Friday, February 12, 2016

Being Brought Back



I talked with an Uncle today and it was good. He understands more than most about the feeling of being called and drawn by heritage. The longing for the people, the tribe, the songs, the fires, the ceremonies, the land... the "home."

But I couldn't share it easily. I was shy or afraid. After we hung up, my heart started to explode and I nearly wept.

I ache.
I long to know them.
I long to be near them.
I long to be with them.
I long for ceremony.
I long to learn to dance.
I long to catch up for
all that I have missed.

****

It's been three weeks since I wrote the above. I started writing but then caught some stomach bug and was out of commission for the next week, and... have been afraid to continue writing because I've had fears of facing things.

The ancestry search has stalled. Things weren't looking good, and I've been waiting to hear back from someone. A lot of fears have crept back, and... you probably get the idea.

I've considered taking this blog offline for a little bit until I find better proof or certainty in either direction. Part of this is because I have heard a lot of Natives upset about people appropriating Native identity, and I can sympathize with that. Facing as many issues as Indian Country does, having people loudly claiming to be Natives out of the blue with a great-grandmother story that doesn't check out... it's not cool at all.

So I've been praying. I don't want to be afraid of having been wrong. I want to accept and embrace the truth. And most of all I don't want to offend anyone.

Praying about this, I'm leaving the blog up for now. I hear not to be afraid. So I will try to trust that and not walk with fear.

All I have to go on now is a prayer and spiritual experiences that were deep to me, and were not things I was asking for or looking for. I have to be honest about this. I wish these things could count for more, but I know people logically require more than that. Heck, so do I, or I wouldn't be as bothered as I am by the lack of evidence thus far.

At the same time, I can't discount them. A couple Uncles have been encouraging through all of this, and the one I spoke with above felt it was particularly important that I had felt the calling of my ancestors. He told me last September:
Realize the ideal Indian is a product of the colonial imagination... that especially goes for the Federal recognition identity. If your ancestors are calling you, there is nothing more that needs to be proven. It does not change our relationship with them, the earth, our stories, our ceremonies, etc. Same Creator still speaks in the same ways. Dreams from the plants and animals still visit us. Creator Jesus speaks through everything and sometimes nothing. The point is just to accept it and live with a good heart, teach your children in the good ways and be of service to your community, whether Indian or not. Being Cherokee is being and doing but never fearing what another says about you. Nothing to prove, just something to live... but I realize, hard to learn from Japan...
So I'm thankful for that. And I'll take up the search again, which I've set aside partially from fears but also from having other things going on in life since last spring.

A couple of days ago the Spirit gave me a new picture about this... showing that He brought me here, and now after being "away" for awhile He's brought me back here to this place that I've found such connection with. It's a nighttime picture, and I think that reflects how things are hard to see clearly in my heritage now. But even though hard to see, it has been moving and breathtaking for me.

****

"Brought Back" (2/12/2016)

As I have come
to know my Creator more
I have been brought here
to these mountains
and a longing for them
that He set in my heart

Like on a dark night
I can't see clearly why
But though they're partially
enshrouded by smoke and mist
I am stirred to my very core
and I long to be here

Mysterious and majestic
Haunting my day and my night
Pervading my deep longings
Hiding beneath their clouds
roots of many desires for which
I had sought fulfillment elsewhere

When I didn't understand
I tried to forget their call
But Creator brought me back
So I will look on them again
I will pray and wait to see
the roots of the mountains

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