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.