Monday, February 24, 2014

Separated



Sometimes I feel like there's a wall between me and my heritage. It is like I have come a long way, and I'm in the area so close, and then I reach a wall that won't let me any closer.

I wrote before that I don't know how my Cherokee ancestor(s) became separated from the Cherokee community, and Creator showed me that it was traumatic to their soul(s). They missed their people, and that ache for being with the people passed down through the generations to me.

This picture above came on top of prayers about that feeling of separation my passed down to me. I praise God and say wado that reunion is beginning in my life, but I long to be with the people and I long to know how and why my ancestor became separated from them. Part of the "wall" now is simply because I'm so far away, on another continent across the ocean, and then another part of it is just the difficulty of doing the ancestry research and finding out more concrete answers.

Sometimes when I read the things written by Natives who were taken from their families and adopted out to non-Native families, the ache inside is brought to the surface, and though they have experienced trauma so much greater and more immediate, somehow I feel akin to them. "Split feathers" or "lost birds" they are called.
He spent years trying to find a place in his new life, but always “felt like a stranger.” He says he had to abandon his culture, traditions and way of life. “We never talked about where I came from. I lost a lot of my own tribal language … a lot of the ceremonies. All of it gone.” (link)
When I look at how far back my ancestors are in my history (in my "blood"), sometimes I feel like I don't have a right to feel these things or identify with them. But then Creator comes and comforts me, reminding me that I wasn't looking for these things or trying to claim them. It was Him that awoke them in me, not myself searching for them or inventing them. (Wado!)

Also, the words of many elders and relations about "blood quantum" bring me great comfort:
"Culture resides within and is present regardless of environment, and regardless of the eurocentric ability to measure blood quantum. Removing a child from culture, from family contact is as if a limb had been taken and you still feel it inside you..." (link)
And so I think also of the Ephesians 2 passage about how Christ has torn down dividing walls and brought near those who were far away. Paul wrote that about Christ reconciling us with God, from whom we were estranged, and about the reconciliation of Jews and Gentiles. But I sense it's also true of many, many others—true of *us* and of each other. He reconciles those who torn and sundered.

Wado!

1 comment:

  1. Interestingly, I've just noticed that the "Native adoption" theme tends to cross paths with my heritage awakening several times. Firstly, the song "Welcome Home" (which He used to awaken me) was written for "lost birds" and "split feathers" who had reconnected to their people after having been adopted away. Then I followed the heartbreaking saga of Veronica Brown as she was adopted out of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma to a white couple in South Carolina, returned to her father, and then taken away again. Then in a previous post I posted a picture that I had painted, where I first began to relate to some of the disconnection with their people that adoptees felt.

    I asked Him what this means... what are You saying, Yowah?

    He's telling me that feeling disconnected, orphaned, culturally separated and lost is NOT unique to adoptees! It is part of the heritage of the immigrant peoples of the United States, because they were separated from their home cultures (in Europe and Africa).

    There are a lot of cultural "orphans" in the United States, and many of us are "coming home"... He is reconciling cultures and peoples to each other, and is bringing "home" many who were wandering in the wilderness!

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