What kind of relationship do you have with the Ancestors?

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

"Even If...: Las Vegas to Lost Humanity" - Ukumbwa Sauti, WAC Team

Even if a rich, privileged European man hadn't walked unscathed into a posh Las Vegas hotel overlooking a music festival with 23 heavy firearms, shot and killed 59 people and injured over 500 people from a 32nd floor room window by premeditated, calculated violent ideation and action, the discussion and engagement of the fatal, emotional, psychic, anti-spiritual, anti-earth, anti-woman, anti-life, physical and political violence inherent in the modern and historical conception of masculinity and manhood, particularly also that in European masculinity and manhood, is a dynamic in immediate and emergent need of attention, interrogation and resolution.


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Even without the direct and deleterious actions of Stephen Paddock or Dylan Roofe or Timothy McVeigh or Andrew Jackson or Abraham Lincoln or Thomas Jefferson or Colonel Chivington or General Custer or Stephen Collins or Jared Fogle or Brock Turner or Bill O'Reilly or Cardinal Bernard Law or Jayson Newlun or Pope Benedict XVI or Pope Alexander VI or Fr. John Geoghan or Pope Nicholas V or King Alfonso V or Criminal Columbus or Fr. Junipero Serra or Bishop Thomas O'Brien or Rev. F. David Broussard or Most Rev. Harry Flynn or Archbishop John Nienstedt or Auxiliary Bishop Lee Anthony Piché or Fr. Andrew White or US Army Officer Richard Henry Pratt or Augusto Pinochet or King Leopold or Cecil Rhodes or Daniel Francois Malan or F.W. DeKlerk or P.W. Botha or Ronald Reagan or Lyndon B. Johnson or Charles Manson or Cardinal Bernard Law or the Steubenville rapists or the gangs of European men who terrorized Africans  in Tulsa, Oklahoma or Rosewood or Charlottesville or who terrorized and murdered and raped Africans and indigenous women, people in every southern, northern, western or northern State of the United States of America or stolen country of Africa, South America, Asia, Canada, Australia, New Zealand or the Spanish Inquisitors or the perpetrators of the European Burning Times, we would probably still need to address, discuss, engage and resolve the violent thread of masculinity that has become the hallmark of modern manhood and how it is expressed, embodied, enculturated and projected into our present and future.

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Even without the constant rehashing, reforming, revalidating, retrenching of the faux-sacred and anti-culturally protected status of violence and misogyny and heterosexism and toxic masculinity inherent and lauded in video games and video gamers, in Return of Kings and Men's Rights Activist and pornographic and white supremacist websites, in christian biblical references, in the sermons from pulpits the world over, the sideshow exhortations of predatory christian televangelists, in 50 Shades of Grey, in World Wrestling Entertainment, in "That 70's Show", in every Elvis Presley and Frankie Avalon movie, in "The Godfather" series and just about every mob, gang, Goodfellas and Scarface film ever made, in every Pulp Fiction twisted teenage European man white-boy director got-no-chains-on-me-cuz-I'm-more-street-than-KRS-One-in-Harlem Django Unchained white privilege, total appropriation fantasy, in just about every single Hollywood and elsewhere western movie, tv show or cartoon that disrespected and distorted indigenous life and culture, erased Africanity and constantly diminished and degraded womanhood, men would be duty bound to interrogate our own presence in the world, dismantling male privilege in our families, in our jobs, our colonial and anti-colonial political parties, in our colonial organizations and structures, in our liberation movements, our cathedrals, mosques, synagogues, temples and urban and suburban and rural street corner and store-front Stockholm-syndrome-gospel churches, to consider and compassionately deal with how far and globally wide manspreading actually goes, to relearn the importance of the divine feminine inside all bodies and the earth Herself and if we are going to kill anything, we should cease being the "tyranny of evil men" and be killing patriarchy.


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Even and especially now, men have to find out, inquire and learn about what men are about.  this is and will be no small personal, local, regional, national and/or global task.  It is the one we must move forward into. Our lives and the quality of our lives and loves depend on it.

Postscript: If you are a man that is pretty completely ensconced in your toxic masculinity and male privilege, you will take this offering as a threat to you.  That is not completely true.  It is an attack, or better, a reconnaissance on the twisted part of us men (repeat - part of us) that festers in spite of all our claims of being good men.  Little of what I have written above is debatable, but it is definitely up for discussion and it is my distinct hope that men can stop being afraid...of becoming and being better men.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

"Special" - Sherrilene Collymore

"What makes Me feel special?
I'm only a little kid
Who am I to walk this life
Feeling good about what I did?"
There's all these people around
Clearly bigger, prominent, authoritarian,
They're confident, seeming to know their place,
I'm tiny... only have this Vision!

A blur in the background,
Best not making noise,
Really to keep the home comfy,
Not required to have a voice.
Those traits that come to you so natural,
Well, that's what you're here for!!
Why would you think You special?
What's there for one to adore?

Well, my dear love although unseen,
You're seen by who you must.
Your character and determination
Are not without remark by some you can trust!
Some, who also have experienced,
Have lived in the shadow, in dark.
Some who despite doing the right thing
Might as well have been out in the park.

Hey, God provides all the human needs
And is rarely thought of specially.
What really is the human mind thinking?
You slip through the cracks naturally.
But indeed there are always others.
Eyes open, scanners awake!
Seeking the good, the helpful, the honest,
In the mind that the good road we'll take.

Don't doubt that you're indeed special,
That your special self isn't well made.
Keep close the belief there are no mistakes.
No, with Creation, no big game played.
You're special because a very conscious
Creation ordered for You!
Keep that clear vision in Motion
Show our world who's special too!


photo by Ukumbwa Sauti, flora c/o SB...oh, and the Creator 

~~~~~~

Sherrilene Collymore is a Facilitator in Business; the owner/operator of HQ2 - the Human Quality Headquarters. She is multilingual and well traveled to Scandinavia, Europe, Cuba, Kenya and the Caribbean region. Sherrilene loves dancing, writing, children, research and hiking.
She aspires to contribute to the refinement of education and enterprise (business) in the region and the diaspora. Sherrilene was trained in Barbados, France, Holland, Spain and Sweden in Management, International Business, research, languages and the sciences generally.
She has an interest in sustainable development and Education, Leadership and Excellence.

"In Peace" - Sherrilene Collymore

In Peace we feel the silence that is Our Nurturer
In Peace we feel the healing that is Our Love
In Peace we carry the Way that is Our Future and ends Our Past
In Peace we hold the Will of a Loving World

As we move to Peace and embrace its Richness and Fullness
We embrace all that is possible in our Human Race
A Race composed of looking upon One Another
As Self, as Hope, as Connection to what One would Be

May Peace be Our Only Wish, in fulfillment of Eternal Love


Image courtesy of Stockvault

~~~~~~

Sherrilene Collymore is a Facilitator in Business; the owner/operator of HQ2 - the Human Quality Headquarters. She is multilingual and well traveled to Scandinavia, Europe, Cuba, Kenya and the Caribbean region. Sherrilene loves dancing, writing, children, research and hiking.
She aspires to contribute to the refinement of education and enterprise (business) in the region and the diaspora. Sherrilene was trained in Barbados, France, Holland, Spain and Sweden in Management, International Business, research, languages and the sciences generally.
She has an interest in sustainable development and Education, Leadership and Excellence. 

Thursday, September 7, 2017

"Where Beauty Rests..." - Sherrilene Collymore

Where Beauty rests, life lives, Beauty homed in the harbour of Love that gives.

Evidence of Nature's Grace, Purity has power to flush away hardship’s dregs from Beauty's face.

Witness it bursting, from children delightfully untamed, Purity unplanned, unchecked, unnamed.

In the wayward thought of the social renegade, daring to breach the expectancy of the game played.

Advancing into the unknown, the All channeling, inspired in hope, love and awe; with solutions returning.

Where Beauty is homed and nurtured is Pure. Accept the Love gifted of Grace, it’s the Cure.



Image courtesy of Stockvault 

~~~~~~

Sherrilene Collymore is a Facilitator in Business; the owner/operator of HQ2 - the Human Quality Headquarters. She is multilingual and well traveled to Scandinavia, Europe, Cuba, Kenya and the Caribbean region. Sherrilene loves dancing, writing, children, research and hiking.
She aspires to contribute to the refinement of education and enterprise (business) in the region and the diaspora. Sherrilene was trained in Barbados, France, Holland, Spain and Sweden in Management, International Business, research, languages and the sciences generally.
She has an interest in sustainable development and Education, Leadership and Excellence.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

In the River of Sound: Nature, Music and Children - Julia Priest

"This drive to connect with nature, especially animals, appears to be universal in families around the world, from city to suburb to desert to seashore."

Our modern world, with all its bells and whistles, with all its mercenary calls to "connection" and its distractionary (I made up that word) disconnections, often lays like a confusing template over our Ancestral integration with the world wide web of life.  Forever....animals have lived and flourished in our mythologies, our cosmologies, our stories and our songs.  They have guided, informed, instructed, fed and sustained us on many levels.  Julia Priest brings us a watery reflection of the deep wisdom of our young ones as they enter the physical world seemingly so aware of our relationship with the animal world, with a world inspired by sound, movement and meaning.  Our children are a lesson in wisdom for us and we can benefit from their learning as we support and guide them. - Ukumbwa Sauti


 

"Leaping and dancing, the fish are in the river;
Leaping and dancing, to see a baby born.
Leaping and dancing, the fish are in the water;
Leaping and dancing, now that spring is here
Brincan y bailan los peces en el rio;
Brincan y bailan de ver nacido un nino.
Brincan y bailan los peces en el agua;
Brincan y bailan de ver la primavera."



I’ve been teaching this song to parents and preschoolers for fifteen years, yet I don’t always feel confident that I’ve helped them to love the song as much as I do.


I teach early childhood music in a Boston suburb. This means classrooms full of babies, toddlers, and preschoolers, with their parents or teachers. Many of our students are so young that they haven’t even visited a petting zoo yet in their lives. Strikingly, they all adore pictures of pigs and chickens, songs about roosters and ducklings. Children seem to be born with a passion for nature, especially animals. Parents almost universally feel driven to quiz their toddlers: “What does the cow say? The cow says moo. . . What does the sheep say?” Even Ylvis asked, “What does the fox say!”



This drive to connect with nature, especially animals, appears to be universal in families around the world, from city to suburb to desert to seashore. Even in a world where we are increasingly out of touch with the people and places that provide us with our food—whether omnivorous, vegetarian, or vegan--parents sing and read about animals to their children!

The powerful fascination with animals is seemingly as universal as the drive to learn language or the drive to adorn ourselves.  Could it be coded into our genes? It almost seems like an attenuating echo of the necessity for non-industrial traditional peoples to pass large, complex bodies of herbal, culinary, medicinal, and animal-husbandry knowledge down through the generations.


As a music teacher, I savor the special affinity which children feel for animals. By imitating the extreme high sounds of a meow or the low sounds of a moo, the lip trill of a horse nickering, the uninhibited hooting laughter of monkeys and apes, we warm up and challenge all the extremes of our larynx, our voicebox. I delight in children’s early forays into imaginary play when they take the role of an animal and imitate how it both sounds and moves. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen a roomful of four-year-olds swim on the floor like polliwogs and then hop across the room like frogs. Messiaen imitated bird song; Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals includes an Aquarium. . . there is a natural tie between music and animals too.



Despite all this, I felt slightly blocked for many years about how to make the Spanish-language text of Brincan y Bailan immediate and real for Anglophone parents and children. The song was at an even further remove from its original context because, due to some arcane music-theoretical aspects of our curriculum’s internal logic, I need to introduce Brincan at springtime even though the original is a Christmas carol! The concept of “rebirth” was, I feared, a bit too abstract for little ones who have seen winter give way to spring once or maybe twice, and maybe haven’t even experienced the arrival yet of a baby sibling of their very own!


I guess that what I needed was a concrete experience in my own life to bring it all together for me. This April, entirely for fun and without a thought that it might relate to my song curriculum, I hopped in a friend’s car, off to the Nemasket River in Middleborough, Massachusetts. There, alewife herring have been swimming upstream to spawn every spring for millennia. Indigenous people built weirs to nurture as well as harvest fish here. Many townships in the area built dams in recent centuries which have inadvertently doomed alewife to near extinction, but the Middleborough community wisely built fish ladders and therefore is still rich in herring. And so I saw with my own eyes, for the very first time, how fish fight the current and jump up over barriers to reach their first home, to make babies. Although the exertion is great, the drive will not be denied.



In comparison with human mating, fish insemination might seem rather remote and not at all sexy. Fish parenting may not seem very cuddly from our human, mammalian perspective. Yet to a fish, the urge is ineluctable. I can’t help projecting human-centered feelings onto these creatures, imagining that when they finally they leap into their childhood beds, paired in matrimony, they sigh with watery, bubbly contentment.


Bringing this story, this information, and these images back to my classes made the song an easy sell. The children could easily imagine the joy with which fish head homeward. Now my students might, I think, start to love the song as much as I do. This outing into nature brought renewal to me as a teacher. Perhaps it will also inspire somebody to get out into nature and enjoy a body of water. Maybe that somebody will be you!



Thank you, Julia, for the great modeling!


On Science, Nature, Children and a Culture of Life - Lisa Lambert

"I want the soon-to-be-adults of the future to know that it is entirely possible to create health and harmony and that all the new inventions and fancy technology can support this if technology is used as a tool and not as a means to replace or change nature (as if nature would ever let humans win at this anyway. Ha!)"

Western "civilization" bears upon it a particular daunting responsibility to develop an ability to look within, critique and transform...even compost...itself in the interest of joining many in the rest of the world who seek to illuminate and empower traditions of social harmony, political clarity and the interconnection of humanity (again) with the profundity of nature and the nurturance of Mother Earth.  There are people working tirelessly within this daunting and frustrating context of colonialism, corporate hegemony and the heartless destruction and exploitation of nature. We can find some of these amazing people in the embattled classrooms, labs and burgeoning gardens of what many call a miseducational system. Lisa Lambert is just one of these teachers, bringing her personal experiences, her wisdoms, her grounded scholarship, her warrior heart as gift to all the children that pass, luckily, through her classrooms. She calls us to think and feel and do more deeply as we preside over the lives, learnings and growth of children and that of our own vital presence in our communities and on this earth. - Ukumbwa Sauti

People say children don’t know anything. I’m not so sure this is true. I believe they know a lot, more than most adults.

When I was a child I was always drawn to the outdoors. There was a vibration out there that I could never access when I was indoors. Of course, at the time I didn’t know what it was, I just knew that I felt ‘right’ being outside. That space held me and comforted me, taught me and delighted me. Whenever anything wasn’t ok, nature was my church. Whenever I had a question, if I was quiet enough and I paid attention, it would tell me the answer.

The connection felt stronger near places like oceans, ponds and in the rain. I noticed that water was the thing that connected all of it, it’s constant flow touched and fed all of us. I had so many questions about the world outside. I never knew any adults that could answer them, at least not in the way that I wanted. I most certainly never met any adults that liked being outside as much as I did. I was generally shushed or shamed and allowed to be seen and but not heard, I was ‘only a girl’ after all, why would my thoughts be important?




So I stayed quiet and I studied the absolute to make sense of the relative. I investigated everything. I read anything I could get my hands on. I dug in the dirt. I nursed wild animals. I examined how water made puddles and how the wind moved the trees. Nature led me to science and science became my teacher and gave me a voice, but nature was and will always be, my mentor. I was happy to find a source to offer me concrete answers to my seeking, a world of prescribed solutions, all gleaned from wild places.

By studying biomimicry, I expanded my interest in biology, then to medicine, then specialized to botany, ecology, engineering, geology and then outward to astronomy, the universe and beyond. There I found myself led to philosophy and religion, and the natural extension of the spiritual, here I discovered ethereal ancestors and from there I was led back to nature, always nature.

I’m a science educator now. I feel like I know two languages. One is the logical human made one with essays, formulas and lists and the other is the enigmatic ever flowing reverberation of energy that cannot be created or destroyed, but only channeled. I have the honor of spending my days serving families and children as a public school teacher and I still deeply believe that children intuitively come to class knowing everything they need to know. Do they have the schmantzy words or ‘theory’ to explain it in the way that our conditioned old dead white guy science model wants? No, that type of colonial language is not present. But children have a  heart intelligence, a curiosity, a enthusiasm for exploring. They come to me with a creativity and ingenuity in figuring things out, an openness to new and different things and an inner knowing that the cycles and flow of ALL of it are important. I help them articulate their knowing.



A very young child can easily see the importance and safety of interconnectedness.  Somewhere between infancy and adulthood we humans have forgotten how to access this expansive beauty of reverence and ease. All the answers to all the worlds problems are held in this simple collaborative connected space, if only adults could have the wisdom of that child. If only education didn’t mean extinguishing this inner knowing. Is it possible to teach children these two languages, the standardized one and the real one?  Is it possible to keep them engaged and caring as they age out of our school systems? Is it possible that we all can soften and flex and discover, the way kids are born to do?


I’m not sure if growing up today is any harder than it was decades ago. It’s always been hard to be a little kid in a grownup selfish world. 

Nowadays, kids are getting diverted away from the natural world sooner in life and are more likely to grow up not even understanding the very ground they stand on. Things like weather, animals and even their own biology become problems to oppress instead of the inherent beauty that they are. This is a BIG conceptual missed opportunity. This attitude coupled with ages old ‘norms’ further keeps children inside by playing out the false story of nature as gross and uncomfortable or dangerous . Ignorance, fear and hatred of the unknown migrates pervasively into kids daily lives and as a consequence the natural world and so many who live in it are suffering. We see it in the news every day. 

The connection between humans and nature is clear. The solution to the major human and global issues in the world is not to divorce ourselves from the outdoors, sequester ourselves inside and only interact in air-conditioned rooms with electric screens. The solution is to jump in the mud and mix both these worlds in a spectacular primordial futuristic fusion that supports sustenance, equality and responsible stewardship of our planet. 



I want the soon-to-be-adults of the future to know that it is entirely possible to create health and harmony and that all the new inventions and fancy technology can support this if technology is used as a tool and not as a means to replace or change nature (As if nature would ever let humans win at this anyway. Ha!). With steady kind attention, our climate will be remedied, water will be clean and freely available, racism and patriarchy will be smashed, healthcare will be replaced by caring AND health for the body and the mind, there will be abundant affordable healthy food, cultures and religions will be celebrated, unfair wealth structures will be leveled, there will be clarity of intersectionality on every level and, yes, new sustainable accessible technologies will be invented to solve energy demands. 

This isn’t the future, it’s happening now, these little rumbles. Classroom by classroom, garden by garden, neighborhood by neighborhood and with every kid who looks into a flower or at a bug and asks, “I wonder why...?”. 

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Yesterday while at the thrift store - Beverly Scott


"I looked down at her and thought I should warn her of the dangers. I should tell her of the predators. I should tell her oh honey there will be time enough for that."


Beverly Scott reveals from her daily life moments here that transform the mundane into the transcendent. There is nuance and knowing in the normalcy of our daily, pedestrian travails. If we are able to stay open to the gift of the insistent and energetic world of spirit, of our most intuitive human connections, we are able to find that space of a lovely, flowing and important humanity. Beverly, in these moments illuminates that insistence, that intuition from the heart of the divine feminine. - Ukumbwa Sauti


Yesterday while at the thrift store I experienced the collapsing of time. I didn't go in there to be enthralled, We went in there because we mistakenly thought it was half-price day and Gene likes to "beat the system".

Two dollars for a designer men's shirt makes more sense to him these days than 125.00 dollars for the same shirt packaged beautifully and handed to him with a smooth mix of deference and self satisfaction.

I like fancy stores and the thrift shop, which is why my bounty is always thirty or forty dollars and his is never more than twelve. It's also why my closets require more pruning, more often than my rose bushes.

We split up at the front of the store and I decided to check out the shoes first. I had no idea I was about to be transformed into a child and receive a gift so precious it took my breath away.

There were shoes on both sides of the aisle and as I entered I saw some cute flat slides in a black and a light tan basketweave pattern. Beeline. Hmmm, yes I think I can fit these. Let me see, so I dropped them to the floor grateful they were stapled together so I didn't have to wrestle one to try the other on.

I hadn't noticed her until then. She was sitting on the floor with her head down, deeply engaged in buckling the strap of a silver rhinestone platform heel. She wore red socks and was already wearing the other shoe. It would be a long time before those shoes fit.

She had long chestnut brown hair which provided a curtain for her face so she didn't see that I had been transformed into my thirteen year old self and teleported to a shoe store in Chicago called Baker's on 63rd and Halsted Street. There I was trying on my birthday present. A pair of white patent leather strappy platform heels.

I could hear the bustling and exchanges between the salespersons and customers and feel the butterflies spiraling around in my abdomen.

I walked in my shoes and felt so tall, and beautiful and empowered because I had earned the money and rode the bus by myself to make this statement to the world.

I am a teenager and I am vulnerable as hell. Let me explore and express myself. Let me try to wrestle back my sexuality from the molester. Don't grope, oogle or trick me. Let me be.

Instead the world heard. She ready. She fast. She asking for trouble. Get ready it won't be long now.
Then I was snapped back to present day.

I looked down at her and thought I should warn her of the dangers. I should tell her of the predators. I should tell her oh honey there will be time enough for that. But something inside so strong would not hear of it. She still hadn't looked up at me and before I knew it the words had reached my tongue and began to roll out of my mouth.

Ohhhh those are soooo pretty. You look beautiful sweetheart. My words ooozed with love and acceptance.

That's when she raised her head and turned her face to me. It was radiant, innocent, beautiful and still flashed the visual of where her imagination had taken her. Then she smiled a smile so pure and filled with gratitude and pleasure those butterflies returned, I grew wings and felt more than a womyn. No I felt fully an empowered and authentic womyn who had just done a sacred thing and we both knew we would be forever connected through this encounter.

I did the twinkly finger wave bye bye and left her to her dreams. I scanned where I found the flats spotted two more pair I liked grabbed them and went to meet my husband. He had two great shirts a dollar a piece but I had the peace that surpasses all understanding.

The End

- Beverly Scott




I want to tell you about my Mom.- Kathy R.

"It was an emotional struggle to finally make the decision to move Mom into a nursing facility. It damn near broke my Dad’s heart. He took care of Mom with the devotion of a true soul mate but it was becoming too much for him, even with me there in the house to back him up."
In this sharing, Kathy reveals her exploration of a familiar, but consistently difficult awareness of the transition of a loved one as they move closer to their role as an Ancestor. This writing reminds us of the relationship of death to life, of our lives to history, recent and ancient and the tender space between mother and daughter. - Ukumbwa Sauti

I want to tell you about my Mom.

Back while I was growing up my mother was a force to be reckoned with, she was kick-ass before the

term was invented. When most women of her day married young and started families my Mom moved across the country to a university to study opera. She lasted two full years on her own and admitted to me while I was in my teens that toward the end she existed on a couple of pieces of fruit a day because money was non-existent. Eventually she gave up her dream and came home where she and my Dad reunited and started dating. She had a full-time job and a home of her own - on her own - long before it was considered proper behavior for a young woman. My Mom was something of a scandal back then and I dare say she enjoyed the label.

Mom and Dad dated and eventually eloped and were married by a Justice of the Peace. A church
wedding was out of the question because of religious conflicts between the two families. Mom was
Methodist and Dad came from pure Irish Catholic stock, and well, at the time marriages between different faiths didn’t happen often.

I came along soon afterwards followed by my brother fifteen months later and my sister surprised them both five years after me. Mom was never supposed to have had children because of a heart defect. When she was barely out of toddlerhood she had scarlet fever and it damaged her heart for good. Any one of us kids could’ve killed her, but here we are so she managed to pull it – us - off.

When Mom was in her mid to late-thirties her heart and her health started to fail. Mom and Dad made
the decision for her to have open heart surgery. It was beyond risky since it had only been done in our
area a few times. I remember the day the school principle came and got my brother and I out of class to tell us that Mom had made it through the surgery. I didn’t really understand the significance at the time but I remember feeling relieved.




Years later after Mom was healthy again she went on to work in a large city school system where she
built a library in an elementary school that had never had one. It was in a basement and not easy for the kids to get to but she made that library a haven for those kids. It was full of light and laughter with handmade mobiles of famous cartoon characters that would be easily recognizable today. Those
mobiles are still in the family, packed away nice and safe, faded somewhat but ready to be hung up and used again.

Eventually the school closed and Mom had other jobs until her retirement more than 20 years ago. The woman who was a rebel and a force of nature started to slow down until one day she fell and hurt her hip. The hip wasn’t too secure anyway but that fall started Mom’s downward slide. Instead of fighting to get her mobility back she sank into a depression that nothing and no one could pull her out of. She refused to follow doctor’s orders to start walking again. The family tried to encourage her to get up and start living again but Mom always was stubborn as all hell so she sat in her chair in the livingroom and did very little to stop her own physical deterioration.

After that Mom had one physical set back after another. A shattered thigh bone was reconstructed out of a metal plate, wire, pins and screws. Her other hip had to be operated on and she had colon cancer that was thankfully discovered before it took hold. We almost lost her many times, once from a bleed out, from several bouts of pneumonia, wounds that became infected, and fall after fall. It was during this time that her mind started to deteriorate. She started to forget things, dates and places to start. She gave up her crossword puzzles when she couldn’t remember the words anymore, her handheld games went unused, and she started watching television with a blank stare. The once formidable woman who kicked ass and took names started to fade away.

It was an emotional struggle to finally make the decision to move Mom into a nursing facility. It damn near broke my Dad’s heart. He took care of Mom with the devotion of a true soul mate but it was becoming too much for him, even with me there in the house to back him up. She had many, many health issues by the time she was finally admitted into where she is now.

Today Mom has zero mobility, doesn’t remember most of her own past, and sometimes when I visit she looks at me and I wonder if she remembers who I am. She can feed herself but her food has to be ground into a paste so that she won’t choke on it. She weighs a fraction of what she used to and her bones show through her skin.

The woman who busted my ass when I needed it, was rude and uncompromising at times, was
independent and confident as hell is now a fragile being living somewhere between this world and the next. She tells me she sees her mother, father and older brother here and there. I see it as a sign that she’s getting ready, or being readied, to cross.

My Mom will be an ancestor soon. I won’t be ready, I’ll never be ready but she’s told me for years that once she crosses she’ll put pennies in places I won’t expect to see them to let me know she’s okay. I expect that when I cross and become an ancestor that I’ll see her again in all her kick ass glory.

- Kathy R.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

"2016 into 2017: Water Reflects Fire" - Ukumbwa, WAC Team Blogger

2016 into 2017: Water Reflects Fire

(reposted from "Indigeny & Energetics", Dec.29, 2016)

In the Dagara tradition from West Africa, 2016 is/was a Water year. The 6 is a feminine, receptive, internal marker numerologically.


2016 is not your problem as all to many people have suggested it was. 2016 has been your blessing. 2016 has been a time where we had opportunity to gain insight from deep-seated, deeply submerged, deep water issues that plague us. We got a chance to see, to resolve, to feel...deeply.


We were deeply blessed by the resistance of Africans and others to state violence against African people,the presence and emergence of African women creatively, courageously within that and related struggles, the resistance of women and indigenous people to patriarchal and colonial violence. We witnessed a sharp rising to the surface of xenophobia, racism, heterosexism, misogyny, great lack of political clarity and vision, retrograde narratives of discompassionate exploitation and disregard for humanity and Mother Earth Herself. It's as if our shit just rose from the bottom of our socio-political sewer and we could deny the stench no more.



We were...and ARE...blessed by the sacred work at and of Standing Rock. If you don't realize the fundamental history-resolving nature of that dynamic, then 2016 actually alluded you.  You missed 2016. We have been blessed by 2016.  


And we should not miss the fact that, celebrities aside, many many many people (and species) have crossed over to the Other Side, from Brazil to Nepal to Aleppo to Chicago and beyond.  Just take a moment to go inside, feel the ocean-heavy weight of what that means. Sit in the depth of that aquatic emotional tsunami waiting to happen. 2016 reveals itself to be sacred womb pregnant with gifts of spiritual Ancestral insight. 


And if we have the utter bravery to do it, we will actually weep for 2016. We will weep its passing.  We will grieve what we found out about the diamond bright treasure of humanity at the same time we had deep water reflection into the distortions of inhumanity to peoples, water and sacred earth, to the feminine divinity that birthed and constantly rebirths us all. We will grieve the pain and the often latent joy of 2016, still flowing through us as we live....and breathe....alive to see the end, the death of it, the transformative cocoon-break of it, the dissolution of it, the absorption of it, the larger spiritual river flow of it.

And the Dead do not leave us...though they do change their address.  They are available to us. Corporeally. Communicatively. Actually.  Vibrantly. And we are called...if we say we love and miss Those that have passed over, this or any year....to consider how we will carry the blessing, the gift of Their transformed, transmuted lives in our minds, our bodies, our words, our works. If Those lives meant anything, how do we integrate the best of Them into the fabric of our social becoming so They then know beyond a shadow of a doubt that They have not been forgotten? 




And 2017 is a fire year. And the Dagara have observed fire as the portal to the Ancestors. They reveal Themselves, Their wisdom through this powerful element that brings light, vision and incites our passions, illuminates our dreams. 2017 is an opportunity to explore the blessings that we have been given...on purpose...by our Ancestral legacies. And while fire allows us to reduce and burn away all that we do not need, it also lights the way toward seeing our path, sparking the impulse of life into a world turned upside down by exploitation, injustice and oppression, fear and self-loathing.



The 7 marks a feminine energetic.  And we know we must support and acknowledge the divinity and primacy of that creative force, that creation story. What lies in the pregnancy of human, spiritual existence waiting to be born? Who are we yet to grow into, gifted powerfully now by the newly Ancestored energies of our icons, loved ones and faithful and flawed relations?  Our Dead are in US. Their gifts waiting to be reborn...in and from us.  We are the composite treasure of their transmuted recent and ancient lives. We are Their sacred immortality. WE are.  We. Never broken, but reconstituted by the mortar of their now timeless existence, the constantly rebuilding dynamic foundation of Their every aspiration for our transcendent greatness. 


And here we stand at a precious nexus like every nexus, every crossroad presents us with space and motivation for enlightened contemplation and powerful healing choice, pondering the meaning of a myriad deaths, of painful loss and continuing mortal struggle to keep the rest of us here in love, safety, validation and compassion to finish our sacred duties upon this blessed earth, this embattled earth buttressed by the bones of our Ancients, their blood now fused with the dust of time.  


Breathe that in.




The Dead have left precisely to carry us through to our next shining moment, here at the sparkling mountain spring of this new baktun, clean cold river rushing down to bring life to All, flowing like fluid gems of sacred healing clarity...incessant...unrelenting.... 


Find your feet.  Keep them on the ground. Ask Them how to continue your good walk on your path of life.  Ask those who have done it before you.  And as we stand here at the juncture of 2016 into 2017, here at the anniversary of the 1890 massacre at Wounded Knee at the hands and Hotchkiss guns of the USAmerican colonial cavalry, remembering still that a woman gave birth to a child at Standing Rock, the greatest unification of indigenous nations in modern memory, as Africans born of brutally displaced indigenous African Mothers and Fathers struggle for meaning and liberation and peace and ujamaa in Kwanzaa, at the present moment of the continuing destruction of lives in Aleppo, in Palestine, in Congo, we are reminded that we have much to do...and much that we have been given....and that there is a wealth of wisdom in the Ancestral genius of those that have come and fought and lived and loved long before us.  


2016 was not in and of itself a problem. It was our greatest gift as we stand here in the midst of our problematic challenges, pathologies, crippling privileges and passions. Even on the largest and largely unseen level...we all got here...together...troubled...fighting...bent and broken....healing...resisting...triumphant and transcendent.  Together. Our Ancestors birthed us all into this moment.  Now.  Here.  Present...holding the blessings of the sacred water of 2016 as we see in it the growing sparkling inner reflections of the fire of 2017.


Asante, Wakale. 

We walk forward.








Friday, March 31, 2017

Our World - Comments from the Global Village


What do you think, what do you know, what do you feel about the voices of the Global Village shared on the Our World, the Global Village page. Leave your comments here. Don't forget to tell us what you are responding to

The intelligence, the wisdom the world needs right now comes from all four directions, from all corners, from all peoples, all cultures, all traditions. The world needs the voices from the Global Village...the world needs you.

Asante! Merci! Danke! Gracias! Barka! Obrigada! Thank you!

➤ Back to Our World - The Global Village page on www.WorldAncestorConcert.com.

💙

Greetings from the WAC Team!

☀ Welcome to the World Ancestor Concert blog!  We really thank you deeply for visiting and reading and hopefully sharing your ideas, thoughts and feelings with us, with the Global Village.  We are deeply interested in your perspectives and practices around our beloved Ancestors, about issues around the empowerment of women and girls, the protection and sanctity of water and the presence and growth of peace in our world.

⛅ We have decided to moderate all comments at this time and will see how that goes for our small, but engaged team interested deeply in the safety of all our Global Villagers.  The WAC team, which may be the producers or members of our extended team or interns, reserve the right to exclude comments that we feel are hurtful, distracting or dismissive of other Global Villagers or the philosophies and ideas that we are here to support and amplify. ❥ We thank you for understanding this desire to have this blog be a safer place for our Villagers to share and connect, even though we are assuredly here to engage important and often difficult ideas and processes.

Miigwetch! Barka! Obrigada! Asante! Merci! Danke! Thank you!

#womenwaterpeace