Reflections of a FAMILY . . . 2012
We were at the hospital yesterday. One of our beloved elders had a massive stroke and was currently in a coma. Of course, there was tears shed and red eyes from a lack of sleep, but there was also laughter, joy and family. We were together building and bonding with each other. Giving strength to those that were waning. We came out in waves, building on the beauty of the life that our beloved elder shared with the world. Conversations with those family and friends that past on to the other side started to take place. The conversation was one straight forward and direct, we were requesting that they do not persuade her to come to the other side. That she was still needed on this one. Not yet. She still had a story to tell. It wasn't a plea, there was no begging through prayer. We picked up the "bat phone" and made that call to the other side.
Now while all this was going on, another family was in the hospital. A young African American male was shot in the head and was in critical condition. The family wailing and the young people plotting revenge. The dynamic of the group was overwhelming. It was a feeling of flight or fight and they were deciding to fight. No one seemed to have the time or the energy to send the young man in the hospital the healing energy he needed to recover. hum....
It's a common story with a common ending. How can we change the dynamic from the outside? We can't. WE have to change it from the inside. The question is how. Through the NuUrban Movement that helps parents establish a Rites of Passage within the home that utilizes the entire community.
Craving don't just GO AWAY when you have reached the promise land of birthing an ancestor. NO NO NO... it is there...waiting on you to be sleepy and tired. You've JUST finished nursing, the little ancestor is burped and sound to sleep for 2.5 hrs. then when you are down, snuggled up in your warm blankets, sleep is the murderer of your waking moments. At that moment you don't know how there's anyway else to live really. It's blissful, rejuvenating and always needed. You are traveling back to the source. Drifting because your body can't go ANY further. Your eyes are bloodshot red and you feel yourself becoming delirious if you attempt to keep your eyes open any longer...then it happens
You are now about that life! You get a BURST of energy! You get out of bed reenergized. You look for the bag BECAUSE you weren't about to be THAT from away from your craving IF it did go down. You don't want to prepare. It's now or never. YOu vaguely think about staining anything and you shrug your shoulders, take the reserve knife that one deck and you cut in. You cut in thinking this ONE piece would satciate your hungry desire for your craving. It's a CRAVING for christ sake! One piece is NOT doing it. Get your life. YOU can't even get it in the bowl because it's so busy making its way to your month.
Pomegranates ALL HARVESTING SEASON!!!!! This is better than the Silk Soy Nog!
All I know is everyone has the capacity to pull it off. It comes when you least expect it and it's all over your face. That's how I felt tonight. It happened after a meeting that just ended. People were leaving and I happened to look outside. It was there. Another package, but it wasn't the right size for what I thought it was. It looked more like a book mailing. It was from a long time friend of 10 years. It was a regular brown, no frills book box. Securely taped up so that there was no accidents. The return address and mailing address were printed using a regular ink pen. Nothing fancy just regular pen. maybe BIC. I waited until I got upstairs. By that time I had to go to the restroom again. Of course I am used to this by now. I'm almost 40 weeks pregnant give or take a few days. I'm bound to go to the restroom often not that the Braxton Hicks contractions have started up in full force. They are still random but there none the less. So there I am sitting on the throne opening this new arrival.
One the inside there is more writing. Of course in the same penmanship using the same thin ink pen. Nothing out of the ordinary except the wording. " BEHOLD The Best Thing About Your Day . . . Starts Now . . . Love You So Much.
Hum... My first thought was oh she is such a doll, she sent me a CD with all my shower pictures on it. The inside was secured with tape as well so I preceded to remove the tape careful not to damage the wording. It was 100% flawless but the integrity of the extraction was still on point.
So here I am pulling out what is becoming increasing apparent is NOT a CD, but in actuality a book. But not just anything book. It was the burst into the ugly face cry book!
This weird, often crazy, always misunderstood, free spirit confined to acts of randomness for randomness sake put together a book that I was actually trying to do through scrapbooking. (Which is a work in progress...thank you cards pending).
I mean I cried harder with every turned page. Like geez! Come on! This has got to stop! I wasn't even tripping on the unflattering pics she put in there (my opinion not yours). Come on INDEED! I mean you just HAD to pull the ugly face up and out of me. This is a moment that you can ONLY spend with yourself. No selfies now. Nobody asking what is the matter. No one trying to call the ambulance because they think there are complications with the pregnancy and something has gone drastically wrong. IT IS that DEFINING moment when you know that you are loved and thought about. It is that moment that you reflect on all that you have done for people that they are now doing for you. It is that moment that you truly come to grips with the truth that my click is better than your click!
But seriously, sisterhood goes through a lot of changes and it can withstand a multitude of pressure to its bonds. But the best sisterhood packs are the ones where you give of yourself seeking nothing in return and women from past and present show you love in ways that defy reason. Thank you I will keep loving on you so that I can become a better example each day for the little sisters coming through the bush!
A similar dance takes place further south in Swaziland. Every year during the months of August and September, every eligible maiden from the Kingdom of Swaziland attends the Reed Dance, locally known as the Umhlanga. This eight-day ceremony marks the beginning of adulthood for Swazi girls, and also announces to Kingdom that they are ready for marriage. The ceremony, which is restricted to unmarried and childless girls, starts when the girls arrive at the royal home of the mother of the King of Swaziland. To protect the girls on their journey, reputable men from their home villages accompany them to the dance. Once they arrived at the royal compound, the girls are separated into younger and older age groups.
I met a black man today. A beautiful, handsome black man. Low cut with his lining right. Glasses polished and sitting properly on his face. He smiled, with full lips, from inside a goatee. He looked directly at me when he introduced himself. I raised an eyebrow when he told me what side of town he lived in and where he grew up. Amazed, I raised the other eyebrow when he told me how many siblings he had. Two have crossed over to the other side.
During our conversation, he informed me that he had no religious affiliations Yoga was his form of feeding his spirit, along with prayer and daily meditation.
It was as if I were reading his life, turning pages going from one chapter to the next. He had a lot to say, but it was the way he said it that caught my attention.
This bush baby had to stay in the bush. Hidden away from the world. He was born to be a bush baby, to grow, confined by body, his mind roamed galaxies. Inspiring legacies. I met a black man confined to life.
Copyright @2013 R. Raminyah Ingram. All rights reserved.
Can Motherhood and Womanhood Co-Exist? (via PR Newswire)
New Report Reveals 77 Percent of Moms Don't Do Enough to Take Care of Themselves CHICAGO, May 3 /PRNewswire/ -- For many women, an important rite of passage for womanhood is becoming a mother. However all too often, after the baby is born, the focus quickly shifts and the routines that were once rituals…
Bush work is governed by the stage of passage a female is in. Elders & mothers are either preparing to guide their daughters through the transition into womanhood or they are guiding them through the phases of becoming a woman. Although slow, it is of course fulfilling to say the least.
Urban Bush work is taking the ancient ceremonies that were rooted in tradition and bringing them to present. Into the communities that have forgotten/never knew that the milestone of womanhood is one that has always been ritualized and honored.
Women's Initiation Rites In Africa
African female initiation ceremonies are rites of passage for girls entering womanhood, and are usually a public announcement of the girl's eligibility for marriage.
Nearly every culture in the world ritualized the important milestones throughout life. Birth, marriage and death are typically marked by special ceremonies. The final passage from childhood to adulthood also figures prominently among various ethnic groups worldwide. Hispanic cultures have quincineras for their daughters. Jews hold Bar Mitzvahs and Bat Mitzvahs for their children and in America they celebrate with Sweet Sixteen parties.
In Africa, initiation ceremonies are rooted in deep, conservative traditions. For African females, ceremonies marking their entry into the realm of adults are also a public announcement to the community that she is ready to be married. African life revolves around the family and therefore female African initiation ceremonies tend to focus heavily on the preparation of young girls to be good wives and excellent mothers.
Young girls from the Krobo ethnic group, which is dispersed across Ghana, perform the Dipo ceremony. The official ceremony lasts about five days, but pre-ritual preparation requires three weeks. The mother of a young girl selects a "˜ritual mother' for her daughter. Like a favored aunt, the ritual mother prepares the young girl for her future role as a wife and mother. The young girl learns the art of cooking and household management (a skill she's been performing beside her own mother since she could walk), music, dance and beautification. The girl is encouraged to leave behind her jaunty, carefree childhood ways and adopt the stature of a woman full of dignity and grace.
The ritual mother will also school the young girl in the art of seduction. The ability to please a man in every way is an art taken seriously by Krobo women. A special string of beads may be worn loosely about her hips as a visual gift to her husband. This focus of seduction, however, does not necessarily lead to a high-rate of promiscuity. Any woman who lets a man other than her husband view her hip beads could be considered unfaithful.
To be continued . . .
Sources: www.thebeadsite.com, Swaziland National Trust Commission at www.sntc.org.sc/cultural
Interesting read. Peace and Blessings!
Sometimes I think that that is the only thing . . . well . . . consistent. Everything is taking shape, moving, growing, molding itself into something else. Everything is changing. Change is also slow. Something that I am also finding out about. It's funny how things work you know. Day and night, I'm at this computer putting things together... ideas, thoughts, inspirational visions. It appears that change is happening and in the same vein it seems as if everything is at a standstill. Yet, it really isn't at a standstill and neither are you. Bush work is a tedious process, yet there is always some type of forward movement.
as i walk through the urban jungle, i look around and i watch do or die babies that don't know if they will see tomorrow. I often wonder if we'll ever realize that we are only hurting you and me. maybe we do know what we are doing, i don't deny it. we are always told that we need to learn something, but nobody wanted to take the time to teach us. so we taught ourselves by piecing together whatever learning we could get our hands on. so with battlefield scars the hip hop babies that are now thirty-something movers and shakers need their own sages and gurus. not saying that i'm either, i still have some things that i need to learn. what i am, is a person that have chosen to take the road of the NuAge Elder. making the sacrifice to be that person that the indigo babies look toward for mentorship and guidance.
i started this walk so many years ago. i wanted to do something and i knew that i wanted my daughter to have an experience like no other when she started her cycle. I wanted her to have a beautiful day. i wanted her to have sunshine in her eyes when it was cloudy outside. i wanted her to be proud to be a woman. i needed her to know that womanhood was nothing to be ashamed of, that it was sacred, cherished and the most powerful thing on earth.
so here i am, asking my daughter to allow me to document her passage into womanhood. yes, she is 9 years old and i respect her person to the point that i needed to ask her. i never believed what mothers would tell me. "Wait till she becomes a teenager." the rest of the convo is irrelevant and negative. i was a teenager and i just wanted to be close to my mother and she didn't really now how to be close to me. i digress. i called my little girl the other day while she was visiting in New York and asked her if it was alright to post her pictures on the website. i first asked her to take a look at the website and tell me what she thought about it. she called me back and told me that it was alright, then she gave me permission to document her journey into womanhood. we, together, are going to take this theory and translate it into real life in real time. Real scientific process to bridging the inter-generational divide permanently. AND YES . . . I do believe . . . I do know . . . that ALL things originate with the first drop of blood. let's graduate...
Today a little girl graduated from her daycare. She was dressed in white, along with her other classmates. Her hair was pressed and curled flowing gracefully around her shoulders. This little girl was very happy to be at her graduation. Her mother and father were proud and beaming full of joy. Her two grandmothers were there to show their unconditional love for the child. Her uncle and aunt were also present to give that sense of family support. She loved the attention from the adults, however, her joy came from the presence of her three female cousins. No sooner then the graduation was over the girls ran after each other laughing and playing along with the other children present. Each child enjoying the moment in its entirety. It's always the little things that count, like that party after the chapter has closed. In this case the playing after the graduation is over.
Overall though, the program was a beautiful endeavor to help transition those children from one point to another. It was a formal Rites of Passage that is an important tradition. It's important in that it addresses that there is a next level. It is closing the chapter on one area of your life in order to open another.
The Rites of Passage process is just that a process. It is an agreement made by adults to become guides for children. It sets the stage for the next phase of life. It is a benchmark to look back on. Rites of Passage is as fundamental as taking a breath. When there isn't a Rites of Passage for the children to engage in, we tend to have disunity and disillusion. The things children do to try to replicate the process without knowing what the process is, is a sad affair. Life ends up being a series of detrimental events that soon become commonplace and finally it is normalized.
Peace and Blessings, that is what people expect when we see each other. If they don't hear a "Peace and Blessings" they start asking questions. It's funny how life can take you to where you began. That's what happened over here. We'll get to that a little later. So Mama Raminyah is a glorious misunderstanding to all those uninitiated souls. She's not without her challenges of course. It's just that the common motto is "God lives IN me AS me."