Three Years Ago I Made Myself Homeless

 

guideI chose to leave four walls behind three autumns ago because I knew I needed  to create the space to follow visions unencumbered. I spent tens of thousands of miles on the highways and not-exactly-byways of the US between October 2013 and October 2015 when exhaustion brought me to an ‘all-stop’. I was led by the call that came via telephone and through the gods and universe to people connected to ‘thisness‘, others who needed healing & reconnection to home, and sacred places around the country.

This autumn I make a similar choice. One that has been requested by many Old Ones whose insistence of my presence at a particular piece of land is unmistakable.  I’ve talked about my relationship with Nicholas Black Elk. It was just over a year ago when he made it clear I was needed at Standing Rock. Although I didn’t exactly ignore him, the context and contact for getting there were so far removed from my awareness that it didn’t make any sense to go.

Even last month when I arrived at #noDAPL, it still didn’t make sense. I’m not an activist and, even now, consider my relationship with water, the other elements, and elementals a unique and individual one. However, since I left, I’ve not been asked to return but it’s being demanded by that cross-cultural, cross-continental contingent that is my invisible entourage. An old heyoka said last week, “As all things, this must be done with haste for it is of the most importance” and the Old Ladies have rattled the windows once again so we pack the car to live in again and trust the call, the plea and the direction.

This October as I venture into the knowing that I don’t know much–except to where I’m beckoned–I open myself to the way and keep the promise given last year to my council of many: “I will never deny you again.”

“One Bad Dude”

I love you.

Afroculinaria

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/sep/21/terence-crutcher-wasnt-bad-dude-just-black-man-in-america

This is the piece I wrote for the Guardian on Terence Crutcher.

I have not been able to sleep since I learned about his shooting/murder. Sometimes I’ve just burst into tears, and I never met the man.

I’m just almost 40, a big guy, and Black. So maybe I have met him.

It was edited for length and content but I also wanted to share with you the original “Last Testament.” I want to assure you I don’t ascribe to respectability politics, however knowing the triggers the mainstream media uses to snare Black victims of police overreach often face, I included everything I knew that would go against the stereotypes that are often used to condemn Black men and women to death, to claim that our lives weren’t as worthy of saving…expressed clearly or covertly. Know that I love you sisters and brothers, and we must work together to…

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I Just Want to be Normal

Welp.

That’s a common theme in conversation lately. Normal here, of course, is defined as ‘like everyone else’.

Well, sometimes we have to face that we aren’t like everyone else. Our experience of the world is beyond the boundaries of the norm, our language for it and how we identify ourselves in relation to it, evolves. Our former identities dissolve and, along with that process of growth and mergence with self and heavens, our ‘normal’ changes.

There is a time when we know, just know, that we must move past the normal of others into our own way of being; the way of being that is as easy as breathing.

It knows of no other way to be once we hit this space of self. The struggle to move into it is only arduous when we believe it serves us to remain as  we believe others need or want us to be. When we realize our stagnation is our own doing and that we’re the ones selling ourselves short, will we choose to heed how we must be and allow ourselves to be revealed.

It’s a simple choice to make, really, once you acknowledge that you need not suffer.  And, yes, we get to decide. We may even change our mind but once you begin the entry into the amazing, there’s no putting yourself or the Godstuff back into any box.

So, how’s that ‘trying to be normal’ working for you?

Is it time to redefine your ‘normal’?

“When a man journeys toward his destiny, often he is obliged to change paths. At other times, the forces around him are too powerful and he is compelled to lay aside his courage to yield.”  ~ Paulo Coelho 

I Am Not an Activist

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An activator for many things, perhaps. But, never in my mind or heart have I identified as an activist even while creating change in systems unaccustomed to the same.

However, there appear to be others–many of them– who feel differently and have paved the way for me to join the #noDAPL protest in Cannonball, North Dakota. I’m not sure even they, though, would use that term.

When Nicholas Black Elk appeared in my world last summer, he made it clear to others that I knew something that I didn’t know and, to me, made it clear that I needed to speak. About what, I vacillate between being absolutely sure of and never quite certain.  Even when he would interrupt someone’s visit to the ladies room, saying, ‘Ask her. She knows.’ Sometimes he and the others in my entourage gently say, “Speak, child. Speak.”  Other times, with a sense of urgency they shout “SPEAK!”  And, again, I often don’t know what it is about.  And, conversely, I often do and my retorts are laden with frustration and sarcasm; “What do you want me to say?!  Don’t kill people?!  Duh, folks.”

So when Black Elk let me know that I needed to go the Standing Rock reservation last summer–at the time the #noDAPL protest was in it’s merely-an-idea stage–I had no frame of reference, no context, breathing-human or other connection to understand why I was being asked to go.

The context was not revealed, either, when cohorts of Nicholas Black Elk joined my growing council of many as the months went on.  They include Chief Red Wing (Mdewakanton), Sitting Bull (Hunkpapa), Touch the Clouds (Minneconjou), Chief Red Feather ( Sans Arc), Chief Red Cloud (Oglala) and others who are not Sioux, not chiefs but men of great standing in their day. Some are carriers of the medicine way. Some warrior, some purposeful peacemakers but they are with me in scores.  And, somewhere in the mix, allied but not as visible (but certainly visceral!) are the Old Ladies.  Those women who rattled my cage to get me moving toward the Dakotas last summer and on July 28 this year–nearly 13 months to the day that Black Elk first introduced himself to my world.

Even when I got on the road, I had no idea where I was going. I had some awareness of the #noDAPL protest because I follow the Indigenous Environmental Network  but it seemed to me that being sent there was too simple, too easy or obvious–because often, even with maps and roadsigns given in vision, the people or places with which I’m to connect don’t always appear so clearly or quickly. And, again, because I don’t identify as an activist, it didn’t make sense.

I drove in the general direction, guided by the ancestors of a specific, breathing  Mandan associated with thisness, whose ancestors wove me into his world less than 24 hours before I was to leave.

Less than 14 hours before I was scheduled to leave, a phalanx of invisible riders astride painted horses arrived on the wind, letting me know that they–and others–were waiting for me, wherever I was going.

And at 4:00AM the next morning, we left Helena for Twin Buttes, ND, and unknown points beyond in what many call an act of ‘blind faith’.

Mr. Mandan (not his real name) and I spent two days working together and part of our discussions included celebrity and Three Affiliated Tribes’ involvement in the pipeline protest but, still, there was no clear ‘click’ for me as to why I was being sent south.

As I moved past the Red Warrior Camp heading south, my only comment to myself and my invisible entourage was ‘Well, there aren’t as many people as I thought there were.” I drove on. Still wondering.

I stopped in Fort Yates, ND, the seat of the Standing Rock Sioux Nation, to see what there was to see, and if clarity would visit in the form of a person or road sign.

When that failed to bring the desired result, I made a beeline to the visitor’s center.  Every now and again, like then, reservation visitor’s centers are like one-stop shopping for spirit-related wanderings and one question can lead to all answers. I walked in and began vibrating with the space and the young woman who listened to my story said, “Oh!  You need to go to Sacred Stone Camp” and drew me a map to a place I called home for over two weeks and will continue to do so as the seasons roll on.

Why? I didn’t understand it when I got there and, even still, after being gone a week, my surety waxes and wanes while the connections expand and I’m pulled back and being permanently planted.

Without the guidance of my human helper at the Visitor’s Center, I would have not known even where to go. The timing of her direction was such that I rolled into camp and immediately learned that I really could cook for a small army when thrust into an empty kitchen and a reported 300 people to feed.

For days, I cooked and I cried and I cursed and rolled my eyes when Old Ones tapped in.  Brought 1000 miles to cook and do dishes? Funny what happens when you think things should appear a particular way, eh? And funny how we forget to unravel the definition of sacred so that we can see it in the shit-ton of detritus.

I was only one of many brought to the Cannonball River directed by otherworldly means.  I heard stories of recent dreams directing the way, visions from as far back as three decades ago coming into being beckoning for their seers, and more.

I may not be an activist and I may not be Native American (though I can assure the doubters that I’m not the wanna-be that so many of us are painted as) but I have been woven into the community of both by Ancestors, my relationships with the waters and beings attached to them, my relationships with archetypes and myth-inspirers, and my gifts connected to the healing of historic trauma for people and places. This I know. The hows of it unfolding I don’t yet. There will be a time for revelation of these truths in the same manner Nicholas Black Elk’s vision from 144 years is being revealed today.

The lack of clarity does not diminish the truth of the knowings that these Old Ones brought a daughter home purposefully.  They show each step of the way.  With respect, occasional reward and a richness of life like no other alive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I never knew I was cherished. Until now.”

-1383January 02, 2005

I never hungered for food as a child. I starved, though, for the love of my mother–something beyond the loneliness in the emotional sea between us and the actual fear of her ferocity. I thought it’d be in the cupboard of good grades, good behavior (and the occasional hope the connection would be found in the bad as well), diligence and, perhaps, talent.

As an I’ve grown into thisness, though, the opposite has become true. I’m often physically hungry but live steeped in the kind of love that exists beyond a mother’s capacity–that thing of the larger universe that binds us through those perceived seas between us.

There is no longer an attachment to those feelings held as a young child and young adult. They helped mold me and guide me to this place and the beings I am and work with but no longer exist as they used to.  My brain and body no longer hold them but I am reminded each time I touch another whose path has been similar to mine.

When the cells and selves that have held the fear of fist, abandonment and invasion of safety and sex zones, are ready to be opened into the light of mercy, what happens is the thing of dreams. That love that I’m steeped in and of, is felt for, often the first time, in the entirety of another.

To be with someone who, for the first time, can know they are cherished and treasured by all that is holy is magnificent.  When inner strength formerly girded by insecurities opens into love and begins the process of angelic unfolding, I’m reminded of our glory, our potential and the hope that each of us brings the rest of us.

To know–and to feel within every fiber of our being– that we are cherished–without exception, without expectation–is our birthright.

I love you.

Experiencing Christ

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What does it mean when people see you as Jesus or have an experience with Jesus when with you?

There is more than one answer to this question so I’ll begin with the first. I appear as Jesus to many because he is part of who I am. In addition, when people chose to embark on the interaction with me as part of their spiritual journey, who and what they most connect with tend to be the first to appear before them. Some of that is connected to how they define themselves, their own journey, and who they perceive to be their guides into their own unfolding. For some, that is Jesus. For others it may be angels, family, or a particular animal.

The experience of Jesus while in my presence comes in several forms and, although not dependent upon definitions of self or connection to faith, is an indication of where many people are in their life. For instance, some people re-experience crucifixion. And in this, they feel their own emotions connected to physically nailed to the cross,  tenderly loved when brought down from it. For some in this group, it is an expression of surrendering into trusting something other than themselves. Many describe the effect as one of knowing they are transitioning from self-sabotage, suffering, or perceptions of figurative crucifixion by peers or family into a space of self-love or into the loving arms of a mother-figure they’ve never had.

Others have had distinct experiences of the resurrection where the stone is rolled away and light can be seen; where they can see beyond their suffering and that of others.  They see themselves rise, feel weightless, connected to God or angels or particular totems they identify with. Particularly for women, there is the simultaneous feeling of hips separating as if they are giving birth to themselves again.. Each of those have particular meaning to the individual I am with.

Some have more explicit experiences that require no interpretation. One of my favorite stories is from a few years ago when a man I was working with shared this:

I saw and felt him where you are, or as you, and he seemed to reach into someplace both within him but outside himself–like he and the universe were one–and he took his heart and placed it into mine.

Most people who do have the experience of Christ with me  see or feel him as a larger group of Beloveds, guides, sages and such who work in concert with me. They do often perceive that his hands feel differently than mine or others present. And, not everybody has experiences or visions with Jesus while working with me. In fact, those who come expecting it are often disappointed because they believe he or I should appear in a particular way. And, this just doesn’t work like that.