Ty Barbary

Life Goal: Cultivate Awesomeness. Web designer by day, sci-fantasy writer and artist by night. Genderqueer Kemetic crafter and musician.

From The Ocean

Ty says…

This song is sung from the point-of-view of the great ocean orisa, Yemonja/Olukun. Yemonja is the feminine aspect of the ocean, nurturing and generous, while Olukun is the masculine aspect of the ocean, powerful and volatile. However, this is but one entity, not two, and only when treated as whole can this orisa be properly and safely approached. Trying to separate the light from the dark is not only disrespectful but can be dangerous, if one only seeks Olukun without Yemonja’s temperance. This is an important lesson, not just for this orisa, but in us all – we all have our light and dark sides, our masculine and feminine aspects, and to alienate parts of ourselves is to invite destruction and pain.

Click here to listen.

lyrics

I am the mother you call
when the waves lash the shore
and the rain floods your eyes;
but this tempest is only my gift
to my child, this land

I am the father you call
when currents pull you down
and the chill seeps in your flesh;
but this power is only my gift
to my child, this land

come to me fearful or broken
and I will nurture you;
confront me with gall or hubris
and I will shatter you;
treat me with kindness and love
and I will bless you
treat me with respect and wit
and I will bless you

I’ll rock you as a babe at my breast,
calm and safe, calm and safe;
I’ll protect you, I’ll provide for you,
all the riches of the waves

I’ll take you breathless to the sea floor,
silent and cold, silent and cold;
I will still you, I will strengthen you,
my temper the typhoon’s rage

come to me afraid or broken
and I will nurture you;
confront me with anger or arrogance
and I will shatter you;
treat me with kindness and love
and I will bless you
treat me with respect and wit
and I will bless you

DIAF

Ty says…

As much of an angry, venting/ranting song as this may appear, it is, at its heart, a song about reclaiming one’s own power. Instead of accepting undeserved blame or suffering through someone else’s unprovoked temper tantrum, it’s okay to stand up and say that’s enough, dammit. (It’s also about how much of an instinctual violent reaction one can develop when all one ever does is sit there and take the abuse for years and years.)

Click here to listen.

lyrics

your posturing, your spitting, talking,
flail your hands around
means nothing when i tell you
i’ll see you soon be drowned
your look of shock, your flapping tongue
just waiting to be cut
it’d be easy, extend a hand
and punch your damn teeth shut

oh, hunt you, beat you, cut you, kill you
all in self-defense
you seem to think i won’t get angry
get some fucking sense
you’ve come to me, you’ve bargained hard
to make yourself a threat
and if you think i won’t respond
you’re gonna lose that bet

your breath is foul, you’re in my face
i’m ready for some blood
don’t give me such a startled stare
when you choke on a flood
your misdirected aggression
will cue my vitriol
and even if you didn’t mean it
your fists are deceitful

oh, hunt you, beat you, cut you, kill you
all in self-defense
you seem to think i won’t get angry
get some fucking sense
you’ve come to me, you’ve bargained hard
to make yourself a threat
and if you think i won’t respond
you’re gonna lose that bet

if you’re not catching a clue yet
i’d suggest backing off
before i make out of your face
a bloody hollow trough
you’d be surprised, but really i
do not enjoy this game
and if you leave, i’ll be relieved
to douse this wicked flame

Black Jaguar Woman

Ty says…

This was written and tuned years ago, quite literally, when I was going through a period of my life with my soul broken up. Pieces of me had been surrendered, taken, or simply lost over a few hard years of my life, so I asked a dear friend of mine to help gather me back together. And so she did.

Click here to listen.

lyrics

there is a black jaguar woman
who is hunting through jungle and stream
gathering to her the pieces
that i’ve lost of my soul

there is a black jaguar woman
who is weaving the threads of my flesh
muscle and bone and skin and old blood
that’s been running through rivers too red

there is a black jaguar woman
who is giving me life now i’m whole
passing the wind into me
so that i might breathe again

Uhjayi is a work of fiction, the native tongue of the inlanlu tahori, a species of tribal shapeshifters on a world known as Alasa Ka. Their universe is half-science and half-fantasy: magic and natural selection shape evolution, and a person must use both logic and spirit to thrive. Uhjayi itself is a conlang – a constructed language made to simulate the form of communication an alien culture might possibly use, given that one of their skins is remarkably similar to the one we humans wear all our lives.

Inspired by Pimsleur‘s audio learning method, which heavily emphasizes conversational language and repetition, I began exploring Uhjayi with the same pattern that Pimsleur uses. While these lessons are both written and audio, the audios are only about five minutes in length, much shorter than Pimsleur’s 30-minute average.

Join me in exploring an alien language and uncovering the nuances of culture that only fluency can reveal.

 

 

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