The Season Of Miracles

Posted in 1 on October 9, 2010 by naimahfuller

“Now listen child while I tell you how this here pot has been in our family for too many generations to count.  It begins with the story of how the world got started.”

Little Caroline sat on the ground, her big brown eyes wide and wonderingly waiting to hear her great-grandmother’s story of their prized family heirloom, the old black pot.

Long ago when the earth was still a new place, there were only two seasons in the world; a dry season, and a rainy season.  It was a time when there was no time, when a day lasted for months, and a season lasted for years.  It was during such a season that the sun parched the surface of the lands, making them so dry, that the whole world was waiting for what would be the longest rainy season ever known.  When it finally came it rained, and rained, and rained year after year after year, overflowing the mountains, flooding the grasslands, and the valleys.  The winds blew thousands of new seedlings that spread everywhere.  When the rains finally stopped the earth had shifted on its axis, and for the first time in time, the middle of the earth was aligned with the sun.  It was the beginning of the longest, hottest dry season in the story of the earth.  As the story goes, the sun’s atomic rays poured like liquid nitrogen mixing with earth’s slushy soil caused by the rain.  This rich mixture caused gigantic trees to sprout everywhere and the earth’s first forest wrapped itself around the belly of the world.  The new forest grew so fast and furious, all the trees in the new forest grew so tall, they reached all the way to the clouds.  As a result, many of the seedling remained in the soil, sheltered by the shade from the new forest canopy.  Over time the intense heat from the new dry season, made the earth firm again.   It was the combination of all these events that caused a new magnetic energy to stir the air that began pulling all those dormant seedlings laying beneath the forest floor causing them to burst from the soil.  From this powerful pulling, thousands upon thousands of flowers of every color, shape and species appeared everywhere, and something magnificent happened.  For the first time in the story of the earth, a third season came into being.  It was the first Season of Flowering

During the first long season of flowering, thousands upon thousands of new species of flora appeared on earth for the first time.

In this new season the world transformed itself into a natural garden bringing forth abundant life everywhere, and all around this vibrant setting, ferns and scrubs, grasses and grass-like plants appeared.  There were woody vines that brought forth an endless array of flowers of every conceivable color; white flowers, yellow flowers, red flowers, violet and blue flowers, black, orange, pink green and brown flowers, and mixed in with these were trees heavy with fruits of all kinds, ripe and ready for plucking. As the rain waters made their way through these new place, streams and creeks, rivers and lakes appeared, bringing with them fishes and frogs, and every variety of aquatic life imaginable.

Complimenting this enchanted place, were the confluence of all manner of living creatures, including countless species of the feathered and furry kind, butterflies and birds, and an endless numbers of infinitesimally tiny crawling things, all living under the cool canopy of this splendiferous garden world, the rain forest.  It was in this lush vibrant world that the first forest people made their appearance.  No record was ever found to tell when they arrived, or where they came from.  It was as though they had always been there.  Nor was they anyone among them who could offer even an oral accounting of their history, due to the fact that they never found a reason for cultivating a memory of past events, nor did they have a inkling for thinking about the future.  In fact the only story they ever told was the story of the longest rainy season in the history of the world that came to prepare the place they called home; the forest.

It was common knowledge that these first people lived in the forest from the beginning of time.  The obvious evidence of this was the length of their lives, of which an average lifespan of Forest People exceeded well beyond a thousand years.  They measured their lives in seasons, rather than years.  A year to Forest People was like a day, and so their lives evolved around the seasons. However notwithstanding the ebb and flow and the up’s and down’s of long living, the Forest People were an industrious people, without an inkling of complacency to be found among them, not even among their elders.  They possessed a zest for life that was inexhaustible, and second only to their thirst for knowledge, evident by their wealth of wisdom concerning the many cycles of forest life.    And because they lived such long lives, they knew nothing of superstitions, nor did they posses any notions of heavenly worlds. And because the forest provided an abundance of everything they needed to sustain life for time immemorial, the thought of gods, or any supernatural beings never entered their minds.  In fact their thinking processes were so absorbed in the here and now, there was no concept resembling even the idea of thinking.  For Forest People, being alive in the forest world was so exhilarating, the idea of dying never occurred to anyone.  However, when this rare event actually occurred, it was simply taken for granted that such an act was intentional, that the deceased had finally made the decision to live without the use of a physical body.  As such, this final act was considered an auspicious event, and it became customary to bestow the highest honor upon those who made the decision of passing on into the invisible world, who now became eligible to be among those most honored beings known as Spirits of Nature.

In essence they were simply a simple people content with the joyous and ceaseless lives they lived within the confines of the forest.  And like the trees, their lives were endless cycles of dry and rainy, and flowering seasons, and death was a rare occurrence in the space between seeding, gestation and rebirth.

Over a span of many eons, their gratitude for their forest home evolved to such heights of compassion they could no longer reconcile the slightest imposition upon their beloved forest, and so their entire race made the decision to become invisible beings who would continue to dwell in the forest, living without the need for physical bodies, therefore eliminating the slightest possibility of harming their beloved forest home.

This was the story Beyengoomey recited to her great-granddaughter Weyengoomey on her thirteenth birthday, the eve of her initiation into womanhood.

“Say her name again Big Ma.” asked Little Caroline.  “Weyengoomey,” answered the old woman.  The sound of the name enchanted the child.  It fascinated her that her great-grandmother knew someone with such a wonderous name.  She whispered it to herself.  “Weyengoomey.”  This would be the first of many times the name would cross her lips.

As the story goes, it was upon the disappearance of the first Forest People that ordinary people eventually arrived in the forest.  From the beginning these ordinary people knew powerful invisible beings also inhabited the forest.  They knew that these great forest spirits protected them from harm.  And so with a deep sense of appreciation and gratitude,  they took only what they needed from the forest.  They hunted and fished, and gathered the vegetables and fruits that grew so abundantly, along with the varieties of wild rice that grew in the marshes.   And because the forest provided everything they needed, they were content living their lives in their  little forest villages, made up of tiny thatched huts fashioned from giant leaves that fell to the forest floor from ancient trees.  Happily sharing the bounty of the forest with one another, while respectfully maintaining the stewardship of their forest home.  When the Spirits of Nature saw how these ordinary people were living in harmony within their forest world they were pleased, and little by little they began blessing them with special little gifts.

No one quite knew how it came to be, but over time these ordinary people began to posses the knowledge of the inner workings of the plants in the forest.  Consequently they became the creators of some of the most powerful natural remedies ever known to ordinary people.  It was due to this knowledge of plants and the simple life they lived that the Spirits of Nature eventually decided to give them a very special gift by asking for their daughters hands in marriage.

The drums carried the news across the Savannah of the grand wedding between their daughters and the Spirits of Nature.  Soon the entire forest was alive with an air of excitement.  Young men were sent into the forest to gather bamboo to build the new wedding huts, and in every direction, the little village was busy with activity in preparation for the big wedding day.  The women were cooking their best recipes, while the men brought out their vats of palm beer.  When the new wedding huts were finally complete, and the last touches of forest flowers arranged around them, the young brides were brought into the village circle; twelve young brides for twelve Spirits of Nature.  Three for fire, three for air, three for water, and three for earth.  Everyone gathered waiting for the grooms to arrive.

As the Spirits of Nature approached the village, the vibration from their drums shook the ground as their rhythms felled the air.  When they appeared at the village gate, everyone stood motionless with their eyes stuck looking up.  These Spirits of Nature were as tall as the trees, and their drums were talking back and forth between each other.  The people stood in awe, and as the tall grooms danced to the rhythm of their drums, the beautifully colored pelts they wore of leopard, tiger and antelope moved with them.  On their heads the wore long flowing feathers that went all the way down to the ground, and with each step they took, flowers appeared at their feet.

The people of the village were mesmerized as they watched these incredible Spirits of Nature perform dazzling acrobatic feats that left them suspended in mid-air, all to the dizzying amazement of everyone.  It was the most spectacular performance anyone had ever seen.  When the performance was finally over and everyone was assembled in the center of the village, the Spirits of Nature presented their gifts to their new brides.

Twelve new black iron pots.

The pots were pressed around for everyone to see and touch.  No one had ever seen pots made of such material before.  Up until then the only pots they possessed were made from plants and leaves.  The Spirits of Nature explained that these pots were made from a special material that came from the deepest depths of  mother earth herself and as such, they contained a source of power that by merely speaking a wish into the pot, any desire would immediately be made manifest.

Everyone was so pleased with the offering of the magical pots, a swell of cheers went up to the tops of the trees, and the drummers began to play.  The tall handsome grooms took their young brides to the middle of the ceremonial circle and began to dance.  They held them around their waist, and with each beat of the drum, they pulled them closer and closer, caressing their stomachs, taking their passions higher and higher.  Soon the young brides fell under an erotic spell, and one by one, the Spirits of Nature took their young brides up in their arms and carried them inside their new wedding huts.

While the newlyweds made passionate love, the people of the village celebrated throughout the night; eating, drinking and dancing.  It was the most glorious night of their lives, and the celebration continued until the last drop of palm wine was drank and everyone finally fell asleep.

But the next day they was awakened by sound of women crying.  It was soon learned that the Spirits of Nature had disappeared, leaving their young wives alone and in tears.  The people were sad, and confused.  They refused to believe the Spirits of Nature would marry their daughters, and then desert them.  So they went into the forest looking for them, but  in the middle of the search, a wicked thunderstorm began to pour.  The ferocious thunder and lightning was so powerful, the people ran back to their village, and hid inside their huts, for fear that the Spirits of Nature had become angry with them.

The rains poured, day after day, after day, after day, and the more it rained, the more depressed the people became.  They couldn’t understand why the Spirits of Nature had played such a terrible trick to them.  Why had they promised them great blessings only to abandon them?  But instead of answers, all that came were the unrelenting rains, and one by one the people began to succumb to the dreaded sleeping fever.  The more it rained, the more the sleeping fever spread through the village, and as hard as they tried to resist it was hopeless.  Before long the entire village fell into a deep sleep.

Days passed into weeks, and weeks into months, and soon the entire village disappeared under the growth of heavy vines, and thick forest foliage.  Soon even the forest forgot that the little village ever existed at all.

And that’s how the story of the people who lived in the forest and the sleepy little village ended, until one magical morning, one by one the people were awakened from their long sleep by the sound of babies crying and women laughing.  One by one each of the daughters who were wedded to the Spirits of Nature, began coming toward the old village circle, carrying their black pots and their newborn babies.  The people were amazed that everyone had awakened and that each of the infants bore the same birthmark on their foreheads.  It was the mark of seeing and healing.  To their further amazement, each of their daughters had given birth to baby girls.   When the people of the village saw the birthmarks on the babies, they realized that the Spirits of Nature had placed themselves inside the bellies of their daughters, and were now reborn as baby girls.

That day the little village came back to life, and everyone was happy again.  They began dancing and rejoicing around the new mothers.  In the midst of the celebration, suddenly the everyone stopped dancing when they saw a field of energy flowing around the new mothers sitting with their newborn babies, and their black iron pots between their legs. On one moved, and all was silent.  And as the field of energy disappeared, each of the women one after the other begin to speak of the powerful attributes that was contained in their pots, an attribute of representing each of the Spirits of Nature: one for faith, one for hope, one for benevolence, one for compassion, one for humility, one for courage, one for prophecy, one for knowledge, on for wisdom, one for healing, one for charity, and one for love.  And for the first time since the beginning of time, the Spirits of Nature were back in physical bodies, but this time they were back as women.

And so it was that these women became the most honored people in the story of the forest.

One by one the villagers came forth with bowed their heads, whispering their silent prayers and wishes inside the pots.  Some prayed for good health, some prayed for longevity, some prayed to abundant crops, and to their amazement, all their prayers were answers instantaneously.  And for the first time in the story of the earth, a forth season came into being.  It was The Season of Miracles.



Posted in 1 on May 4, 2010 by naimahfuller

The moon looked lopsided through the half opened shutters as Jimmy made love to Anna. His passion was inexhaustible. But when he finally succumbed to his weakness for her, it felt as though the whole sky; the stars, the blackness, and the half-full moon were melting all over them.  But all though the moon wasn’t quite full yet, it was still influencing things.  He could feel it in the love they made, and the undertow of anger he couldn’t shake no matter how sweet she was or how good she made him feel.

Jimmy got dressed for the night, as always in his signature all white. It gave him such pleasure putting his gold cuff links on his french cuffed white linen shirt, and using practiced precision to tuck his shirttail into the trousers of his white linen Brooks Brothers suit.   Albert Thurston suspenders in place, he never wore a tie, the tropical climate of Palm City simply wouldn’t tolerate it. White silk socks, and his favorite pair of Stacy Adams two-toned ivory leather wingtips. Next came the jacket, accented by a white silk handkerchief with his embroidered initials posed perfectly in his vest pocket to reveal his initials: JS.   Then the final piece de resistance; his gold Rolex pocket watch delivered direct from Switzerland, Europe by way of CJ Duncan’s special order receipts. He had three inches added to the gold chain to make sure it hung conspicuously beneath the hem of his suit jackets. Three months he waited for it to arrive.  His gold watch was the ultimate symbol of how high up he had rose in the world.  Just the feel of it in his waist pocket made his swagger all the more conceited.

Getting dressed was his power ritual; his wardrobe validated his status in Palm City.  He cocked his white Panama Fedora slightly to the right, but tonight as he admired the completed picture looking back at him in the mirror, he caught a glimpse of Anna Lucille’s sadness as she lay in bed listening to Bessie Smith on the Victrola.  It gnawed at him the way she always seemed sad, even when they made love.  But deep down inside he knew he only had himself to blame for the way things were, so to relieve his guilt, he brought her expensive gifts.  She had the only phonograph player on the Colored side of town, special ordered from C. J. Duncan’s General Store.  But all the fancy gifts he gave her only made her happy for a little while, because she knew he loved his money more than he loved her, and nothing could make up for fact that he was using his own wife for monetary gain.

But even with all the glory that came with the money and the prestige, there was something about being married to her that gave him a feeling he’d never felt before.  Caught between irreconcilable emotions, the whole thing was eating him up inside.  But he had a reputation to protect.  Everything depended it.  So for the sake of profits, Jimmy maintained a flawless public facade to mask his private anguish. But it was Anna’s sadness that told the whole story of how the mess their marriage was in was taking a toll on her and on her husband.  His drinking, his failing health, and that new mean streak he was carrying around in his spirit.

Jimmy Sweetfields watched with contempt as Anna Lucille prepared her alter with love candles.  A growling noise came from his stomach, and he belched.

“You need to stop drinking so much Jimmy,” said Anna Lucille softly.  “That’s why your stomach is so messed up.”

Jimmy didn’t say a word as he watched her lighting the red candle.  His eyes stayed fixed on her near perfect mouth as she blew out the match, closed her eyes and began praying.  But he couldn’t control the surge of anger that rose up in his chest.

“What you praying for?”  He asked in a contemptible tone.

“For us,” she answered, looking at him innocently.  She turned back to her candle and closed her eyes again.

“The last time you lit one of your damn candles, the mayor of Palm City his self, made a drunken fool outta his self over you.”   Jimmy could feel his blood beginning to boil. “How you think that made me feel?  Huh?  A White man actin’ the fool over my wife.”

“You hear me talkin’ to you woman?” Jimmy roared. The tone in his voice made Anna’s eyes pop open. “You screaming loud enough for the whole town to hear you.”  She answered angrily.

“I don’t give a damn who hear me.”  But even as the words came out of his mouth, she knew he didn’t mean what he was saying, but his anger frightened her, and as he crossed the room and slammed the shutters closed, she kept him in the corner of her eye.  He grabbed his gun, stuffed it in his belt, and left.

She eased over to the window and watched him through the half closed shutters as he turned the corner on Blackberry Alleyway and headed toward Elderberry Avenue.  She closed the shutters and pulled the latch on tight.

She got down on her knees and took a deep breath as she reached under the bed, moving her hand around until she felt the cool iron handle on the old black pot.  She slowly pulled it toward her. There was something mysterious about the way it made her feel each time she touched it that made her know she was in the act of something extraordinary. Every since Jimmy told her the story about the pot’s special powers, how every wish he ever made came true, she could hardly wait to see if what he said was true. But he never allowed her to go near the old pot.  Said it was to much power for a woman.

She knew he would be mad as hell if he knew she was sneaking behind his back, messing with his good luck pot, but she had to take that chance.  So she secretly began putting her prayers in the pot.

She closed her eyes and imagined Jimmy’s smiling face surrounded by a bright white light, and she began praying the same prayer she always prayed; for Jimmy to stop drinking, for things to change between them, and for him to love her more than anything or anybody and for the whole world, and for them be happy together. But Anna Lucille didn’t know just how potent her spiritual configurations were once she mixed them with the powerful forces that lived inside the old ancient cauldron, and that Jimmy Sweetfields’ demons wasn’t nothing to play with.

It was Saturday night and things were starting to heat up on Elderberry Avenue.  A tropical breeze blew off the ocean, filling the city streets with the smell of sea salt mixing with the scent of sweet honeysuckle and magnolia blossoms, week old grease, stale urine and the heat. The convergence of these ancient elements made up that lethal mixture that was the underlying cause of the throbbing aches and pains, along with every other anguish known to the people who occupied the Colored side of Palm City.  The thick humid air was drawing sweat as the stage was set for another Saturday night on Elderberry Avenue.

The ladies in waiting stood side by side like queens of spades, leaning languidly over the second floor balcony banister at Jimmy Sweetfields’ Elderberry Avenue Hotel & Café. Their bright satin colored dresses looked like a rainbow of reds, oranges, purples, and yellows, as their pouting painted lips promised pleasures most could only dream about. The men passing on the street below, looked up at the women with stares that said more than words could ever say. But these wise women of the night never took a look for more than it meant; a need for somebody to love. But everybody knew if you wanted something to happen on Elderberry Avenue on Saturday night, you better have some money in your pocket or you might as well just keep right on walking. It was a sad affair for those who didn’t have the price to pay for their desires. Still, in spite of their empty pockets, they called out to the ladies in waiting.

“Hey baby, don’t you want a man like me?”

It was a question in search of the fulfillment of a wet dream that never came true, ’cause the colored women leaning over the balcony banister atop the Elderberry Avenue Hotel & Cafe had seen the insides of empty pockets enough times to know better than to be fooled by sugarcoated words.

“Ain’t nobody studyin’ ’bout yo’ broke self. Take yo’ funky blues, keen toed shoes, high water pants, Sad’dey night dance, ain’t got a dollar for a drank of soda water, lookin’ for anybody’s daughter, on away from heah.”

A chorus of laughter rang out from the balcony, filling the night air like musical notes, as the ladies of the night went on about their business, waving their red handkerchiefs at the sailors walking up from Port Street, looking for somebody to share their money with.  That’s the way things were on Elderberry Avenue, when hot summer nights sizzled.

But the steaming novella of the summer was Jimmy Sweetfields’ and Anna Lucille, and their secret love affair.

It was Saturday night, and the place was packed.  Jimmy Sweetfields sat at the bar drinking, and watching his wife laughing, and talking to a group of men on the other side of the café. It drove him crazy, the way she never got enough of his hard chiseled physique, especially when it reeked of hot sweat and passion.  And by the same sensuous token, he couldn’t get enough of her.  His eyes never tired of looking in hers, especially when they burned with desire, and passion, and nothing else mattered except their hot bodies melting into one.

It never ceased to amaze him how men would spend their last dollar just to get close enough to her to smell her perfume.  He pridefully gave himself credit for the ingenious scheme he was running on every man in Palm City who dreamed that they might be the one she’d choose and so they kept coming back every Saturday night.  It seemed as though the more they kept their secret, the more they wanted her, and the more money he made.  It was the perfect deception.

Jimmy kept his eyes on Anna as he sat at the bar, stacking dollar bills from the nights liquor sells. He loved his money, but something about it made him feel ashamed for the way it made him feel.  Still he could never forget how for most of his life he could barely scrape enough change together just to stay alive; scrimping and scraping from one meal to the next, always plotting and scheming so he could eat.  But the day he met Anna Lucille his luck changed.  He felt guilty for the way he had been treating her lately, and as he drank, he talked to himself.

“Look at her, got all of ‘em actin’ like a pack of hungry dogs, sniffin’ ‘round her. You keep on treatin’ her mean, she goin’ to leave you.”

He called out to the bartender loud enough for Anna Lucille to hear him.  “Hey bartender!  You done forgot ‘bout the boss man down here.”

All the while, his eyes stayed on her like a hawk watching a chicken.  He drank down the double shot of whiskey in one gulp and a warm feeling began to slowly rise from his stomach to his head.  It wasn’t long before his liquor started to take affect.  The bartender poured him another.  This time he drank the second double slow, and when he looked back over at his wife, something incredible happened.  Like magic, she looked more beautiful than she ever looked before, and in that moment, he wanted her more than he ever wanted her.  The men gawking at her made him desire her even more.  He sneered at the way their eyes stayed stuck to her every gesture.  A snide smile crossed his lips at thought of how they would give their last dollar just see her smile, when all the while she was his.

Anna Lucille could feel her husband’s eyes shooting arrows of passion at her from every angle.  Every chance she got she stole a glance at his reflection in the long mirror behind the bar. They took turns touching each other with a their eyes, playing their secret love game until they couldn’t keep it going any longer.  He finally sent her the signal she’d been waiting for all night.

She met him at their secret place behind the stage, and from the moment she fell into his arms, the spirit of love was upon them.  Possessed by passion, their kisses were long lustful kisses that made her body limp, and his rigid.  He kept his tongue in her mouth so no one could hear her sensuous sighs, and the harder she sucked his tongue, the wilder his passions grew. His hands were locked in a grip around her hips, and when he felt the hot moisture of her womanhood around his manhood, every ounce of blood in his body rushed to his loins, and for eight euphoric minutes, he did his lovers dance, until his knees buckled, and they both exploded in bliss.

He could still smell her perfume on his lapel as he sat back the bar drinking again, dreamily watching her.  Everything about her seduced him.  Her hazel eyes with their long eyelashes beckoning him from across the room; her full lips always ready for his, and his eyes that could never get enough of her delicious derrière.

The spell was broken when a man walked over to Anna Lucille, and started talking to her.  Jimmy Sweetfields’ heart began beating so hard he felt like it would bust out of his chest. To fan the flames of his jealous passions, he walked across the room and sat down at the piano and began playing. He knew how much she loved music, especially when he sang to her, and tonight he would do anything to keep her attention focused on him. The moment she heard him playing his rendition of Duke Ellington’s ‘It Don’t Mean A Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing’ the hit song of 1932, Anna Lucille spun around to find a big grin on Jimmy’s face, and his big brown sexy eyes sparkling with love.  She knew what that look meant and in that magic moment the whole world disappeared.  They were the only two people left on earth as she watched his long slender fingers moving across the piano keys.  She imagined how it would feel the next time he touched her.  But before they could finish dreaming awake together, a hand reached out from space and pulled Anna onto the dance floor. Caught by surprise, all she could do was laugh.  Suddenly, Jimmy’s world was upside-down again.  The sensual sound of Anna’s laughter mixing with his music made his whole body toxic with jealousy.

That night when they met back at the bungalow, she paid the price for love.  Anna barely got her foot in the door before Jimmy grabbed her, and threw her on the bed.

“Why you let that nigguh touch you?” he screamed.  “Huh!”

She tried to defend herself, but before she could even opened her mouth, he was on top of her, pinning her hands to the bed.  His breath smelled of stale whiskey, and his eyes were bloodshot with rage.

“You hear me talkin’ to you Anna. Huh.”  She was too afraid to speak, and when he saw the fear in her eyes, and the tears rolling down her face, he stopped cold.

“Oh baby don’t cry. Don’t cry baby. You know I love you.  Daddy didn’t mean it.  You know Daddy wouldn’t hurt you baby.” The moon disappeared behind a dark cloud, mimicking their motions under the covers.  The night went silent, and all the souls in Palm City finally fell asleep.

That night the old healer woman from the plantation where he grew up visited Jimmy Sweetfields in his dreams. His heart was racing as he tried to speak, but nothing came out of his mouth. The old woman just stood there looking down at him. She never spoke with her mouth, but the words that came out of her eyes were loud and clear.

“Dat dare my pot you got under yo’ bed Jimmy Sweetfields. You c’ain’t be the pot keeper no mo’, you done reached the end of the line wit yo’ devilment. But ‘um gwinnin’ tuh give you one mo’ chance.” And in an instant she was gone.

He could move again.  He sat up in bed, drenched in perspiration. He looked across the room, and there in the reflection of the mirror was the old pot, starring back at him from beneath the bed.

Anna Lucille turned over sleepily to find Jimmy out of bed, and dressing in a hurry.  Anna Lucille turned over sleepily  “Jimmy, where you goin’ this time of the morning?” He didn’t answer her, and when he grabbed the old pot from beneath the bed and left the house without saying a anything, she knew something was wrong.


Posted in 1 on April 11, 2010 by naimahfuller

It was a cool fall moonlit night when Mahachee, a Choctaw Indian crawled up to Big Mama’s porch and died.  He had been possum hunting in the woods nearby when he was fatally bitten by a poisonous snake.  Realizing he was dying, his only hope was to get to the little cabin at the edge of the woods where the old medicine woman lived.  He was a stranger to these woods, in his travels, she was mentioned as someone to see if he was passing by the black river.

As the snake’s poison moved through his body, he could fee his life-force draining, but he was determined not to die alone in the woods.

The old woman was finishing her evening prayers, and calling the names of her Ancestors, a ritual she practiced religiously every morning and every night before she lay down, when the Choctaw dragged himself to her cabin door and died.  She was just about to turn back the covers when she heard a heavy thump outside her door.  She stayed still standing beside her bed, listening but there was only silence.  She pulled the covers back, but just as she was about to climb in bed, a man with long black hair, walked through her door without opening it.

The old woman hands stayed locked in a grip on her bed covers as she watched the strange spirit standing in the middle of her cabin.  His hair was so long it fell down pass his elbows.  He was wearing buckskins, and his dark eyes sat so far back in their sockets  that his look seemed to come from far away.  He didn’t speak a word, he just stood in the middle of the floor starring at her with that far away look in his eyes.  From out of nowhere a putrid smell filled the air, and the dark spirit pointed down to his leg.  She was familiar with the smell of death, having been so close to it so many times.

Without saying a word, the spirit turned and walked out the door.

Big Mama gathered her courage and slowly walked over to the door and slowly pulled it open, only to find find the man who was just standing in her cabin laying motionless on the ground.  She leaned down and touched his face.  It was still warm.  Her healing instincts took over, and she quickly grabbed hold of his shoulders. Just as she was struggling to pull him inside, two men from the Quarters walked pass her cabin.  They had been in the woods setting traps, and when they saw the old woman kneeling down over the Redman they stopped.

“What y’all looking fuh. Catch hold his foots.”

The men grabbed the Redman’s feet and helped the old woman drag him inside her cabin.  His eyes and mouth were wide open, and when the men realized he was dead they dropped him.

“Big Mama, dis man dead!  Ain’t no cure fuh no dead man.”

Not knowing what possessed her, she heard herself say, “Who say so?”  The two men left the old woman’s cabin, walking backwards.

She summoned all the strength she could gather in her old shoulders, and pulled the stranger in front of the hearth by the fire.  She had to keep his body warm.  She had never seen a Redman like him before.  He was wearing buckskin boots that went all the way up to his knees, and instead of a hat, he wore a colorful cloth wrapped around his head.  A flat drum hung across his chest, along with a heavy medicine pouch.  She removed these articles, carefully setting the aside.

She felt anxious as she knelt down and pressed her ear to his chest.

Nothing moved.  But how could he be dead she thought.  He had just walked through her door and showed her the snake bite on his leg.  She hastily pulled off his long boots, tore the buckskin away from his leg, and there it was, the snakebite that killed him.  His swollen leg was already turning black, and when she looked back at his face, his color changed before her eyes.  Moving quickly, she reached under her bed and grabbed the corker-sack where she kept the bark from her special tree.

Wasting no time, she pulled the black pot filled with rainwater over the fire.  She always kept  her black pot filled with water over the flame in her fireplace so as to always have warm water at her disposal.  She threw a handful of bark into the pot, and a fist full of kindling onto the fire.  While she waited for the bark to come to a boil, she took the knife that was stuck down in his boot and cut a hole in his leg where the snake had bitten him.  She filled her dipper with the brew from her pot and poured the warm liquid inside the bleeding hole in his leg.  Bending down, she quickly began sucking the poison from his leg, stopping intermediately to spit the blood into the fire.  She continued the process until the taste of the poison was gone.  Once again she filled the dipper, this time to wash the poison blood from her own mouth.

She spat the bloody brew into the fire.  Still working with haste, she lifted his limp head onto her lap and proceeded to pour the remainder of the concoction into his mouth.  He didn’t resist.  His unmoving eyes seemed to give his approval, so she covered his mouth with her own and forced the remedy down his throat.  Between breaths, she called on the Gods and Goddess of her Ancestors.

“Elegba, Ogun, Obatala, Yemonja, come here”, but when she looked back on his face, his eyes remained opened but unmoving.  Frightened that she had lost him, she called her Ancestors out loud.  “Come help me now grandmother! Come great-grandmother, help me now, help me!”

Again she filled the dipper, and again she covered his mouth with hers, forcing more of the brew down his throat, but his eyes stayed closed.  Determined, she continued pouring the brew in his open mouth, forcing it down his throat with her breathe, and each time she administered her herbal brew, she prayed another prayer.  All total, she poured twenty-one dippers of her remedy inside his body, and still nothing changed.

“Redman don’t you die in my house.”  Exhausted but determined, she stayed with him for the remainder of the night, with his head in her lap, rocking and singing the songs of her Ancestors.

“Mama Yemonja, papa Ogun come here and help me wit dis man.”

With her eyes fixed on the fire, she continued rocking his head in her lap, and calling the names of her Ancestors and praying.  It was nearly morning when her Ancestors finally got the call, and she knew it the moment it happened because at that instant her spirit went into the fireplace and took on the shape and form of the flames inside the fire.   She never felt the sweat pouring under her breasts, nor did she know how it came to be that her whole body was wringing wet.  Nothing was anymore.  Not the fire, not the sunlight coming through the cracks of her cabin, not even the smell of death.  Everything was gone, and there was nothing left accept the heavy feel of his head on her thighs.  She was one with her Ancestors and they were one with her.

And then it happened.  The feel of his breath on her thighs brought her back to the world, and when she looked down at him, his eyes popped closed and then popped back open.  He was alive.

Suddenly his whole body shook, his eyes rolled back in his head and he began to tremble so violently she had to grab hold of him with all the strength she had to keep him from hitting his head against the hearth.  Then came a nasty smelling foam erupting from his mouth, as he began to puke all over her. Through it all, the old woman held on and when the puking finally stopped, the Redman lay on the floor in his own regurgitation.

Big Mama didn’t waste a moment.  She quickly grabbed him under his armpits and pulled him to his feet.  He was dazed and disoriented, but she persisted as she gripped his body and began walking him in a circle, round and round, back and forth, until she was satisfied that he was really alive.

Finally she walked him over to her bed and laid him down.

As his vision began to focus he wondered who was this black angel standing over him.  Bewildered and disoriented, he watched her removing his clothes and washing his body.  Still believing he was died and that she was one his Ancestors sent to prepare him before he entered the land of his grandfathers, he never resisted.  But when she finished dressing his wound, and he was laying on her geese feathered mattress, the feel of her warm hands on his body made him realize he was still alive.

The old woman gave the Indian a cup of her “heal all” potion to drink along with two cups of sleeping tea, and within minutes he was in a deep sleep.  It was daybreak by the time she finished cleaning his puke off her floors.  She threw a handful of pine needles in the fireplace to remove the smell of death from her cabin. That morning when the field hands passed by on their way to the cane fields they smelled the scent of pine coming through her shutters.  No one had ever heard of anybody curing a dead man before, but by the end of the day, everybody between the fields and the Quarters heard the news.  Big Mama had brought a dead Indian back to life.

While the Redman was recuperating in Big Mama’s bed, she slept on the floor in front of the fireplace.  One night while she lay sleeping on her pallet, a little girl came to her in a dream, asking if she could be born.  When Big Mama woke from her dream she wondered who in the Quarters was going to have a baby girl, and long after the dream had passed, the memory of the little girl lingered on.

To show his gratitude for saving his life, the Indian became the old woman’s faithful servant that fall, spending the remainder of the season hunting and fishing for her, and tending her garden.  He planted corn, squash, beans, sweet potatoes and pumpkins, and all that fall, the smell of pumpkin soup filled the air around her humble little cabin.

Over the many years of her dealings with Indian’s who came to her cabin to trade corn seeds for her medicine pouches, she had never met an Indian like him before.  His name was Mahachee.  He was from the people of The Five Nations, said he was a member of the Council of rain dancers and spirit walkers.  The wide flat drum he wore around him body was the instrument he played when he danced the sacred dances and called down the rain spirits of his Ancestors.  According to Mahachee, the spirits of his Ancestors dwelled in the clouds and whenever it rained it was the Ancestors coming back to the earth to grow corn for their people, to fill their rivers with fish, and to clean their souls.  Among his people it was believed that children born during a storm were great Ancestor spirits returning to earth to do great deeds for their people.

The moon was full again, the time of the month when the old woman pulled up  herbs that grew wild in the woods behind her cabin.  Mahachee began playing his drum and dancing that night.  So Big Mama sat down on the ground under the light of  the full moon, sorting wild herbs and watching the Indian dancing to the beat of his drum and singing in a language she couldn’t understand.

Mahachee danced and sang, and sang and danced all night, filling the air with the sounds of his drum and his songs.  After a time, the old woman began to feel something moving in the atmosphere.  Then suddenly, a loud bolt of thunder caught her by surprise, making her jump.  Then the dark sky opened wide, and like magic it began to rain.  It wasn’t a rain that made you run, nor was it cold.  It was a soft sweet warm rain, and the feel of it was something she had never felt before.  So the old woman sat still letting the sweet rainwater cover her as she watched the Indian who kept on playing his drum, and singing and dancing his rain dance.

That was the night saw them for the first time.

There under the full moonlight, a cadre of spirits were moving with Mahachee to the rhythm of his drum.  It amazed her.  Where had they come from she wondered.  And then she remembered what Mahachee has told her.  They were the rain.  The infectiousness of the whole thing suddenly got hold of the old woman, and she found herself on her feet moving.  It was all so magical, the rain, Mahachee, his Ancestors, so much so all she could do was dance and laugh and cry all at the same time.  And so for the reminder of the night, Big Mama and the Indian danced together in the rain by the light of the full moon.  From the magic they shared that moonlit night, a bond was sealed between them.

That next morning when Big Mama went to her rain barrel and filled her dipper with the magical rainwater’s, she wondered who these powerful healing waters would cure, rainwater made by a dancing Indian who had come back to life from the land of the dead.


Posted in HOME FILM PROJECT on September 8, 2009 by naimahfuller

NAIMAH FULLER - MediaArtist/Filmmaker

I have been blessed to have such an incredible career journey, including motion picture production, broadcast journalism, independent filmmaking, and now to be able to continue that journey into the New Media digital era.  Concurrently, I am in the ‘woodshed’, laboring over two beloved projects: my documentary film titled “HOME” has me completely captured in the editing process which I am loving, and my book project HEIRLOOM is teaching me the lessons of patience as I struggle through the process of editing the manuscript of my first novel.  Both these projects carry the theme of  “place”, that illusive tangle that resonates in the fiber of all earthly souls seeking a place to call home.  I welcome your comments and your support.  My commitment to you is to deliver the best work my spirit is able to transcribe from that dynamic unknowable source energy we call God.  In the Meantime, I send you many thanks of appreciation.  Blessings.   – Naimah