JOURNEYS OF THE SERPENT AND THE MOON
WOMAN: Shall the VODUN WOMAN tell you about
the JOURNEYS OF THE SERPENT AND THE MOON? (Onstage
sound/video effects - Lashing of whips, thunder & lighting heralds
the arrival of the Vodun Woman. Back curtains open to reveal enlarged
Vodun Woman picture and the Ezili Dantò sacred heart vèvè.
Woman does the Vodun salutation to drums and offstage chanting of a
Vodun song. Woman walks around creating a thin blue light trail out
of the misty smoke, slashing the smoke into the warrior-mother's sacred
heart with a dagger thrust into it. Slashing with her dagger to the
beat of electronic slicing sounds, hemorrhaging. As
she talks in front of the vertical
axis intersecting the horizon, creating a nexus between the spiritual
and physical worlds (perhaps represented by Tree of the Ancestors),
moon behind her changes from crescent,
half to full. When
she begins to address the audience, music subsides.) But,
if time and space drips out of the darkness to reply. if i reply, give
you guide, can you row your raft past fear and foe to yield and flow?
Will you expand and extend?
Vodun Woman, Vodun Woman. Tell us about the Journeys of the Serpent
and the Moon.)
And the Vodun Woman, she said:
"Issue of the dark, of the serpentine womb of creation, The deep and
high - that vertical spiraling
Linear ascent is a well told lie.
You are molded and here to mold.
Your center allies to the rhythm of the biosphere.
It's that mythical, omnipotent Light
which tricks you into seeing a crescent, a half moon - a point where
you are disconnected from wholeness.
No trust fund, skyscraper or scud missile can hold back the migration
of the dark celestial waters infinitely. Inexorably it claims its own.
Rises and falls.
The physical, social, structural are destined to
disintegrate, by levels, degrees, intervals. Artificial creeds, like
artificial lights, are meaningless in truth. The seeds of decay are
within you and within your creeds."
Uh-Hmmmmm, Uh-Hmmmm... Un et un fè two. Nou La! One and one is
three. Nou La!)
Her grains of salt have awakened me and i can't dissemble in waking
consciousness. i bring weightlessness to misery without physical movement,
shifting heavy mists. it's how i move into another reality when paralyzed
by the shock of this one. i can't live in a dreamtime space where we
never reach the mountaintop. So i live the talk, like i did with USAID:
i acted like they had gone way beyond their myopic visions and meant
what they were saying about helping Haiti. That got me a few places.
Next time i'll go further. Next time, while in this unreachable inner
place, this primordial space, this container of life created and held
for me by the Ancestors, next time when i meet the "developers" in Haiti,
i will issue forth from this space and enter their gaps, pushing at
time, my vision will do more.
This faith saves me. it destroys me. With it, i'm wholly strong and
wholly vulnerable. But now, well now, i can live with that without getting
They have their Colonies. This is mine.
i think that was the lesson of Haitian history. i'm irked but jumping
up and down like a kangaroo who's misplaced her pouch won't do.
The message was and still is: burn the port cities and retreat inland.
That's the lesson of Haitian history. The inland portals are protected
and though we must struggle, only the ports can be lost. Pwen voye.
Dignity is always rescued by the primal singular struggle to receive
what's already there but invisible to thought. It's difficult but all
can be done if our thinking aligns with this fact: We are just where
we are supposed to be - an opened door, perfectly placed.
(c) 1997 and 2000 by Ezili
Dantò. Excerpted from The Red,
Black & Moonlight monologue series, based on Kenbe La!
Crossings of a Vodun-Roots Woman by Ezili Dantò.
All rights reserved.