Date: August 1, 2023 / Full Corn Moon
Aura Aura Over Me
Poetry · Gathering · Media
Community & Newsletter
Big Thank Yous from NZ
- to each and all who continue to check on me, call me in, plan dates together, and serve as guides and mentors to me. I am learning to friend, to sister, to daugther in new ways again and again.
As you may know, I make a mean shea creme! :)
- We will have jars by the end of this month. Please reply back or text to let me know if you'd like a jar of shea creme.
Have you been to the Brooklyn Museum this month?
- We enjoyed checking out the Africa Fashion exhibit! More info here:
For those who submitted responses to the oracle questions,
- blkcowrie & I continue to make significant progress with this project. We have dived deep into the making of an oracle, and are spending the latter part of this summer, working your wisdom into the integrity of the oracle.
Purnima is holding Iyengar Yoga classes
- online as well, currently meeting on Saturdays at 10AM EST. Please reach out her here : www.iypurnima.com/
You Can Be What You Are / Reflected
by NZ Hazelton
After asking after our families and siblings, the Malian dressmaker said to me with John, my then-fiance, looking on, that sometimes teeth bite tongue. He wrapped the linguistic gift with a question, but aren’t they perfectly placed? I made a point to agree with him, concurring that our teeth remain poised to draw blood from our tongues but do not often do so.
I’d been browsing the fabric store's new shop, a corner storefront in Upper Manhattan filled with fabric and plastic mannequins for a dress for an upcoming wedding. The dressmaker, an older businessman who knew my mother, maneuvered throughout the store, where he also sold shea butter, beads, mud-cloth hats and more.
I began to remember my gratitude for the continental African way of utilizing expressions without worry that they may evade understanding. Weeks later, on a bone cold December night, I found myself rummaging through a translation of the I Ching, an ancestral Chinese system of divination filled with a number of messages and metaphors, compact with meaning. In their translation of one of the passages, what is known as a hexagram, in this case Pi, Diane Stein, in A Woman's I Ching, writes:
The Earth is covered by water
Holding together in union
I had turned to the I Ching to lift my spirits. I had been feeling conflicted about the self that I project, the self that I am. To a friend, I'd messaged:
honestly, i wish i had the courage to be bolder.
To which they responded,
You can be what you are.
But what is it that you are? This ongoing search for meaning may have been how I found myself, recently, watching Sankofa on Netflix. I was already in bed. It was actually rather late and in most times I would not have desired to call on this particular film, but something, something I don't know exactly what it was. It just said you know what Nzingha. It's time to watch Sankofa again.
It might have been a calling stirred by events earlier that day. John and I were reading through a few articles about the recent Supreme Court Decision to end affirmative action and I was kind of feeling a little bit sore myself because John, my baby, had said that ‘that's enough.’ ‘This is a little bit triggering for him’. And this is someone who can talk about almost anything, at almost any time, for a long time. And so to hear him say that listening to the articles on the ending of affirmative action triggered him reminded me of how policy underbeds our emotional selves.
In choosing to watch Sankofa I followed the calling of that day, which for me meant looking towards the past to better understand our future. I see that as I stay engaged in and with my environment, I am also choosing to be in this dance to be in a constant conversation and then a constant motion, a constant motion, a constant give and take with the people in my connections and my communities, and I think that's just a beautiful thing. Instead of a period walling my proverbial self in, the pausing of a comma, the questioning stance of a question mark better enables me to dance with and in life.
Every part of myself that enables me to communicate, whether it be my hands, my eyes, my hair, my nose, my mouth, my ears are in fact perfectly placed for a reason. These are tools for me to connect with others and I think I'm beginning to realize that the less that I utilize these tools to connect and communicate with other people, plants, other life the more I am choosing to focus solely on self in a way that minimizes what it means to be me.
I think I'm kind of transitioning to a place where in some ways I desire to follow; to give myself away to the next juncture, the next conversation , the next movement so that I can use the sum of my parts to listen for the call, to respond with an answer, to be led in a better way.
With Love & Gratitude,