i am

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harlem, usa
same-gender-loving contemporary descendant of enslaved africans. community activist, feminist, health educator, independent filmmaker, mentor, playwright, poet & spiritual being. featured at, in & on africana.com, afrikan poetry theatre, angel herald, bejata dot com, bet tonight with tavis smiley, blacklight online, black noir, brooklyn moon cafe, gmhc's barbershop, klmo-fm, lgbt community services center, longmoor productions, nuyorican poets cafe, our corner, poz, pulse, rolling out new york, rush arts gallery, saint veronica's church, schomburg center for research in black culture, sexplorations, the citizen, the new york times, the soundz bar, the trenton times, the village voice, upn news, uzuri, venus, vibe, wbai-fm, wnyc-fm & wqht-fm. volunteered with adodi, bailey house, inc., black men's xchange-new york, colorofchange.org, drug policy alliance, east harlem tutorial program, imagenation film & music festival, presente.org, save darfur coalition, the enough project, the osborne association, the sledge group & your black world. worked on films with maurice jamal & heather murphy. writing student of phil bertelsen & ed bullins. mjt975@msn.com.

Friday, July 01, 2005

My Summertime Ten Day Fast Begins

Today is day two of my bi-annual fasting activities. I started fasting about seven years ago, not knowing what I was doing, how my body would react, or the different emotions I'd expereince. My faith in God motivates me to embrace new challenges in my life, especially when it comes to my health, as I live daily w/ a compromised immune system.

The first time I fasted was for three days. I started at midnight, though I'd just eaten a pint of Haagen Dazs Macadamia Britlle ice cream. I got issues, ok? The idea was to let go of the four basic food groups I'd been raised on: grease, sugar, pork & chocolate. I ate no solid food, drank plenty of liquids & snacked on bananas, grapes & raisins. I felt generally lighthearted, dizzy, disoriented, weak & got headaches on the second day: it was a religous experience.

To celebrate my monumental accomplishment, oblivous to the changes I put my body through, on the fourth day I went to Popeye's Chicken for lunch: I threw up w/ a quickness. I was on the bathroom calling 'Ralph.' I learned a painful lesson that day: ask for help. Oh. You see, my pride gets the best of me sometimes, well, actually most of the time.

I met an interesting Black woman at the (since moved) 24 hour West Side Mart one summer evening while shopping for fruit. I was checking out the cantaloupe & asked her how I'd know if it was ripe or not. She shared her experience w/ me, prompting me to let her know about my fasting challenges. After listening to her calm & serene guidance, I knew God was speaking through her.

Since that evening, I've increased my day count from three to seven to ten to fourteen. I fast twice a year, once in the summer, again during the Kwanzaa season. Last year was the first time I fasted for fourteen consecutive days. During my fast, I received a series of three colonics from the beautiful folks at the Geb Hetep Holistic Health Center in Brooklyn. In fact, the woman who treated me - Yokevid - called me at home Wednesday night to send me an informative e-mail about the do's & dont's of fasting. I've yet to receive it though.

Yokevid was adamant about proper diet, meditaion & r


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