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Welcome to the Soul Garden

the writings of Beverly Reed Scott

The Soul Garden Oath

I learned this in jail..don’t ask. I loved it though, I had to memorize it in order to be admitted to the Gateway Foundation Drug Treatment Program at CCJ. I never forgot it.

We are here because there is no refuge finally from ourselves. Until a womyn confronts herself in the eyes and hearts of others, she is running. Until she suffers them to share her secrets she has no safety from them. Afraid to know and be known she is struggling in the dark. Where else but in our common ground can we find such a mirror? Where here, at last, a womyn can appear clearly to herself- Not as the giant of her dreams Nor the dwarf of her fears – As a womyn a part of a whole and in this ground we each take root and grow. Not alone anymore as in death but alive to ourselves and to others. Shake a hand Make a friend.

That’s it. That’s all I had to say and they let me in.

Featured post

I need somewhere to lay my words

Coronavirus is changing me but I don’t feel privileged. I posted the image without cropping because somehow it is a more accurate reflection of my state of mind with its inaccuracies. That’s not my name. It needs editing. It repeats itself etc.

I don’t even know how I wound up here on a blog I haven’t touched in a very long time. It’s that dream I had two nights ago.

This is from my FB Friend’s Page
most of the dream the last part got cut off. Perhaps I’ll tell you another time

Now I Understand Helen

(Click here to find me on FaceBook)

Yesterday

There has been a major healing borne of the difficult task I was given. In my pain I opened myself wide and showed the dark side of the moon. And while I tarried in my truth and peeled the layers from my years. She appeared and reminded me of the beauty and grace to be found in courage. She is the source of my great power. She knows the ancients and whispers to me nightly. In my suffering a great great thing occurred. In my suffering more than 20 years of anger and pain was lifted from another. I will never question my calling again.

P.S.
The title comes from a conversation I had with a woman years ago. Helen was a friend of a friend. Once in conversation she replied to my uncertainties regarding my purpose in life. She smiled and said, “One day you will realize you have already what you search for and that you’ve had it all along.” I feel the road has been repaired and I can travel freely and with certainty across the borders of my years. The self you see on the picture remains within me still. She kept the truth of our calling safe until I could return. six-year-old-me
Would you like to see a woman bare her suffering soul in public just so others can feel free to speak their truths?

20 years later Dr Burroughs and I sat in Burger King reading poetry to the folks eating their meals.

The hands of Dr Margaret Burroughs and Beverly Reed Scott
The hands of Dr Margaret Burroughs and Beverly Reed Scott

Awomb!!

I am very pleased to be a part of the Mago Life. It has been a long time since I have tried to enter a community that is womyn centered in the tradition of the Great Mother. I was literally called to this path in 1995. I had been sober four years and had dived long and deep into Christianity. I started with the church I knew in my youth. So much had changed since the sixties. The biggest change being the closure of so many parishes. With five children and no car coupled with rude treatment, I left quickly.

Next came very brief bouts with that ole time religion. No, Thank You and as the kids say, Bye Felicia. But the next venture set me on course. Rev. Dr. Johnnie Colemon was a Black Female Visionary who had just opened the third manifestation of her sanctuary and it included a 10,000 seat church, banquet hall, an accreditated ministerial institution and a K-8 school. A graduate of the Unity School who was not allowed to live on the campus. “Johnnie” created the Universal Foundation for Better Living which now has affiliates all over the United States and the Carribean.

The metaphysics infused me with curiousity and I became an avid student. I immersed myself in a course of study that led me to a life of deep understanding and a love of the interior that has never left me. It was the bumping into Jesus that became problematic for me. Even when he was called Jesus The Christ, it just wasn’t a good fit. Initially I loved him and wanted to be him then, not so much. All the woman as source of original sin was too much for me to believe. I am a woman, my mother, grandmother, great grandmother; my best friend, her mother, grandmother,sister, my best teachers, my counselor, my therapist, my daughters, all women. I could not accept it.

Fortunately for me She began to whisper into my ear. It was just an overwhelming sense that someone was calling my name. I was in a transformative phase at the time. Leaving a relationship, leaving a “good job” because I couldn’t bear what I veiwed as the boss’s inappropriate behavior with the women on the tier. I was a Substance Abuse Counselor at the Cook County Jail in Chicago.

I had moved into a new apartment and taken a low paying position as a reporter and columnist at a tiny community newspaper. Part of my job was to interview the leading citizens for a one on one spread in the paper. I loved it. I was going on this particular feeling disconcerted because of the pulling/calling I felt so strongly by then. I had no idea my life was about to open up and that I would never be the same.

I was to interview (the late great) Dr. Margaret Burroughs who had started the world class DuSable Museum of African American History in her kitchen and was now a Commisioner at the Chicago Park District. I loved her because in addition to all of that, she had come to the Cook County Jail when I was an inmate. I had gone to hear her speak and won a prize with a bit of advice. “You don’t belong here,” she whispered in my ear as she gave me the book and a loving hug.

So there I sat misty eyed and intoxicated from the synchronicity of the experience. Then I blurted out- Dr. Burroughs I feel something calling me… Its not really a hearing, its a sensing. Lately I’ve been going to the beach where the willow trees are near. I take gifts of fruit and coins and I leave them on the water and under the trees along with my tears. I am crying or near to crying all the time, you gave me a book when I was in jail and now I ‘m sitting here, I know this is Divne Order tell me what does it all mean!!!

She said, “Write This Down”. I got my pen ready. She said, “Go and Get the Book When God Was A Woman By Merlin Stone”. I have never looked back.

The hands of Dr Margaret Burroughs and Beverly Reed Scott
The hands of Dr Margaret Burroughs and Beverly Reed Scott

I lost something in 2016 not sure if…or what…

Two weeks into the new year and I am still trying to decipher what happened to me in 2016. I know something happened because I’ve been strolling around my mind as if in a bookstore on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

2017 has entered and my back is turned. I am walking through the memory of my experiences all the while knowing, its not an experience I am trying to conjure. It is a consequence of a series of experiences that happened  without my permission.  It is the will refusing to look and the spirit refusing to not look.

Hints flutter into consciousness in the day and rage in the night. Vivid dreams that I refuse to interpret insist I face myself. I only concede just before waking and lay there looking at the movie screen of my dream disolving before my closed eyes.Though nfb_img_1443480646063ot before I saw the brilliant red dress, or poster, or kite or whatever form red takes as it pounds on my counsciousness demanding that I cry uncle.

I lost somethnig that mattered to me, something that was important to me, something that was me, I lost a part of me last year. I am only just beginning to realize that I may not get it back. I am only just beginning to realize that if I don’t name it I can’t possibly get it back. And even then sometimes there are heavy prices to pay for the choices we make and that the red dress, poster and kite in my dream is my blood sacrifice, that the red dress, poster and the kite is the price. To continue to live but to have lost a part of life.

The desire to fly is an idea handed down to us by our ancestors….Wilbur Wright

She’s starting to sense my presence now. Its taken a while for her to locate the space I occupy.. She wanted it to be an easy thing and I understand why. She’s carried burdens faced barriers and sabotaged her own thinking trying to find a place to fit. To learn the  name for her peculiarities. So certain was she that it was hidden in the hearts of cold hearted men she nearly bled out trying to warm what was frozen.

She wanted me more than she understood, needed me more than she could know. She just couldn’t bring herself to believe she was worthy. Not enough to be chosen. That didn’t change the story. Her fears and trauma changed nothing but time.

Now look at her with her hands in that cornbread, she knows how to conjure now. How to find the corridor with her rhythms. It is reverent touch that summons us. The fingering with longing and love of, her photo, his hat, it is walking barefoot where she stood, he kneeled, it is in the food she cooked, he ate. We sway with the rhythm of your hands on the foods we prepared and soothsay our wisdom in whispers. (see below0)my-nina-simoneThe space has been made, she has surrendered her children to their choices, her mistakes to the abyss, her delusions to the wind and she listens in the way only the vetted can manage. Now,to see what we can create.

The National Museum of African American History is a Living Breathing Masterpiece.

We were herded into the glass walled elevator with no idea of what to expect. There were fifty of us slightly anxious and talkative until the elevator began to descend. Silence fell when we realized the years printed on the wall outside the elevator were going backwards. We had entered the elevator as confident spectators, when we stepped off into the darkness it was the year 1400 and I was no longer Beverly Reed Scott. I was a West African woman of royal lineage sold by a kinsman drunk with greed.

The waves crashed against the hull of what I believed was my coffin. They were relentlessly methodic and in some way soothing. I thought again and again death would rescue me and each time my eyes opened I regurgitated the truth and cursed my will. It was a gradual turn from despair to resolve but I turned. I listened to the rhythm of my heartbeat and sang the songs of my home. My breath answered the call of the waves and I learned to keep the pace of the ocean. I taught myself to flee my body when the men came to use it. In time I could dissipate my being and merge with the breeze. I learned from the waves my purpose was of the highest order.

I was to live. It became clear to me my life was valued by the unknowable unnameable force that is the Divine. I began to see things. A new race of people not of my homeland nor of the land on which they lived. They were a people unto themselves a blending of the best of all of it. They would unshackle us all. They would transform themselves a million times over until one day they would remember they are the transformers. I saw them creating a new humanity right in the midst of chaos and madness.

I knew my lineage was necessary to create The Ones.

My husband’s voice brought me back to present and I looked around dazed and confused. My eyes landed on the little girl in the picture he was speaking about. “She looks like Caitlyn,” he said. Caitlyn is our granddaughter.

Look at the pictures. You tell me.

Gratitude is the sign of Noble Souls…Aesop

Honestly I have been effed up ever since the election results came in. We were knowing all the way up until they said his name that Hillary would win. Then she didn’t. Then he did. And that was it.

I know I went into shock. I couldn’t speak, couldn’t think, couldn’t cry, couldn’t process the words that were coming out of Wolf Blitzers mouth. It was a grief that I had never known. It was a crossroad and the step we took seemed destined to take us into the gates of hell. I became angry and began blaming everyone. The Bernie or Bust people, Director Comey, White female feminists who “just couldn’t trust Hillary”, the make America great again zealots, Hell, my husband (Black man) and the dog.

I made a video expressing my anger and fear. Because fear came next. As the days progressed fear surpassed anger as my dominant emotion. I was struggling to make sense of what was happening. I found no peace in End Times rhetoric, or don’t worry we’ll get through it and then came the announcement of the march.

I read on my friend and faithful companion Facebook that there was a Women’s March On Washington being planned. Something stirred, I went in search of more information. When I found the organizing page I was a little perturbed. It was the same reason I made the video and titled it the Women are White the Men are Black BUT Some of Us at Brave. Yep, I saw no women of color. So I googled to see what else I could find and found Britanny T Oliver’s blog.

Britanny laid out why she didn’t support the WMOW and I found I had to agree. So when I learned there was a different march being held in Chicago I thought I’d go and get involved. I won’t talk about them because they are still in the planning stage and seem to have an eager outreach team. But, after sitting in a committee meeting I began to have reservations. I reflected on it for a few days and then I removed myself from the organizing team.

So now I’m just walking around resigned and melancholy and then President Elect Trump goes and names the climate denier as the head of the EPA. That one got me. That and Kanye looking defiant and skinheadish with PET on the news.

I went to bed last night asking for insight, for another way to look at this, for some relief, I even thought about the working class whites who are going to be heartbroken the way we were when the stimulus package went to the banks.

So around 4am (when Spirit usually speaks to me) I was awakened by the need to go to the bathroom. On the way I looked out of the window and the beautiful moon had cast a bluish light over the yard and it was breathtaking. Then I heard turn on Sevan. So I went back to bed, put on my earphones and youtubed Sevan, a young Black visionary.

The first thing he said when I pressed play was something like this, you must avoid the tendancy to look with fear when something occurs in the world. You must go within and find your appreciation for life itself. Find your gratitude source and drink until you are filled and can feel your self on solid ground. What ever is going on here in America it is not worse than what is going on in other parts of the world. Find your gratitude.

Rev. Dr. Johnnie Colemon once said, the primary cause of suffering is forgetfulness. I forgot. I forgot I come from a long line of survivors, I forgot I survived, abuse, addiction, incarceration, being broke, more abuse and low self esteem. That I am a womyn who has know pain intimately and has not only survived but I thrive.

So with that revelation I fell back to sleep. A few minutes ago I finished watching a Ted Talk that lifted me above the clouds. It gave me my mojo to write here again. I got my groove back. I’m feeling good. In this moment all is well and well indeed. Love is my weapon of choice. And if I can’t be with the one I love I will love the one I’m with. Reluctantly. Because I refuse to be angry and scared for 4 effing years. I have lived that life it ain’t pretty. It dries you out, sucks up your zest for life and your creativity.

I have too much to do to be caught up for that long.

The Ted Talk – What Really Determines Skin Color is on my Facebook page.

Have a nice day! we-will-move-ahead

 

Some years are easier than others

Colonel clears his wallet

My husband went through his wallet today. Erhaps he’s preparing for his gifts of ties, socks, house shoes and a nice black leather wallet I’m interpreting he wants me to select and present to him once again.

There are business cards from people with extra numbers scrawled hurriedly across the backs. He shuffles through these and wonders at the plans and people that once seemed so urgent and how they had diminished to the point of being unrecognizable . 

Who is Joe so and so he asks as he tosses the card at me in case I was at the event and can shed the light of recognition on Joe so and so’s place in his wallet. I can not. Toss. Next. 

Then comes the memories. The longshoreman slip, first social security card,and a fraternity card (too) and the other usual suspects, license, insurance, military identification. Which I say with emphasis and pride. Put your military identification on that side. I love that he’s a Colonel. Maybe it’s the man in a uniform thing. I don’t know but I know I love it and him.

The last thing he pulled was our photo taken at an event where I had read my poem about Barack Obama getting elected. It’s starting to show signs of wear and tear but we look happy.

It was a good  night and the picture captures that moment in time-but it is the lines and signs of wear that tell the real story of years and the tears, laughter joys and pains that mark them. Mark us and make us who we are…as it also boasts of who we were.

That goes in the section where the dollar bills go you know, with the valuables 

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