in the new orleans airport, i found voodoo dreams by jewell parker-rhodes. although it was published over a decade ago, i'd never heard of it.
after a few pages, i was reading it as if it were going to float out of my hands at any moment.
a few days ago, i purchased the sequel, voodoo season. i've started it, but haven't had time to make too much of a dent.
i am intrigued by parker-rhodes' intimate familiarity with the lwa damballah and the various manifestations of spiritual sensitivity. i hadn't seen so much of myself in a book since octavia butler's parable of the sower.
the fictionalized marie laveau felt like a past life; her great-great granddaughter, marie levant, holds parts of my present one. i'm sure it was no mistake that she renamed the heroine levant, "rising", to counter the earlier la veau--the (nearly sacrificial) calf.
also compelling is levant's connection to her unknown-to-her ancestry. since i began revering my ancestors, i've come to intuit that i come from a long line of priestesses and wise women--african, native american, and european.
understanding that, i realized that i am not as unusual as i believed myself to be.
but i have no proof.
that's probably an advantage to families that stayed in the south: they remained closer to the spirits of the ancestors, the fields they worked, the stories of roots women and hoodoo men.
as much as i love my concrete, i need those stories now.