Alright ahhh!

Wow let me begin with…this year I felt yes I must go to Africa. I have been to South East Asia and all of these beautiful places with its residual African resemblances and yet my feet hadn’t touch the soils of Africa. I remember in Oakland there was an African centered woman who made clothes in the Lower Bottoms, I used to phone her and ride my bike to her home with lentils I intended to cook for her. She had a special place in the hearts of young black women who would visit her.  She reminded me of my aunts, you went over to her house, she had a rule everybody cleans up. I found myself doing the dishes, sweeping, and helping sort out fabric. My favorite part was if we all spent the night like a mother hen she read us stories. Can you imagine us early twenty something year olds lying everywhere heads resting on their palms looking up to a woman reading passages from books she wouldn’t let you borrow nor bend.

She used to say you want to go to Africa, all you got to do is confirm it and you will go. She was right, this year I decided two things were for certain I was going to see Hornby again and I was going to go to Africa.

Went to Hornby, thats another story. Now, I’m in Africa.

image

Whats happening

I love to blog. I just haven’t come to it for a while. I am on this Island where there is so much beauty. so many stories. people say this Island is very powerful with its petroglyphs and at times fast moving tides. I have been engulfed in art and dedicated to it. devoted to it. loving it. cooking, cleaning, creating, crafting. coloring, painting, cutting, gluing. I awake every morning at 5:20 am. my dear friend sometimes stirs by the sound of the alarm. so long as I am not doing too much she is fine. my tent is decorated with shawls I have collected. my altar is set up in a perfect place. I have been dreaming by a grandmother tree.

It begins like this, I wake up and lay there for ten minutes just to orient myself. then I grab either my dream journal if I remember or my journal in which I write three pages. doesnt matter what but I am writing. then I sit up and close my eyes while staying awake for an hour. I think of nothing or I do mental exercises. meditation.

then I might grab my computer and for one hour with out stopping, no bathroom break to call my own. I write for an hour. and let it just come. some of it is personal. sometimes its a story. if its a story I pray it be medicine. Then I leave where I dream after prayer and shower. then I walk to this place called the boat house where I have been working diligently on what some may call an elaborate doll house looking structure. it is indeed a large house. it has two roofs. trim. a small door. windows that you can’t see through. I finished the inside a few days ago. now its all about the outside of it. No matter what this is what I have been working on. then I might travel to clean for extra cash. look at the sea and thank her. look at the trees and thank them. I can breathe here the air is clean I feel. not too many cars. the people are kind, funny, nice, sharing their tales and art. people love to stick art where it can go. there might be a show here or there. I eat simple food for the sake of my health. peanut butter is a treat. I think if not for eggs I have returned to being a vegan but there are sweet crepes that i can only have with a bit of honey on it. but it is sooo good. there is new music I have been collecting from a guy named Jeff who is hilarious.

So that is where I have been. I think I have been touched by art. It has shown up to help me through the days and I have decided to dedicate myself to it in gratitude and also because I am interested in it. I have been in pursuing the muse. and getting over and loving my ego. I have learned that to get over it is a great thing. and also that it comes to the rescue to make sure you know when somethings not right. so what if its just an unfairity but it is better to flush it out than to ignore it. Oh dear. I thank you Hornby. A song recently written speaks about parables and proverbs.

let go, relax, and love love love
and go live on an island

It won’t be Hornby but it will be Hawaii. I have decided that I who love the Earth, Water, Air, and Fire would appreciate sea, trees, and volcano near by. The natives of Hornby speak that Hornby is a powerful land. The people would leave during the winter and the shamans would stay. for vision.That is that for now.

The Name of the Spice

The sun burts through the clouds and clearly remind em’ …-Mos Def
image

Took me a few to get out of the room this morning but I felt it was time to get going to get out of the room with no windows. So after taking a few more moments to freshen up and pick out my hair which was flat in the back from dreaming I grabbed my 2 bags and forwarded to the lobby of the guesthouse hoping for a bus ticket to Sihanoukville.

Leaving my luggage with the receptionist since I had a ten minute wait for the bus ticket vendor I stepped out to get candy from a local shop. Sisowath Quay St. is different from night to day. Gone are the flambouyant nightlife watching western men in collard shirts, shorts, and leisure sandals arm and arm with Vietnamese and Cambodian slaves with numbered chests. Gone are shirtless men and men with shirts standing outside looking like predators shaken predators the stinch of decietful attitudes and obvious emptyness smelling up the corners.

It was a joy to feel grandfather sun and the wind on my face. Tonle Sap was flowing in a channel nearby, the trees standing in concrete blocks but standing non the less. The children I saw, a little girl with a bowl asking for change in cambodia change isn’t metal but paper. Children approached me as I walked to the store seeking a sweet change from the hot spice I remembered.

I bought seven bracelets from a girl who walked with them on a hanger. A little boy approached me asking me to buy postcards I told him I didn’t want postcards but he was consistant so I asked him if he wanted a dollar he said tank yuu, he was probably five years old, and walked to his friends.

In the store for the candy I sought I couldn’t believe the prices, they were of or about the same as in an american convenience store. Cambodia’s second currency is the dollar I read and heard. I didn’t know the price of items in Cambodian riel because they had dollar prices on them, then I was told why…

Before I’d purchased the bracelets before I bought gummy bears I smiled walking by two women. One an older sistah in a beautiful outfit. I hadn’t seen many sistahs at all in S.E. asia, especially older ones. As i crossed the street to pick up my bus ticket she smiled in recognition and said she was happy to see me. We touched hands and she and her friend invited me to sit with them. The story began with pleasantries like hello, what are you doing, where are you from, where are you going, where have you been? Then I found out I was sitting with sculptor Sana Musasama, a New York based artist who travels in Cambodia working to help heal women who are or once was a sex slave. The art they do together might orient towards crafts such as this years project handmade dolls. Every stitch like stitching themselves whole again. The women she works with didn’t have a childhood and probably never owned a doll since many of them started as slaves when they were seven years of age. Sana and her friend, a Vermont based glass blower who helped to craft the eyes of the dolls began to inform me of where we were sitting…

The western men we were seeing were called johns some of them thought they were helping the economy by being there, hence the high prices in the stores the area was mainly for them. The children selling bracelets and postcards weren’t supposed to be there that was the security gaurds main task, to keep the beggars away so that the westerners didn’ see ‘that’.

It appeared the spice I felt the night before was called rage, anger, and grief. The wind helped more than me to calm down it also touched Sana’ friend who before then wasn’t feeling so good because of the atmosphere of the area. Sana and her friend knew the feeling of wanting to cry, wanting to love, and wanting to kick someones FUCKING ASS!!!.

It’s a task to compose at times what helps is to name the people I love who are closest to me, it’s calming to call their names one by one like I love my mom…and so on.

At the bus station a man I could barely see because he was in the nearby store stood and waved to me. My first instinct was now what…but as I walked by the door waiting everything became clear. Sort of like when you’re having a conversation and a word registers a little later. A vision became clearer. I walked into the store to see a black man eating his food. He stood and cleared a space for me offering what he was having. An african brothah in Cambodia he was so happy to see a sistah. Pleasantries again then we started to speak of foodweb stories and my interest in Africa and what he was doing in Cambodia. He told me the east and the south of Africa was probably better the west not so good. He shared with me that my hair was like his sisters and that I probably would go unnoticed in his country of Nigeria. He said he would support foodweb stories by visiting a website and sharing information with his collegues. We went outside to get catch our buses me with his card he with foodweb stories written on a small sheet of paper. We said we’d keep in touch. Today I realised  the stories are there waiting to be shared just look for the inviting smiles and feel the energy as you walk to the unknown if it feels good take a chance. There might be a story there. Its sad to see the way men are with women here in this country. As I was standing by a booth a local man walked by with his cigarette and blew the smoke also in my face as he continues off to what he was doing. Cambodia a rich land looks barren in certain places feel hot in others and its not just the dry season.
image

I had this idea that foodweb stories would mostly be about water, animals, and plants but I’m realizing that I can’t leave the humans out it appears that humans need help and its going to take humans to heal them.

Sana Musama’s website is:
http://www.sana-musasama.com

Stories in the Desert

Traveling from the east bay since Wednesday Nik and I were blessed with really great information from a man  Mark Hall-Patton,  the museum administrator of the Clark County Museum system. Some may notice Mark from the cable TV show Pawn Stars which happens to be the number one cable TV show currently in America. I loved how accessible Mark was,the way he flowed with ease on the subject of the Hoover Dam was amazing, I have no doubts as to why he would be a wonderful camera personality.

 Mark started the interview speaking of Elwood Mead, the name sake of Lake Mead, the largest man made lake in the world. It appears Mark also wrote a biography on Mead, an engineer turned water technologies designer who used the Hoover Dam as a social water experiment.  Although some of the information Mark wrote in the biography of Mead escaped his memory, especially since he wrote it so long ago, I really appreciated his ability to network  facts and feelings on the subject of the dam in relationship to the towns people around the time of its development. Their feeling was that water isn’t always in the appropriate place and that they should move it to the appropriate place for their benefit, for their societal benefits that is.

Certainly the Hoover Dam benefited the people of the Las Vegas Valley. With out the dam the town of Boulder City wouldn’t be the same. Actually I don’t think it would have been at all. The town was a place of residence for the workers on the Boulder Dam project. Designers brought in landscape architects and the likes to make Boulder City what it is today.

The Boulder Dam later to be lawfully name changed to the Hoover Dam, was a guaranteed job for the men who traveled to the desert of Nevada from all over the United States for a wage of 50 cents to a $1.25. This was a living wage in those times during the depression. While most towns saw decline the town of Las Vegas got a major start due to the economy at that time and the need to put men to work. This reminds me of the economies now and how the government means to put people to work by instituting ecologically damaging projects for the sake of moving tools around to give them money to feed themselves and their families.

When I looked at the Hoover Dam there can be no mistaken, as a woman who is not a fan of the film Metropolis and machine works, I thought How Ugly! but then again the stone masons of the Dam were actually black men from the south who did most of the art you see other than the commissioned artist/designers themselves. There is something to be said about stone masonry over 75 years old without a crack.

The story Nik and I are collecting and sharing  is of the most precious of the desert. The ones most affected by the change of the Colorado river’s flow. The ecosystems. From the invertebrates to the predators such as the Coyote, Mountain Lion, Black Bear, and Wolves. Recently we heard the stories of the Riparian zone watershed ecosystem. The Riparian Zone is where the interaction of microorganisms, animals, water, soil, and plants are. This is the area where the invertebrates lay their eggs which is the base of the above ground foodweb. This is what was taken away with the flooding and redirection of the Colorado River.

For certain, the Colorado River have had natural flood times and the first nations people would plant along the flood plains. They lived in harmony with the ecosystems. and there was no need for plants to rethink their whole life flow based on their actions. That is what plants and animals do, they adapt, and if they aren’t able to adapt quickly enough they don’t survive. I am calling for their survival and that’s by living in harmony with the ecosystem with long range planning of sustainable energy systems. Short term hurts the long term and it is apparent when you look at the Hoover Dam and the surrounding environment.

The Colorado River is the main water source for the Southwest and Northern Mexico. Going through seven U.S. States and two Mexican States into the Sea of Cortez. That was then, the river doesn’t go all the way to the sea at this time and hasn’t for twenty years. It would be a miracle if it did. One of the reasons the waters don’t flow all the way into the sea is because so many people are using the water. The dam was meant to supply about a million or less people with a hydro-energy source but there are millions upon millions of people using the watershed. Since 1944 The U.S. and Mexico has had a water treaty that is something like the water compact between the states where the Colorado River flows, the only difference is this treaty is between two countries. At one point the U.S. was so disrespectful and negligent of the water source by allowing the river to be so saline it caused damage to Mexican farms along the Mexicali valley. Mexico threatened to sue in international court which finally made the U.S. take notice and clean up it’s act in a timely manner. The treaty is unfair at this point because like mentioned before the Colorado River doesn’t go all the way to the Sea.

I hope the collection of foodweb stories will help people to realize the importance of free flowing water and small scale energy sources. By taking into account the Hoover Dam and it’s affects on the Colorado River Basin, people might take notice that they don’t want short term illusions of grandeur but long term energy solutions that are more viable for community development and potential. Community being not only people but animals and the natural environment, theirs and ours habitat. The entire ecosystem thriving and living vibrantly.

While it seemed the desert is empty it is really teaming with life with several watersheds be it an oasis, river, or hot springs. The desert isn’t empty at all but with short term energy solutions some of the deserts once great predators, birds, plants, and microorganisms have vanished from their natural homelands. If they come back it would be amazing. That will take a miracle. I am hopeful.

Foodweb Stories

I have various notebooks I’ve collected and thankfully some I’ve had since high school. All filled or about 75% full of songs, poems, stories, quotes, and ideas. Some of my favorite, now that I type my stories have been the ideas. I love a good idea! This feeling in my belly goes YES! that is wonderful. Some ideas I’ve had I’ve been feeding for some time now such as the biosyntropy education to communities and the recent community holistic therapy program. All mind mapped with various circles leading to other circles. Dreaming while awake is like the eating the best gluten free vegan cookie warm.

A few weeks ago my love Nik and I were celebrating having a similar idea of going on an adventure to collect stories of wisdom from first nation people. I too am a woman with indigenous blood and sacred stories, tradition, and culture is so important to my walk. I have my journal next to me as I type this, I wrote…

travel the Americas in search of great healing herbs, stones, practices, and stories…

Journal entry

I wrote Healing Treasures of the Americas. I wrote to travel by car, boat, train, plane. Whats really lovely is that less than half a year later I was accepted as crew for a tall ship. This note book has had beautiful water marks from having water spilled on it, its been drawn in my little cousins in Texas and its just brimming, still, with those ideas written in it. I love the way I was practicing writing backwards and with my left hand on this page.

Forward to now…  Wednesday Nik and I will go on the first tour of Foodweb Stories. We have so much love of water, of Mother Earth. So much appreciation for the land and adventure that our ideas have joined together to be even more sacred, even more inclusive, and with great purpose. I give thanks for the power of brainstorming as we call it. The power to dream and go venture to have it

Our website to share information is fabulous, we will use social media and our site to share the information. Social Media has developed so much since i wrote those ideas.

We will share the website soon