The Universe can become disappointed with actions.
The Universe can become disappointed with actions.
“The first of January wasn’t always seen as the start of the new year—that was the work of Julius Caesar, when he adopted the Julian calendar in 46 B.C. Perhaps not so coincidentally, there was something else happening at nearly the same time: an event that would become known as the “Feast of Circumcision.” Most of our readers are probably aware that Jesus’s birth was not actually December 25, but was set there by the Roman Catholic church to overlap the pagan solstice festival. It’s very convenient, then, that the Law of Moses says all male children should be circumcised eight days after birth—the “Feast of Circumcision” could be held on January 1, and overlap similar pagan new year celebrations.” – http://listverse.com/2013/12/31/10-ancient-new-year-traditions-and-stories/
“The month of January gets its name from Janus—chief among the ancient Roman deities. This two-faced god (one looking ahead, one looking behind), was honored by having his chief festival on the first day of the new year… Roman celebrants spent the day looking both backwards, in reflections, and ahead, in planning for the new year. They also believed that what they sowed on the first day of the new year would carry with them throughout the rest of the year. Thus, it was a day of giving presents, abstaining from impure or cruel thoughts, postponing and ending quarrels, and generally trying to be nice to each other.” – http://listverse.com/2013/12/31/10-ancient-new-year-traditions-and-stories/
“Akitu was the Babylonian festival for the new year. Celebrated in what’s today March or April, the festival honored their supreme god, Marduk, and marked the beginning of the growing season. For the general population, the beginning of the festival meant a week of holidays and celebrations.” – http://listverse.com/2013/12/31/10-ancient-new-year-traditions-and-stories/
“Nowruz is still a holiday that is celebrated globally, and it has the distinction of being one of the—if not the—longest continually celebrated holiday in the world. It is traditionally observed on the day of the vernal equinox, when the coming of spring also heralds the new year. Nowruz lasts for 13 days, during which time spring returns to the land in a scene of rebirth and revitalization.”- http://listverse.com/2013/12/31/10-ancient-new-year-traditions-and-stories/
“Both Krios and Iasion are associated with the coming of the new year in ancient Greece. Krios was one of the titans, typically depicted with a ram’s horns, and inevitably connected with the constellation Aries. Aries was the first of the constellations to appear in the springtime sky, cementing Krios’s association with the new year. Iasion was a demigod, son of Zeus and one of his many consorts. Iasion himself was the consort of the agricultural goddess Demeter;” – http://listverse.com/2013/12/31/10-ancient-new-year-traditions-and-stories/
“The passing of the old year and the coming of the new were two very different sets of days in the Aztec calendar. The last five days of the year were called nemontemi, and they were considered very unlucky… Quahuitlehua came immediately after the five useless days, and was thought of as the beginning of the new year. It was the end of the dry season, when crops were once again sown.” – http://listverse.com/2013/12/31/10-ancient-new-year-traditions-and-stories/
“March 25 marked the start of the new year in Great Britain (except for Scotland) until 1752. Both a religious and secular holiday, it was called both “Lady Day” and the “Feast of the Annunciation.”” – http://listverse.com/2013/12/31/10-ancient-new-year-traditions-and-stories/
“Ancient Egyptian culture was closely tied to the Nile River, and it appears their New Year corresponded with its annual flood. According the Roman writer Censorinus, the Egyptian New Year was predicted when Sirius—the brightest star in the night sky—first became visible after a 70-day absence. Better known as a heliacal rising, this phenomenon typically occurred in mid-July just before the annual inundation of the Nile River, which helped ensure that farmlands remained fertile for the coming year. Egyptians celebrated this new beginning with a festival known as Wepet Renpet, which means “opening of the year.” The New Year was seen as a time of rebirth and rejuvenation, and it was honored with feasts and special religious rites.” -http://www.history.com/news/history-lists/5-ancient-new-years-celebrations
“One of the oldest traditions still celebrated today is Chinese New Year, which is believed to have originated over 3,000 years ago during the Shang Dynasty. The holiday began as a way of celebrating the new beginnings of the spring planting season, but it later became entangled with myth and legend… Since Chinese New Year is still based on a lunar calendar that dates back to the second millennium BC, the holiday typically falls in late January or early February on the second new moon after the winter solstice. Each year is associated with one of 12 zodiacal animals: the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig.” -http://www.history.com/news/history-lists/5-ancient-new-years-celebrations
“According to traditions of Mayans, there are number of deities who are followed and worshipped. Each coming year is dedicated to a certain God. As a part of the celebrations to welcome New Year, new idols and images of the concerned deity are prepared well in advance. Also, entrances and trappings of all temples and sacred places are deconsecrate and are painted blue… According to Georgian calendar, Mayan New Year falls around the month of July.” -http://www.123newyear.com/newyear-traditions/mayan.html
Random Questions & Thoughts:
Why do we follow a January 1st New Year tradition when it is an arbitrary and superficial date? Why do we go against most of the long standing ancient practices of the New Year beginning in Spring or coinciding with the Lunar calendar?
We shouldn’t accept January 1st as the New Year. We should not spend exorbitant amounts of money on travel, New Year’s Eve parties, new clothes, shoes and liquor for this day. We should not drink ourselves into a stupor to usher in this fake new year. We should learn the reasons behind the new year celebration and celebrate it in a way and at a time that most resonates with our spirit. Rosh Hashanah is a good example of this in Judaism.
HAPPY NU YEAR! MAY IT BE PROSPEROUS, BLESSED, HEALTHY & SAFE!!!
I spent this week completing a clinical rotation in the antenatal/postnatal/child health ward of the clinic on the Eastern Caribbean island where I am situated as I journey through becoming a doctor.
First of all, every single staff personnel was quite nice, helpful and accommodating to me and my two classmates. We were obviously a bigger burden than asset to the facility, as we each knew the bare minimum in terms and possible conditions. I myself had the most embarrassing moment on my first day when I was asked to take the blood pressure of a pregnant patient. I wrapped the cuff around her upper arm properly, and then sat there helplessly watching the gauge and pump which I held in either hand, finally turning to the nurse and stating, I don’t know how to do this.
I learned a lot over this week and take my hat off to the nurses there who are extremely knowledgeable, friendly, caring, compassionate and patient. These women do so much with the little, and I mean little, the government offers them in terms of equipment and basic necessities. The cooperation and sharing among them is admirable.
That said, I must note some of the antiquated practices that I observed and take my stance on vaccinations and immunizations.
Black babies are still being offered Gerber, a well-known and trusted food product that displays the face of a white baby on all of its packaging. The number it does on the black baby’s psyche, food is satisfying, makes one happy and is directly related to a white face, stays with that child far into the future and has a negative effect on how he or she sees himself and a skewed effect of how he or she views white people. Cover the image, color it brown – but please, stop offering the message that white is right at each meal.
Breast feeding should not cease at six months, but should continue for as long as possible. Studies show that the longer a child is breast fed, even into his or her toddler years, the smarter and stronger he or she becomes. Babies do not need to eat meat and drink cow’s milk for protein and calcium, respectively, but can and should remain on mother’s milk, fruits and vegetables as a superior diet.
Speaking of cow’s milk. It is no longer an accepted phenomena that cow’s milk makes human teeth and bones strong, but rather an advertising ploy by the U.S. dairy industry. Cow’s milk produces mucous in the human body, which is why so many young children have snotty noses and suffer from colds. Teething, as an old wives tale, does not cause colds. Change of diet around that six month period from mother’s milk to dairy causes the naturally lactose intolerant body to produce mucous, which has glycoproteins in it that aid in immune and digestive system function and protection of the body.
Finally, in the first ten days of life, the mothers bring their beautiful babies back to the hospital for a puerperal check up. First thing one notices is the huge bubble on the baby’s left arm. This is where they are administered their first immunization, the tuberculosis vaccine, on their very first day on the planet, before they even think about leaving the hospital.
Those poor guinea pigs continue to return to the hospital at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 12 months, 18 months and probably some more, to be stuck with a needle injecting the polio, Hepatitis B, diphtheria, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, and Varicella (chicken pox) vaccinations. The babies do not cry when the needle punctures their skin, no; they cry when the burning poisonous toxin goes in. Vaccination are often followed by fever. If I may:
What exactly is in a vaccination? According to http://vaxtruth.org/2011/08/vaccine-ingredients/, here are some of the most common ingredients found in the various vaccines:
Anthrax (BioThrax) Aluminum Hydroxide, Amino Acids, Benzethonium Chloride, Formaldehyde or Formalin, Inorganic Salts and Sugars, Vitamins, BCG (Tice) Asparagine, Citric Acid, Lactose, Glycerin, Iron Ammonium Citrate, Magnesium, Sulfate, Potassium Phosphate DTaP (Daptacel), Aluminum Phosphate, Ammonium Sulfate, Casamino Acid, Dimethyl-beta-cyclodextrin, Glutaraldehyde, 2-Phenoxyethanol, DTaP (Infanrix) Aluminum Hydroxide, Bovine Extract, Polysorbate 80, Gelatin, Monkey Kidney Tissue, Yeast Protein, MRC-5 DNA and Cellular Protein, Neomycin, Polymyxin B Sulfate, Polysorbate 80, Dextrose, Soy Peptone, Phosphate Buffers, Bovine Albumin or Serum, DNA, Sodium Borate.
You can look them up for your own empowering knowledge, but on first glance, I promise you, I do not want formaldehyde, inorganic salts and sugars, bovine (cow) protein, monkey kidney tissue, or foreign DNA of any species going into my child. I won’t even begin on the illogical reasoning of administering the Hep B (a sexually transmitted disease) vaccine to newborns or state why I think SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) is a result of this medical practice.
I am grateful to organizations, such as VacLib.org and VaccineTruth.com who are trying to obtain and maintain the rights of parents (in the U.S.) to decide for or against the immunization and vaccination of their children. States are becoming less lenient on parental rights and more stringent on enFORCING the shots. Know your rights and fight for them: http://ww.vaclib.org/exemption.htm#yourchoice
I entered this premedical remedial program with ten other students. Four of them are male. I am the oldest. Having children is a major concern for many of the women in my group because, if we should choose to accept the challenge and advance in our medical field journey, we have five arduous academic years ahead of us, two of which include eighty-hour week hospital rotations.
Not being fully concerned about having children at all, and definitely not now, it did not occur to me to allow thoughts of biological clock ticking to stage a parade in my head with BABY as the main float.
In the meanwhile, among all of the chitter and chatter about when and how, where and when to become pregnant, deliver pickney and raise children, I met Mr. Mac. Mr. Mac is two years older than me and the most talked about conversation (on his part) was getting me pregnant. I am not sure if my celibacy had anything to do with it; however, he explained to me that my complexion and hair type was what he wanted for his children, not to mention how I looked in my bathing suit.
Freader, I too was slightly perturbed at the baby-mama criteria, but, it wasn’t the first time I heard it from a man, so, I let it slide. After weeks of hearing his persuasive arguments on insemination, I started to think (and calculate) that this would be the best time, if any, to be impregnated. Lord, it’s a good thing I am celibate.
Three months later, I realized that the cocktail of my abandonment issues, his hollow promises, and my many fears of motherhood, both substantiated and completely unreasonable, probably does not make me the best candidate for this position. On top of the fact that I broke up with him this weekend because I just don’t see us being together in the long run and I don’t have the patience to work on it in the short.
But the icing on the cake was….
My placement in the prenatal ward for my hospital rotation this week. It didn’t take but one day for me to realize that I do not want to experience lower abdominal pain. I do not want contractions, cervical or uterine expansion. I do not want to be pregnant.
A Poem –
What would I do with a child?
In order to bring him up to be an adult worth while.
To ensure his life is full of laughter and smiles.
Oh, Jah, what would I do with a child?
I am a vegetarian, what would he eat?
The books are full of lies, what would I teach?
I want him to be independent – a man out the door
But I ain’t letting my baby out into a world at war.
I want the child to travel, the whole world to glean,
But me nah wan fi immunize or shot him up with vaccine.
I can’t protect my child from bumps, bruises or scrapes
Nor protect myself from the inevitable first date.
I can’t live with his pain, that I will never know.
How to instill in him the law that ‘you reap what you sow’?
I want him to fear God. But take him to church?
He has to learn to know God, one must know thyself first.
Oh, the pain and anguish embedded in the seed
Of birthing a child and raising an adult; and you want me to breed?
I haven’t even touched on the small necessities
Of feeding, clothing, bathing – things that must happen daily.
So, I graciously decline and leave it up to another,
To incubate a human being and call self — mother.
It seems my life moves at lightening speed on this extremely slow (except for the buses and some high school girls) island. I am happily back together with Mr. Mac and it seems that getting over our few misunderstandings, we have settled in a nice place where we trust each other and like where we are at this point in time.
I have also completed all five of my exams and know for sure that I passed Communication Skills, Physics and Statistics, believe I have passed Medical Terminology and am wholly unsure about Chemistry. I won’t blame my professor, but instead will say, I should have studied harder; and trust me, I would have, if I knew what I was supposed to study.
So, the semester is technically over, although I am to do a week of electives in a medical setting next week in order to grant me practical experience and also display the goodness of my character and disposition – piece of cake.
Afterwards, I am looking forward to two weeks vacation. I am still unsure of what, if anything, I want to do. There are plenty of good beaches and islands right here for me to hop to and fro and I really do not see the point of returning to the states during winter season, though it would be nice to see my friends and family and relax in my mom’s apartment, relishing in the ability to cross the street and obtain anything my heart desires from the convenience store.
In the meanwhile, I have a few end-of-term papers to edit. Freader, you know I am an editor, right? Check out the services I offer at: http://www.rachelblaze.com/publishing-services.html. I do very good work!
Looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow and perhaps taking a trip to the beach. Much more needed than that is a massage, but, I think I will deal with the cutting of this hair first.
It is finals week here in the Eastern Caribbean where I attend medical school remediation in preparation for the real thing next year (if I so choose to continue). It has been a quick, though difficult fourteen weeks and I am thrilled to be rounding the last lap. Honestly, I cannot say that the classes or coursework were hard, though I was ill-prepared in many ways.
Being a thirty-four year old American, returning to school for the first time in ten years and attending an institution in a foreign country left me both shell and culture shocked. Arriving here with some major health issues also worked against me, as I have spent countless hours and hundreds of dollars dealing with my illnesses. Luckily, I am at about eighty percent wellness and will take my three week break rectifying the last bit of dis-ease I have been experiencing; including, not being fully reimbursed by the mandatory health insurance company I had to accept.
My hair is still dread locked and I am still celibate, but I no longer have that boyfriend I briefly mentioned in the last post. Unfortunately, my study schedule (and probably my celibacy) grossly interfered with our relationship. I have my suspicions as to other interference, but since I cannot prove anything, I will not make accusations. I am slightly hurt, mostly happy, and fully free; I just wish he did not ask to finish the relationship the night before I had the first of five tests. I was actually waiting until next Thursday, when exams were over, to break up with him, but, I guess we were on the same page and he couldn’t wait to turn it.
I am tired of my hair. What does this mean? As an experiment, I have had my hair locked for one year in order to have a “black hair experience” as close as my Trinidadian / Native American grade hair would allow.
These are the conclusions that I came to: a) get to know and love the hair you were born with; b) weaves, extensions, dyes, perms and any other unnatural and mostly toxic supplements added to one’s head messes it up – internally and externally; physically and mentally.
The deal I forced myself into was that I would keep these locks until I graduated this year of premed or had a baby. I am not pregnant and I do not graduate until August 2016, but I am going for the big cut. This is not my hair and I though I like my locs and have indeed become the local “Indian Rasta”, I do not want to sport it any more.
So, sometime after my tests (I cannot cut these informational antennae before exams are over), I will let myself off the hook and begin a new process of growth – hair and self.
By the way, my relationship with Mr. Mac taught me something very important about myself. I suffer from abandonment issues stemming from childhood, with my father as the emotional culprit and my mother as the physical one. WOW! Major breakthrough, but that is a therapy session for another day. Right now, I must dive into my chemistry text book and oh yeah, I am still taking applications for tutors in physics, chemistry and statistics – if you happen to know somebody!
I will never understand when “the tables turn” or how the “shoe [gets put] on the other foot”; but all I know is the opposite becomes true for the circumstance you thought you were in and the position you held and all of a sudden they have what they sought and you do not.
It may not be a bad thing, this new situation, but it isn’t what you declared, stated, wanted three months ago. Things that make you go “hmmm?”
In my case, I am now trying to reconcile school, which is of primary priority and boyfriend. I have finals in two weeks and after he heeded my request to stay away this week so I could get rest and study in, I found that all I added to my fatigue was depression. Wha? Just when I thought I was too old for puppy love, in saunters Mr. Mac eating a mango and inviting me to the beach.
In my experiences, I have come up with this tidbit of knowledge to share: “Don’t get so accustomed to the long, lonely road that when someone shows up to walk with you, you bark them off the path.”
Well Freader, it is the end of the eleventh week of the first semester in my final year of premedical school. How, you may ask, does a 34 year old retired teacher divorcee end up in premedical school in the Eastern Caribbean? For that simply complicated answer you will have to read the first few posts of this blog series. In the meanwhile, I have one more week of learning, one week of studying and one of final exams before this semester is over. It was pretty fast and oddly painless, except for that first month when I had literal physical illness that sent me to the emergency room (Someone Please Call 9-1-1) and emotional ailments that often resulted in tear-filled afternoons. That seems such a distant past as I am back to normal, physically, emotionally and mentally (seemingly slightly saner than usual).
I am happy to announce that I finally received most of my midterm grades. Yes, I know – we took midterms in week 7 and are just getting back the marks in week 11. My school is on an island and we seem, though it is a U.S. founded and based institution, to run on third world time. Like the two unscheduled (and uncommunicated) half days we had this week. My professors are all locals; the medical school teachers that I can look forward to are mostly foreign: Cuban, Indian and African.
Wait, let me not get ahead of myself. I did not return to school to necessarily become a doctor. I returned to finish the premed degree that I halted back in undergrad in order to major in Sociology with a minor in Anthropology. Continuing onto medical school has some prerequisites and requirements that I am not sure I will meet, like:
The last bullet wasn’t really even a factor until recently; I will discuss that in a subsequent email. For now, I will leave you with my exam marks in the order that I received them:
Please note, I cannot take credit for any of these grades as it was God who took those tests. HE just gave my hand the opportunity to hold the pen.
I still haven’t gotten back my midterm grades Freader; I am sure you can imagine how frustrated I am, though it probably does not equal the frustration level I experienced once back in Bequia after being proposed to on the yacht returning from Grenada after quitting the sustainability program.
Swampy was to remain working and living on the state-of-the-art Swiss yacht and I was to find an apartment to rent for the following three months that I had left to remain in the country. Though Swampy and I were constantly at odds, he used his connections to find me a great, affordable place. Perfect, so I thought.
Swampy quit his boat job and decided that he was going to move in with me. Ehhhh (buzzer sound)! Wrongo. No way, no how. I was trying to remove myself from the relationship, which only made him push himself further into my life. He rented a house not too far from me and called or came by every morning before eight a.m. We had argument upon argument. I had to ask him to leave my place numerous times AND he began to follow me everywhere I went.
My cousin came to visit me from Trinidad. Swampy hung out with us every day. My sister came to visit me from New York for Christmas and New Year’s and well, one evening, we snuck out of the house while he was asleep on the living room floor so we could go to karaoke together. We all had great fun, it just always included Swamps.
Bequia began to turn into a nightmare. When I finally FINALLY put my foot down and told Swampy that WE ARE NOT TOGETHER; LEAVE ME ALONE; LEAVE MY HOUSE NOW, he raised his hand to me and said, “Watch ‘Na”. Though I stood tall with a straight face, I was shaking in my flip flops and my stomach did a somersault that rivaled Dominque Dawes’ best U.S. Olympic performance. He then stated that he was going to immigration to report me as a threat to him and the country and he left my apartment.
Freader, I called Liat, booked a flight for the next afternoon, packed my shit and hauled ass out on the next morning’s six thirty a.m. ferry. I may be Brooklyn tough, but mama ain’t raise no fool; and when a three hundred pound man physically and legally threatens me, it’s time to go.
So, on January sixth, I returned to my mother’s home in ‘The Big Apple’ with a deep Caribbean tan, dreadlocks that Swampy and I twisted my hair into, and a new perspective on life, love and laughter. Life is the Sea – swim in it; Love is the Sand – exfoliating, but abrasive; Laughter is the Sun – warming, embracing and all-encompassing.
St. Vincent both captured and broke my heart and continues to be my favorite place in the world. See a slide show picture gallery of my time there at: http://www.rachelblaze.com/buzz