the land’s workin’ me

i awoke this morning and got that today was a day of solitude. a day of carefully turning inward.

what a week. on Epiphany, an attempted coup by white nationalists + the rise of Black leadership in Georgia; volatility growing amidst increasing political divides + calm organizing amongst peace-makers and spiritual activists; meg returning to “school” + thomas claiming his own; my letting go of old ways of working + taking my seat fully as an independent contractor; moving forward with the land (now under signed contract!) that on one hand allows for more certainty, while on the other, revealing more uncertainty.

so, yes. a day of solitude.

turned to a new book a friend gifted me (thank you, Quanita), Sand Talk: How Indigenous Thinking Can Save the World by Tyson Yunkaporta.

perfect, divine timing.

it’s the sort of book that stirs you from the beginning–this is going to be a ride. there’s a play with the English language that is disorienting and invigorating, life seeping into the word-shells. like he refuses the word “we” (who is that anyway, he asks). instead, he uses what he calls the dual first-person “us-two”. come on!

i come to this juicy bit:

Any discussion of Indigenous Knowledge systems is always a polite acknowledgement of connection to the land rather than true engagement. It is always about the what and never about the how. I want to reverse that phenomenon. I want to use an Indigenous pattern-thinking process to critique contemporary systems and to impart an impression of the pattern of creation itself.

yesss! now i get what’s been working me.

as we move forward with the land, i’m feeling tension around the “how”. wanting clarity and wisdom, i’ve tried (for the first time in my life!) sourcing financial planning + investment + real estate advisors. the insight offered by such eurocentric, capitalistic forms of “expertise” has helped to reveal to me that i’m working from a different paradigm.

Yunkaporta helps me understand why: because i want to become indigenous.

he writes that “an Indigenous person is a member of a community retaining memories of life lived sustainably on a land base, as part of that land base.”

of course the current systems do not offer insight into the questions i’m asking now: how can we enter a mutual relationship with the land in way that honors and grows the relationship? how might i understand investment in the land in reciprocal terms? as a covenant with the land as opposed to a contract? like a marriage in which each party vows to offer what they have in a process of co-creation?

i am not interested–no, more than that!–i am repulsed by the positioning of the land as a commodity, a thing of productivity. i’m choosing relational over transactional. i am interested in creating balance in the human story of colonialism. the earth is waiting.

while i don’t have the answers to “how”, these questions will guide us.

3 thoughts on “the land’s workin’ me

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