Tanisi brothers and sisters,
Today is going to be a wild one, so if you didn’t come prepared, here’s your warning now! haha! It won’t be too crazy, I just anticipate some readers being surprised or caught off guard with what I’ve got cookin’. Rest assured! It’s all good stuff, and I’m very excited to share with you guys some of what has been going on!
So last we spoke I was working through some pretty interesting stuff, (shameless plug to read my previous post), and that was all well and dandy, it was a good time. But I definitely can`t say I`m done working through or thinking about those things, no no, instead it`s, more of those things! Exciting! Right!? Right!! Oh I’m so glad you agree! Well, be whether you agree or not, I believe it is. We’re off to a great year in my humble opinion, and my year has definitely started differently than last year. Last year I was listening to podcasts, that hasn’t changed, and I listened to one about “Advanced words from God”. Okay, simply put, you ask God/Jesus to speak directly over something in the future, you wait and see, while kind of looking? For whatever word/phrase/image/verse you received in the prayer to, come true or have happen in a meaningful way. So I did that, for every month of the year. It was an interesting exercise that catapulted my year into a relationship with those words, and source of those words. I found that time helpful for most of the first half of the year, these sign posts for the month that were good reminders of not aloneness at the very least. This year, I did not do that. Not at all, though I did happen to find an, overall theme that came to me.
A few weeks ago I had just finished a smudge, as I often do, and was sitting on the back fire escape of my cabin. It has a raised platform so people can escape off the second floor in an emergency. It’s a small space, maybe, 3ft wide by 4ft long, with a cutout in the corner of the floor for a ladder to the ground. Either way, there’s enough space to sit up there, and just see the sunset over the top of my cabin. Stretching across the foothills, the tallest trees reaching for the finals rays of warmth for the day and their brothers the mountains standing tallest, beholding the last of the sun this cycle. As I sat there in contemplation, meditation and presence, just soaking in this beautiful scene it occurred to me. This year, is sunset. I didn’t ask or look for it, I didn’t even necessarily want it and I had almost forgotten about how I began my previous year. Growing up in the prairies of Saskatchewan, you really do learn to appreciate a good sunset out there, because they’re the best. Let’s be honest. Such a thin line between sky and land, you could swear they were the same. There’s a real rhythm to sunsets, everyone must know this, you have to be prepared. You get maybe, 10-15 minutes of prime sunset maximum so, you gotta know when. You have to read them, the sky and clouds. even the created ones will tell you. Everything, knows when the day is done, and when the finale is coming. There’s a great deal of symbolism, and beauty around a sunset, I need not tell anyone. But in all the sunsets I’ve see, I’ve never grasped for it. I’ve never chased it to make it last as long as possible because there may never be one so powerful and enchanting as this. There’s this, comfort, trust and truth in letting a sunset pass. Allowing ourselves, to accept and carry on despite the light and familiarity going away. The time between sunset, and sunrise can feel ominous to us, ambiguous and something we ought to avoid. What happens then? Out there? Beyond. As I sit and reflect on this, and sunsets, I realize there are things in my life that are coming to a natural close of sorts, to be resurrected, you could say. Coming to the part of its journey where its a little less defined, a little obvious, and probably a little more scary. To me, this is. And I don`t feel like I need to define it more than that, because it`s a broad mixture of things. It, is: relieving, exhausting, good, hard, numbing, exhilarating, expanding, grieve worthy, lament worthy, and f****n awesome honestly. So, if you can find a word that sums all that up, I would greatly appreciate that. Despite how grand that all may seem or sound, I anticipate a wild ride with which will have many twists and turns, and I might even throw up, but regardless of the sunsets, I know and trust there will be sunrise. How, when, what, where, why, I have no idea. I just know, I am here, and will be there.
I love my Mukluks. Aren`t they gorgeous? Yes, they are from Manitobah MukLuk. Yes, they were expensive. (got them on a reserve tho so, no taxes..) I love how they’re made, who they’re made by and what they’re made with. I love how warm, and comfortable they are. But not so comfortable, that you can’t feel the ground under your feet. There’s something deeply profound, about wearing a warm boot that hugs your feet, and the ground. It’s incredible, you won’t know it till you try it. The way I feel the ground, it makes me feel good and safe. It reminds me of home. And you know what they say, “Home is where the heart is.” Might I put a spin on that? “Home is where the heart can’t not be.” Hear me out. Home is never a place when I think of it, it’s a connection. One that never ceases to ground me or tether me to the reality of walking this journey. And how people play irreplaceable roles in that journey. Your heart can’t always be found in a place, but it can always be found in connection. And it feels like I’m connected by my spirit to the spirit of the land, or that I’m being held by the land. It seems that for a moment, only a moment, that the connection between myself and the land has been, is, and always will be. It’s as if, that connection had never been severed in the first place. I said it before but I’ll say it again; we’re spiritual beings trying to be good human beings. When I live out of this framework, there’s a real shift that happens inside in regards to how I see myself in space and time. Firstly, I try to allow this shift to take place within myself. Seeing myself as a spiritual being, a continual extension of divine. Who is this divine? What is this divine? Is this divine a being? Does it have consciousness? I’m not sure, and frankly I don’t care a whole lot. The transformation that has been happening internally has really been affecting my views, and has opened them up quite a ways. Certainly more ways than have been opened in the past, or allowed to be. Learning to acknowledge that most things have spirit and form, and that they go together can really open the way for conversation. I think what’s most wonderful about these mukluk’s to me, is that they speak a truth that we rarely talk about or teach. Or at least I’ve experienced it that way. The interconnectedness we all share, it was right there beneath my feet. The artwork beneath my feet even, is a portrait of this. Everything, belongs.
If you’ve been following pieces of my journey as of late, you will know there have been some processes of, questioning, dissolving and letting things fall away. Many of those things are assumptions or categories I have found myself not wanting to be apart of, or believe in, or just wanting a break from. There are, may things that can fit in this category. haha! Practically anything honestly, if it comes my way, it’s likely to go through some thoughtful analysis. As boxes open and come apart, and lines of categories blur, delineate, and disappear, it’s been helpful to have a hand railing for many things. As form becomes less form, and is stripped to its spirit, I’ve found comfort in system of axioms, or scaffolding, a loose framework to hold pieces at a very undefined level.
If you’ve ever lived in a metropolitan area, you’ve probably seen scaffolding. It’s quite impressive on some structures, no wonder it’s a trade of its own. They set up scaffolding around a project so that workers can navigate around in relative safety, there are inherent dangers of course. The scaffolding is generally put up when they realize the project they wish to undertake is too invasive or too big to do from the ground alone. Scaffolding is pretty neat, and helpful stuff while work is being done, but it has a time and a place and is not intended to be a permanent structure. There is man name Mike McHargue who’s work has been tremendously helpful to me in this journey, and I want to share with you something he shared with everybody! They’re a system of axioms. I will share the link, because I’m not comfortable copying from his personal blog.
There is a list of axioms in there I’ve been using for some months now, primarily the one around God. For me, that’s been the biggest category that has blown open. Baring in mind, that these are simply supports, not a place or definitive statement. I think for some time now, I’ve not seen God as a ‘being’, or single entity of sorts. There’s a lot of assumptions that come apart when you change that early degree of perspective in your image of the divine. There’s just simply a lot of, “I don’t know’s” going around for me. And in some areas, I really am uninterested in coming to a resting place for certain things. Who was Jesus? I don’t know, some dude. Evangelism? Please no; not in the ways we’ve been taught and believe. Heaven? Hell? Eh..*shrug*. The Holy Bible? Well, depends who you ask. Well, you’re saved aren’t you? Umm, from? The craziest thing about it, is there is such profound comfort in a place of uncertainty. It’s really quite interesting to me, the recursive imprisoning journey of certainty, it really seems endless. I think science helps us, and is the best tool in doing what it does, but I think we’ve gone too far with it in certain ways. The continual split and divide into category.
The string that is pulled, to tighten things together. I heard that expression a number of months ago from a friend, and it’s really stuck with me in that time. In months since then, I’ve really found a lot of sense and peace in the place of circle. Belonging, balance, equality, interconnectedness. All of these themes relate so well to where I’m at, and where I’m going; especially in light of the circle. The circle has profoundly deep echoing truths and teachings in Indigenous communities, and I think there is a perennial truth amongst that. Something most major religions hint at, in the lest fundamental sects of them, and even science. Why does our universe operate in a way of circles? Give and take? Eye for an eye? Karma? What goes around comes around? I believe there is an indefinite amount of examples we could come up with, but I think there’s something true about a circle. And that’s the reason I ended each paragraph the way I did, they all lead here. To a place among the circle. No place having more value or legitimacy to them, but each truly significant and sacred. Regardless of what the pieces look like, or what they bring with them, a circle isn’t a circle without all the pieces. Hence the sunset; I have a deep sense of peace and release in understanding that everything changes. It can change so much, that it’s like night and day; but regardless of the inevitable change, the place and value of night, is just as sacred and complete and day. Things pass from our regular practice, from within our perceivable view and into something that seems so foreign. Things also come into our perception, sometimes we don’t even recognize it as something that had gone and come again, but it comes again anew with the radiance of dawn. Mukluk’s have begun to show my feet what it means to embody this truth, and with patience and openness, I will listen and learn to what that has to teach me. Something I would have had a hard time understanding, if I did not look at my beliefs critically, and truly asked where they came from. In growing to understand them, and have more say over what I do and don’t believe, I’ve realized something. When we first began to understand light, we slowly defined it more and more. At first there was light, day and night. Then visible, and invisible light. And now so much, that there are different colorizing tools, with very specific values, to give you very specific colours. Like the difference between white, offwhite, eggshell and….white? You get the point. Essentially, after all those colors are defined, they still make up white light. The more you zoom out, the less the definition matters. So, why this? Everything belongs. All things matter. When we look at a microscopic scale versus the cosmos, the differences are quite drastic. The categories and definitions seem to become useless and no longer helpful. These days people ask if I identify as a Christian, I say no, they say why not? I would ask, why? It’s not difficult to see how much damage and confusion categories and definitions have on people; there’s simply too much ego. Separateness, superiority, special. When you address the heart of ego, titles and distinctions seem less and less important, they only seem to serve those who cling to them. Things like self, God, community; I believe these things would serve well to be seen in a model of circle. Ourselves are simply one of many, a drop of water in the ocean of collective. Problems arise when claim we are not like the rest. Have you ever had a conversation with someone, where time, tastes in music, what your ethnic background is; have those things seemed as though they’ve ceased to exist? It’s like there’s a shared something between you that can’t be named, or empirically measured, but you both know it’s happening? Would you go so far to say you’ve experience that to a degree with someone so deeply, that it felt as though your self, was being melded with theirs? Like there’s little separation in that moment between you and someone else, a veil? I’ve had that a lot, and every time I come away with, what was THAT? There’s these things that happen in such tiny ways, that invite us to a connection and awareness that we’ve forgotten. God? Is there a god? Capital “G”. I don’t know. I kind of don’t think so, if there is we’ve been fairly off the mark from her (it?). Other Gods, etc. Divine seems most appropriate from me, and I believe we’ve all come from, that. Whatever that is, it seems to be the thing we can’t speak of, or name or categorize, and I LOVE that! All these ideas, are fun to me. I hope you feel the same, and feel as though you can engage in dialogues that are similar and good. The shedding of category and title has proved to be very life giving, freeing and good. It affects more mind and thought than it does action, yet anyway! We must first choose to change the ways we see things, to then change our cognition and behavior! Oh what a process! And all things, are apart of the process. You know what I’m sayin? I can’t be the only one. haha I know I’m not. Very grateful to those who come alongside, who choose to share some fire and ash. Another thing I could say I’m sure, is life from dust. Resurrection, if you will. We are, resurrected remains of a star after all. The food, that we eat was a live, and now serves us to live in its passing. Repeat. I don’t know, sounds like a big beautiful cycle to me.
Do feel encouraged friends. To do what you feel you need to, to say what you need to, and be what you need to. I would love to, and am always keen to chat, should we share some space sometime together soon. If not, may you connect to what gives you life, in all the ways that are good, and whole.
All my relations