counting down til 2008...

stole this from 'nay. 'cause i ain't have nothin better to do...

Where did you begin 2007?
don't remember...people have been asking and i can't think of what i was doing...

What was your status by Valentine’s Day?
same as usual...with honey in some way/shape/form.

Were you in school (anytime this year)?

Did you have any encounters with the police?
when i discovered someone tried to separate my car door from the car frame...

Where did you go on vacation?
in my mind. (what she said...)

What did you purchase that was over $500?
lmao...no, let me rephrase that. LMAO.

Did you know anybody who got married?

Did you know anybody who passed away?

Did you move anywhere?

What sporting events did you attend?
i think that one wizards game dude took me to was in '07...

Describe your birthday:
again, don't really remember.

What’s something you thought you would not do but did in 2007?
actually devote some cyberspace to my writing

What has been your favorite moment(s)?
getting a new job
reconnecting with c.
watching the youngest godkid grow up

Any new additions to your family?
not blood fam, no

What was your best month?
i'm breathing & in good health. they're all good months.

Who has been your best drinking buddy?
n/a. lol. i haven't been out much...

Overall, how would you rate this year?
it's been a struggle.

Change your hairstyle?
oh yeah. lol. cut my almost 6 yr old locs in august...

Do you have a New Year’s resolution?
no more fish.

Do anything embarrassing?
i'm sure. lol.

Buy anything new from eBay?

Get married or divorced?

Get arrested?

Be honest - did you watch American Idol?
i never watch beyond the initial auditions. once they get the first 100, i'm thru.

Did you get sick this year?
more than usual, in fact.

Been snowboarding?
not a fan of randomly sliding around on snow...

Are you happy to see 2007 go?
in many ways, yes.

Been naughty or nice?
depends on your definition...


la lupe

did y'all know about this woman? i didn't...

there's an independent lens special about her.

Lupe Yoli was born in the small, rural town of San Pedrito, Santiago de Cuba in 1936. She described her hometown as “so poor that no one knew it existed until I got famous.” When she was a teenager, Lupe won a radio contest that enabled her to meet Olga Guillot, a popular Cuban singer in La Habana (Havana), and sing on the radio.

By 1957, “La Lupe” was all the rage in La Habana’s competitive nightclub scene. Her first performances at the club La Red in 1958 catapulted her to fame as she urged pianist Homero Balboa to play “faster, faster.” Soon, she had a dedicated gay and avant-garde following.

In 1960, her marriage to Eulogio “Yoyo” Reyes ended, along with their musical group, Los Tropicuba. When the Cuban Revolution dawned, La Lupe left the country, like many other Cuban artists at the time. Her performances had been criticized for providing a bad example to the state.

Arriving in New York City penniless in 1962, La Lupe soon befriended and recorded with world-renowned Afro-Cuban percussionist Mongo Santamaria. In LA LUPE QUEEN OF LATIN SOUL, Santamaria recalls how he introduced La Lupe to “an American” jazz audience and how Tito Puente stole her from his band once she became the “hottest thing.”

In 1964, La Lupe and Tito Puente recorded the Latin classic “Que Te Pedi (What Did I Ask of You)”. For the next four years, she recorded and toured the Latin music circuit in the U.S., Venezuela, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Panama and Spain.

During the late 1960s, Tito Puente started to record with Celia Cruz, and La Lupe struck out on her own, performing and appearing on English language television shows. During this time, the burgeoning Fania Records helped to popularize salsa, the latest Latin music sensation. By 1975, Fania’s new rising star was Cruz, and La Lupe’s career was on the decline. Fania Records ended her contract, and Lupe became destitute.

By 1985, La Lupe had rebounded from a descent into homelessness. Having been a lifelong practitioner of Santeria, she then became a born-again Christian, preaching in evangelical testimonials. When filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar used La Lupe’s song “Puro Teatro” in his 1988 film Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, interest in her music was rekindled.

La Lupe passed away in 1992. She was survived by her husband, William Garcia, and her children Rene and Rainbow. In 2002, New York City renamed the Bronx’s East 140 Street La Lupe Way.



another blockage...
this one is difficult to pinpoint.

can't write.
can't dream.

somewhere between this entry and this one.

i'm thinking something like reiki or acupuncture would help...yoga might be too daunting. typically when i feel like this, my body turns into lead; even the simplest asanas become a chore. i still may try anyway...

thankfully, though, i'm not depressed or saddened. i haven't been crying into my iced tea or anything like that. it's more of a neutral numbness.

i think i need a whole lot of this

and to holla @ my fam in togo & benin...


honoring the red

as soon as fall nears--i.e., from september, peaking around thanksgiving, and winding down at the winter solstice--i become increasingly aware of my native american ancestors. i think because of the half-truths and flat out lies surrounding thanksgiving combined with all the cultural misappropriation.

i also begin to feel mournful as the weather turns cold, but recognize that it is not my sadness. i guess this comes from losing so many to the winter marches west during the forced migrations.

at any rate, it occurred to me to place something for them on my egun altar for thanksgiving--or, as many indigenous people refer to it, the day of mourning: some beautiful indian corn i got at the farmer's market, cornmeal, and tobacco (which i keep for my ancestors anyway since so many of them smoked).

they have touched me in dreams and waking visions. a woman taught me a "heartsong". when i almost forgot it, she came and taught me again. i have remembered it ever since.

i used to have dreams of a shaman dressed in a flannel shirt and overalls who would do readings for me.

in another dream, a group of men i somehow recognized as "cousins" invited me into their circle to drum with them. i politely refused, thinking i'd be intruding, but they insisted. i did not drum with them, but, upon waking, i immediately wished i had. i thought, "they were family...". to this day, my desire to own a drum hasn't left me.

this morning i offered their gifts with a prayer close to this one:

to my ancestors who walked this land before me, i give thanks. many of us do not know your names or your faces, but we know your blood runs through our veins. we thank you.

please do not be mournful: be joyous! come and teach us, let us learn from you about caring for the earth and honoring you. come into our dreams so we may learn your ways. we love you.

i thank you for your guidance and the work you do in my life. may you continue to be a force of goodness and strength.


the very particular way the wind whistled past my ears as i walked back home signaled their acceptance.

they have so much to teach us, and many of them think they have been forgotten. but just as many native people are going back to the ways of their ancestors, so are we.

we remember
we remember
we remember...


(pre)menstrual musings

constantly hungry.
spiritually sensitive.
wondering why i haven't had 2-3 babies by now.
slightly unfocused.
constantly exhausted and energized at the same time.
formlessly creative (in need of OUTLETS!).
craving orgasm.
vaguely nauseous.
stiff. a little achy.
talkative. ideological.
waiting for the flow.

the egungun must be workin on me today...

i actually went in search of a gospel station on live365.com this morning. ha!

a few months ago, someone on myspace mentioned the caravan to the ancestors in galveston, texas. apparently there were some christian songs sung during the procession, and one of the organizers said something like, "before all you ultra-orisha people get upset, you know your grandmother prayed for you at so & so baptist church..."

at just about every ancestor event i've been to, i've heard at least one spiritual sung, often at the urging of the egungun themselves.

remember: those before us coded the language of western scripture and used it to their advantage. it took generations' worth of removal from africa before they fully bought in to the white man's faith, forgetting the symbols and signs.

before that, spirituals were musical morse code, and the bible--for many--was an odu of liberation.

just a thought.

y'all be cool.


caption this pic

go on.
i dare you.
no, i'll wait...



this breaks my heart just as much as this does.

how did my people become so forgetful? where in the bible was christ condemning children as witches and burning them with hot water?

again, i say:

despite the disappointment i feel around these issues, i am convinced that the universe does nothing by accident or coincidence...[we need to arrive at a place] 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.



iba osun sekese
latojoku awede we 'mo
iba osun olodi
latojoku awede we 'mo
iba osun ibu kole
latojoku awede we 'mo
yeye kari, yeye 'jo, yeye opo
o san rere o

i have rested my worries in the lap of my mother
she's full of honey and adorned with peacock feathers
olodumare's sweetheart

she who has ears to hear, i know you have heard me, and how quickly you work your magic. i am trusting you to see me through as you have done so many times before.

...off to my bath of sandalwood and roses.

be blessed & bountiful, lovelies.



crazy week...

i came into some money i was owed only to have to spend it all...knowing i'll come into a little more next week.

tried to look normal while navigating a plethora of cravings, needs, and desires--including but not limited to an unnatural yen for breakfast foods, constant thoughts of sex, and a desperate need for a hot bath with rose petals and sandalwood--all of which, at this hour, remain largely unfulfilled.

got a small check, but lost my atm card (no xmas shopping for me this weekend...).

had the catering for the xmas party at work screw itself up, ultimately resulting in enough food for everyone, several "thank you"s, and, shut my mouth, leftovers.

i've also been trying to keep one man's head above water while spending time with another, all the while realizing that, despite the flaws inherent in both relationships, i love them both immensely.

froze in bed half the night (it is still ridiculously cold in here).

dealt with two phone calls in as many days from a deeply disturbed man (and i do not work in mental health...).

and i think this is the longest i can remember several nights of sleep with no dreaming and/or dreaming that makes no sense whatsoever.


i still want to cut my hair (last week there was no parking. now i don't have access to my money and will have to spend time rectifying that before i can even think of doing anything extra)

laundry's waiting to be done

i finally got the house semi-clean this evening. there's still vacuuming to do and a bathroom floor to scrub, but the kitchen is passable, you can see my living room table again, and my clothes are finally put away...

i'm still cold

etc and so on.

at least it's friday.


i know i ain't ready, but...

i wanna be in love again.

like, seriously in love with someone.
who can be there, fully
and love me
and adore me
and who i wanna adore back.

my feelings in that area are somewhat misdirected at the moment.
i'd like them to get back on track.

but how?
who would i actually let in?

should i just start over with honey for what feels like the 1273840th time?




i was resisting writing because i thought it would make things worse...but i think that getting some of this out is the only way to stop the visions in my mind.


i have not had a dramatic life by any stretch of the imagination. compared to many, my situation was idyllic. i never went hungry, i had a parents and family who loved me, my intellect and talents were supported and encouraged, etc.

but the traumas that made it through those filters have stayed with me.

for instance, my parents couldn't stop death--something i learned early, and well.

for several reasons, my mother's family is my family. i look like my father's people, but i was raised with my mother's, almost exclusively.

my father's family is large and always getting larger, but my mother's family is not. and people don't live into their 80s and 90s. being born into a somewhat sterile family full of older folks meant that i had several, loving aunts and uncles, but hardly any cousins or other relatives my age.

i've gone from knowing a house full of people and laughter at christmas to just a handful of us at any given time. we're still close, no beef (modupe olodumare)...just so many empty seats. voices that don't carry across the room anymore.

my maternal grandmother passed when i was three years old, and i can barely remember her face. i remember how much she loved me, and i know her through family stories. she has been an immense spiritual presence, and i know she helped me through one of the most difficult times of my life. thanks to her daughter, my aunt, i have a beautiful picture of her on my egun altar.

over the years i've adopted different grandmothers, but i've never stopped wondering what it would be like to have my own back with me.

both of my grandmother's brothers have also passed on. i was particularly close to my uncle brother. i couldn't attend his funeral because i had to move back into the dorm at school. i have never been able to bring myself to go to his grave...i preferred remembering him as he was: tall, thin, the 80s sunglasses, perpetual drink in one hand, cigarette in the other.

his wife, aunt eunice, treated me like i was her own child. she was one of the sweetest women i've ever known, skin like dark chocolate. she died suddenly of a heart attack, i believe. i couldn't look at her in a coffin, either.

six years ago, my pop pop passed away the day after xmas. we had to have the funeral on new year's eve. to this day, it hurts me to see the christmas lights go up around me, knowing i won't see his gift under the tree or see him at the table. my last visions of him at the hospital, intubated and unable to speak, are some of the harshest memories i have. and every year they come back.

i went to his funeral, but i drew the line at the burial. i couldn't watch them put him in the ground; i stayed in the limo. i cannot find his grave--he insisted on being buried beside my grandmother in one of the oldest but worst maintained cemeteries in the city. i've been there a few times, once with my mother, but neither of us can find them. i'm told my great grandmother is also there, somewhere. i left an ebo for them all, last year i think. the least i could do. maybe i should think about leaving another one...

even being an aborisha doesn't save me from my grief. i know they are still there, watching over me: my grandmother has never left us and often shows up in our dreams. she was with me when i received my owofakan. when i went for my first spiritual reading, my aunt eunice stood with me. two other angels, my aunt emily and uncle jimmy, are also close by, i'm sure.

maybe it's because i lost them (and others)--with the exception of my pop pop--so young that it hurts so much. it wasn't until later that i thought about the things i would have asked, the conversations we would have had, the fact that they missed my graduations from high school or college...

i am grateful that many of them did not linger or suffer.
i pay them homage.
i know that it is because of them that i have some of the gifts i do.
they have touched, blessed and guided me, well and often.
but...i still miss them.

then there are my other memories.

at age five i was violated. not by an adult; more like a game of house that went too far (and even that was, i'm sure, because someone had hurt him). i never forgot it, but it felt like a bad dream my body remembered. i had all kinds of misplaced emotions, urges, and heartbreak that just should not have been.

i think my parents found out soon after, but i downplayed it and hid my true feelings. i never wanted to get him in "trouble", and i didn't want to hurt anyone. i figured that i could get through it, that if i just stayed quiet it would save folks the trouble and keep everyone happier. besides, no one would understand what i was feeling anyway, right?

my mother knew what to look for and watched me, but...well, let's just say that i'm a fairly decent actress--apparently that was my first career choice as a young child, although i don't remember feeling that way.

i don't remember a lot of things. i'm beginning to understand why.

fast forward to age 16 when i slept with my first boyfriend and had to deal with it. even so, i hid it all from everyone until said boyfriend gave me an ultimatum: get help, or consider him gone. this led to a little over a year of therapy and the near constant spiritual intercession of my grandmother, iba t'orun. i'm sure that only she and god kept the knives off my arms and the thoughts of suicide away.

that said, for all intents and purposes, i'm "over" it.

but as anyone who's been here knows, it never goes away.
some days it floods back, and there's nothing you can do to stop it.
it's just winds up being one of those "bad" days. or weeks.

i can't remember the last time i had a relapse this bad, but i had a hell of a trifecta going: new job in a new city (i.e., sudden change), relationship issues, and the impending holiday season. i should have seen it coming...

my inner child is powerful, but sad. it's not often that i can face her.

i feel like i don't have the right to complain, to hurt, to suffer--not compared to some of the other childhoods my friends and lovers have endured.

on the other hand, i know my pain is my own, it's justified, and that we all have our crosses to bear, big, small, or in between.

just another way station in the journey.