The poet Warsan Shire writes, “no one leaves home unless/home is the mouth of a shark.”
Intellectually, everyone gets what that means. However leaving is the default, especially for many in the area. Many of us have been in the DC area forever. But just as many are a microcosm of our country, recent arrivals of every stripe. We’re immigrants, diplomats, international students, expats, corporate relocatees, servicemembers on temporary assignments. We’re people who either looked past the horizon and thought, “it can be more” or we got lucky, and more is already at our doorstep.
So what does it take to leave? What does it mean to belong? What awaits us in new communities?
There are permanent losses. Cultural heritages destroyed and the painful uprooting of generations. The dinner table that never somehow tastes the same, no matter how full. The swear words in Hollywood English that don’t make our ears burn quite as red. As, Nujeen Mustafa, the heroine of Everyday Wonders, the central piece of this concert’s repertoire once put it, “I’m not a number, I didn’t come here because I wanted to, I had to.”
But there are also, hopefully, immense joys if we are lucky enough to reach safe refuge or simply find our tribe anew. The opportunity and different expectations of a fresh start. A wider circle of friends and experiences. Freedom where, as Nujeen says “different is not dangerous.” And sometimes, the satisfaction of entirely new swear words that absolutely do the job.
Amid it all is the chance to be whole again. As Brian Tate’s joyful Connected puts it, “I’m over here, and you’re over there, but there’s something between us that’s greater than air.” It’s a thought to hold on to, and look forward to, no matter where we are.
Community — whether inherited or built from scratch — is a leap of faith. Take the leap with us. Come hear us sing about us, together.
Tickets are $25/adults, $20/seniors (65+) and students (15 – 18). Youth aged 14 and younger attend for free when accompanied by a paying ticket holder.
Please do join us! Tickets are on sale now.