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The Dark Mists

Every morning I wake up with an inherited social status, class status, and gender identity, all of which are rigged with set values and imposed experiences that I never agreed to. Though I may wake the day with an inherent knowing in my body that life is beautiful, and that I am a blessed and divine being from which all of creation bursts forth, the modern reality of living a life as a female bodied, female identified person of poverty class quickly replaces this enchanting view of myself and the world in which I am embedded. As I settle into my body and begin the days’ work of making ends meet, these oppressive systems of class and gender are shoved down my throat, shadowing each moment, movement, and task which I set about.

By mid morning I feel myself begin to sputter and choke on the putrid stench and tang of patriarchy, class discrimination, social inequity, and gender oppression that I am forced to encounter every single day simply by way of having been born me. No matter how hard I try to stay grounded in that that early morning expansive space and place in which my heart flings itself open to the infinite possibilities of a new day, I descend into the darkest of places where hope and thoughts of possibility become liabilities; liabilities that make evident the disparities between my lived reality and a lived reality that would put me in right relationship with and in service of the divine.

My mother’s mythology sweeps through and seeps out of me, reminding me of my place. “You have no business…” I hear us say. No business in trying to become the human you know in your gut that you were meant to be, no business in dreaming of what may be possible, no business in believing in the goodness of people, no business in caring for others. These stories become convoluted with my father’s mythology, which insists that I am hopeless; that all is hopeless, that I am too broken, too poor, or too contemptible. Best thing to do at this point is give up.

Yet the yearning to become lingers on, and I simultaneously appreciate and disdain the audaciousness of hope. I become wallowed and suspended between the worlds of abundance and deprivation, and loose all remembrances of how to weave the worlds.

What I yearn for is to be warmed by hearth fires, loved by kin, dance to the musical makings of friends, tell the stories of myths of old, co-create with the goddesses, follow the rhythmic turning of the wheel, make ceremony with the moon and stars, and be honored as the life giving, hearth dwelling creature that I am. But how painful it is to remember that I am a member of a conquered peoples living in a conquered society, my life subject to a social order that came into being through a cultural cleansing that erased the cultural reverence we held for the hearth, and forced my ancestors of path and blood to become the agents of oppression themselves.

I weep for the ancestors that were subjugated into submission, assimilation, and perpetual degradation. I grieve for my mother and father who never made the connections between their own impoverished existence and the structural violence under which they lived. I brim with sorrow for the descendants who will never be nourished or nurtured by the hearth fires. And in this grief, I praise the fact that I somehow am allowed the right to understand and grieve these things at all.

Northern America
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