Monday, February 20, 2017


"The victim cries, the woman who is going to change things gets angry!" Shine Molina was quoting her mentor, Green Blessings Susun Weed. "I apprenticed with Susun Weed after Skeena's mom,the Border Witch and I switched places. Skeena was a very angry man when we first met. Raging angry because his mother chose death. As a sacrifice, she  gave her life for mine." Camilia had heard the stories, told from more than one point of view. This was not a venue she could have predicted. But, what she was getting: Shine Molina was not just another pretty face or a fairy princess kinda gal. A fully grown woman, the girl who began life signing as language was brightly lit with audacious voice and she was letting it fly. Literally.

Her words spiraled from her lips. Streaming kombu Pacific kelp swelled into the sea around Camilia and Shine. "Is there a particular verse in that song that strikes your gong, rings your bells, flutters your vagina!?" The silver and ginger gold of Shine Molina's rope of hair sparked with the question as she pulled at the kelp words and split the thick green stock into three strands with claw length finger nails painted pomegranate.

With no hesitation Camilia responded, "The spiral is a bubbling cauldron... When I showed up at The Safety Pin Cafe. Met the Gypsy Woman who read the cards. My flesh, my former face, fell into her cauldron. She sang to me, 'So long to your Hit Parade ...' No sweet Giselle McKenzie version either. You aren't old enough to remember Giselle McKenzie or the Lucky Strike TV show."

"I get the drift Camilia. She was one of the harsh and fierce tribe of witches, like Susun Weed, she was the Baba Yaga." Camilia was mesmerized and in spite of the old propaganda about good girls' oughta her vagina was winking ... fluttering like a hummingbird sucking nectar.

"Ha, ha, ha," Shine cackled and twirled spinning the three narrow strands of kombu into an intricate braid. Like welding a whip Shine threw the braid at Camilia's ankles. The tether and harness snapped from the board and Camilia's ankle. The flexible and slimy seaweed wound like leather binding that stopped just short of the winking and fluttering vagina. The kombu continued to cinch and tighten on the older woman's calves and thighs. "Ouch!"

"What? Did you think transformation would be painless!" Shine continued.

"This is one weird dream," was all Camilia could manage. Shine wasn't done. She quoted memorized segments from Remedios.

"Ginger is the lover who looks at your malaise of self-doubt and insecurity and tells you to stop indulging yourself with reruns of the past," Shine paused one of those Banana Skin and Ginger signature moments -- the thirteen step -- the pregnant pause. Camilia realized she was holding her breath. A bubble of connection raised that cauldron across the sea the old color of love. Shine went on, " when your present is strong and sweet and spicy. Though ginger may burn your throat, its intention is never to be harsh. It's just that ginger knows exactly what is needed. With its flowers like sex and its roots like firm hands with a grasp of the essential, there is no better friend. Cultivate ginger!"

From the freshly implanted braids of kombu sprouts of ginger unfurled and knobs of ginger root bulged from the seaweed laces. The fragile and pungent flowers, yellow and white ginger blossomed between her legs. If it were possible to see a brown skinned woman blush on a surfboard that is what you'd have seen.

"Of all the medicine plants you could have as ally your guardian, your 'aumakua, ginger, ke `awapuhi,in your mother's language, is the one you need close-by. Always."

"When this dream is over, will I remember? Will I invest in it and defend it?" Camilia was thinking out loud.

"Don't doubt yourself. No need to rerun that old hit parade!" Shine left one last talisman. With snaps of her fingers on both hands, a school of gold fish swam in and between Camilia's bare feet. The fish disappeared as quickly as they appeared in their place Camilia was left with ten toenails brightly painted the color of pomegranate.

This Banana Skin and Ginger is spicy! Is there more? Oh yeah.

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