If like me you’re feeling pretty wintry and less outwardly festive in this new year, may I recommend a good documentary for these dark days? I recently watched “Ken Burns: The West,” and WOW ~ heartbreaking and beautiful and intense! …to learn this land’s history, my own peoples’ history, the so very Recent history of genocide on this land…

.

Below are a few musings it stirred in me around topics of homesteading, repair, and holy grief…

. . . . . . .

Oh holy world, oh horrible history! If only I could think about my lone little human path, but the more I learn, the more I think of YOU and all the terror we have wracked upon you…

.

Before watching this documentary I had simple thoughts in mind: how can I homestead, I thought, how can I live a good, earthy, simple life? But when I see the impact the wave of homesteaders brought to the native people on this continent, I am not so certain. For along with perhaps innocent homesteaders came so much bloodshed and colonization. For the culture they came with was already indoctrinated into what some native peoples would call “Wetiko,” a greed-filled voracity to devour all life for one’s own benefit. So here we came, unwittingly indoctrinated, imposing our culture and raping the land bare with utter disregard for living ecosystems or living peoples.

.

Perhaps there is a goodhearted and sustainable way to homestead that doesn’t destroy everything that surrounds it, that can still allow a place for predators and migratory animals & people, and maybe I will touch upon aspects of it in this lifetime. But I also understand more deeply how much grief and disconnect is buried under these modern cravings to return to the “old ways.” Which old ways? The ways of our conquering people? The ways of the indigenous tribes of this land? Or the ways of our own indigenous ancestors, however far back, who did perhaps live in reciprocal everyday (and honorful?) relationship with their land? But that land is not here and now, and the bones of our ancestors are not here. Instead we walk upon the bones of native peoples and buffalo, and the genocide of both. This is a holy grief to carry, and it asks me to think less about MY desires and instead about what I can offer to appease and heal this holy pain.

.

How can I help repair the relationship between my culture and the many decimated and marginalized peoples here and across the planet? And how can I be a part of rehabilitating this land that has been rent desolate with unregulated mining & extraction, left barren with overgrazing upon delicate meadows and grasslands, scraped bare by logging of old growth forests (entire complex ecosystems), plowed under and paved for the creation of cities, and essentially parceled off to isolated, disconnected people who don’t know (or remember) how to work with ecosystems as a living whole?

.

For that is the land we live in, we here in America. Even in the Central and South, how many peoples are caring for the delicate balance of things, living in harmony and helping further the health & restoration of the land? The Kogi in Colombia, it seems they are. The Nez Perce and other northwestern native people have retained some deep knowledge and have been instrumental in bringing back salmon from the brink. I’m sure there are more… But there is SO MUCH to be done. And to do so means acknowledging real history and the deep, wild grief it carries.

.

And here’s the tricky part: most [westernized] people are not on board. Most people are indeed primarily clueless, if not completely taken over by “Wetiko” (that cannibalistic greed and desire to devour all life for its own glory and pleasure ~ isn’t that what we’re trained for?). We’ve been brainwashed for centuries, we’ve forgotten even our recent history, and our heavy-handedness bears more weight than ever as our modern technological world takes more resources and leaves more impact than ever.

.

So I feel this weight, this burden, this heavy question of: what is even possible?

.

But in asking these questions, I can no longer turn away. With open eyes, I have a responsibility to act, to become a part of the reparations.

.

Of course I fear: will I burn out before I even see any change? Or will I be able to diligently and lovingly plug away at healing this world? For my heart is tender and scared ~ so in love with the beauty of life, but already so traumatized with the wounding I too have experienced as a wild creature tamed…

.

And how DO we begin to change the hearts of the people??? This question is paramount. Because I don’t think a small handful of folks can do the work, especially since the Wetiko world will seek to simply turn and turn and overturn any small good that has been done, to devour it once more into the maws of capitalism, exploitation, and human-centric aims. (just like Tr*mp pulling us out of the hard-won Paris agreement, for example…)

.

How do we begin to heal? For real?! And how do we share and spread this healing?

.

These are the questions consuming me these days, as I write these words to the sound of a lone owl hooting in the winter night….

.

“Ken Burns: The West” on Netflix

https://www.netflix.com/title/70210484?s=i&trkid=14170286

Translate »

Forgive us!

Sooo sorry about the popup, but we're guessing you're here because you have some interest in our music, and we'd love to be able to keep in touch about it!

We 
promise, NO SP#M! We only send concert announcements that are relevant to your region, and occasionally send news about projects or musings on life that I think would be of value. We'd be so happy if you'd join us in this beautiful, wild adventure!

You have Successfully Subscribed!