While I’m day-dreaming of my birth mother in between these first few days of school,Canadian-American, Cree, folksinger, songwriter, composer,visual artist, activist,and did I mention Badass, Buffy Sainte Marie, just gets all up into my soul! Here’s her 1969 spaced out gem, Illuminations, which includes one of my all time favorite tracks ever, Keeper of The Fire.
It’s about that time again, for your updated weather report! This, however, is more like an emotional barometer report, and a nice, heartfelt front is certainly coming in, shortly after this news brief:
[[[[Trigger Warning for those whom I love dearly, experiencing PTSD from war, occupation, bombs; avoid the first link below.]]]
New ways of healing amidst all the chaos in the world, specifically in Gaza & Palestine right now, weigh heavily in my heart and on my mind. Here is a video soon from Cakalak Thunder, showing our support/ solidarity with the people of Gaza & Palestine, and is just one way of trying to heal together, during this assault. How do you heal individually, and as a community through this? What are some ways in which you are reaching out, standing up, fighting back, boycotting during this time?
I am about one week away from my first day of graduate school at Daoist Traditions! This summer really flew by, but I’ve had an amazing, adventurous and reflective time! I’ve had the joy of sharing in loving commitments being made, friendships being re-kindled, newer friendships growing stronger, and I am now on the path of my return, big time.
I’ve been extremely inspired lately by all of my friends; their hard work, dedication and rawkus ways of being in the world; the feelings they share, the beautiful knowledge and bodies and bodies of knowledge. They shine. Maybe I’m listening more intently? They speak volumes with their actions, and subtle, universal hints, like raindrops, fill pools in my ears and those pools create gullies, that flow into rivers, that flow into oceans and return to my heart.
If you had the chance to trace these roots, chase these ever flowing waters, would you do it? Would you be intimidated? Nervous? I am Honduran diaspora. I have assimilated. I am scared. I was having a really beautiful conversation ( all weekend, with so many, really), but this one, in particular was with my friend, Sijal, a fellow comrade, music maker, and dreamer of dreams. We were speaking about connections of love and beyond. The importance of cultural and historical ties to who we are, whom our heart seeks, where we come from, and where we’re going. The instances in our lives were hitting so close to that home in my heart, it was as if the paper person slapped the daily news right on my front door mat, and my emotions were in the headlines. In bold.
I returned home from a beautiful weekend this past Monday, and was settling in to watch a documentary series on Netflix entitled “Black in Latin America.” I’ve always looked for connections, cultural and historical references to my motherland & city of birth; connections to my blood roots, and home, connections to other transnational adoptees. It has been so strange growing up to realize that there is a whole huge chunk of my life that makes up who I’ve been, who I am, and who I’m becoming, and it’s all been such an unsolved mystery. So much so, that what I’m about to tell you is the beginnings of unraveling and unpacking that mystery,which is beyond exciting. Maybe the dude from Unsolved Mysteries should be narrating this whole thing? Really though, David Attenborough is more fitting.
Those documentaries are really, very cool, and packed with wonderful information, and you should definitely check them out. Still, though, there was nothing on Honduras, and specifically, the city in which I was born: San Pedro Sula. I paused the videos, and began searching online for other documentaries that were about my city, but the only things I could find were about its high homicide rates, the 2009 coup d’etat, gang and drug activity and known as one of the most dangerous cities, outside of war zones, in the world.
As the world wide web continues to evolve and expand, searching on Facebook for groups and people is becoming easier with time. I have been looking up my city, Garifuna, and other groups over the last several years. I haven’t had my adoption papers for very long. They were given to me in my early twenties, and never translated. Some people have always asked really ignorant and hurtful questions or made definitive statements like ” If I was adopted, I would have never stopped looking for my birth family,” or ” You’re not trying hard enough to look, are you?”
I have been looking whole heartedly for years, now, folks! But when you are coming from a third world country from 1986, and as you can see from the links above that there is deep, historically imbedded violence and governmental corruption , do you think it’s easy to find legal documentation on people there? The answer is no. They do not keep legal records well.
Anyway, as I was scrolling through a Facebook page on San Pedro Sula, that I’ve scrolled through many times before, I noticed my cursor had glided over one girl, and some information popped up saying that we had ONE mutual friend. I clicked on her page and noticed a few things: her name is very pretty, she looks very young ( but I also look pretty young), she was born in San Pedro Sula, Cortes (me too!), she lives there currently, and our one mutual friend is from UNC-G.
For so long, this past has been so distant, and I could have never imagined prelude to anything, but here it was, here she was, starring back at me. I messaged her right away, not knowing if this would go to her Inbox or “Other” Inbox on Facebook with this:
Hola Cecille! I am writing you out of hope and desperation. I see we have a wonderful mutual friend, Ben , whom I went to college with. How do you two know each other? I am really writing you because I came across your name, and it said your hometown was San Pedro Sula, Honduras! I am an adoptee from there and have lived in the US for the last 28 years of my life. I feel so far removed from my ancestry and heritage, and am looking for help in finding / returning to my roots and my birth family. Any help would be greatly appreciated! I currently live in the mountains, in North Carolina. Can you help me in any way? I have a lot of information about my adoption, and am wondering if you, or anyone you may know, can help me return home and to feel whole again? I would be forever grateful to you. With light & love, Joy PS I am attaching this picture capturing my birth mother, Irma Anjelica Rosa, and my adoptive mother, Joanie Hatter Schreiber meeting for the very first time back in 1986. My heart longs for my birth mother. Please help me find a way back to her.
and then I attached a picture of them meeting for the first time. I was about to shut my computer down for the night when I received a message back from her:
Hey Joy… we were hall mates in school with Ben…I think I could find a way to help. I need more information. I am a lawyer in Honduras.
I immediately began smiling, shaking, crying, laughing out of this untapped reservoir of emotions. It was part of a release. I knew she was the guide I had been waiting for. Not only is Cecille a lawyer, she’s a freakin’ Attorney General in my home city!
This story gets even better…
Not only is she working/ interested in international & corporate law, she can work with any kind she wants, and because I had all of my adoptions papers, we were off to a good start. I apologized for not being able to speak fluently, or even at all, to her, but she reassured me that it was OK, and that she spoke fluently in Spanish and English, and not to worry. I told her my mother’s ID # was in the documents, and I wasn’t sure what information that would provide. She said that it could be her Honduran ID, but that you cannot track someone based on it. However, she would go to the registry to look up her registered domicile. She told me that she did not want to get my hopes up, because people often move without notifying authorities, but with her ID #, she would be able to tell me whether my mother, Irma Angelica Rosa, is alive or dead.
On top of all of that, I came back around to asking how she knew our mutual friend, Ben, from UNC-G, and how I had never met her, if she had also been a student there for undergrad. She said they were hall mates in the dormitory, but that it was not at UNC-G…She had been living here, in Asheville, going to school for one year, since she was on an ambassadorial scholarship sponsored by Rotary International!
So, here I wait very patiently, for the universe to unfold as it may, for its many answers, and its many blessings. The date I wrote Cecille was July 28, 2014. I will be 28 in a few days, on August 6, 1986 and my Saturn Returns on December 24, 2014 , the day that I was brought to my American home in 1986.
Life, and Love, your strong and humble energy sustains me. THANK YOU!
In lieu of the recent upset from Brazil’s loss against Germany, today, I wanted to share with you another reason to celebrate Brazil: part of it’s rich history and it’s people, include Joāo Gilberto and Bossa Nova jazz, which are keeping my spirits up, tonight.
Via Wikipedia: ”
Bossa nova (“new style”) is a refined version of samba, de-emphasizing the percussive aspect of its rhythm and enriching the melodic and harmonic content. Rather than relying on the traditional Afro-Brazilian percussive instruments, João Gilberto often eschews all accompaniment except his guitar, which he uses as a percussive as well as a harmonic instrument, incorporating the parts of different samba percussion instruments such as the tamborim and the surdo from a full batucada band. The singing style he developed is almost whispering, economical, and without vibrato. He creates his tempo tensions by singing ahead or behind the beat.”
This is currently spinning on the ole turntable this evening. Enjoy!
It’s been about a month since I last put some time into writing. So much has been going on up here in the ole mountains, and I haven’t had the time to really sit down and process it all, until right about now. I’ve had so many wonderful visitors from Greensboro, recently, as well as my family, and I must say, it’s made the transition of moving here a bit easier and a whole lot more fun!Firstly, some fellow band/soul mates from Cakalak Thunder came to rock out QORDS (Queer Oriented Rock/Rap Day School) summer camp style. I was soo happy I was able to pick up my drum & sticks again to jam out with some really wonderful campers! Alyzza & Aleks got to stay a few days with me, too, which was the icing on cake.
Fellow music lovers, Becky & Ian of CFBG also came up for a few days of mountainous fun. Also, my good friend, Jess, came up for some friend time, as well as a job interview. We had a blast at the Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba show at the Asheville Music Hall. The next day, I found myself back in Greensboro for Hope for Agoldensummer‘s show, and I was super stoked that I made it. After a night of singing along and seeing other old and familiar faces, I headed straight back to Asheville to host my good friend, and former co-worker, Betsy Oldenburg and her wonderful friend Donna. We got to catch up and eat yummy food, and rock out, yet again, with Diali Cissohko & Kaira Ba, this time at Pisgah Brewing Company in Black Mountain. Those guys sure do know how to get people on their feet. I not-so-secretly wanted to join in the drumming!
And then, it was July, all of a sudden! My folks ventured up from Charleston to spend some time this past weekend, and it’s always nice to catch up with them over beers and laughter.
It’s been really something for this summertime to fly by so quickly. Exactly one month from today, I will be embarking on my 28th year (which, according to my birth chart, I am scheduled to begin my Return of Saturn this December 24th, to be exact, and will exist it right before I graduate from Daoist Traditions! Talk about cosmic timing! I’m really very excited!)
I feel like I’ve had the opportunity within this past year to lay some groundwork for this here Return, which was necessary, me thinks. I think if I hadn’t looked back and made some sort of slight “inventory” on where my body, mind, and soul/heart need work, I may feel very overwhelmed, and currently, I’m just excited to start the actual process. I have no expectations other than that greater good will come of these next four years. My only hope is to keep my ties to the community I absolutely love the most strong, uplifted, and positive. I hope to be embraced and challenged, moved and opened, renewed and ready to reassess life, love, and priorities for the here & now, above & beyond, and the future, whatever that may be.
Speaking of starting journeys, I recently joined one of the many local YMCA’s here in Asheville. I received a free pass to check it out for 7 days, and since I’m a student, I can apply for financial aid, and pay what I can. So far, I’m into day 4 at the gym, but for the past month I have been keeping a pace counter on my phone, a food tracker, and a walking map. I’ve been walking every day around my neighborhood, and carrying small weights while I do so. I can feel my back becoming stronger and less feeble and weak, which is so so wonderful! If you are reading this, and had any idea what happened to my back almost 2 years ago, you can imagine my excitement! I’m taking it slowly, of course, no running…yet!
I hope to see many more of you before school begins. At the end of July, I’ll be in Durham for the wedding of Emilo & Jeremey, so maybe I can see some of you, then? My first week is the first week of August, for orientation.I may try to head to Chapel Hill to catch Cakalak Thunder at the Paperhand Puppet Intervention show that night, and celebrate bdays with Casey & Alyzza! That’s my hope, but we’ll see, time permitting. I will have two weeks of time until the last week of August, which is officially the first week of school for everyone, and then I will be heading back to Greensboro for a very special wedding between two very special friends of mine, Sara Mae & Blake.
Here are a few pics from the ever eventful and fantastically fun beginning of summer!
Peace & Noise, Ya’ll!
It’s been a little over the two week mark, here in ole Asheville. I must say, a lot has happened since, and regrettably I forgot to recount certain things on here for you, but on the flip side, those thing may just be for my own personal growth and understanding. That being said, in all honesty, last week was rough! I think that certain feelings finally started to sink in about my move, my beloved Figaro passing away, a very sad breakup, the hours of endless “alone” time…I’m not really complaining at all, just realizing change, and that change is a struggle if it’s for any good purpose at all. I got a chance to Skype with my good friend Ricky of Vital Bloom Botanicals. Please check out here selection of herbs, tinctures, teas, etc, for all your natural health & well-being needs! Like a seed cracking open to reveal it’s flower or vegetable start…we talked about our Returns of Saturn, which are always very large shifts for a young person to sojourn though, that usually begin, well, right about my age. Basically, I’m beginning to realize & actualize my inner and outer selves, and syncing them up can be difficult to do, at times.
There has been quite a lot of struggle & change, and tonight, while out with some great new friends of mine, my horoscope read something like ” revel in the changes passing and realize they are for a greater good.” OK, I’ll take that! I think this alone time has been overdue, and in spite of feeling bouts of actual loneliness , I’m eating healthier, exercising, mowing the lawn, finishing my garden, taking walks around the neighborhood, finishing some good books, and exploring in and around Asheville. These are things I craved that I wasn’t doing on my own for some time now, and I finally feel like I’m steadily getting back on track. My folks came back to the USA last week, as well. They had been celebrating their 40th Wedding Anniversary in Italy! Congratulations, Mom & Dad. Here is their travel blog, if anyone is interested in keeping up with their own adventures in life. They came up for a long weekend, and helped me spruce up the new place with a freshly painted kitchen, and blinds & curtain rods for my handmade curtains. Then,I got to Skype in with my heart & soul, Cakalak Thunder, while we debriefed about our kick ass 10 Year Celebration at the end of April. Also, on Sunday night, we said “see ya later” to our sweet Tracey Crocker, a former co-worker of mine, who is moving back to her motherland, Canada. She’s been such an inspiration to me when times were toughest at the clinic, and I will always think of her spirit as a practitioner when I’m gearing up for classes starting soon! We gathered at The Bywater for fond farewells. I’ve gotta say, it’s one of the coolest bars I’ve been to here–you can kayak, or tube down the French Broad River, and pop right into The Bywater’s ‘backyard’ where they have grills and corn hole, and live music, for you to enjoy on your break from adventure time.
Last night, I had a sweet surprise visit from my great friends Josh, Jess & their sweet kiddos, Joey & Jem, and lil Emily on the way! They made my day being here, and hopefully they’ll be moving here shortly! I went to Golden Needle, today with my new friend, licensed practitioner,and former student of Daoist Traditions, D Smith . This is a supply warehouse for acupuncture clinicians, and students. I had been lucky enough to place so many orders with them over my years working in a clinic, that today I finally saw the inner workings, and bought a few supplies I had run out of, recently. Then off to The Wedge Brewery & Bar, to say another “see ya later” to our former tenant Kyle Murphy ( of KNM portraits), as he heads around the country shooting more wedding pix. His sister,Erin, her fiancé, Jameson, and I really hit it off, and Kyle has been super helpful and friendly whenever he’s in town. They’re good people, who know more good people, so I’ve been really lucky to meet them right off the bat. I skipped yin yoga tonight, which a new friend Rae had recommended, because I was finishing planting my garden! Hopefully it’s not too late, but it’s been so nice being able to enjoy an actual spring season up here, so I think I made the mark just in time! And hopefully, Rae & I can make it to next weeks session.
I’m attaching a few photos now of the house set up (courtesy of KNM Portraits) , my new garden, the French Broad River (you can’t step twice in the same one, so they say!), a horse farm that I recently discovered in my own neighborhood, and me, embracing Saturn’s Return! Until next entry, Peace & Noise.
Today is Memorial Day, and I’ve always felt really conflicted about (ethnocentric) American holidays. Memorial Day is typically remembering [“our”] soldiers who have died while serving this country, and while I would like to empathize and honor many who have passed while serving in the armed forces, because all lives are important and meaningful, I’d like to honor those who are serving our country in integrative, multifaceted anti-racist, anti-capitalist, anti-sexist ways, daily, including Southerners On New Ground (SONG), Cakalak Thunder, Girls Rock Camp, Yoga for Queers & Misfits, and many more. So many people have died while serving to keep the true spirit of democracy alive and have been joined together through solidarity & mutual aid in the struggle, and many of them go unnamed, unseen, silenced or ignored.
Here are just a few:
RIP Trayvon Martin
RIP Jordan Davis
RIP Shaqur McNair
RIP Keith Vidal
RIP Chuy Huerta
RIP Renisha McBride
RIP Jon Ferrell.
RIP Gilbert A. Barber
RIP Sandi Smith
RIP Dr. James Waller
RIP Bill Sampson
RIP Cesar Cauce
RIP Dr. Michael Nathan
RIP Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
RIP Malcolm Little [El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, aka Malcom X]
RIP Franklin Eugene McCain
Ezell Blair, Jr. [Jibreel Khazan]
and many, many, many more. I humbly honor you.
We all have a responsibility for the world we live in, the communities we build and protect, and our duties of keeping those within our communities accountable are paramount.
Peace, community building & sustaining never came from dropping bombs…
Today marked 1 whole week in my new hometown! What a great day filled with delicious kale, tomatoes, eggs, rye bread, records, beers, porch hangin, lamp hangin’, dreamin’ and schemin with good company! This is one of my favorite interludes off of one of my all time favorite albums, which should sum up this day quite nicely. ❤