To mourn or not to mourn…

The full moon is but hours away.
The Beaver Full Moon of November to many.
To the Swinomish this is the Moon of the Falling Leaves.

img_0575-1Tacoma Moon

As an activist writing and fighting can be disheartening.

There are many moments where my soul’s health balances on a very thin line, with hope abounding on one side and desperation on the other. A desperation so miserable it feels like a death walk in the desert or a hope so vibrant it is reminiscent of an early spring sunrise.

Am I doing enough? Are my words being helpful or setting a wildfire that I won’t be able to control? How much more should I be doing? Should I wait to write the words that wake me from a dead sleep in the middle of the night? How long? (I rarely wait more than a day to publish)

I am learning that this work must be done with a high degree of trust. And integrity. And rarely does integrity come from my ego. It’s these principles that create anxiety in me. If I write from my ego, how many will ignore the message? If I write from my heart, how many will hear the message? Will it be enough to help start a cascade of human kindness?

It’s not that my words are more powerful than the words of others. I sincerely always hope that my words can be like the correctly numbered sequence of a combination lock, with each word being the cam that ultimately unlocks the innate humanity breathing in the hearts of those who hear. But there is an art to letting go of enough of my ego to know that I’m only ONE voice; knowing that words often go the way that seeds go in the fall.

Maybe they will be picked up by a bird and carried to a different location. Maybe the seeds will languish in the fecund earth, under cover of fallen leaves, waiting for the arrival of the first full moon of spring.

It is when the words appear to have fallen onto fallow soil that my anxiety is most intense. This is when I start to wonder if I shouldn’t just get on with the mourning and let my soul and body bid farewell to the world as we know it. Maybe quit trying so hard to save it, and instead give myself space to just be, to zone out. There is an appeal, a delicious temptation to do that.

We are moving into a season of darkness. Maybe that will be healing in and of itself. But don’t be surprised if I put out a call for a community mourning, a wake for the Salmon and Orca and other relatives we are losing rapidly. We may need to do this together in order to change the tides.

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Twylia (the 'i' is silent)

~ I am Anishinaabe-kwe with Scottish heritage and Sami DNA. I speak on the behalf of no one but myself. My ancestors inform and guide me. My voice is but one of many who are calling for change. We have much work to do to create a good space for the real human beings who are waiting to be born.

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