Scattered and Blue, Troubled In Mind

Posted on July 28, 2020

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As COVID19 touches more and more people I know, I’ve found it difficult to focus. My mind flits from person to person in my circle, asking, “Are they okay? What did the test say?”

Echoes of sad, frightened, frustrated conversations I’ve had with loved ones ring in my memory, and I struggle for words, for an idea.

I think, “This might be how my friend felt when he said that he hadn’t answered or returned my calls in four months–because he doesn’t know what to say…He’s just–

“…so sad.”

I feel that. The DJ in my mind puts on a record. “Trouble in Mind,” by Sister Rosetta Tharpe starts to play…

Oh, sing it, sister! Help us carry these blues today!

I am blue! My band mate cancelled today’s jam session; his wife has a fever!

I just want her–and all the people–to be safe, to be well.

I try to read, but my attention span is too weak for the novel I’m reading. I head for the poetry shelves, where I find USA poet laureate, Joy Harjo‘s The Woman Who Fell From the Sky.

I open to “Reconciliation — A Prayer” and read the lines over and over again,

a mantra, a prayer, until…

I’m back in the sweat lodge, the smell of cedar and wood smoke in the air…The door flap closes. Darkness envelopes us. The ceremony begins. We hear the dipper scoop the Water of Life from the bucket, then pour it out on the red-hot Stone People with a splash and a sizzle.

West Wind Wolf says, “Bless yourselves.”

 

This is a healing round.

The ceremony never ends.

Aho.

All My Relations.

 

When the rattle falls into the hand of the poet, she sings,

Oh sun, moon, stars, our other relatives…Keep us from giving up in this land of nightmares which is also the land of miracles.

We sing our song which we’ve been promised has no beginning or end.

III

All acts of kindness are lights in the war for justice.

IV

We gather up these strands broken from the web of life. They shiver with our love, as we call them the names of our relatives and carry them to our home made of the four direction and sing:

Of the south, where we feasted and were given new clothes.

Of the west, where we gave up the best of us to the stars as food for the battle.

Of the north, where we cried because we were forsaken by our dreams.

Of the east because returned to us is the spirit of all that we love.


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I appreciate Joy Harjo. Her words bloom in beauty, like sunflowers.


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lisa eddy is a writer, researcher, educator, advocate,  musician, and gardener.

On Twitter: @lisa_eddy

On email: lisagay.eddy1@gmail.com