It was as a piece of parting advice that I first heard from my mother’s sister, my godmother Darlúcia: “the best part of the trip is the journey”. Heading off into the unknown, I gradually realized that those words, due to their ancestral and circumstantial force, were being set in motion in order to convey an embodied and common knowledge, safeguarded over many years within my own family. This force of collective evocation is perpetuated both by temporal transmission, across generations, as well as by the spatial experience of our shifts and encounters in the here and now.
Based on singer, songwriter, and literature specialist Tiganá Santana’s studies of the [Portuguese] translation of African Cosmology of the Bantu-Kongo: Principles of Life and Living by Congolese writer, teacher and spiritual guide Bunseki Fu-Kiau, and understandings about “oral literature performances”, by professor Leda Maria Martins, I came to understand this saying by my aunt, loaded with rhythm and poetry, as a word-frequency: the waves and radiations steeped in the act of uttering that phrase reaffirm the belief in its effective power of realization. So that the experience manifested in language can only be realized and decoded by those who share a certain way of being and living culturally: according to Fu-Kiau, this understanding is only possible for those who can “taste and feel the radiation beauty [n’niènzi a minienie].”