Those Who Tell Too Much; Ancestors and Missing, Murdered Women and Children

artist: R Blackwater

In the introduction to this series on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Children, I mentioned that this unfolding of the Fuckery and I

 requires discussion of history and the repercussion arisen out of it, trauma experienced and held by peoples and the natural world, realities of misogyny, sexuality, institutionalized racism, the reemergence of what I call ‘the medicine way’ and where all those things converge in our current era.

I think the thing that frightens people the most is the reemergence of the ‘medicine way’. It means recognizing that beliefs and ways of the world are more than theoretical or ceremonial, beyond the scope of encultured ‘sacred space’, and are neither ours nor out there. It creates an inescapable ‘in your face’ expression of truth that makes beliefs true or untrue, redefines things of spirit held as personal or tribal into universal, and cuts the commodified crap connected to the aforementioned in a breath. It means that death isn’t what we’ve thought it is, that everyone really is connected beyond super-simplified popsychospiritmeme-ified oneness. It means we have responsibilities beyond what we’ve presumed revealed within sweat lodges, by the one-liners of protest signs and attention-grabbing headlines. It means prophecy can be true, cosmologies can crumble, and we really may not who or how (or why) we think we are.

It frightens lawmen, lawyers, politicians, medicine men, journalists, folks who once called me friend, and those who operate the Fuckery. It’s why a tribal historical preservation officer nearly scorched his shorts when I asked about an eagle.  Because it can’t be true but what if it is.  If it is, we have to kill her. If it’s not we have to see who is really giving her all this information, then kill her.

I was once asked by one of the more lazy cops I’ve ever met, “So, is it like talking to God?” when I went to talk to him about Jermaine Charlo. His syrupy derision was no different than the “Why are my ancestors coming to you?”  Sadly, I’m not one skilled with witty repartee and it didn’t occur to me until much later to say, “No, conversations with God are much more direct.”  They are but for all the church-going, Bible shaking, and God-loving, to tell people there are active conversations with God is a nullifying as explaining those with Ancestors.

Whether those who would like to put an additional hole in my head (or anyone else) believe this or not, these are those who ‘tell Ingrid way too much’

They are Coushatta, Cree, Muscogee, Maidu, Diné, Dene.

They are Lakota, Dakota, Comanche, Choctaw, and Apache.

They are Kickapoo, Meskwaki, Mi’maq, Tongva, and Gros Ventre.

They are Ojib, Ohkay Owingeh, Mewuk, Osage, Missouria, Potowatami, Quapaw, Quinault.

They are Rappahannock, Paiute, Pascato, Seminole, Shawnee and Chickahominey.

They are Sappony, Seneca, Waccamaw, Natchez, Niitsitapi, Cherokee, Mohawk, and Miccosuckee.

Onandagan, Cheyenne, Crow, Unitah, Calusa, Colusa, Appalachee.

Fox, Saux, Winnebago, Miami, Illini, Ioway and Omaha.

Arapaho, Otoe, Kiowa, Caddo, Coahuiltecan, Kutenai, and Pend d’Oreilles.

Nakoda, Yurok, Chumash, Yokuts and Yana.

Nahuatl, Mixtec, Mayo, Massai, and Huichol, O’odham and Tepehuan.

Guaraní, Cocopah, Dogon, Delaware, Sara, Salish, Tatar, Bua and Bantu.

Samí, Bedu, Yoruba, Ibibio, Damara, Pueblan. Altai, Mapuche and Quechua.

Abenaki, Mohigan, Wawenock, Acholi, Madu, Evenki.

Salish, Kumeyaay, Ohlone, Pomo, Skykomish, Yakama.

And more.

The sand speaks, clouds halt, rain and stag protect, horses signal, ground and eagles pull, bees direct, water leads, raven weaves with spider, snake and worm connect threads where others can’t go. Wings whisper, trunks kiss my face, Nagas sing, devas dance. Creation twins create anew.

They know. They see.

Hundreds more who trust me with their living kin whose prayers they have heard, whose cries for freedom they echo across the universe and pound through my dreams– insistent, repetitive beats of love. They give me medical advice, tell me when to run and when to be still, wait. They tell me to ‘stop with the questions’, ‘sit down and shut up’, ‘Speak, child. Speak.”

They ride the wind, thunder through clouds, beat my heart, sing my soul, cry my tears, soothe and sear my skin. They guide, they tattle on the twisted medicine men, they show the limbless torsos.

And we live and breathe and move as one.

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Can I Get a Witness?

The  Power of Being Seen

Aspects of the work I do are profoundly intimate. It’s close enough that men have said, “I feel like we just made love” when clothes are never removed and women have said, “How could you know?” when I merely touch them and am flooded with every.thing because their body and psyche speak to me of the most profound pain.

I have my own. It’s rarely seen by others because I don’t trust others with mine own for any number of reasons, most bound in the effects of 18 years of consistent and profound physical and emotional abuse. Beyond ‘being seen but not heard’, I was taught that asking for help was  bad-bad, that getting attention equated violence or, even worse, the opposite.  But I’ve watched so many of those who come to me and are afraid to engage for similar reasons and another that I think must be addressed.

For those whose lives have developed around significant trauma, especially those have embarked on a speerachul or healing path, there is a lot of embedded angst when it comes to ego. “If I ask for help, it’s just my ego'”. “People will think it’s all about my ego if I tell my story.”  God bless Siggy-baby, but sometimes I want to pull him back from the grave and say, “Fix this thing you created.” Somehow, somewhen, in this effort to ‘be better’, the conflation of a psychological and spiritual concepts meant to broaden the understanding of the human experience, have instead, created a way of deadening the human experience.

‘Ego’ is used as a negative descriptor, an addition to the ‘what’s not enough’ or it’s cousin, ‘what’s too much’ about us. Have you ever noticed that in all the spiritual talk that ego is associated with ugly, undesired, and to be transcended, destroyed rather than a thing beautiful to be nurtured when it hasn’t been or honored because it got you this far?

Common spiritual discussions of ego have created a legacy where aspects of identification, individuation, needs and ownership of gifts are seen as narcissistic assholishness.  Those that have grown up into the idea that they are not worthy enough to be seen or valued or loved buy into that hook, line and sinker. The cycle it perpetuates in the healing process resembles a gerbil wheel of self-flagellation.

Earlier this week, I posted this on the Place of Face:

I’ve been mostly silent the past few weeks dealing with what has been described as Operation Shitstorm which began coming to a head Christmas Eve. Funny the things that trigger pain and the release from it, no?

I landed here in Helena the second time this year in the middle of October and for the second time this year finally came to an all-stop; the kind of slamming of physical, mental, emotional and vehicular brakes that created a way for me to do for myself what I’ve done for others. It gave me the space to divorce myself from my family, breathe a little and hope that I’d maybe landed at home.

In all, this has been the most shitty ten in my adult life. Worse than leaving a husband, worse than any bout of depression I’ve walked through. Eighteen years of consistent, repeated, profound physical and emotional abuse is coming to the fore with ferocity and profound purpose. All that I am witness for others, I am in the process of myself. I let the body remember and release the choking, hitting, kicking, burning, bruising, belittling,head-slamming, shaming, grief, rage, despair, fear, desire for death, emptiness, loneliness, invisibility, ignoring and the shame associated with all those things that were needed to survive them.

I writhe on the floor, sink into the bed, freeze in the drivers seat; I sob, I scream even though I can’t open my mouth wide enough to scream loud enough, I mourn, I grieve, I know, I see, I feel–she and me–then and now, I choke on snot and rage and each cut away from hope, love, connection, longing, desire for life and love from the ones that brought me into the world.

I stumble through the deep desire to be fucked six ways to Sunday so I can feel seen, so I can be flayed open and touched by love and desire and grace in those places where violence and its remnants have clung; so that in the spaces left behind in release can be filled with goodness and beauty and light and mercy and witnessed by all things holy.

I roil in the shame of not being able to take care of myself now and liken it to how I felt then; not being able to ask for help but needing someone, anyone to ask the right question, see the bruise, the pain and offer succor and safety.

I crave pretty and beauty–color, sound, breath, food, body, birds, bright, textures, tastes. I need freedom from the poverty that’s incongruous with the richness of gifts my Being brings.

And I want it real. *ALL* real, none of this fake-ass, mannequin-like parading of meme-ified, GIF shit. I want it you to know that I’m reusing toilet paper, rationing thyroid meds, see through your bullshit in the same way I see through mine, don’t even know who the fuck I’m shouting “I LOVE YOU” to when it comes burbling out of my hearted voice. Don’t fucking ask me who I am *exactly* or tell me that I don’t know who I am because you want me to be something you think you know. Don’t feed me horseshit and get pissed when I don’t think it’s savory.

And I lay it all out here as if revelation and witnessing of the pain and shame and fear and hope and betrayal and grief and desire for death and freedom relived again and again, you will see my real strength; the source of the courage; that inexplicable, incomparable *thing* that brings Beloveds across time back home into this body and sends me screaming “I LOVE YOU” into the places others fear to tread.

I didn’t especially post it because I wanted attention, though the attention I got soothed some aching-heart bits. I posted it because holding it all in any more is no longer an option for me.  Living as a profoundly gifted healer whose gifts to are meant for larger audience also, in my opinion, means being open about the shitty bits, how I got here and what it means to others. Each time I share, someone else can relate and, perhaps, give themselves permission to share the scary, dirty, shame-laden bits that hold them hostage, too.  It requires me to trust my own instincts and the loving-kind nature of others.

The former is easy-peasy. I live in a fashion that allows me to pivot directions within a breath as a I move through this world and the ether. The latter?  Let’s just say I don’t do gracefully. Not only have I been taught to not ask for help because that is bad-bad: I’m expecting others to be responsible for me or I’m a whore. When I’ve received help in the past  it’s been couched in a ‘why can’t you just be a productive citizen’ or a quid pro quo down the road that is soul-sucking at best or unethical at worst.

So, for me and many others, learning how to trust others is a struggle and requires the power of witnessing allows us to do so.  When I say, “I see you” I mean I see all of you. The good, the fugly, the fandamtabulous, from whence they come and the future they are taking you to. I’m learning how to see those in myownfineself. I hope we can ride some of this together.

Bathing in Silence

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And Wearing Grace like a Sheath

I remember when I needed noise.  Lots of it.  Noise was my Ritalin, the stimulant that helped me focus.  In college, the second time around when I actually cared about studying, I’d spread all my bits out on the floor around me with the TV on in front of me, the radio on around me, and, on occasion, the telephone held to one ear while all that was going on.  In the midst of all that I did some of my best writing and remembering of the then-important stuff.

Today, I’m in Northern New Mexico and needed the quiet. Not just quiet but quuuiiiieeeetttt.  There has been a gentle windless snow all day and I wanted to be in the quiet stillness it brings like a quilt.  The flies battering themselves in the windows made me batty.  The tones in my ears that are reflections of energies not yet interpreted were incessant, like children ignoring a parent’s attempt at napping and then discovering that pots make good drums.

Yesterday’s born-jarring and teeth-shattering dirt road driving in a vehicle not made for such things made everything in and around me shake with its own noise, even after a night’s sleep.  I was so grateful that I didn’t actually have to speak today.  I couldn’t get still and couldn’t find the quiet.  Don’t give me that ‘go to that quiet place within yourself’ on a day like today.  That’s not what I’m talkin’ about. I’m talking the stuff of a librarian’s dream.

It’s an interesting place to observe oneself from. I wonder what it would like like from a film maker’s perspective.  You know the kind who can take the most simple of ideas and make it eerily unlife-like in the realness of it all?  Like how much noise our breathing makes (especially when there are all the things associated with a head full of snot).  Or how we sometimes walk as loudly as Leadfoot Larry (you know the type, always directly above you in a hotel?). Or how the clip of a fingernail can actually reverberate as it bounces off a window pane?

I could have meditated it away, couldn’t I? Find that Zen place where I became one with the hiss and buzz.

I thought, though, I’ll just go play in the snow.

Those who know me know that I detest being cold.  Hate. It. But today, I walked out into the snow.  In a pair of boots.  And nothing else.  And stood there while the evening snow fell onto me as I yearned for silence. The light around me changed to light surrounding me, emanating from me, bathing me.  The near dusk turned into that otherly lightness that sometimes pours from me like I’m the sun and moon and stars and the fire of every being.   And I sank into it and into the snow.  Know what I learned?

Snow isn’t necessarily quiet.

And neither is grace.

Oh, and sometimes I don’t need my snowpants to be warm.

Q and A of the day: Have you ever had a spiritual attack?

Hmmmm…I’m not sure how this person is defining ‘spiritual’ here but I’m going to make a short leap and guess that he meant ‘Have you ever been attacked by something invisible?”

Yes, I’ve been in a relatively uncomfortable situation with something, that to others, was not visible.   However, because it was invisible does not mean that it was of ‘spirit’.   The interaction I had was with what I’ll call an aspect of a living, breathing human in the room next to mine.  I’ll not give real details because associates of his remain in my Facebook and Twitter stream.  So, the people and place that will make this identifiable will be changed or just not use so as not to embarrass anyone.

As many folks know, I travel to bring the work and, for the most part, when I’m asked to come someplace or receive the calling to go there, I don’t know who I’m going to stay with until things become revealed.  In this case, though, I was actually invited by a spiritual teacher/guide type to come to his home.  He agreed to host me as traveler and an event.  Bonus!!  Right?!  Notsomuch.

So after my first stop in a fine, wacky unnamed city in an unnamed southern state, I headed to his place.  And what I drove into is something for which I’d just had no preparation.

Ya know that feeling when you step into ‘it’?  That thing that gives you the instantaneous ‘ruh roh’ and ‘ew’ at the same time?  Like stepping in cat barf in your bare feet?

Well, this was that but in a situation with something like 12 tick infested dogs.  Behind an 8′ foot fence topped with concertina wire.

Ya know that feeling when you just know what’s behind the facade but you just can figure it out exactly?  (If you know this and struggle w/ it, you need the class!! )  Well, this was that but he was soooooooooo nice.  I mean so nice.  And spiritual.  He told me all about the energy work he’d done on the land (don’t get me started.  Ok, do, but later.), what energies stayed outside the fence (because fences…riiiiight), how he’d adopted some Native American elements in the ‘healing’ work, and, more importantly took me out to a great Mexican place.  Yum!

We hit it off, had great margaritas (real lime juice, please.  Not that mix that glows in the dark), interesting oneupsmanship discussion, and played with really cute dogs.

And then we went to bed.  And then I had an invisible visitor.  Ya know when folks think they’re being sneaky but they really aren’t?  Like when you try to not make any noise but you end up making more?  Kind of like that all-too human facade crap?  Yep, it carries over into many aspects of ourfineselves.  So, when I was confronted with this only vaguely invisible energy I knew exactly what it was and from whence it originated.

Us silly humans.  We’re so bloody freaking obvious sometimes.  So, stuck in that paralytic sleep state with something trying to be an invisible bogeyman,  I let loose a stream of language that would make George Carlin SO proud and an energetic right hook that shut the whole thing down.   In an instant.   And then I got up to pee.

And, when asked the next morning how I slept, I said, “Fine, thanks!”

So, kids, don’t get caught up in the stuff you see on all the ghost-y shows.   This stuff isn’t as complicated as you think.

 

Visions of Fiction and Mirrors of Reality

It’s been a looooooong time since I’ve dived into some really yummy fiction!  I’ve had the opportunity to do so the past couple of days and I’m officially in love!  Michael Cunningham, who I’ve not read before has written The Snow Queen.  I’m going to string together some of what he wrote to describe some of how I live:

“There it was. A pale aqua light, translucent, a swatch of veil, star-high, no lower than the starts, but high, higher than a spaceship hovering above the treetops.  It may or may not have been slowly unfurling, densest at its center, trailing off at its edges into lacy spurs & spirals.

Barrett thought that it must be a freakish southerly appearance of the aurora borealis, not exactly a common sight over Central Park but as he stood…he wondered whether to stand where he was, privately surprised…In his uncertainty, his immobility…he knew that just as surely as he was looking up at the light, the light was looking back down at him.

No.  Not looking.  Apprehending.  As he imagined a whale might apprehend a swimmer, with a grave and regal and utterly unfrightened curiosity.

He felt the light’s attention, a tingle that ran through him, a minute electrical buzz; a mild and pleasing voltage that permeated him, warmed him, seemed perhaps ever so slightly to illuminate him, so tthat he was brighter than he’d been, just a shade or two; phosphorescent…

And then, neither slowly nor quickly, the light dissipated.  It waned nto a scattering of pale blue sparks that seemed somehow animated, like the playful offspring of a placid and titanic parent.  Then they, too, winked out, and the sky was has it has always been…

Finally, he continued on his way home…

What else, after all, was he supposed to do?

…Now that a very different light has shown itself to him, he finds himself imagining some connection between the leap and the extinguishment…As if a lone man, out for his regular three miles, could be the instigator of the new day.

There’s that difference, between yesterday and today.

..He’s not a comet, after all, but a man, hopelessly so, and being human, must be pulled back in…before he perisheds in the annihilating beauties, the frigid airless silent places, the helixed and spiraled blackness he’d love to claim as his true home.

A light appeared to him.  And vanished again… He saw a light.  The light saw him.  What should he do about that?

…Although he’s seen something extraordinary, and hopes it isn’t the precursor of a mortal ailment he failed to find on the internet, he has not been instructed, he has not been transformed, there’s been no message or command, he is exactly who he was last night.

However.  The question arises:  Who was he last night?  Has he in fact been altered in some subtle way, or has he simply been rendered more conscious of the particulars of his own ongoing condition?  It’s a hard one to answer.

And now it’s a Tuesday…and he’s going to work.

Will he see the light again?  What if he doesn’t?  Maybe he’ll grow old as a tale-teller who once saw something inexplicable; a UFO person, a Bigfoot person, a codger who experienced a brief, wondrous sighting of something inexplicable, and then wnet on about the business of getting older; who is part of the ongoing subhistory of crackpots and delusionals, the legions of geezers who know what they saw, decades ago and if you don’t believe it, young one, that’s all right, maybe one day you, too, will see something you  can’t explain, and then, well, then I guess you’ll know.

 

My visions & visitations come in all sorts of ways.  Some pretty, some notso.  Sometimes I’m uncertain if I’m the one filling rooms with light or if the light comes from outside me or one is the same as the other.  Sometimes the clarity is, well, clear; addresses, street signs, or things unfolding just like a Rand-McNally–things that need no explanation only action.   Sometimes, there’s action without direction or clarity that brings confusion and occasional (HA!) cursing.    When I go days without them (the visions and visitations, not the confusion and cursing!), I feel alone.  Then, I’m not.  I pick up hitchhikers of the universe that make me laugh, stretch my mind, embolden my spirit and make me forget everything I thought I knew.

It’s pretty nifty to read something called fiction that mirrors part of my reality.  Makes me smile and fall in love with it all, all over again.

Maybe one day I can write like that.  A way that makes another smile and fall in love with it all over again.

 

One Human Gesture

This is a Rumi poem about Soul Artists–those that guide the motion of energy that is given.  According to Coleman Barks, Hakim Sanai was one that, it was said in Sufi circles, could “hold two opposing energies in one gesture.

You have a source inside you, a cool spring that sometimes stops flowing,
frozen
or clogged with silt.  

A voice says, “Consider the situation more deeply, my friend.”

Such advice is not idle. It is immediate companionship with a soul artist like David,
who works iron until it melts and he can shape it.

Spirit is the art of making what’s
blocked
start moving again.  

When your body dies, give it to the death angel, Irsrafil.  

If your heart feels numb and metallic, walk out into the sun,
or whatever the mystery that makes *your* inner well spring up.

There was once a sage who felt this flow moving inside him.

As he walked the garden that was being restored
with spring water, he gave names to aspects
of the vital dance he was doing:  *the animal’s hungry agility* and
*the connoisseur’s intelligent choice*.

Blessings on Hakim Sanai, who could put those two in one gesture.   ~ Rumi

What ifs and why fors…food for thought.

The other day I was struck with a string of questions.  They didn’t necessarily emerge from any real, in-depth thought.  Not things I’ve been ruminating on but they just came in a burst.  A rather long one but what are you gonna do?  Turn it off?  Methinks not.  So I put pen to paper and let it flow.

Here’s what came:

Why is it that some have such an issue with what I’ll call “just knowing” of the instant kind?  We eat like instant oatmeal, instant communications, quick meals, quickies (oh, c’mon now!), and what not, right? So, why the particular issue w/ this thing called enlightenment?  Is it because we’ve perceived it as something so special that it was attainable for only a few?  Is it because it’s not understood so therefore it cannot be?   Why is it, particularly in this age where instant gratification is sought, appreciated and expected does it seem so strange that one could see/know God, the Divine, the Essence, the Source, or themselves in one moment?

Why is it that this enlightenment or higher state of being is deemed inaccessible but for years of study or suffering, or so “special” that it can only be bestowed upon another by some Sri or Swami Justanothershmuckingituptananda?

Why is it that superfluous language is used to set us apart as some “thing” special–>particularly those of the persuasion that we’re not “just human”?

What if the whole point of this thing–this experience for which there really are no words really, truly is NOW?  Not just the being present in the moment but NOW as in this life. Here. Now.

What if our soul didn’t come back time after time until we ‘got it right’?

What if this is ‘just right’?  Just here, just now, this breath and this lifetime?

What if this is it?

What would that change for how you experienced life if you knew this life, this time was the ‘getting it right’?  Or, that this time, this life–this time in life was ‘just right’? Just the way it is?  That you are ‘just right’?  The way  you are?

Would it change your perception of past lives?  St. Peter? Pearly Gates? After life as you believe it now?

What if we all really are “just human”?   Ordinary, fleshy, brilliantly messed up humans with all the trimmings?   What if the Ascended Masters, Saints Galore and the hosts of Angels we call upon aren’t ‘out there’ surrounding us invisibly to be channeled by ‘special’ people really aren’t?  What if, because we are all connected, those qualities that we’ve projected upon these otherwise ordinary dead dudes (and dudettes) and imaginations really is simply within us all and ‘channeling’ Metratron (or whoever)  is nothing more special than speaking Truth?

Would that change your perception of you?  Your brilliant self?  How you do your ‘spiritual’ business?  How you see the psychic that does your readings? Your priest, padre, shaman, guru?  Your neighbor? Would you write your own book?  Would that change how you separate yourself from others?  Would that change your sense of your own simple, extra-ordinariness?

What if this ‘spiritual’ stuff that we think of as outside of us really isn’t?

What if it is us?  What if it is ‘just life’.  Regular, everyday life? What if knowing this is enlightenment, being ‘awake’ and engaged?

And, what if it is available to you instantly?  What if, in an instant, one breath, one sunrise, one ka-ping upside the head, one exhale you could really, truly experience the connection we have with all things, all people?  Conscious of the connection with what we choose to call Divine?  What if, in that instant you became Conscious and awoke to your own ridiculously fabulous, gloriously fucked up, magnificent, magical, amazing self? And knew you were ‘just right’ just the way you are?   What if realizing yourself is just that simple?

What if those of us who happen to be here and now w/ these “Gifts” really aren’t all that special?  What if we just happen to speak the same thing spoken by sages and mages since time began and more people can hear us now?   What if none  of us channel a damn thing that burbles out of our mouth?  What if, because it is Truth that we ‘just know’ and that everyone can ‘just know’, it isn’t that special?  What if that all we do is, well, do.  And, what if,  we realize that since we are all connected that we are responsible for more than just ourselves when we let things burble out of mouth?

What if you knew that in each breath, another was breathing with you?  What if, for a moment or two a day, you realized there was another heart beating in time with yours?

What if that is the message and it’s that simple?

What if the simplicity is that we can all ‘just know’ God, ourselves, and our connections to each other in a moment and that is all that it is about?  What if we can do it by just being here, in this lifetime, in this breath, now.  Being just a ridiculously extra-ordinary human.  By BE-ing.  Period.   No guru needed.

What if?