Monday, March 31, 2008
I think I will be on a music thang this week. There are some powerful Sistah Goddesses that speak truth through music. My friends come in all ages - and my lil' bro and lil sis gave me a wonderful gift this morning - it was India Arie's cd Testimony. I have to say that I missed this one when it first came out - don't know why - maybe it just was not time for me to hear it until now AND it is so beautiful!!!
Sistah India really upholds the image of the Goddess through her thoughtfully written songs...it is as if a your soul is singing to you - talking to you - giving you that pep talk you need to move forward. She is also sooo beautiful and full of light.It is suppose to be that way...We Sistahs are so full of light - we got to finds ways to cultivate our Shelectricity. WE CAN DO WHATEVER, I MEAN WHATEVER WE WANT TO DO! EVERY OUNCE OF US IS SACRED AND BEAUTIFUL!
More Sistah Alchemy
For the rest of this week let music from powerful places uplift you. Let only positive vibrations fill the air of your home, your car and your work space. The music industry knows that music reaches us at the sub-conscious level - this is why they promote music that only stimulates our "root chakra" and while that may have it use from time to time, we really want music that stimulates our universal knowingness - that re-awakens our core light.
Here are a couple of videos from Sistah Goddess India Arie...
Have a beautiful and powerful day.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Art: Saffron Paddy
This has been a good week for email messages that ring true...This was sent to me today...
A time comes in your life when you finally get it... When in the midst of all your fears and insanity you stop dead in your tracks, and somewhere the voice inside your head cries out - ENOUGH!
Enough fighting and crying or struggling to hold on. And, like a child quieting down after a blind tantrum, your sobs begin to subside, you shudder once or twice, you blink back your tears, and through a mantle of wet lashes you begin to look at the world through new eyes. This is your awakening.
You realize that it's time to stop hoping and waiting for something to change or for happiness, safety and security to come galloping over the next horizon.
You come to terms with the fact that he is not Prince Charming and you are not Cinderella and that in the real world there aren't always fairy tale endings (or beginnings for that matter), and that any guarantee of "happily ever after" must begin with you; and in the process a sense of serenity is born of acceptance.
You awaken to the fact that you are not perfect and that not everyone will always love, appreciate or approve of who or what you are ... And that's OK. (They are entitled to their own views and opinions.) And you learn the importance of loving and championing yourself; and in the process a sense of new found confidence is born of self-approval.
You stop complaining and blaming other people for the things they did to you (or didn't do for you), and you learn that the only thing you can really count on is the unexpected. You learn that people don't always say what they mean or mean what they say, and that not everyone will always be there for you; and that it's not always about you. So, you learn to stand on your own, and to take care of yourself; and in the process a sense of safety and security is born of self-reliance.
You stop judging and pointing fingers ... And you begin to accept people as they are, and to overlook their shortcomings and human frailties; and in the process a sense of peace and contentment is born of forgiveness.
You realize that much of the way you view yourself and the world around you is as a result of all the messages and opinions that have been ingrained into your psyche. And you begin to sift through all that you've been fed about how you should behave, how you should look, and how much you should weigh; what you should wear and where you should shop, and what you should drive; how and where you should live, and what you should do for a living; who you should sleep with, who you should marry, and what you should expect of a marriage; the importance of having and raising children, or what you owe your parents.
You learn to open up to new worlds and different points of view. And you begin reassessing and redefining who you are and what you really stand for.
You learn the difference between wanting and needing and you begin to discard the doctrines and values you've outgrown, or should never have bought into to begin with; and in the process you learn to go with your instincts.
You learn that it is truly in giving that we receive. And that there is power and glory in creating and contributing; and you stop maneuvering through life merely as a "consumer" looking for your next fix.
You learn that principles such as honesty and integrity are not the outdated ideals of a bygone era, but the mortar that holds together the foundation upon which you must build a life.
You learn that you don't know everything, it's not your job to save the world ... And that you can't teach a pig to sing.
You learn to distinguish between guilt and responsibility, and the importance of setting boundaries, and learning to say NO.
You learn that the only cross to bear is the one you choose to carry, and that martyrs get burned at the stake.
Then you learn about love. Romantic love and familial love. How to love, how much to give in love, when to stop giving, and when to walk away.
You learn not to project your needs or your feelings onto a relationship.
You learn that you will not be more beautiful, more intelligent, more lovable or important because of the man on your arm or the child that bears your name.
You learn to look at relationships as they really are and not as you would have them be.
You stop trying to control people, situations and outcomes. You learn that just as people grow and change, so it is with love...and you learn that you don't have the right to demand love on your terms ... Just to make you happy.
And, you learn that "alone" does not mean "lonely". And you look in the mirror and come to terms with the fact that you will never be a size 5 or a perfect 10, and you stop trying to compete with the image inside your head and agonizing over how you "stack up."
You also stop working so hard at putting your feelings aside, smoothing things over and ignoring your needs. You learn that feelings of entitlement are perfectly OK... and that it is your right to want things, and to ask for the things that you want... and that sometimes it is necessary to make demands.
You come to the realization that you deserve to be treated with love, kindness, sensitivity and respect; and you won't settle for less. And, you allow only the hands of a lover who cherishes you to glorify you with his/her touch... and in the process you internalize the meaning of self-respect.
And you learn that your body really is your temple, and you begin to care for it and treat it with respect. You begin eating a balanced diet, drinking more water and taking more time to exercise.
You learn that fatigue diminishes the spirit and can create doubt and fear. So you take more time to rest. And, just as food fuels the body, laughter fuels our soul. So you take more time to laugh and to play.
You learn, that for the most part, in life you get what you believe you deserve ... and that much of life truly is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
You learn that anything worth achieving is worth working for, and that wishing for something to happen is different from working toward making it happen.
More importantly, you learn that in order to achieve success you need direction, discipline and perseverance. You also learn that no one can do it all alone and that it's OK to risk asking for help.
You learn that the only thing you must truly fear is the great robber baron of all time: FEAR itself.
You learn to step right into and through your fears because you know that whatever happens you can handle it, and to give in to fear is to give away the right to live life on your terms. And you learn to fight for your life and not to squander it living under a cloud of impending doom.
You learn that life isn't always fair, you don't always get what you think you deserve; and that sometimes bad things happen to unsuspecting, good people. On these occasions you learn not to personalize things.
You learn that God/dess isn't punishing you or failing to answer your prayers. It's just life happening. And you learn to deal with evil in its most primal state -- the ego. You learn that negative feelings such as anger, envy and resentment must be understood and redirected or they will suffocate the life out of you, and poison the universe that surrounds you.
You learn to admit when you are wrong and to begin building bridges instead of walls. You learn to be thankful and to take comfort in many of the simple things we take for granted, things that millions of people upon the earth can only dream about: a full refrigerator, clean running water, a soft warm bed, a long hot shower.
Slowly, you begin to take responsibility for yourself by yourself; and you make yourself a promise to never betray yourself and to never, ever, settle for less than your heart's desire.
And you hang a wind chime outside your window so you can listen to the wind.
And you make it a point to keep smiling, to keep trusting, and to stay open to every wonderful possibility.
Finally, with courage in your heart and with God/dess by your side you take a stand; you take a deep breath, and you begin to design the life you want to live as best as you can.
~ Source and author unknown
Â© Nene Thomas
Posted by Camara Meri Rajabari at 6:05 PM
Monday, March 24, 2008
picture: Ochun, MARIA GIULIA ALEMANNO,acrylic on juta canvas, cm 180 x 115,2004, www.artap.com, David Astrof, the gallerist who represents her in North America
Today Is A NEW DAY!!! I got this message in my email from a dear friend this morning.
Who but yourself can truly decide what counts as wealth? Who but you can choose the value of your possessions? Just as the auctioneer places a value of 10 million dollars as the starting bid on the work of a well-known artist; and just as the winning bidder instantly triples the value of that same piece with a winning bid of 30 million dollars, it can be realized that the value of any material possession is up to the possessor of it. That is, you. So then, you have this same right as those proclaimed as the world's richest, to place the value of your own possessions, no matter their content or magnitude, in the billions of dollars, and thus proclaim yourself as among the world's richest. It is just that simple.
This part done, there is even more wealth for you to claim, and this wealth is invaluable. The wealth of your every breath, the wealth of every sense used, the wealth of every moment spent in joy and happiness. The wealth of love and friendship, the wealth of of a healing smile from a stranger. The wealth of hearing about a good deed done anonymously, the wealth of warm sunshine mixed with a fresh breeze. There are countless, continuous moments after moment each day of these riches that we each hold. How much would you be willing to pay for any of this wealth if you had none of it?
We take this most valuable wealth for granted, and make its value worthless. Yet these are the only riches every human wants. We believe that money in the billions are needed to purchase things that will bring us happiness, friendship, sunshine and love. The opposite is true.
As you count yourself among the world's richest because you possess these ultimate of riches: happiness, friendship, sunshine and love, you will nevermore need to hear yourself saying, "I do not have enough," or "I cannot afford it." Then you will know that every material accessory needed to support this truest wealth is already yours.
Posted by Camara Meri Rajabari at 6:36 AM
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Yesterday, a few hours ago I celebrated the birth of the Sistah Goddess Nation. If you didn't know - yesterday, was the day of the FULL MOON - it was the mark of the Spring Equinox. In fact we are still in this Spring Equinox transition. I got the opportunity to be in a two starkly different environments yesterday - one where Sistah Goddess power was affirmed and one where Sistah Goddess power was misunderstood and feared. I went from a room of women loathing their creative power -their ability to make and create life - to a room of Sistah Midwives who live to celebrate all phases of their cycle and who have powerfully stepped into their roles as GIVERS OF LIFE!
I woke up early - very early this morning to this observation that WE TRULY ARE SO POWERFUL! I understand now that this restoration has a lot to do with accepting, loving, giving time to and honoring that which is female. Every ounce of us is beautiful and worthy of honor.
Last night, under a full moon I met with a circle of Sistahs that understood that we are being called to fulfill our purpose - to rise up WITHIN AND RE-CLAIM OUR DIVINE RELATIONSHIP WITH CREATION. Last night one of the women said "we are the only creatures on this earth that can bleed without dying..." In fact our blood - these cycles we have, are the first time keepers - along with the sun, the moon and the stars, women helped define the cycles of life based on the cycles within their bodies.
What if a SISTAH WAS IN LOVE WITH HERSELF? I think you would see a complete shift in our communities, families and really the WORLD. Many of us are scared to be powerful. We duct, we dodge and avoid our Goddess fullness - we do are best to stay invisible and we give all our power away. I was one of those women but Sistah Friends that spell has been broken. The world can't benefit from me playing small - I am important to the healing of this world just like everyone else in this world. If one spoke in the wheel is bent then the wheel can't function. Each one of us is a spoke in the wheel - NO ONE IS DISPOSABLE - NO ONE. By this truth, each of us have a responsibility to reach the stars! 100% of us are needed (sorry, the revolution is not about 5%). So RISE UP Sistah Goddesses -free yourself and get into your flow, get into your creativity, align with the cycles of nature again and embrace your greatness!
It is a NEW DAY!
Posted by Camara Meri Rajabari at 3:34 AM
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Photo: RENEE COX,Yo Mama at Home, 1993
Some time ago when I first started this blog I got this message that my purpose was to help to "restore the female spirit". I think it is interesting that Spirit said "restoration" because to me it means that we "had" something that now needs to be replaced. So, if I go from this truth then that means that there is a herstory - a past that tells the story of the female spirit. This "story" is now consuming me - I want to know about this great female spirit and its way.
I have already claimed art as my path and now I also claim metaphysics as the next tool on this path. I realized this week that I am a scientist of sorts but I am not all that concerned with just the physical- I am driven by the non physical. I am interested in a "technology" that taps into the power of the universe to find answers to our questions. So, this artist and metaphysican is now drawing in the power of the female spirit! I am calling in all of her stories, her spiritual deities, energies, chakras, images, and more. I am doing this so that we can find our healing. My friend Christa Bell, a wild and powerful poet asked the question, "What if God looked like me?" You can go to her website and take a look at this beautiful Sistah Goddess - click here
I remember speaking to a brotha from a "cosmic religion" I can't remember the name of... and he prophetized (is that a word??) that "The world will be healed when the white man can accept that the Black Woman is his mother." Well, it may not be only the white man that has to accept this...
I have been feeling pregnant lately - absolutely pregnant! Although, I am not with child I feel this same feeling that I had when I was pregnant with my son - a feeling of wholeness and wonderment. I feeling of power and creation. Yesterday, I drew a picture of my womb and I put "I AM POWERFUL!" in the middle of it. Something is growing inside of me and I think it is FREEDOM, Yall! I realized that when I was pregnant as the tender age of 24 - I was a powerful little Mama! I decided to start a "new" lineage and created my baby's whole name using words of power - his first name means "destroyer of evil", his second name means "man's strength from his mother" and his last name is a combination of Kemetic spiritual sounds that vibrates his being every time someone says it! I was not playing yall - I ate only natural foods when he was in my womb and I did not surround myself with any negativity knowingly.
The Ancestors keep telling me "go back to what you know" - I think it means to go back to what feels natural and being Unapologetically Powerful is NATURAL TO ME. I know I am not the only one feeling this energy - if it is you then don't wait until tomorrow to do what you can do today...The world needs a Sistah Uprising...quiet as it is kept we have been doing a lot of the work already...
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Lately, I have been paying attention to how I feel. I find myself just observing and taking in all my environment. It is funny how your body will let you know when you are in the right place...I get that each day is an "investment" for the Kemetic people had a saying "Live tomorrow as today and today as yesterday." -for me this means that what you do today is feeding tomorrow and what you are experiencing today is because of how you fed your life yesterday. This means that I have a tremendous amount of power to shape my life! When I woke up this morning the Ancestors said to me that I can make even my worst enemy sing my praises if I wanted it happen. I could turn my whole life around instantly simply by making it so. This is a bold thing to say on this blog but I think we have to be honest here and make a decision - Either we believe that we are powerful beings with the ability to join forces with the universe to shape our lives OR we believe we are simply puppets that need to be controlled by people, places or conditions. What do you choose to believe? One choice will require us to take full responsibility for our lives and the other will allow us to keep believing that everything is outside of ourselves...
Posted by Camara Meri Rajabari at 12:01 PM
Monday, March 17, 2008
Picture: Emily, South Highlands Elementary Magnet School
A couple of mornings ago I had an intense message from Turtle in a dream. It was as if this animal-this reptile was calling me. I have had a couple of experiences in the last few months that have indicated that Turtle is a symbol, a sign for me. Late last year I had woke my son up early one Saturday morning and told him I got a "hit" that we needed to go and make an offering in nature. I try to obey Spirit when it calls, so I gathered some items, told my son to get dressed and we headed out to this park called Sweet Water near my mother's home. When we arrived we walked for some time and we found a nice spot by the river but Spirit was not saying "this was the spot". My son was like "sure it is...lets give the offering here" he insisted and I just trusted that we needed to move on...I asked out loud for Spirit to give us a sign and we just continued to walk (with my son complaining). As we moved on I looked down a path to my right and I saw a bright yellowish/green turtle just resting on the path. I smiled and said "See! We need to make the offering here!" and as we walked down the short path we met with a huge fallen tree and an ant mound at the river's edge.
More recently, one of my travel companions had found a stiff white piece of "something" that looked almost like coral but it was almost flat and somewhat smooth. I was drawn to the shape and she gave it to me. As I examined it the next morning one of the Bwejuu fishermen told me it was the bone of a turtle. I knew that it was "for" me. The fisherman also told me that there was a small island off Zanzibar that was a turtle island. Unfortunately, I did not have time to arrange to go over to the island but I know now for my next trip...
So, Turtle came home with me and her medicine is very strong. I did some research on what the First Nation folks say about Turtle medicine:
Turtle symbolizes both new beginnings and endings. It is through the ending of something that allows space for something new to arise. This ending may be of an outer circumstance or a change or shift that occurs within ourselves. There may be a sense of loss or even grief over what has passed and yet it is through the energy of Turtle who is very long lived and thus very wise, that we can come to understand why something did need to leave our lives. Turtle can help lead us to that space where we can finally move on, to let go of what has been, celebrate it for the gifts it gave us and finally to turn and head for a new shore.
Wow... when I read this it rang so true for me. Lately, I have even been able to see the "blessing" in my experience with my ex-husband. If that did not happen the way it happened I would have spent a great deal of time in limbo. The harshness of that situation moved me -literally to say YES TO LIFE! - To still say YES!!!! Its funny but ever since I have been home, things that I would have labeled as bad seem to only prompt me to ask "what opportunity is this presenting?" When I ask that question then the universe answers quickly because I have not made any mental formation on the situation. I am seeing a "science" to life now -perhaps the word is alchemy??
More on this later...
Posted by Camara Meri Rajabari at 7:41 PM
Sunday, March 16, 2008
When I arrived at Bwejuu village I knew I was home...I knew it had been a place that had birth an ancient Ancestor of mine. It was if I had been this fish out of water - gasping for air yet surviving and when I placed my feet on the ground it was like being released into water- I could breathe again...
It did not take me long (I almost sprinted from the car) to walk up to the ocean's shores and greet the mother who gave birth to me. Immediately, we embraced - she was warm, nurturing and so gentle...I knew this energy, for it was inside of me...
Some people have deducted that most of us from the diaspora are from West Afrika - and perhaps there is evidence of this based on the European slave industry's operations BUT we should also know that Arabs and Europeans also dealt in the slave industry where ever they step foot on the continent. Zanzibar was an island that "processed" slaves. There is still evidence of a slave dungeon in the a Catholic Church in Stone Town. Really we could be from anywhere on the continent...
There was a gentleness and peacefulness that I encountered in the people of East Afrika that resonated with me. It is like when you have a friend and you finally meet their family and you realize they behave just like their family - same mannerisms, same quirks, same tone of voice, same way of relating...I was happy to make that connection with my people of Tanzania. I have also made similar connections with people of Northern Ghana- so who is to say what is what? What I got is that IT IS IMPORTANT FOR THOSE OF US IN THE DIASPORA TO GO TO THE CONTINENT - TO GO AND CONNECT AND SEE WITH OUR OWN HEART WHERE WE COME FROM...This experience is guaranteed to change you...You won't have the same eyes again.
Everyday I was in Bwejuu I would wake up just before sunrise. I would walk out my room to the edge of the ocean and meditate then talk to my mother. She shared a lot with me and really it was simple - she said to find joy, happiness, peace and love in my life. She said that when we are in this place of completeness then our lives will demonstrate it. Life is not a struggle and it should never be in lack, for her waters are abundant - she feeds all life that resides in her womb - she has never starved her children. She said life is very simple not complicated and full of rules and requirements -YOU SIMPLY FOLLOW YOUR HEART -every time it will tell you what to do.
From there we enjoyed each other's company every morning. I sat with her and the white crabs crawled around me - moving sideways and always keeping their eyes on me. Her fine white sand was warm beneath my feet.
At night the heavens of stars seemed close enough to touch. She offered them to me - Star Medicine Woman, Daughter of the Sea, Sistah Goddess of the Universe...
Posted by Camara Meri Rajabari at 7:45 AM
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Funny, yesterday I woke up with Mama Oya's energy right in the room. After I wrote my last post she came to me as the picture. Little did I know that it was a message that she was comin' and she was bringin' change. Last night I fell asleep early - it was like a veil of sleepiness came over me around 9pm and just turned in... Today, Atlanta got a warning that even she - this mythical city of far away traveler's dreams - named after a place that is now under water -can change and will be changed.
It is coming to me that if you are reading this early post from me that you should reflect on the energy of Mama OYA. What is she asking you to pay attention to? If she brewed up a storm in your life, what do you picture "blewing" right away? How do you handle situations and conditions that you can NOT control? How do you work with the forces of nature to reclaim your true nature?
Here some descriptions of Oya I found on the web:
Oya is the powerful Yoruba Goddess of the Winds of Change; the Primeval Mother of Chaos; Queen of the Nine (for the nine tributaries of the Niger River). Using her machete, or sword of truth, she cuts through stagnation and clears the way for new growth. She does what needs to be done. She is the wild woman, the force of change; lightning, fire, tornadoes, earthquakes and storms of all kinds are ruled by Oya. She is also Queen of the Marketplace, a shrewd businesswoman and adept with horses. As the wind, she is the first breath and the last, the one who carries the spirits of the dead to the other world, which is why she is associated with cemeteries.
by Sandra Stanton (Visit her website at www.goddessmyths.com)
Oya-Yansa is the Queen of the Winds of change. She is feared by many people because She brings about sudden structural change in people and things. Oya does not just rearrange the furniture int he house -- She knocks the building to the ground and blows away the floor tiles.
She is the cyclone and the earthquake. Oya fans Her skirts and blows the branches from the trees; should She choose to cry, torrential rains fall on the earth.
She is the Mother of Mind. She can impart genius, restore memory, or slap you with insanity.
Oya opens Her mouth, flicks out Her tongue, and lightning strikes. She has nine heads; She is the River Niger.
No one can be certain of Oya's movement; no one can capture Her smile. She is the mistress of disguises. yesterday Oya was a gentle lamb; today, a buffalo trampling the earth beneath Her feet. Tomorrow She'll be a rainbow -- maybe.
from Jambalaya, by Luisah Teish (Order from Powells!)
To seek adequate words with which to trace her elemental patterns is an act of homage to the goddess of tropical weathers in hopes that her compassion may reciprocally illuminate inner equivalents with which we have struggled in private darkness. It has been a struggle intensified by patriarchal discountenance of powerful emotion -- its problematic relegated to women "in need of help," as the saying goes. In being choaked by compliant mothers to stifle rather than outride our storms, to dam and conceal our floods, to bank our fires and give tinder over to future husbands, the Oya in ourselves froze in its tracks. Yet such ice particles, negatively charged at the heart of mounting storm are the mysterious, generative sources of Oya's lightning. Thus, in other way obstructed, Oya strikes us -- quirking here, cramping there. Soon with our brains, the indefatigable goddess goes jaggedly to work upon our bodies, cutting off circulation, opening sluices, instilling victims who could be votaries with a variety of "female complains," catching them up in mindless swirls of activity, throwing them down into incapacitating vortices, playing havoc with appetite. Stop, Oya, we beg you! We will sound your praises along all rivers from Hudson to Niger. We will hang prayer flags to flutter like laundry stretching from fire escape to fire, continent to continent. We will strive to know your winds the better to reclaim our part of fire.
from Oya, In Praise of the Goddess, by Judith Gleason, 1987
Monday, March 10, 2008
Mt.Meru: Sunrise on Rhino Point...Beautiful!
More on my trip to Tanzania...
It is said that Afrika is the birthplace of everything and many of us would agree without ever having step foot on the continent AND when you get there you see the truth of this statement everywhere you go...I saw the face of my grandfather in the face of an elder in Ethiopia. I saw a long ago college friend's face in the face of a brotha helping me in the market place in Zanzibar. I saw flowers that looked related to Yarrow. I smelled spices that reminded me of my mother's sweet potato pie - I could go on....
The journey to climb Mt.Meru was the first part of my trip. Mt.Meru is the second tallest mountain (actually a volcano) on the continent of Afrika. It was once taller than Kilimanjaro until it erupted in 1906 - curiously the same year San Francisco, California had its famous 1906 Earthquake. Mt.Meru is called the Spirit Mountain by the people of the area called the WaMeru "people of Meru". One of my travel companions Caroline Shola Arewa, the author of the book Opening To Spirit: Contacting The Healing Power of the Chakras & Honoring African Spirituality wrote in her book of Mt.Meru before ever visiting this sacred, ancient place. She told me of her discovery of Mt.Meru in some ancient text. She spoke of looking for this "mythical" place thinking it must be a real place on earth. She said through a student she discovered that Mt. Meru was indeed a "real" place in Tanzania. In the first part of her book she provides the excerpt of this text:
In your body is Mount Meru encircled by the seven continents;
the rivers are there too, the seas, the mountains, the plains,
and the Gods of the fields.
Prophets are to be seen in it, monks, places of pilgrimage
and the deities presiding over them.
The stars are there and the planets, and the sun together with the moon;
and all the elements: ether, air and fire, water and earth.
Yes in your body are all things that exist in the three worlds,
all performing their prescribed functions around Mount Meru;
he alone who knows this is said to be a true Yogi.
Siva Samhita 2, 1:5
Picture: Looking out at Kilimanjaro from Mt.Meru
When we arrived at Mt.Meru I got the distinct feeling that I was at the FEET OF THE MASTER. I could feel the ancient breath of this old Mother of Mothers encircle me with kiss that said "Welcome home." My eyes are even tearing the memory of this place. I believe Mt.Meru is the Great Great Grandmother of us All - she is where all life started and continues...underneath her skin of earth runs a hot molten of energy that feeds the core of this earth. I visualized this core running through me and infusing me the day before I set out to climb to her peaks.
Mt.Meru is not a tame mountain - she is very much alive and demands respect. Her path is STRAIGHT UP - literally! I saw buffalo, monkeys, giraffes, birds and heard there were elephants but I only saw their dung. I saw so many different kinds of terrain - from lush, enchanted forests, to dry desert, to black sand peaks with gusty winds. I did encounter altitude sickness (a feeling of nausea)but I worked through it. Our guides where these very patient, gentle Tanzanian brothas who helped me dispell a long going myth I had about the cold and being Afrikan. These brothas where going up to the peak with jeans and a light weight jacket - sometimes carrying equipment, food or our bags (if they were a porter). The park services requires all climbers to have a porter, a guide and a ranger - for safety purposes. Even with all this help (and it was wonderful help) it was a hard, difficult climb.
Picture: Going up towards big Meru Point
Did you all know that before our group of 6 black folks - there had only been about 4 other brothas/sistas from the diaspora that have climbed Mt.Meru??? In our group we had the first Zanzibar Sistah to climb the peak of Mt.Meru -history in the making.
I did not reach the very top peak. I was just not that prepared clothes-wise - maybe even mentally to go all the way to the top. I said earlier I went about 9,000 ft but I actually went beyond Rhino Point which was 12,467ft - so I probably did a little less than 13,000 ft. I got a certificate from the ranger for Baby Meru and who knows I may be crazy enough to try it again... I am just a little crazy like that. I am already to talking to some sistahs about having a Sistah Healing Retreat that will include climbing this mountain and a meditation/art retreat in Zanzibar. I also want to take some youth to Mt.Meru (got to be atleast 16yrs to climb).
All these pictures are of Rhino Point at sunrise....soosooo beautiful. The other pictures are of the crater of Mt.Meru that erupted back in 1906.
Picture: Going down only took 1 day! We went back the way we came...
Posted by Camara Meri Rajabari at 7:43 AM
Sunday, March 9, 2008
Maasai brothas ready to do my hair...I will post a pic of the finished product later.
Ok, my post have been sparse and I blame it on my jet lag...Since I have got home I have been waking up at 2am just as bright and perky and around 3pm I am ready to turn in for the day...Yesterday, I decided to just be with the time my body wants to honor - so I woke up and just meditated on my life. I have such wonderful feelings of gratitude because I just came from the continent!!! I mean God/Goddess - the sweet beautiful universe made my healing trip possible.
My son and I took the footage of my trip and photos and made a 25 minute movie that I shared with my friends last night. It was my first movie project so I didn't realize it may be a problem to get hosted on the web at that size. I am currently researching websites that will host my movie - if you know of one let me know.
Ok, I have a lot to share with you all but where to begin??? Did I tell you that I had some Maasai brothas do my hair? Yes, in Dar es Salaam I met up with some Maasai brothas that do hair - for a very good price, too! They do these incredible twists - beyond micro. It is like I have a work of art on top of my head!!! I love it! It reminds me of the old me. It did bring back some childhood memories of me fightin' whoever was doing my hair because I AM VERY TENDER HEADED!!!! There was a lot of love and hate comin' from the brothas because I have a thick head of hair and my afro was packed yall!!! They were sayin' stuff in Swahili and I was screamin' in english and Swahili. We worked it out though and I was welcomed into the "tribe" after it was all said and done :)
Posted by Camara Meri Rajabari at 9:03 AM
Saturday, March 8, 2008
Did you know that today is International Women's Day??? I don't think they recognize it too much in the US but all over the world it is an important holiday - us Sistahs are very important after all. May we honor all of our Grandmothers, Mothers, Aunts, Sistahs, Girlfrienz and Sistah women all over the world who have survived in a world that has not regularly recognized the huge sacrifices we make for our families and our communities.
Friday, March 7, 2008
One of the highlights of my trip was staying at the O'Neal's compound in Arusha. I will write more about them in a later post. While I was there - fresh off the mountain climb I met up with Tanzanian singer Nakaaya Sumari (Pete O'Neal's God-Daughter). She turned all of us on to her new cd called Nervous Condition and IT IS THE JAM!!! We played it all day while we were in Zanzibar. Not sure how available it is in the states but if you can find it you won't be disappointed. Her website is http://www.nakaaya.com/ Here is a video of one her songs that they play on the radio in the continent-it fits for our current situation as well...
Thursday, March 6, 2008
A picture of the moon setting on Kilimanjaro from the second base camp on Mt.Meru -we were literally above the clouds!!!
Every time I have seen someone who just got back from the continent they have had this glow...I was told yesterday that I have this glow. I feel re-charged - if not different all together. I think it will take me some days to share with you my experiences but the good part is that we have time...
My biggest realization is that there are many ways in which to be an "Afrikan" - we are a varied people. We all make choices that influence the outcome of our lives and the lives of those around us. The message I got was that happiness - true happiness is about being fully present with one's self and one's purpose. No person can MAKE you happy, prosperous or successful - when you put your life into the hands of another person they are bound to fail because that is not their job...they can't do the Master's work.
The Great Creator has given us a purpose and the ability to make choices. Each choice we make (even if it is just deciding to make a left or right) impacts our life. We can choose to make choices that are in alignment with our true nature or we can make the decision to learn a lesson (sometimes over and over again).
For me I have made a choice to be POWERFUL - YES- POWERFUL. I know that I have it inside of me - always had it inside of me to be powerful and great at what ever I choose to do. In the past I thought I could hand off my power to others and I tell you it only served as a lesson that they can't do MY job. I went to sit at the feet of the Master and was told what I needed to hear, I was shown what I needed to see to arrive at the epiphany that being "Afrikan" is ALL IN YOUR HEART. It has never been about the clothes people wear, the name they call themselves, the language they speak, the food they eat, how much or how little they have materially, what religion they call themselves...IT IS ABOUT THE HEART. One of my traveling companions received a venomous bite from a spider on her foot while we where in Zanzibar. The bite hurt so much that she could not really walk on her foot without limping. Do you know as she walked down the village road everyone who saw her inquired about her foot and urged her take it easy, not to walk- "poe-lay, poe-lay" (take it easy, be careful) and then they would say "I am so sorry that has happened". To be present with each other, to have loving, sincere concern is just an example of this type of "heart". It is inside each of us - it does not take special training, or a special membership to a specific group or a certain status. When I went to the mountain top - I went with Muslims, Rastas, Christians, Hindus, Hebrew Israelites, men, women, young people, elders, the sick, the healthy, the wealthy, the not so wealthy AND we all took the journey together...above the clouds looking across at the full moon setting on Kilamanjaro I realized we all shared the same heart. What a beautiful lesson - what wonderful blessing to see things as they truly are...
Posted by Camara Meri Rajabari at 3:00 AM