Soon come

Going home to my homeland that’s not my home land
To marry off my mother to a stranger
Where I buried my father
To visit loved ones
My shadow people
Jamaica so greedy
Always taking something from me
But it’s mango season
Ackee and saltfish and breadfruit are waiting
Joke till joke cyan done
Army of black faces, I don’t think twice
Packing my bags

Sexual Abuse

This topic cannot be overdone.

We have to make sure our children are safe and that starts with talking with them about their personal space and how to protect themselves.

Black women and children, historically considered as “less deserving”, face their own unique challenges when it comes to sexual assault.

Many people think that sexual abuse has to involve  penetration but it does not. Please don’t discredit your feelings by saying” He/she tried to but..” The fact that the abuser tried at all is terrifying and leaves so many scars. Your pain and suffering is valid.

There is so much hard work that goes into healing after your personal space is violated. If and when you’re ready, talk to someone.

Sunshine

I dreamt years ago that I would travel to Paris to meet someone I loved. In the dream I  wandered through crowded Parisian  shops and abandoned buildings trying to find a way to some unknown place. Finally I arrived at a beautifully lit garden and there was my person. My dream ended without a face or body, and left me with a feeling of relief, warmth and comfort.

Unsuprisingly, I met one of my best friends in Paris this summer. A lot of tears , maniacal laughter, and dancing would ensue. The picture taking was scarce . One of my most memorable moments was our long train ride into the suburbs to have a post Ramadan feast with my friend Aminata and her beautiful family.

Like all of my close friends, I love Janine because she is free.I love her because she is my friend, a sister, daughter, and fighter. Yeah, I also love her because she’s great at reading maps and without her I would have ended up in Kazakhastan.

I might bore you to tears with more stories about my friends, though they are very few. The importance of sisterhood has definitely been stressed this year and I am beyond grateful.

 

 

Grandma the Healer: Pain

My Grandmother was a  Maroon born in Trelawney Jamaica who  later settled in the parish of St. Thomas where she raised 4 children with her husband. Over the years she would  become a local healer, diviner, and washerwoman whom people affectionately called “Mother Marks”.  Neighbors would visit her in the hopes of curing weakened limbs, rashes, and sick spirits; they were rarely disappointed.

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Centruroides gracilis, a species of scorpion found in Jamaica(The Scorpion Files)

Grandma’s remedy for pain was a tincture created by soaking scorpions in Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum. The venom extracted  from the scorpion would act as a numbing agent which would bring relief to her arthritic joints after it was rubbed on. Although it seems an unusual cure, my friend Lamar who lives in Jamaica says “Yea, dem still use it. De real country Granny  yuh find with dat.”

 

In Patricia-Kaye Aaron’s commentary  Belief Kill and Belief Cure she recalls some of the Jamaican home remedies she’s heard , ” Soak a scorpion in white rum and use the mixture to cure menstrual cramps ( I’m not sure if you’re supposed to drink it or sop it )”.

 

It wouldn’t be farfetched to say that the scorpion remedy may have originated in Africa. In Madagascar: The Eighth Continent: Life, Death and Discovery in a Lost World by Peter Tyson 2011, “He’d been bitten by a fat tailed scorpion; in rare cases, people have died from the sting of a thin tailed variety. The Malagasy in camp told him there were three things he could do to staunch the pain. He could put the scorpion in alcohol, then apply the brew of dissolved scorpion juices to the wound. He could mix the local Malagasy rum with local tobacco and rub that in, or he could take his live scorpion, boil it for 20 minutes , and guzzle the juice.  Dean settled for a beer. ”

To each his own.

 

 

 

 

PicsArt and Tings

Hoping your day went well and  nothing fell apart. Just a few thoughts to share with my virtual friends.

PicsArt is a nice app to use if you like to play with images or are creative. Here are some of the images I created below. It’s been a while since I’ve used the App but I see they’ve added more features which I’m excited to try out. I have an android phone and downloaded the app in  Play Store.10353092_10152794415103753_1662058211331222218_n

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On another note,  I’m teaching myself 3D animation and I couldn’t be more excited. I might get an associate degree in 3d animation starting January 2017.However, I’m definitely leaning away from this option since  this is a personal project opposed to a career choice. It will be nice to manifest some of my thoughts into images.  In the meantime, I’m having fun teaching myself to draw and will be downloading a free trial of the animation software Maya. Also, I’m  becoming familiar with graphic design.

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I read a book called “Picture This: How Pictures Work by Molly Bang”.  Bang uses the story of “Little Red Riding Hood” to illustrate how shapes and colors elicit emotions. She utilizes a few shapes and a handful of colors to get her point across. It’s a simple read. I believe it would be a really useful tool to use for school age children, not only  explaining  how pictures work,  but how people work. In simple terms it can be used to explain why we might be more attracted to some people and not to others(a round face appears more welcoming and kinder meanwhile a sharp nose seems unkind and menacing)and explore the causes of racism. It’s a book that can help children,  or people, to be more mindful of their thought process in regards to judging others. It can also help them  think critically about  the emotional responses they get when interacting with peers .

Thank you for reading. happy dance

 

 

Summer of Peace

The Summer of Peace Summit 2016  includes the Everyday Peace Summit, Global Compassion Summit, Countering Violent Extremism Summit, and  11 Days of Global Unity. The webcasts appear one hour before the session start time and the recorded session is available within 24 hours of the end of the session.

Register for free here .

Happy Summer!