Traces in Blood, Bone, & Stone Edited by Kimberly Blaeser
"I cannot think of any collection of American Indian poems.... in which Native writers continue to bring the past into the present, celebrate the future, [and] not just survive, but thrive as a vital part of world literature."-Joe Brachac, Abenaki writer and storyteller
In my last post, I shared our progress in identifying and working together to eliminate racism in our community in the first of a series of town meetings. There was much more to that meeting.
At that meeting, as the larger group gathered, we were warmly welcomed not only for our willingness to help value our youth, but also for the wisdom we brought. Then, as a way to maximize our time together, we were put into small discussion groups and were told to answer two questions.
As we introduced one another, I found that I was sitting next to a woman from Russia who is a healer, and an Anishinabe healer and of course, me, a Christian Science healer. As others introduced themselves, we acknowledged that we were here to do good, that good is universal, and that respect and honor help to forge unity in a diverse group. In the light of that, we realized we all came together as healers.
During that meeting, each small group gave summaries of their answers to the larger group. Although we were half and half in our group, I was asked to give the summary. Deferring to the eldest Anishinabe in the group, I gave the summary and then bent down and asked if I did it right. The group laughed, I got hugged, and an elder walked behind me and said, "Now we can accept you." This meant so much to me. Humility and respect go a long way.
As the group talked about the healing in the community that was needed and the great need to value and nurture our youth, I heard of the long history of abuse that led to further problems of alcoholism, abuse, racism, and violence. We agreed: We needed to first be healed ourselves so we can provide a safe foundation for our children. We need to heal the fractions and divisions amongst ourselves.
The three healers spoke:
- We need to break a pattern of behavior that has not moved us forward. We can, together, break out of that and envision what peace can look like in new fresh ways.
- We need to start with ourselves and develop our self-worth and learn how to heal in a community of so many diverse belief systems. We need to honor our healing prayers, healing ceremonies, our healing sweat lodges - all the healing we bring.
- We can start by recognizing that now we are complete. Now we are made in the image and likeness of God. The Creator created us perfect. All we do in healing is lift off the obstacles and barriers to reveal what is already complete and perfect.
The others in the group shared ideas of what steps could be taken. Each was taking responsibility and sharing their Truth. It reminded me of something Mary Baker Eddy wrote:
It is possible, — yea, it is the duty and privilege of every child, man, and woman, — to follow in some degree the example of the Master by the demonstration of Truth and Life, of health and holiness.
Later I prayed. The history of prejudice and abuse seemed long and impenetrable. But the bright light went on when I saw that the length of time of that abuse only means what we make it to mean. It isn't the length of time that determines the severity. It is only our thought. I could see that now is the only time we ever have. Right now, we have the consciousness of Truth. And we always had that consciousness every moment of our lives.
In Mary Baker Eddy's autobiography, she writes that "the human history needs to be revised, and the material record expunged." Not that history is ignored, as its importance lies in how we progress beyond each step we have taken. Mary Baker Eddy's take on time helps show that it is our spiritual growth that is important - and that is our measure of progress.
The objects of time and sense disappear in the illumination of spiritual understanding, and Mind measures time according to the good that is unfolded.
What moment of time do we want to be defined in? Now seems to be a good time. Now seems to be a good time to break out of those repeating patterns of destructive behaviour. Now seems to be a good time to shed light on who we really are.
How long does it take the light to lighten a room that has been dark for a day? The same amount of time it takes for a light to lighten a room that has been dark for decades.
If we have the power and dominion to determine the meaning and impact of the past, we have that same power and dominion in envisioning a future. We are free to see our future as our Creator sees it : an ongoing expression of goodness, respect, honor, creativity, productivity and meaning.
We can see that we are all healers and sing with the song of David
The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my
lot. The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage.
And learn again with the Anishinaabeg that the fundamental essence of life is unity - the oneness of all things.
Photo from cover of Traces in Blood, Bone, & Stone - Contemporary Ojibwe Poetry edited by Kimberly Blaeser ISBN 092614717X available through LoonFeather Press
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