Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Serving the Spirits

We served Azaka and Danbala this past weekend. A very sweet and on point fet. I felt different this time. We sang our way through the Priye, and then we began the reglemen with Kriye Bode. I could feel a painful hit in my chest. Something big wanted in NOW -- and I had forty minutes of music to work through first. It's always a tussle with the Lwa. They want what they want, when they want it, and it can leave me breathless -- literally -- until their demand is met.

I pushed through until I felt Danbala drop beside me and Mambo C slithered to the floor in full possession. This time, I was the one under the sheet with Papa Danbala. I am always stunned - despite having the tambor playing at my back and six hounsi singing overhead, the space beneath was quiet and cool. Danbala hissed softly, and pressed against me. I offered him water, then called for his child to come under the cover.

J leaned down and pressed his forehead against Danbala's. I felt the shudder move through the chwal's body, as Danbala's energy leaped through to J. He held his position, allowing Danbala to move ever so slightly forward and press his head more firmly against J's. They held that position for a time, then I could feel the shift. Danbala moved back, J stepped out and almost instantly, Mambo C returned.

We took a break, then returned to the remainder of the Rada section, landing on Azaka's song cycle. I thought folks knew these, but I found myself singing solo, with the group humming along. I saluted the altars and returned to the pe, the pain in my chest taking my breath away again. 'Not now" I thought, as I returned to my position by James and the drums. As I turned to stand, the room tilted fiercely left, and I found myself slammed into the wall. Waving off the hounsi, I tried to move into the room, the pain making me gasp, and my balance off totally. I teetered around the poto, trying to move off the drums, but they had me, I was hooked, the floor dropped away and I was....gone.

I regained my reality later, sitting amongst the food and produce, a straw hat on my head, and the congregation looking oddly out of sorts. The pain so present before, had dissipated, leaving behind an odd feeling of pressure that also left quickly. Azaka apparently had much to say to folks, and not exactly what they were expecting. So be it. It is not my place to question Spirit. If the pain in my chest was any example of the size of what was coming, then Azaka had a real quest to fulfill, and one mambo's discomfort wasn't about to stop him.

I always feel good when I have been used up as a vessel. I feel as if my purpose has been realized and I am satiated in ways that I can't always put into words. People seemed happy. The night was tight and on point. Although it was a shorter night than usual (only four hours), we packed a lot of things into the evening. Perhaps, this is a better way for it to be. Those with a long commute can make it home safely, and those who chose to stay are not exhausted beyond helping clean up the temple. We are on hiatus now, until July. The OnLine class begins tomorrow, and new students arrive in June. It's going to be a busy summer - just as Azaka predicted.

I give thanks to the Lwa for their generosity and unending gifts. Their words always inspire and give me  hope. Ayibobo. Alaso. Amen.

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