Storytime: Solstice

Every year in ritual I retell this story.  I also tell it before my Bawdy Divine Workshop. It’s part of my glitter magic and as we descend into the darkest night in what seems the darkest year I cast it out again into the world as a way to reel in the light.

 

The story goes that Amaterasu Omikami the Sun Goddess was so offended by the rachetness of her brother Takehaya Susanoo-no-Mikoto the Storm God that she sealed herself in the Cave of Heaven.

No one was surprised.

Amaterasu’s ladies in waiting have the constitution of a wilting flower so over half of them flat out died when Takehaya caused a huge shit storm and I’m not talking a metaphorical one either.  This was the final straw.  He had crossed a line and Amaterasu literally could not with that shit so she sealed herself away in a cave with the same conviction that that diva cup sealed itself to my cervix this past February.

This sucked monkey balls because without the gift of the sun the earth became cold and withered away. Humanity was screwed and since Deities of Heaven need worshipers to sustain themselves (kinda like Kardashians need Instagram Followers) this was not going to work.

They pleaded with Amaterasu but she only moved further into her cave while ranting about the not figurative shit storm her jackass of a brother had caused among other things. While everyone was freaking out over the situation Uzume sprung into action.

She knew that Amaterasu for the most part was the bees knees but sometimes she could really be into herself. No one on heaven or earth could match her egoism… at least not until Kanye West was born. Uzume knew attention was oxygen to Amaterasu’s flame and Uzume was about to suck the room dry like that scene in Total Recall.

Uzume placed a huge mirror outside of the Cave of Heaven and upended a large tub, climbed on top ,yelled “All eyes on me!” and started to dance. Now it should be noted that Uzume was no covergirl. Uzume was no graceful creature. She had crass and sass and zero fucks to give. She had a belly the jiggled, she had thighs that touched, she was a round thing full of joy and as she danced she un-knotted her obi and peeled out of her kimono. The Deities of Heaven had a collective moment of:
Is she?
She is!
Oh My Myself this is Awesome!
and started cheering and drumming

Amaterasu hearing the great commotion and a bit miffed that no one was paying attention to her peeked out of her cave to see Uzume in all her glory just feeling herself and the Sun Goddess entranced, amused and slightly confused stepped out of the cave for a closer look. And that is when Amaterasu saw the mirror that Uzume had placed outside the cave and for the first time saw herself and her own radiance and how it shined!

She was like whoa.. she was like Tweet with that Missy Elliot on remix

(Missy)
(I looked over to the left)
Umm I was looking so good I couldn’t reject myself
(I looked over to the left)
Umm I was feeling so good I had to touch myself
(I looked over to the left)
Umm I was eyein my thighs butter pecan brown
(I looked over to the left)
Umm comin’ outta my shirt and then the skirt came down

*chorus*
OOPS, there goes my shirt up over my head
Oh my
OOPS, there goes my skirt droppin’ to my feet
Oh my
Ooh, some kinda touch caressing my leg
Oh my
Ooh I’m turning red
Who could this be?

So the Gods took hella advantage of this shit and rolled that stone back into place and locked it in tight.

The Storm God was cast down to earth (and I suspect reincarnated into Donald Trump) where he continues to cause shit storms, and tragedy and in his own way renewal but we are going to be okay because there is always Uzume to remind us to come together, love ourselves, be fiercely vulnerable because we can call back the sun with laughter and joy.

Tonight in ritual I will dance and sing for The Great Persuader, and The Heavenly Alarming Female. She who revels in her sensuality and dances, shimmies and shakes to bring back the Sun. Happy Solstice!!

Burn Bright.

 

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(Attached image is a portrait of me by the artist Thomasina DeMaio.  She tagged me in it this morning and it definitely brightened up my world.  It’s a real honor to be captured by someone who puts forth so much light into the world in such intensely loving and fierce ways. For more info on Thomasina and her prolific work find her on facebook and with the Art Saves Lives Gallery in Castro SF  https://www.facebook.com/thomasina.demaio)

Not that kinda party.

(written after an interaction with an uber driver on my way home from performing at the Uptown Club in Oakland)

 

You…

You saw a happy, tipsy, fat, black woman and assumed I was a straight club girl on her way home from a night of partying. You assumed I was blowing off steam after work, caught in a revolving ritual that would go from 5 p.m. on Friday till 2 a.m. on Sunday morning- 

just enough time to sober up before church. 

You questioned me prodding and poking.

I wondered if you felt comfortable doing so because I am black just like you.

You asked me:

Why I haven’t settled down.

What my mother thought about what I was doing with my life. 

Wasn’t I interested in school?

Wasn’t interested in having kids?

 

I realized because of your assumptions you assumed I was someone you should save, could save and when I assured you of my self sufficiency you were wounded.
You accused me of thinking that black men were unnecessary, and my independence of being a double edged sword which cuts into my femininity while cutting off the masculinity of my ethnicity.

And I smiled to myself.

I smiled to myself because a younger me would have said

You..you are incorrect!

while living as if you were speaking gospel.

 

My humility was the first step on the staircase of my soul that my man used to left himself up

     the second step was my happiness

                    third my sexuality,

                        a fourth my future

                                a fifth of my sanity.

I should have been angry at you for blaming black women who can feed, clothe, and defend themselves for the collapse of a society I wasn’t. 

I felt sorry for you.
I felt sorry for how much power you are giving away. Just like all the power I was giving away.

For me those days are over.

 

My future lovers will not be intimidated by my strength.

My future lovers will walk besides me evenly yoked in it.

My future lovers will answer to its siren song fearlessly and together we shall create harmonies unheard of as we wrap our chords together.

 

You assumed I was a of kind woman,
       a woman I have once been
       I am glad I am that woman no more.

Decolonizing the self

I don’t have the right words. I am not an academic. I just have a feeling and it makes me angry for multiple reasons.

I am angry because I cannot unsee these things

I am angry because I have to do the work

I am angry because I am going to step on toes

I am angry because the vocabulary I need to access right now either does not exist or has been disempowered by those who benefit the most from my non consensual inhabited state of self.

I was a child still dressed in navy /white checkered skirt of Saint Anthony of Padua. Praying to a babyfaced blonde Jesus with a thorn crowned heart radiating from his chest when something whispered to me that the sky was blue because someone told me it was.

This is something I shook off but it kept coming to me. In dreams, scribbles, conversations. The words rounded themselves out of my mouth, nagged at me, pinched my lips and tortured my tongue until I really stopped to think about it.

The sky is blue because someone told me it was.

If this were true what else did I believe simply because I was told it was true. I was unsettled and unbalanced. I searched for god, I searched for self, I questioned and was often silenced… told I was would understand when I was older.

I am older

All I understand is that I was expected not to understand but to accept. To a certain degree I admit that I was fine with that until last night…

It was the song that did it. Janelle Monae “Queen” I’ve been listening to it on repeat to help choreograph a dance piece and the lines got sticky, evoked an emotional reaction that I was not prepared for.

Will you be electric sheep?

Electric ladies, will you sleep?

Or will you preach?

Will you sleep or will you preach

Will you sleep or will you preach

Will you sleep or will you preach

Will you…

And at 3:07am it woke me from my sleep and all I could say was “Fuck!”

Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck!!!!!!!!!!!!

See realizing that the sky is not blue was one thing… living the truth of it not being blue is a whole other thing.

I’m in mourning right now actually… I think that is where most of the anger is coming from.

I am mourning the loss of the person I made myself to be

The person I thought I was

to move forward into the unknown

of who I was made to be

A huge part of that is my blackness and the stories it brings with it. Not just mine but those that have walked before me. My ancestors are standing at the threshold and beating upon the door commanding that I let them into my spirituality, my body, my mind, my magic and goddess yes even my bedroom

I’m shifting from nurturer to warrior

I hear the drums

Summoning me to war

I’m answering the call.

Conversations with God #2

Let go

~What

Let go

~Dude I totally heard You… let go of what?

Everything

~Goddammn’t

What?

~That esoteric crap again?!

Okay… do you want me to explain?

~Yep… you know mortal brain and all not as complex as Yours

I know… kinda sucks to be you.  When I say let go of everything I mean let go of everything you ever thought yourself to be, everything you ever wanted yourself to be.  Realize that what you are going through is nothing.

~woooooooooooow I’d rather have the esoteric thing than this nihilistic shit

I’m not done yet… All this is an illusion.

~Hah!  You’re telling me that all these bills piling up on my head, all these dark thoughts and dead ends and hopelessness is an illusion!  Well You’re illusions seem pretty real to me!

You’re angry

~Hell yes I am… what did I ever do to You to deserve all of this?

It’s not about what you did… its about what you didn’t do.

~What more could You want from me?!  What more can You demand?!  Just tell me and I’ll do it.  Just stop with these fucking “illusions” of Yours.

Dramatic much?  First of all those are your illusions… I haven’t got a thing to do with them and second I’ve only asked you for one thing darlin of Mine and that is to love yourself.

~If I did that would it stop

No… that’s not how it works… life won’t stop but you will be able to handle it better.

~I’m so tired

I know

~I don’t like this ride anymore

I know

~I want to get off… and not in a sexual way

I know

~Will it get better?

It will… and then it will get worse again

~You’re not helping…

I will once you help yourself.  Stop feeling sorry for yourself hun, stop running away, stand up and fight for everything you want.  I’ve given you everything you need

~But You just told me to let go of everything

I told you to let go of the illusion… the illusion that it can’t be done, won’t be done, that all you are is what you are ever going to be, that your current dreams and goals are your ceiling.  No one likes to hit their ceiling… its terrifying… trust me I totally understand.  I mean I am God after all.   You’re putting off for as long as possible reaching what you think is your peak because you think there is nothing left after that. It’s stupid.

~oh… k… anything else

Yeah go to bed.  Tomorrow is gonna come whether you like it or not.  Aaaaaaaaaaand its gonna suck so you might as well have all your wits about you when it does.

~hah now you sound like my Vulcan.

He’s a part of you so he is a part of Me too now.

~That makes me feel better

I know.  Look darlin the moon is coming back and in time so will you.

Personal Truth #?: Happiness

Truth # I’ve lost count
(Last nights dream)


Happiness:
Different for everyone, the same for most.  It normally involves attaining the things we talk ourselves out of, sabotage from our lives and rationalize out of reality.

Hi

~Hi, I’m depressed

I know

~How do you know

Because I’m you silly.  I’m your Divine self

~Really… you look amazing,

I am

~Seriously your skin is fantastic

Yeah ummm ooooooookay so I know the secret to happiness and I’m going to give it to you

~You’re the greatest

Not so fast.  I can sense you figuring out how you can market this info to make ends meet but I’m not giving you the secret to “Happiness”  just the secret to your happiness

~(deflated) Yeah sure bring it on

Make a decision, forget the money, self publish if you have to,  give to get, thrive to survive, don’t procrastinate, exercise, spawn offsping and have lot and lots of sex…. sorry great sex.  Have lots and lots of great sex.

~Anything else

Trust in love

~Well that last bit is sorta fucking esoteric don’t you think

What the hell do you expect you ingrate Im God after all

~Hmpf

Hmpf what

~Well I knoooow I’m doing at least one thing right

Jackass

~What!?

Grow up

~Is that part of the list too

No actually

~What else?

What do you mean what else?

~Well it seems like a short list

You will have your hands full with that

~How can You be sure

Beside that fact that I am God She says  tossin a thick mane of ever changing hair over her naked violet shoulder  You’re how old?

~29

Right pushing thirty…. you’ve had 3 decades to work on this list and you’ve only got one thing going for you

~Yeah but its a hell of a thing am I right!

She rolls her iridescent  eyes to the top of her head just before she disappears in a poof of smoke that smells vaguely of cinnamon.

~God, God, God…. hello?  Damn’t  You’re just like my mom!!!!!