I first met Nataki after seeing her in an avant garde theater performance in Harrisburg Pennsylvania in 2003. She struck me as a hard core feminist activist artist committed to changing the world.
She was engaging but distant during our first meeting, putting her roller blades on to go home after the performance to her small apartment in the city a few miles away from the theater. “Why rollerblades?” I asked her. She looked at me like I was an idiot…”you think I’m going to feed the machine by using gas…in a car??” I humbly shook my head “no” and watched her pull the straps on even tighter.
Watching her “roll” away – I desperately wanted to know her better.
I sought her out and the more I got to know her, the more familiar she became. A sister, I realized. I came to love her as such.
Then one day she called me and the first words I heard were “I’m pregnant”.
During her birth – a planned homebirth in her city apartment – she moved through the process with newly found strength and surrender, walking the narrow halls of the apartment in deep meditation while listening to Islamic prayer chants and while our friend Latifah drummed on her African drum in the living room.
Artwork honoring her mother who had died just months prior to the birth in the same apartment hung on the wall above the birth pool, forming the altar that held many candles.
The birth transformed her – refining her spirit with even greater dignity and power.
She is one of my dearest friends and continues to explore the intricate layers of reality and life through her art and her words.
I honor her with the following which she wrote earlier this week.
One day I’ll write a whole post just on her as she intrigues me more than probably any other person I know. And I am also just really proud to be her friend.
Here it is…
I’m one of those. Those we don’t see nor experience often, except in grandmother’s kitchen, or back wood beyond the property line. I’m one of those deep kind of magic woman. My unmanicured feet hanging out the car window. My unkempt hair do what it do. My love, dark. I’m one of those deep kind of magic woman. When I talk I speak from the blood rich fat muscular strength of my womb. Womb. I speak womb song of the yesterancestor bringing into form, like babies passing through, squeezed, pumped, hugged, through my channel, I one of those deep kind of magic woman, bringing into form the authentic intent of who I am meant to be. My love, dark. My magic love scouring depths of what is hidden with acceptance. I am one of those deep kind of magic woman and my humility sings an impromptu gratitude song, bare feet kicking dirt, grounding this dark love into the earth. Coming from above it flows, and I pound, I pound wombsong into the earth with my unmanicured feet. Passing through my channel. Birth.