iba shango

...with love & gratitude for all your blessings, love & protection. ase o.

Alaafin, ekun bu, a sa
Alaafin, (the king of Oyo) snarls like a leopard and the people run away

Eleyinju ogunna
One whose eyeballs glow like charcoal

Olukoso lalu
Olukoso, the famous one of the city

A ri igba ota, segun
One who uses hundreds of cartridges to win victory in war

Eyi ti o fi alapa segun ota re
One who used pieces of broken walls to defeat his enemies

Kabiyesi o
We honor you

So be it.

(oriki & translation from roots & rooted)



(intended as an extrapolation of the list)

hereby rejected are the notions of love and being that sponsor brokenness.

honesty and loving are supported. lovers need to be healing balms, full and whole in their personhood.

know that--immediately and sans compromise--women like us will not be depleted for the sake of misguided notions of healing.

let the broken be cared for in the appropriate spaces. they must do their work as we have done ours. we cannot stand in place of the mothers they mourn, nor can we replace the shoulders of long lost fathers.

we can only be and love as ourselves.

conversely, we do not expect whole men to nurse broken lovers. we acknowledge that they, too, are human and have limits, and that they are not the only drain on time, resources and energy in intimate adult relationships.

if we are to come together, we must come together whole. or, at minimum, be honest about our brokenness so that informed decisions can be made.

anything less causes pain, destruction, drama and heartache.

it is in this spirit that we resolve to preserve heart, mind, body and spirit, and to love fully only in spaces that are reverent and respectful of the same.


new quote @ blog bottom

(so slick i had to take a second to mention it...)

"and, brothas, y'all need to know/ if too much sugar makes you sick / spoils your appetite for even the smell of dinner / there are certain flavors of women you should not consume..." ~christa bell


last july, i was thinking... (an unreleased draft)

yes, i am fiercely independent. even as an infant i wouldn't let my mother hold me too long before i fussed to be put down.

i enjoy trying to get somewhere on my own before i ask for help--i'm not sure why.

maybe because i've always been assured of a safety net. i know help will be there if i really, truly need it, so i don't sweat the small stuff. or cry wolf.

because my heart was broken too early.

because, somewhere in there, i'm a warrior.

because i can.

better or worse, it is who i am.

over time, i've learned that's something a woman's not supposed to be. 'cause men need to be needed, you know. if they're not being big, bad wolfy providers standing guard at the door day and night, they just don't know what to do with themselves.

to hell with tenderness, time, passion, or pleasure.

to hell with getting to know me inside out
or learning to speak my langage (and teaching me yours)
or discovering my deepest needs and desires.

i mean, sure, you'll rake the lawn and wash the dishes without being asked...and i'm not knocking that. at all.

but it goes so much deeper...


lesson learned

i'm really feeling jo nubian on this one...

it's a good reminder that the straight-up abusers and liars are not the only men to watch out for. although those men do a good bit of damage on the social/macro level, the signs of that behavior are far more obvious.

on the personal/micro scale, it can be the ones who think they have it all together; the ones who have been able to mask insecurities with a variety of talents and levels of conversation. "good" guys capable of stagnating or ruining relationships through a lack of emotional intelligence, self awareness, and triggered behavior.

that's the situation i've had to break away from, and the one i'm terrified of encountering again.

i'm worried about the boys running around with man-masks on...who've never been challenged, called out, or touched deeply enough to know what's lurking under their facades.

from here on out, i can love them in the abstract--as my brothers in the struggle.

but that's as far as i'm willing to go.



bob herbert on healthcare "reform".

once again, this country is shooting itself in the foot because of the lies it continues to perpetuate and the prejudices it feeds...



i am afraid to open the door that will allow me to comprehensively re-envision my life.

but i know i have to let go; these new dreams, ideas and concepts must be allowed to flow in, out and over me.

it's the only way to move forward.


i saw love yesterday

...and it nearly stopped my heart.

it was so obvious and open.

somehow, when i saw those two people together, it slammed into me.

this is what was missing. this is what i've been hoping for.


a dialogue

the players
  • a beautiful mermaid
  • a huntress, able to shape-shift into a tigress at will
the scene
the shore of a beautiful, unspoiled ocean. the mermaid has approached, tears in her eyes. the huntress stands proudly on the pinkish-white sand, sighing. she knew this conversation was inevitable.

the conversation  
mermaid (her voice is a hiss. her anger sends waves crashing onto the beach)
you bitch. you did it again! how could you?

huntress (unflinching)
it needed doing.

damn you, i love him. why are you always so harsh and unforgiving?

huntress (forceful, but without malice)
i loved him, too. but he was taking up too much space and time. that wasn't part of the bargain.

mermaid (her eyes well with tears)
b-but...what will i do out here all alone?

live. what else? when's the last time you swam out to the deepest parts of the sea, hm? you don't even wear your jewels anymore for fear of attracting someone else, while he's off entertaining his own thoughts. you have forgotten yourself.

mermaid (calmer, straightening her spine)
no. he needed me. i have been true to him, that's all. i did what he asked and took care of him.

huntress (barely stifling a haughty laugh)
you did. and where has he been?

busy, i suppose.

then you should busy yourself. it is time to move on. i have paths to forge, things to build. i would love to fight and win pretty things for you, sister, but you no longer call for them. you've asked me to sit on this shore and wait--

mermaid (a sad voice laced with anger)
i hoped things would get better. he always said they would, and i know he wouldn't lie to me.

no one said he lied.

mermaid (sighing)

the results are what matter.

it's still sad...

of course. i am sorry for your loss, but i'm still not certain you realize all you've lost in your loving and waiting. i wish i could cry your tears, but i swore to protect you, so i had to run him off.

i appreciate your concern. i just wish things could have been different.

huntress (visibly softening for the first time)
you know i do, too. but we are both meant for great things. love will come again.

hm...i have missed my jewels. a long swim might be helpful...

don't get distracted on the way.

mermaid (with a sad smile)
no...i'm finished with love for awhile. i haven't forgotten that we're the same; twins forced apart by my forgetfulness. there has to be a way for us to come together again.

definitely. next time we meet, we'll reunite and celebrate.

the mermaid swims away, slowly at first, then gathering energy and joy as she goes. the huntress walks off to begin her work.



today's gratitude

to ward off the insanity...

my cooking skills
candles & altars
sister circles
my wits
dreams of grandmamas i never knew
fresh breezes
self love/self preservation
silent phone settings
breakthroughs. even painful ones.
farmer's markets
goddess oracle cards
having just enough to get by


the split

self #1...ferociously protective of my space, time and energy, she is the warrior with the perpetually present blade. it is also perpetually sheathed, because she knows the one insolent enough to warrant seeing it will almost surely face elimination. this blade can take many forms...

she knows precisely when enough is enough. her eyes gleam with a razor sharp wit, and curses roll off her tongue like pillow talk--sometimes in anger, sometimes just because she likes the feel of them in her mouth.

she always knows exactly who and what is worth her time, and isn't shy about letting folks know when they've overstayed their welcome. but to those who respect her boundaries and her power, she is the most loyal friend/lover/supporter you could ever hope to have.

...i've come to think of her as my wild woman, my leo moon made flesh. she is the ever-purifying fire of change, evolution. the queen on her throne whose pleasure comes before all else.

self #2...sweetest thing this side of honeycombs and sugar cane. patient. it would be unfair to call her long-suffering, but her pain threshold is high enough to make her appear as though she is.

unwavering in love, her mantra is 1 corinthians, 13:1-10. she devotes herself fully to her beloved, willing to do anything to please him once she knows her feelings are returned.

she will endure long nights alone with a smile, strengthened by the hope that it will pay off in the end. love songs and gossamer dreams are more than enough to feed her when he's away.

time, her dreams, her sorrows...love makes them all irrelevant. her beloved is all she needs.

...this is my piscean sun, the source of my compassion and kindness. the self-sacrificial, spirit-loving priestess, focused on love and light.

the mediator: my overworked libra ascendant.

currently on the table (again): my relationship.

wild woman is ready to kick him to the curb. she's muttering that he's energy-draining dead weight, too neglectful, too much to learn. sure, he's fundamentally a good guy, but there are dreams languishing on the back burner. she's itching to start in on a complete life overhaul. if he can fit himself in the scheme of things, fine, but out of sight means out of mind, and she's starting to forget how she wound up in this mess in the first place.

of course, the mermaid isn't ready to let go. she's tied her coral heartstrings to him, so she's compelled to wait by the seashore, devoted as ever. she sees the roots of his flaws and wants to see him triumph over a painful past, no matter how long it takes. of course his ignorance and missteps pain her. she misses him when he's gone. but familiarity and comfort override all that--besides, if she cries a few tears, who'll notice? she's already sitting in the ocean...

the argument is draining all of me dry...


anatomy of a pity party

some days it doesn't pay to be smart.
or patient.

some weeks feel like months.
some hours feel like days.

sometimes life is just...life. in all its frustrating, sloppy, all-over-the-place mess.

i don't feel like being righteous, or practical, or anything like that.

i'm just giving in...

if i'm due for another underworld trip, might as well make it a good one.


in fourteen hundred & ninety two...

so, apparently columbus set off on his first voyage yesterday?

maybe that's why i've been feeling jacked up...

517 years later. hm.

folks can be cute if they wanna, but i'd say spain owes a whole lot of the world a huge damned apology.


vodou child

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.