Honesty need not be shrouded in language of ‘brutality’ ~
the truth should not hurt, should not be a wounding
if you’re taught to see and feel clearly and guided through it for deeper understanding.
Reflecting on the meandering magnitudes of conversations held with women over the past few weeks;
our bodies our changes our relationships our lovers our lovings our angers our labors our ease our needs our laughter our pleasures OUR BLOOD our landscapes
Grateful for the hilarious observations and embarrassing stories.
Big laughter and rolling bellies. Contented bowel movements. Moving all that shit out with hysterical gut flutters.
The radiant theme has been on motherhood;
Our mothers who participate in the menial, unpretty labor that goes with being a mother: asses wiped, wounds cleaned, homes kept, families nurtured: fed, sheltered, supported. I think of the hard work that my mother did and does to keep us tethered. She bears many burdens that go unseen. She supports me immensely. Finds a way to love
me us even in my own our moments of monstrosity. I recognize and acknowledge the frame that shaped her and uncover more graceful ways to understand and accept how her wisdom translates and how I have carried her unsung trauma too.
Our Lord Moves Amidst The Pots And Pans (st. theresa)
Life / on earth / living beings ~ needing care, needing touch, needing guidance, needing nurturance, needing education, needing humor, needing that
hard ease & balanced effort that’s behind the scenes that takes up space at every table and gets the work done.
And the radiant honor of Grandmotherhood;
Over the weekend of July 26th – 29th 2012 I attended the International Alliance of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers gathering in Lame Deer, Montana. I was invited by two other women and we made the venture together in an RV and camped for the duration of the gathering.
This memory has been surfacing in my mind lately. I recall certain details that were so beautiful and so steeped in the super-natural: these women, these Indigenous Grandmothers, whose lives were / are devoted to the heart of weaving and healing, united and formed by a shared vision to teach, to bridge, to offer, to hold ceremony. These women are the real real.
I observe the word(s):
and how the worlds in this word(s) have become buried under hokey media fuckery. That the subtleties of communion with surroundings and alignment in strong sensitivity with embodiment of emotion and seeing and knowing and feeling the essence with/in all things is some sort of joke to those who denounce this connection because of politicized and capitalized baggage that we were / are fed. Confusing translations of the interpretations. There is far more to this than language can even transcribe. That the drive to over-analyze has become stronger and more damaging than just witnessing and being bewildered in the bigger mystery, and that these practices are ancient and timeless; pulling from a fathomless realm.
For the sake of honoring privacy and preserving the beauty of this experience at the Grandmother’s gathering, I will not directly write out all that I had seen and what I dreamt while I was there. I do share details through in-person stories, when it’s flowing. There’s nothing to hide. It is my desire to have conversations and discussions on these topics.
But I will mention a particular outstanding memory from our time spent at the powwow arbor at Lame Deer, hosted by Grandmother Margaret Behan Red Spider Woman: sitting with a group of people around her and while she told stories and answered our questions she was smoking a cigarette and eating a cheeseburger. Poised and powerful and stern and good-humored and just so relaxed.
I harbor great respect and reverence for pure art form of ceremony and ritualized collaboration and how it is that these women are able to do what they do; born into this particular life, with such special gifts, notably so very different, but honoring the sort of rhythm that makes sense to their unique abilities to commune with mystery. They endured being called mentally ill / crazy when they were young and displaying their depths. Many of them kept their identities a secret until they found mentorship, where they could safely be in an environment where those ways of internal navigations were / are still nurtured and honed.
Spiritual practice, for me, has always been deeply personal and creatively conjured in the moment. It’s all heart. Expression. Sometimes it’s impulsive and other times it’s very intentional. It’s bigger than any of that too. I love to hear stories of interventions from abstracted otherness. I openly and care-fully share stories and experiences and hold accountability to my own trespasses borne from separation and being raised in a social setting where controlling narrative / living in controlled narrative for behavioral performance / normalizing exploitation / punishment & shame as behavioral sculpturing / was
preferred conditioned over honesty or just being ~
inconsiderations and insensitive
measures that were taught for adaptation and blending in ~
the internalizing result reaping turmoil on our body too ~
And all the impulses for dishonesty that spun from that
in reflection and projection of the dishonesty we were taught.
Carelessness, really, rather than honoring the art of great, fierce care, with every complex part of the spectrum that comes with deep feeling, deep loving: pleasure & joy and sorrow & rage too.
What Would an Indigenous Grandmother Do?
What would my Grandmothers do? We uprooted so much growing up. I didn’t really know them. But I have come full circle in appreciating the energies within imagery that my Oma loved as a catholic woman, and the eclectic and creative energies that my father’s stepmother fully flourished in. She co-wrote a book on the people who are buried at the Santa Rosa rural cemetery. Here are two examples of spirit realized; one who loved to be a mother and cared for her children through the land they settled as dairy farmers, arriving from a history of escaping imperialistic occupation of nazi germany in Amsterdam, who had no time or interest for self-centered emo bantering – the other a true creative, with a sharp mind and a proper desire to bring intrigue and mystique / mischief and strange beauty into this world. She is an influence but not of my blood. My father’s mother died before I was born and struggled with unsustainable addictions.
Fragile Vulnerable mental states dimensions (I prefer this over mental illness) run / ran rampant in that / this generational link. I am constantly reminded of what I carry in my body as a result of what they experienced without having the tools that we are crafting today.
Keep Our House Clean
Care for what is within
to care for what is around
And always, always recognize
that the better bridge is healing:
is forgiveness, is for understanding,
is to remember forward
they mended with what they knew
Our mothers’ mothers’ mothers mother
passing through the mother womb
I ramble in all of this to honor the lengths involved with cleansing generational lineages. To revisit themes and address them as we move and change. We cycle with every revelation as / is the same story retold, as / is an opportunity to go a little further ~ and be quiet and internal in this orbit until we reveal again.
Keep at this work.
Keep speaking openly.
Keep honoring your needs.
This book was gifted to me by a friend up in Alaska during one of our intuitive tattoo sessions. The beautiful cover art is by Erin Currier. I didn’t finish reading it but it felt relevant to share with this entry.
We are born into this life and there’s no pretending otherwise.
”The Sapara culture faces serious threats of extinction, due to the declining population size (300 people in Ecuador and less than 300 people in Peru).
Since 2012, the Saparas have been threatened by new oil extraction projects generated by the State and by transnational companies that seek to exploit oil blocks in our territories. If that were to happen, our forests, biodiversity and culture would disappear.”
”The young Sapara generation have decided to change history, save our world and preserve our traditions. For this reason, we Saparas opened the doors of our territory to share our ancestral knowledge, customs, stories, food and experiences with friends from the outside world. We also began leading events online and in person around the world to share our wisdom.”
Furthering narrative on the commodity of spirit;
I gotta repost the Indian Store skit by the 1491s because it really does an excellent and hilarious job at pointing out a glaring truth with their sharp satire. Bobby Dues is why I got a throat tattoo too. I met him in Kentucky ‘round 2009 in the clay buffet scene and he was / is a shining starman. I had a crush on him. But I remember asking him a pretty dumb question about being Native American and although I can’t remember what it was I can guarantee that it was naive as fuck. Ughh LOL! He was / is pretty graceful and well spoken about it and, well, everything else. He’s also a rad artist. Love what he and his team are doing.
And the Psychedelic Toad episode from Hamilton’s Pharmacopeia is a PHENOMENAL observation of destructive analysis on detached mentalities when it comes to spirit and science. I love this program. Highly recommend.