November 17, 2017

Hungering for Sovereign Ways

The blood of my womb has been poured as an offering upon the earth of this country for decades of moon cycles. The birthing blood of three children has been given back to this land that I love, the placentas of my babies buried in the soil of Her body, this land that has held me in its boughs as a wee one, that has fed me with Her love all the days of my living life and before as I walked upon the Earth as an egg in the womb of my mother's body inside my Grandmother's womb. The coming of the people with whom I share skin to this land was a brutal violation, a violent desecration, a travesty of sorrow and cold blooded cruelty, theft, rape, torture, slavery, murder, massacre. There are no words for what was done, and continues to be done in the name of this imperative of domination and impotence, no words for what has been taken and damaged, for what that means for the First Nations people and for the dreaming of this land, what it means for the granddaughters and grandsons of those whose hands the atrocities moved through.
For generations my people have dwelt here, and yet I hear the excruciating heart call, the hireath for my homelands that call to me, and that grieve for those that left and were lost in that tide of colony. For my people had already lost so much before they came to these shores, already they had been broken, their own roots torn from their old ways, their belonging severed with violence and persecution, torture and desecration of woman  from her land, from her wisdom ways, from her herblore and her dreaming, from her ancient ways of being. Stolen was the language and the stories and the ways of belonging. The ancestors of my lineage hung in metal cages from castle walls for long cold years on end in the harsh seasons of Scotland, as punishment for their gender and their belonging to a line that crowned the kings of that land. My people were burnt at the stake for their knowing of the old ways and many learnt to betray in order that their blood line may survive, perhaps with a prayer that what was true was written in the blood and could perhaps be read again, reached back to, through the trauma of our loss, through the indecipherable language of our adaptation to brutality. 
Perhaps what it is that my heart hungers for so acutely was lost long before my people left to come here, but my heart still calls to that other land, where the bones of the ones who belonged sing to me of remembrance and hungering for the time before the madness, when it was not a crime to belong to your country, to belong to the Earth. Perhaps the time has come for us each to sink our roots through the agony of ages, the bedrock of shame and desecration, through the hunger and the exile, to find a way to belong again to the song of the Earth that keens beneath our feet, to remember how she fed us before we covered our souls with protection and normalised her rape and degradation, before we delineated ourselves from each other so divisively, as we had been raped and degraded and divided for so long. We have long forgotten what it was to live in pure integrity with our homeland. The pain stretches back so far, so many brutalized bones in the earth, so much haunted ash. But the bones and the blood of those who knew of another way, a more fierce and gentle way of belonging to the land sing still beneath them, back through the ages, across the great wheel of time. Perhaps we just need to listen more deeply, beyond our own trauma, through the layers of history, to Herstory and Her vast invitation to come home, wherever we have landed on Her beautiful body, to come home to Her.
My womb is full of blood and hunger for sovereign ways, it is full of stories of my bloodline and the times before the dislocation and the severance. I say a prayer for all people to find their ways home, as I pour my blood, red upon the Earth, that is my home now, a displaced woman hankering for belonging on a stolen land. I have carried such shame for what has been done to an intact culture by the brutalizing force of my race, upon the indigenous people of this country. But I am trying to put that shame down now, because I know that I belong with all my heart and soul to the people who came before, that sang and danced upon the land, that fed her with their life blood and wove her a cloak of beauty with the fibres of the soul. I belong to the Earth beneath my feet. My soul remembers what it meant to belong to country. My soul remembers how much it hurt to have it taken away, the ripping severance. Maybe I remember also, that our Mother never left us and that she breaths and dreams and awakens with us all yet, in the stirrings of our blood, in the pulsing of the heartbeat, Hers and ours entwining. Maybe all the roots of all the races entwine in Her heart, touching one another through Her radiant core. Maybe that is the only way home now, through her molten heart, for all our stories to melt together in the fire of Her love, greater than any part, we are all children of the Earth.
My heart is open, to learn and to grow, to give and to receive, to dismantle and to become, at the threshold of our evolutionary interface, as humans upon the Earth.

Photo courtesy of Angela Rivas of Lunasol Photography for the book From This Place.
Text © Lucy Pierce 2017

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