adventures of a fearless (mostly) globe trotting seeker...
wondering, wandering, barefoot, nomadess

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

what is coming, we cannot know...

tuesday, july 7
pine ridge reservation, south dakota

greetings from the prairie
pine ridge reservation in south dakota,
the poorest county in the united states
i find myself here again after another year
another sundance
i am here to support the sundancers
and give wopila (thanks) to the spirits for answered prayers
the sundancers fast and pray for four days to purify,
to connect to the spirit world
they give flesh offerings and pierce themselves to the sacred tree

in the ceremony, my mind slows down
and the thoughts almost disappear
this is an ancient way
i feel it in my bones, a blueprint of humanity, of history
the blueprint of the story of christ dying on the cross for our sins

last year i came for the first time with my prayers for my family
looking to set my burden down
to release the pain that has plagued me like a demon
keeping me up at night,
a feeling of peering over an abyss into intense darkness

what plagues the human soul?
what causes us to harm each other?
in my life, there have been hard lessons
and i have spent my life unravelling them
making peace
with the world
with myself
with my relations
i am not completely there, i have more peace to make
but i will tell you
it is much better than before

still, the road is sometimes lonely
and fear gnaws at my heart
a feeling of cold
or a wind blowing down a corridor
where perhaps i long for fullness
and so i do what i can in those moments
i learn to love the emptiness
i face myself
my human yearning
i have compassion for myself

yesterday i saw a man hang from a tree
like jesus
for the prayers of his people
here we are in ceremony and it is like living the story of christ i grew up reading in the bible
here are the passions
i cried and then there was peace
and then there was laughter
and then there was life

i swear, he turned his head to the heavens to pray to the creator before he was lifted
just like jesus
who spoke to god his father and asked,
if it is possible, remove this yolk from me
and if not i will accept and serve

jesus also had a moment of passion, where he cried out,
"my god, my god, why have you foresaken me?"

i have cried to the heavens like that before

the medicine man said yesterday,
it takes a long time to know who you are
it made me think
all this enlightenment business,
is also called gnosis by the mystic christians...
gnosis is "to know"
one who knows themselves is liberated

it seems this path of knowing myself
needs the seasonings of human weathering
through the seasons of the heart
the trials of the soul
to bring the breaking of my heart

now that i am standing in ceremony again
i can tell you this friends, we live too far from the earth
we live too far from ceremony
there is a medicine in my heart
for women like me

i do not know the next steps
so much has already slipped out from beneath my feet
i am here to pray for guidance
to surrender, to accept
to have compassion and forgiveness
for the human frailty and weakness
of myself and my relations
take pity on me

teach me to cherish my suffering as i cherish my joy
to accept all as the same, from one source
to put down my fighting for life to be fair
a concept of my mind which does not serve me

here they say
as high as the sunflowers are in summer,
the same will be the height of the snowdrifts that will come with winter
as you cherish your joy, cherish your suffering also
joy and pain are the right and left hands of opening the heart

help me to accept and serve
to see the love and beauty
in everything