fire cu 2
Just back from a 4-day fast at a lodge – The Lodge of the Sacred Fire of the Thunder – out at Six Nations.
The parameters: no food, no water, no electronic devices, no talking, no books. Only a tent, a sleeping bag, a journal, the necessary clothing, whatever spiritual paraphernalia – rattles and smudge essentials and the like – and the time and space to be at one with Mother Earth.
The first morning I woke up well before dawn, cold and stiff but thrilled at the cacophony of birdsong that surrounded me. Just outside the door of my tent lay a sea of sprinkles of frost, each blade of grass with a tiny little droplet at its tip.
dew drop
It was so beautiful, of course I wanted to photograph it, but had no camera, no camera-phone even. All I could do was be in it, and marvel at its beauty. And the longer I was there, mute and helpless in the face of its perfection, the more I fell in love.
This is the heart of the teaching.
Hours and days were spent wandering the land, gazing out at the Grand River, watching the shifts in the weather, the shapes of the clouds, listening to the rain, the call and answer of all the different birds, observing the strange movements of the animals, the insects, becoming acquainted with the dried husks of last year’s blossoming, seeing the small buds of the new season begin.
This is culture when its center is the Earth, the Sky, the Waters, the Fire.
dried qal shapes
Back at home, I commune with my camera, my computer, my phone. 
I do love them too, but not quite as much.

8 thoughts on “Culture”

    1. Thanks Bren. Was beautiful to live it. Many more things too long and complex to write at this moment, but each day did contain these simple truths. xx

  1. How beautiful that you had this experience. Where is Six Nations? I spent a week on a writing retreat at the bottom of Canyon de Chelly, Navajo (Dine) land. That was equally magical. A few pics in my Weekly Photo Challenge: Culture slideshow are from the Canyon. Sometimes, not being able to take pics burns them even deeper into our memory!

    1. Hi Beauty! Six Nations is just outside of Brantford, Ontario, Canada. It’s a Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) reserve (what Americans call a reservation). Definitely being bereft of any means of photography took me far deeper into looking, feeling, experiencing – it was so moving. Kat

  2. Great experience I can imagine, I’m starting to learn how very important it is to just plugin to life/nature. To just experience it without the need to preserve the moment in photos. Pretty simple but powerful stuff 🙂 Thank you!

    1. Kalson! My first reply to you here has disappeared somewhere…but so wonderful to hear from you! I’ve been enjoying your posts lately, and am so glad you’ve had some time to yourself to get out and experience some things outside of work life. xxx Kat

    1. Well thank you, frizztext. It took me a while to settle on it, but I wanted something that evoked not only the cultural cacophony of where I live, but also the kind of mix & match version of spirituality that seems to be happening in my life, as much as I may intellectually disapprove of it…

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