NYU Black Renaissance Noire Volume 18 Issue 1 - Winter 2018 - Page 24

Trickster flies through our lives and sparkles in our eyes with his salmon-in-the-sky masquerade . Eagle has been jealous since he broke from his mother ’ s egg . Raven cruises through our imagination and we love it ; he ’ s a survivor from history and always has a story to tell . Deep within us , at the spirit ’ s cave , he is a real friend and guardian .
And Trickster does have more sides than a walrus but never as round as that ton of blubber or as smelly . Raven desires nothing but to shatter or remove our tendency to stick our head in sand . And he has no reservations at poking fun at the timid and lazy , the bigot and prude , coward and liar , the ones with guns and thousanddollar bills glinting in their eyes .
Yet Raven ’ s lasting role is to wear the mask of the night , the critter roaming in the blood of our nature .
And at your bedside he sings a lullaby to put under your pillow .
If you close your eyes with a smile and the rose blossoms on your cheeks , Sleep Bird will coo for the night and you ’ ll wake in a laugh of delight .
11 BLACK RENAISSANCE NOIRE
p Monique Clesca in her childhood. In my imaginary romantic version of how my paternal grandparents met, I see GrandAngele washing clothes or bathing in the village’s river, while Grandpa Joseph paused to water his horse. Or maybe he took time from the harsh inland journey to soak his tired body in the river. How many times had he seen her, before he mastered his courage to speak? Did she know he was looking at her? Did he offer her a bouquet of wild flowers? Only she knew. I know that their bodies smiled to each other, because their love produced five children. Papa was the oldest of a set of twins born in February 1907, but his twin brother Herman died at age two. GrandAngele would lose two other children: her daughter Camilla, who died soon after birth, and her son, Carlo who died at age 22. TanteYvonne, her youngest, lived a long life. I wondered what GrandAngele had thought of Grandpa Joseph’s early death from depression, which transformed her into a young widow. How did she handle the emptiness of losing a husband? It must have been heartbreaking. In her solitude, did she perhaps draw strength from Erzulie, Ogun, or Papa Loko, the loas, spirits from Africa, which sometimes possessed her head? As dusk was falling on her 88 year-old body, she must have also been reflecting on the passage of time. She was surrounded by her extended family, and now by Viola and me, but when I glanced at her, she seemed most times very much alone with her thoughts. While I slowly pushed her rocking chair, I thought of asking her if her voyage in this world had been interesting, but my eight-year old self just stood idly and watched her crinkled body rock back and forth. For a long time. It was as if she were present but also somewhere else. In the distance. “Pitit mwen. My child, get me a little coffee.” GrandAngele told me often, as she caressed my arm holding the chair. Coffee was comfort; it was what she knew. I so loved spending time ݥѠ)Ʌݡѡѥ)Ё䁵䁵ѡˊé͕1e)䁡͕݅́ͼݥѠ)Ʌȁɽȸ)=Ёͽѕȁ$ٕ)$ݽѱѼݡЁͽչ)ͥQхQхх)%ЁЁՑȸQյ́ݕɔ)ЁAххAх)ххAххAххх$)ٕȁɐЁɔݽɕ)ݡЁЁ̸݅)$ЁYé܁)݅丁$ͅ܁ȁѽ́ѡɽ՝)ȁЁɽݹх)݅́͡ͼ͕ɍȁ䁕̸)]́ȁ܁̸͕)$Ʌݱͱݱ䁽Ё䁍ٕȁ)ͱչȁ́Ѽ)хͥѥ䁡ѥ)əѱ䁩Ё܁ȁɵи+qt$ɐ$Ѽѡͽչ)́Ёɕ啐䁕ȁѡɡѡ)չեхȁѡЁͽչ)Օ䰁ȁ݅䰁ЁɅ͍ѡ)մ́Ёմѡ)qt݅́ɕѕ)ȸQ$ɐѡՙ)ͽչЁѕɥɽ)ɵЁѥٔѡɔ݅́ə)ɵ䁥ѡͥѡ)$ձeЁ͍ѡѡЁѡ)յ́ݕɔѡх)ͱݱ䰁ٕͱݱѼѡ͵ɽ)ѡЁ$͡ɕݥѠY$ɕ)ȁȁ͡ЁѥЁ)ͥ͡ѡ䁱)$݅́Ʌ͔ݔݕɔ)AͅЁՍɱȰ)ݡЁȁݽɬ ɥͥ)݅́ɽѥمѽȰ$݅)ѕѕѼ͠ݸѡх́ɽ)ݡɔѡͥ݅́$)ѡЁYݽձٔѽ)%ӊéѡѡаݔѼ)͍ѡɹQͥ)Ѡݽ݅́ձͅѥ)䁕Ȱ$ѡЁ͕ͅѥ)ѡЁ䁉݅́ͱݱ䁑͕)ѼͱݥѠݥ͵ݥѠ)́ѥٔ$ͥ)Yéɵи)QѡոЁյͱ)ɥЁѥձ䁡иQЁɹ)́$͕ѡٕɅ݅)Ѽ͍$ٕɡɐͽͥ)хЁYՑԁɕ)ѡЁɔ$݅́ɥ́Ѽ)܁ݡ䰁YՑԁ݅́ѡɕ)Aé䰁eЁЁ)ѡ͕٥̸$eЁչхѡ)ݡѡ͔Ʌ́ݕɔѡ)ѡи$݅́٥́)ͅЁѡͅѥѡЁAé)Ʌ啐ѕȁ$ݕЁѼͱ)MɸЁ͕ٔՍ)ݥѠȁݡєѕѠѡ)ɕ͡ѡɬѼЁ)ȁ͵͵ѡЁЁٔх)Ѽѡȁ̸MЁٔ)ͼɕ́ѕѥݥѠ)͵Ѡͭȁȁ䁡)ɔɥٕȁ٥)ᕐݥѠ䁽ѡȁɅM)ɽ́ѡЁݕɔɕѱ䁱)ѼѡeՉ%ɥ́])ɥɽݡ͍݅́͡и)Ʌȁ䰁ѡɽ՝)ѡɅѥѡȁɕYՑ)ɕхЁչ)ݥѠѡeՉ%Ʌ)ɥ̰ݡѕȁᕐݥѠѡ)-ɥ́ɽ Ʌɥ)Qɥ́хݕ)ɥ!Ѥɽѡѥѡ)ݕɔ́͡յɝ)ѡՙɕхͱٕ䁽՝)хѥ̰ѱѼѕȁѡ͔ɥѕ̸)Q͔̰䁙ٽɥєѥѼ)ɕ͍ЁɅ́ݡ)Ʌ́хɕٕѥѡ)ոɽ͡Qɥ齸́)݅ѕȁ́ѥѼѡݥ)͕́յ́ѡͭ)ѡɵ̸Yɉѕ5́٥)х1ЁѼѡ́)ѡѡ䁥Aɥ́մ͔)݅䁥Ѽѡ丁́ѡɅ̰ͅ)$ѽ剽͕ѥ)܁Ʌ)͕䁡ٔ)Ʌ!ɽ͕Ս)ݥѠ̰́݅ݡɅٕ)ѡͽѡɸɕЁ́ɽѥ)ȁ䰁Ȱ䁅)ѡȁɕ́ݽ̸!Ёٔ)եєɕͥȰ)䁉͔݅́ͼٕ䁑ɕа)хձѼݥѠЁ啱)ͭɬ̰ͱЁх)ɅЁȁѡЁݽɔ)͡!ձ͕ٔ)ȁݡє ɱȰɅe)٥Ր͕́ѽݥѠ)Ʌ́ɽ̰ѕѡ́ѡ)9́IٕȰЁٕ䁙ȁɽѡ)Ё䁽5Ʌ