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Topic: Yemoya's Gift
Message: Posted by: Caspar (Oct 17, 2005 07:30PM)
Although, I have not done much storytelling as of late here is an idea that has been with me for more than a year. It is based on an effect found in Borodin’s “Sherazade”. If you do not own this book I feel sorry for you!

Anyhoo, let me know what you think. Keep in mind this is a rough.

Yemoya’s Gift

The storyteller holds a conch shell to his ear and pauses to listen for a moment.

Did you know that it is not the sea you hear in seashell but rather the blood coursing in your ears? Or so I have been told anyway. But you cannot disagree that it does sound like the crashing waves on a beach. This particular shell is from Africa and what’s more, it is magical.

The African Diaspora is a grievous event in the world’s history. Millions of people were cut off from their families and never heard from again. Although we know now of the humiliation of the African slave, I can only imagine what went through the minds of the mother or father who lost their child. The man who lost his wife or the wife who lost her husband. Family and loved ones, never to be seen again, taken to places that were only rumors, their anguish heightened by a mystery.

Ayo had lost two sons to the Diaspora, but mercy had found him in his later years when his wife bore him a third son and Ayo named this child Ekundayo that means, “My sorrow has become joy”. Never has a father been more protective of his child than Ayo was of Ekundayo. So protective was he, that Ayo would never let him out his sight. As Ekundayo grew older he felt embarrassed by his father’s behavior. Ayo would never let Ekundayo go fishing or hunting with the other boys, and no matter how often Ekundayo would complain to his father, the old man would become even more protective over his last remaining son.

However, as with all children, Ekundayo became grown, and as every parent must endure, Ayo had to learn to let go, and the looser his grip, the more fervent his prayers became. Ayo offered his prayers at every dawn and every evening. He was careful not to offend anyone and to speak no evil. Oftentimes in the middle of the night, he would awake to plead to the gods in case of any oversight. To put it simply, Ayo lived in fear.

It almost seemed inevitable that on one rainy morning, Ekundayo disappeared never to be heard from again. Ayo cried out to the gods, and as his hope slowly waned he cursed them, only to ask their forgiveness and to hope again.

Several months later, Ayo heard a rumor of a place from which those captured sailed over the sea to some distant land. The next morning, before the cock could crow, he packed a little bread and little water and journeyed to the sea. As he reached the beach, Ayo feel upon his knees and began to beg Yemoya the goddess of the sea, to return his only remaining son. Ayo sat on this beach for two months, looking over the horizon where the waves met the sky and begging Yemoya for the return of his son.

One day, after looking up from his weeping, a beautiful woman stood before him. Her skin was as black as soot and her teeth were as white as snow. “Ayo why do you weep?” she asked. “Because I have lost three sons that were taken across the sea” he replied in his tears. “Ayo, why do you linger here for so long, why do you not return to your home, many are concerned for you”. Ayo looked up at this woman whose gaze reminded him of lightening. “I remain here until Yemoya returns to me my son although I do not know if he is dead or alive”.

The woman knelt before him and placed her hands on his knees. “Ayo, your son is alive, but I cannot return him to you, he is now beyond my reach, I am sorry Ayo that you grieve so”. Ayo fell into the woman’s arms and said, “Mother, my house is destroyed, my seed, my father’s seed has perished and there shall be no more”.

“Ayo, do not despair”, Yemoya said, for your house shall not perish and your seed shall live on”. “Mother I believe you”, Ayo said, but my heart breaks at not seeing my children again, can you carry me to them?” “Ayo, that I cannot do, but listen”, the Goddess said as she lifted a conch shell to the old man’s ears.

As Ayo listened his tears became laughter for Yemoya had let him hear the voices of his children, and then he laughed more as she let him listen to his grandchildren, and even more as he listened to the voices of their succeeding generations.

When Ayo looked up to thank Yemoya, she was not there. All that remained was the Conch Shell that to this day carries the voices of Ayo’s children.

And so Ayo returned home and gathered his people and held a feast in honor of Yemoya who had heard his prayers and gave him a miraculous gift that he cherished for the rest of his years.

The storyteller now holds the conch shell to a spectator’s ear and they too hear the voices of Ayo’s children. Kleenex is optional.

Take Care!
Message: Posted by: Bill Ligon (Oct 17, 2005 10:52PM)
Nice story, Caspar. I like it!
Message: Posted by: Gede Nibo (Oct 17, 2005 11:36PM)
This is excellent. Pray, tell me where you learned of Yemaya? My upcoming book is based entirely upon the premise of Voudou and Santeria.

Great job. Its so nice to see others give wonderful, uplifting, inspiring stories here!

Message: Posted by: sinnead zenun (Oct 18, 2005 03:27AM)
Welcome back caspar...
Good story ;)
hope to hear more from you