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"Folks say knowledge is the light, light, light......"

i'm so far away from the purifying ancestral waters (Anba Dlo, Nan Ginen). But so skin to skin near when i accept my nation, my empire, are between my head and my toes. Just these - my brain, breast, belly, breath are enough. But sometimes i can't touch me because i have this, this .....Western bought education. i'm so, so far away from that lineage where i come from. You see ....Folks i, folks i, folks i...



Folks i live with say knowledge, (Judeo-Christian knowledge widen secularly) is the LIGHT that awakens. That God is (this) light, color, motion, landscape - spirit made flesh: FORM.

(So how come) i see, (a sea of) Black stillness, vastness, thoughtlessness, timelessness, serenity, SILENCE, as the place i come from, been to and am lost to?

Sometimes, sometimes it feels like everything i am is erased, trashed in the spin cycle of silicon society and its interlocking improprieties - the veil i awake to.

When i'm stressed.
Overprocessed by the LIGHTS.
Like in the corporate world.
Bleached out as if dropped in acid.
i take a nap.
A mental nap.
To reflect....to Black out onto stillness, contract to formlessness. Widen. Widen nan Ginen. Develop the heart. Refresh. . .

But that Light floods.
Blindsiding me.
igniting a blaze.
Awakening shrill cries, gurgling up, rocketing out, from untold dimensions.
From past, present, and futures it pours.
From the decapitated heads of my ancient Haitian granmamas it pours.
From the fires of awareness i'm facing it pours.
From the iron walls i'm hitting it pours.
Even...even from my thighs it pours.
in this life, in this life, this Judeo-Christian life. The Lights, "that light?" pours pain.
Capturing me.

But that Black - Anba Dlo, Lan Ginen - that mindful, conscious stillness?
its not a place of images and structures at all.
its the mystery i can't remember.
i know i've penetrated it.
My flesh holds the memory within forever on my returns.
i'm trying to recapture that Black in waking consciousness.
But being on the less elevated sphere, my eye can never meet what's there.
i only know it from what seems so far off i can't explain it.
Words cheapen it.

i can't depend on the thin-rays of conscious attention to shed skins and unravel the confusion i see in the world.
On the vibrational level i'm on, i can't hold on to mystical blendings for long.

i long for Black.
Anba Dlo. Lan Ginen.
No hell is greater than this reaching!
for the unreachable Black.
i'm lost in the Lights' reds.
A "light?" that wants me to reconcile with injustice! A "light?" that tells a woman. AThe symbolic mother of the species. Someone who gives birth to get with BIOLOGICAL FATALISMS - like racism, sexism, age-ism and even, and even, original sin-ism. i'm lost in that Light. There's no setting for me in it.

But - Anba Dlo, Nan Ginen, the warm Black canvass.
The womb out of which my form, the chambers of my soul, my heart, my psyche rises and falls (because of the Lwas, from Rada to Petwo. Because of the Ibos...) remain undisturbed, formless.

i try hard to bring this Black tranquility, this African tranquility with me when i awake to the noises of my life's forms and work.
But most times.
in daily life.
i forget what i want to remember.
i re-create and join in the noise.

Quandaries cleave.
Actions end-up destroying perfection.
Good intentions inevitably lead to corruption.
i can't hold on / to Black serenity.
Just like i can't WILL the blood (in Haiti) to STOP pouring.

But even in the Light's reds - Zanset yo e Ti Moun yo vini - i can see Moonlight reaching for me. Heralding the tomorrow that will come. Still, quandaries cleave at the very same time. in this moment that's my domain where i'm awake *(in a second coup d'etat no hero could stop)* it's not Dessaline's sun that's out here. i can't hold on to Black serenity....The fire of the effort is hell!

Red pours, red pours, red pours.
Haitians in the Dominican Republic dying, dying, dying.
Haitians in the U.S. at Krome centers indefinitely imprisoned, doing unjust time, dying. Blacks in America dying, dying, dying, doing unjust time, unjust Rockefeller times, indefinitely detained and then deported to do more time.
Red pours, red pours, red pours. We're all imprisoned in Western biological fatalisms, contained in consumerism, financial colonialism, riddled in pain, poverty 'n pathologies. Red pours, red pours, red pours. Under this "Light?", this Judeo-Christian "light?," only Cain has a future. Able disappears. Red pours, red pours, red pours.

Reaching for Black! keeps me from bursting into flames.


(c) 1997 Ezili Dantò. Excerpt from The Red, Black & Moonlight monologue series, based on Kenbe La! Crossings of a Vodun-Roots Woman by Ezili Dantò. All rights reserved.


* The line here in parenthesis ("in a second Coup d'etat no hero could stop") was added in presentations and readings done after the February 29, 2004 second U.S.-backed Coup d'etat against the Haitian people.


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