Cheikh DarouMY HERORead Cheikh Darou Seck's tribute to ODILE DEWAR HERE
I want to thank Cheikh for the kind words he wrote about me. His lyrical compassion brought tears to my eyes.
I have learned a crucial lesson in the last few years, one I always knew intuitively. We are all called on a mission in life. After going through a medical situation, I found myself feeling as if I were shipwrecked on an island. I was faced with a total change of life's landscape; I had to retire early and confront overwhelming challenges among which included the losses of close friends and my mother. However, in these trying times, a whole new world opened to me.
I was very blessed to have former students, their parents, and friends who came to visit and help me on a regular basis. When the pandemic struck, I was left much more isolated. I found myself in a period of soul searching, dwelling on the meaning of existence in a profound visceral way, in contrast to the philosophical approach learned through the French masters encapsulated in the works of Pascal and Camus. I realized quickly that there was no solace to be found in the luxury of material things, Despite emotional and physical suffering, I discovered consolation and experienced a humanist renaissance reconnecting with art, poetry, and charity,
Then something extraordinary happened!
I am a strong believer in God. I asked the universe to send me people and causes to inspire me. The world suddenly opened to me.
As an answer to my prayer, Cheikh reappeared into my life and told me about his students and their needs, He kindly invited me into his world through the magic of the internet. He and Amelie, my dear sister from the heart and gifted actress, connected through me in Senegal and organized a special event for his students.
Former wonderful students and poets Ali and Derek reached out to me as well and we started doing poetry shares. Through Cheikh, I reunited with Jeanne Meyers, the amazing director of The MY HERO Project, who hosted a poetry salon this past October.
My colleague Bettina Hausmann from the San Diego UNA, USA association involved me in various activities.
So many miraculous encounters have been taking place daily on my island.
I sponsored two young boys, one from Bangladesh and the other from Senegal.
I have even started to learn some Bengali Wolof and Fulani languages with the help of my extraordinary friend and former student Brian who encourages me to create verses while sharing his own exquisite poetry. Brian speaks to me every day about a myriad of subjects such as Chopin's nocturnes, Deleuze's deconstructionism, and life's purpose!
We do not choose where we are born, our family, our race, or nationality. sometimes we are confronted with unavoidable medical problems.
Physical and emotional pain are often excruciating
But, amid darkness there is light.
Sometimes light is only visible by contrast with darkness,
By helping others, one finds purpose and hope, the anxieties of the ego become sublimated in altruism, and one finds their "core" by losing their "self-center".
An old African adage says " We are all branches of the same tree." By branching out to our brothers and sisters of this beautiful brave world we can conquer the impossible wherever we are.
Odile MY HERO
Page created on 5/19/2022 11:57:44 AM
Last edited 7/6/2022 6:22:28 PM