Some realizations I had upon coming to Amiskwacî and feeling the earth beneath my feet again:
just love. love the people you resent or respect. Love the land. Love the fish. Love the water. It’s not a theory, it’s a way of being. Babies know how to love. People on their deathbed know how to love. But many of us in the struggle forget it, try to make it intellectual.
I promise you this: I will put no conditions on your healing or decolonization. I just want you to have a good life, however you can make it. I want your babies to be fat & happy. I want you to feel loved and appreciated. I want you to soar. I guess those are conditions, LOL. We forget that process of healing is complex. We’ll tick each other off. We’ll disagree. But in that messiness we must remember gentleness.
I want to love you so hard we laugh like grannies telling a joke about that time we got scared by a fish. I want to love you like that.
I want to love you even though you think my round Michif body is a sign of weakness and a lack of self discipline. I love you like a rabbit.
I love you like a moose, all gangly and loud. I love you like a bear chasing salmon. I love you like the rivers carrying away our sorrows.
I love you like a squirrel hoarding food for the winter. That’s how much love I have. There’s probably more. I’ll save it for the thesis.
…ooh ooh! I love you like mountains staring down at us all pitiful, laughing at our little fat bodies. I love you like a sparrow eating worms
I love you like moist dirt after the snow thaws. I love you like a dog snoring in the sun. I love you like a baby farting.
I love you like my fear of the dark, reminding me to ask the grandmothers for help. I love you like apples crunching. I wish to love you like the call of a loon. I love you like the horses he drew on rental walls.
I want love you like my double chin. I love you like the deft hands of a granny wiping tears from your eyes. I love you like dust. And stars.
I love you ’cause it’s the one damn thing they can’t take away.
I think it’s important for us to remember to be gentle, to give each other space to grow and fall and get back up again. To remember we all have different ways of processing pain and trauma. To fiercely and recklessly and unashamedly be strong and kind and to hold each other accountable. And to stop trying to call bad medicine good because we want to get away with being jerks.
It takes a lot of work to know your limits, to admit when you’re hurting other people. But our future depends on us being able to own our actions and to transform that pain into sticky, messy, unrelenting love. The kind of love that smells like vic’s vaporub and hot tea and damp earth. The kind of love in a grandmother’s kiss and her scolding. The love that slips in and out of view, running along the ridges of mountains and down into the valleys, racing along rocky earth and muddy fields. Love that has no name, needs no definition, works on its own accord and asks only that we leap into its depths with the knowledge that the experience, so impossible to define, will transform all of this — this life and moment and story — into something far bigger, far more beautiful than our little fat bodies are capable of manifesting all on their own.