Monday, April 09, 2007

The Way of a Lover

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by Alicia Benjamin

Listen and the ancestors will tell you what you need to know.

“To love, beloved, is like walking in a rainstorm. You may want to run, but you will still get wet, mwana. Be resolved to feel, from the beginning. A great soaking can be satisfying.

It will not help to think about capturing your love in a round about way—attack with immediacy. Once you have spotted the one you desire, swoop down on him like a hawk—grasping its most precious prey. Swiftly seize your love with glorious passion and delicious intent.

One thing should not become two, binti. Faithfulness is the way of a true lover. Yes, death will shake and traumatize your heart—But even as a soul unfolds and breathes the last bits of this hidden place, love will not perish. Eternally, love will embrace.”

This poem was inspired by my ancestors, Jim Jarmusch’s film, “Ghost Dog” and the book, Hagakure, a compilation of Yamamoto Tsunetomo’s philosophies.

10 comments:

Diane@InterPlayTN.org said...

ooooh... this is just so yummy! *smile*... a delicate morsel of sensuously delivered imagery... leaves me wanting another taste!!

thanks to your ancestors for this delivery of manna... blessings!!

Alicia Benjamin-Samuels said...

Diane,
Yes, many thanks to my ancestors who are lifting me up more and more each day.
Alicia

Anne said...

Oh, how beautiful.
...Are you learning Swahili? It's a beautiful language.

Alicia Benjamin-Samuels said...

No, unfortunately I'm not learning Swahili. I was simply inspired to use the language.

Anne said...

Just those two Swahili words add something very special and soulful to the poem. Nicely done.

Alicia Benjamin-Samuels said...

Asante sana. (Many thanks.)
alicia

Sugar said...

Gosh, I'm late, but this is VERY nice!! Very nice!

Alicia Benjamin-Samuels said...

Sugar,
Thanks so much. It means a lot to me.

sherrie said...

Hi Alicia,
I was looking for the words to Sweet Honey's "No Mirrors in my Nana's House" and was directed to Cappuccino Soul. I have found it inspirational. So Long A Letter was requried reading for a course I took in the early 90s. I had forgotten it until I read your blog. Thank you for the memory. Funny, my birthday is April 17th -- your posting of that date was moving as well.
Thank you

Alicia Benjamin said...

Sherrie,
I'm glad that you find Capppuccino Soul inspiring.
So Long a Letter was required reading for me as well. I must say, no other course requirement has affected my life so deeply as that novel. I wish Mariamma Ba could communicate with me from the other side. I sure would like to ask her a few things.
I'm glad you found the April 17 post moving. It's still moving me.
Peace and blessings,
Alicia