For Calling the Spirit Back from Wandering the Earth in Its Human Feet

We are living in difficult times. Some of the more recent have been especially brutalizing: the shooting death of a child, Palestine reduced to rubble, public violence from hate of others-Asian, black, Indigenous, Jewish peoples, out of control police violence, impotent political and economic systems and rapidly deepening environmental chaos.

With varying degrees of success, I’ve tried to live a Spirit led life. But lately my faith has been tested.

  • It makes no sense to consume fossil fuels to the extent that we poison our living spaces; air, land and water. And yet fossil fuel consumption continues to increase.
  • It makes no sense to allow corporations to profit from public land and water.
  • It makes no sense to fight endless wars on terror, when we act as terrorists, and increase the number of people joining the terrorist groups.
  • t makes no sense to distribute the weapons of war to domestic police forces. And for the epidemic of the use of deadly force, including the killing of unarmed people
  • It makes no sense to squander billions of dollars on the military and deny small fractions of that money to actually address the desperate needs of millions struggling for basic necessities.

Actions speak louder than words. It’s been more than a year now that I have been blessed to have found another community that embodies my own values. Des Moines Mutual Aid is a local implementation of the idea of Mutual Aid, which has been practiced for centuries in many places, globally. We work to address survival needs in the present. To give food to the hungry, shelter for the houseless, bail money for those arrested for agitating for justice and change. My Mutual Aid friends and the work they do, tirelessly, helps me maintain my faith.

Then, you must do this: help the next person find their way through the dark.

Joy Harjo Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings: Poems

I’ve been reflecting upon the image of the spirit wandering the Earth in its human feet. We need to call our Spirit back. “Call in a way that your spirit will want to return.”

For Calling the Spirit Back from Wandering the Earth in Its Human Feet (excerpts)

Do not hold regrets.

When you find your way to the circle, to the fire kept burning by the keepers of your soul, you will be welcomed.

You must clean yourself with cedar, sage, or other healing plant.

Cut the ties you have to failure and shame.

Let go the pain you are holding in your mind, your shoulders, your heart, all the way to your feet. Let go the pain of your ancestors to make way for those who are heading in our direction.

Ask for forgiveness.

Call upon the help of those who love you. These helpers take many forms: animal, element, bird, angel, saint, stone, or ancestor.

Call your spirit back. It may be caught in corners and creases of shame, judgment, and human abuse.

You must call in a way that your spirit will want to return. Speak to it as you would to a beloved child.

Welcome your spirit back from its wandering. It may return in pieces, in tatters. Gather them together. They will be happy to be found after being lost for so long.

Then, you must do this: help the next person find their way through the dark.

Harjo, Joy. Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings: Poems (pp. 5-6). W. W. Norton & Company. Kindle Edition.

Trinity United Methodist church is where we put together and distribute boxes of food for those who are hungry.

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