Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Faith Like Yours...

This video was posted on one of my favorite websites, Roots of She  recently, and I wanted to share it here. :) Enjoy.  Enjoy finding your own way to pray.

a faith like yours

grandmother our common thread began in my mama's womb
spun my fetus like a record in her cipher
sampled your stubborn and mixed in her fathers posture
our connection is full circle
abuela, you bearer of children
you seer of spirits
you are truly miraculous
fingers grasping the whispers of litanies and white tablecloths
your melody is captured
in the spilled candle wax of my skin

my tongue's a broken needle scratching through the grooves of lost wisdom
trying to find a faith that beats like yours
what secrets do your bones hold?
what pattern does your dust settle into when I beat these drums
inside my ribs?
what color was the soil of your grandmothers garden?

grandma how did you pray?
did you store the memory of your creator in strands of hair tucked into scented soap boxes or placentas buried under avocado trees?
what reservoir did you pull your faith from?
was it anything like this gumbo
this sancocho
this remix of rituals and chants sampled from muscle memory and spirits that visit my dreams that I struggle to stir into discipline
to honor the unseen
with these shells this sage these rudraksha and rosary beads
these white candles crystals statues
this sweet water honey rum and sweetgrass

abuela how did you pray before someone told you who your god should be?
how did you hold the earth in your hands and thank her for its fecundity?
did the sea wash away your sadness?
how did you humble yourself before your architect?
did your lower yourself to your knees
or rock to the rhythm of ocean waves like I do
grandma how did you pray?

some say faith is for the weak or small-minded
but I search for your faith everywhere.
I need it to reassemble myself whole from these shards of Chicago ice and island breezes so I can rewrite the songs of your silence and pain,
your lonely fists broken-toothed smile and burdens
into a medley of mantras.

wish you could have shown me its shape
but I know it is in every sacred breath
in the shadows of trees you visit me in
in the flicker of flames I stare into searching for what's divine
and I know my body is the instrument my maker uses to rearrange the broken chords of your history into a new symphony for my unborn children's feet to dance to
and I see you grandmother
gathering with your sistren
to chant the names of the living and the dead and remind us all
that whether gathered in marble temples
around the midnight fire or block party speakers
we have always raised our hands to the sky wanting to touch the invisible force that holds these cells together into a fragile mass
children of different nations but the same vibration
we be sound to beat to bass to bone to flesh
we be sound to beat to bass to bone to flesh
we are truly miraculous

-- Mayda del Valle, 2009

All photography and artwork property of 
Jamie Steckelberg Scott
©jamesAnn Photography 2011
 no images or content may be reproduced without prior permission

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