Monday, February 9, 2015

"The Weight of Civilization"



When I was a child
I grew up amidst buildings
Great structures
Monuments
Columns and marble
Red brick and white siding
The architecture
of the Colonies

For me it evoked
a nostalgia
A beauty
A pride
in the history
of the nation
And a belief
in our greatness

But when I returned
with the awoken heritage
of a Native soul
My eyes saw different

I saw the beauty of trees
growing in tight places
trapped and confined
struggling for freedom

I saw little pieces of land
between highways
cut off from other life
from brothers and sisters

It seemed almost
as if the land was dead

In the past I thought
our little patches of nature
were beautiful
accents
flourishes
and I still see their beauty
but now I could also see
the mourning of the land

Suddenly
the nostalgia
the celebration
of the country
its colonial "roots"
and the whole civilization
became like
a fa├žade

I felt like I could enjoy
that nostalgia
if I tried
but underneath
there was
a hollowness
and an ache
which I couldn't forget

The land was mourning
underneath the weight
and I just couldn't
forget its captivity
I couldn't marvel
at the beauty of the land
as I once did
because I felt its tears

I mourn for you
O land of my birth!
I see the fences
trapping you
I see the buildings
squeezing you
I see the weight
of "civilization" on you

And I pray for your freedom.

****

About the picture, "Captivity"

I made this picture while visiting Maryland (where I grew up) in 2013, just a couple weeks after my heritage had been awoken. It was the first time I had been back there in five years, and something took me by surprise. I knew the east coast has a lot of beautiful nature and nostalgic colonial architecture, this was the first time I had laid eyes upon the land since God had opened my eyes and understanding to many things.

I saw the beauty of the architecture and history and other nostalgia (which I grew up with) but then I would see the nature, the trees, the little piece of land left between buildings and highways... and it seemed almost like the land was dead. I can't really describe it. In the past I thought it was beautiful, and I still do, but this time it was like I could see the land mourning and waiting.

Suddenly the nostalgia and celebration of the country, the colonial "roots" and the whole civilization became like a facade... I felt like I could enjoy that nostalgia if I tried, but underneath there was this hollowness or ache, and I couldn't forget it. It was like the land mourned underneath and I just couldn't forget it. I couldn't marvel at the beauty of the land because I felt its tears.

But I also felt it waiting...

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