Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Artist's Way


Some mornings I wake up and have to call on the Orishas because Jesus and Mary may be busy in Europe and don't have time for me and my worries down in the Islands. That may sound like a silly statement but you see, I still encounter people who tell me Christianity is the White man's religion. People still recount to me how colonisers used religion to decimate the First Peoples and control my African ancestors who came here as slaves. Its an argument I have heard in the US and here too. If I were to take it on I would be without a religion and without hope.

Most mornings I wake up I need to be empowered. After a night of rest I wake up in a generally bad mood most days: overwrought with anxieties about a lack of money, an old vehicle that isn't working well, an ageing mother, a brother who isn't working but has a kid, my feelings of loneliness as everyone else is busy with their own lives....where do I turn?

Some mornings I say The Rosary. It calms me.

This morning I turned to Ella Andall for some inspiration. The local chanteuse has a repertoire of Orisha music available on Youtube. I am no Orisha devotee but I am of African descent, at least that is how I self-indentify. It's a temporary salve though, the African rhythms of her music and the belting voice that rings and sings to the Gods of my ancestors.

Religion by nature, is about devotion though, one must be faithful, one must be a practitioner. Me waking up and calling on various deities goes against what we know religion to be. Then there is God, that single entity to which all things are traced back. To be honest I can't say that I know God. I don't know how to please, how to invoke or what are  His blessings. But for this I don't take all the blame. Maybe it is that I do know God, that I am living right despite how I may feel.

There is so much I want to do, so much I want to say but without a sense of power, a lack of support, without a foundation to stand on, a rock to build on I end up starting over every day from scratch it seems.

I am reminded of Benjai's Phenomenal. There is a line in the song where he says "Soca does give meh meh powers." That resonated with many of us. Its a strong statement that rang true for some months well. Its akin in my mind to Destra's line from Lucy "there's no place I'd rather be than in a fete having a time". It's about being in our element, that is what empowers us. So when I find myself depressed every morning I have to wonder what about my environment, immediate or otherwise, is not encouraging a feeling of well being within me.

I know I am "fearfully and wonderfully made", so says Psalms. Why do I not remember that when I wake up though? Yeah I know its not like I have mouths to feed or backs to clothe but that does not mean I am without problems. I digress but we know that parents are seen as the ones needing support cause raising children not easy especially these days with things so expensive....I hear it all the time. But what about me? Who here speaks for me? You know what I mean? I wake up in a society that do
es not acknowledge who I am. No one even wants to talk about the needs of people like me. I feel alone and that is heightened when I wake up and look around to see that all I have are the Gods they say are not mine.

This morning I wanted to feel like I was sharing something, I wanted to feel a little less alone with some of that which troubles me.

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