Elders

News for me is whatever happens to be floating around in my awareness at any given moment. I am thinking about the elders I have known and the tribal cultures in which they were born.  The perception among tribal people is exquisite in its simplicity. Their world is older, more complete than ours but it is not a complex world or one shrouded in mystery.  And yet it is one singularly magnificent in its spirit of devotion.

In the decades I spent among tribal elders I never questioned their wisdom. Western culture would have preferred that I had and act as an inquisitor into the nuances of every detail. I simply couldn’t because I understood in my bones that within ancient cultures elders had the last word.  And like it or not their words stood as absolute, as law, and were final.

I invested my heart and soul into tribal elder systems as the community that spoke most deeply to me. And in doing so I had to learn to bite my tongue and accept whatever those elders dished out. It was often frustrating.  Their words sometimes angered me or hurt my feelings but I endured it because I wanted to know and embrace “the old way”. It required that I set aside whatever contemporary cultural had taught me when it conflicted with more ancient thinking.  In time it changed me. Those old ones taught me to think and perceive as they did, to live in good way. And I remain in their debt forever. Their generosity of spirit gave me the life for which I had longed.




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