Once upon a time, a little long while ago . . . a Turkish woman taught me everything I could learn of her dance, and from the ancient dances of our women people. She told me stories of how their melodies crossed over the winds of the seas and volumes of her own stories, blended with their stories, reflected by her faceted soul, each one woven with careful intention. From so many stages I swam in each orchestrated pattern, all prisms of medicinal magic that beckoned me to inquire about the bright stages and smoky dens her bare feet imprinted, the perfumed, antique chiffon swimming from her beaded and bejeweled bedlahs, eyes sparkling through and beyond calligraphic kohl like constellations. How? How could I ever know what she knows? I wanted her to tell me all the things. Twenty-three years ago, she hudled with me in her world, spoon feeding me all the things I could digest. Though there were other women among her that I stood before and behind, it was she who taught me what I couldn’t have learned from anyone else.

“This is your destiny,” she said.

My destiny . . .  my destiny, to take this woman’s dance and make it our own, to know its language and its medicine, to take it out of the clubs, off of the public stage, away from the eyes of men, . . . to heal and collect even more of myself and help heal our women . . . as she helped me heal myself.

As I write this to you, my dear, little rivers of mascara stream down my cheeks–the same kind that some days, we all wipe away.

To Be Continued Donna


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