Monday, August 31, 2009

Dance of Sango:

Dance of Sango:

The doorway’s in a clay wall
With a zig-zag paint job, turquoise above,
Lemon-sand below. A fire-billow cloud puffs
Out with darkness behind it. Someone, black
And handsome is standing hidden to one side
blowing out fire-balls. The fractal turbulations
Of the flame’s surface roll into themselves ~
The center is white-hot, the red-orange of the surface
Turmoil, though hot enough to sear my enemy, is
Actually the roiling outer skin of the inner flame
Held in shape by pressure.
He’s probably taken a mouthful of kerosene
And blown it into an exploding mist;
or else the Orisa is here
And the fire is magic.

The drums are from
fast punctuated thunder, raced to the heart’s pace.
Sango swirls out, with an axe. His giant swirl came out of
The fireball. Molten electricity in whistling shot-balls flash past
The body in its scarlet bridal skirt, ebony sacred in the axis,
A bride now to the greater male inside. Our eyes are wild.
Even when the whole being is perfectly still, and the eyes motionless.
Still they’re somehow held too open to appear normal. Things that are seen
Normally are at some distance. The light pouring back from things seen
Strikes the cones inside the eye, and the phantom of the shape
Received is identified. No one can indentify the shape
We children of thunder see ~ but our soul -
dancing in the ozone veil
That shrouds the lightning.

(thanks to Scott & NASA for the illustration!)

Yellow Pond Lilies:

These were growing in a secluded cove of the island.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Songs from You'll Always Come Back:

"Welcome to You'll Always Come Back"

Shane dancing.

My Mom.

(At the beautiful Cedar Creek Winery...)

Boone Williams, Cebah & Dan

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Ajala Dances Sango (watercolor)

Sango ~ Orisa of Lightning, Dance, Drumming, Justice, & Male Sexuality ~ (things that strike the Earth with force).

Monday, August 17, 2009

Ajala at the Osun Festival:

I recently decided to become initiated. The catalyst came through facebook, of all things, but perhaps on second thought that is not so odd, since the internet relies on electricity, and electricity is the province of Sango, the Orisa of Lightning, Dance & Drums, amongst other things. In any event, that's how Ajala and I met. I mentioned my interest in Ifa to him and he volunteered to teach me. He is a Sango dancer, inheritor of his father's magnificent Sango costume, and the traditional belief system of the Yoruba. I am very honored to have such a good and patient mentor.

The patience is needed because of language ~ his English is very good, but his beautiful Yoruba accent is so new to my ears that I have a hard time understanding our phone conversations and have to ask him to repeat things over and over. This repeating of spoken words has become part of daily life for me, since my mother is having some trouble with short term memory.

Ajala lives in Osogbo, Osun State, Nigeria, a place that I have long wanted to visit. Osun state is named for the Orisa Osun, (again) among other things, a river. Osbogo is the site of the Osun Festival, mentioned in an earlier post. Ajala sent me these photographs of himself at the festival.

(Ajala preparing beads for me with orisa medicine leaves.)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Osun Festival:

Yesterday I was talking with Ajala, a friend in Nigeria. He told me that this weekend would begin the Osun Festival at the Osogbo Sacred Grove, a UNESCO designated world heritage site. Here's what UNESCO says about the grove of virgin trees:


The Osun-Osogbo Sacred Grove is a sacred forest that is the cradle of Yoruba cultural traditions. It is the domicile of Osun, the Yoruba goddess of fertility. The site consists of 40 shrines, 2 palaces, and many sculptures and other works of art.

It is believed that Oso-igbo, the goddess of Osun River, was the Queen and original founder of Osogbo. She was credited with many important achievements, which helped to establish the State. She lived in a beautiful surrounding and possessed magical powers, which inspired her people and frightened their enemies. Traditions acclaim her the goddess of fertility, protection and blessings. She possessed the ability to give children (through birth) to barren women and power to heal the sick and the afflicted by means of her medicinal water from the river."

Many years ago an Austrian artist, Suzanne Wegner, entered the Osun priesthood and began making wonderful sculptures at the grove. Like these ~

& here's a photo of Ms. Wegner, now 95 years of age, a high priestess of Osun. She has lived and worked at Osogbo for 58 years now.

Nigeria, though a troubled land, is on my short list of places to visit. If and when I go there, I hope to visit Osun's sacred grove and river.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Amanita Muscaria:

My first music composition was written on a little magnus chord organ & it was named after and about the respective parts of this mushroom.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

An Island, with eagles ~

I just returned home from a wonderful week spent on a remote island in the wilds of Canada. My little cabin was right beside an eagle's nest tree. The first eaglet to jump out of the nest spent a few days hopping around on the ground before he learned to fly. One morning he woke me up calling for a fish on my porch.