Today is day two of Project 40, a brilliant experiment by Sherene Schostak. Project 40 consists of 40 days of well-being. What addictions or attachments would you be willing to sacrifice in order to see a glimpse of your true self? Is there something you always wanted to do but procrastinated? Sound a little like Lent? Well, Project 40 version 2 encourages you to delve into the arts and abandon yourself to creativity.
When I started Project 40 yesterday I knew exactly what I wanted to do. In New Orleans they call it "Growing up tipsy." It means you're tapped in. I've been tipsy for a long time but lately feel I need a deeper connection, past Holly and Brian, and my immediate family of ancestors, but deep into the roots. So for 40 days I'll be working intensely with my boveda (ancestral altar). My goal in this is to feel connected to my ancestry. I'm also prone to depression ans well. I think any sort of meditation is good for balancing, as well as trust within self, and confidence. All of these very good things.
Lately life has felt like the five of coins. I was worried about everything except my well-being, I became the wounded healer, and although that can work for some time, it eventually catches up to you. I've been quiet this week, cleaning the house, cooking, doing mundane things. I'm getting ready to work on a big painting and designing a logo for a company.
I sat in front of the boveda and started to cry. It's amazing what can happen when you just sit still for a few moments. I took out my cards and promised my ancestors I would trust them and I did what any young woman would do. I began to doubt everything everything that was told, even the good things. Even the things I was told to let go. But that's part of a journey, or at least the beginning part, doubt, denial, fear. It's all part of something much richer. I even set up a little place to honor Oshun to bring a little sweetness into the home. And while I enjoyed the dancing I still felt there was a lot of work to be done.
The top of the boveda.
Inside the boveda
A space for Oshun.
Later that evening I did a surprise reading for a man I had only met once before. There are some readings that just flow. The minute you throw down the cards they start to speak. This was one of them. We hugged afterward. I gave him a piece of coral from Kali's altar. "For grounding but also clearing." I said, handing it to him. He gave me a coin, a gift to make a Gypsy smile. A 1913 penny which I have placed into my gris gris with the mini spanish deck. "For luck." He said.
I pulled three for myself:
The Magician, The Star, and The Empress.
Image by Katarína Hybenová for Bushwick Daily