Ori: On Following Something that Doesn't Exist Outside of Me

"The head carries the body. Use yours." - Ifa text

An Ifa Ibori, a symbol of an individual's personhood used to venerate their/his/her Ori (personal diety - destiny and essence) that, unsurprisingly, is for sale at a British auction house. 

An Ifa Ibori, a symbol of an individual's personhood used to venerate their/his/her Ori (personal diety - destiny and essence) that, unsurprisingly, is for sale at a British auction house. 

Two years ago, my cousin shot herself in the head in the driver seat of her white toyota corrolla. Earlier that morning, my father later told me, she'd asked her mother, my aunt Debbie, to talk, but Aunt Debbie was running late to the meeting for field service and said they could talk when she got home. Having spent a few hours going door-to-door to share "the good news of the kingdom," she returned, parking next to and obliviously walking past the car where her daughter's lifeless body lay slumped over the console. 

When Aunt Debbie couldn't find Christian in the house, she waited and called, called and waited. She trotted back out to her car with a slight, post-hip surgery limp, whether to meet with the afternoon service group or to continue her search I don't know, and that's when she saw.  

I'd last seen Christian at our cousin Erica's wedding in L.A. We sat outside the reception hall as she regaled 16-year old me with tales of her sexual exploits, how she'd had a threesome with two guys, how she'd been fingered in a New York City cab on a trip to Bethel. I asked her if she would ever confess to the elders. She responded with an emphatic "hell no" and then asked me. "I don't know. Maybe." 

It's weird seeing pictures of yourself in a funeral program. A five-year old flower girl at her oldest sister's wedding standing in between her cousin whose funeral it is and their grandmother who refuses to say the word "suicide." She prefers to refer to Christian's manera de morir as "a thing like that," but at least she's talking to me. Mama Helen's 95. I won't see her again before she dies unless someone else dies first. Update: Monica died, but I was in Los Angeles for a conference and couldn't make it to the funeral in Mobile.

I emailed my dad a few weeks ago. We hadn't spoken in a month, which, for us, isn't that long of a period, but I know it's important to my parents to know my whereabouts. I'm working on being more compassionate. "I'm Alive" I typed in the subject line. He replied, "It's good to know that you are physically alive." The subtext being that I'm spiritually dead. 

The Apostle Paul wrote to the congregation at Corinth that "Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of the woman, and the head of Christ is God." 

Daddy says that my independence is my god.  I pray regularly.