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O groves and thickets planted by the hand of the Beloved;

O verdant meads

Enamelled with flowers,

Tell me, has He passed by you?  

 

A thousand graces diffusing

He passed through the groves in haste,

And merely regarding them

As He passed

Clothed them with His beauty. 

 

 

 

 

 

      

(Artistic credit: Emeteria Rios Martinez; Words: St John of the Cross)

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           NSW Department of Education and Communities           

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Where hast Thou hidden Thyself  

And abandoned me in my groaning, Oh my Beloved?  

Thou hast fled like a stag

Having wounded me

I ran after Thee, crying; but Thou wert gone

 

O shepherds, you who go

Through the sheepcots up the hill,

If you shall see Him

Whom I love the most

Tell Him I languish, suffer, and die.

 

In search of my Love

I will go over mountains and strands;

I will gather no flowers

I will fear no wild beasts

And pass by the mighty and the frontiers

 

 

 

 

(Artistic credits:  Taren Point Public School and Richard Campbell; Words: St John of the Cross)

Greetings to all who follow this blog with good will and enthusiasm,

We’ve added a new section reviewing books, movies, documentaries etc. which have themes relevant to First Nations communities. Over time we hope to be adding more and more and more and we welcome positive and encouraging feedback from you about your experiences and insights relative to the topics explored in our reviews.

Please feel free to have your say by using the comments section but bear in mind that anything hostile, rude, abusive or not within the boundaries of good conduct will NOT be tolerated and anyone who persists in defying the protocol of good-will on this website will be blocked. This is because this site is for spreading educational awareness to fight racism and xenophobia on every front and in order to do this well we must bear with each other in the spirit of solidarity and co-operation. The traditional understanding of spiritual well-being riding on the wings of harmony is what we want to promote and preserve on this website for we are about liberation, healing and reconciliation. Anything contrary to this spirit is not welcome.

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Life begs the question sometimes ~

Why can’t we stay firmly planted, stay firmly put where we by rights really ought to be?

I know that during this Christmas season I have been confronted many times by this very question in a number of different and sometimes frustrating ways. And it seems the answer has just come to my awareness as to why we are sometimes, at the most inconvenient of moments urged to move on. It’s really a question of do or die. You see, sometimes circumstances come before us that are not necessarily as benign as those we have gradually been getting used to or that we actually have been surrounded by. These things if they cannot pass over us, they will attempt to make a run at us in order to “push us out of the way”. And sometimes the only way to avoid getting permanently “pushed out of the way” is to make a dash for it in the short term so that in the long term….and so the story continues…

(Photo credits – see post dated at December 24, 2012)

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In Navaho culture as in a number of other indigenous cultures, there lies the concept of Beauty (Hózhó in Navaho) as encompassing far more and profoundly other than just the superficial nature of how someone sees someone else or what consumer culture relegates as ‘beautiful’. At the heart of this concept is the learning of a vital life lesson for those of us whom are embraced by cultures which exemplify this ideal as a necessity in the art of spiritual self-actualization. And it is not the easiest of things to learn especially when we are confronted in the century of today with the daily life symptoms of alienation from the ancient rubrics of our own cultural roots - especially if you are someone of the urban native experience, pretty much like myself who has come full boar face-to-face en masse with avalanches of subliminal acculturations day-in, day-out for years on end. This had happened to me right up until fairly recently, only a few years ago when I was bestruck about how meaningless and devoid of understanding much of my life-experience had been up until the moment I had a profound instance of identity realization from within which only became more solidified when I discovered, through a family history exploration undertaken by an uncle on my mother’s side, that I had a matrilineal heritage relationship to an indigenous people group (see my gravatar), sorely and barely recognized in the now time for what they have really been Divinely decreed as. That is not to say that I had never ever been able to take hold of any significance in life before that moment but rather, many years up until that moment had been spent in an alienated world, one in which I had lost that deep connection with all the love that was lavished on me by my Maker and by my family when younger. So this moment was pretty crucial to bringing me out of the pit of alienation I had become unbeknowingly locked into for such a long time as a result of my own foly when I was an undergrad student.

Consequentially this new realization has been the foundation for how I have come into the awareness that life is full of greater meaning and mystery than what the secular world would have us believe. For the Creator has put us here to be co-relators in His Divine plan of the unfolding mystery of Love personified and ultimately in the redemption plan for all creation. Hence our responsibility to be ultra-conscious of this as the undercurrent in our active search for the fulfillment of our lives. As indigenous people with a particular life-project narrative borne out of the Beauty Way, the responsibility resting upon us, leaning upon us, urging us on is that of recognizing the need to re-cognicize our relationship to All That Is in the little acts of daily interactivity we find ourselves in. The Beauty Way necessitates an active participatory recollection of the way in which we share ourselves with others – is this in balance, in proportion to how the Creator, how God would want us to relate? Does it exude all manner of graces which reflect our unique connection with the Divine? Are we able to converse without getting caught up in the pressures and temptations that present themselves as subtle but insistent cavalcades of “do it now or else”, “get it over with” shoves inside our emotional make-up? This no doubt is a delicate balance to keep within our hearts – particularly when one is just beginning to recognise this “something more”. Later on though after some solid immersion in the spiritual dynamics of being in this rhythmn, being in touch with the essence of the Beauty Way inside one’s self becomes as a song, as a dance between worlds within – and each of these worlds is in and of itself another marvel of God’s creation.

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The inscription at the bottom of this painting says: HózhóNáhásdlįį – which is Navaho for “Beauty has been re-established”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Artwork by Robert Lentz ~ Navaho Madonna

 

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We at Indigenous Perspectives would like to take this opportunity to wish you a very happy Festive Season and a 2013 full of inspiration and peace!

 

Q. What do you get when you mix up Algonquin with Albuquerque?

A. Alberqwerky

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So there you have it!

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Apologies if you have experienced technical errors with this site recently – sometimes these things’ can’t be avoided. I’m still learning how to configure this thing!

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