"The other thing I brought up here, which I happen to always carry around, is my corn. My father, he passed away about twenty years ago, he’s a pretty simple guy. He was from our reservations. He used to say to me, Winona, you’re a really smart young woman, but I don’t want to hear your philosophy if you can’t grow corn…
I grow corn…it’s like us, corn is all different…this is a corn that’s called a Manitoba White Flint…our Anishnaabe people…we’re the northernmost corn growers in the world. Corn is very smart, it can grow almost anywhere…"
Winona LaDuke, speaking at the 4th Annual Tar Sands Healing Walk
Truly, and now, experientially, the life of waking reality and the life of dream consciousness are one and equal. When confronted with the practical evidence of vision, with eternal meaning, a deep mystery of the soul unveiled in the shade of internal belonging, I know. So, when meeting with mystic voices whose souls are married with the beyond in a harmonious union of the opposites, dream and waking, the mind begins to know the path of the heart, of intuition, love and sound. As such, in SoJourn(al), I revision virtual experience through the lens of a unique self-knowledge, yet in so doing, I seek to inspire visions anew in visitors whose wanderings are never lost to the immediate necessity of connectivity, interdependence, and the shared internalization of the psyche, manifest.
When I heard the humbling voice of Anishinaabe author, orator and activist Winona LaDuke, whose bountiful and beautiful mind I sought excitedly for a devout listening, she spoke of my dream. Her musing answered the image of my dream with a new vision of the Earth. When she spoke of Manitoba White Flint, the earth fell into the sky, and the sky grew below the earth, the waters condensed into air and the air evaporated into water, and dream became real, reality became a dream. In her hand she held my subtle imagination of nights in the solitude of my furthest inner reaches. Read ahead for the unshakeable truth, as she grounded my nightly revelation into the fine nourishments of sacred knowledge:
“In the morning, eat of the red corn,” says he, Herbsman. An ear of red corn emerges as with the pleasure of an offering, gift or invocation from the mouth of a ground and tongue of a seed. One kernel, consumed, and my flesh lightens with the bread of fulfillment, and all my wishes humbled with regard to the constant water that flows to the life of all. Cleansed, opened, revived, moved and lifted, I listen, intent with respect.
“At night, eat of the white corn.” As the morning eye of fire stares into my forehead barely above the horizon, I yet see a vision of the white corn in mind’s eye, unknown on Earth. The Herbsman continues to pour the clear-souled water of natural wisdom through the mystic wine of musical friendship over each and every pour with all movements and messages invoked, intoned, and conveyed with brevity, clarity and unity.
And in the Medicine Wheel tradition, so the dream of the red corn for the morning, and white corn at night affirms the basic principles of the Four Colours within the Aboriginal Medicine Wheel. The colour red, and the eating of the red corn, affirms the element of growth, time and developing the mind. Whereas the colour white, and the eating of the white corn, would affirm place, achievement, reflection, and spiritual understanding. Therefore, the advice by the Wise Herbsman of Dream, seems a revelation to practice a harmonious way of life, where the morning is equated to growth, and the night to reflection.
More, corn also teaches that rootedness does not oppose adaptability. So, as people of this land, for and of ourselves, we learn to adapt anew, with a sense of rootedness that overcomes dominant cultural stereotypes of the stale, the old, the past, and the traditional, and instead seeks truth in the likes of our Western imagination, as in the mind of Tolkien who wrote, "The old that is strong does not wither, / Deep roots are not reached by the frost". Adaptable rootedness is the way of the wounded healer, the traveler, the wanderer who, as Tolkien wrote, is not lost, and who instead leads all on with a prayer at each step to the beating blood that flowers in the voice of a pure heart.
|mystery of love|
|bridge to ecstasy|
|eye for simplicity|
A presence belied in the soft air aglow with diligent drizzle
From this, our American lighthouse heaven,
Alit with dream
in stories told by great-grandmother’s
Life lived outside the pages of the “true”
And into the truly earth-quaking
A silent praise now unforgiving in this one unkempt death
Blowing past the burly crevasse of a listless youth
Climbing up past the gold icon in Biblical temptations
To screw women into their darkest pain
In a house filled
with the semen of timeless wandering
Men whose throats burn with the soil of their unloved mother
Croaking up agro-fossil drains
Reaching from modern skylines to prehistory,
issuing from our Christ-death
In the end of an age
As inevitable as the reptilian fate in the everyday brain
Expanding with the feared herbs growing
like weeds in our Western mythology
Built in smoke
and the knowledge of Earth’s ever-forgiving
Bringing America’s children reason
to explore mind
In the socio-pathic
lie of success and money
As we corner the livid
daze of the booming war
In the housed mystery of our yet undiscovered world
Beneath each colonial home
Shot out of the ugly worldview
Misplaced over the moral genealogy
In an ecological philosophy
To dry the eyes of our spectral hosts
Who watch and wonder
With still unborn eyes
This poem was featured in my most recent self-published chapbook, Act or Confront