resources and what you can do to help. Make a difference how and where you can.
For another poem on the diamond mines written by myself please click here Wetted Diamond