Cape Town, South Africa – Arriving late and thinned out last night after 30 hours of travel, my senses are still on awake. I watch the on-board GPS map as we cross from ocean to Africa, first over Namibia and I feel like an explorer.
In Johannesburg I change planes, emerging to see a row of people with wheelchairs waiting for their passengers from the plane. In Houston, my most frequent air hub, people who have this job are predominantly black so my first hit is familiarity, until I walk further into the airport and instantly get that nearly every employee, from gate agents to security to retail workers are all black. This, of course is not a surprise to my brain, and at the same time feels vastly different, a clear changing of weight. It feels more fluid, with a lower center of gravity.
I’m captivated by a guy in a candy store who’s dancing full on behind the counter. In an airport. Airports are supposed to be houses of self-repression and lifelessness. He makes me want to dance too. I don’t.
A arrive at my hotel in Cape Town, say a quick hello to my colleagues and crash into bed.
Late morning I start my practice, scanning my range from low to high, very slowly sliding up. The hotel walls are thin so I keep it low, which keeps me attentive. I also keep my mouth closed. I’m very aware of the exact place the sound is resonating, especially very high in my range.
I notice that my first trip up resonates exclusively on the left side of my head. It is smooth, breaking only when I move from chest to head voice. Then, like I flipped a switch, the next passes move to my right hemisphere, which is much more crackly and dry, breaking many times along the way.
I continue this for the whole 15 minutes as my melatonin induced fog burns off in the cool morning Cape Town light.