I was pretty much a loner most of my earlier years and had only a few friends. As I recall there was Thomas who I would hunt Robins with in the summer and cook and eat them under choke-cherry trees. There was my cousin, Paul, who would ditch school with me and go hand-fishing down the Cutthroat stream. We would end up working on his mom's land, pounding metal posts for fencing, irrigating the land and driving the old, big, blue truck with loads of pinon wood or fencing posts or alfalfa bails; double clutching was a cool thing do. Today very few people know how to drive a stick shift.
Our relationships, over time, become our most profound memories - the first kiss, the first death, the first adventure, the first child. The first of everything becomes the foundation to our souls.
A couple years ago I made some designs inspired by the Planting Sticks and Digging Sticks. They are the long sticks that are pounded down at the end corners of a field to indicate where to start planting. There is a long cord that is unraveled and it's connected to them both and they may or may not have indicators where certain seeds should be planted. The length of them also creates the width of each of the rows. These sticks were important and were placed in different areas to be pulled out in the Spring when we started planting. Most people don't even know what they are or how to use them anymore.
As I looked at these planting indicators I saw them as relationships. For example, two people connected together, wrapped in our lives, forging a cord of experience and knowledge, cut and re-tied where we lost faith in the relationship and reconnected once again. There were the small wooden indications where we are reminded of where we sowed our seeds and nurtured our lives. There were eyes of the ancients watching over us, praying for us when we lost our way.
Here are four of those Amulets:
1. The relationship amulet of abundance: This one is the amulet of two people offering themselves to a cause in generosity wrapped in corn husks saying that we had a good harvest and carrying the blue corn seed as the offering.
2.The relationship amulet or forgiveness or the digging amulet: This one has the ties of reconnection and digging plates that tell us to find the true source of our lives by digging in deeper and having faith in the cord that was originally forged, however, there are secrets that still pull at the heart strings.
3. The original relationship amulet: Is taken from the original created by Nelson Zink. It has the indicators sticks wrapped in the cord and these could be the ones that have changed the course of our relationships: children, death, loss of faith, however, they are honored and existing, excited, in the open for all to see as a way of finding faith in the exposure of love.
4. Last is ancestors relationship amulet: Wrapped in corn husks around the sticks are the memories of the ancestors; their knowledge and our responsibility to keep them close to us to have faith in their strength and, in that strength, that we may forge our own knowledge for the next generation.
I guess we can only hope for the best and if we can have faith beyond our useless and selfish self we can find unity in our collective autonomy. We must nurture faith in the things that work. We must be fearless in letting go of the things that no longer take us to the best of our abilities.
Relationships either launch us or throw us to ground, however, they teach us to be stronger and to be radical in our convictions and to rise higher in existence. After all, our relationship to spirit teaches us that, just as the unknown soul smile back at us, teaching us that there is hope even in the cruel, sometimes hopeless world. Even that is a relationship that can be cut and reforged into a better way of life...
With love and beauty and a thank you for being part of my cord.