Melaena Cadiz

City: Brooklyn, New York

What do you worry about these days more than anything else?

I’ve been in New York for a while now, and I’m feeling ready to move to the country soon. I’ve been here for a while and there’s this franticness in New York City that’s exhilarating but also kind of exhausting. Once you leave the city, you realize it’s not the center of the universe, and sometimes maybe what’s really, truly important gets away from you.

What book changed how you think about things?

The book that really blew by my mind was “Of Water and the Spirit”, and it’s [a true story] by this man from Burkina Faso. He was raised in a tribe and then he was abducted by a missionary when he was very small and was brought to a Jesuit school, and escaped when he was teenager and went back to his tribe. And he went through the initiation process that all the boys in the tribe go through. But because he had been Westernized, it was really difficult for him. And it was interesting to see the way he described the process, and the way there’s so much magic in it. They’re out in the forest and these magical things are happening and that’s just part of their culture and belief system. It’s such an amazing point of view.

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