Ardis Johnson

“Sometimes since I’ve been in the garden I’ve looked up through the trees at the sky and I have had a strange feeling of being happy as if something was pushing and drawing in my chest and making me breathe fast. Magic is always pushing and drawing and making things out of nothing. Everything is made out of magic, leaves and trees, flowers and birds, badgers and foxes and squirrels and people. So it must be all around us. In this garden — in all the places.”

— Frances Hodgson Burnett — The Secret Garden.

*

“A very great vision is needed, and the man who has it must follow it as the eagle seeks the deepest blue of the sky.”

The Red Nation shall rise again and it shall be a blessing for a sick world; a world filled with broken promises, selfishness and separations; a world longing for light again. I see a time of Seven Generations when all the colors of mankind will gather under the Sacred Tree of Life and the whole Earth will become one circle again.”

— Crazy Horse

*

We do not go into ceremony to talk about God. We go into ceremony to talk with God.

— Quanah Parker

*

“Either everything is sacred or nothing is…Everyone gets what’s coming, sooner or later.”

— Zadie Smith

A lot of my realizations have come late in life. I learned by trying a lot of different ways — places to live, people to live with, disciplines to pursue. As it turns out I was not meant for singing, playing an instrument or tap dancing, not stage acting and certainly not car mechanics or sales. Three things have stuck — ideas, words and images.

Language is music to me. It’s an alchemy of sound and philosophy, image and concept. That’s where the energy is, the magic.

That’s what we’re looking for, isn’t it? That point where everything comes alive. That personal energy quotient, that specific talent that rises above all others. But underneath that personal innate facility there’s something more universal — vision.

The vision we are given depends on the larger culture we live in. Speaking relatively, there are wise cultures and not so wise ones. We are not helped by our Western cultures to be successful humans. Our genius for machines yoked to our blindness to the Sacred has become an urgent problem for the whole world.

Going down the wrong path happens both on the individual level and on the cultural level. Belonging to a culture that pushes a desacralized vision on you does you harm. You become a little soldier killing whatever sacred magic you encounter as you live your life, completely unconsciously.

We can see this process play out all around us every day. Our normal life looks crazy to societies with no sense of separation, no sense of isolation or abandonment by the gods.

Sometimes I think the universe just got tired of my wandering and created specific situations where I had to manifest my real gifts or else be in real trouble. Instead of chafing at my restrictions, I’m beginning to realize it’s better to be thankful. The universe speaks in events and circumstances, not words. The question we should ask ourselves is how we are served on a soul level by our challenges.

This Earth, this Sacred Planet has a chance to wake up to the Sacred, “or else.”

No one wants to see that “or else.” I don’t. It’s worrying that our culture is so firmly indoctrinated in its blindness to the “Sacred Tree of Life.” If it’s true that everyone gets their just deserts eventually, as Zadie Smith says, the question arises if that principle applies to whole cultures.

The amount of blind wholesale killing we have done and continue to do is not reassuring. If the scales were removed from our eyes, would we be absolved of our crimes against nature and people of color?

What do you think?

Judith Wiker Photography

I occasionally write fiction and also about creativity, loving, language learning and travel. I’m a longtime painter and reader.

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