Thursday, December 31, 2009

Flee From The City

Flee From The City

Babylon gettin’ busy
Must flee from the city
Too much wickedness
Too much iniquity
Not even safe for
Doggie or kitty
Betta run fast
It nah look pretty

Take a look around on the streets
People wear the mark of the beast
Trouble run from west to the east
Vampires dem all come out to feast

Women getting raped and violated
Whole life ruined and desecrated
Reminded by their belly inflated
Baby having baby, its understated

Alcohol and coke get out of control
Hard drugs circulate like blood flow
Gun fire cuts short all potential
Sending another youth to a burial

Population overrun by sheer poverty
Not enough food for the little pickney
Mommy and Daddy have no job security
Families get destroyed by infidelity

Politricksters wait to steal the elections
Winning with their criminal interventions
Using the church to take up collections
Hiring police to fight insurrections


Not enough money to fund good education
All the youths just learn from imitation
Ignorance and folly make bad combination
Nobody to raise-up the next generation

Must flee from the city
And run to the hills
Where the green grass grow
And the blood nah spill
JAH children behave
And act civil
Cause the fyah ah go bun
And wipe out all evil

JMC
12/31/09
(c) 2009

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Awful Truth

Awful Truth

Oh Truth, how I praise thee
And yet, sometimes I recoil in fear
For when You are near
What is hidden is brought to light
Ugliness, wickedness... weakness
What I think I’ve seen, is unseen
What I think I know, is unknown
The heart breaks and the soul cries
As what lies beneath the lies
Is exhumed...
The stench looms in revelation
And false reality crumbles

Oh, I wish I could employ You
To give me only a portion
To leave me in complacency
Avoiding the harsh agony
That seems to follow after You
I confess, my flesh will always
Be offended by Your Power
Not partial...
Not understanding...
Obedient only to righteousness
So therefore I can only submit
Standing in awe... Full Truth

JMC
12/30/09
(c) 2009

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Lucid

Lucid

A soft glow broke the darkness
And then her name appeared...
For seconds, I could only look
As I mistook the cadence of the call
With the palpitations of my heart
It started pulling apart my sleep
And so I reached out for the source
This lucid torch in the blackness
Groping for, hoping for the chance
To hear her voice, to catch her trance
Yet my hand combed the expanse
Of dark d├ęcor in my bedroom corner
Until light could be seen no longer
And the stillness of night returned
A quiet slumber fell upon me
Murky haze had filled my eyes
My conscious already capsized
Tumbling me into a sea of dreams
Where it seemed like I was there
Enveloped between her warmth
Or the thoughts of such...
While I lay curled up alone
Disturbed by my phone

JMC
11/28/09
(c) 2009

Monday, November 2, 2009

Kingly Character: A Narrative

Imagine a world on the very edge of crisis. The radios and newspapers are full of rumors of war and in just a mere matter of years these rumors will manifest on a scale unseen before. In Germany and Italy, fascism begins to spill out from obscure corners, bleeding radicalized thoughts that start to captivate entire nations of people, while in turn attempting to annihilate others. In Soviet Russia, harsh state policies and suppression have many living in fear of Stalin's power. In Asia, unbridled imperialism is on the rise and nations will be falling into chaos. The United States is in the throes of an economic failure and the effects of the Great Depression are becoming a harsh reality. Finally, the colonial powers of Europe still have their talons sunk into Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean with no end in sight. Some months ago, Mohandas Gandhi lead the non-violent Satyagraha movement of the Purna Swaraj in the Salt March in India, inspiring Indians to resist the British Empire... but since then violent clashes and massacres have made the headlines. This was the climate of 1930, a time of upheaval and a year of uncertainty.

During this same time, on November 2, 1930, a man of small stature known as Ras Tafari Makonnen is proclaimed Emperor of Ethiopia. He is given the name Haile Selassie I, "Might of the Trinity", and the titles "King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah, and Elect of God". Later on, Selassie I will also take the title “Defender of the Faith” for his devotion to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and Christianity in general. He now sits on the ancient throne of Ethiopia, a country seemingly forgotten by time, yet at the very root of human history. His coronation makes him the 225th Emperor of Ethiopia, a lineage claiming descent from King Solomon of ancient Israel. More than just a legend, the Ethiopian people had upheld the tradition of ancient Hebraic religious practices for thousands of years as well as a claim to possess the Ark of the Covenant. When Christianity arrived in Ethiopia, it was an ancient brand, untouched by the politicization of the faith by the Roman Empire. Finally, Ethiopia remained the only African country to resist European colonization (besides Liberia), having defeated the Italian invaders in the Battle of Adwa in 1896. This is the legacy that His Imperial Majesty now inherits. All eyes seem to gaze on Haile Selassie I, especially the envious eyes of Mussolini, who in a few years will seek a twisted form of revenge against Ethiopia for the Italian defeat at Adwa.

Now imagine living in Jamaica during the year 1930, a small island nation under the rule of the British Empire. Three years ago an outspoken activist, Marcus Garvey, had told those who would listen to look to Africa for the crowning of a black king. He has been encouraging Jamaicans and other people of the African Diaspora to unite and join together, to resist white colonial powers, and repatriate back to Africa to live in their ancestral homeland and fight against outside aggressors. His message of black pride has been popular with the struggling class, eking out a living from days spent on sugarcane plantations in rural communities. Stories and photos have circulated before on Ras Tafari Makonnen, the visits he made to various countries, the power and dignity he seemed to possess… something that seemed so far out of reach for the common man, a black man in the western hemisphere. Growing up in church, you’ve long heard stories from preachers and ministers about the Promised Land, Israel captivated by the Babylonians, the wise King Solomon, the Ark of the Covenant, and of the Book of Revelations. Sometimes the trials of your life and your loved ones seem to echo the accounts written in the Bible. Suddenly in a November news article, you read of Ras Tafari on his Coronation Day… a black king of this mystical nation, Ethiopia, crowned emperor! You see photos of him and his queen in their robes, surrounded by all nations of people. You find out that Emperor Haile Selassie I is given the very same titles, “King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Conquering Lion of Judah…” revealed in the Scriptures, names that follow the coming of Jesus Christ. This is prophecy revealed! Soon, preachers like Leonard Howell and Joseph Hibbert help bring about the Rastafari movement… though a movement, some would say, established since Creation.

Forward on to now. Rastafari has grown since that day in November of 1930, His Imperial Majesty’s Coronation. It has become worldwide. However, first we must look to H.I.M. Haile Selassie I himself, because the story did not end with H.I.M. being crowned emperor of an ancient monarchy, even though that is all it took for him to earn the adoration and reverence of millions. His story is that of a wise and benevolent leader, for whom there has been no comparison in terms of importance and accomplishment. He fought against the evil forces of Italian fascism and imperialism, and still offered forgiveness for his transgressors. He stood with defiance before the League of Nations and later boldly addressed the United Nations. His leadership brought light to the African continent, for so long perceived and dismissed as the “Dark Continent”. He helped establish the Organization of African Unity. He addressed human rights without regard to color or creed, at home and abroad. He shared his rule with his people, giving the Ethiopians their first constitution and handing down liberties unknown before in his nation. He helped build schools and hospitals in an effort to modernize his country while keeping its traditional integrity. He met with leaders of nations from all over the world, and visited their countries. Although a devout Ethiopian Orthodox Christian he had an ecumenical outlook and met with various other church leaders even building relations with the Vatican and with other religious faiths such as Islam. He visited Jamaica and Trinidad and met with Rastafari elders there, as well as political leaders to discuss the well-being of his admirers and followers in the West. He also gave a portion of land called Shashamane in Ethiopia as a show of support to those Rastafari people and those of the African Diaspora who wished to repatriate back to Africa. While all of these are significant achievements, they only skim the surface because there so many more things to mention on His Majesty. However it shows that H.I.M. Haile Selassie I was not a mere symbol or relic of some biblical dynasty… he is the Comforter in this time!

Rastafari is a worldwide phenomenon now, with all kinds of people from all parts of the earth, but some forget about why I&I chant “Rastafari”. It is because of His Majesty! As made known, the Emperor speaks for himself. His wisdom equaled that of his ancestor, Solomon. He showed what it meant to be a follower of Iyesus Kristos (Jesus Christ), revealed Christ in His Kingly Character, and showed a way of peace to the people of the world. His utterances and his actions will outlast and endure throughout the ages. He came to power during a time of war and calamity and guarded over JAH people, his nation and those of others, like a shepherd guards his flock. He encouraged people to have a spiritual outlook, to love JAH, and take care of one another. He encouraged progressive behaviors. Surely JAH Spirit dwelled within H.I.M., the Holy Spirit of the Comforter. Rastas declare to the nations that Haile Selassie I is the foundation in this time… all Rastafari venerate and follow Selassie I. Not all within the movement may agree on how to uphold H.I.M., but it is love and respect that reign over the different points of view because nobody can deny Selassie I and his example. So, I hail H.I.M. up as an ambassador to the King of Kings! Give thanks for the crowning of Haile Selassie I!

Hail The Comforter,
JAHsh

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Walking Dead

Walking Dead

They're just another one of the walking dead
Brainwash education and get the youths mislead
They take away the Truth and give you lies instead
'Til your skull get bore just like pumpkin head

They only feed you lies upon more lies
Until it bulge straight out from your eyes
They tell you that you can reach the skies
But they just want to see you victimized
They suck you dry of all your motivation
Locked away with no chance of probation
While they build up their Babylon nation
And trample upon all of JAH creation
They're moving about in the darkness of night
Pushing their plague, spreading their blight
Yet I know the shadow flees from the light
Oh Mighty JAH JAH, give me Your holy sight

They're just another one of the walking dead
Brainwash education and get the youths mislead
They take away the Truth and give you lies instead
'Til your skull get bore just like pumpkin head

The truth is sometimes stranger than fiction
My people, time you get this depiction
Babylon is causing too much damn friction
And the youths are a victim of affliction
JAH seh so, see all the dead men walking
Heart still ah beat and mouth keep talking
Yes, it's JAH People that they're stalking
They want to see you lying in a coffin
No, they won't rest 'til you join the rest
Want to cut you down and eat up your flesh
Wicked man, why do you cause so much distress
Enslaving my people, and getting them suppressed

They're just another one of the walking dead
Brainwash education and get the youths mislead
They take away the Truth and give you lies instead
'Til your skull get bore just like pumpkin head

Look, in this time it's a real big scare
They legalize abortion but resist new healthcare
They're only looking out for their own share
But when they see a poor man, no nickel to spare
Euthanizing the people in the ghetto of the city
But still talking about some death panel committee
Trying to fool the public, they act without pity
Wish I could see a change, but it's not pretty
I only see vampires with their evilous plans
Ghosts hiding behind sheets like the Ku Klux Klan
They say time change, but I see blood on their hands
I say you must never bow, nor meet their demands

They're just another one of the walking dead
Brainwash education and get the youths mislead
They take away the Truth and give you lies instead
'Til your skull get bore just like pumpkin head

J
MC
10/31/09

(c) 2009

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Fix

The Fix

I struggle without it
Start to lose my mind
The hours pass slowly
And I become fully
Agitated... by all of the
Idiot ting surrounding me
People hounding me
All of it downing me
Can’t think straight
It’s hard to wait
When it seems
Without end
I’d spend my last dollar
Just for a fix...
A mix of the finest kind
Fresh from Jamaica
Or maybe Trinidad
Guyana, South Africa
Even Germany or Japan
I need it bad, man
I have to check the one
Named VP...
Him have good quality
Or maybe Greensleeves
I’d even go as far
To find the one, JetStar
Just to get my hands on
My one single passion
And when I get ready
To nice up my medi
I tear off the wrapper
Assail with tooth and nail
I need it, just...
One draw of the One Drop
Oh, I’ve tried to stop
But when it hits... you feel ok
So, hit me...
Hit me with music
Sweet reggae music

J
MC
8/16/09
(c) 2009

Friday, August 14, 2009

A Dove Tale

A couple of days ago I stopped by my parent’s house after work for some dinner. My Dad wasn’t home at the time, but I ate and spoke with my Mom. Afterward while preparing to leave, I went into my car in order to throw out some trash. When I turned around to walk back towards the car my mother and I noticed a Mourning Dove had flown down and perched on the roof right above the driver’s side. I suppose that wasn’t too odd in itself, but I started to become curious as the bird just stayed there. I started to edge closer... and closer, all the while thinking that the dove would feel its natural instinctive fear of humans and fly off in a moment, but it didn’t. As I kept heading for it I took out my phone and used the camera to get a picture; still, no flying away. Finally I reached the car and I was literally looking at the bird face to face. I could see into its small black eyes as it bobbed its little head, I could see every little detail in its plumage, every crease in its orange feet. I took more pictures, even a little video clip... astonished by the fact that it wasn’t scared. It just sat there looking around, occasionally dipping down to drink some beads of rain water on my car. Once in awhile it made a soft cooing sound. I was quite baffled, and my Mom came out and stood next to me... both of us gawking at the creature. It reminded me of the famous movie scene where apes cautiously approach a mysterious black monolith in the film “2001: A Space Odyssey”. The Mourning Dove did not appear injured or seem to be in any pain. We found that it could flap its wings and fly a distance when it wanted, but it really liked hanging out there with us. I half-jokingly asked my Ma what she would do if the bird just started talking. It would be Old Testament style... Balaam and the talking donkey (Numbers 22:1-35). Then she mentioned that, “maybe it was Grandpa or Grandma”. Maybe. I guess that requires a short side-story.

Growing up, my maternal grandparents and I lived on the same block, and later on, a couple blocks away. I can remember always hearing Mourning Doves with their soft low call, cooah, woo, woo, woo. It was almost like the neighborhood’s trademark... a strangely peaceful and melancholy sound at the same time. You would always see them sitting together on power lines or tree branches, one beside the other. I learned later that Mourning Doves are monogamous. That fact definitely reminds me of my grandparents, they were in a strong loving relationship for most of their life. My grandfather was the first to pass away and I was 15 at the time. When a stone was prepared for the cemetery plot, my grandma wanted a picture of two doves sitting together on a rose branch. Seven years later, she too passed on. The Mourning Doves, both in their life and in their absence, forever remain symbolic of my grandparents in my heart. Even the lamenting calls of the doves remind me of how I still miss them. Back to the present...

The bird was still there perched on my roof. It slid down my windshield once. It also left a little “present” for me on the window. Something its feathered brethren often do, although I rarely catch them doing it so unabashedly right before my eyes. As my Ma went to get some leaves to clean up the mess, I wanted to pick up the bird, partly out of curiosity and partly to gently remove the fellow so that I could get going. But I was stopped by my mother who told me to not touch it because of parasites and the like... whatever it was just a bird, but I wasn’t going to argue. Several minutes ago we began talking to it, “ok Mr. Bird, you gotta move now... time to go”. And even funnier, “if you have something to say to us, say it now ‘cause Josh has to go”. No response. So, soon after my Mom shooed it away with a little leafy branch. It didn’t choose to fly though, but rather strut around on the street. It reminded me of another bird story from my childhood. My Grandpa once brought over a paper bag to the same house. Inside was a pigeon. A rather strange pigeon that didn’t fly but walked in circles... it was very peculiar but it must have been hurt or knocked in the head too hard. My brothers and I affectionately named it “Bert” after Ernie and Bert and the latter’s love of pigeons. That pigeon would run around in circles, I’d pick it up and it would glide in circles. Eventually Bert flew off my arm and away in the sky... in one giant sweeping circle. I was quite proud. Anyway, pigeons and doves are close cousins... so the strange behavior of this one had me reflecting on that moment from the past.

Eventually I left, my Ma waving goodbye and the Mourning Dove safely off the street sitting on an electric box, looking at me. I said bye to both of them and decided to drive to the cemetery to the top of the hill. I used to visit my grandparents here often when the wounds of the heart were all too fresh. We also used to walk together in this peaceful cemetery when I was a child. Something about it is very serene. As I looked upon the stone, I saw the two doves sitting on the rose branch and below that, the name of my grandpa and my grandma carved into the black granite. I stood there and said a prayer. I really did wonder, was there a message for us? Just a few weeks ago I had been in an art museum and saw a painting of the Portland Bridge (or the Arrigoni Bridge for the highbrows) from an angle that would have been from the unique vantage point of the house where my deceased friend used to live… it had been the day of his birthday. That had to be a sign... I don’t believe in coincidences, but rather JAH-incidents... meaningful, purposeful things. Was this Mourning Dove one too? I did have a deep conversation about society and humanity with my mother before I even left the door of the house... but who knows.


The whole incident, the Dove Tale, could be a sign, or it could be of no significance... but it does have me a little more aware of things. Even just sharing those few minutes in such proximity to one of JAH’s wild creatures made me ponder the whole relationship between humans and animals and plants. Do we need to step back more often, look into the eyes of the beasts and consider JAH creation? Do we need to be open for a message... a message like the donkey spoke to Balaam, and making an ass out of a prophet. Do our ancestors look after us, ambiguously revealed in familiar echoes from the past? Was it the Most High just saying, “Hello”? Things to think on...

Blessings,
JAHsh

Livicated to my grandparents, Edmond and Philomena Gioielli.




Monday, August 10, 2009

Attitude Of Gratitude

When was the last time you sat down and ate a meal? I mean really ate, like taking slow bites and savoring each flavor. If you try it, it can be a completely different experience from the usual wolfing-down food on the go. You discover flavors that you were previously unaware of, and you become satisfied with smaller portions of things. I’ll be the first to admit that I am usually guilty of eating too fast and too much... but I’ve been more conscious of that lately and it has caused me to think beyond food and propose this question: When was the last time you savored the flavor of life?

In this day and age it is so easy to forget about the very vital things that sustain our lifestyles, let alone our very lives. We wake up each morning taking for granted that we have actually woken up. We have food to prepare a breakfast, or we have the money to buy some. Speaking of money, most of us have sources of income, so we can take care of our needs and our wants. We have shelter, we have comforts. We have family, and friends among us. Yet one thing most of us act like we don’t have is time. Why is it that we have so much abundantly set before us, and we never bother to consider how blessed we really are. We overlook all that we have, and instead desire what we don’t have. We never really taste the goodness of life, we just nyam it down.

Try taking the time to give thanks during the day at every moment possible even if it seems like there is nothing to be thankful for... because there always is. Even if you were to have nothing, which is rare but almost possible, then give thanks for every draw of breath, every beat of the heart, every little second onward against the tide of struggle. It requires a great deal of humbling of the self and magnifying of the Almighty. I know that some people do not believe in God, but as a Rastaman I have to give thanks and praise to the Creator and Sustainer of Life... Yahweh, Jehovah. I give thanks for the love and sacrifice of the Savior, Iyesus Kristos. I give thanks for the wisdom and faithfulness of King Selassie I. I give thanks for all the prophets, the freedom fighters, and the lovers of humanity. I give thanks that life has a purpose to it, that there is a rhythm... and you just have to tune in. When you're in sync, it is easier to go forward in confidence.

Take a moment to pray, to show some gratitude. Many things come forth from a grateful spirit. For instance, being thankful will help you become happier, healthier, more satisfied, more caring and more aware. Take time to acknowledge creation, the plants, and the animals, the small and wondrous things that we often just pass by. If you did so, you would know JAH because creation reflects the Creator! Gratitude can change your doubt into faith, your weaknesses into strength. And if you don’t sight up the Most High but say you are grateful, then who are you really showing gratitude to? It’s bigger than you, or me, or any man or woman. Yet people are so vain and confused, sometimes they’d rather say that aliens came down and genetically manufactured us rather than admit that there is a God. Go praise some Martians if you want... but I can’t sight that up, not at all!

Gratitude should be a continuous attitude, it should be part of one’s lifestyle (or as we say in Rastafari, livity) and not just for a particular occasion. When you have gratitude it allows the peace of JAH to reign in the heart even amidst troubles. When you honor and glorify the Most High it eradicates the trivial worries, the selfish wants, and the despair that can form when you don’t clean up your mind and heart. When you practice being thankful, all of those burdens just slip off because you give them no foothold. It’s not a magic wand and not everything will go as you would like, but you will see things in a different way when you have a thankful heart because it helps you to keep counting the blessings rather than overlooking them. Being grateful for even the smallest of things can make a huge difference on your outlook on life. And just like a delicious dish that you take time on, life too will taste a little bit sweeter... I guarantee it!

All Praises Due to JAH! Rastafari! Keep an attitude of gratitude!

JAHsh

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Old Friend

Old Friend

It sure has been awhile
When did I see you last?
Yes, it was somewhere
Amongst scraps of paper
Napkins, tickets, receipts
All of those improper sheets
Before I moved into that
Empty pad on Writer’s Block
We used to converse all the time
With lines of prose and rhyme
Wow, I have so much to tell you
Of all my travels and trials
All of the things that I’ve done
It really has been too long
May I confide in you again?
It’s good to see you, old friend

JMC
8/5/09
(c) 2009

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Forbidden Love

Forbidden Love

I dived into her
With no life vest
No vessel
Just passion
Swimming through her
To the depths of her heart
Tenderly embraced and
Lapped by her waves
Until tempest blew
And changing winds
Flailed me against her
As I grew weary
Drifting further away
Greeted only with
Cold stony shores
The surf receding
I was still breathing
Yet a cast away
Muddy sand
Caked on my skin
Salty brine
Against my cheeks
A fool in a tidal pool

JMC
8/4/09
(c) 2009

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Still Haffi Shine

Still Haffi Shine

When the wicked people try to tarnish my name
I still haffi shine
When they try to use me for their personal gain
Still haffi shine
Even when a woman leave me with a heart full a pain
I still haffi shine
The world could change but the Truth will still remain
So I still haffi shine

Cause it is time, I have to break loose
Remove my neck outa Babylon noose
They only want to see me suffer
And get me confused
But that is not the type of life that I choose
The system try fe make me bend
Sometimes I can’t even trust a friend
So Jah Jah send…
Give me just a little light
So I can turn away evil and bring forth the right

When they try to mix me in their dutty little game
I still haffi shine
When they try to put out my eternal flame
Still haffi shine
Even when they try to make me trim my lion’s mane
I still haffi shine
The world has gone crazy and that is such a shame
So, I still haffi shine

If it was up to them, I’d be in big problem
They’d lock me in a prison or insane asylum
Just because they see me...
Give thanks and praises
And dash away the fire of those hell-raisers
Can’t stand it no more so I haffi strengthen up
Keep myself sharp
Cause the system’s so corrupt
And meh know, it just a matter of time
Before Babylon has to pay for its crime

Still, still, still haffi shine
Strengthen up the body and the soul and the mind
When they do me evil, I will never resign
Cause come what may, I still haffi shine

JMC
8/4/09
(c) 2008

Friday, July 31, 2009

Things & Time

Greetings! It is amazing how quickly time flies by. Seasons come and go, and the next thing you know it has become almost a year. I realized this and decided that it was time for me to get back on track with a few things. I figured a great way to start this would be to write about some of the changes that have happened within this past year...

Looking backward, the last time I actually took a little time to post something was after the results of last year’s presidential election. Well, needless to say much has happened since that time. Obviously, we have our first African-American president, which is a really great thing. I had so many things that I had wanted to write about and share during that time, but the pace of life was a bit overwhelming. In any case, it has been a refreshing six months with Mr. Obama in office. What astonishes me though is how many haters there are already. Have Americans forgotten the amount of rubbish Obama has inherited as President? Are people that scared of reform, change, and sacrifice? Are people impatient and expecting too much? I’m not sure what the general public believes, but I for one still have faith in the man. I know full well that I will not be pleased by everything that he does, but being a president involves having to make compromises and different choices sometimes in order to establish something greater. We shall see what comes down the road.

Besides the new presidency, I was in the midst of completing CT’s notorious BEST Portfolio in order to keep my job as a teacher. If there was one reason why a barren wasteland replaced my field of thoughts and poems, this was it. Teaching alone is a very intense job, you are always creating, thinking, and making decisions, so it is exhausting at times. Well, keeping that in mind, imagine having to do a huge amount of tedious planning, reflecting, and paperwork in addition to the usual job requirements and what you get is a stressed-out mess. I am so thankful that that arduous task is over. I believe I did a good job, but my results are still forthcoming. I’m not worried though... so BEST, get thee behind!

This year I had decided to finally dreadlock my hair. As a Rastaman, this is something that I’ve wanted to do for a long time, but circumstances didn’t always allow for it. There is still a stigma about having locks in society, let alone as a teacher and public servant. I wanted to wait until I had established myself and let people know me from the heart. In fact, being a baldheaded Rasta during the past 7 years or so has given me the ability to mature in that heartical sense, so that by the time I decided to lock, it was merely a visible affirmation of what’s been within for a long time. In all honesty, I was also motivated to dread by the fact that if I waited too long, I may not have any hair left! This doesn’t mean that locking my hair wasn’t met by opposition, strange looks, and criticism, especially during the first awkward stages. Yet, enduring that with patience has brought me to really be happy with my dreads. They still have a long way to go, but the progress has been amazing. Since I’ve begun my dreadlocks I also feel fulfilled in a way that I couldn’t quite feel before... something almost mystical. I will definitely share more vibes about my dread journey in due time.

This past year has also been eventful because I finally reached Jamaica, which has an obvious influence on me in a variety of ways. Travelling has been something that I’ve not been able to do on my own up until recently. Once again, circumstances. So, I am so thankful for the journey I was able to take. I was able to see many parts of the country and reason with fellow Rastafari people. I also made a trip to the Twelve Tribes of Israel headquarters in Kingston, Jamaica. I am a member of that particular organization in America, so it was a real blessing to go where it all started and meet some of the elders. I already had know so much about the culture, the history, the people, and the music of Jamaica… but there is nothing like stepping foot there and experiencing it, especially from a natural point of view. I hope to reach Ethiopia someday and have a similar type of experience! There are many places in this world where I must trod and behold.

As it shows, this year has been a blessing in many ways, and I give thanks for that! It has also been a very busy time, and some of the changes have not always been as positive. The stress and pace work, the blows dealt to the heart by failed romance, the lack of creativity, and the failure to keep healthy routines have all taken a toll on me. That is why I’ve decided to make a few changes to strengthen up the livity and make things a little bit easier and satisfying. I will definitely share more about that as progress is made. One thing this year has taught me is that life can go in so many directions, heights and depths… but I must always remember myself and take care of myself in order to sustain that journey. There comes a time to revitalize and reevaluate, and that time has come for me. Give thanks for life, and hold a meditation!

JAH Bless,
JAHsh