"Toun Ka Manyi."

I'm getting better about seeking out culture lately. While traveling, it was quite easy. But settling back into life in the States, it's been a lot of focus on work and the remodel.

And it's made me feel a little guilty.

I barely have time for friends, yoga, dating, family... I have to work hard to coordinate it all! Truly, I don't mind. I think most of are in my life know how rapid a pace I fall into when I am working... But scheduling cultural activities for myself, that it a rarity.

I, however, made a direct effort this past weekend to get to a banjo concert up the road in Carlsbad at the Museum of Making Music. And it was not a disappointment.  It featured Bob Carlin (an American banjo player) and Cheick Hamala Diabate, a musician from Mali in West Africa.

It was clear that the two had known each other a very long time, even though they don't get to see each other very often. I definitely preferred Cheick's music and playing more.  He had a variety of instruments that were similar to the American banjo. And his style of playing was mesmerizing to watch... Complete with long fingernails to tackle the strings in stead of banjo picks.

I also enjoyed the stories he shared in tandem with the pieces of music he had written and performed. And that's what I like best about banjo players... They tend to be extraordinary storytellers.

One of the first songs Cheick played for us was called "Toun Ka Manyi." It - if I recall correctly - is about the journey a person takes to become who they are.

How could I not love that?

It was charming. And precious.