i’m that Black
girl who couldn't understand Nietzsche.
But i never had a problem understanding you
are my Jailer, not my Rescuer.
in the beginning i was unnamed, unseparated and undivided in an eternal
womb, Anba Dlo. There's no description
that fits it for me; except Anba
Dlo where i was, it was Black. i absorbed all light even
while enjoying all the light tricks above me.
Then...YOU came. With WORDS you
called "eternal verities" - lights erasing Ezili
i’m the pagan
you called Catholic.
Most of your approximations of me so deforested
could not raise up my irreducible essence, Anba Dlo. So one day, i found
myself in my ancestors' land bringing development
when i’ve always been totally against European development.
Back in those autumnal
equinox days, i didn't know the lexicon for deconstructing ideological
walls. But one night, a lifetime after the glory-in-the-flower days
seemed gone forever, when reverence and splendor had flown and freedom
wasn't liberating and kindness was called weakness, i caught a break.
The tools for combat crawled from
my body when i went back to where i was born, both physically and spiritually.
Back to Bwa
it was an internal trip, see. Merciful Papa Legba
opened a door and internally i came across intuitive flashes i could
not know through thought.
an aspect of my higher self i don't have access to with my normal sensory
being, she came forth. And then i was that umbilical cord, that vertical
axis intersecting the horizon, creating a nexus between the spiritual
and physical worlds.
in my head, like rising
Black radiance shimmered
out from every
the swelling and waning
Moons to stillness.
Red, Black and
Moonlight swirled like waves, percolated
and hounded me, harassed me, and followed me, pouring over me like the
waterfalls at Sodo. Until i
lost my way within the internal struggle, entering this here poetic
dream space where the curved core of my belly's flesh drew forth a knowing,
uncoiled something.... A center i’ve got to get to? A past
to rescue? A crashing plane to undo?
Papa Legba swung wide another
locked door at the Great Crossroad
- lan Gran Chemen an -
and that one night all the African Tricksters
re-entered my dreams...
Now they say i’m a Vodun
Now they say i’m a Vodun Woman.
A man told me, he said:
"What's your Vodun done?
What's your Vodun done?
We've gone to the moon, cloned a sheep and invented TV.
What's your Vodun done?"
"The frogs outlived the dinosaurs," i replied.
"A cockroach can survive a nuclear blast.
And yes, a man cloned a sheep and can even decide the sex of a child.
But they say
i’m a Vodun Woman...
'cause frogs and cockroaches
are mine too and i can
stretchhhhhhhhh a smile 'till…
*"Vodun" means "sacred" or "sacred energies"
in the Fon African language.
Vodun Woman is "Sacred Woman."
is excerpted from the Red,
Black and Moonlight
monologue series, based on the the
Kenbe La books (Kenbe La!: Crossings of a Vodun-Roots Woman (c)
1998 by Ezili Danto. All rights reserved.