Epoch Heydays beat rhythm time Tempo bringing Glory Days and Golden Age into Earth, Space, time Continuum alignment around my being. Spiritual Discernment begins the convergence of planets, Moon-Womben Star-gazers endlessly birthing heavenly bodies and floating orbs.
Mother Africa as Creator Goddess singing Reign Blessings upon her children.
My World, the ones I saw in my Grandmother’s Quilt and the ever expanding Galaxies beyond Earth, Sky, Sun and Moon-Daughter Wishes, Hopes and Desires.
Ancient hand stretching finger Ancestor Dimensions reaching forward into time and eternity bringing revelation knowledge of history long past yet made fresh daily.
Troubles beating bloody fists upon my pate.
Belladonna into Nightshades.
Tethered by an unholy umbilical cord to a dead albatross. Dreams deluge. Green metal Frigidaire Fan blowing air opposite it’s promised heat relief. Stub toe late shift Dad curses Castro and his Convertible. Bucolic heat wave summer in the city. 25 cent Ice Cream salvation dispensed by Mr. Softee. Martha Reeves and her Vandellas gyrating to Dancing in the Streets while kids follow her Piped Pipers.
Kool-Aid libation sugar screams ensue while transistor talking heads Ralph Kiner and Lindsey Nelson called Shea play by plays. Bygone days of Tri-Corn braids. Fletcher’s Castoria Beef Iron Wine cocktails. Childhood freedom beckons signalling release from adulthood chain gangs. Teeter-totter bring unbalanced superimposed idealized memories to double-doubted times past. It’s 1964 and my Dixie Peach anointed head snuggles with Panda pillow transcending time once again in the loving arms of Grandma Eva’s patchwork quilt.
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. – Hamlet (1.5.166-7), Hamlet to Horatio
2 Corinthians 12:3-4
New International Version (NIV)
3 And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows— 4 was caught up to paradise and heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to tell.
Lately I’ve been having some very odd spiritual experiences. They are akin to the TV program Quantum Leap where the guy leaps into another person’s body or even more personal like the protagonist in the Octavia Butler novel, Kindred. Mine is not quite that spectacular but it began last year with my mother’s spirit speaking through me to create a memoir for her. Even though my Mom has been deceased since 1998 it was like she and I were one flesh. The stimulus was a rather unpleasant family disagreement but that one trigger melded our spirits and I began to feel the emotions she had over 50 years ago concerning my Brother Stephen’s developmental disability. All the hurt, pain, sadness, anguish and depression she felt when she was unjustly accused of causing her beloved son’s autism surfaced within my spirit.
I just began to write and write over the course of the last 7 or 8 months. Then after finding out some interesting family history concerning my maternal grandmother again I began to experience her emotions. Then a few days ago when I was posted in the Civil War Photography exhibit at my museum, once more an ancestor’s thoughts and emotions came to me. My Great, Great Grandfather William Henry Halstead fought in the Civil War. There was a steady stream of visitors but everyone was quiet, calm, serious, deeply affected by what they were seeing. During the course of the day as I walked through the photographs taking everything in it was like I began to see through the eyes of my Great, Great Grandfather. I could hear the sounds of battle, the screams of pain from injured soldiers, feel his adrenaline as he surged forth with his 29th CT. Colored Regiment brothers. All I can say it was like I was in his head. I had to make an effort to turn off so I could finish my day without freaking out. Even now I feel he is still with me even though I never met him. Maybe this is genetic memory. All the memories of our ancestors stay with us though we are separated by time but not necessarily by eternity. As a writer it gives a different aspect and flavor to my writing but it is a very strange sensation and I don’t know what to make of this new development.
It happened last year as I was making a Family Photo collage for the Employee Art Show. It was as though family members long deceased most whom I never got the chance to meet were telling me where to place all the photos within the collage. Very strange.
I’m beginning to wonder if I’m some type of an Empath like on Star Trek.
Empaths have the ability to scan another’s psyche for thoughts and feelings or for past, present, and future life occurrences. Many empaths are unaware of how this actually works, and have long accepted that they were sensitive to others.
I posed my questions to the FB Black Ancestry page and received several intuitive responses.
“I’ve been chosen as a Portal by my family members who have passed on.
Some inanimate objects do have an impressed energy and will release to an open mind/spirit. Some good, some negative. In your case, the familiar of family to present themselves to you to share an understanding of who they were to help others in their journeys here.”
While in the Egyptian Wing of the museum I also felt a spiritual connection to this woman perhaps Queen Tiye whose face graces a canopic jar.
The Battle scene I heard while in the Civil War Photography exhibit as described by one of my Great, Great Grandfathers fellow soldiers. http://conn29th.org/stories.htm
Maybe my Great, great grandfather is trying to connect with me. Sometimes I wonder why he speaks to me. Also I never had experiences of this magnitude when I was younger. I did have visions between the ages of 4 and 5 but I never told my parents for fear they would think I was nuts. These visions began again after I turned 50. I’m 54 now. An odd age for the portal to reopen. Now I know why he waited nearly 150 years not just for me to make an appearance on this earth but he waited for “The One”. The Anointed One who would be able to tell the stories of the ancestors and who could make Spiritual Consolation so their souls could be at rest.
In December of 1863 my Great Great Grandfather, William Henry Halstead, who lived in Tarrytown, New York, traveled to New Haven, Connecticut to join the 29th Connecticut Colored Infantry. On his Volunteer Enlistment papers it notes his occupation as a farmer. He enlisted for three years and was discharged on the 24th day of October 1865. He married and had five children. William Henry Halstead passed away in 1888 and was buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Tarrytown, New York. His wife moved to New York City with her five children. Her children grew up in Harlem and belonged to various organizations such as Odd Fellows, Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic and the Daughters of New York.
Sp4 Palmer, 569th PSC & 101st Airborne Division.
I’m glad my spirit is open and that some family members have decided to reconnect through the veil of life and death to communicate with me. I would say that they don’t want to be forgotten by current and future generations. I am Chosen to tell their stories.
My Maternal Ancestry Tree: The bond and bridge that enable me to crossover from America to Africa
Maternal Ancestry Journey
New King James Version (NKJV)
A Perpetual Covenant of Peace
1 “Sing, O barren,
You who have not borne!
Break forth into singing, and cry aloud,
You who have not labored with child!
For more are the children of the desolate
Than the children of the married woman,” says the LORD. 2 “ Enlarge the place of your tent,
And let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings;
Do not spare;
Lengthen your cords,
And strengthen your stakes. 3 For you shall expand to the right and to the left,
And your descendants will inherit the nations,
And make the desolate cities inhabited.
The eternal question, Who Am I? Many of us find the answer within our respective Family Trees. It was obvious to me that my ancestry began in Africa, but where in that great continent did my ancestors originate. But for me as an African American some of the branches were broken off and gone missing.
Thus began my quest to not only discover my maternal lineage but my genetic link to Mother Africa. Hidden within the larger search to trace my family history on my Mom’s side was the greater goal to honor my mother and complete myself as a branch of the family tree. DNA can now unlock the secrets and the past giving voice to generations of women, the collective matriarchy that ultimately formed me. Living in a society that often devalues, trivializes and cuts Black Women down, within my personal family history lay the opportunity to validate and reaffirm self.
Family Skeletons Revealed
Hattie Finney Banks was my grandmother. Hattie and Mattie Finney were twin sisters. Mattie Finney moved to Illinois and married a man named Harper. I always wondered what became of Mattie. My grandmother Hattie Banks never spoke of her twin sister Mattie. I always thought that was unusual but I did not ask any questions. Did not want to pry.
About two years ago my brother Stephen and I spent Thanksgiving with our New Jersey cousins. My Aunt told me a family story which might explain the split between the sisters and why they never again contacted each other.
My grandfather Hugh Banks, Hattie’s husband murdered Daniel R. Finney. So Hugh Banks killed his in-law, his wife’s close relative. Hugh Banks died in prison sometime around 1940. My Aunt went to the funeral. She does not know the reason why Hugh Banks murdered Daniel Finney. All this took place in the 1930s. After the funeral Hattie took my Mom, Mable, her sisters and moved to Dayton, Ohio. Hattie told everyone including my mother, her sisters and me that Hugh Banks had died in a coal mining accident.
I suppose she had to make up a false story and hide the truth because of embarrassment, shame or just wanting to forget. From what little my grandmother Hattie Banks told me Hugh Banks was a violent and abusive husband. I guess when she moved to Dayton to be with her brothers Clarence & Willie she just want to forget the past and start with a clean slate. I can’t prove it but somehow, some way this murder was probably behind Hattie and Mattie breakup.
Good Ancestor News: Found out this week that through my maternal line my ancestors were from Mozambique. I belong to the maternal haplogroup L3e2b1a.
I also probably have some Nigerian ancestors. My maternal genetic makeup is 85% Africa, 12% Europe and 3% Asia.
Our ancestry and genealogy are traced through mitochondrial DNA which is only passed down from mother to child. This is fascinating information. By the way the study affiliated with Dr. Henry Louis Gates is free and they are targeting African Americans. I’ve wanted to have my DNA traced for several years and when I saw the ad in Ebony or was it Essence along with the word Free, I immediately signed up. I was so thrilled to find out this news. Now along with my African co-workers feel a more direct connection to the Motherland.
Naturally, I’ll never be connected to Mother Africa the way in which my co-workers from Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Togo, and Mali are since they were born there and have a direction connection with the culture, language and respective tribes, I feel now more of a blood tie. Now I can plan for my pilgrimage to this country of my ancestors in the next five to ten years.
I’ve shared my findings with a select group of like-minded co-workers and when I return to work on Sunday will continue to do so.
As I previously stated, Hattie Finney Banks was my maternal grandmother. I’m in the process of writing a book honoring my mother, Mable Elizabeth Palmer, Hattie’s eldest daughter. Right now I’m trying to locate the birth certificate of either Hattie or her twin sister Mattie Finney. I want and need to know who their mother, my great grandmother was. I need that piece of information for not only my research but for my literary work. I know plenty about my Dad’s family history but almost nothing about my Mom’s side. Also there is something in me which needs completion.
When I look in the mirror I see Mable Elizabeth Palmer. I see unknown people from my collective past begging me to tell their story. I must answer their cries to be heard. Before I travel to Mozambique, South Africa I’ll have to visit West Virginia and examine birth, death, prison and military/Armed Forces records that may be available.
Then in 2012 back to Ancestry.com for more research on my maternal family tree. My maternal ancestors from Mother Africa call me and I willingly answer the call. Our patriarchal society bows down to the greater stronger Matriarchy for only females carry the mitochondrial DNA that enable all of us to trace our roots and find our origins. The Journey continues!!
National Geographic also offers a similar test but it costs $99.95. That will have to wait until I receive my Federal income tax check next year. I want to see if genetic lineage test comes up with the same result as 23andme. I would think that for $100 the testing would be more wide-ranging and comprehensive. My goal is to find out more about my maternal lineage. My ultimate goal is to deepen my connection to my mother, grandmother and of course Mother Africa.