Read the first part of this series: Frequencies
Oh the vibes were heavy! Weighty, beyond somber, tragic and dark. I thought this was meant to be a “Celebration of Life”… Carrie’s life, which ended quite suddenly at the tender age of eighteen. On entering the hall and wading through this fog of grief, I wondered how the dark cloud could ever be lifted. I wondered if I could stay. People were literally sobbing as Carrie’s beautiful spirit shone through a short lifetime of pictures, projected onto the wall…smiling, laughing, clowning. My throat grew tight.
The minister took the stage. Minister? No, wait… shaman! Wow. I watched in awe as this man worked his magic, drawing the darkness into his arms, releasing it and replacing it with light. My experience shifted from one of “bearing up, under the weight” to one of lightness and excitement. I was so thankful to be there, aware that we were receiving a most wonderful gift.
He smudged the room and all of us therein with tobacco, for cleansing. He acknowledged the presence of the Ancestors and offered thanks. He taught us to say meegwetch (thank you in the largest context) and led us to embrace our hearts. And as we puzzled over why this death occurred, why this young woman had adopted certain seeming destructive attitudes and behaviors, he said this:
We First Nations people are not religious. We see our arrival on earth like coming into an airport. You have your arrival ticket in one hand and your departure ticket in the other. Nobody knows the time stamped on that departure ticket. But you can be sure, there is a time and you will return to the airport. We don’t care what route you take to get there; the freeway, the scenic route, the urban crawl. We all find our own way to fly back to our ancestors.
Beyond The Clouds of Judgement
I loved that idea because it suggested no judgement. And interesting to me, lifting the judgement from the room lifted the grief. Of course! Dropping judgement in any situation automatically opens the door for joy. It just does. Once you drop your judgement of another person, they become interesting. Once you drop judgement of yourself, you become free. Watch for it. It lurks in the smallest of things. Then, catch it before it grows.
To be honest, I thought I would have already handed my ticket in at the departure gate! Seems I’ve been gifted with the scenic route after all. To see as much of this beautiful scenery as is possible, I drop my judgements whenever I spot them. It is a process. But even the little bit I manage to catch has revealed a world so beautiful it takes my breath away. Think about it… not good or bad, just interesting.
Meegwetch, Carrie. Meegwetch, White Eagle. Meegwetch.