Wednesday, February 03, 2010
Echoes of a Past Life - Maferefun Obatala
I wrote this short poem for my godfather about the Yoruba deity Obatala in 1996, shortly before I was initiated into the religion of Santeria. I was crowned "Olo Obatala Yeku-Yeku" and given the Yoruba name "Baba Adeleke" (My Father's Crown Triumphs). It sat on my jazz site jazzsupreme.com for years; since that site has sadly disappeared into the ether, I wanted to return it to internet life.
I'm not a very good santero, in that I don't participate in very much of the community's life; but I feel profoundly grateful for the sense of peace and balance that the religion has blessed me with; and I'm awed by the presence of Obatala's timeless wisdom and creative energy in my life.
With cathode rays of red, green, blue,
my computer creates being out of electricity
pulling rays of different nothings into something
steered by fingers, tapping, and minds, whirling
and blood, rushing,
driven by irresistible sparks of hidden origin,
Red, green, blue lights; tiny beams of tamed fire
become one light, white light, brilliant,
all one thing suddenly,
shape and pattern revealed in form and shadow
One thing not another,
someplace else no longer,
now made distinct, crystalline:
One thing, one piece, white cloth.
No seam visible, no beginning, nor end,
Like everything. Alive.