So Much Things To Say

Writing is an integral part of the creative process for the artist. Sometimes it's the catalyst, sometimes it's the driving force and sometimes it is the project. Below is a mix of thoughts, ideas and concepts put in words ...

I seek you in my dreams

I seek you in my dreams.

In my waking dreams and in my sleep.

I seek you in the red earth,

Where you lay deep.

I seek you in the rare air

on the mountain top,

where sacred rocks balance,

in frozen motion.

I seek you at the depths of the ocean.

I seek you where the ancestors dwell.

I seek them as well.

 

I seek you in the rough, the raw

and the uncut treasures of the land.

In their glittery, shiny allure

and in the long, rocky rand.

I seek you in the rich earth,

Red and abundantly generous,

in the wealth of native labourers.

I seek dominion over that which I take,

by cunning or by force, my claim I stake.

History will write my story.

I seek all the glory.

 

I seek you in knowledge and scholarship

among the red bricks upon the hill.

I seek you in pious devotion to the foreign god

Although my ancestors are with me still.

I seek you in my matriarchs

In their sacrifice and their love

That pushes me to fly and soar above

I seek you in the thrill of adventure

And the ambitions that I nurture

My duty keeps me diligent

I seek true enlightenment.


I seek you in the ocean’s warm salty spray,

and the back and forth of the frothy tide.

I seek you in the grains of sand on which you lay

My melanin-rich queen and bride

I seek you in the swell of your rising breast

and in the sway of your ample hips.

Then I seek you with my iron fists

and the lash of my tongue.

Until you are gone, but I am sprung.

I seek you again and again

I seek love.

 

I seek you in the slithering snaking iron

and the sleepers the locomotives ride on

In the huffing, and the puffing, and the choo-choo

I seek the far-off places they take you

In the lava, the bedrock, and the mud

I seek you in the depths of the earth

I seek you in the dwindling lifeblood

Sucked and stripped of all it’s worth

I seek you in the suburbs and the townships

Where the tattered fabric of family rips

Where the structure is breaking, not bending

I seek mending.

 

I seek you in my dreams.

In my waking dreams and in my sleep.

I seek you in the red earth,

Where you lay deep.

I seek you in the rare air

on the mountain top,

where sacred rocks balance,

in frozen motion.

I seek you at the depths of the ocean.

I seek you where the ancestors dwell.

I seek them as well.

Matriarchs, Myths & Legends

Payivapo! 

Jefunde!


Payivapo! 

Jefunde!


Let me tell you a tale!

Yes, we must learn from the past!


Let me tell you a tale!

Yes, we must learn from the past!


T’is Neith, the Supreme Creator, Goddess of weaving, wisdom, the cosmos, mothers, rivers, water, childbirth, hunting, war and fate; t’is Neith who created the universe and all it contains. T’is she who reweaves the world daily on her loom. T’is Neith that wove the day that Charwe was born unto this world, the trickling blood of her mother’s womb mingling with the dust of the brown earth.


For 684 moons Charwe fulfilled her purpose in this world: High priestess, Healer, Military Strategist, Vessel for the ancestors, Channel to the Supreme Creator. One day an army of Invaders came - the men without knees - and they pillaged and raped the land. And though t’was the Invaders, who measured the rope; cut it and tied the noose for the gallows; hanged and beheaded Charwe’s body, her fate had long since been determined.


For t’was the Moirai - the Fates: Clotho the Spinner who had spun the thread of Charwe’s life. Lachesis the Allotter who had measured the thread of life allotted and Atropos the Inevitable who had cut the thread when Charwe’s time had come.


Though t’was Charwe the Invaders murdered, the gushing blood from her severed neck drenching the dust of the red earth; t’was Nehanda they martyred. Immortalised. Iconised. She, the Divine Royal Ancestral Spirit - undying, never-ending, everlasting. Her name will be known by all the generations to come.


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540 moons after weaving the day that Charwe was born unto this world, the Goddess Neith wove a new day, as was her daily routine. On that particular day the thread of Charwe’s niece had been spun and measured by the Moirai, and the child was born unto the red earth. Charwe named her niece Musodzi, meaning Teardrop. Only 144 moons later, Musodzi was orphaned. Her parents, her Aunt Charwe and many others were murdered by the Invaders. 


The Goddess Neith sent the Goddess Mamá Ocllo (Okkio) to be Musodzi’s guardian. Mamá Ocllo, daughter of the Moon Goddess Mamá Quilla (Kkiya), taught the young Musodzi the art of spinning thread, sewing, weaving, midwifery, agriculture and household duties, preparing the young girl for her life to come.


The missionaries, invaders of the mind, schooled the young Musodzi, not knowing that she had already been taught all she needed to know by Mamá Ocllo. Musodzi grew older and became a mother of five, an innovative and prolific farmer, a pillar in her community: passing on the knowledge she had gained from Mamá Ocllo to the other women. Together they provided the best maternity care in the region. So great were Musodzi’s achievements that the Queen of the Invaders came personally to award her with a grand medel.


Thousands and thousands mourned the passing of Musodzi, but her time had come and Atropos had cut her life thread. Her legacy lives on. Her name is carved on the facades of buildings and still dances on the lips of her people. Her spirit is with her ancestors.


———————————————————————————————————————————


In the weft of a new dawn, 828 moons after the birth of Charwe and 144 moons after her murder, the life thread of Harupindi was woven by the Goddess Neith into her daily weave. Harupindi was the first child and only daughter of Musodzi. Harupindi stayed close to her mother all her earthly life. Learning, as did the other women in the community, all the knowledge her mother imparted. She followed in her mother’s footsteps, having five children and also becoming a dedicated community nurse.


The Goddess Neith sent Aranyani, the Goddess of the forests and all the animals that dwell within them, to be Harupindi’s guardian. Aranyani has the ability to feed both humans and animals though she tills no lands. She holds the secrets of botany and is a master of healing herbs. The Deity is also the custodian of the Divine Baobab tree. Aranyani taught Harupindi how to forage the forest, showing her where to collect the best firewood and protecting her from the dangerous animals.


Harupindi was a hard worker. Everyday she would forage the forest and everyday she would go to the market to sell the firewood she had collected, and by so doing she could sustain her family. One day, after the market, Harupindi was making her way home. On her back she carried her little granddaughter, Sibongile. All of a sudden Atropos cut Harupindi’s life thread and she fell to the red earth and died. The baby Sibongile was unharmed.


———————————————————————————————————————————


Harupindi’s oldest child and only daughter was born unto this red earth 1032 moons after the birth of Charwe. Clotho had spun a strong and robust thread. Lachesis was generous with it’s length. The child was named Zenzile and she was the apple of her grandmother’s eye. Musodzi taught her granddaughter all she knew, and still she wanted her to know even more. So she sent the intelligent girl out into the great wide world to garner knowledge and enlightenment. Zenzile travelled to distant parts of the Mother Land in the South and in the East on her mission, and to get there she had to cross the Many Great Rivers. 


The Goddess Neith instructed the Njuzu, female water spirits that live in the rivers and streams, to protect Zenzile during her river crossings. The Njuzu let her pass unscathed. Though the Njuzu are wise spirits, repositories of knowledge in various healing arts and magical medicines, the knowledge that Zenzile sought was of another kind. So she did not stay in their underwater realm. Instead she journeyed on to learn the new ways from the missionaries occupying the Great Land of Warriors, close to the shores of the Vast Eastern Waters.


While in this land, Zenzile bore three children unto the red earth, all the while nursing and healing the community. One day, she decided to travel across the Many Great Rivers with her children, heading back up North to her people. No sooner had she being reunited with her mother, than Harupindi’s life thread was cut. Zenzile remained in her land of birth, nursing and healing, until her own time had come, 1020 moons after her first earthly breath.  


———————————————————————————————————————————


As an infant, Sibongile had fallen, crashing onto the hard red earth while tied to her grandmother Harupindi’s back. The primordial mother, Máttaráhkká, and her three daughters: Sáráhkká, Juoksáhkká, and Uksáhkká were there to cushion her fall. The baby remained unharmed. The four deities work together to fulfil their duties in the human realm. Máttaráhkká receives the souls of the children from the Goddess Neith and passes them on to Sáráhkká, who places them into the womb, protecting the mothers during pregnancy and helping during childbirth. As all foetuses start out as girls, the humans may make sacrificial offerings to Juoksáhkká to change the girl into a boy. Uksáhkká receives the child at birth and protects the child as it takes its first steps. 


The Four Mothers had been with Sibongile since the day her life thread was woven into the Goddess Neith’s daily tapestry, 1356 moons after the birth of Charwe. As her mother before her, Sibongile longed to travel to distant lands in order to expand her knowledge and gain enlightenment. She wished to travel to a land far, far away, across the Vast Eastern Waters. But Zenzile could not bear to be separated from her only daughter and she forbade the girl to go. Without her mother’s blessing, the young Sibongile could do little else but stay among her people.


She followed in her mother’s footsteps, bearing three children - two boys and a girl, as well as also learning the vocation of nursing and healing. One day the spirit of her great-grandmother Musodzi came to visit her, bringing her the gift of agricultural knowledge that Mamá Ocllo had passed down. From that day, Sibongile became a successful and productive farmer.


———————————————————————————————————————————


Sibongile had two nieces, one from each of her brothers. The older niece, Velile, was born 1608 moons after the birth of Charwe. Clotho spun an even stronger and more robust thread for Velile than she had done for her grandmother Zenzile and the Goddess Neith wove this thread into the tapestry of life. This thread had to be so resilient and durable as Velile would meet many trials and tribulations along her way.


As Velile’s guardian and mentor, the Goddess Neith sent Taweret, the Goddess of maternity, childbirth and re-birth; the protector of women and children. Taweret assists women in labour and wards off evil spirits and demons that might harm the mother or child. Taweret taught the young Velile all she needed to know and sent her out into the great wide world to fulfil her purpose. The Four Mothers, Máttaráhkká, Sáráhkka, Juoksáhkká and Uksáhkka travelled with her. Velile set off for the Land of Many Deserts, far away across the Vast Eastern Waters, towards the Rising Sun, as far East as one could travel. It was the same land her Aunt Sibongile had longed to visit as a girl. 


The journey across the Vast Eastern Waters took many, many moons. The Great Spirit Olóòkun, custodian of all the vast waters guided Velile along her way. Upon her arrival, Velile was amazed to find that the soil in the Land of Many Deserts was as red as the soil of her homeland. The natives explained that the colour came from all the blood that had been spilt fighting the Invaders. Velile quickly found her place in her new home and there she helped many mothers deliver happy, healthy babies unto the red earth.


———————————————————————————————————————————


Sibongile’s second niece was born 1620 moons after the birth of Charwe. They named the girl Lindiwe, the Awaited One. The Goddess Neith sent a guardian to prepare the girl for her life’s work. The Goddess Seshat chosen as she is the Divine Scribe and Record-keeper. She is also the goddess of writing, knowledge, accounting, astrology, building, mathematics, surveying, weights and measures. Seshat taught the young Lindiwe all she needed to know and sent her out into the great wide world to fulfil her purpose.


Lindiwe’s journey took her North, as far North as one could travel. She travelled for many moons. Along the way she passed the Many Great Rivers of the Mother Land. All the Njuzu let her pass unharmed. On the Northern coast, The Great Spirit Olóòkun, custodian of all the vast waters, guided her across the Vast Northern Waters until she at last arrived in the Land of Ice and Snow. Beneath the snow, the earth was as red as the soil of her homeland. The natives told her that the earth had been drenched by the blood spilt by the Invaders.


After many moons of working in the Land of Ice and Snow, accounting and building, the Spirit of her ancestor Charwe came to visit Lindiwe. And Charwe said “Pay heed my progeny, for 1476 moons my spirit has been unable to rest, as I was done a great injustice upon this red earth. When the Invaders hanged and beheaded me they denied my earthly body a decent burial. Instead they took my skull with them, as a war trophy, back to their small island in the Vast Northern Waters. One day they will repatriate my bones back to the land of my ancestors and when that day comes you must promise that you will weave a shroud that will swathe my remains.”


Lindiwe made this solemn promise to weave the finest shroud she could. Then the Spirit of Charwe said “The second thing you must do is to record our history so it may never fade into oblivion. Write down our names so they may never be forgotten. Share this knowledge with the coming generations so they can learn from the past.” This too, Lindiwe promised with all her heart.


Ndopaperera rungano 

That is where the tale ends

Knowledge Stones

There is knowledge in these stones.

The kind of knowledge 

that has passed down

through the ages,

from generation to generation.

The kind of knowledge

that can transform stones

into wealth.


Upstream flowed

knowledge, stones, coal;

people from far and wide.

Downstream flowed

iron, copper, silver, brass;

wealth and prosperity.


They came with knowledge;

packed in their bindles;

as immaterial as the air

as deep as the river

as heavy as the bedrock.

and where they passed,

the trees burned.


They worked side by side;

men, women and children.

Each in their role;

each contributing to the wealth.

Their knowledge was well spent,

their bodies just spent.


The fabric of society

was constructed out of

the treasures of the land,

the knowledge of the people,

their blood, sweat and tears.

Nature gave and humans took.


I wander, I wonder, I wonder.

I wander in dark tunnels,

into breathtaking caverns.

I wonder at the ingenuity of man.

I wonder though if we see not the forest for the trees,

nor the mountain for the gold.

Rum

Tomrum

Mellanrum

Lekrum


Paus


Tomhet

Föränderlighet

Rörelse


Tid