7. An Indigenous Longing

How long will it take for our indigenous selves, lost so long ago to the empire of greed and power, to come home? There’s anger among indigenous people—especially among those who grew up with a sense of what it’s like to have an intact relationship with the earth—of what white man (or people of European ancestry) has done to them, to our shared home. But there’s also anger and deep grief that I and others I’ve met carry because of what we lost so long ago, and long to return to—that indigenous part of ourselves that has also been blocked from coming home to more sustainable ways of living on earth. So, the journey continues… img_1514[1].jpg

Blog 7: End of September, 1996—As I write letters to the East, to the land I left behind, I feel fear in my stomach. What is this fear? Is this heavy feeling my doubt, of being entrapped by the past? I feel disconnected in my writing, yet I want to write “I love you” all over the page. This New Mexico land, the Spanish music, and this desert   sun bathe me in contentment. But I feel frustrated because I can’t touch this contentment, I can’t get any closer to it, and I don’t know how to express this.

Last night, I had a dream about running around and not accomplishing a thing. But then I saw a Native American man who abruptly interrupted my dream. He appeared like a flash of light following me, trying to speak to me. There was no escaping this man’s face. There was an immediacy of someone following me, and no matter how many directions I placed my attention, he was there tapping me on the shoulder. In my dream, or maybe it was in reality, I abruptly sat up. The man appeared inside an old photograph, rough on the edges, blurry and lighter in the inside. I sense he’s been trying to catch up to me, follow me, and only at this point did he break through. It’s as if there’s another level of awareness that exists and I can’t avoid it.

Despite my dreams and several attempts by native people to break through and speak to me, I continue moving fast, carrying the old ways with me. I drive around New Mexico, up north toward Taos, where I sleep under stars only to be awakened to a high-pitched cry coming, perhaps, from a fox. I retreat into my tent and feel my civilized fears heightened inside these wide-open New Mexican lands. Maybe I’m not as free as I wish I were. I am here, though, waiting for a miracle, for God to speak—for bushes to suddenly burn and for some prophetic spirit to jump out and show me the way. I am waiting for insights, for clarity to understand my power and the earth’s gift and power that holds me. But I’m moving too quickly to hear, even in my dreams.

HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE FOR OUR INDIGENOUS SELVES TO COME HOME?

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13 thoughts on “7. An Indigenous Longing

  1. I do not know how long it will take. I think it is beautiful to want to “touch” the contentment; or to “touch” whatever sensation feeling in the moment. To touch and to presence what life is whispering is the place of union between past and future. It is this relationship with the soft whisper of life becoming that is my indigenous nature. And yes, I do need to cultivate a way of listening that attunes me to this echo of the echo from God’s mind and heart to mine.

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  2. It is only when we stop eating that we notice our hunger.

    It is only when we stop drinking that we notice our thirst.

    It is only when we stop breathing that we notice the absence of the air in our lungs.

    Thus it is only when we are still that we recognize the absence of that which nourishes us.

    It seems a paradox–that only when we cease moving can we come home.

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  3. It will take as long as each individual person needs to. Sometimes its quick, sometimes it takes a long time, sometimes it takes a lifetime, and sometimes even longer. It starts with each of us to stop what we are doing, look around, listen, and see what we really lack, and see glimpses of our indigenous selves, and as that beautiful poem communicates – find what nourishment we are really lacking that all the “filler food” has not satisfied in a wholesome way.

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  4. I understand what you mean. When I first began my owm journey inward, I had amazing dreams, my Spirit animals showed themselves to me in them and my sense of connection was growing. We moved to Costa Rica nad I felt I had gone hone although I was loathe to leave my children and the familiar here. Now that we have had to return to busy life once again here, I feel an emptiness, almost as though it is too painful to fully reconnect. It does not help when working with others who are content to sleep walk, who think you are nuts and pretty much ignore you. Nature is my salvation. When I am out with my camera, the animals just show up, show off and I keep waiting for them yo speak to me; but, as you deacribed, I feel a block somehow. Still, they cheer me and I try to honor their beings through my photos. Every tiny thing has vibrance and purpose.

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    • Your description of your return to the U.S. is so familiar to me. As a child, when my family and I moved to the U.S., to NJ of all places, it was so hard. My sense of connection, of ground, or home, was so difficult to access. It was painful. Even though there was nature around me, I struggled to even connect to her. There is something that happens in this land of amnesia, or moving forward, and forgetting our place in connection with earth…and especially in suburban NJ for me. It is sad that this becomes so difficult, since all of life, including the one inside ourselves, is capable of so much richness and spark. I hope you are able to grow that space of home, of earth, of connection, through community and the love around you.

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  5. Thank you Michelle. It helps to connect even in these spaces. Just knowing there really are others out there who have similar struggles and feel the Earth connection really is encouraging. All my best to you on your journey as well. Fortunately where I live conservation is huge and just stepping outaide my door lends opportunity to enjoy nature.

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