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  • Writer's pictureMetta


A moment of clarity.

I didn’t understand why there was a suggested exercise in looking at the horizon.

But then I realized, when I am deep in detail and don’t see the horizon, there is an expansiveness I miss. In addition, if the aim is to take all-under-heaven intact, I must take in all-under-heaven, and also must have all-under-heaven in mind.

Tonglen - a Tibetan Buddhist practice - to breathe it all in, and expansively breathe it all out. To connect with the wideness of the sky, and bring that within, and to expand whatever is tough out into the great expanse.

The way the opposing side moves to harm, to cause pain, create fear, narrowing my scope, my sight. I become fear brain. Just reactive. Just tangled in my old pain, the times when I had no choice and no power and was being destroyed. Now I have community, and I am living my life.

We exist. We have always existed. We have cultures. Against all odds because we EXIST, and always will. Like a Phoenix rising again and again.

My support of others. I’ll bring that medicine as long as I can. My only wishes are that it could have been sooner for me in my own awakening and that I would have known about others I cared about to have supported them better. But all I have is now.

Look at the horizon though. Head up

A video I saw. A basketball player, head down. Then a friend and teammate went by and tapped his chest and pushed his head back up. Look up, be in your power. Be in the long game.

I’ve fought many many things in my life and survived and thrived. They cannot take this from me. My personal freedom is in my own mind and heart and body now. I’ve tasted it. I’ve experienced what it is to have others really see me. And I’ve tasted so much other freedom. They can’t take the taste of what that freedom is like from me.

It’s wild, in photos now, I am relaxed when I look at them. Not cringing. It’s me. It is who has always been inside.

Spent a long day of a work meeting being gendered a variety of ways, and navigating the gender binary restrooms. Give me 30 minutes in a new building and I’ll tell you where all the least used restrooms in the building are.

But the horizon. That is a kind of resistance. The horizon includes the events of the day, but also my healed ancestors, and also the hungry ghosts, the fears, and the joy. The smell of rain. The bouncing sunlight. The past, present, future, in the land and sky and water.

The weather is real. The energy, at any given moment. And it is self-defense to notice, to pick up on this. To watch, listen, and notice patterns and trends and how things are building. Trying to determine what is bluster, from what is instead stockpiling of things that will all catch on fire when lit.

And yet they can’t take my horizon away from me. Even in my last breath in this form, I move to another form. Form to form. No end and no beginning. And people like me, trans and queer will continue to BE. Nature is trans, intersex, and queer.

If I decolonize my mind, all is intact, because all is connected. I am a part of an unbroken whole. Internally and externally.

On my horizon is doing the healing I can do now, to be the needed ancestor later.

I can order dried herbs, but I now understand the medicine is in the plant AND in the relationship. To dissolve the relationship removes so much of the power. To then take this medicine of relationship and what is in the plant and commodify it, also takes away the power. I need to have the conversations with the plants, to keep talking, to understand the right time, degree, condition. I will still drink tea from dried herbs, and make tinctures, but now I understand the relationship built over time and trust is needed for the more lasting medicines.

Chickweed this morning, green and rich growing next to the base of a tree. Plantain. Mint spreading in a neighbor’s garden. Something green that I haven’t identified yet that I’ve started to see everywhere, I’m wondering what it is.

I realize with the concept of property, coming from colonialism, I think “can I forage this, this is someone else’s place?”. Rather than the correct question which should be “do I have permission from the plant?”. Not that the relationship of people to place were not respected for thousands of years, it’s that I have the order of operations wrong. Earth permission first, then also right relationship with those around me that are not plants.

Right relationship. Do I have the plant permission? What are the conditions around me, including weather? Is there heat distress? A new plant just growing in spring that needs time to build up to be ready for someone to harvest some? Is this needed food for a non-human being? How much of this plant is around? Is it a non-invited plant in the area I am in? If I harvest some will it diminish the plant, or support more growth, and either way is that right relationship?

Once I grew a small garden. Then the field nearby was chopped down to create grass for feeding horses and livestock. Insects ate my garden to the ground, all of their balance destroyed by the mower.

Balance. Weather.

Later I had a much larger garden, and there was a time in midsummer when I could just feel the plants radiating energy, it was like a humming in the air from the plants.

“It is no secret. All power is one in source and end, I think. Years and distances, stars and candles, water and wind and wizardry, the craft in a man's hand and the wisdom in a tree's root: they all arise together. My name, and yours, and the true name of the sun, or a spring of water, or an unborn child, all are syllables of the great word that is very slowly spoken by the shining of the stars. There is no other power. No other name.”

― Ursula K. Le Guin, A Wizard of Earthsea

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