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rooted in this land

June 30, 2011

I’ve been thinking about landwights lately. Wondering how I discover the ones who are here, how I make contact, develop relationships with them. What language should I speak to them in? (What Native American languages were spoken here? But I’m not Native American, and I don’t want to be appropriative. English is my native language, is it okay to use that? Could I designate a sacred language?  For that, I would choose Lithuanian, which I am teaching myself.)

I’ve started using Lithuanian, because that’s the language of my heart.

I woke up this morning with a clear sense that my gods wanted me to talk about them in a piece on darkness that I’ve been working on. So I spent time with each one of them, trying to sketch them and my relationship with them in words. They are more distinct in my mind’s eye now. But I realized some of them have also appeared to me, in some sense, and they were/are part of the land I live in right now, that is, northern Maryland. When I imagine them, they are here in these hills [Cailleach] and forests [Medeine]; in this mixing zone of suburbia, farms, and feral oases [Ereshkigal]. Tethys, a goddess of deep ocean, could be imagined in the depths of the Atlantic Ocean, east of the Chesapeake Bay.

And there are specific beings I already have developed relationships with, mostly boulders that I have named, and spend time with regularly.

I realized my whole life here is already infused with spirit of place. I already knew that I loved it here, but now I see that I deeply belong here, in a way I have never experienced before. There were wild and not-so-wild places that I have loved in Illinois, New Mexico, Oklahoma, New York, and Indiana, but I never saw the gods in any of them. Only here.

I have come Home to where I was meant to be.


Edited to add: I forgot to say that I decided my gods needed their own piece(s) written about them, so they are not in my piece on darkness.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. jemand permalink
    July 3, 2011 17:11

    A bit off topic, but I love the way you say the phrase “my gods.” It underscores a relationship of yours without imposing yourself or your gods onto others in an unwanted fashion, and it isn’t simply bragging either.

    I’m not really sure for what other reasons (I’m sure there are some) I like the way you talk about your gods so much, but it’s refreshing to me.

    Perhaps because, as an atheist, when I recast a theist’s statement back to them with the added “your god(s)” denoting their deity rather than implicitly honor the relationship they have subtly imposed on me with their original phrasing, it is mildly antagonistic and confrontational– necessarily so given the boundary violations, but still.

    To be able to say “your gods” and have that recognized as valid and legitimate by you (and that you also believe it’s valid to your gods, too), is refreshing.

    • July 3, 2011 23:01

      I do not presume that my gods, as I experience them, are a universal experience. And belief in gods, for me, has waxed and waned.

      I’m happy to hear I haven’t imposed on you. I have atheist and agnostic friends, and being respectful of their and your worldviews (which are so often unfairly maligned) is important to me.

  2. July 8, 2011 20:09

    Something about your piece reminds me of the book American Gods in a lovely and good way. I’m Christian, but have a pretty strong streak of panentheism in my religion, so the idea of gods speaking through the land is quite appealing.

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