Local Markets are Amazing Finds
It’s 3 am and I am sipping on an eclectic array of African seeds I purchased this weekend while searching for a liquor store for my Ancestors. The later I’m sure sounds anything but normal but as in most African-centered religions or those by way of the Far East offerings of fruit, liquor, and other human delicacies are a close familial tradition of thanksgiving to Ancestors, the Dead and in truth the Immortal. So in my liquor hunt as the only spirits I indulge in are often watered down almost koolaide sweet Moscatos. I refrain from harsh liquors, alcohols and other substances that may alter my consciousness not for any religious restrictions. I am not religious. I’ve just always been ‘different’ kind of close to the Earth, sensitive to energy and the metaphysical phenomena. Those gifts I’ve had all my life quite naturally so I always figured why mess with what is natural? –So it was no surprise to find in the far right corner from the liquor wholesale store images of hookahs that caught our attention. It was as if the Ancestors were leading the way! Right next door there was this local market!
Herbs, Spices, Seeds, Fruits and More
There in that corner was a treasure trove of Ancient African, Indian and Middle Eastern seeds, spices, incense, figs, cashews, the most interesting short brown basmati rice, shelves of curries, cumins, corianders, chutneys, peppers, cinnamons, dates, dried apricots, more rows of incense and Ayurveda medicines! I was like a kid in a candy store, like my herbalist days at Howard on Georgia Avenue in the Blue Nile seeking the Elders advice. But this time with all that excitement, I let my “Instincts” do the choosing. I found the infamous Black Seed Kalonji oil, Argan oil from Morocco, Tea Tree, Eucalyptus, Neem oil, Neem powder, Neem toothpaste- (exhale). I was in awe of all the herbs and medicines I knew and the prices that seemed not only reasonable but especially non-gmo! Boom what a subtle treasure, i thought!
The Sum of Me In Kind
In this small very Southern town, the absence of Ethiopian Merkatos, African markets, Bodegas and Botanicas, and other international stores I have felt quite isolated from real culture. I never knew just how diverse and global I grew up. My lifestyle consisted of many different people from ALL walks of life; artists from Spain who played Cuban and African drums, decedents of ancient Mayans from Guatemala, Senegalese and Malian griots and dancers, Jamaicans, Eritreans and Ethiopians, Orthodox Greeks, families from Poland, Germans, Italians, of course aristocrats from France, not to mention the islands of every colonized tribe. I am truly a Rainbow Daughter feeling kinnected to the many, regardless of racial and tribal differences. And it’s evident in my food choices! The fact that I have a real preference for Nag Champa incense (Satya Sai Baba) version. Or that I’ve been chewing Fenugreek seeds for over 20 years had me in a kind of awe. I didnt grow up on these spices, these Mediterranean -Ancient Egyptian- old African foods that I cherish and I love! I re-introduced myself to them when I became a yoyo Vegetarian many years ago. Finding these spices in this traditional market allowed me to see aspects of my life journey. And I am thankful!
Grasping the NOW + Living In It!
I meant to share (post) over the weekend. I am learning to live more in the NOW then to try to overthink and orchestrate some marketing or blog type strategy. Social media is a phenomena I choose to indulge in ONLY in a way that allows me the Zen-like freedom if that can exists harmoniously. I’d rather be True to Self, Authentic, and Be Inside the Moment as it happens! If I can share these feelings, passions, ideas, moments with you – I will do so and allow for greater more intense expression, that is real and close to my heart. Less thinking, and rethinking, less pretense! There is so much I have held back for years! It’s the right time to simply be all that I am – no matter how contradictory I may seem. My day consisted of Working Out, then editing @Home Fitness videos where I’m envisioning myself transforming into my favorite Superhero and secretly sharing with a few Fitness Trainer friends how much I’m feigning for the Gym meanwhile I’m sipping on Cardamom and Fennel seeds thanking my Ancestors and realizing WE are all forever eternal in this Cosmic Dance of life, death and rebirth. I am inspired by beauty, by art, by spontaneity as well as deep thinking and blueprints.
And Loving this creative messy, tacky fumbling learning wrapped inside of wisdom and deep compassion is joy! So much Gratitude + Love ~ Ria Sweetraw Takharu 🙂