6.30.2009

blending




the indomitable erzulie dantor has introduced herself to me...

considering some prior goddess card readings, i'm inclined to believe that she has emerged as the shadowy sister of my bright, sweet oshun self.

and i have been instructed to embrace the shadow.

looking back, i wonder if she manifested in the fierce self preservation and healing anger i experienced as a teenager.

she may have silently returned when i unconsciously began to seek out my wild woman.


i can see she's reminding me that i possess claws and teeth, that i can fight for what i want--a thing i know but can be very uncomfortable with.

she doesn't care about my nervousness. rather, that seems to drive her ambition to turn me into a skilled, fearless blade-handler.

as she stares me down, i realize that i can calm her, appease--but not subdue.

there's no escaping it; i must merge myself, be whole.

avek tout respe, maman. ayibobo!



phonte on MJ

the realest.

6.29.2009

eh.

something's wrong...maybe a lot's wrong.

i don't really know how or when or why, but i can see that i really want a lot of things to change.

and i'm wondering how any of those changes are going to get made with no money and little time.

i know there's a way...

i just have to get my intentions down
leap over all the "no you can'ts"
and make it happen.

easier said than done some days...

6.26.2009

why michael was special

you need to be just the right age for someone like michael jackson to make an indelible imprint on your life. for those of us who are now 30-35 or so, we were at that age.

yesterday evening, many of us finally understood why our parents were so shattered over the death of marvin gaye; why the world wept when john lennon was shot.

he was our first crush. the first star we wanted to BE. some of our parents deemed us too young to go to his concerts, so we were forced to watch with envy as big brothers, sisters and cousins got to go instead. we couldn't wait for the next awards show, the next new video.

he was our big star. the first black face on mtv.

the little girl inside me who remembers kissing his face each day because she just knew he knew how much she loved him, who kept her "beat it" jacket and shirt long after they no longer fit, is distraught.

and she's ready to walk out with him.

as for the controversies, we have all seen what even modest stardom can do to children. michael was one of the consummate child stars of the last few decades--only he didn't fade into obscurity when he hit adolescence. having to live out nearly all your insecurities, flaws and growth as a human being under the spotlight can lead to irrevocable psychological, spiritual--and apparently even physical--change. most of us will never know what that's like.

and the accusations? i think his development was arrested in childhood (or a sort of mourning for childhood) for a long time. being around children helped him capture something he'd lost forever. but i do not think he was a pedophile. i believe he put himself in situations that could have suggested it, and that was his downfall.

if you want to see a textbook pedophile, watch this film. if that were michael's m.o., that trial wouldn't have broken him down. he'd have brushed his shoulders off and kept it moving. he was the super-rich, untouchable megastar after all...

instead, i think those things forced him to grow up--something he may or may not have been ready to do.

those who'd been paying attention knew we'd lost him long ago. some of us began mourning him then. the "wacko jacko" headlines weren't chuckle-worthy, they were pitiful.

on that level, his passing simply indicates that he is finally at peace.

ultimately, my gut tells me he was a good man who died of a broken heart. and now the world's heart is broken.

long live the king.


addendum: jay smooth on MJ

6.25.2009

iba ara t'orun



because he was only 9 years younger than my mother.

because i stood on an air conditioner just to kiss his picture every day.

because i had a "beat it" jacket.

because "thriller" was one of the first records i got that was my very own. not my parents', but mine.

because i loved him.

because we loved him.

rest well, michael.

6.23.2009

her name was mattie

...my maternal great-great grandmother.

i saw a picture of mama mattie over the weekend and i've been thinking about it ever since.

she looked like pictures i've seen of jamaican maroons and sojourner truth. of harriet tubman and delia.

no one in my family looks like her now, although my aunt, her children and one of her granddaughters have milk-to-dark chocolate skin tones.

she was also one of the last in my mother's line to have many children:

gussie (my great grandmother)
clayton
leslie
emma todd
bubba (bertha)
madeline

now i'm wondering what her parents looked like, what kinds of stories they told.

did they know about their last african ancestor?

did she know about herbs and spells? dreaming? divination?

what did she look like at my age?

and on and on...

and then i thought, i probably never would have known her name if i hadn't asked my mother about her when i started on this path.

the practice of calling on my ancestors made it necessary to clear up the relationships behind the names i heard bantered around in family stories.

for many of us, this is when the pain of the maafa arises, since to many this information is lost. but it is also the power in returning to the veneration of our ancestors.

even if we do not know their names at first, when we call, they come and tell us. they can help us heal relationships with other family members, guide our steps and offer countless blessings.

iba egungun idile mi
ase

6.19.2009

princesas

it's been quite awhile since i've seen a movie that broke my heart.

princesas made me think of many things...not the least of which were the issues surrounding sex work, the women who do it, and the myriad dangers they face.

i would try to deal with this on the sexy blog, but it's entirely too raw and too personal.

it may sound positively insane to some of you, but i can very deeply recall a time when this work was not stigmatized or demonized. it was a part of life, and it was protected. sacred.

i, and possibly many in my family line, did this work.

now it is a vehicle for depravity and desperation--not because these are "bad" or "fallen" women, but because balance and wholeness are not valued states of being in this culture.

who can sell prozac and narcotics to balanced, whole people?*

as i watched the story unfold, all i could think was, it shouldn't be this way. it didn't have to be this way.

i am thankful that i have learned and remember that lesson and came into this life with a different purpose. the temples are long gone, and it could have been deadly.

i think the same thing when i see real whores on the streets.

it shouldn't be this way. it didn't have to be this way.

and...

it could have been me.



*i had some issues with this film, but it did make an interesting point (blink and you'll miss it...) about the advantages to controlling people's thoughts/feelings around sex/sexuality.

6.18.2009

today, i was reminded of many things...

be mindful of when you are taking on the battles of others--consciously or unconsciously, in the temporal or spiritual realms--and know when to let go.

the simple miracle that is a candle.

our access to guidance and blessings is unlimited--we only need to ask and remain open to the answers.

salt is good. for everything.

there are countless spirits waiting for incarnation. which, in turn, makes me wonder about how many babies are being born and how some of these more restless ones are only sticking around for 15, 17, or 21 years or so...

the beauty of a refreshed altar.

6.15.2009

love (of money) and marriage

i drove to work today and, as usual, listened to a morning show which, as many do, contained a prank call segment.

premise: fiancee takes her ring in to be resized and appraised. hubby-to-be knows about the resizing, but not the appraisal. fair enough, i guess.

prank: "jeweler" calls fiancee and tells her that the ring is a cubic zirconia, "order now for $19.99!"-type deal and is only worth about $50.

result: fiancee proceeds to lose her shit, including a 3-way call to hubby-to-be to have the "jeweler" tell him what he's found, with hilarious results.

...but after a few laughs, i was just disturbed.

fiancee was all hyped up about how much her father was spending on the wedding and how, somehow, she couldn't be marrying the "man of her dreams" with a $50 ring on her finger--not with "all the money my man makes" and so on and so forth.

not to mention that instead of thinking, "damn, maybe my man got hustled..."--which would have been my first thought--you proceed to cuss him out before you find out the whole story?

to his credit, he stayed pretty calm until the very end of the call, and not once did he react to his fiancee with the same fury she threw at him.

i hope "for richer or poorer" ain't in those vows, 'cause something tells me if homegirl got that stressed over the cost of her (possibly all kinds of conflicted) diamond, it could be a wrap if dude loses that well-paying gig.

i acknowledge that my analysis is showing, but her whole reaction spoke volumes about the ways women are taught to value themselves and their relationships in a materialistic culture. i wish them the best, but...

6.14.2009

the work continues...

did a little more with the project today...

it's tiring. i got through the first journal in one sitting. only made it about halfway this time.

this one recounts some of the worst stuff: start of therapy, budding sexuality, high school boyfriend uncertainty, pain processing and healing...

one interesting, reemerging theme: the nagging feeling that the proverbial "something" is inside me just dying to get out.

maybe in the course of this work, i'll be able to finally name that "something".

6.13.2009

sango & ogun

In Africa Ogun's color is pure red. Then we have Sango whose colors are red and white. The color for Obatala is white. We can see a pattern emerging here. Red represents virility, vitality, aggression. Red and white represents balance between aggression and compassion. White represents the incarnation of mystical unity.

Should any of you be plagued with notions that these three Orisa are enemies, or that they don't get along, know this is a common misconception. These Orisa represent a continuation of one cycle. The difference between Ogun, Sango and Obatala is like the difference between rain water, fresh water and salt water. They are different at some point, but they bleed into each other.

In some places in Nigeria Ogun and Sango are seen as loving brothers not enemies. You can see why. Sango is fire. What is fire in relationship to iron? Fire tempers iron and makes it stronger. That is not a hostile relationship. It is a symbiotic mutually beneficial relationship. As a Force in Nature it represents an important fusion of energy with no hostile implication.


~originally written by Awo Falokun Fatunmbi


the meeting of fire and iron is symbiotic and chaotic.

beneficial, but dangerous in human hands.

osun's cool, fresh throne doesn't always intervene. some days, we are those warring brothers...

but, in the end, we always wind up forging something new.

6.11.2009

some notes for white supremacists

in memory of dr. george tiller, the peruvian earth warriors, ken saro-wiwa, the navajo and hopi of black rock mesa, my egun, and all those who have suffered at the hands of the insanity that is the white man's burden, whatever its manifestation.


do not be angry at us because the schemes and plans of your ancestors failed to exterminate those you find "undesirable".

it is not our fault the lies you've cultivated are crashing down around you.

the sooner you realize that those in positions powerful enough to affect the course of the world--who looked like you, not me, and who trumpeted your values, not ours--are the ones who exported us around the globe in an effort to make their lives easier; created the artificial borders; and forced you to die in their wars then abandoned you, the sooner you'll understand our enemy is a common one.

i admit that i am a fan of whitefolks getting their shit together before they come talk to us. thanks to the inordinate privilege built up over the 500 years since columbus sailed the ocean blue, it won't get better until you talk to one another and get the story straight.

because you won't believe us. you never have--well, maybe when we were the only people who could roundly educate you (remember kemet? timbuktu?). but not since. these days, you generally behave like genius-level--but wholly ungrateful--pupils.

please understand: you cannot stop the return to sanity and balance. the universe always rights itself. you could dilute, but not suppress, our bloodlines, languages, spirits and cultures.

the truth is slow, but dependable. it's time for new paradigms.

i apologize for the cognitive dissonance this must cause, but you will, quite simply, have to deal with it.

hating us won't help. globally speaking, there are more folks who look like us, and we're beginning to realize how illusory the world you've built around, over, and through us is.

denial won't help either. technology only continues to upset your deceptions and confirm our truths.

let go.

it's ok.

really.

can't stop, won't stop

i'm not the only one calling out the foolishness.

people, we have got to pool our resources in order to protect our stories, our sacred places and things, and our culture. if we don't, it will be co-opted or erased in the great sea of eurocentric universalism.