by Angeliska on December 20, 2010
(This photo, and all others in this post, unless noted, is by the marvelous Sofia Ajram)
Dark times, my loves. Dark days before the sun returns to us. Tonight even the moon
will hide her face, turn the color of blood, turn away. I’m ready to honor this solstice,
this turning, and bring back the light. The past month, and in particular this last week
has held so many bleak moments, more for those I love than for me directly –
but something about the nature of the various tragedies experienced by those
in my circle lately has been especially devastating. My heart hurts for my friends
that are hurting. I’ve been so sad for my ladies, especially. Something tells me we
need to stick close together through all this, be there for each other, and nurture
each other. I lit a pink candle inscribed with names of all my sad girls, my hurt
and wounded girls. Sometimes, it feels like what happens to one of us, happens to
all of us. I’m heartbroken for the violence against women that’s been happening so
rampantly in New Orleans of late. Men are the victims of muggings and shootings
there as well, naturally – but women are in a particularly vulnerable space there, and
there’s no real protection from the police. Someone I love a lot was raped recently,
and I can’t stop thinking about her, and what she must be going through. My words
fail me – I’m struck dumb and shattered when I try to process that information. It has
cut me to the quick, and made me so angry and sad that this could ever happen, to
anyone. I think of all my friends that have been raped, assaulted, or sexually abused,
and I realize with horror that very few of the women I know don’t have a story to tell.
It’s happened to me, too. I’m still working on how to talk about this, how to share my
thoughts, all these stories – but I’m glad to think that some of this pain might be the
catalyst for a space to come out and talk about this subject without shame, without
hiding. It feels important, to create that openness. I hope it will make for some healing.
I’ll post more as things progress. For right now, I also want to honor the life and death
of Magnolia Shorty – an amazing woman, and New Orleans Bounce queen, who sang
proudly and loudly about love and sex and what it means to be a powerful woman.
She was shot and killed today around 4pm. This excerpt from an interview she gave
when she performed in Austin during SXSW last year makes me so sad:
What inspires your lyrics?
My life, period. It’s about how women are towards other women, things that men do
to women that hurt them. I just give a woman a message that she can relate to.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I’ll be in Hollywood.
It’s so easy to withdraw, to curl inwards – I’ve been doing my share of that lately.
Hibernating, waiting for spring, for brighter days. It’s good to do, up to a point,
but as much time as I take to process, I must also try and spend in communion
and celebration with the people who make my life as amazing as it is. I am very
lucky to be surrounded by magical, beautiful people who are like a family to me.
I have to remind myself to come out of my cave, and see their shining eyes, and
hear the sound of their laughter, their singing. I realize that there are so many
out there who do not have what I have – the strong community, the dear friends.
So many people in this world live in such isolation. It’s not what we were built for.
We need these circles, these solid friends to share with – it is the most important thing.
(Photograph by Alicia Carrera)
I’m doing the work. Weaving the circles of protection and healing. Digging my hands in between
the roots, sending out green shoots of love and light to all those with trouble in mind. I want to
fire balls of glowing light to float over the bodies of loved ones who need surgeries, who need
their bruises to fade. I wish I could hold my hands to their brows, and wipe away their sorrows.
In half an hour, I will join a small circle of powerful brujas to honor the winter solstice,
the full moon, and later, to view the total lunar eclipse through telescopes. Tomorrow,
I travel out to the hills to continue that work, and to embark upon a spirit journey that
I hope will bring me some clarity and insight. I’m ready for more light, and for longer
days from now on. This is the time. I hope I can stand up to greet it bravely, serenely.
Related posts from days of yore: