How can I best pass ancestral wisdom to those who follow: with physical objects OR stories?
Aired Sunday, Nov. 24th, 2013At a recent meditation retreat, I was asked to consider my own death. What would help me in that dying process? Friends? Family? Possessions? In truth, only my inner preparation could be of support. I was preparing for a visit with my 82 year mother, self-appointed historian for our family. Her home is filled with seven generations of ancestral history, from both her own and my father's families. Devoted to historic preservation, my mother believes these objects will help maintain the memory of the people who used them. In contrast, I think of the Shawnee whose nation's bundle contains thousands of years of history. Each object is like opening a computer file and accessing hundreds of years of history. I realized suddenly that western Europeans save objects as a way of remembering history; native people gather and pass on stories. I'm beginning to collect sacred bits for my own bundle, filled with the stories of my blood line. May this bundle of of small objects and large stories be a gift, not a burden, to carry.