Live Virtual Group Session: 12PM EDT November 5th 2021

Thank you to everyone who joined for this session!

For this session we close-read the poem  “For Calling the Spirit Back from Wandering the Earth in Its Human Feet” by Joy Harjo, posted below.

Our prompt for this session was: “Write about wandering in your human feet.

More details on this session will be posted, so check back!

Participants are warmly encouraged to share what you wrote below (“Leave a Reply”), to keep the conversation going here, bearing in mind that the blog of course is a public space where confidentiality is not assured.

Also, we would love to learn more about your experience of these sessions, so if you’re able, please take the time to fill out a follow-up survey of one to two quick questions!

Please join us for our next session Monday November 8th at 6pm EDT, with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions page.


“For Calling the Spirit Back from Wandering the Earth in Its Human Feet” by Joy Harjo

Put down that bag of potato chips, that white bread, that bottle of pop.

Turn off that cellphone, computer, and remote control.

Open the door, then close it behind you.

Take a breath offered by friendly winds. They travel the earth gathering essences of plants to clean.

Give it back with gratitude.

If you sing it will give your spirit lift to fly to the stars’ ears and back.

Acknowledge this earth who has cared for you since you were a dream planting itself precisely within your parents’ desire.

Let your moccasin feet take you to the encampment of the guardians who have known you before time, who will be there after time. They sit before the fire that has been there without time.

Let the earth stabilize your postcolonial insecure jitters.

Be respectful of the small insects, birds and animal people who accompany you.
Ask their forgiveness for the harm we humans have brought down upon them.

Don’t worry.
The heart knows the way though there may be high-rises, interstates, checkpoints, armed soldiers, massacres, wars, and those who will despise you because they despise themselves.

The journey might take you a few hours, a day, a year, a few years, a hundred, a thousand or even more.

Watch your mind. Without training it might run away and leave your heart for the immense human feast set by the thieves of time.

Do not hold regrets.

When you find your way to the circle, to the fire kept burning by the keepers of your soul, you will be welcomed.

You must clean yourself with cedar, sage, or other healing plant.

Cut the ties you have to failure and shame.

Let go the pain you are holding in your mind, your shoulders, your heart, all the way to your feet. Let go the pain of your ancestors to make way for those who are heading in our direction.

Ask for forgiveness.

Call upon the help of those who love you. These helpers take many forms: animal, element, bird, angel, saint, stone, or ancestor.

Call your spirit back. It may be caught in corners and creases of shame, judgment, and human abuse.

You must call in a way that your spirit will want to return.

Speak to it as you would to a beloved child.

Welcome your spirit back from its wandering. It may return in pieces, in tatters. Gather them together. They will be happy to be found after being lost for so long.

Your spirit will need to sleep awhile after it is bathed and given clean clothes.

Now you can have a party. Invite everyone you know who loves and supports you. Keep room for those who have no place else to go.

Make a giveaway, and remember, keep the speeches short.

Then, you must do this: help the next person find their way through the dark.


Reprinted from Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings by Joy Harjo. 
Copyright © 2015 by Joy Harjo.

One thought on “Live Virtual Group Session: 12PM EDT November 5th 2021

  1. Write about wandering in your feet~~~

    I sometimes stagger on my feet,
    trying to traverse life’s obstacles.
    But within me, I summon the spirit to continue on.
    There is so much in this world to be experienced and enjoyed.
    Mother Earth has bestowed her bounty upon us,
    if only we can see it with open eyes and open hearts.

    We are part of an entire system of living organisms…creatures of the land, air, and water.
    If we are to exist and thrive, we must come to realize that we are all part of this brotherhood, this sisterhood of the living.

    Praise given to the existence of our spirits and our wandering feet.

    Like

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