I was standing outside of myself in a dream. Whispers from ancient feminine wisdom bombed my ears with, “listen, watch, feel, and be.” Art Deco geometrics and jewel tones dripping from the opulence of the decor in the train car. The sounds of train wheels clacking over miles of wealth and greed; furs and gems, while the alluring comfort beckoned, come stay and see.
Women, older than time; fat, brown-Black in their maid’s and caretaker’s uniforms conversing about the One they were preparing for the throne. A scene reminiscent of old Hollywood movies. The darkened Mammies adoring and adorning the white beauty was all--and is all--too familiar in movies and in life.
But this “dressing” was different!. After all of the idolizing and goddesfying the silken veil fell from the mirrors and the women (in chorus) sang “Look,” Their hands like a great raging river pulling their jetsam to a great body, stood proud, hopefully beaming in their own radiance. They trumpeted once more, “LOOK!”
My spectator self moved forward with the woman. Slowing time, we walked towards the trinity of mirrors and saw. We saw--no! I saw Me.
And so begin my spiritual conception: The prayers which would call forth this Great Body.
This conception was violent, hateful, and curel. Unspeakable acts done to a young girl at the hands of the men who were supposed to educate and protect her. Men whose skin color mimicked her own. Touching, taking, keeping her in her place as their slave masters did to them. But somehow this was worse-- they looked like and were supposed to be, her--my fathers and uncles; my brothers. They were supposed to be my shield from the racist, from the white privilege hell bent on systematic corruption of my mind, body, and spirit--but my brothers got there first.
And the betrayal of my mothers and my aunts and my sisters--”men will be men." ; “boys will be boys” was the only answers slaves could give. So now I had to be Diana, hunting alone, The prize..myself. A lone warrior, fighting the battles inside and outside my house. No allies, I prayed to the great parents, “Hear me. Send one to stand with me.”
And the prayer was answer.
Not just one took up the call, but many.
Not just human, but packs, prides, flocks, and hordes. Even a murder of crows lead by Bastet paved the way for Her.
At first, I was afraid of Her. She coiled around me, she slithered beside my bed, she whispered, “First, stop listening to your oppressors. You belong to all that’s Holy! Be uplifted, we have not forsaken you .Isis will guide you with all the creature-spirits sent long before to make way for your birthing. And my sister, Athena will give you knowledge of the ancients.”
And so begin my spiritual conception:
“Sheba, hold your head up. Stay awake. Before the truth was ever spoken to a human it’s seeds were planted in the Earth; Pangea we so affectionately call her. The Venus herself both
safe and dangerous, joyful and sorrowful. You are fire and air; water and earth. Yin and Yang. Winter and Summer; Spring and Fall; Life and Death; Love and Balance.
Only in your sacrifices will you be born whole!”
And with that, my fate was sealed.
As ordered by the great Mother, death and birth comes hand in hand. During the time when the ancestral mothers were gathering; coming with my own mother’s sweet chariot my mother taught me lessons she was too afraid to teach while in here own slavery. Now, freed of society, she and all my ancestors guided me to my chrysalis, my next womb, my sarcophagus.
So it is done!
Time flooded me with images of my rape, my exile, bullying, mental illness, homelessness and the new threat of malicious women and molesting men trying to turn my soul as septic as my illness turned my body. And my nightmares which traveled with me from shelter to shelter. Screaming night terrors of children running from monsters and demons. And my desperate attempt to save these children ...to save me. Saving me from the racism, the sexism, the sizeism, the homophobia, others’ phobia of my being humane even to my enemies; the classism and the invisible and just plain unwanted; the you too black, you ain't black enough; to hide your talents under a bushel because it makes the men uncomfortable, it scares the white people, it angers the black women, it blasphemes the religious, or why live the truth when living a lie will make you rich. And finally, the passing and masking until there is no color left in your Soul.
Stop, stop. Stop, stop!
“ Please, I don’t want this. Don’t make me in your image. I want to only love the neighbors I agree with. I want a religion that supports my hate. Drench me in apathy. At least teach me to hate myself.”
Prayer not answered.
Infact, every breath I took ushered in the voices, the prayers of the forgotten. Spirits of dead babies and the enslavement of their minds reaching out to me like hollowed shells of misery beggin me not to forget them. While stranger after stranger spoke to me. ”You run from God.” “Don’t hide sister, tell the truth. Walk the truth. Live the truth.”
Next, the fire of dragons warmed my bath. The birds dipped me in this new and inviting womb. All the while, from north, south, east, and west; high and low and beyond the soldiers of wolves vowed to protect me. The She, the pig presided over my wrapping, she spoke of my body being made for healing. You are to carry the ancestors voices into a new Eden She answered questions I had pondered so long. “Why?” she read from my soul.“You cry”, she said, “because others can’t. You feast because others can’t.You love because others won’t. You are the presence of all color.
Only drums could beat this drowning; this sounding.
I thought I had felt pain before. Nothing is as painful as seeing your own transgressions and their consequences. Now, couple that pain with Empathy. Every growing inch of my wings silently screamed with horrifying stories of our hatred for each other. I could feel the painful annihilation of our children’s minds, bodies and spirits. Stripped over and over by monopolies’ and tyrants’ greedy nationalism. I was tortured by the people’s mistrust and despair. Betrayed by those they elected to protect and to serve. Betrayed by religious leaders who made God in their image.The image of selfishness, elitism and only their pursuit of happiness.
I said this was how I came into myself...I should have said how I am coming into myself. My wings are not yet strong enough. Once I am fully impassioned with all the hopes of my peoples...all of my peoples and even the creatures’ pains will be my amour!
And when at last , I am called forth from this cocoon Babylon will fall! With the songs of multitudes Babylon’s days are numbered in these words ”I am proud to free slaves, I am proud to be “sick and tired”, I am proud to be called sister, mother, daughter, child, wife, lover, healer, visionary, crazy, truth teller, advocate, preacher, protector of the innocent, teacher, wisdom, witch… I am proud to be called Woman!
By June Alexander