Hawk and Moon

A line from one of my favorite movies ever, Thunderheart, has stayed with me in the two decades since I first saw it. The film tells the story of an FBI agent played by Val Kilmer called to a Native American reservation to investigate a murder. Since this agent is partly Sioux in his bloodline, the government sends him hoping to soften the residents of the reservation toward him so they will cooperate with the investigation. He is, however, a hot shot with no interest in being identified as Sioux; to him they are primitive, foolish and out of touch with modernity. When he finds himself in the company of their most respected elder, a translator delivers the words of a vision the elder is having – the agent has great standing in this community as a warrior (and the movie goes on to describe why this is so) but, in his present awareness the elder says to him “You are as far from yourself as a hawk is from the moon.”

The story is epic to me. It describes perfectly, in my mind, our modern dilemma as humans. We simply have forgotten who we are. We are as far from ourselves as a hawk is from the moon.

How modernity has led us into this distant wilderness is a topic discussed thoughtfully by eco-theologians, eco-psycholgists, depth psychologists, and many social, anthropological and spiritual analysts. The simple fact remains that each of us, as individuals, have work to do to remember who we are. We have been forgotten. We are forgotten. We forgot. But we can, and must remember.

Who am I? Who am I? Who am I? This may be the most profound meditation a human can consider. The layers of this question will quickly take one past narcissistic and individualistic ideations into a deeper story of identity.

I write about this now because for some reason I keep witnessing the question surfacing in my mind and in the minds of friends, clients and colleagues. I wonder if this might be a result of the shift suggested in the calendar that moved us through 2012 and into a next phase of earth’s evolution. Old answers and old assumptions about who we are – individually, collectively and planetarily – don’t seem to hold power in the same way. People are casting about, bravely, with this question.

To me, in my way of seeing and describing, I would say we have lost the dreaming. Our forebears dreamed, remembered their dreams, discussed, revered and were guided by their dreams. Dreaming is, and was, a dimension of consciousness, a locus of operation in both day and night. To forget this is to lose ourselves and the terrain of the imaginal, a real realm in which our subtle bodies work out situations in the worlds we inhabit.

We are now, collectively, as far from ourselves as a hawk is from the moon. But remembrance is possible and seems to be beckoning. An open doorway stands straight ahead. Crossing its threshold requires willingness, imagination, humility and sense of adventure. But I see it, we’ve got it, we can do this. We can shorten the gap between hawk and moon. I know it. I’m looking forward to it.

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8 Responses to “Hawk and Moon”

  1. Linda Says:

    So true Tayria. You seem to always write about what I’m experiencing. A few days ago I searched for a picture of myself when I was a child… so I could look at it and remember the soft, gentle, genuine, loving, kind hearted, pure little entity I was when I came into this worldly experience. With life seeming to have beaten me up the last 3 years I felt like I needed to search and return to and remember that all of that still exists within myself and I’m working to bring it all forward once more or as you say “shorten the gap between hawk and moon”. Thank you for letting me know I’m not alone in my journey. Love, Love, Love you!

    • Tayria Ward Says:

      Love, love, love you too Linda. I see the beautiful, young, innocent, pre-trauma Linda shining in your eyes and spirit all of the time. She is a beauty. You always radiate her. You are so brave.

      • Linda Says:

        Nice to know you see the real me….Thank you! I’m going to try to see me through your eyes…LOL Must get together soon since I’m right in Asheville now.

  2. Gary Miller Says:

    i love this, thank you for writing so clearly and so compassionately about our individual yet shared circumstance.

    before my eyes completely focused this morning, i read the last sentence in the next-to-last paragraph as, “…a real realm in which our subtle bodies work out situations in the WOODS we inhabit.”

    indeed, the perennial question….and i am reminded that there are gifted ones who help us along the way. no doubt you are among those gifted ones. thank you.

  3. Marsha Crites Says:

    This is awesome Tayria!. Could I share it on my FB page?

  4. Tayria Ward Says:

    Of course, Marsha. I’d be very pleased if you did. I put it on my page, so you can maybe just go to it and click on the share button. I love spreading the thoughts around.

  5. www.youtube.com Says:

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