I painted the stone in this photo. On the left is an infinity wheel, representing the eternal whirling of the sacred celestial circle of life. On the right is the word ‘love’ in the ancient Celtic Druidic Ogham writing. Together, the meaning is that the power of love is forever. Nothing is more powerful than love. Although I am quite certain my Irish forebears were Catholic, by the time I was born that tradition had changed in my family. Thus, I did not grow up attending church. And yet, there was always tradition around Easter, and I surely know today what it is. On this Easter Sunday, I am thinking about grace and brotherly love. I am thinking about Ukraine and Russia. Not so much the governments, but the people. One need only to take a brief peruse of world history to come away with the unmistakable truth that human beings have yet to learn how to love one another and live in peace together. From ancient times to the present, we have fought and killed one another over religion, land and power. When will we learn? Ancient, earth-based communal societies had a secret wisdom – they shared everything. No one could pile up endless possessions and gorge themselves while others froze and starved. To do so would be to heap shame upon oneself, such is the way of communal society. The shameless accumulation of enormous monetary wealth and unbridled power is a by-product of a system that has lost touch with the humility and wisdom that comes from a close connection with the earth. It is that connection that shows us the way to grace and brotherly love. It helps us all to see that we are relatives, that we need each other, and that we depend on a healthy earth for our very existence. Will humanity ever find a way to live in peace on this earth? I do not have the answer. But I do know that if we ever do find a way, it will be because the people decide to make a collective decision to stop fighting and destroying each other on behalf of those in power. Again, there are no easy answers. And so, on this Easter Sunday, as I gather with family and friends, my prayer is for peace. My prayer is for the people in Ukraine and the people in Russia. My prayer is for humanity. May we someday, somehow, someway find our way to peace on earth through the eternal power of grace, and brotherly love.
'Of Mist and Stone - A Journey into the Oneness of Two Ancient Worlds'
Since I was a boy, I have loved those paths in the woods. They are full of wonder and mystery. Forest trails beckon us to explore the unknown, to breathe in what is real and hear the whispers of wisdom on a gentle breeze. Those wooded pathways remind us that we are part of a miraculous web of life. They center and ground us in their beauty and stillness, helping us to reconnect to the simple truths that matter most in this life.
As the path of a new year and season opens before us, may we step into it as we would an unexplored forest trail, with hopeful expectation for what lies ahead. May we all take a long, deep breath and go forward in a good way, with good hearts. There is beauty in this world. There is light. There is love. There is decency. And there is kindness. I pray that we will all seek to share those beautiful things as we go forward together into a future filled with possibilities. Come my friends. The pathway opens and the forest calls us. Let us step back into the embrace of the quiet. Let us touch once again the soothing cool of the earth, that it may ease our inflamed passions and restore sight to eyes blinded by the fires of rage. May the wooded mysteries help us to see, and focus our newfound gaze upon what is good. For we are sisters and brothers, and we travel this forested pathway together.
So come my friend, take my hand. Friendship is like music. Some notes work together and some don’t. We must forego those disagreeable sounds in favor of the agreeable in order to be friends. Let us set aside those disharmonious notes, that we may find our way to a song we can all sing as we take the pathway forward into the wooded unknown together.
So here we are. Somebody hit the pause button on the world, and time is standing still. Activities that once seemed ordinary are now anything but. Giving a loved one a hug is now shrouded with uncertainty. That basic need for human touch is now suspect. These are difficult times. People are dying. Many are sick. Folks are out of work and out of patience. I too am idled. I sit here looking at the embers of a fire in my hearth and my guitar leaning in the corner and wonder when it will be that I can share my music again for a live audience without feeling as though I could be putting their health at risk. I had a new album beginning to take shape in my consciousness, but the music has gone silent. As I look at my guitar across the room, I wonder if I am hearing faint whispers of that new music again. Maybe this is the time for it to be birthed into existence; this time of unrest and unease. We shall see. In the meantime, I wait. We all wait. Funny that the number for this year, 2020, is synonymous with the concept of hindsight. We seem to be collectively taking a hard look at the way things have been, and trying to come to terms with how to step into the future in a better way. It saddens me that these cultural self realizations always seem to come with intense strife and vitriol. I am a student of human history, and I can tell you that we human beings almost never seem to be able to make collective changes for the betterment of all without inflicting rage and violence against each other. For me, in the end, what is right is rooted in wisdom, knowledge, humility, fairness and decency. And what is wrong is always rooted in foolishness, ignorance, arrogance, inequality and nastiness. In short, love is right. Hate is wrong. As we navigate these uncertain waters of dis-ease through these perilous seas of change, may we all let the rains of our common humanity pour down upon us and cool the rage of our minds so our hearts can see that we are sisters and brothers. Be gracious. Be patient. Make a small sacrifice for others. Exercise kindness. Practice empathy. Listen. Call on the humility of your heart to bring forth your better angels. These uncertain times won’t last forever. Let us be birthed like new music during this time, whispering into existence a new melody of understanding that can carry us forward into a better future for all.
Thoughts on the Pandemic, Race & Policing
John Two-Hawks - Grammy nominated Native American Flute Music Recording Artist, author, activist and speaker. FULL BIO