35. Spiritual Ancestry

White Buffalo Calf Woman came to the People, and taught them as Jesus did. She taught the mystical, the spiritual, and the practical. And she left an assignment to continue her legacy.

Anytime I talk about religion, I feel compelled to mention that I do not have “one”.  

Oxymoron: a figure of speech where apparently contradictory terms appear in conjunction.  Am I devoutly nonreligious? That causes confusion.  The devout part is definitely true when standing alone.  I am not devout in being nonreligious, I am non religiously devout.

In the last couple of years, I have had the honor of stepping into the lineage of the Cherokee ancestors.  As I have studied and learned and cried with deep humiliation for my part in white ancestry. I have also embraced my connection to the same Great Spirit that has always been my God.  And with that has also been a grounding to this existence, being on this planet, a part of the intertwining of all life.

A Cherokee who lives in the Pacific Northwest, White Horse Woman, sought to teach her children and grandchildren the path of their elders, but they showed little interest in the ways of the medicine woman. Starfeather appeared, willing, excited, and ready to absorb a Truth that already ran through her veins.  

The ancestry evolves like this:  White Buffalo Calf Woman came to the People, and taught them as Jesus did.  She taught the mystical, the spiritual, and the practical.  And she left an assignment to continue her legacy.  Children, grandchildren, great grandchildren continued the practices and passed the teachings.  White Horse Woman is still living, but is close to transitioning from the planet.  Starfeather is her spiritual child.  And, in effect, I am White Horse Woman’s grandchild.  Anyone who learns a “native principle or teaching” from me, if we sat somewhere as I told the story of the dreamcatcher and we wove the threads on the cedar ring, that classifies you as White Horse Woman’s spiritual Great Grandchild.

“Sacred Buffalo” by Gretchen Del Rio, original watercolor, 2013

It’s a construct.  I made it up.  But I think it honors the tradition.  It honors the legacy of White Horse Woman.  It connects the ancestry; it connects the cultures.  There is a gift that is begging to be received. 

21. Terminal

We are all on the track.  Some have been running a long time and are nearer the end than I.  But the difference is that I KNOW I am in the race.

pexels-photo-2402777Who knows what?  That is becoming an issue.  As more diagnoses have evolved, as more people have a baseline, it gets harder to remember what information has been passed.  It is certainly not self evident what interpretations transferred into each person’s view.  And there are pods of folks who don’t know, and that I cannot conceive of the right way to express the information.  Ironic.  Work knows.  Friends don’t know.

Today Starfeather commented that I used the word “terminal” for the first time in her knowledge.  Inoperable and terminal are synonymous in my mind.  I also speak a lot about the chemotherapy goal, which is to shrink the colon cancer but not remove it.  Colon cancer in the lymph system tells a tale of sending radical cells to new and creative areas of the body.  Terminal.

We all die.  Humanly, there will be a perceived cause of death.  

My mind rocks back and forth between “I’m living a glorious day” and “remember the impermanence of this moment’s situation”.  Inevitability.  

I feel no sadness.  I feel an inexplainable race against time.  “Leave right.”  Pack the baby gifts for Rosanna and Indrayani.  Write notes of appreciation to all of you.  Say what needs to be said, do what needs to be done.  Prepare stuff.  Finish stuff.  Enjoy the journey, enjoy the journey, enjoy the journey.  Feel the breeze.  Laugh.

We are all on the track.  Some have been running a long time and are nearer the end than I.  But the difference is that I KNOW I am in the race.