I’m going to reclaim fucking everything.
Going to bring up everything that meant anything.
Digging in the dirt.
Lakota, Celt, Saxon, Christian, Jew, oh, the books, zen, Buddhism,… My spirit, my gods, my eyes.
Football, hunting, weeding and planting, martial arts, D&D, playing mindless computer games, books,
The first dance, the first kiss, the first song.
Nothing gets glossed over by the current, the powerful.
I’m going to reclaim the earth – First water, then more- by taking science and passion and building a wall between destruction and the web of grounded life.
That’s reclaiming to me: getting, and keeping, what was lost;
Honoring those parts that lift us up; checking the hurtful.
Where the anger comes up. Yeah, it does.
From somewhere near those “before” gods. From any gods that gave me this lonesome life,
Even if they’re only in me.
The demand has to be “what? Why?” and not just me, but all those hurt and abandoned.
If I can’t be that honest with the gods, I’ve only given in.
A medicine man asked me if I knew my mom was a tribal judge.
Yeah, I knew. And I knew I belonged. No matter the voices that tried to push me out.
And I knew my other grandmother was a red headed Irish women, a Kelly. And others, Scott, English, they go. My blood’s code. Yet, cast out, I go where I want.
This is what I call reclaiming. There’s a lot of legacy and history out there to the reclaiming movement, but I’m not going to refer here. I’m just going to say it, then reconcile later. I believe we need to reclaim the old spiritual paths in order to find the gods, or goddesses. I believe the latest religions, especially the religions of the book, are just viral memes, that, while while holding all kinds of truth, are just the latest. I believe the job is to learn enough of them to help us with the here and now, with our gods. And I believe we are always with our gods. Not someone else’s.
If I broke my ancestral creds down like people, I could say some are family, some are friends, some are lovers. I would say this from the standpoint of how they affect me, not with any judgment of comparative value.
For the work I have to do, these are the badges that will allow me to talk with tradition.
I recently read a rant by someone who didn’t like their history, ritual, or symbols used inaccurately by others. And, make no mistake, it was a rant. Hit me like that. Kind of “it’s mine!” reaction.
If I was the culprit, I could see myself apologizing. Maybe apologizing if my acts were portrayed in any way as being that person’s ways, that authentic thing. But if not, if I was just painting my face (and I think that’s what it was) because I thought it looked cool. Even if I wanted to use it in my own ritual. If that was my intent, I would never apologize.
When I was young I had horses. They taught me so much. I don’t believe there is much comparison to the type of bond that can be experienced between horse and human. I appreciate the care that needs to be established for their welfare, the offering of their bodies. I was with them, and I was human. In so much of my Lakota heritage, horses rule. We are there together.
But horses are not indigenous in the Americas. I’m not saying this out of some oversized gratitude towards white or western culture. I’m saying this out of a gratitude towards my indigenous ancestors. You see. Here’s an important part of our Lakota heritage. We take what we need.
There was no honoring of Europe for the horse. In fact, stealing horses was a skill very much appreciated. Steal a horse, take coup, steal a wife. Ownership is such a construct. Maybe why I like trickster gods. These aren’t things uncommon in my heritage from that side. But neither are caring for children and elders, or love, responsibility, or spirit.
I wonder if an unquestioned guarding against appropriation is a colonial reaction, a side of guilt. And I am saying, just the unquestioned part, the policing against walking down those paths, needs to be done carefully. All our gods are only ours. Call them what you want. Those bonds are for no human to judge.
The tribes are putting themselves together They’re beginning to resurface in the world’s mix of culture. They need all the support and respect we can bring to do that, to honor their sovereignty. Culturally, that’s important. We need to help draw those lines. But I won’t throw my lot in with selfish gods.
See, there’s another part of Sioux heritage. It goes like this: We are all related.