~ Orannhawk 

Memories slid in, drifting in slow spirals, pulling

emotional threads, competing with the silence. I

was a precocious child, playing with abandon

whenever possible, creating projects of my own

making, talking with the animals and listening to Spirit.

Occupied with my adventures, time meant little to me and more often than not, I might fall behind in completing some random chore, or some detail that slipped past me. By then, a hint of sarcasm laced the reminder to get it done, with the declaration, “Whenever the spirit moves you.”

I always completed my chores, albeit on a slightly delayed timeline, because delight superseded the sarcasm. How could it not? I listened to Spirit, I talked to Spirit, I trusted Spirit, and so I chose not to hear the negative attitude behind the reprimand. I admit it created confusion for me in those younger years. I was too young to fully grasp the nuances of sarcasm, yet somehow well aware of the debridement of my spirit.

I wanted to protect the innocence of my childhood, to be oblivious to the outside world spinning out of control. I did not want to smell the stale odor of alcohol, much less be the target for the fury it unfurled. Where is Spirit became a lingering question, a wound unhealed, and a process in remembering as I grew up.

In the fourth grade, I smirked when classmates bragged about sitting on a parents lap, steering the wheel of their car. Although countless adults saw me on numerous occasions, I did not brag. I chose not to share I was often driving down the highway, on the streets in town, on the country roads and it sure as hell wasn’t on anyone’s lap; because my adult was wasted.

As a teen and young adult, sarcasm sat on the edge of anger and my viewpoint bantered between cynicism and amusement. Papaw’s prompts to remember who I was, reminded me to hold my trust with Spirit. However, emotionally, spiritually and later physically, I was tested and a lot of the time, I struggled.

Conceding to outside influences, drama-fests, and turbulent politics, systematic dogmatic indoctrinated programming wreaks havoc on the soul. It wounds and festers, leaving you bereft and searching. Unfortunately, the search leads many into a deeper void, where the will to listen and to trust is often lost.  Seeing it around us is difficult and heartbreaking, especially with the young.

We struggle with the mass shootings, with high suicide rates, addictions and abuse. We wonder what happened, what triggered the onset of pain and the resulting catastrophic events. We question, we cry, and we grieve.

The importance of Spirit must prevail above all else, for without it, we are nothing. Reach out to your Elders, go to Ceremony, and find the place where your heart sings with joy, where you feel Spirit, where you know Spirit. Regardless of your religious or spiritual leaning, Spirit is there. This is where it begins. 
I lay back on the proverbial merry-go-round, waiting for it to spin, my hair dragging in the dirt. The cycle seemed unending, without focus, without merit, simply whirling, waiting on me. Waiting on me to let go, release the expectations, the syncopated emphasis on control. I danced with fight or flight as a willing partner, pushing the boundaries, struggling until the memories finally emerged, filling the silence.

The sharp criticism, the sarcastic remarks, and the judgement are gone. I choose not to acknowledge the array of disillusionment. The triggers still occur occasionally, however the power behind them no longer controls me. The shadows do not haunt me. Chaos does not define me.  The soft, nuanced words slipped in, redefined, filled with the surge of enchantment I thought lost. “When Spirit Moves You.” There it was, the realization, the acceptance, the joyful moments I remembered.

I stood in the center of the merry-go-round, the movement precise and sure, the spinning a spiral of energy, holding me close, filling my heart, renewing my understanding, because Spirit Moves Me.