Careful What You Wish For

Joseph Erb

A long time ago when the Cherokee people were new upon the earth, they thought that life would be much better if there was never any night. They beseech ed the Ouga (Creator) that it might be day all the time and that there would be no darkness.

The Creator heard their voices and made the night cease and it was day all the time. Soon, the forest was thick with heavy growth. It became difficult to walk and to find the path. The people toiled in the gardens many long hours trying to keep the weeds pulled from among the corn and other food plants. It got hot, very hot, and continued that way day after long day. The people began to find it difficult to sleep and became short tempered and argued among themselves.

Not many days had passed before the people realized they had made a mistake and, once again, they beseech ed the Creator. “Please,” they said, “we have made a mistake in asking that it be day all the time. Now we think that it should be night all the time.” The Creator paused at this new request and thought that perhaps the people may be right even though all things were created in twos… representing to us day and night, life and death, good and evil, times of plenty and those times of famine. The Creator loved the people and decided to make it night all the time as they had asked.

Ivan Mijatovic

The day ceased and night fell upon the earth. Soon, the crops stopped growing and it became very cold. The people spent much of their time gathering wood for the fires. They could not see to hunt meat and with no crops growing it was not long before the people were cold, weak, and very hungry. Many of the people died.

Those that remained still living gathered once again to beseech the Creator. “Help us Creator,” they cried! “We have made a terrible mistake. You had made the day and the night perfect, and as it should be, from the beginning. We ask that you forgive us and make the day and night as it was before.”

Once again the Creator listened to the request of the people. The day and the night became, as the people had asked, as it had been in the beginning. Each day was divided between light and darkness. The weather became more pleasant, and the crops began to grow again. Game was plentiful and the hunting was good. The people had plenty to eat and there was not much sickness. The people treated each other with compassion and respect. It was good to be alive. The people thanked the Creator for their life and for the food they had to eat. The Creator accepted the gratitude of the people and was glad to see them smiling again. However, during the time of the long days of night, many of the people had died, and the Creator was sorry that they had perished because of the night. The Creator placed their spirits in a newly created tree. This tree was named a-tsi-na tlu-gv {ah-see-na loo-guh} cedar tree.

When you smell the aroma of the cedar tree or gaze upon it standing in the forest, remember that if you are Tsalagi {Cherokee}, or human...you are looking upon your ancestor.

HATE

rebel 4

What is hate?  Is it something that washes over us.  Such as, a child’s play in a cool spring on a wet, sodden, summer’s day?

Is it disguised?  An acronym?  Perhaps, a left handed compliment?

She’s pretty cute for a big girl!?

Could it be that hate is how we are raised?  Ingrained into the fabric of our young hearts!  Red stitching to blue denim.  Skinned knee that scars.  A scar we are reminded of by those who love us?

‘How did you get that?  Will it fade?’

Hate…has bothered me, more so, the last month or so.

I had been raised in hate.

I had seen hate come through as; insult, slap, push, punishment, words…

I abhor hate.

It has taken years to release the feel of a leather belt on my bare legs.  The words of my mother…

‘You wait ’til your father gets home!’imageedit_7_7479129128

The wire hairbrush that lost it’s purpose.  The bristles against my Nubian skin.  The wonder why.

I do not wave Rainbow Flags, like I used to.  My days of marching…few.  My need to display the anguish is more or less confined to a keyboard.

Not African American.

Nor, Transgender.

Just gay and a woman.

No matter.   I am a product of hate.  Consciously or not…I became the minority.

Coming out in the 1980’s; allowed me to witness such blind vengeance.  Gay men oppressed for their illness.  Lesbians thrown into a crowd of overtly bold…straight men.  Watching the world circulate.  Witnessing our lack of communication.  Bowing down, on occasion, to the uncontrolled bias.  Bias that will, mark my words, turn to hate.

On the shorter end of the stick, I still wonder this very simple notion.

‘How hard is it to love and let love?’

That is all!

Simply…imageedit_79_6288492448

‘When the world begins to slow.  Is the hate and disrespect really worth it in the long run?’