My EP Album Release – The Why

” Just get on with!”
” Stop taking yourself so seriously!”
“Stop Hiding!
“Give what you’ve got!”
” You don’t have to be perfect! “

These words kept me awake at night.
And then one day……..with the resolve to steward every area of my life well, I knew it was time.  Distraction, Discouragement and the fear of Disapproval would no longer shove the melodies back inside the comfort of my keyboard and the four walls of my living room.

The songs borne from the places I have called home, and the life that defines me, would finally escape their boxes.  Before I had time to change my mind, I was in CapeTown, singing into a very patient microphone, with pictures of waterfalls streaming through my mind and a familiar warm hand gently nudging me on. I sang with so many memories on my heart.

clarinda

I remembered my childhood in Ghana, and the rich sounds of the places I have lived in, in Nigeria, South Africa and now the United States.  I remembered my complicated family story and the redemption  and beauty from those ashes. I remembered that my name is simply Clarinda, the story behind that name and the brightness of the new life I have in Christ. I remembered the people whose questions and pain have sent me to my knees. I remembered the restful,  simple spaces we are all invited to live from.  I remembered that every sound is a breathe that is alive and that that breathe has already been heard, pursued and loved by the One who formed it. I remembered and I sang!

This first EP Album,  is a collection of songs that weave a story about the pursuit  of the human heart, the joy and freedom of a brand new day and the sanity of simplicity in an ever shifting world. The African flavors in the music, together with the funky and soothing jazzy sounds were fun to produce with Sounds of the Nations Studios.  I hope through these songs I am inspiring, cultivating and stewarding the breath and the sounds I have been given in my “music life”, even as cultivate life within my marriage, my family, and the communities I am privileged to know and be a part of.  And it is my hope that you would be inspired to do the same.

http://itunes.apple.com/album/id1297422302

Media Detox: Day 19,20,21

Jetlag has me up at 4:20am, as I write this catch-up post on the last three days of our family Media Detox. Although we had to finish off this Detox in separate continents, it was still a fulfilling sense of accomplishment to start something and finish off well.

The last three days were easy for us because we had so much going on that we had no time to think about the Detox. I was in Africa and my husband was holding the fort as a single parent with a hectic life. I remember calling slightly frantic days after the Detox when I realized that in the busy time we had not yet discussed our ‘After Detox Media Plan’. I had pictures of the kids vegging  out in front of the screen to catch up on 21 days of no screen time. To my surprise calling after several days of the Detox revealed that there was simply no time for that. I am hopeful that we are gliding into something new.

This weekend we will be discussing as a family what we each learned and gained from the Media Detox. I am keen to hear everyone’s insights. The kids will also be getting a dollar for every journal entry they made during the journey and we will go out and celebrate together.

Media Detox Day 18: In Flight Mode

Going on a long distance flight without movies is like going to the Cinema without popcorn and coke! Now before you get impressed with me for making a whole trip from US to Africa without the comfort of in-flight movie binging, let me tell you how it all happened.

When I gave my hugs and kisses to my husband and kids before leaving, I received their full blessing to pause my part of the Media Detox in light of the fact that, every mom deserves a break. Right? Besides what’s the point of having all that free time to kill, with no kids asking you “I need the bathroom”, or “are we there yet?”, if you can’t take a chill tablet and watch undisturbed movies  in that confined space on an airplane?Right? Exactly! I knew you would understand. 

Of course I must mention that I did take along with me my favourite decor magazines, George Orwell’s book, Animal Farm, as well as a book by Brother Lawrence called The Practice of the presence of God. In all honesty though, I took these along, as my backup plans. What I was really looking forward to was flipping through the menu of new movie releases.

So off I went. Boarded my flight. Got warm fuzzy  vibes at hearing familiar SA accents. Laughed to myself at the loud one in particular, who had to have been from Cape Town, and was thrilled to meet an older flight attendant taking his last trip before retirement after 39 years of service with S.A.A. 

Meal was served. Yummy as ever. Everything was going as smoothly as I had hoped. Until the moment I reclined my seat back, secured my back with the extra pillows from the empty seats next to me, and plugged the headphones in.

Alas, this is where the story because comically ironic. Because of all the places I could have sat, I sat where my own and surrounding headsets would not work. I smiled. Realizing that this was my way back into our Media Detox. 

So for the next over 14hours, I finished George Orwells book, got inspired by color and beautiful spaces in House and Liesure, discovered how Anne Mahlum(previously unknown to me), built a multimillion dollar gym in just three years, and was reminded of my hearts longing to draw ever closer to God.

I arrived after a safe trip and let my family know that I did not pause on the Media Detox, that in fact I was still right in it with them with just three more days to go.

Media Detox 16 and 17: Telling Stories

I remember as a child listening to so many folktales and stories, usually told at night whenever there was a power outage in the neighborhood. All the kids would gather around kerosine lanterns, as mothers and fathers took turns to share their favourite Anansi stories, made unforgettable by the songs that accompanied them, as well as the zeal with which the stories were told.

There was always a moral to the story, some great wisdom to be welcomed or great peril to avoid. I know that these beautiful childhood moments captivated my imagination and gave me a sense of mystery and wonder about the world. I know that these stories made virtues of honesty, generosity, courage and wisdom an attractive and noble pursuit.

We have been telling a lot of stories lately to our kids. Ed loves history and is so good at telling the stories in such a way that you feel you are right there and he is wetting the kids  and my appetite for more.

I have been telling the kids the story of my upbringing in Ghana and it’s been wonderful to see how engaged they have been hearing about my long playful childhood days and my favourite foods. Tonight instead of our usual bedtime story from a book, I told them the story of how their dad and I met, and time before their birth and they asked more questions than they have ever asked about that story. Such a rich time together.

We are not living in Ghana and we are unlikely to have a power outage that will force us to disconnect from all the noise of television and media. But it is my hope and desire that my kids will develop contentment in the simple things like the flickering lights from a candle and the familiar sounds of their parents sharing their stories.

Media Detox Day 15: Myth- “I am not that creative”

I believe that everyone is born creative. To create is the ability to bring something into existence. Something that expresses authenticity and uniqueness. Since we are all so unique and one of a kind, my expression of creativity may differ from another. It’s is love, freedom and rest that will unlock that creativity.


We took a trip to the Smithsonian American Art Museum today and we loved the variety of art forms and expressions on display, each telling a story and preserving times gone by, celebrating life and attempting to capture in a powerful way treasures in American culture.
I loved the simplicity of Gene Davis art for example, lines and interesting interval of colors. I used his work to encourage our one child who claims he is not creative, that creativity is not being perfect but making anything that is your idea and loving the process. Gene Davis work is simple and uncomplicated but refreshing for these reasons.

When we returned home I carved out sometime with our ” I am not creative” child, and while talking to him about being made in the image of God, encouraged him to do anything creative on paper. So we set the atmosphere with some beautiful scents of lavender and peppermint in the background and we had fun creating.


This is what he came up with and he loved every bit of it. 

The other two kids joined us after their storytime with dad and created more unique expressions of creativity. The only rule I gave them during this process was a) have fun doing it and b) every mistake is a new idea


When was the last time you did anything creative?