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ENCHANT ME! (A Contemporary Animist’s Prayer) To the shared breath of life: Enchant me! Whisper to me in the cadence and rhymes, the deeper susurrations of this tellurian realm with its numinous places that already call out my name! Talk to me about my mother and father and the wonderful moment that I came to be and their scary audacious aspirations for me Talk to me about my brothers and sisters, my neighbors and friends, my mentors and guides and the myriad ways they have helped me to be And when I waiver beneath the awesome requirements of being a man in this precious precarious era and place, speak softly to my wife who knows all that I am and whose daily decision to share and engage makes me sacred and solid, a community elder whose wisdom and hope, whose experience and love might counter the insults, the violence and lies; the revenge, the injustice and depth of despair that passes for normal in the toxic discourse of our once open and wonderful land! Spare me the discourse of the liberal intellect, the conservative truth, the academic exploration, the Anglo-German Protestant search for consensus among key words and concepts and peer-reviewed papers that garner our tenure at a safe enough distance from the problems at hand! Walk away now from the carefully crafted and cold equivocation, the intellectual ambivalence, the postmodern preference for the appearance of process even as the have-nots are hassled and harried, held down and hammered in our poisonous patterns of policies, procedures and participatory practices which, guaranteed to fail, we visit on the poor - shameful behaviors revealing our reluctance to do the right thing and to do the right thing, right now! Remind me of a time when animal and plant, wet earth and stone, the explosive attributes of water and fire and the breezes we breathe, were souls intertwined, long before the concepts of resource extraction, subsidized extinction, persecution of the other, and the profitable rituals of slow suicide…… Help me return to the restless pulsations of an earlier time when the jaguar and lion, as fierce as they were, were no match for the spears, the dark painted faces, the muscular commitment that protected the fires of the community at night but admitted any strangers in fear their lives Help me return to my ancestral world of the drum and the poem, of the dance and the hunt, the animistic perspective of the human condition as a shared breath of life among embodied souls in a shimmering world! Then enchant me and make me complicit! Help me sing and contribute to the generous rhythms of fearless intent, where the tough and the confident make room once again for the tired, the poor, the different, the lost, the ambitious, the driven and the irresistible evolution of the concept of “WE”, not us and those others but me and another, and another, together, sacred and enduring like the bright-burning lamp that our Lady in the Harbor holds up to the world! Let this come to pass, and ambivalent as I am about the nature of God, the words on my lips until the end of my days will be Hallelu Yah, Hallelujah, Alleluia, Blessed Be and Amen! To enchant: To use a “rhythmed murmur”, an incantation, to conjure an image, to cast a spell, to take one’s soul to a spiritual place!

Copyright © | Year Posted 2021

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