“Still, no one guessed what the fish had mumbled…” –The Warlike Seven
I was told I couldn’t be an elder. That, by a darker skinned who wasn’t even part of my tribe. I reject that with prejudice. I fucking belong. Repeat after me. “I belong.” On this mountain top, in this pool of slimy water, among these peeps,… yep, wash, rinse repeat. Then get to the business of paying it forward, passing it on. Seven on seven. You mad bro? You a wiley witch? A meekish monk? Stand up, brush yourself off, you’re only as broke as the world around you. Welcome to connectedness …
People live on the curve. But it’s the area under the curve that gets ya. Take a few classes in calculus. Follow it up with some applied stuff. You’ll see. In hydraulics, it’s all that water coming at you, in a time frame that doesn’t seem to stop. In electrical, it’s the massed voltage that doesn’t stop. A disconnected capacitor can kill you. In crossfit, it’s the work capacity, not the strength, you’re concerned with. In finance, interest over time, baby.
Time measures us (not the other way around). That’s why we need to derive and integrate, the two corner stones of calc. That’s why, in a social or spiritual context – those corners we need to get around- we may need to back into things, slip into them sideways. But backing into something, or glimpsing it peripherally, isn’t just free form thinking. Think of integration as sensing down.
It’s why elders were supposed to look backward (and forward) seven generations. Those were the patterns we were supposed to recognize. But people live on the curve. It’s hard enough (and definitely think of this in terms of personal life, social justice, and environment)… it’s hard enough to get a sense for where we are, and where we’re going. Understanding the area around us, the area under the curve becomes about limits, constraints. It’s about huge consequences that are not in our view. We see the line, it’s what’s around the line that affects us.
When we try to appreciate, and experience, other’s spiritual truths there’s some doors, some dark corners. In terms of cultural appropriation, we’re surrounded by a world of gods and cultural mores. Direction wise, what we want is a web of connectedness, a interfaith highway system that ties us all together and allows our personal spiritual paths the freedom they need to establish personal authority. Each of us has our own relationship with mystery. This last part is so cornerstone that it’s hard to say how many have died just to simply hold onto it. It’s part of being human. And being human brings so much.
When you’re privileged enough to read, you can step into an entire new world, worlds even, that will literally change your life. There’s a point of eye opening there. Someone had to establish that for you, you didn’t create language, or writing. If you’re privileged enough to have a state or national park near you with mountains that you can climb, you reap so much of the wonder of just simply being outside;and this, so amazing that few can provide the words (I know I can’t). Someone else established that too. We stand on the shoulders of not just giants, but everyone. Those who came before need to be honored. Being first is an honor, whether by luck or hard work; what, and who, came first need to be honored. Coming upon, and often enjoying, wonderful things is a privilege.
I say all this because I believe it’s critical to see privilege in a way that doesn’t harden our understanding. It isn’t, initially, about being over someone. Not in it’s natural state. I say it because it helps get at that area under the curve. See, the limits we’re working with are what was here when I got here (our best sense of first), and our gratitude (Do you know how privileged you are?) So, honor and privilege.
Living life to play trumps guilting to establish a predefined change every time. The tricksters know this.
It’s what’s around the corner.
We need a way to get from here to there. We need an integration to get at the area under that curve, a way to recognize the patterns that will help us see, then move from one to the other. This to help us enjoy our own mysteries, as first and second, and to help us stay doing this together. We need a practice, we need a ritual …
Soon: Making Relatives, or How Orion ended up up there.