Deep breath in, deep breath out.

I was tasked about eight months ago with exploring African Diasporic religions, particularly as they are practiced in Haiti. I have some ideas as to why He wants this, but that, at His request, remains private. I’ve been sitting on this since then. The first message was ‘go to Haiti’, which is laughable in it’s impossibility. The revision of that was ‘go to New Orleans’, which is way more possible. I’ve taken it upon myself to look locally for a resource in hopes that this will satisfy Him and reduce the need for expensive travel, as New Orleans is anything but cheap.

I’ve been stuck on this. I live in a city that is teeming with a variety of botanicas and private groups and families, but almost all of them require a working knowledge of Spanish, which I do not have. The one English-speaking botanica is hardly open, as the padrino travels often, and I can never seem to catch it when it is. It’s been unnerving in a lot of ways because it’s something that I haven’t been able to knock out easily—there’s been a lot of back and forth and leads that didn’t pan out.

Now there’s the chance to make it happen. I found a local-ish Houngan totally randomly while looking at blogs who is associated with someone whom I’ve known for awhile and I truth their association with them. It’s only about an hour from me, his services are affordable, and it feels like the right person to contact—I definitely got that positive belly feeling about it. He is also queer-friendly, which is a huge plus, and is English-speaking as well.

I’m super nervous about walking into something I know nothing about and have only read about. I’m nervous about the possible cultural appropriation involved in a white person engaging in practices that traditionally are associated with people of color and, at least locally to me, minorities. I’m a bit edgy because I highly suspect there will be some kind of catch in all this and that He is going to somehow twist me up in this more than I want to be. I mean, I know what I’ve been told I need to do with my participation, but I suspect it’s not as cut and dry as it’s been made out to be. It never is with Him.

I’m getting all worked up over this and I haven’t even made a move yet. I have some more thinking to do on it and need a little feedback from those close to me. I anticipate I’ll email this person this week and then it’s all out of my hands. Again.


~ by Alex on August 5, 2012.

2 Responses to “Deep breath in, deep breath out.”

  1. When I first started looking into voodoo, I pretty much freaked the eff out. I didn’t know what I was getting into. I didn’t know if I really wanted to get into it, either. However, like you, I was pushed in that direction with outside help. And you know… I have to say that it’s been a really rich and rewarding experience.

    As far as cultural appropriation, I wouldn’t worry overmuch about it. I know quite a few “whites” who practice.

  2. Although it’s more like a meme and less of what it claims to be, nevertheless I’ve decided to “award” you with the “Inspiring Blogger Award”. Details, including the nice things I said about your blog, can be found here:

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