A love letter to this space of land we bought three years ago & we now call home:
For a long while I wanted to control & manicure you into something that others would find pleasing.
For a long while I looked at you from a place of assuming what was best for you, cleaning you up without consideration of why your ivy grew so wild & your grass wouldn’t grow so green.
Without a second thought I swept into action but maneuvered from contraction; questioning & doubting you & dominating you.
And you covered me in urushiol & contraction right back. And I deserved that.
I’ve been treating you like my ancestors & amnesia-ridden white bodies have treated every person or thing in their path that brought discomfort.
Save it. Fix it. Wipe it out.
My relationship with your wooded womb was no different from my relationship to the perfectionism & saviorism of whiteness. All this time I didn’t take one moment to thank you for offering yourself up to a relationship. This land that was never mine to ever rightfully own. Your birdsongs at daybreak. The moss on your fallen branches. Sweetest sherbet sunsets kissing your maple crowns. The life you give with the oxygen you offer.
You are a teacher of patience, curiosity, & stories. You never hurry, yet everything gets accomplished. I’m here for you & with you & I’m listening. xo, Kat
I am writing this on the land of the Council of the Three Fires – the Ojibwe, the Odawa, & the Potawatomi. These indigenous nations of the Great Lakes region are also known as the Anishinaabe, or original people (Kalamazoo).
I’ve been diving deeply into embodied social change & the messages I’ve been conditioned to uphold as truth. I’ve been sitting with (sometimes spiraling with) all the ways my body holds stories that keep me constricted & often complacent. I’m noticing an attitude of interrogating my body instead of holding my body. Accepting defeat instead of reimagining. Looking outward for a quick fix instead of feeling the rhythm of my own heart.
What do my actions & my habits uphold? Do they uphold defeatist notions of powerlessness & disconnection? How I show up to my present moment experience either reinforces or interrupts larger systems of dominance & harm. Systems that want me to feel defeated & disconnected. What would it look like to hold myself from a place of curiosity, patience & reimagining?
For a long time I thought the yogic practice of pratipaksha bhavana (cultivating the opposite) was a way of bypassing situations that needed my attention. I thought it was the whole “I like the light, but not the heat” of spirituality. But it’s not a teaching of distraction or diluting. Lately it has been a vital practice for helping me when I feel stuck. A practice of creating new neural pathways that support a robust nervous system & a capacity to embody possibility in order to reimagine a better world.
What story are you tangled up in right now? What do you know to be true?