a recent conversation with a sistafriend has led to reexamine my relationship with ogun...
it has been true for me that the african spirits have settled into familial spaces. i have fathers, mothers, aunties, cousins...ogun is like that distant, elder uncle who doesn't always come to the family functions, but when you really need him, he's there with that extra money, the "spontaneous" pep talk, the warm, tight hug--the perfect thing to make it better.
you may not know him all that well--maybe he lives far away, or just happened to be around a lot when you were a baby--but, almost inexplicably, he knows you. well.
the first time i saw an ogun shrine, i thought, whoever that is, i don't think i want anything to do with him. little did i know how closely he was walking with me, and the ways he'd eventually manifest in my life.
over time, i came to love ogun. i learned more about him, and, suddenly, he was all around me: in urban wooded areas and not-so-urban ones, on the railroad tracks scattered through the city. i even came to recognize his influence on my (paternal) family. it dawned on me that he's always loved and watched over me.
almost two years ago, i endured some drastic changes--including suffering a deep wound left by one of his sons. i still praised ogun in my libations and other prayers, but, admittedly, we became estranged as i leaned heavily on other "family members" to get through the transitions.
more likely, i estranged myself as he sat in the forest and waited...
this morning, i listened to yolanda adams sing "step aside" and immediately thought of ogun. tears flowed, and i remembered the way he's always embraced me, held me up, pushed me to acknowledge and embody my strength. more than once, he has wiped my tears and assuaged my heartache. when my pain turned me away from him, he understood and let me go. even then, i know he always made sure someone was looking out for me. maybe he even kept an eye on me through esu.
today, i thank you, baba. from the bottom of my heart. modupe for all your blessings--seen and unseen. modupe for taking care of me--even as fear and hurt kept me from you. i truly do love you.