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Monday, October 27, 2014

Richmond, VA

Merry meet friends!

Michelle here, bringing lots of love and light…

This month, October, is Breast Cancer Awareness and Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  I am a survivor of both.  Both can and have killed women; the DV almost killed me, because at times I wanted to kill myself.  I’m glad I, and it didn’t.  In honor of this, and because Spirit said so, I am only posting one of my poems this week.   Perhaps it will speak to and help one woman somewhere.

A Woman’s Place

Feeling, hurting, grieving, crying

Living, loving, giving, dying

Teasing, fighting, pushing, shoving

Smiling, laughing, kissing, hugging

Sweeping, scrubbing, washing, mending

Standing, stooping, pulling, bending

Cooking, slicing, dicing, peeling

Praying, fasting, waiting, healing

Bumps and bruises

Cuts and scrapes

Feeling like she’s being raped;

Plundered, looted

Torn apart

Limb by limb

And then the heart.

Nurse, friend, wife, mother

Teacher, counselor, sister, lover

All things to everyone

Use all of her

And then some;

A woman’s place is hard to find

For it begins inside her mind

Hidden passions, plans and purposes

Pushed aside but trying to surface

Through the mirrors of her soul

To make her free, complete and whole.

Buried deeply in her being

Much too painful to start seeing

She beholds another image

Full of wrinkles, spot and blemishes

She doesn’t seem to realize

She’s been transformed in God’s eyes.

That marred image God has broken

God has cleansed, healed and spoken.

Now she can hear the Spirit’s call

To submit to purpose-and standing tall

Using spiritual strategies

Influence those she wants to please

The scepter beckons her to come

Into the presence of the throne

Giving her the kingdom is God’s pleasure

For to God she is a treasure

Union brings her face to face

In the heart of God

She’s found her place.

Michelle LaForest-Roberts
© 11/16/1997

Until next Sunday,
Merry part and merry meet again,
Blessed be,
Gypsi Mama Michelle

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Black Mountain/Morgantown, NC

Merry meet friends.
Michelle here, bringing lots of light and love.

 “For the kickass women of the world
Those that are, and those that are growing up to be.
The daughters. The mothers. The sisters.
The fribblings – friends like siblings.
The wives. The girlfriends.
The aunts. The nieces.
The grand-somethings.
The young uns. The teens.
The women in your life.
Who love, lose, cry.
Laugh, heal, thrive.
Nurture. Create.
You. Are. Amazing.
As. You. Are.
Stronger than you know
More beautiful than you think.
Worthier than you believe.
More loved than you can ever imagine.
Passionate about making a difference.
Fiery when protecting those you love.
Learning. Growing. Not alone.
Warm. Giving. Generous.
Quirky. Sexy. Funny. Smart.
Flawed. Whole. Scared. Brave.
And so, so, so, much. More.
Be strong. Be confident. Be you.”

“Copyright: Tia Sparkles Singh, 2011
Your Life YOUR Way”

For the past thirty years or more, I have had a passion for the empowerment of women.  Maybe it’s because I am a survivor of sexual and domestic violence.  Maybe as a student of history, I haven’t liked the way that women have been treated in a patriarchal society; or maybe it’s both.  Whatever the reason, it is my calling, my raison d’etre, as it were.  That’s why attending the SEWW conference meant so much to me, in addition to working the Sister Love Tent.  I felt that any women attending this particular conference would be of the same mind set or consciousness.  This was not entirely the case.

It is billed as an herbal conference but it is so much more.  It is about unity as women; supporting, encouraging, loving, understanding and mentoring.  I did not expect it to have elements of discord or separation.  As I walked around Unity Village or along the lake passing other women, I was surprised at those who did not speak or acknowledge my presence.  These were mainly European women, not all of course, but enough for me to notice.   As I passed women of color, I was greeted with words, smiles or a nod.  Even in the communal showers in the morning where we were totally exposed to each other, women did not acknowledge the presence of other women.  This was disconcerting to say the least.

I am not naïve when it comes to race relations.  I grew up in the 50’s and 60’s in Virginia.  We couldn’t shop at the same stores, drink from the same water fountains or attend the same schools as Europeans.  I am no stranger to racism and prejudice.  However, I do feel as if I were naïve pertaining to this conference.  As one of the tenders pointed out to me when I voiced my concern, these are the same people you might work with or who might live in your neighborhood.  Her point was that people are who they are.  I do know that, it’s just that I thought these people attending this conference would be different. 

I was told that an African American woman went inside the Red Tent and sat down.  A few European women were there honoring one another with love.  When the African American woman sat down, the European women left.  On Friday night when I worked the Sister Love tent, some European women came by.  One woman wanted to come in and her friend said she couldn’t, then looked at Jaki, one of the tenders.  When Jaki explained the purpose of the tent, one of the women became angry and said she thought it was racist.  She stormed off and Jaki tried to get her to come back but she wouldn’t.  Jaki eventually let European women into the tent because a friend of Ola’s (European) had entered.  We tried to follow the flow of things and not be rigid.  I’m glad it worked out that way. 

On Saturday when we had the Diversity Talking Stick for all women, and after the woman left who felt attacked for saying the Native Americans were happy on the reservations, I took the stick.  I said that in my experience, African Americans feel as if Europeans always seem to think that we are happy or know what makes us happy.  I cited a true story that a friend of mine told me.  He is a retired high school principal from the Miami Dade school system.  He said that as he walked by a history classroom, he heard the teacher tell the students that slaves were happy being slaves.  Needless to say he pulled the teacher out of the classroom and corrected him.

I find this to be a misperception of some Europeans.  This is probably because slaves were usually singing, dancing and laughing.  I explained to my friend Amanda that being happy in a situation is not the same as being happy with a situation.  Sometimes those activities kept them sane or from murdering someone.  No one is happy being mistreated or having your land taken and being forced to live on a reservation.  I think if Europeans didn’t grow up around non-Europeans or have non-European friends; there is nothing to draw on culturally.  Some Europeans get their knowledge from the movies where as we’ve had to learn the European ways.

Amanda, Lori and I sat in front of the tent relaxing one evening.  I’m not sure how the conversation started but Amanda asked why the slaves never fought back.  I explained that there were uprisings from time to time (Nat Turner’s rebellion) but some of the time, slaves would inform the slave owner and it would be thwarted.  The slave probably thought he should save himself in case the uprising failed.  Amanda said that I couldn’t be upset with them for self- preservation.  At first I agreed but then I said that I could be upset because there were more slaves than owners.  However, if the uprisings were successful, where would the slaves go and what would they do?

Most had been born into slavery as had their parents and grand- parents before them.  The plantation was all they knew and some had never been off of it.  This is the reason some slaves didn’t know what to do when they became free.  What was free?  This was a foreign word and concept. They wanted to stay on the plantation because it was their home.  I’m sure this fact is what led to the false belief that slaves were happy being slaves.  Amanda said she never thought about that and this is the reason she wants to learn. 

My great great- grandmother Ida was born into slavery.  She was six when slavery was abolished.  She had blonde hair and blue eyes.  In order for her to wash dishes, she had to stand on a box.  Once when she was washing dishes, the mistress of the house came into the kitchen.  She looked at the dishes and told Ida that they were not clean.  She then took the dish cloth and shoved it down Grandma Ida’s throat.  She shoved it so far that when she pulled it up, it was covered in blood and guts.  Her daughter, my Grandmother Early told the story and asked us why we thought it happened.  Of course the answer was because Ida was the mistress’s husband’s child.  Did she ever laugh again?  Of course she did but that did not mean she was happy as a slave.  Some slaves did kill their owners though.

When Sobande held her class “Herbs, Slavery and the South” on Saturday evening, she made this statement to Europeans.  “You own me.  I cook your food, feed your babies and take care of your household for twenty three (23) hours in a day.  In that last hour I get to go to my place and attend to my family unless your husband wants me.  And you let me cook your food?”  Sobande was making a point about the way slave owners thought.  It didn’t occur to them that a slave might harm them.  She said that many slaves put poisonous herbs into the food that they cooked.  A little of the herbs over a period of time would eventually kill the slave owner.  Sobande said she asked her grandmother if there were “good” slave owners.  Her grandmother said there were never good slave owners, some were better than others.  She was correct.  The term, slave owner is incongruent with good.

I said in last week’s post that I wasn’t sure how I felt about the Sister Love tent.  I said this because I wasn’t sure if the tent helped women of color to feel more or less inclusive.  I’ve really been struggling with this.  How does separating one’s self help one to feel more inclusive with the main group?  I understand that the tent was started as a way for women of color to talk about why they felt “not included” and perhaps along the way to discover ways to actually help with that.  In predominantly Caucasian colleges, African American student unions have been formed.  In a population of, say 2000 students, with only 10% being non-European, representation would be inadequate.  So a union is formed to discuss issues to take to the general student union meeting.  In that respect it makes sense that what may appear to be a separation would actually bring people together.

I think having the tent is not the issue.  Maybe it’s what is discussed in the tent.  I don’t feel the tent should be a place for negative commentary or an “us versus them” mentality.  I know I heard the word “cracker” used and it didn’t set well with me.  As women we have a great deal in common yet cultural differences have to be addressed as well.  I don’t feel one hour and a half in the Diversity Talking Stick class is enough time to explore differences and lack of knowledge.  Perhaps a Diversity Tent would be one answer and additional Sister Love Talking Stick classes.    

When Amanda and I returned to her home on Sunday night, her husband had prepared vegetable lasagna and a salad.  All ingredients were from her garden and so delicious.  Afterwards we had a store bought ice cream that I am now addicted to, thanks to her son, Brayton.  The next day Amanda and I talked in depth about the conference and race relations.  One of the things I shared was how all mothers are concerned for their children.  African American mothers with sons have a greater concern.  If my sons were to run down the street, and please don’t let them have on a hoodie, they are in danger of getting shot.  As a mother Amanda could understand that concern but it isn’t one she has to live with. There are so many things that the cultures don’t know about each other because it’s not being taught.

When I was in Earthaven, I asked Dimitri how many acres Earthaven had.  He said 360.  I jokingly said that 40 of them belonged to me.  He asked to what I was referring.  Of course I was referring to the 40 acres and a mule that were promised to slaves after they were set free.  Neither he nor Joel (Seaver's brother) knew anything about that.  He asked if it were every slave and I told him it was slave families.  Since it never happened, the descendants are waiting.  Dimitri said and I quote, “Those mother fuckers!” and Joel followed suit.  I laughed.  When I told Amanda about the conversation, she had never heard it either.  History books are not recording our history accurately. 

A woman, Susan, who was in the talking stick class, shared that she marched in the Civil Rights movement and had several African American friends.  She said that when the Black Power movement started, her African American friends abandoned her.  I heard her pain and apologized on behalf of all African Americans because that, in my opinion, was something that did not have to happen.  I explained that while it was necessary for us to have Black pride and know our worth, that shouldn’t mean dismissing European friends.  Susan had worked through her feelings long ago and I sensed that but I still felt pain.  She thanked me and accepted the apology.  We plan on meeting with two other women to continue the dialogue.

This planet and the people on it need healing.  We are one but we don’t act like it.  We still “see” separatism.  It’s not just color; it is also gender, class, education, gender orientation, etc.  I want to see equality for us all.  I’m starting with women because that’s my calling.  Females give birth.  Perhaps it will take females to birth a new way of seeing; a new way of being.  A pastor-prophet, Travis Thigpen, said that to me once.  He said GOD was giving me a “new way of seeing and a new way of being”.  That is my prayer for us all.  May it come forth as manna to feed a hungry world. 

Until next Sunday,
Merry part and merry meet again.
Blessed be,
Gypsi Mama Michelle

PS  I use Artisana coconut oil and I can only find it in NC.  Amanda took me to a health food store on the way to Charlotte.  Her mom rode with us.  As I stood in the line to pay, her mom gave the clerk the oil and paid for it.  I had just met her.  She has even invited me to stay with her for a few days when in NC and I tire of Amanda. LOL  Beautiful people!



Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Charlotte/Black Mountain, NC

Merry meet Friends!
Michelle here, bringing lots of love and light.

“Any time women come together with a collective intention, it’s a powerful thing.  Whether it’s sitting down making a quilt, in a kitchen preparing a meal, in a club reading the same book, or around the table playing cards, or planning a birthday party, when women come together with a collective intention, magic happens.”….Phylicia Rashad

The Southeast Wise Woman Herbal Conference is a collective intention.  Corinna Woods is the director of the program.  Corinna emailed me and asked if I would be interested in staffing the Sister Love Tent in Unity Village for the conference.  I had never attended the conference so I didn’t know what the tent was.  She directed me to the web site to read about it.  The Sister Love Tent is a sacred space for women of color who are non-European.  The tent was started a few years ago by Olatokunboh Obasi because women of color attending the conference in past years felt out of place and not included.  It is a place to share experiences and commonalities.  I believe it was felt that the women could talk about the reasons exclusion was felt and having talked it out, integrate more fully into the rest of the conference.  Since it was a full work exchange, I applied and was accepted. 

The conference was from October 10-12, 2014.  I traveled by Greyhound on Wednesday, October 8 for Charlotte, NC.  The conference was held in Black Mountain, NC.  I left Richmond at 10:30am and arrived in Charlotte at 8pm.  This was a local bus and it stopped in Petersburg, South Hill, Henderson, Raleigh, Durham, Greensboro, Winston Salem, Salisbury, Concord and Charlotte.  I decided that instead of being frustrated by all of the stops, I would enjoy the ride and relax.  The stops gave me the opportunity to stretch and use the bathroom. 

Originally I thought that I had to be at the conference on Thursday at 10am. So I put out feelers to see what other work exchangers had to be there at the same time.  My friend, Amanda Nowatka, had to be there at 2pm.  She said that she would pick me up from the bus station, drive me to her home to spend the night and go into Black Mountain early for me.  Amanda lives in Morgantown which is one hour away from Charlotte.  Offering to do that was such a gracious thing to do especially since I only met her in May at the Immersion.  I didn’t have to be there until Friday at 10am, however, so we didn’t need to rush in the morning.

Amanda, her husband and her son made me feel very welcome. Amanda makes yogurt which we had for breakfast, along with homemade granola and honey from her bees!  Did I mention the homemade bread?  It was all very delicious.  The time arrived for us to leave.  We were so excited to attend the conference and see some of our tribe from the Immersion. 

Other blessings included Lori Saunders providing me with an air mattress to sleep in her tent, bedding and food that she cooked on her fabulous cook stove.  I took fruits, nuts, cheese, turkey slices, crackers and water to share, which I didn’t need because Lori had it all.  The eggs were from her hens, the vegetables from her garden and there was homemade yogurt.  Everything was organic and non GMO from both ladies.  For dinner, Lori cooked salmon that she caught in British Columbia, cous cous with eggplant and a salad.  Yummy, yummy, yummy!!!

When we arrived on Thursday, after parking, we walked around to get the lay of the land and to find Amanda’s sleeping quarters.  We saw Jenna, Corinna’s assistant and we all screamed.  Later on the walk I saw friends from Earthaven; Molly, and Hillary, who has changed her name to Yuna.  It was great seeing them again.  When we walked over to Unity Village, I saw NikiAnne, who is also from Earthaven and was the go to person for the tents.  The anticipation was rising. At 1pm we went to check in and saw Mary from the Immersion.  The three of us talked for a while and then Mary and Amanda left for their meeting.  I meandered around waiting for Lori.   As I walked by the lake, I saw her and we hugged. 

I had gotten permission for Lori to camp behind the Sister Love tent since I was working there.  Lori wanted to camp by the lake and so we began to put up the tent.  It started to rain, the wind began to blow and one of the rods broke.  In addition to that, we were told we couldn’t camp there and that we had to move behind the Sister Love tent.  As we moved the things, Lori’s scooter stopped working and that was the last straw for her.  Lori was one of the photographers and if she couldn’t get around, she couldn’t do her job.  She was devastated and wanted to go home.

Lori discovered that a rock had gotten under her scooter and she was finally able to get it working again.  Hallelujah!  We began to put up the tent.  Well, she began; I absolutely know nothing about that.  Amanda and Mary helped and I did what I could.  Finally it was up.  The rain hadn’t lasted long at all but my pillow did get wet.  Lori was happy with the new spot because it was near the trees and out of the sun.  We were probably closer to the bears though.  Yes, bears!  I never saw one but they were there.  We blew up our air mattresses, set up the tables for preparing the food and cooking and put out the folding chairs.  It was a really good set up.  I rather like the idea of camping.  I don’t like port a potties though, they are too far to walk.  The one closest to us wasn’t that far, though it is too far in the middle of the night when it’s pitch black.

The next day, Friday, I attended the meeting for Tenders.  Tender is the name given to those who work the tents in Unity Village.  We welcome the women, explain the purpose of the tent, and tend the hearth fire.  These are the tents in the village: The Hearth, The Red Tent, Sister Love Tent and Wise Maidens Tent.  The Hearth Tent held classes and the Diversity Talking Stick circle for all women with Ola Obasi, Red Tent is for women of all ages and stages, Wise Maidens for girls 13-17, and Sister Love for women of color.  The tents were warm and inviting and decorated beautifully.  I knew that I would enjoy working in the tent.

At 1pm, the women began to arrive.  I saw some of the women from the Immersion; Nancy, Daria and Dana.  It was so good to see them!  There was a Welcome Jam at Unity Village from 1-2pm.  We gathered around the hearth fire and sang songs. It was a time of bonding.  The welcoming ceremony was from 7:30-8:15pm.   I couldn’t attend because I worked the tent from 4-8pm.  From 4:30-6pm, there was a Talking Stick for women of color in the Sister Love tent with Ola.  Afterwards she stayed and spoke with the women there.  All women were invited into the tent on that night. Ola lives in Pittsburgh.  She is an herbalist, health educator, community leader, and owns Ola’s Herb Shop.  She was raised in Africa by her parents, who are from Kenya and Nigeria.  Ola is a “seer”.  She could see things for the women and she shared them.  She is also a teacher who helps people to dig deeper.

I took her “Our Indigenous Roots” class on Saturday morning. The class explores honoring our ancestral relationship with the earth, with our past and our future.   Before we started, Ola asked if we had any stories to share that would describe how we saw life.  I shared one that is considered how a Shaman experiences life.  It was a wonderful class.  On Saturday afternoon at 1:30pm, Ola held a Diversity Talking stick for ALL women.  The purpose is” to come together in dialogue about differences and similarities; discuss issues of racial and ethnic tensions and to heal past wounds.” 

Ola asked us to state why we were there.  One woman spoke about how coming from Arizona to the South was a cultural shock for her.  She said that there was no racism there, but in the South, she was told not to go into certain parts of town, not to look at African Americans, etc.  She went on to say that the population in Arizona consisted mainly of Hopi and Navajo Indians and how happy they were.  I felt some type of way when she said that but I remained quiet.  Ola asked, “And they are happy?”  The woman responded in the affirmative and Ola asked again.  Another European was quite angry with the woman and said so.  Ola asked where did the Native Americans live.  The woman said on the reservations, which prompted Ola to ask once more, “And they are happy?”  

The woman said that they were free to leave at any time and how some had done so and made more money than she.  These were friends of hers, she said.  Ola told the woman that her prospective would be different than hers (Ola).  Ola asked the woman if she would want to live on a reservation.  The woman became very defensive and said she was being attacked.  She asked for an apology and when none was forthcoming, she got up and left.  Ola asks the hard questions to make one think about what it is being said.  She wants people to dig deeper because this is how we reach common ground.  The class proceeded without further incident and in fact ran over.

Later I took a class by Angelique Moss-Greer called, “Herbs, Slavery and the South”.  Angelique is a certified holistic nutritionist, generational herbalist, consultant, educator, and owner of Natural Choices Botanica, the only African American hand-blended gourmet tea company in the South.  Sobande, as she is called, offered a class rich in cultural healing and oral traditions passed down from her grandmothers.  She informed us of the healing plant remedies her grandmother shared with her. 

She told us about a medicine a college professor taught the class.  She was so excited because it had the properties her grandmother used in her potions, tinctures and/ or salves.  Sobande called her grandmother with this ‘discovery”.   Her grandmother said, “Chile, don’t you tell me about something some white man told you when I already taught you that!  What, now it has authority?”  Sobande quickly learned how to share with her grandmother what she was learning.  Her class was light hearted, funny and factual.

Before Sobande started her class, she poured libations to the ancestors.  She then asked an elder for permission to speak as her assistant served 3 of the home brewed teas.   The elder and I were served first since we were the oldest there.  I have never been honored as an elder as much as I was this weekend.  It was a blessing and something that has been lost.  I was called Mother by the younger women as they addressed me, and I was not offended by it.  I wear the crone crown proudly.  I have earned the right to be revered as an elder as I too revere my elders.  When something went amiss on Saturday night after I retired, Jaki, who was a tender, refused to awaken me.  I was in a leadership position and she could have, but she said if she had to wake an elder without doing all she could first, it would have been a catastrophe.

Saturday night I worked the Sister Love tent again.  It seemed to be a place of refuge because it was very full.  The conversation was lively.  I have mixed feelings about the tent which I will share once I have processed everything.  I would like to attend again next year.  Amanda and I would like for the women who formed a bond at the Immersion to camp together.  We are not certain if we will work exchange again, although I enjoyed doing so.  There is more time for yourself if you’re not working though.  I was supposed to be there and I’m glad I went.  I was told some things by Ola and now I need to act on them.  It is time to move forward.

Until next Sunday (although it’s Tuesday),

Merry part and merry meet again,
Blessed be,

Gypsi Mama Michelle



Sunday, October 5, 2014


Merry meet friends..
Michelle here, bringing lots of love and light!

"All day I think about it, then at night I say it.
Where did I come from, and what am I supposed to be doing?
I have no idea.
My souls is from elsewhere, I’m sure of that,
And I intend to end up there.
This drunkenness began in some other tavern,
When I get back to that place,
I’ll be completely sober. Meanwhile,
I’m like a bird from another continent, sitting in this aviary.

The day is coming when I fly off,
But who is it now in my ear who hears my voice?
Who says words with my mouth?
Who looks out with my eyes? What is the soul?
I cannot stop asking.
If I could taste one sip of an answer”-----Rumi

Guru Satchidananda has a book entitled Know Thyself.  There is a chapter in the book which speaks of “following the “I”.  He is talking about asking yourself the questions that Rumi is asking: Who is the one doing the thinking, who is saying, “who is?”, etc.  Satchidananda says that we all have a knower; one behind the eyes, ears, mouth, etc., who is the silent witness.  Once after reading that chapter, I followed the “I”.  I was sitting in a chair asking myself those questions.  Before I knew it, my consciousness had expanded and although my body was sitting in the room, my consciousness was the room.  I felt that it could have expanded to the house, outside, and beyond but I became fearful. 

Having read about Shamanic experiences and how sometimes they could not get back to their bodies, I became afraid and my consciousness was once again limited.  This was not an out of body experience, I have had that before.  I would not have gotten lost outside of my body.  But because I had never experienced this before, I didn’t know what to expect.  I now know that it was an expansion of consciousness.  I have tried several times to have that expansion again but to no avail.  Peter walked on water following the command of Jesus but once he allowed fear to take hold, it was over.  Fear is crippling.

In the Christian world, I have been told by a prophet that I too am a prophet.  Reading The Elijah Task confirmed it.  A prophet is one who having heard GOD, speaks to the people for GOD or by divine inspiration.  A prophet sees and feels things, events, etc. before they happen; not always though.  In the metaphysical world, I’ve been told that I am a “seer” and an intuitive. Intuitive: having the ability to know or understand things without any proof or evidence; having or characterized by intuition.  I sense and feel things before they happen.  These are different words in different worlds, having the same meaning.  I bring this up because I have been writing about being restless and waiting for something.  My friend and fellow OSIS graduate and minister, Rev. Sonya Brown sent me an article.  She sent it because of a conversation we had and because of the restlessness. 

Sonya said that I am “highly tuned in” so it seems I often get “it” early and that I get the “divine buzz” when  there are major transits.  The article is about some eclipses we are headed into.  Sonya feels that I am “feeling” these shifts early.  I do agree with that.  I shared with Sonya that I know I sense things before they happen sometimes or just in general.  However, I don’t always know that what I’m feeling or sensing is due to a planetary shift.  I would never have attributed my restlessness to that.  Maybe every time that I’m restless, it’s not due to that but it does make sense to me and explains a lot. 

Lately, and by lately I mean for the past six months, but in reality all of my life, I've been feeling as if I don’t fit in anywhere or as if I don’t belong.  Is this due to some planetary shifts at my birth?  I probably need to look into that.  As stated in the above poem by Rumi: “My soul is from elsewhere, I’m sure of that, and I intend to end up there.”  I am a Sagittarius, with a Gemini moon and Scorpio rising.  That means a lot of different things but short version: I love freedom, learning, traveling, communication and mysteries.  I guess I can see how that might play into restlessness and feeling as if I don’t belong anywhere.  To a wanderer the entire universe is our home; one place doesn’t do it for me, for long. 

One definition for wanderer is, a person who travels aimlessly; a traveler.  Another definition says, itinerant people, who wander from place to place with no permanent home, or are vagrant.  Definitions make it sound so negative but it isn’t to me..  Wanderers may not know where they’re going initially but they know the place to stop and stay awhile when happened upon. “We wanderers, ever seeking the lonelier way, begin no day where we have ended another day; and no sunrise finds us where sunset left us.”--Khalil Gibran, The Prophet.  The wanderer is always seeking, always searching, so naturally she doesn’t wish to stay anywhere for so long or form too many attachments. 

I think that’s why marriage is something I never really wanted as a child or teen.  My sister did though. She was always reading bridal magazines.  I never, let me repeat that, never thought that I would be married twice. I know that women, at least in my generation, were expected to get married and raise children.  Not so much today, maybe; expectation wise, I mean.  I believe, in fact I know, that I am too free spirited to want to be tied down for too long.  I am loyal when I love and respect someone but my interests are so varied that unless someone keeps me intellectually challenged, the bloom will be off the proverbial rose.  I suppose that could make for a lonely existence as one gets older; maybe, maybe not.

Of Life And Love
Wandering through the roads of life
Trying to find someone
To make us happy
To make us feel worthwhile
To give us importance

When all along the worthiness is inside of us
The joy, the peace, the happiness, the love
All inside waiting
Waiting to burst through the walls
We’ve built around ourselves,
To insulate us from the pain of
Loving and hurting and living
What a paradox!

Michelle LaForest Roberts
©April 17, 1997

I’ve been asking questions about who I am and what my purpose is for such a long time.  As I’ve said before, we are constantly becoming ourselves, so even if we know who we are at some stage of our lives, as we evolve, we aren’t always sure anymore.  We try different things on for size to see if they fit this person we see now.  Some things resonate and some don’t and that’s ok.  Although we are all one, we are each different expressions of the ONE.  There are so many parts to us that we don’t see or know.

Sometimes I have dreams about a house.  It’s my house but as dreams go, it doesn’t always look like the one we’re in, but we know it’s ours.  As I walk through the rooms of the house, I sometimes notice rooms that I had not seen before.  Sometimes the rooms are in a basement, sometimes an attic or just another part of the house.  They are always beautifully decorated and have my favorite things in them.  However, the rooms had not been noticed before and weren’t being used.  I’m always so amazed at what I find in the rooms and I wonder why I hadn’t ever seen them; especially since they’re in my house.

I think that the dream is about me.  I am the house and the rooms are parts of me that I have yet to discover.  Whenever I see these rooms, I want to linger there because they’re new and exciting and me!  This is how I feel about the rooms/undiscovered parts of me:

Buried Treasure
“Who are you?” was the question that myself asked me

“Are you completely finished or is there more to be?”

There’s always so much more to you, than just what meets the eye.
Unobserved and unexplored is how most of you die.

Never taking, never making, time to just know “self”;
Caught in a never ending spiral while obtaining wealth.

Oh, the riches one can find while examining
The inner workings of the soul shroud in mystery.

But--mystery is only that as long as it’s not known
Uncover what is buried and a treasure is what’s shown.

A treasure in all the world unequaled and so rare;
Causing you to be awake, fully present and aware.

I heard the question, “Who are you?”, asked again and once more
Dare to search, discover yourself, observe and explore!

Michelle LaForest Roberts
©October, 1998

“The day is coming when I fly off” says Rumi.  I don’t know when that is for me, but like Rumi it will be a place that I recognize because  I’ve been there before.  As T.S. Elliot said, “We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”

Until next Sunday,
Merry part and merry meet again;

Blessed be!
Gypsi Mama Michelle