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Archive for September, 2012

I’m Part Cherokee

You know, I hear this everywhere. “I’m part Cherokee.” Dude you’ve got a full beard, light brown hair, low cheekbones, UnderArmour workout shirts, a lower Mississippi drawl, lard-white skin, and a monumental ignorance of history, and . . . you’re part Cherokee?

What is it about Cherokee that is so appealing that everyone wants to be one. Was it the Trail of Tears, and unwarranted pity that you’re trying to evoke? Is it the legacy and longevity of a thousand-year national bloodline, or the silent admiration for your bravado as the descendant of a respected Brave?

I don’t know what it is, but the next person who tells me he is of Cherokee descent, I’m going to tell him I am full-bloodied Apache, and defy him to challenge my assertion.

Let me ask you this: since 100% Native Americans are not held in the highest esteem by many in our culture,  (somewhere above Gypsies), then why is it such a badge of honor to say you are part-Indian?

I’m met so many people who say they are part-this-and-that tribe. It’s become like peanut butter, spread so thin. 1/16 or 1/32 this or that. Why, you can spread peanut butter on so many things: crackers, bread, apples, celery. Yeah, PB  (part-Cherokee) is so widespread (no pun intended), but where are the whole nuts? The full-blooded Indians. I’ve heard of Irish-Cherokee. How about Afro-Crow, Scot-Penobscot, Mexican-Mohican, Dutch-Natchez, Jewish-Ojibwas, and every other Anglo-Micmac. There even may be somewhere out there a Greek-Creek.

I saw a real Apache at my church the other day, and he didn’t have to announce his Native Americanness (indigenousness/indigenuity?)It was written all over him. He was a complete, transparent 24-ounce jar of nuts, not a smack of peanut butter.

It is often said that my mother was part-Indian, but I never use that moniker to push back at these European mixed-up people, to which I also belong.

I admit it – I’m part-Cherokee. 1 in one million parts, but by golly, that’s what I am.

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E String Blues

Every time I tune a guitar, I get tense and nervous, just like the strings. When I come to the number 1 E- string I fully expect it to whine, squeak, resist and ultimately break with a lightning-fast slap of finality and defeat. (Breaking up is hard to do, or so I thought.) So I treat it gingerly, stretching it out, back-and-forth, rubbing its neck, and all the while backing my head away from the inevitabl-E. I could leave it at D Flat but if I do that it sounds, uh, flat? I could back it all the way up one octave but then it sounds like flubber.

It’s the same with people. Sometimes I’m the guitar and touchy, but more often than not, I’m the persistent tuner.

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Promise in Prayer

Abba! This promise – I can secure it. With your infusing, enabling grace. I need your wind at the stern, your breath and very resusitation. You are the author of inspiration. In fact, you are my only inspirer – above poetry, beyond life, and even my dearest mortal love. Above the beauty of nature,  the constancy of planetary motion, and more than time and hope itself. More than a promise of a bright future. “More to be desired are you than fine gold, and sweeter than honey from the honeycomb.”

Lead on! What powers can lift me and bear down on the barricades surrounding me, more than yours? God mine! I’m feeling faith materializing, forming, rising like dough in a warm oven. Prayer will impregnate, and faithfulness will incubate a nursery of fulfilled promises.

Give me a card to scan for entry into the restricted places – the halls of top secret clearance, where warring angels tread, where holy books are read and scoured and scrolls are etched with indelible spiritual ink – the liquid of purpose, the calligraphy of divine imagination, and where the wax seal of divine Holy Spirit confirmation is set with the thud of Paraclectic finality, the place where keys are forged in extreme fire, and fiery spirits hail to and fro opening long-locked doors, revealing treasures novel and never-before imagined. Priceless marvels springing up to mesmerize, bedazzle, and charm.

Oh! How I long for that fulfillment – just the taste of it probes my soul deeply.

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I have no case to make, no property to lay claim on, no contract to place demands on, no virtue to extol. I have only a faint grasp of your covenant, a finger-hold on your grace, a tenuous dependent clutch onto your hand. You are my ripcord as I jump. Fill my patchworked parachute with your buoyancy, your wind – lifting and carrying me.

What do I want? Only your abiding company, your effusing peace, your utterances of applied, timely wisdom.

I can’t squat on your property, occupy your promises. I can only inherit, by faith. Show me the bricks to walk on – the engraved ones. Help me pay the price to follow your solid, in-laid, memorialized path.

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