KWANZAA AFTER DARK: DAY 4

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Reflecting on the days of Kwanzaa…

Kwanzaa After Dark is about reflection.  After you’ve spent the day doing the Afrikan rituals within your community, go home and think about how you, as an individual can change.

We all come from the cradle of civilization.  We all can support Kwanzaa.  Why don’t we?  Think about that.

Thank you for visiting.

Shila Iris,

KWANZAA AFTER DARK: DAY 3

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Habari gani?  This is the question you ask your family, friends, and community at the beginning of each day of Kwanzaa.  In the language kiswahili, it translates to “What’s the news?” 

Your response is simply whatever day of Kwanzaa it is.  So this morning, you responded: “Ujima!”  Tomorrow you respond “Ujamaa!”

DAY 3 – UJIMA:  COLLECTIVE WORK AND RESPONSIBILITY

*Note:  If the images above appear blurry, please visit my previous post for a clearer view.

Peace and blessings manifest with every lesson learned,

Shila Iris

P.S. Divide and conquer has been a very useful tactic in taking from people of Afrikan descent.  We can fight this!  Let the circle be unbroken.  Fix yourself, so that we can all be together.  I’m in my healing flow, you know?

chasing gOd

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I climb the hills in his shoulder blades
swim across the tide in his neckline…

chasing God, remembering… remembering…remembering…

When I touch his skin
it feels like I’m journeying back a thousand years
Like I’m traveling through time
discovering ancient identities
and exploring tantric wisdom

When my lips touch his portal of life
it feels like I’m giving birth
Like I’m giving in to his highs and lows
taking the pain with the pleasure,
embracing his duality

When I’m in his aura field
it feels like I’m breathing in pure air,
unconditioned,
I give I give I give, I receive everything,
unlimited

He is my reflection,
yes, I stand in protection of a bond between two souls, untethered
fear shattered,
We jump brooms and dance in a trance,
this is a high-end romance, a spirit-filled experience

I tap into his mood
His eye contact is demanding
of me to grant him the position,
caretaker of my heart
He’s reading my energy
I nurture him and feed him life

We move towards the sky
on a never-ending high

I’m looking into his eyes,
Grateful for clairvoyance
Grateful for balance
Grateful for peace

we co-mingle, co-create, co-operate
Nature blesses us with fruit

reci-proci-ty

What’s in his skin is what’s in his spirit

who are you?

I am Shila Iris

 

BLACK HISTORY: Tribute to the Wonderful Bob Marley

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We’ve been celebrating Robert Nesta Marley all month!  I love reggae.  If you’re in CLE, check out the Ark Band tonight.  They were amazing in Columbus last week.  That stage was on fire!!!  We danced the night away!  Shout out to my friend Mark Hunter aka C-LA-C-I, lead singer of the Ark Band.  He was absolutely magickal on stage… and thank you all who came out to celebrate the 4th night of my birthday with me!  Lol.  Yes, the 4th night!  I had 7!

Peace and love,

This guy is so fly!

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Be clean. Be You. Be true.

Great smile, great style, and his flow! Oh my!!!!


Peace, Shila Iris … chillin, blasting 3000.  Listen here.

 

The Last Day

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It feels like the end,
but it’s only the beginning…
I wrote the words, then chanted
I spoke the words and stood in formation
I created rituals, so I wouldn’t forget
I burned candles, I lit incense
I filled the room with sage and lobaan
I built an altar so that I could see, I
danced until I could once again breathe, I
didn’t have much company or outside influence, I
took time out for me.
My, Moon watching vigils lasted for hours, my
Sun salutations opened me to spirit, I
studied my chakras, my energy, my spirituality
I focused on balancing my core, I
posed in Kemet, I
tiptoed thru the Nile
I gazed into the Pacific, I,
cried into the Atlantic, I
connected with my angels,
they are my Ancestors, I
learned to forgive, I
learned to live, I
opened my heart, I
received, I
received, I
repeat, I
manifest so magickally, I
was given a purpose, I
mastered chemistry, I
summoned you, I
summoned me, I
let go, I
sang the song, I
held the hands of my friends, I
remembered my Mother, I
saw my Father, I
loved on my Sisters, I
called on my Brothers, I
purged, only to emerge
like a butterfly, colorful, I
have wings.

by Shila Iris, 12/31/2018

Dedicated to Beverly White-Yates … read below


Shout out to my sister Judy, who is turning 36 today.  Peace, my Love.


Also, I am remembering Beverly White-Yates who visited me the week before she passed.
She came to me during my meditation.  I asked myself, “why is Beverly in my meditation?”  My ancestors are the ones that visit me in this state, but she was there, smiling.  She and I were very much alike.  The first day we met, we were holding hands like sisters.  We instantly connected!  Our twenty year difference in age did not matter at all.  She showed me what it was like to have unconditional, pure love from a woman.  [Over the years, I have craved sisterhood in friendship, but the women that were around me, just weren’t authentic.  No disrespect to them, we just didn’t align spiritually.  On the surface, yes, but I was craving something real.  I can see people for what they are to the core.  That is a gift that I have accepted.  So, often times, women will attach to me, but I may seem standoffish when I don’t feel that genuine, raw, honesty and love.  Naturally, I have to protect myself].  Beverly had that.  I could let down my guard and be real with her, with no judgment.  She didn’t drain me, she added to my divine presence.  She was awesome.  I trusted her.  I trusted that she’d never do anything to hurt me.  It’s very rare for me to feel that. And even though I accept people and their actions, it feels good to know that someone will have your back no matter what.  They won’t sell you out or be embarrassed by your authenticity.

When Beverly appeared in my meditation the week before her physical death, she didn’t tell me she was leaving this realm, she sent my friend Bobby to tell me.  Odd, right?  He came and sat down next to me and said, “I have something to tell you.”  I couldn’t believe it.  I explained to him that I had just saw her.  I was in shock of her power, and of my own.  The gifts that she and I shared.  I saw her for what she was, and she saw me.  I loved her.  If we saw each other once every 3 years, the love would be the same.  In the last video she sent to me, she said that she and I had the same vibratory energy, having been born under the Aquarius Sun sign.  She also said that she always thought about me, and that she’d never forget me.  Not very many women in my life have been honest with me in this way, so it made me cry, and even typing this, it makes me cry.  I get it, though, I get death, and I know, like my ancestors, she is still here.  I am blessed to have videos of her on the Marco Polo app to go back and look at, because I think of her a lot.  I also have many pictures from when we worked together and videos from a project she helped me with in grad school.  We spoke the previous year and a few times earlier this year.  She is with me, always.  For as long as I am here, I will keep her alive in my thoughts and in the stories I share.  Peace.

After the Solstice…

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“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain…”

-Shila Iris w/ Bob Marley

Everything I Need

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I’d love to have you join me next Saturday for a unique Wine Tasting!  Everyone is welcome!
Dress in your Afrikan garb so we can take some fine family pictures.  If you don’t have any, please, come as you are.  Peace and Joy!

Purchase tickets here or pay at the door.

Shila Iris aka Honey

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Throwback Tonight: Happy Kwanzaa!

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Tonight we dance!

The symbols of a culture, a heritage of humanity, mean a lot.  When they begin to disappear, be very concerned.  So, the moral of the story is:  wear your color, wear your art, wear your culture to remind you of where we been and we’re going.  Don’t give up.  Sankofa!

Besides, color is so dope!

I stay woke,
Shila Iris aka Honey

!

The Water

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The water heals
so, I swim deep

the depth of it all
just seems so out of reach

so I fetch, dig deep in my memory
the spirits rise, so again I can see

at the bottom of the ocean
in Labadi beach
The horses, they come for me

I am the master of this ceremony
new life, new mind
3 dollars and 6 dimes
Cause the woman that knows something,
knows that she knows nothing at all
Change

-by Shila Iris

Mood: Jesse Boykins III

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If you don’t know him, you should.  Try him. I did, and I am very pleased…


Birthday:  February 20, 1985 (Age 32)

1.Jesse Boykins III & MeLo-X:  Black Orpheus…
 
“I played her heart strings…”

chase Jesse with Eric… “Met her at Howard, lived in the Towers, same floor that I was, which did allow us, to sit and talk for hours, in between dealings, and all this unveiling, clearly there was feelings…”

2. Eric Roberson:  A Tale of Two

Eric’s Birthday:  September 25, 1976 (Age 40)

chase Eric with Raheem…  “I’m so proud, to have a lady, a Queen who wears a crown…”

3. Raheem DeVaughn:  You

Raheem’s Birthday:  May 5, 1975 (Age 42)

Raheem with Bilal…  “I wish I was drug free, sometimes…”  

4. Bilal:  Sometimes

Bilal’s Birthday:  August 23, 1979 (Age 37)

and Bilal with Musiq…  “You’re my baby, my lover, my lady.  All night, you make me,
want you, it drives me crazy.  I feel, like you, were made just for me baby…”

5. Musiq: So Beautiful

Musiq’s Birthday:  September 16, 1977 (Age 39)

and then, with your last glass of wine before bed… “You won’t regret it no, no
Young girls they don’t forget it, love is their whole happiness, yeah, yeah, yeah…”

6.  Otis Redding:  Try a Little Tendeness

Otis’ Birthday:  September 9, 1941 (deceased at Age 26)

Jesse. Eric. Raheem. Bilal. Musiq.  In that order.  Otis. ♥

Peace and joy,

You got me…  I am Shila  (pronounced Shy-lah)

Whenever I got lonely, or needed some advice, he gave me his shoulder, his words were very nice…

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I picks my friends, like I picks my fruit,
and granny told me that when I was only a youth,
I, don’t walk around trynna be what I’m not,
I don’t waste my time trynna get what you got.
I work at pleasing me, cause I can’t please you,
and that’s why, I do what I do,
My soul flies free like a willow tree…

Fruit…

He brought so much excitement to my day.  Spending hours in my cypher, he began to write poems, inspired by the way my mind floated.  He remained untainted by false profits, and listened to the elders.  He meant what he said.  He said, he’d see me through my healing.  He was strong.  He needed me, just as I needed him, sustained by my unpredictable existence, he levitated in the walls that I cultivated- orange and red hues, with yellow overtones.  My creations empower.   I am the water bearer, the loyal one.  Blossoming spirit, they desire, but I chose  him.  I swallowed his insecurities, and I deciphered his anger.  He gave to me purely, without expectations.

I am Shila Iris, life-sustaining…

The Healer

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He called out to her from a distance and she pretended not to hear him.
Not because she didn’t like the sound of his voice,
but because she did not want him to look into her tear-filled eyes.
He caught her, pulled her towards him and asked her to accept his presence.
She lifted her head to see, the face of the Sun.
The time had come.  She smiled.  For the rest of the day.

I asked the elders if I could speak freely, and they said, absolutely.
I earned the right to tell my story, for without the element of truth,
it would all be in vain.  The generations to follow will hear the sound of
my voice, resounding… cause I need these niggas to turn into gods

Asante sana, nakupenda, la la salama…

Shila Iris

My Introduction to Nina Simone

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Back in 2009, my girlfriend and I met each other in Atlanta, Georgia for a weekend of fun and to get fitted for bridesmaid dresses. One afternoon, we stumbled upon the art district, Little Five Points and wandered into an attractive shop called Moods Music. I got really excited. This was the first music store I had ever gone to, that catered to my personal tastes. It was amazing! I wanted to buy the entire store, but settled for a really wonderful CD by Quadron and a copy of Wax Poetics Magazine that I cherish to this day with Gil Scott- Heron on the cover. Since I liked this magazine so much, a friend of mine, who has always gotten me the best and most thoughtful gifts, decided to buy me a subscription to Wax Poetics for my birthday. On the cover of the 1st issue I received was Ms. Nina Simone. Reading the article, I fell in love with her spirit. They dubbed her “the Black poetess of protest.” I learned that she was a child piano prodigy, was great friends with Amiri Baraka, Langston Hughes, James Baldwin, Richard Pryor, and Lorraine Hansberry, and that most people who came into contact with her thought she was fearless and revolutionary. They say, Nina Simone didn’t give a fuck, meaning, she was going to do her thing no matter what. I felt like I had a lot of catching up to do on this woman who had an attitude that I could relate to. I wrote and performed a tribute to Nina Simone soon after I read this, and I have listened to her music since, mostly adoring the unconventional sound of her voice and her unapologetic lyrics. We are forever connected, Ms. Simone.

Peace & love.

Thank you for reading,

Shila Iris

My Introduction to David Banner

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black-history_feb-19_copyright-shila-iris-2017Transformation is possible. He used to be vulgar, ruled by his lower self- arrogant, over-sexed, chasing money, starved for attention, allowing Black life to be dictated to him by non-Black people at his record company. He did this until he knew better. “When you know better, you do better.”  In 2017, he is taking a different approach to African consciousness and to Black life.

David Banner is using his charm to resuscitate Black History, and he is striving to help Black people wake up. Willing to meet people where they are, he uses his own life as an example to inspire change. When you have knowledge of self, small distractions like technology, sex, and material possessions fade. Banner doesn’t hide from his past. He acknowledges his own humanity, and takes responsibility for his actions, reminding people to be humble and honest. When you bring up any of his mistakes, he smiles, laughs, and continues on in his evolution. This level of maturity is necessary on the path to transcendence. I have not known about this man for very long, but I am happy to see him boldly taking action. It’s so easy to get caught up in worldliness that weakens the spirit, but at some point we all have to lay our egos to rest so that we can survive. Always in search of good music, I listened to his latest album, The God Box. I love it. I am sending him good vibrations on his journey to push Black people into consciousness.

“I don’t care what you think of me, I just want you to think!”

Thank you for reading,

2015

Shila Iris