“Waking Up,” giving many thanks to Alice Walker for the powerful voice she used to coax the early-before-day-morning radio audience to learn the names of our ancestors. Many decades ago, in continuous whispers, hushes and a rush she urged we learn the name Yemaya.
Yemaya is the orisa who symbolizes all the oceans and the seven seas. She is reverenced as a symbol of motherhood and source of all living things. In many myths and legends she gave birth to the sun, moon, and stars. In her magnificence, Yemaya is able to fall to earth as rain and command a crown of rainbows as the sun shines. Orisa symbols offer a bridge of intimacy for reason beneath the impenetrable beauty of nature. It’s to understand the energy of natural forces. Much like Einstein’s belief in” Spinoza’s God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with the fates and actions of human beings.” Walker says knowledge of her is our lifeline back to ancestor memory. Inside the turbulence of the waters she commands universal rhythms and elixirs with capacities to heal the spirits of ancestors lost in the diaspora. Engulfed in the beautiful sound of her name I arose in the dark of morning to write it phonetically.
Zora Neale Hurston died at age sixty-nine on my thirteenth birthday. I didn’t know of her esteemed stature as a Harlem Renaissance artist at the time but, now, at sixty-something it’s her essay How It Feels to Be Colored Me, which resonates as she writes about the dramatic sea change of rhythms and frequencies thrust upon us at thirteen. It is a calculated pain of social engineering, racial denigration, that was thrust and still stings to this day.
For Ms. Hurston it was the move outside the support and concern of a small town, while mine was the mere attendance in an integrated summer camp. Both instances minimized the color of our skin as irrelevant to the course of history. These purposeful distortions, lies, and omissions impede the soul journey for the privileged as much as they do the pauper. The breeding, wet-nursing, and nurturing of ignorance and fear is as swift a path to greed and avarice as it is sloth and apathy.
As a nation we must be as passionately committed to the unconditional practice of environmental, social, and economic justice for all, lest we remain a spiritually impoverished nation unable to exert power in the greater universe. Without the navigation of soothing balms of universal harmonies and elevated frequencies of truths, we shall be forever thrust as manic rushes of souls growing with greater similarities to the harsh arctic sea waters which empty into vessels of spiritual abyss.
I give thanks to Alice Walker for the support and love of our archetypes. In the powerful works of Zora Neale Hurston is a needed path for self-esteem. In the reverence of Yemaya lies a journey to enhance our religious and spiritual essence.
“Woman Fades Into Landscape” is a 9×12 print of a woman in joyful surrender to the elements. It can be purchased for $150.00.