This is such a gorgeous time of year. AlI I want to do is be outside as much as possible, even if it's raining (which it has been lately). It may be hot and warm for months on end, but it really feels like the window is small with getting out and about and actually being able to enjoy nature here without it being either super muggy, buggy, or downright fuuuucking frigid.
There's been a theme about lately that seems to be rather prominent in the past couple of days that I've been having a big think about. Omg….cultural appropriation.
Sticky-tricky, tenuous, and…perhaps it's just a big ol’ can o’worms.
This all coincidentally hit me after e-mailing back-and-forth with my Reiki teacher about attending a Shamanic Reiki class at the end of the month.
Then- boom…I unknowingly come across an Instagram story with this post at the beginning of it. Do I have white guilt? Ummm….maybe!?!?
I was liiiiike, whoa. I mean. It is the election and people are feeling all the feels….shoot. Well there ya go, self. You got on here knowingly- knowing it would be rampant with "stuff". But wow. I did not expect the impact! And then this woman who owned the account got on later and basically ranted about her stance and how we white women need to shut the fuck up. Just shut up and start listening to black and brown women about how they're feeling (ok…yes) and really be mindful of what we're doing when we heal ourselves. Is it harming other people/cultures? She highlighted some rather unfair shit I had no idea was going on. So…valid points. Thanks for making us all a little more aware.
But. I was still offended. Being told to STFU around election day does NOT sit well with me in general as a woman right now. To be honest, I was sorta glad Instagram took some of it down.
I know people feel passionate and feisty and I'm glad they're advocating for others and bringing attention to stuff….
But am I crazy or does this feel like ridicule…? I’m not cool with that.
Meh- social media rants. I needed a walk…
Why was this post triggering me? Why? Who the eff cares? I don’t know this person in real life. They don’t know me.
I’ve always been fascinated by specific cultures from a super young age. You don’t question your identity then, or feel….exactly…”empty”.
And there has always been these weird things I’ve felt drawn to. Surely other people out there can relate?
Multiple dreams and experiences I've had over the years have really spooked me. Some involving my white ancestors, but so many- from other people, places, and times. And I don’t want to claim anything here. It’s all a friggin’ mystery…but it does make you curious!
Do we really want to slap someone's hand and say- no. You can't have this thing from a different culture you feel drawn to for some mysterious reason? Or maybe even, need?
I suppose it would depend on the thing. And the situation….
Am I digressing here? It’s good to be thoughtful about such things, doncha think? We love our melting pot country…it was a flawed, but well-intentioned? experiment? Ughhh…. How do we respectfully sort this all out?
There are points where I've checked myself recently.
Last month I had an Airbnb reservation in Virginia to stay in a tipi on someone's horse farm… but then I learned this tipi set-up was owned by a Christian ministry. And even though it was a self check-in situation, the closer I got to my reservation, the uneasier I felt. While I desperately needed a vacation… I sat on the fence about what to do. Then they had a raffle for a free stay on their Instagram account, and when the winner of this supposed random raffle was given to another Christian minister, I was like, ugggghhhh…. and ended up canceling my reservation (on Columbus Day/Indigenous People’s Day, funnily enough). Just, no. Fuck it.
Biking to work this past week, a blanket caught my eye along a row of antique shops downtown. It was draped over some furniture. The pattern was a really simple black thick stripe on an earthy brown, but I couldn't tell what if it was a rug or blanket. It was soooo beautiful though, so I hopped off my bike to take a closer look. The tag indicated it was a handwoven Navajo blanket from the 1920s, and they wanted a few hundred dollars for it. Yeah…and not only was it totally gorgeous, but it felt so substantial and warm. My heart really felt deep longing tugs to wrap it around me all winter. But I could not bring myself to impulsively buy it, so I walked away, feeling a little spooked that I'd once again gravitated towards something Native American.
This is instinctual. So often I feel like a magpie with these instincts going about collecting stuff, and yet I also often sometimes feel as if it gets pulled down out of the ether,… like I’m a drawing things towards me… sometimes not really knowing why it's coming or manifesting. I love this about my little life and wouldn't change it for the world, but! It can be puzzling. And because of these inclinations and explorations, it *has* occurred to me that- if anyone looked at my Instagram account who didn't know me…would they be offended? Culturally?
I don't know. I hope not…
It feels to me like it’s so much more than something surface. And when I see other people gravitating towards stuff that is perhaps trendy, I’m not sure I’m offended. I’m just not sure… I salute anyone who questions the shit they’ve been taught that doesn’t totally resonate with them. I salute anyone who recognizes their need to heal. I’ll advocate for that.
If you’re not hurting anyone and the exchange is respectful and mutually beneficial, by all means!