New Nations

When hands of the past

reach the face of the future

and the half-morning

moon lights the way

Harrier wings beat

the heart

And wind & earth

become one

with the drum

We are the drum

We are the heart

                                                                                                   We are now.

The drumming heart & hope of new Nations.


Telling the Holiness

“This is not a journey for the feet; the feet bring us only from land to land; nor need you think of coach or ship to carry you away; all this order of things you must set aside and refuse to see: you must close the eyes and call instead upon another vision which is to be waked within you, a vision, the birthright of all, which few turn to see.”  ~ Plontius

Traveling Lightly with Nayenezgani and Walking with the Peoples of the Past

In the Apache tradition, storytelling is to ‘tell the holiness’.  The myths that speak to the holy are “performed only by medicine men and women for the purposes of enlightenment and instruction.”  What I’m sharing here is neither myth nor legend but in it lies a holiness that each age has sought since we began as human.  It is as real as my breath and moves me in every way.

I’ve said that Traveling Lightly officially began in January of this year.  It actually began long, long ago.  It began before we separated ourselves from each other; before we created differences and chasms between clans & languages;  before we tried to name the invisible pieces of the universe, and control those things that are visible.

When Running Rabbit and Pat Kennedy appeared to me in May 2008 and January 2014, I could in no way know what their presence in my life would mean and how they would guide me into the process that bridges the ‘time before’ and now.

In the time before we were not separate from ourselves and the places we stood upon and looked up into, we were a people so connected to the earth that the earth took our pain in the same manner it gave us life.  Absorbed it like a rare rain in the desert and held onto it like it was holding onto their dear lives. At one point, back in our time, we were each those people.  And, now they are mere remnants of our fabric; tossed and hidden away when not murdered from existence, removed from the collective conscious except when it appears to serve our romantic nature or reliance on greed.

And in the places where we have shoved those people who represent the past that we have collectively deemed unworthy of our attention, we die along with them. As they bleed the interest in life, the earth withholds it–for them and for us. There’s no need to feed & give life if life is no longer lived in the manner it was made to support.  And this is repeated around the globe, again and again, even as we struggle to manipulate natural and created systems to feed our futures.  This cycle will be repeated as if a contagion until we vanish.

Like those before us who were starved of connection to their sacred places & spaces, we disconnect even further from each other.  Some run in any number of ways to escape, some escape to feel free yet yearn to come home.  Those who have walked before and those now.

I have felt the lost.   I have held their hearts in my hand and I have stood in the spaces where the ancients realized all that is was no longer; that relationship with the ground, that relationship with each other, the ties that bind us as a people, that relationship between spaces below and above; the very representations of all that is home.

Two Saturdays ago, I was on a shared vision-journey and was led by a Navajo mythical god-man named Nayenezgani to a place I circled on the map three and a half months ago when I was returning a Navajo man to his birth mother on the reservation.  In Nayenezgani’s view, there is a dark thing blanketing the region and I am the white horse to lift the blanket and bring the light.

At the time I did not know why I made the circles I did.  I do now. 

She calls me, the ground.  In fact, it’s more than a ‘calling’ as many imagine it.  She pulls.  She will sometimes draw me into her for a peace that no one else can ever articulate; for an awakening of her own; to move energies that have been held onto for eons; to reconnect the sacred dirt space to the sacred space above; to the sacred space within us.

So today I go.  I will listen and follow where I’m led.  Maybe to sit on the earth.  Maybe to dance with her.  I will listen as my heart joins hers.

And this ‘Traveling Lightly’ is about more than the beauty of the earth and our connection to her.  It’s about our connection to each other.  I my wildest imaginings of the past it never occurred to me that I would embark on reconnecting people to their tribes,  their own first peoples but that is clearly what is happening.   In July, being led solely by instinct and spirit and energy and coaching and patience,  I reunited a Navajo man who carries the medicine with his Native birth mother.   This four to six weeks on the road will include reconnecting an Apache medicine woman with her clan.  The Choctaw connection appeared last Saturday, the New Zealand connection three weeks ago, the Australian connection five weeks, the Peruvian connection three months and they continue.

The purpose of these reconnections between ground places and sacred spaces, people and people, sacred people and places; and spaces with the space above and below is crystal clear for me.

During the transformation on Monday, October 27, what I’ve ‘felt’ for months morphed to a clear knowing. The kind of knowing that has moved me past saying, “This is like reading braille” to seeing what lies before me, and often others, as if it were my personal Rand McNally.  It has also moved me from uttering, “I’m not married to what tumbles out of my mouth” to being absolutely sure that what moves from my tongue and fingertips is truth. That I was flooded with the voices and energies of the ancient is no mistake. That I am entrusted with bringing lost ones home, connecting First People’s ancestors with those of a new age,  and weaving those with each other into a human pangea to bring them and us into a renewed way of being, is neither a mistake nor misguided notion on my part.  That the Jesuses and Yogananadas and Babas and those others who grew from man to myth–even before languages were separated–have joined me in body for this work is not for nothing.  That the invisibles who keep me company and guide (and push and protect) me into something bigger than any singular one of us and any past any notion of our ‘sum of all our parts’ is not for nothing.

That truth is that as I connect the corners in the very heart of the original Navajo Nation, I am bringing the light not just for the Navajo and this space around Chaco Canyon, I am creating the opportunity for re-beginning for each of us; for the ground that wants to bring us back to life, for the ancients that are bringing the past forward:  bringing us back into relationship to the time and space and beingness long before we created the reliance on archetypes, philosophies, definitions, deities, and laws that created and now perpetuate separation.  This is why we were made before and have come back again.

This is the re-beginning.  And the time is now.

Let’s not waste it.

The Drumming of a Heart

If you put your heart against the earth with me, in serving every creature,
our Beloved will enter you from our sacred realm and we will be so happy. – Rumi

This began calling me 16 months ago:


Beginning the weekend of October 2012 and through a period of nearly two and a half months, I thought I was going to die  (a very different experience than wanting to die, by the way!).  I drove myself to the emergency room quite sure that I’d had a series of heart attacks.  I experienced what physicians initially identified as heart palpitations that were so strong they would jolt me from a dead sleep into an upright, frightened, ‘shitballs’-shouting state.

At the ER, there was so sign of anything untoward and I was assured after several apparently bright medical minds reviewed my ECG and blood work, that I’d not had a single heart attack, never mind a series of them.

But the not-quite-a rhythm continued. It scared the shit out of me multiple times a day.  I often described it to others as an orchestral timpani that, unprovoked, without an emotional or physical trigger, would make me feel as if my chest wall was being cracked from the inside out; that my heart might be beaten out of my chest.  The urgency and repetitive nature led me to the University of Virginia’s Cardio-Pulmonary unit and a not-very-fashionable heart monitor that I wore for a month.

I recorded upwards of 30 ‘incidents’ a day, sometimes as many as 50, because the pounding was incessant, loud even as it echoed in my ears and mind.  This was not like any palpitation I’d read about or heard about (because you know, everyone had to tell me their heart stories, right?).  After a month of recording heart-breaking, I waited to go back to UVA.  I went.  They looked at all the EKGs submitted.  They looked at me.  They looked back at the monitor and readings.  Looked back and me and said, “Well, there’s nothing wrong with your heart.  We don’t see anything unusual here.”

WTF?  Excuse me?  How could there be nothing wrong with my heart?  I say, “Well, if it’s not my heart, what is it?” Them say, “We don’t know.  We need to start at the beginning.  We’re going to send you to another department for a full workup.”  Riiiiight.  I’ll skip the bit about what happened next and leave it at the fact I was not thrilled with the service, skill or insight that I believed a teaching hospital should have.

Once the immediate fear passed, I put on my thinking cap and decided that the issue really was one of a real-life, unromantical (my word, thank you) broken heart.  During the week before the ER visit, I had begun writing about my abusive childhood, diving into reaches of my mind & body to share my experience with others.  I thought it entirely possible that my body was telling me it wasn’t ready to find and deal with old wounds.   At the same time I was beginning the remembrance endeavor, I learned that my partner of a couple of years had been making plans of a future with me while lying to his adult children about my role in his life.  The truth that came out ripped me in two.  A body remembering significant physical and emotional pain and a metaphorically stomped love?  Broken heart, indeed.  The pieces seemed to fit.  Sort of.  The intense, persistent nature of the drum-heart beat abated.  The frequency diminished back to the ‘normal’ for me over the course of a few months.

I’d long felt and shared with others that I’d, with regularity, feel the heartbeat of another within my own–that was my normal.  To me, it was a comforting sort of thing–to profoundly know my interconnectedness with key people in my life.  I knew when said partner was thinking about me; I knew when someone was communicating with me in a standard telephonic or electronic fashion before I received the actual words; I knew my experience of the world wasn’t just freaky but had a deep, deep meaning.

This, however, was not that.

Oddly enough I was connected to a two other people who had the exact same issue.  One had previously been directly connected to me.  Another only tangentially via a common acquaintance.  We knew there was some sort of thread but couldn’t identify it.

Last week, while I was helping a friend move across the country, ‘it’ was identified. Clearly, profoundly & with a sense of urgency that has morphed my world once again.

I have been called.  I have been called for 16 months and didn’t know it until 4 days ago.  I (and another who will remain unnamed here until-or if- he chooses to go public) have been called by those lost long ago in, at the time, an unprecedented act of violent slaughter of humans, the earth that holds their presence, and by the person who now is their vessel.

The interconnected nature of what has transpired in the past few days with my own past, including my first vision in May 2008, is beyond merely ‘striking’.  The ties to living people, the energies of those (particularly Sai Baba) who reside within this Ingrid-package, my previous ‘knowings’, and a Cree elder who has been at my side for the past 5 days,  are leading me to spend what looks like most of February in the frigid West.

In Traveling Light, I mentioned that this year’s healer-on-the-highway travels were not entirely altruistic, that my heart is looking for a home.

The drums are calling me home.  They are calling me home: to a physical space, to a special relationship with the spirit of First Peoples lost and alive, and to put my heart against the earth.