i want...

it's less than a month 'til my birthday. and i have a wishlist a mile long.

now, i have what i need, generally speaking. so this isn't meant to be a long complaint. but i think it's worth getting in touch with the (mostly) little things i'm desiring right now and give voice to all the little bits and pieces of "lack" in my life.

so here goes {this will be a living document...}:

cash is always welcomed...

an awesome new place to do yoga. {suggestions for studios welcome...PG county or NE DC would work best...or within walking distance of a metro station.}

a pretty new compact mirror.

a new wallet.

shoes. in the sensible department, i need at least 2 pairs of boots (black and brown) and 2 1 pair of flats (also in black and brown). just for fun: stilettos.

pretty scarves

all these books

i'm starting to crave a laptop...



spring skirts 


a new blush brush. or a whole new set of makeup brushes. why not.

snake jewelry!! this is a nice start. and don't forget the matching earrings...

the new orleans voodoo tarot deck 



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. 

ase o.


stirring the pot

saw this via facebook today:

by force or otherwise, many great-to-the-nth-power grandparents and other ancestors of black folk were also the result of mixed-race unions. however, due to societal conventions or just straight up slave status, they had to stay "black"--unless they could pass or you were in louisiana or something like that.

however, given a choice, we don't necessarily know how they would have identified.

who would they have married?
who would we be/what would we look like as a result?

without all the one-drop rules and slave codes, i wonder if black identity in america would have emerged more along the lines of various latin@ cultures or the m├ętis of canada. and let's not forget that whitefolks have lost quite a bit of history and ethnic identity by being lumped into the american salad bowl.

the parents' consciousness is also a factor. if you wanna just be "american", ok.  if you have a deeper understanding around your family history/identity and participate in your various cultural traditions, a different understanding might emerge. 

i also noticed that this trailer seems to focus on african-european parentage.  i'm told there's a whole other conversation that happens around having two parents of color (e.g., bi-cultural parentage among west indians, (afro) latin@/african-american, asian/african, etc.) that often gets overlooked in the typical american obsession with black/white relations. 

either way, it looks like an interesting documentary, and--given the changing demographics of this nation--something we need to begin talking about.