baby girl

since a certain someone keeps asking about my inner child...

i think i relate to her as a poor mother relates to her child at christmas: baby wants everything, and there's no way of getting the money to give it to her. i hardly dare to wonder if she'll love me regardless.

inadequacy, disappointment, sadness, loss...that sort of thing.

i'm probably much more terse with her than i ought to be, or than she deserves.

there are moments of joy, teaching, mutual appreciation. glimpses of something like a relationship.

but every other day feels like christmas eve. and there's nothing under the tree with her name on it.

(i'm sure this is related to the womb re-opening...still processing.)


singlehood chronicles #2

well, one down, one more to go. my friends have begun to regale me, once again, with the title of "pimp". LOL.

i'm sure there are more to meet...the summer's young, and there are still plenty of festivals & outdoor activities, etc.

(ex)honey and i have settled into a comfortable friendship that i enjoy. i'm glad that we've come around to being able to care for and about one another--even share dating tips--without the stress and strain that had started to hang over our relationship.

cosmo's cool, i guess...

...and there's supposed to be someone on the way. my true mate/husband. i still feel too gun shy for anything that deep, but these things typically happen when they're meant, not necessarily when you're "ready".

stay tuned...

checking in...

well, i'm happy to say that the cleansing went well. for the first time in years, i'm experiencing premenstrual cramps on my left side as well as my right.

i'm also seriously considering a more vegan-ized diet. "vegan-ized" because while i want to avoid things that will impact my health/comfort, i didn't change my diet for purely political reasons--although i understand and am in line with the political, environmental, spiritual and social ramifications of my eating/food purchasing habits.

i also don't plan on avoiding products that contain eggs so much as i hope to get away from, say, omelets or mini-quiches. cheese has, for all intents and purposes, become a rare treat. i think in the last six months, i've had pizza all of twice--a huge step for me. when ordering out, i omit cheese or substitute it with a non-dairy alternative.

i'm also experiencing a lingering sense of dissatisfaction. i'm feeling restless, bored. caged in.

i promised myself that i would not leave this job until and unless it was for a true move forward--and, in this moment, i still can't say i know what i'm truly meant to be doing. which means i also don't have a plan for getting there. i'm going to have to start giving that some serious thought.

there are also all kinds of ideas and words jumping through my mind...i can't really make sense of them. the words won't form. before the sango dream earlier this week, i hadn't had any meaningful ones for almost a month.

creatively i've been stalled for some time. i don't really hope for poems or stories...i suppose because i never have time to just sit and let the ideas wash over me anymore. my journaling has slipped significantly.

i suppose this is the beginning of another skin-shedding...but i'm not sure to what end.


maferefun sango

i had a dream where i was trying to avoid a lightning storm.
eventually it caught up to me.

when the lightning struck, it didn't kill or maim me, it surrounded me. it flowed with my aura as a sort of shield. i could direct it outward through my hands, or pull the energy within.

clearly, baba was teaching me a lesson.

it reminded me of when yemonja handed me rocks that turned into beautiful shells...i don't have to fear the energies that reside within. i need to use and manipulate them for growth and change.

Alaafin, ekun bu, a sa
Alaafin, (the king of Oyo) snarls like a leopard and the people run away

Eleyinju ogunna
One whose eyeballs glow like charcoal

Olukoso lalu
Olukoso, the famous one of the city

A ri igba ota, segun
One who uses hundreds of cartridges to win victory in war

Eyi ti o fi alapa segun ota re
One who used pieces of broken walls to defeat his enemies

Kabiyesi o
We honor you



stubbornness gets me nowhere...

i'm back here again. body's set up a little rebellion. it thinks it's cute.

no matter. i'll do what i need to do to get back to balance.

i'll probably have more to say once i've done a bit more house cleaning.

what's natural, what isn't, the ownership of african tradition, and other related obscurities

i want to speak to my african traditional religion (atr) folks for a minute.

for the most part, i don't know who reads this thing. there could be a few of y'all out there, and i hope you comment, because i think it's high time that a dialogue is started--among priests and aborishas (i.e., non-priesthood level practitioners/shrine-keepers) alike.

several months ago i met a priest and her family who are doing the work to unify yoruba practitioners and other atr folks. they have already traveled to several countries to observe various diasporan practices and plan to use our common beliefs to strengthen our people and our communities. they essentially wish to illuminate the fact that the lanugages we speak and the names for the orisa only differ as a factor of, as i like to say, when you got off the boat. the source is the same. their philosophy branches out to the understanding that, at our core, we are all africans, there is only one god(dess)/creator entity, and we all ought to be striving towards wholeness and unity.

there was no mention as to whether or not the people they are seeking to unify should pass a paper bag test, nor was there mention around who they should be sleeping with.

typically, when i meet continental atr priests--at least in the yoruba tradition-- their first concerns are iwa pele (character) and knowledge. in other words, are these people who are truly living up to the standards and dictates of their ori, ifa, and the orisa, or are they power mongering? were they trained properly? do they know the proper rituals, prayers, etc.? their level of ase and understanding doesn't rest on their heterosexuality or degree of "blackness"--phenotypical or otherwise. it's about living right.

diasporan atr folks can be quite different. there are plenty who think any white american priest is an interloper or culture vulture. the views on homosexuality are varied. some are ok with it, as long as they choose black partners. others are vehemently against it, claiming it's unnatural and that none of our ancestors were ever gbltq until they were exposed to the culture and depravity of europeans.

there are a few things wrong with this.

because of our unique history in the united states, it can be easy to forget that there are some whitefolks who are "blacker" than african americans (see: passing). hence, it is certainly possible that some white americans were born with ties to african spiritual lineages and could be charged to do some ancestral "clean up", so to speak.

in my ile, the importance of egbe is acknowledged along with ori, ancestors (egun/egungun) and the orisa. your egbe consists of friends from previous lives, e.g., adopted family members, former spouses, close family friends, etc. all those of good character who walk with us in the spirit world are acknowledged.

who is anyone to tell me that i cannot pray or make offerings of gratitude to a white person who may have helped one of my blood ancestors to freedom? what about the relationships forged in the era when just about every poor person wanting to come to america was condemned to indentured servitude?

we do not always know everything about who walks with us. the spirit is what lives on, not the societal attitudes and contradictions.

now, that's not to say that there aren't pimps and players out there. there are. but they cross all kinds of ethnic and cultural lines. there are plenty of black priests who, in the name of uplifting folks, are perpetuating the same westernized dichotomies, patriarchy, -isms, and psychological menace that whitefolks have thrown upon us. and it's a problem on the continent, too.

as far as the homosexuality issue, i ask: how can we know?

we in the diaspora are now several generations removed from africa. even in brazil, where africans were imported into the late 19th century, you'd probably have to look back to a great-great grandparent or further to find someone from the continent.

since african history is oral and tribe/clan-based, how can we say that there were no gbltq people or communities, particularly when clear gender roles dominated so much of african life. males and females had different puberty rites and, often, separate living quarters for much of their lives.

along with that, several orisa are known to be androgynous "gender benders". even clearly "masculine" and "feminine" spirits often have attributes and paths where they are considered of the opposite gender.

if we follow the logic of the spirituality, if someone is born with the ase of one of these orisa, how can we say it's "unnatural" that they grow into a glbtq identity?

riddle me that, y'all.


r. kelly is not worth this many pixels, but...

i was listening to the radio this morning and heard some pretty crazy stuff re: this r. kelly trial.

i'm about to give far too much voice to this than i ever wanted to, but after hearing some of the ridiculousness coming from the mouths of grown folks who ought to know better, i wanted to at least list a few things:

i was VERY grateful for the caller who mentioned that she had been molested for several years as an adolescent, and spoke to the "normalization" of the behavior that occurs. when someone is manipulating you, or you're coerced into doing traumatic things with someone you have been conditioned to love and trust, you tell yourself it's normal to get through it. in the worst cases where the abuse starts around school age (or before) and continues nearly indefinitely, it most certainly becomes a normal part of life; it's embedded in the earliest memories one has.

she also mentioned that although she's now well into her 20s, it was only fairly recently that she came to understand that it wasn't her fault.

it's probably very difficult to understand for someone not trained in human psychology or who has been through it, but it's a very true and real thing.

this is reason #402,385 why HEALTHY sexuality/sensuality and all that goes with that (safer sex, self esteem, positive touch, needs/desires/urges...) needs to be discussed thoroughly and often with children and adolescents.

it's also another good reason to end the silence around sexual abuse/child molestation. a few of those callers were yelping like hit dogs (or, ladies that doth protest too much, for you non-southerners). and since victims will often blame themselves first, cries of "it was her fault she put herself in that situation..." are common. which brings me to my final point...

the ridiculousness of blaming the victim / "bad girl" syndrome.

look. the whole notion that this girl "had a choice", "looked like she knew what she was doing", etc. just doesn't fly. i was so glad when one of the hosts made the distinction of saying, "she knew what she was doing physically..."

hear me: arruh was the adult*. he had the burden of responsibility, trust, and discretion. just because you KNOW she's up for the task doesn't mean you go there. we're not talking about two 14-15 yr olds, or even a 14 year old and an 18 year old. this was a child and a grown ass man. apples and oranges.

...and even if she was a "bad girl" (which is laden with its own nonsense), why's she bad enough to allow a golden shower at 14? what kind of love, affection, attention, and validation is she missing? do we know whether or not she was ever abused sexually? no one seems to be asking about that. just easier to label her a hot-in-the-ass slut and move on, i guess.

that's all. i'm just sick of having my stomach turn whenever i hear blk folks chime in on these kinds of situations.

*i use this term loosely. word 'round the campfire is that he might be fixated at some point in adolescence and/or childhood himself (for the record, i've always thought michael jackson was, too). r. may not be a pedophile (who is distinguished, if i remember correctly, by an actual sexual attraction to children for their own sake), per se. instead, he may see these younger girls as his peers. doesn't make it right, just another angle.


a dream i'd like to see come true...

(the video/audio are out of sync, but bear with it)

i happened to find this while browsing myspace this morning.

it's always amazed me how, in a culture still so centered around the worship of the goddess--including the creative/destructive power of the great mother--women can be treated so badly in their daily lives.

but, as in most places infected with western/euro-based patriarchy and goddess demonization, the schizophrenia runs deep.