One of the few other folks blogging about rewilding animist stories – meaning, as non-indigenous, long-ago colonized people who perpetuate colonization to this day, re-indigenising and de-colonizing our oldest tales, on a never-ending path of re-becoming traditional for we who have long forgotten our original traditions – Heather Awen at Eaarth Animist responded to my recent posts by sharing her story of the Norse Creation.
I sit in deep appreciation of this, and I have something to say about it.
I don’t carry much gift as a researcher or a scholar. In spite of my weighty words and long sentences, my heart turns me away from diving deep into the nitty-gritty trails and tracks of old etymologies, ancient details, hidden histories.
Probably you don’t believe me – for what else do I write about here but those very things?
Well, you have scholars, and then you have scholars. My friend Jason Godesky, my partner Jana, and others I know also belong to that wise tribe of textual nomads, making their migratory figure-eights back-and-forth between the pathways of dehydrated words spoken through long-mouldering lips, and back into this world of light and air. Meaning, they dive deep into the leaves of that linguistic time-machine and former forest we call “the book”.
I don’t have their patience, and so I must rely on others to double check and follow my lines of thinking, and produce your own that inspire me to reflect at the campfire, or stare up at the starry expanse on the inside of Ymir’s skull.
I would not claim anything here as “correct” or “right” or “factual” – much like I don’t work in the agreeing business, nor do I work in the being right business. I don’t evaluate the quality of what I say in that way – a problem of incommensurability. Meaning, we don’t measure time by the pound, and I don’t measure how well I’ve spoken by whether or not I have backed my words up with citations and references that agree.
However, don’t mistake me – the beauty of finding echoes of one’s insights in a book, or needing to re-examine them completely because of an inspiring alternate perspective – I value this tremendously. Since I cannot do this as others can, I have found my own ways. For those who have the endurance to dive deeper and travel longer on those dusty cellulose trails, I bow in appreciation of your contribution.
For me, and I know others of my sub-tribe exist within this animystic rewilding world – I suspect my friend Finisia Medrano belongs here – I and we evaluate the worthiness of our story by how completely does it destroy our hearts.
My truth, I evaluate it by its authenticity. A sub-species of sincerity, authenticity demands what you say rings with the harmonic of your whole being. This harmonic usually sounds and looks like weeping.
So I ask my words, how much do you keep me liquid, and when shared, how well do you do the same for others?
If as Finisia has so well said, we must “confess and be broken-hearted”, then I consider all my writing a personal and cultural confession. I speak, without permission or consensus, for all of us lost Indo-European horse-husbands and wives, great captains and queens of the Sea of Grass of ancient central-asian memory, our red-haired and tartan-wearing mummies drowned in the dust of western China.
What wounded us so that we went mad and poisoned so much of the world with our fear? And what wounded those who wounded us?
To de-colonize, I think we must admit our ongoing acts of colonization. This keeps us honest and humble. And then we must stop burying our giants in forgotten holes and wastes, but disinterr them, bring them up and feast them, asking them to tell us their stories.
Because I do not pursue “rightness” or “factuality”, the responses and tales of others only enrich the stories that I tell.
All of this to say, in the most long-winded way: tell me what you’ve found, tell me what you see, you don’t have to agree with me, and I don’t have to agree with you, in order to celebrate that we both feast the Giants who carry the Old Stories on their backs, and the newbirthing stories in their arms.