Friday, December 23, 2005

Elegba: The gateway

Vodun flag of ElegbaIn order to start, we must make a decision. This decision is a commitment to daily self-cultivation. We must make a strong connection to our inner selves. Outside matters are superfluous. Alone and naked, we negotiate all of life's travails. Therefore, we alone must make something of ourselves, transforming ourselves into the instruments for experiencing the deepest spiritual essence of life. Once we make our decision, all things will come to us.
- Deng Ming-Dao


The image represents the Vodun loa or deity known as Elegba, who oversees crossroads, entrances and decisions. The flag is a ritual object in Haiti where i acquired it some years ago. I had left it behind when i went into exile carrying just two suitcases. It is the single item that i requested to be sent to me. My good friend, John, who had it in safe-keeping along with the rest of my detritus, duly complied, and it now hangs on my otherwise bare wall.

The mytho-poetic significance of Elegba continues to grow on me, as i've had to negotiate the many cross-roads, and make the decisions that govern my life. That the essence/concept of Elegba connotes ambivalence, the tension and synthesis of polarities, divine trickster and messenger, is not lost on me either, as i fulfill the roles that have fallen to me, and re-invent myself further into yet more manifestations.

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