The last therapist I had the not-so-pleasure of talking to looked at me warily, while shifting her jaws manically from left to right (clearly on her own meds – excuse me, but it takes one to know one) and said (rolling her eyes from me to the ceiling, back and bouncing off the walls):

“Miss, what you are suffering from are merely practical problems.
We can not help you”.

Her skinny, super shiny blond apprentice nodded at me in pitiful agreement.
In a blink of a second I shifted from wanting to smack her in the face to embracing the bright, warm light offering to gain control of my mind which was envisioning how the camera in my soap opera would cut to a shot of the box of tissues falling off the pinewood table, accompanied by splattering noises and a dash of red here and there.
I squinted briefly, in final realization of what was exactly wrong here in this motion picture, and put a polite smile on my face to confront these people sitting there in front of me with. I stood up, stuck out my hand and said:
“Thank you m’am, miss”, and walked out the door calmly.
Walking through the corridors I let the years of sadness, frustration and confusion slip off my body and mind to leave it there, once and for all, on the linoleum floor of this building harbouring so-called mental health care.
Standing outside, looking up at the building, its windows shimmering in the February sun, I recalled the words of the shaman I had visited earlier that week:
“You can become a shaman”.
So I became one, that day.

–From my memoirs: ‘Tobacco – Curse and Blessing of a Shamaness’
By Kiki Toao


She wipes the sweat from her forehead, 
and shows me the blood on her finger.
The Seamstress speaks to me of courage,
and the necessity of taking risks:
“No beautiful gown has ever been made without the perception of the lady wearing it, and the secrets she holds inside.
The sacrifices are not in the suffering we are willing to endure, but in the love we dare to share.

If we don’t walk the path we were born on, 
how will we be able to choose?”

By Kiki Toao


Bezit de liefde
Geef haar de sleutel tot je hart
Er is geen ontkomen aan

Bezit de liefde
Laat haar je leiden, ze toont je alles
Weet dat je verloren bent

Bezit de liefde
Wees haar tot dienst
Laat haar zich prijsgeven

Bezit de liefde
Maak haar tot je bondgenoot
En niets zal bij hetzelfde blijven

Bezit de liefde
Toon haar je ware gezicht
Maak geen plaats voor schone schijn

Bezit de liefde
Schenk haar je trouw, eer haar schoonheid
En je zult nooit verliezen

Bezit de liefde
Maak haar geen slaaf van willekeur
Of je zult haar nooit leren kennen

Bezit de liefde
Maak haar je eigen
Laat haar je meesteres zijn

Bezit de liefde
Bedrijf haar lustvol en zonder limiet
Grenzeloosheid is een macht

Bezit die liefde!
Doe geen concessies
Of je zult nooit bezeten worden

Wie de liefde vindt, bezit haar tot in den dood

— Kiki Toao