Cleansing Prologue

Cleansing Prologue


ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes



 I, Ms. Unis MontClaire, am in charge of my own destiny, my own karma.  I pledge to take charge of my life

by making positive choices from now on in order to create a legacy of good health (on all levels)

prosperity, security and stability for my children and grandchildren.




Entry from Unis’ diary

New York

Winter 1992


This week has been very interesting.   Since the healer removed the evil from my body I feel much better… was so scared…almost lost my cool.  The creature lay there not moving.  Sitting on the chair looking down at its inert body I pulled my feet up off of the floor to tuck them underneath my bottom.   I was afraid it was going to enter my body again, but did not look at it for long.

Shaking all over I listened to the instructions the healer gave to me still in a daze from what had just occurred.   It was like a scene from a weird horror, or science fiction movie.  Before returning to her for ‘the cleansing’ I had followed the instructions she gave me from our first meeting and started to feel this strange pain in my lower abdomen but because my monthly period was on, thought it was the just a case of very bad cramps.    Then I realized my periods had been painful and strange for the last 3 months…still having these strange periods with huge clots and heavy bleeding.  With this one came the fainting spells. 

…Cannot believe this creature has been growing inside of my womb for such a long time.  I have known a pain and anguish in my being which is almost indescribable.  Thanks to the power of my Buddhist practice protecting me things will work out for the best.  My practice will guide me towards the light and protect me.  The healer said that those people who tried to hurt me will try again but will not succeed as long as there is a strong, deep faith in my higher power and in her powers to heal and cleanse. I do have faith.  She saw trauma in my aura; she told me my psyche had been traumatized repeatedly over the years causing me to move between two existences in order to survive.  “You created them, (the two existences) in order to survive” she said “one lives in light, the other lives in shadow.” 

This fight to save my life has been going on for a long time…knew something was wrong but did not know what it was…am not going to run anymore.  Tired.  I have to be aware of people now more than ever because you just never know what they are up to I am not going to suffer anymore.

It seemed like whenever 2 steps were taken in a forward direction 3 were taken backwards in the same breath and in the same stride.  It has been very frustrating.  Now I understand it all.  I, Ms. Unis MontClaire, must be very powerful for these people to want to harm me in this way.  There is a great mission ahead, which they did not want me to accomplish: a mission for my human revolution and my self-actualization.  My next step is not going to be easy but the work must be done.   I made my reservations with BWIA (British West Indian Airlines) and will be leaving in the next couple of months.  It is time to return home to correct my illegal status in this country.

Finally came to the realization this journey was made not only for me but for my mother as well.  For many years I felt lost and alone not knowing where to go or from whence I came.  Acknowledging my history there is no hope for figuring out the future.  I, Ms. Unis MontClaire, am in charge of my own destiny, my own karma.  I pledge to take charge of my life by making positive choices from now on in order to create a legacy of good health (on all levels) prosperity, security and stability for my children and grandchildren.

Now I understand why.  My readings of West Indian literature and West Indian history have given me the answer.  This new understanding of my restlessness allows me to acknowledge a sense of displacement, which many West Indian Negro writers feel is a result of our colonization by the British.  Finally my travels have bought me to a place of peace and centeredness: a place where I can begin to sort through the files of my life, of my ancestors and of my legacy; my inheritance.

Many times I hear the sound of my name on the wind and for many years wondered where it came from.  Finally I understand: it is from the other half of me, which still remains a mystery.

Source: The Cleansing by Cheryl Gittens-Jones


Cheryl Gittens-Jones is wife, mother, poet, author of  play Shaduhs Uh Voodoo. She plans to adopt twin nieces orphaned by AIDS. She migrated illegally to the USA in 1987 to pursue dreams of higher education.  Cheryl gained success and redemption through courage, tenacity, perseverance and faith in Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism.

In 1995 Cheryl transferred from Cal University of Pennsylvania to Mount Holyoke College, MA. Now a resident of Manchester, CT, and a Mount Holyoke Alum Frances Perkins Class ’99. 

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update 22 December 2011




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Related files: The Cleansing Cleansing Poem  Cleansing Prologue

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