Cultural Scars of Separation
We’ve reached a time in history where we no longer depend upon each other for survival, knowledge, or even support. When traditions have been lost and recipes, simple tasks and meaningful labor have gone by the wayside. Our own ideologies and social constraints create for us a cut-off from community and the natural world. Harming our inner beings and stunting our souls. This has reached a point where we no longer feel whole with the universe. Though, in fact we are part of the whole cosmic offspring. Mere children of a beautiful collision of infinite ecstasy. But why have we forgotten how special this natural connection is? It seems to me that if you do in fact feel and realize the need to reconnect, then the society that we’ve built is so detached that we feel out of place. I certainly do. To realize that this feeling is okay, needs to become the new norm of acceptance. It is what our spirits need.
Instead, this society—or “made-up world” as I like to call it—is driving and feeding our neurotic behaviors. Behaviors such as; violence, acting out in school, consumerism, over-eating, rebellion, addictions of all kinds, and greed. This society isn’t only feeding these behaviors, it is profiting from them. The industry that makes cigarettes also makes chemicals used in your kitchen, the “medicine” you take for a headache is from the same company poisoning your food with GMO crops. The need to go out and buy and acquire keeps pockets full for many, and your happiness fulfilled for only a split second. This conceptual outlook is hurting the real human within, all the while keeping us a machine. Being detached creates business and dollar signs in the eyes of the greedy. For instance; we put into office a “businessman” to solve the problems of the country. Though this same man has gone bankrupt, been in debt, blackmailed, and payed off those who said otherwise. All for the money in his pocket. While not having a care in his soul for water protection, Indigenous rights, land preservation, or what the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has to say. The problems of debt can, and have been wiped out in history, and money is just paper that can be printed. But the Earth, She is more than just a number or a piece of paper. She is a whole, and She is just like where we are now with the cut-offs creating wounds. She is no longer whole because we are not connected. We feel ashamed to admit how beautiful a bird song can be, or how the relationship with a piece of woods heals us on even our best days, and more so on our worst. From childhood these have been facts.
When you do what you love and feel this awakening of reconnection, you no longer feel the drive to have these addictions or neuroses. When you grow food it makes you want to give, or when you’re happy and having a day where everything seems to be shining just right, you want to smile at everyone and every living being. For many Indigenous people—myself being one of them—we feel that everything is relationship based. In order to feel whole, to understand what the birds are saying, you create a relationship. To know what to eat or what medicine is for what, you create that sacred bond. You not only look at the soil, but you breathe it, you touch and feel its every grain of being. You should know what bugs are where what tree is what. Because this is what our world is made of. The real world. To know everything by its rightful name. In this detached society, we rely on a certain profession and specialist to tell us information that we could all find out with a little bit of effort, experience, and relationship. It’s such a hurried world we live in, that we want everything now and that’s that, but we need to be patient and heal. Heal ourselves, heal our environment and heal our relationships. There was a time when we didn’t fear our neighbors, and strangers weren’t looked at as “strange”. We were there once, connected, fearless.
It’s okay to not know how to completely fix this wound, no one person has the answers. We’re all just trying to do right again. We can all be reconnected, not just the Indigenous ones. Humility is a great feeling, it means we’re on the path of construction, not destruction. We can all think of a time when we knew ourselves and felt safe. For many, they take the path other people, walking in the footsteps of the fallen. If we are these cosmic babies of beauty and humility, created by a crashing destruction turned beautiful, then we can take this crash of destruction now and fix it to be pure again. We need to realize what it is that keeps us alive. Just because your neighbor isn’t doing it, or you feel like someone will look at you with a crazy look isn’t an excuse to continue or condone the destruction.
Mni wiconi: “water is life”. Healthy homegrown food, knowing where your food comes from. Getting to know everything. Having that relationship with the farmer or the land that you grow your own food on. It’s an empowering thing to reconnect, something that can not be taken from you. This isn’t anything new, it’s sad to have to reawaken these lost souls, but what is worse is thinking that this is just the way it is, that there is no change. Change is all around us, we can hold it with two hands or right in our heart. Things will change, because we are the children of this Earth and we will be the ancestors of the new day. We need to think through every action we take, what impact it has on what. Even things as simple as not letting your water run or thinking through what it is you really need in life. 10 pairs of shoes doesn’t matter to anyone, because everyone else is too worried about themselves, and if life as we know it is flipped upside-down, you can’t take them with you! Things will change though, things will no longer be an object, our people will no longer have an extractive relationship with our Earth. We’ll look at these living beings and think about what it is like to be them, look at trees and think: “what’s it like to be a tree?” Or an ant, or a hawk. Or a cooped up cow. Life is a beautiful journey, what’s it like to be you?