Sleepy Wednesday

6 Apr



i was up too late last night, up too early this morning…and another long day ahead of me.  Not so much at work, but i’ve got an appointment with JM, the amazing analyst, after work.  Which is good, and i’m looking forward to it… but….

…yawn, i hope i’ll still be awake.

So i’m cheating on my blog post today – i have a blurb from an article that i want to share.  It’s not even kinky, but i was fascinated.  i was looking for articles on consensus, or community, or some such, and stumbled across this:

In the Babemba tribe of South Africa, when a person acts irresponsibly or unjustly, he or she is placed in the center of the village, alone and unfettered. All work ceases, and every man, woman and child in the village gathers in a large circle around the accused individual.

Then each person in the tribe, regardless of age, begins to talk out loud to the accused, one at a time, about all the good things the person in the center of the circle has done in his lifetime. Every incident, every experience that can be recalled with any detail and accuracy is recounted. All his positive attributes, good deeds, strengths and kindnesses are recited carefully and at length. No one is permitted to fabricate, exaggerate or be facetious about his accomplishments or the positive aspects of his personality.

The tribal ceremony often lasts several days and does not cease until everyone is drained of every positive comment he can muster about the person in question. At the end, the tribal circle is broken, a joyous celebration takes place, and the person symbolically and literally is welcomed back into the tribe.”

Isn’t that beautiful?

There are a number of sites that describe this, mostly in exactly the same words, so i don’t know what the original source of the information is.  One source is someone’s blog, although i guess i shouldn’t send you there.  On the other hand, why not?

It’s  And i particularly liked hers because she describes another ceremony from the tribe:

Babemba Soul Song and Healing Ceremony

When a woman in the Babemba tribe of South Africa knows she is pregnant, she goes out into the wilderness with a few friends and together they pray and meditate until they hear the song of the child. They recognize that every soul has its own vibration that expresses its unique flavor and purpose. When the women attune to the song, they sing it out loud. Then they return to the tribe and teach it to everyone else.

This song is sung at every important event of the child. When he or she is born, the community gathers and sings the child’s song to him or her. Later, when the child enters education, the village gathers and chants the child’s song. When the child passes through the initiation to adulthood, the people again come together and sing. At the time of marriage, the person hears his or her song.

Finally, when the soul is about to pass from this world, the family and friends gather at the person’s bed, just as they did at their birth, and they sing the person to the next life.”

Of course, she adds that they sing the person’s song “if the person acts irresonsibly or unjustly,” and she goes on to describe the other ceremony.

Her commentary on that is so perfect that i’m quoting her again:

The tribe recognizes that the correction for antisocial behavior is not punishment, but love and the remembrance of identity. When you recognize your own song, you have no desire or need to do anything that would hurt another.

They believe a friend is someone who knows your song and sings it to you when you have forgotten it. Those who love you are not fooled by the mistakes you have made or the dark images you hold about yourself. They remember your beauty when you feel ugly; your wholeness when you are broken; your innocence when you feel guilty; and your purpose when you are confused.

…know your song and sing it. Surround yourselves with others that will remind you of your purpose and bring you back to your song when you seem to have temporarily lost your voice.”

Coach Shera
aka Sheryl Sever

18 Responses to “Sleepy Wednesday”

  1. Mick April 6, 2011 at 6:29 am #

    Aha…. you use guest writers too…. old blogger trick!

    • aisha April 6, 2011 at 6:37 am #

      @Mick – Hmmmm. Good point. Guess I can’t give you grief about doing it anymore… aisha

  2. striving for peace April 6, 2011 at 6:55 am #

    This was really really lovely.

    Say Hello to JM — if you need a dream to share with him — you can borrow the one I had night before last when I dreamed I was peeing — and I had the feeling of relief that you have when you really have to go

    and I woke up in a panic

    (but fortunately didn’t have to change the sheets)

    or the beaver one

    you can have that one too


    • aisha April 6, 2011 at 7:08 am #

      @Sfp –

      I’m glad you liked it – and I will say hello to JM.

      Thanks for the dream offers – you are too good to me! I’ll let you know if I take you up on it, and share what he says…



  3. nilla April 6, 2011 at 7:33 am #

    some powerful messages there…how positively affirming.

    i’m not certain how that meshes (in my head) with a D/s component…but for real life?

    to surround oneself with those who will empower and embrace and sing your song when you are dark and sad? How wonderful would that be?

    (reminded of the song we sing in church: “Come sing a song with me, come sing a song with me, come sing a song with me, that i might know your mind..*snip*…and i’ll bring you hope, when hope is hard to find…and i’ll bring a song of hope, and a rose in the wintertime.”)

    • aisha April 6, 2011 at 7:58 am #

      @’Nilla –

      I know what you’re saying – I’m not sure how it meshes with D/s either, unless it’s the intimacy of knowing each others’ songs.

      And yeah, that song goes with it well – I didn’t know the song, but found this link to it:

      Nice. Thanks, ‘Nilla.


  4. ahiddenslave April 6, 2011 at 7:35 am #

    I loved this, particularity the first part, we are often too quick to think of the negative parts of ourselves and other people, so to have someone remind you and affirm your better qualities is a wonderful thing.

    ” …know your song and sing it. Surround yourselves with others that will remind you of your purpose and bring you back to your song when you seem to have temporarily lost your voice.” I liked this as it made me think about this blog land community, and how the support is out there, when we feel lost, at a loss and when we have lost out song.
    Thank you for posting this.

    • aisha April 6, 2011 at 7:59 am #

      @HS – So here’s something really cool – I had the same thought about the blogland community, and didn’t say it cause I wondered if it would occur to anybody else. Cool.



  5. Clive April 6, 2011 at 8:18 am #

    What a wonderful and poignant reminder of how much modern society has lost by discarding such rituals and traditions. Thanks for sharing this

    • aisha April 6, 2011 at 8:23 pm #

      @Clive –

      Isn’t that the truth? We have so much in terms of material things and so many privilege, and we’ve traded off so much to get it.



  6. ahiddenslave April 6, 2011 at 8:35 am #

    aisha…as one of my kids would say…”so cool its deodorant”.
    It was one of the first things that struck me.

    • aisha April 6, 2011 at 8:24 pm #

      HS – omigosh, I love that! I’ll have to start using it!


  7. Ally April 6, 2011 at 12:56 pm #

    Wow, that was so uplifting to read. I’m so glad you shared it. I might have to try that with my kids… they will probably think that I’ve lost it.

    • aisha April 6, 2011 at 8:26 pm #

      Thank you, Ally,

      Can I be a fly on the wall when you try it on your kids??



  8. angel April 6, 2011 at 2:49 pm #

    Thank you for this.

    i think that we feel a strong need for community and that munches, blogs, friends, mentors, can all serve to remind us that we are okay deep inside.

    i kept thinking, as i read that, how we have basically the opposite approach in courtrooms and jails. How people come together to say mostly negative things about the accused and how jailers show up to shame.
    What is left? Maybe the mother of the accused who shows up for her child, brings the baby photos, reminds the courtroom of her childs song even though she is the only one who knows it.

    It takes a village, we are told….

    • aisha April 6, 2011 at 8:38 pm #


      I was having some of the same thoughts, not just about our jails, but how we treat kids in school when they act out too much, or don’t fit the mold we think they belong in.

      That’s a poignant picture you paint of the mother of the accused… sad.

      So we create our own damn village, right?



      • angel April 7, 2011 at 11:14 am #


        i was thinking about schools too. The miserable bullhorn used in the lunchroom, to remind them to shut up, that even during free time, they are not free.

        i was thinking too about extinction. That is a special ed term and it is used as a consequence of last resort. Where you ignore the negative behavior (whatever it is) until they desire rejoining the group. i’ve had to do it and frankly, it is incredibly hard to ignore things being hurled at me and just keep reading the story to the rest of the group.
        Sort of the opposite approach of the tribes but in the end, the kid remembers their own desire to rejoin the group.

        i was thinking that this extinction method does sort of point toward every person having a desire to be interconnected in a group who knows them. Well, not a sociopath…both born and made. But everyone else, yeah, has that desire inside.

        And i was thinking, with a lot of sadness, that we are the village……

  9. aisha April 7, 2011 at 6:30 pm #

    @Angel – Yes, we are the village, but i’m not sure that’s all sad. Cause you know, the village is you and me and ‘Nilla and Sin and Mick and Molly and Sfp and Gofish and Sweet Kk and Greengirl, and Florida Dom and thesubmissivebf, and Hiddenslave and Ali and Discerning Dom and Brooke and The Beast and Sir J and – omigosh, the list goes on and on. So many people I haven’t named, but I hear their songs.


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