Today I came in from gardening to do my Sunday Song Radio show and still had dirt on my hands.
An apt image for what I attempt to speak about this week in terms of my complicity in being part of the story of colonization. How in light of the precious 215 children found in a mass grave at the Kamloops Residential school, are showing us more of the truth about Canada's history of genocide (which is ongoing).
This week, without failing to hold accountable the people responsible for these specific heinous crimes, I point out the difference between the average person who is religiously Catholic, and how in fact, if we are settler immigrants, tied to any institution, land title, or inheritance, we are in a sense, politically Catholic, because of the doctrine of discovery.
I also want to say clearly, that I am deeply disappointed that Pope Francis has not made a public apology about this recent criminal finding at the residential school that was near Kamloops. He also hasn't made one even thought the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action have asked for it. (I hint at why I think this hasn't happened yet, and when it does, people who do not see themselves as religious at all, will feel the rumbling of the foundation under their feet. I am ok with this.)
I also attempt to consider even deeper, the idea of how Jesus was standing in indigenous sovereignty when he performed his food miracles (if not ALL of his miracles). To support indigenous sovereignty and to decolonize (unharness) our creative power, is a very Christic thing to do. I saw that colonizer Jesus/historical Jesus meme floating around... and am definitely inclined toward the historical one, but I'm also complicit with the colonizer one.
A great hope that I have, is that many of you will continue to be patient with me, as you all know what it is like to do deep work. To sit in unknowing as you intuit that there is a constellation asking for you to put your ear to the thrum of the ground, staying open so the alignment can happen, and you can receive understanding.
There are prophecies around this planet that exist "outside" of our tradition. These prophecies are in keeping with what the heck Pentecost is getting at.
So if this talk isn't clear yet, please bear with me, as I open to the project being asked of me. The music is going to make it more clear, because it is coming from a nearly unspeakable place at present.
I have been on my knees this week in prayer... for indigenous people to continue experiencing a great re-membering... a great awakening from the nightmare imposed upon them... and in the case of the Fairy Creek story in Pacheedaht territory, on Vanvouver Island... I also pray for the working class people whose livelihoods rely on the lumber industry. As I said in this talk... the provincial government in British Columbia is far left, and they are still sending in the police helicopters and are now trained to hold up tarps so the arrests can't be captured on cell phones. And no matter which government is in power, it seems that they will all kneel before the GDP, and use divide and conquer tactics to keep us from looking at the bigger picture.
More to come, but again... a reminder... one of the reasons why I made the album Sanctuary - Exploring the Healing Path, is because I know that deep down, the lack of understanding (and understanding is a tenet of Pentecost!) is directly connected to how far we have to go to heal. I have a theory that many people of white settler descent are afraid to begin healing from being complicit in systemic violence, because healing from one thing, requires healing from another thing. It's the old "change the door knob, change everything" analogy. Many of us have so much of our personal trauma balled up somewhere inside of us, that to attempt healing from the trauma of being complicit in a violent government that has built-in biases, shuts us down before we can begin.
Love and peace to you.
Today's Sunday Song includes my song Fear Not (Adamah - of the Earth).
I also give a talk about how we have chosen to live and why... sounding a soft, tender trumpet for localization over centralization.
In this episode, I recommend the book Caste by Isabel Wilkerson, and speak into the process of letting it mirror me.
I point out that often those at the center, or in the contrived dominant caste, are led through healing journeys that can be hyper-individualized, and the resiliency needed for collective healing, and decentering, can be hard to find, or to build.
The books I reference are Mark Charles and Soong-Chan Rah's book Unsettling Truths - The Ongoing, Dehumanizing Legacy of the Doctrine of Discovery, as well as Resmaa Manekem's book My Grandmother's Hands, and The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk.
The album I mention is Sanctuary - Exploring the Healing Path (with James Finley) , and you can listen to it below, or get it at my gift economy store.
Much of this week was taken up with writing an essay for an upcoming publication in April. The essay is called The Language of Praise: how we sing is how we see.
My patrons will be hearing the recitation in full, but I shared an excerpt on Sunday Song Radio.
Listen to it here:
This week I describe a method of praise that I've been developing in the last couple of years. Despite all evidence to the contrary, we are in a post-individual era, and that is another reason why people are leaving worship spaces that don't encounter the Whole inside of their expressions and rituals.
This is in early development so be patient with me!!!
The secrets of the atom are not unlike Pandora's box, and what we must look for is not the destructive power but the vision of interrelatedness that is desperately needed on this fragmented planet. We are indeed part of a universe. We belong to each other; the fall of every sparrow is noted, every tear we shed is collected in the Creator's bottle.
— Madeleine L'Engle, The Rock That is Higher: Story as Truth
Further to last week's talk on the temptations and visions that Jesus had in the desert, I imagine how he got to the path he walked in his ministry. A radical abundance in the face of Roman occupation and scarcity. Like he lived from the ground of his being, all the way down.
How does this design, this abundance that is at the heart of healthy ecosystems (that can and do include humans), apply to other systems? Like... economics... companies... communities.
In this episode, I did a little talk about how creative process can be a metaphor for the spiritual process and how a parallel part of Jesus' temptation in the desert, was being tempted to not trust his inner voice.
I played a song live inside of the show too.
In this talk I get vulnerable about some thoughts I'm having about balance, love, polarization, and the work that is before us. I also dig into the medieval history of the colour red, which is more fun, but both are important :)
To watch and share on facebook, click here!
In this episode, I talk quite a bit about how I developed the Mary Magdalene character for the When Love Meets Dust video which premieres on February 10th, at 7pm CST.
You will also hear a scratch recording of a song I wrote last fall that I will be recording for next year's album. I think it lends a lot of support to the points I try to make!
The painting of Mary Magdalene (above) is by Leonardo da Vinci, and I sat with this painting while listening to Joni Mitchell's "Magdalene Laundries" over and over, to develop how I would portray Mary in my video. I speak about this more deeply in the talk below.
Alana Levandoski is a song and chant writer, recording artist and music producer, in the Christian tradition, who lives with her family on a regenerative farm on the Canadian prairies.