scene: a path of asphalt in front of a shopping center

child, female, about 4-5 years old
teenaged girl
woman, maybe 30, more likely mid to late 20s
middle-aged woman and her 20-something daughter, in car

baby girl stumbles while crossing the street.

woman responds by striking baby girl in the back--open handed, but hard. yanks baby girl up by her arm.

woman smacks baby girl again, not as hard, presumably for being upset about being slapped for falling.

teen is quiet.

20-something daughter jumps out of car and strikes baby girl's mother across the face with her car keys asking, "how'd that feel?"

well, the last part didn't happen.
but the rest of it did...

in response...

this dark daughta post (bkground collage not quite work safe) inspired the following comment:

do you think that by "resources" bell really meant the more institutionalized things, e.g., banks/financial, real estate...the overreaching sorts of things that have generated wealth for whitefolk?

'cause we DON'T really have those resources...not in large numbers.

the clip was so short, it's difficult to know who clarified what, what kinds of questions were asked by the audience & so on...

that said, i definitely see your point.

i grew up what you could call "middle class". my parents moved back into the city when i was born so i would know both sides of things. dad was insistent: no private school.

i learned how to "code switch" so i wouldn't have to worry about getting a job and all that, but it didn't matter what neighborhood my friends came from.

there were no jack and jill pretensions. we lived according to our means & that was that.

i was also raised with a healthy distrust for whitefolks--even today they sort of need to prove themselves before i cut them much slack.

the composite of that is experience is that i know i'm not from anybody's "hood", and don't try to be. i was parented and loved (there were issues w/ peers, but that's another story). i don't know what it's like to be hungry or any of that, and i don't have the issues that come from it.

however, i have friends and loved ones who do. who were the first in their fams to go to college, as of 2000 or so. who had teenage mothers. i understand the composite effects of these things and history on my ppl.

i'm glad my parents walked the line the way they did. if i'm to be a parent, i hope i can do the same for my kids.

you can be fortunate and still not distance yourself from your people because they, for whatever reason, are not. @ the same time, there will always be those who don't respect/listen to you because you're not from their block/corner/whatever. and that's cool too.

like you said, the complexities of it all are a BITCH.


teleportation & gypsies

dream sequence.

i was walking through my old elementary school trying to find a "portal" i used in recurring dreams when i was younger.

as i went through the usual sequence to get where i was going, it didn't seem to add up. a door i thought i remembered using was suddenly too small for an adult.

a few nights ago i had a similar dream about another passageway i used to access through what looked like my parents' basement. i had to concentrate harder to open the passage, and when i got through, i had to use another route because, again, the old one was too small.

i suppose that's confirmation that the releasing of old ways and methods is beneficial. i have to make a bigger, better way for myself, and it probably has more to do with expansion and deliberate action than playing around with teleportation or whatever the hell i was doing in the childhood dreams.


not that we had much fleetwood mac in the house--there was at least one manhattan transfer album, but no fleetwood--but everything about this video and song resonated with me. even stevie's twirling dance. i loved all that fantasy stuff--the dark crystal*, legend...

when i see it now, it makes me think of oya or oshun...

*if i do wind up getting a guinea pig? i'm SO naming him/her fuzzgig...

wandering from the goddess

goddess glory posted this cool article from a blogger named chickenma1.

i would have linked to the original, but the comments got on my nerves.


wading thru toxicity

doesn't it suck when someone can just fk with your whole vibe?

i suppose that's what's meant by "toxic" individuals. just sap your joy away.

i was feeling ok today...a little tired 'cause it was hard to get comfortable last night, but ok.

then, suddenly, i feel stupid and backward and inferior like i don't know what the fk i'm doing...when that's really the exact opposite of how i should feel.

i gotta shine tomorrow. sell myself. do the damn thing.

right now, however, i think i just need some chocolate.



i have a serious thing about fulfillment. i am not a pleasant person when i am unhappy or dissatisfied.

i don't expect to be free of desire, nor do i see the absence of desire as a natural state--unless your desire is warped into addiction.

if and when i begin to feel dissatisfied or distressed, i'm learning to shift reality, to make things look, sound and feel the way i want and expect them to.

i think people get caught up in understanding that process in a negative sense, i.e., you have to hurt or harm others to achieve that goal.

you don't.
you do not have to universally impose your will to achieve your bliss.

the universe has created a space for you--you do the work to find or open that space.

the need to bend others to your will is a sign of weakness and laziness. conquering isn't the same as mastering.

i don't need to make over anything not worth my ashe.

i voice the desire, i move towards the space.

the worlds of work and drudgery will never act as mother.

the earth and the universe will.

nike done did it again...

this kind of reminds me of the special heart medicine just for black ppl...

i guess it's sort of a "whatever works" thing, but...eh.

doesn't nike still have sweatshops?

i remember coming across blackspot sneakers a few years ago. but, knowing adbusters, that might be just a culture jam sorta deal. oh well.

no sweat has 'em, if you're interested.


fish, meet barrel

i don't get all the flack around this ahmadinejad dude.

y'all know what kind of ship he runs. so what was the point? to parade him around and give the nation a feel-good, moral superiority moment? or was it just a fair debate gone wrong?

[Columbia President Lee] Bollinger was strongly criticized for inviting Ahmadinejad to speak at Columbia. The Iranian president was in New York in advance of his address to the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday.

Bollinger had promised tough questions in his introduction to Ahmadinejad’s talk. But the strident and personal nature of his attack on the president of Iran was startling.

Bollinger described Ahmadinejad as having a "fanatical mindset" for making statements like wanting Israel to be “wiped off the map.”

"Do you plan on wiping us off the map too?" Bollinger asked, also asking questions about allegations Iran was supplying insurgents in Iraq. "Can you tell them and us why Iran is fighting a proxy war in Iraq?"

Ahmadinejad responded to boos and cheers that Iran is a "peace-loving nation."

"We love all nations. We are friends with the Jewish people," he said.

Ahmadinejad did not address all of Bollinger’s accusations directly, instead launching into a long religious discussion laced with quotes with the Quran before turning to criticism of the Bush administration and past American governments.

so, ok.

ahmadinejad denying the holocaust = wrong. (but not surprising)

"we don't have homosexuals" = hilarious. (but, again, not surprising)

asking what the horrors of the holocaust had "to do with the [treatment of the] Palestinian people?” = on point.

then this assh--i mean, our commander in chief--has the nerve to say that, "Ahmadinejad’s appearance at Columbia 'speaks volumes about really the greatness of America.'"

not really.

it just makes us look like bullies. again.

way to go.

amen, brotha. amen.

That's Not In My Job Description
by Paul Beatty

despite that i overslept
and set a guinness book world record for coming in late
its still time for me to take my 15 minute break

pull off my sweater vest
talking shit

cross my sneakers on the desk
threaten to call my union rep
if these fools

dont stop lookin at me crazy
whisperin lazy
under their breath

but during my siesta
i eavesdrop on societys best

imagine im a distinguished ethnographer

on the black pbs
talkin with a british lisp
in front of a bookshelf

welcome to alistair cooke's In Search of
today we pursue The Elusive True Nature of Whitey

notice as
our cameras
zoom in on

a pinstriped pack of business school well groomed brooks brother
encamped around a water cooler jostling for room in their natural
wiping dunkin donut crumbs off their jackets and engaged in debates
on hot topics
such as:

nuclear waste the china syndrome
alternative methods of heating their homes

and right before

the herd starts to roam

the menfolk take part in the ritual
shooting of the styrofoam cups into the trash basket

and if they make it
they dance around like
they just saved the world

headin my way
lookin for some dap

so i try to look busy
which im good at

start rustlin charts
construct some new paper clip art
chew on a pen cap as if im seriously studying my messenger map

hmmmm did you know that main street runs perpendicular to beech
and parallel with elm for exactly 1 and seven/eighteenths of
a mile
before it intersects with west crest
well blow me down

i aint got time to mope
worryin aloud about
how imma cope wid radioactive isotopes and mushroom clouds

when its me myself

thats about to explode

an overloaded low level gung-ho ah-so nigro rickshaw coolie
the company dr. doolittles thought they knew me
i talk the animals como se llama push–me–pull–me

bowin n kowtowin
eatin crow
holdin my tongue
hands clung so tightly to the bottom rung
cant even reach for the glass ceiling

my feet planted in corporate dung
growing roots
in the ground zero
terra firma
of affirmative
daily inaction

copy xerox mop remember the blue ones go on top
shred fedex the checks press the red button next
fax wax collapse the green mail sacks go to jack

right after i put my year-end evaluation
in the management trainee mailbox

one of them fresh out of college cookie cutter fuckers
invites me to meet the buddies for drinks at mcgillicuddy's

i only wanted a nine to five
that classified didnt say nothin bout havin to socialize

now this wage slave
is t-minus nine heinekens from critical mass

me and a few hoogie white democrats
drinking after work rolling rocks
smoking marlboros out of the box

all you can do is wait for the chain reaction show of ass

when one of em
looks me in the eye
and decides
to say something to the colored guy

all systems go
the white folks start actin like they know

hey bro er uh bro-ham
i happen to be a big rap fan
went to see ice cube and michel'le
at the hollywood palladium
and i was the only white person in the place
aint i soul brother

there must have been another workshop on how to handle your
support staff
which in this craft is a euphemism for niggers n spics

itsa trip
watching a one-sided will to unite

if i could get in a word edgewise i wouldnt
since im with my boss
and dont want to get fired
all i can do is sigh
too chicken to pay the price

as they get excited
giddy from overexercising their rights

my dad owns a liquor store in the inner city so i know how you feel

ive read toni morrisons beloved twice
and even though i still didnt get it the second time shes just so real

i believe that spike is truly five for five
no no you dont understand i really want to be like mike

or maybe a harlem globetrotter
its my dream to send my daughter to spelman
where can she get a check up for sickle cell
whats the name of your hair gel/pomade
do you use a depilatory when you shave
how can i join the crips
just what is hip
i know its after the fact but i dont think king shouldve called for calm
i wanna be a minister in the nation of islam
isnt so and so such an uncle tom

when theyre through
they pat themselves on the back
and quote jesse jackson

we have to start on the front end of head start and day care
not on the back end of prison and welfare

keepin hope alive
i buy the next round

wonderin how it would sound if i changed my name to skip
placed a mike tyson kingsized if i ruled the world chip on my shoulder
went to a joint full of rednecks
put my elbows on the bar cleared my throat and said

then id go into my show

did you know i was elected to the senate inna landslide
and i was the only colored man there without rag in my hand for
polishin brass or shining shoes


at last weeks tractor pull i was the only spear chukker
drivin monster pick-ups over a bunch of crushed oldsmobiles


i sailed in the americas cup


i went to the university of vermont and rowed crew


i grew up in a two room shack in the appalachian mountains picked
myself up
by the shitkickers went door to door selling berlitz and scripture
moved to
utah sang soprano in the mormon tabernacle choir married into the
and now i spend my weekends smokin pot with donnie and marie
reading back
issues of teen beat magazine


im included in the canon
im a cardinal in the vatican
im the highest paid player on the boston red sox
i own IBM stock
i play nazi punk rock
i drink coors extra gold by the case
i can say puke with a straight face
i have a seat on wall street
im an LL bean catalogue model
my art is in the metropolitan
i had a major part in a woody allen movie
and i do the broadway casting for tommy tune

but i wouldn't give a shit about nuna dis
if i could just say im a nigger who has enough room

(from AGNI 37 & 56)

Paul Beatty was born in Los Angeles and now lives in New York. (1993)


quick hello...

i haven't had much to say lately...probably because i'm beginning to stabilize.

feeling prayerful again.

getting back into the job search (got a call today, actually...yay!)

moon time's on its way, but i'm not too daunted by it.

believe me, guys, sometimes it's a good thing when i'm quiet. *smile*

hope you're feeling bountiful and blessed this evening...



sara tavares, indigo toenails & other random thoughts

this sista is providing the soundtrack to my life right now. of course i don't understand everything she's saying, but "balance" is all i needed to hear...

i am once again embraced by my two great loves. both at a distance, but still strangely satisfying. it feels like the right place to be. each of them brings a different energy, and i'm in need of both versions of heaven to make it through this particular period.

buzzwords: sexuality, inspiration, laughter, growth...

the job hunt will need to commence again soon. i'm nervous about continuing into next month's retrograde, but i'm going to have to jump in anyway.

there are words forming, but the ideas are coagulating instead of flowing. as usual, i'm at a bit of a loss when it comes to how i should get that going...

i thought i'd be able to come in this evening and pray with renewed fervor, but an unexpected babysitting bout nixed that plan. i'm learning that it's better for me to stay quiet until i have my intentions fully and firmly evolved, because what i ask for, i get.

because of the difficulties that have come with this summer, i'm welcoming fall more than usual. but feeling the air cool down and watching the leaves change color always saddens me. even if it's just a little bit.


adupe, yemonja

i had forgotten how beautiful the ocean is.

the waves, the sand...the joy of effortlessly discovering beautiful seashells with each step.

the sense of homecoming...

i'm beginning to feel--literally & figuratively--like i can breathe again.


the quest for equilibrium

i went to yoga last night.
it was a struggle, but i'm glad i went.

it was a hot class, which usually makes everything a little easier. not this time.

nearly every posture--even the ones i've always found simple--was a trial. to some degree i was uncomfortable almost the entire time--nausea, a sense of heavy awkwardness, close to tears. i couldn't even stay still in savasana during the guided meditation.

the instructor, bless her, came over and straightened me out a couple of times. until she touched me, i had no idea all the tension i was holding in my waist/pelvic area--probably a manifestation of the recent boundary struggles.

strength postures like full plank made my shoulders ache, and downward dog didn't seem to stretch much of anything.

my sinuses have been blocked since late last night, and i've been expelling some interesting things--hopefully signs that the nonsense (as i've been calling it) is on its way out.

tonight, come hell or high water, i'm getting a neti pot.

this weekend, i'll have the opportunity to have a nice chat with yemonja. if there is a lesson in this madness her waters aren't meant to wash away, may she at least grant me the clarity to figure out where i'm going and how to get there. ashe.



lately, if i'm not emotionally fked up, i'm physically fked up.

one day i'm totally feelin myself, hitting my stride...

the next i'm either worn out, fed up, sick, or just plain tired.

balance is elusive.

prayer feels ineffective. i don't know what to say. i can be mindful of my gratitude, but is that enough?

i'm missing something...

and i can't put my finger on it.

sistas (hopefully not) doin it (just) for themselves

ok, baltimore.

we've got three sistas in city hall. i know at least two of them are mothers.

this could be some historic shit, or same old same old.

let's see what happens...


say wha?

first the jena 6 now this?

looks like the south is still out of its natural mind...

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Authorities said Tuesday they are considering hate crime charges in the case of a woman who was tortured while being held captive for at least a week, and they are investigating the possibility that she was lured by a man she met on the Internet.

The victim was repeatedly called a racial slur while her captors sexually abused, beat and stabbed her, her mother said.

Six people, all white, including a mother and son and a mother and daughter, were arrested in connection with the alleged abduction of the 20-year-old black woman.


but u know what? abner and amadou happened in new york, so...

may the ancestors of our foremothers who endured similar tortures rush to her aid and plead god for justice on behalf of this sista and her family. ashe.


what's your god paying you?

going over to rootsblog guarantees an enlightening experience. this piece inspired me to respond as follows:


i wonder how much of that "better life" is coming from outside africa (e.g., u.s. and arab financed faith-based groups).

i wonder why so many born in the diaspora are discovering, as you put it, "a good life, one full of meaning and significance, one of power over self and adversity" in african spirituality.

it seems to me that christianity/islam works for the continental folks because they need the material comforts, while we're called TO them because we're more in need of the (in my opinion more fully developed and collectively compatible) spiritual edification.

i could go on for days on that notion of "breaking curses" and such, but i think i'll link this post on my blog and do a follow-up there.

i know that yoruba culture has been in existence for at least 10,000 years.

prior to that, the civilizations and spiritual systems of kush and nubia gave way to the rise of kemet, which has influenced the rest of black africa and the world ever since.

it is now scientifically accepted that all life came out of africa, so it makes sense that our collective unconscious was born there as well. while there have always been nominal variations due to region, culture, and language, our ancestral traditions have formed the archetypes found throughout humanity.

i defend orisa and the other african systems not solely because of my personal investment, but because of the flow of history and time.

our way is the original way.

if it weren't for the kemetian mystery schools, we wouldn't have the bible. arabic culture, too, was goddess/god-balanced long before muhammad came on the scene.

despite that, we now have millions of people afraid of anything that doesn't fall between the covers of two largely plagiarized books, despite the long and deep history of humanity preceding these things.

so, as far as "breaking curses and covenants" as dr. ukpai so eloquently put it, let me share a basic fact of physics--in my opinion the most spiritual scientific discipline there is:

energy is never destroyed, it only changes form.

human beings are, in essence, energy, just like everything else. those ancestral artifacts and sacred sites people are destroying have nothing to do with curses and everything to do with respecting what came before, what allowed them be. i shudder to think what will happen to their children, communal self esteem, and spiritual and moral centers in the coming generations.

i'm aware that capitalism, colonization, and global economies have changed everything. hence, christianity and islam become attractive for the same reasons they were attractive during the initial invasions: survival.

people have to eat. i'm sure that the christian/islamic communities around the world will support these people materially, and that's fine, far as it goes. maybe we'll see a shift when traditionalist communities here are capable of providing a comparable level of financial assistance.

it is also unfortunate that traditional beliefs can be coupled with a crippling lack of education and other equally desperate situations, leading to modern day witch hunts and other tragedies.

i pray that there are some who are savvy enough to syncretize and pass along at least a bit of knowledge (props to catholicism for keeping just enough paganism to make it simple...).

despite the disappointment i feel around these issues, i am convinced that the universe does nothing by accident or coincidence.

maybe the americas are meant to become the epicenter for the african deities because of the access to education and the fulfillment of basic needs.

a place where age-old botanical knowledge can be incorporated into doctor's offices.

where african cosmology can be combined with western astronomy and physics, leading to a greater understanding of our world.

where the hoodoo way can be learned in conjunction with the history and culture of our people so that we are not worried about hunting down witches, but focused on casting spells (i.e., social programs, books, media, curricula) that will strengthen and uplift our people and the world.

i hope i'm not too optimistic.



i was in a haitian peristyle...very simply built with beige walls made of clay or stone --almost like an adobe.

in one almost bare room there was a mambo dancing, veves and candles all over the floor. the doorway to the room seemed to be shielded, so i never went all the way in and she never came out.

the first time i walked by, she was mounted by a spirit i didn't recognize. i greeted him/her and went on my way.

the next time i walked by, she was maman brigitte. her clothes reminded me of oya as st. theresa.

traditionally, oya is a wife of sango, the wind in the storm. she is the orisa who takes the breath of life back to olodumare and accepts deathbed prayers along with petitions to the ancestors. it's probably safe to say that oya and maman brigitte are essentially the same spirit that has gained different monikers and visages--not to mention a somewhat split personality--during her years in the diaspora.

anyway, i kept going between the shrine room and a bathroom that housed a tub filled with water and all kinds of herbs. it seemed that my goal was to take a bath, but i had to keep checking the water to see if it was ready. whenever i inspected it, this or that herb was needed...so i never actually stepped in the water, but instead wound up going back and forth, gathering herbs.

it was one of those dreams where i felt i was being taught some kind of ritual or recipe that is always maddeningly difficult or impossible to recall upon waking.

...but, i said i wanted to travel. so i suppose my wish was granted.

gangland african survivals

...one day i'm gonna get my thoughts together and post something about how these gang signs i keep seeing look a whole lot like veves.

i copied down something one afternoon on the bus ride home from work. it's in an old journal. i'll have to find it and scan it so i can post with the entry...

this will be revisited.


loving gratitude

i highly recommend falling in love with yourself. often.

i'd forgotten the power inherent in committing to the pursuance of one's own bliss. seems like mama gena's teachings are settling in and catching up with me.

making a conscious, prayerful decision to release any and all thoughts/actions/situations that are impeding my progress is one of the best things i've ever done for myself.

i don't pretend to be finished--it's a process full of maintenance sessions, backslides, and conscientious review. even so, i've gained a tremendous amount of momentum, and i can see and feel it working in my life.

in that spirit, today i am grateful for...

the lessons of the universe
prayers & the surety that they will be answered
car warranties
incense, candles, essential oils, and crystals & the work they help us do
the entire color spectrum
good food



it's amazing what a few days off from work can do for my intellect...kinda sucks that it has to be that way, tho.

this is really sad. and i didn't realize amy's only 23 years old--but it does explain some of her tendencies. i get the feeling she hasn't quite grown fully into herself yet. even so, i'd hate to see all that talent go to waste over low self esteem and addiction. get well soon, amy.

i was both annoyed and relieved that a sensor caused all the trouble with my car. but i am infinitely thankful for good warranties & ogun's ashe.

i need to get my money right before i miss out on this trend...

...this might change/grow/shrink as the day goes on...


a little piece of the universe...

due to the continuing antics of my automobile, i wound up implementing phase one of the goddesspace today. it turned out pretty well, and the process removed my frustration and disappointment over being, essentially, grounded.

an overall view:

in the lower right corner is a serendipitous wax blob from a white candle i used for guidance...i wanna write a mantra or something on it.

sweet wine in the glass--for celebration's sake.

detail of the candles and crystals:

there's plenty more to do, but i'm really, really pleased with the first stage.

i'm discovering that i enjoy the process of manifesting sacred space. i love the way it inevitably grows, shrinks and morphs according to my prayers, needs and desires.

*to affirm my relationship with the divine feminine and the elements--in other words, unapologetic womanspace.

*to further enhance and empower my dreaming, intuition, and other spiritual skills as a complement to my official training.

*to gain increased clarity around my life's work and purpose using the power inherent in my womb/femininity.

*to provide a home for full moon prayers and menstrual meditations.



note: this was originally posted to a blog i write about a particular person surrounding a particular situation. it's public (in the hopes of someone stumbling across it and learning that yes, virginia, there is life after soulmates), but not really linked to anything else.

i felt it best to, as far as possible, separate that healing from the rest of my existence. at its inception, i even removed some entries from this blog to place there.

but when i wrote this today, it seemed imperative that i blur the barriers a bit. it even applies, to a somewhat lesser degree, to this situation.

you might need to read this.
you might want to have someone else read it.

in whatever way you need to,
from whatever situation you need to,
if there's something clipping your wings--

even if that something is something you love, dearly,

free yourself.


* ~~ * ~~ * ~~

a long time ago, you stopped looking into my eyes.
said you couldn't stand it...

but when you ceased to look at me, to see me, it obviously became too easy for you to think i no longer loved you.

i'm sorry you've had to learn the hard way that i never stopped, that my love for you has remained as deep and fluid as ever.

the difference is that i have reined it in. there are many things i'll still do for you, but only on my terms and in my way. i will not let you dictate the whens, wheres, and hows--directly or indirectly.

my limitations are my own, and if i choose to love you one moment and ignore you in another, i will.

you have tortured yourself into this corner, and you will have to get yourself out.

...but i'll still love you when you come out on the other side.