What Does It Mean?

… to be a Bahamian? to be a woman from this land?

when i take in the sights and sounds and smells that i feel that i have only imagined instead, i find myself asking a lot of questions.  maybe it’s just the saltwater in head.

but hear me out.

what does it mean when i walk these steps upon this land, reunited with my home but still a foreigner, blindly searching for the footsteps of those who were here before? my mind drifts.  those lone-gone Lucayan women, barebacked and cherished, comfortable in their world and in the power they may have wielded?  who were their witches, their sacred women?  who kept their world’s mysteries so securely that it is now all but lost?

conversely what does it mean to be a woman in her own power in this era, feeling this power within her bones grow stronger with each passing day?  what does it mean to harness the strange and feral and familiar electricity that flows like water and burns like fire?  i have learned to embrace my femininity, but i have weaponized it in turn.  i can enchant, i can charm, i can curse in equal measure.  what will it take to leave myself truly vulnerable to my femininity, instead?  to feel so deeply it reduces me to ashes and allows me to rise, to become something else.  is it worth it here?  in a place that doesn’t understand or appreciate our own history, let alone the actions one must take to seek what i feel burning a hole into my heart with each breath?

how can i take those two sides and unite them?  how can i remember what was so forcibly removed, and reconcile it with my world in a way that is innocent and explorative, but not patronizing or condescending?

the lost Lucayan, the returning Bahamian.

island witchery and obeah, womanhood worship, that forbidden exploration into the lost annals of our country’s history, and perhaps the meeting of ideologies that fly in the face of established doctrine.

burlesque, and its showmanship, its place in the feminist revolution, giving strength and voice and nuance where the world has been conditioned to see something else- just sexiness without purpose.

dancing without abandon.  returning to and reuniting with the arts long lost in a way that stirs deep with the soul, both transformative and harrowing.

i don’t know what it means, but i think i’m onto something.


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