3 min read

To make a promise and keep it

1 Recipe, 2 Photos, 3 Things
To make a promise and keep it



I had chocolate on hand, flour, egg and orange, and so, of course, I made a babka. Fun though a bit messy to make.
Black & White shot of auntie & niece caught post-event delirium. Flower Crown by Mama Rasheda. Earrings by State of Beading.

Thanks for reading Aura Aura Over Me! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.Subscribe


Last Ember is still here!

We’re just about out of this months’s faith over-fear shea creme but we'll have another batch in January. This creme came together with the below playlist, so please feel free to check out the music.

RSVP for next month’s soak

Next month’s soak will take place on Saturday, January 7th at our home in the BX, and also online. We’re near Van Cortlandt Park. Once you RSVP, we’ll send you a calendar invite so you don’t forget! All are welcome.

This Here Lifestyle

At some point last year, I bumped into the album Lil Boat by Lil Yachty, and in a search for more of that sound, I found myself listening to the song “Lifestyle” by Rich Gang, Young Thug, and Rich Homie Quan. Just before leaving our apartment, I put my headphones on, make sure the Bluetooth is connected and play “Lifestyle on repeat. Yes, I am in a well-paved, frequently traveled, listening rut. One less easier to get out of than it was to get into.

An almost curseworthy repetition of the same day, the same mistakes, the same people…the same people. Who is by the record player, placing the same 45 again and again? When wherefore will I be able to listen to a different track? I am both steadied by the familiarity of the same set of characters whistling their way into my life and dizzied by the fact that I have to deal with this ish again. Truthfully, however, escaping oneself requires a different scalpel, carving a different sculpture. One day we ask you, Nzingha, for one hour unscripted.

Can I be different? Hmmm. Can I relate in a fashion that elicits an unexpected response? I remember telling a childhood friend years ago that I was going to be moving out of New York soon. Their eyes widened as she asked,

“What about teaching…what about your students?”

I almost quipped back, what about them?!

Instead, I let her know that it would be after the school year ended. To which, she still seemed saddened that I would be leaving my sixth graders, teacherless. I only now see what concerned my friend. How exactly was I intending to untangle myself from the community we had formed? (Had we, Nzingha, formed community? Hadn’t I created connection with my students?) I’d learned all year long about relationships. That, yes, we, the students and I, were veritably on a ship, and that our survival and sanity was very much tied together. As much as I loved this friend, I did end up leaving teaching, and I also did leave those students. But, and without getting too wonky, I am not sure whether those students ever really left me. At least, their avatars are everywhere. I am not sure, to put it simply, whether I have ever really changed. Did I or do I ever really form community? Did I or do I ever really make connection?

To keep it a buck, my lifestyle really is make-shape-and-flake. If I have not changed how I show up, can I expect those around me to show up any differently? If I stay listening to “Lifestyle”, which gets demeaning two minutes in, when will I have time for Nina or Lady Bird, or another favorite song “Hamba” by the Q TWINS? Is that what relationship is, as well, time? …Time, as my niece said this week, to enjoy each other. What does it take to enjoy you? To make a promise and keep it? To be your friend, cousin, sister or partner? How do I be what I need. How do I receive what I want?

Happy New Moon Fam,

As you are,

Nzingha the Alchemist