Tag Archives: Revel

revel’s new sit spot, and who is your accountability partner?

Day 52

photo by wilson alvarez

photo by wilson alvarez

We went to story time this morning instead of going for our usual walk at the park. And then we did various things inside and then we took a family nap.  So by the time we woke up at 4, Revel ran straight to the door asking to go outside.

I figured I’d bundle us up and we would head to my new sit spot, at the edge of the neighborhood, at the edge of the cemetery, next to the monsanto corn, near the singing trees.

But at the entrance of the cemetery, Revel, cozy in his stroller, tiny mittens on his little hands, burst into tears. So I stopped and hugged and kissed him, and asked him a bunch of questions like, “do you want to get out?”, and “Do you want some milkies?” and “Are you cold?” and finally realized that he wanted to go to the park with the playground, where we usually go walking in the morning. That he was trying to say he was not in the mood to go with me to my spot.

And then I realized that Revel has his OWN spot, it’s the park where we go walking, and that’s where he wanted me to take him.

So that’s where we went.

Revel’s spot is all vanilla skies, sandy ballfields, and open meadows. It’s where the baby groundhogs play in the spring, and where the mullberries ripen first in early summer.

It has sky-high slides, and sandy baseball diamonds, perfect for tracking. We study the marks our stomping feet leave on the ground; look at the impressions the doggies make as they chase one another and wrestle in the dust.

We lay on our bellies and look at the ants, and when the weather was warm, we practiced catching crickets. The squirrels feast on the Black Walnuts and the acorns on the edge of the fields; we watch them eating and imitate the tsk, tsk, tsk of their chewing, I instruct Revel NOT TO PUT ACORNS IN YOUR MOUTH! and he laughs and runs away, arms swinging, curls blowing in the wind.

At Revel’s spot we dig in the dirt, and poke leaves with sticks, and listen to the calls of the blue jay. We watch the way the sparrows fly to their perches when the prowling cat comes through with its’ swishing tail, and marvel at the war cries of the crows mobbing the red tail hawk. And we point to every plane in the sky.

We don’t do much sitting, unless its time for milkies, and then we pause, his cool hand brushing my warm neck, snuggled together, all hats, and scarves, coats and mittens.

At Revel’s spot we run, we jump, we sing, we PLAY.

We connect to the land with light hearts, and happy spirits.

So now I have my new sit spot, at the edge of the neighborhood, at the edge of the cemetery, near the Monsanto corn, next to the singing trees.

And Revel has his new sit spot, with vanilla skies, and  sandy ballfields, and open meadows. It’s where the baby groundhogs play in the spring, and where the mullberries ripen first in early summer.

And Wil has his new sit spot, next to the creek where the coltsfoot grows, where the yellow leaves fall like so many piles of gold.

And they’re all near our house, within walking distance, so we can go to them frequently.

And when we come home from our separate adventures we share stories, and ask questions, and describe colors, and imitate sounds. Our hands flutter like birds’ wings, our talk is loud and excited. We listen to one another.

And with cheeks still pink from the cold we look in our field guides, and identify plants, and trees, and birds, and write about them in our notebooks. And we show Revel all the pictures so he can start to recognize the patterns; of the bark, of the feathers, of the deer tracks.

Revel and Wil are my accountability partners. They motivate me to see more, watch more, become more aware. So that even if it’s cold, or raining, even if I’m tired, or sad, or cranky, I want to go outside, find treasures to share with them, find stories I know they will delight in.

photo by Michelle J.

photo by Michelle J.

Identify your accountability partner or partners. Tell them they are important to you, ask them if they’ll embark on this magnificent journey with you.

And in this way our sit spots will not only allow us to connect to our landbase,

but to one another too.

And that’s how the culture of rebellion will continue to grow, and grow.

And, of course, we will continue to encourage, and inspire, and connect with one another through this project, through this blog, and through this amazing web.

Thank you for doing this with me.

and

Thank you for listening,

Love,

Natasha

photo by Michelle J.

photo by Michelle J.

spiders

Day 49

photo by wil

photo by wil

I’m having a hard time putting my thoughts together tonight. Not because I’m feeling particularly angry or agitated, or sad, or happy, but because I’m just filled to overflowing with thoughts and feelings and they’re all tangled up right now.

It’s like being all ready to knit a beautiful sweater, and searching for the end of your new ball of yarn.

So I’m going to start by talking about spiders, since they have a way with weaving, and hope my threads untangle as we go.

Ever since Revel was born, I’ve been seeing spiders.

Always near him. Crawling on his carseat, crawling on his coat, or over him in his sleep. At home, at the mall, at grandma’s house, at the park.

Jumping spiders with their peering eyes, the american house spider, quick to play dead when frightened, daddy long legs, and a number of other tiny ones I don’t know the names of.

Not like an insane amount of spiders, and not like a creepy amount of spiders, just, maybe, one a day. Enough that I keep saying to people , “Do you find spiders crawling on you everyday?” Just to see if it’s something that happens to everyone.

And for several days while I was pregnant, belly round with unborn son, a large-ish spider of a pinkish hew made the most intricate of webs on our screen door each evening, and, mysteriously, disappeared, web and all, each morning.

Indigenous cultures around the world know things about spiders. That they help hold the world together, can mend, and make, and build. That they can create whole worlds from nothing, cities from the finest silk.

I’ve read that spiders are protectors. Of our spaces, of our homes, of our earth. That to kill one is bad luck, must be avoided at all costs.

When I see them around Revel I let them walk on by, or suggest an alternate route, over my outstretched hand.

I find myself watching them on their webs, sure-footed on their worlds made of whisps.

And I see that my words are webs too, spun from nothing,

strung from a corner here, to an edge over there, trying to soften the sharp angles of our world,

These words are a winding around and a weaving together,

a reworking.

A reconnecting, a regenerating, a rebelling,

a rewilding.

photo by Michelle J.

photo by Michelle J.

Thank you spiders.

Thank you for listening,

Love,

Natasha

Tonight’s guest post is actually a re-print of an interview with Martin Prechtel by Derrick Jensen, originally published in The Sun magazine. Please read it if you can find the time. There is so much in it that is useful to us as we find our sit spots and begin/continue the work of reconnecting to the land. Thank you Derrick and Martin, for your work in the world and for this excellent interview.

an excerpt from the interview:

To be at home in a place, to live in a place well, we first have to understand where we are; we’ve got to look at our surroundings.

Second, we’ve got to know our own histories. Third, we’ve got to feed our ancestors’ ghosts, so that the ghosts aren’t eating us or the people around us.

Lastly, we’ve got to begin to grieve.

Now, grief doesn’t mean sitting around weeping every day. Rather, grief means using the gifts you’ve been given by the spirits to make beauty. Grief that’s not expressed this way becomes a kind of toxic waste inside a person’s body, and inside the culture as a whole, until it has to be put in containers and shipped someplace, the way they ship radioactive waste to New Mexico.

This locked-up grief has to be metabolized. As a culture and as individuals, we must begin feeling our grief — that delicious, fantastic, eloquent medicine. Then we can start giving spiritual gifts to the land we live on, which might someday grant our grandchildren permission to live there.

http://thesunmagazine.org/issues/304/saving_the_indigenous_soul

Change the blueprint

Day 42

photo by Wil

photo by Wil

 

patriarchy [ˈpeɪtrɪˌɑːkɪ]

n pl -chies

1. (Sociology) a form of social organization in which a male is the head of the family and descent, kinship, and title are traced through the male line
2. (Sociology) any society governed by such a system

Revel, Wil, and I were witness  to 2 acts of blatant homophopia and sexism before 11 o’clock this morning.

We were waiting for a table at our favorite diner. A man and his partner saw a family they knew as they were leaving the restaurant. One of the men came over and gave one of the guys waiting a big hug, and jokingly ended up sitting on his lap for a second.  Everyone laughed and chatted for a minute, and the man and his partner left.

“I work with him” the guy who had received the hug explained to his family. Then he said, “That was his boyfriend.” in a voice dripping with sarcasm. “I DID NOT enjoy that hug AT ALL, not AT ALL.” he said emphatically. And the rest of his family laughed and made snide remarks about what a start to his day, wow you can’t catch a break this morning etc., etc.

Blatant homophobia.

Then we went to Goodwill to hunt for second-hand treasures. I found a vest for Revel, and Wil found a pair of sweet shoes. Then Revel and I went over to the toy section to see if there was anything fun to play with.

Revel immediately picked up a baby doll, started hugging and kissing it and carrying it around the store.

We bumped into a nice woman who cooed over how cute Revel was, and then remarked in an offhand manner “Oh, I’m sure his Daddy just LOVES that he’s carrying that DOLL around.”

And I said, “Actually he does love him carrying this doll around.” and her face shut down and we went our separate ways.

Blatant sexism. With maybe a little homophobia mixed in. And all before 11 o’clock AM.

Just a little reminder that the patriarchy is alive and well.

When I talk about the patriarchy I am talking about our civilization at large, a culture of destruction that was born when we turned our backs on the landbase, and severed our ties with the creation-force that is mother earth.

The patriarchy was born when we stopped seeing the earth as alive, stopped seeing her awesome female-ness, and started seeing her in pieces, pieces to be parceled out to the highest bidder, in board feet, and crude oil, and water, packaged and sold for profit.

And because our relationship with the great mother is our blueprint for our relationships with ALL mothers, we forgot women were alive and started to see them as peices as well, parts to be sold to the highest bidder. As wives, as servants, as slaves, as breasts, lips, vaginas, and legs.

But the Patriarchy makes many others into commodities as well. Poor people, people who have beautiful brown skin, people who do not speak english, people who love someone of their own gender, people who do not identify with any gender. Handicapped people, sensitive people, people who refuse to follow the leader , and children are all thrown together in a clump to be used and abused and controlled.

And although the patriarchy is run by only a select few- the richest, and whitest, and most male, and most powerful among us- we have become so mixed up, and confused, and lost that we perpetuate the Patriarchy ourselves, with jokes, and biases, and bullying, and secret segregation.

And there’s so much fear, and hate just floating around.

And here I am, just trying to raise my precious son.

My beautiful boy who laughs in his sleep and cries when the game ends, who talks to trucks, and trees, AND people,

Who blows kisses to mailboxes, and hugs his friends, and snuggles his mama.

Who plays with cars, and babydolls, and sticks, and rocks.

Who admires the sequiny-sparkly girls shoes in stores, and wants to wear his cousin’s fireman costume to the playground.

Wil and I are his parents, he is of us, and lives with us, but he is not us.

He is Revel.

And Wil and I are responsible for keeping him safe, and loving him, and modeling empathy, and sympathy, and cooperation, and teaching him the things we know.

But the biggest challenge will be letting him be himself, helping him find his own way, allowing him to explore and experiment with the things that speak to him in this world.

And that’s why I want to topple this patriarchy and help people reconnect the land, to the great mother that is our earth.

People should be free to love who they love, to be who they are. If we repair our relationship with the planet, we can change the blueprint for ALL of our relationships.

We can put the pieces back together so we’re not just labor, or legs, or breasts, or crude oil, or board feet.

We can become whole again.

And I’m trying to promise myself that the next time I hear people laughing and making snide remarks about someone who is gay, or a woman, or native american, or poor, I’ll say something straight to their faces.

Because we need to take equality out of the realm of theory and into the streets.

Into our schools, and restaurants, and churches, and neighborhoods.

And it’s up to us to make that happen.

Thank you for listening,

Love,

Natasha

photo by Michell J.

photo by Michell J.

Thank you to my strong, and inspiring, and brilliant sister Cheryl A. for your bold and honest guest piece tonight. Here’s to breaking the chains!!!

CHARACTERS: Me, My Roaring Lion, Poor Unfortunate Peace

My reason for starting writing this is simple; I refuse to continue living as a self-destructive individual!!!

photo by cheryl

photo by cheryl

When I say self-destructive, I’m talking deep down at the core of my spirit, where in attendance is a component of my soul, so essential, I have become immortal without it. Regrettably, it has been silenced by the thunderous roars of the Lion’s character I have taken on in its place.

“Oh, peaceful part of my soul to which is imprisoned by fear, hush your anticipation of release, for it will not come to pass.”

In the darkest hours, when wolves have laid their weary heads to rest, glimpses of harmony dance subtlety through my dreams. As a short lived waltz wreaks havoc to my slumber, sweat distributes itself without discrimination, evidence of sorrows conquered by shame, result in wakeful trembles.

The entirety of me, all that I am and inspire to be, am not capable enough to detain the Lion for extinction. Truth be told; where there is no Lion, I am exposed and defenseless, fragile and susceptible to unfamiliar inhabitants.

Perspective!!! Simple yet appropriate, a declaration to me, myself, and poor unfortunate peace, proclaiming a promise to set in motion a battle so fierce, existence thereafter will without a doubt be advantageous. In the same breath, with the same eyes, and all the apprehension which encompasses them, I bid adu to the Almighty Lion….

“Dear old friend, you are no longer welcome to operate as a protector to me, for I am no longer in need of immeasurable barbed wire fences.”

Rather than suffer heartache I formed YOU for protection, but the truth of the matter is that you have caused ME more sorrow by way of others tears, than vulnerability would have been capable of.

I fed you, when my family was hungry, nurtured you while those who love me, cried out for reciprocation. I followed YOU into the darkest valleys, despite the deafening cries from the mountain of clarity.

“I say unto you with peace, rest now old friend you have served your purposed.”

I will be bound by the security blanket of chains no more!!! Perhaps I will set course toward the whisper of Poor Unfortunate Peace. I will do so by placing one foot in front of the other.

I am fearless by my determination, unyielding to fear. I am an undefined someone with a purpose bestowed upon me by that which is superior to Webster…

photo by cheryl

photo by cheryl