Medicine owns us. It has rules of engagement – like the female body is an original instruction.
Plants are relatives not resources. Plants cannot be catalogued (as the anthropologist has so often done). They are adaptive. Their effect changes with us and we change with them, as we connect as relatives. Medicine carry-ers don’t have rights. We have obligations. We have the choice to accept them or not.
I know you and live in reciprocity with you, a somatic reality that allows love to flow between and from us. It is relational. For example, it doesn’t have opinions. Cultural sharing comes with questions it asks *with, not of. We co-create. We have something beautiful to contribute so it’s not a one way harvest.
I prefer my version of your culture. This is why I am fine with, maybe even prefer, learning your culture from people more like me. I offer little or nothing in relation to you. Because of this rupture, love does not, cannot, flow between, or from, us.
. . . than when/what/how is it ok to appropriate. It’s about restoring relationality and reciprocity between people and cultures, between all things cosmic and worldly.
It is true that cultures have shared and much of the gorgeousness of this world is a result of this sharing. However, sharing and taking are not the same. Reciprocity and relationality are fundamental teachings . . . that have been left behind in the rubble.
This age is characterized an unprecedented level of dissociation and fragmentation. As a result, we mistake coca cola for fermented beverages. So many of us settle ourselves with the superficial fake bubbles. We have lost touch with what our craving for fizz ought to ensure – probiotic gut health. We grab the rebozo, or the peace pipe, or the ayahuasca . . . and walk right past our own lineage. This fragmentation goes back so very far. It feels hopeless and bleak behind us where our ancestors should stand.
What if looking in, and back, restoring the ruptures, and finding place for each ancestor is the very minimum requirement for coming to the table of cultural sharing.
Find the real bubbles. Don’t settle for the comic strip version of who we are. Let’s dig deeper for what is possible. Let’s take our obligation seriously. Prepared yourself, and your community, to hear the voices of ancestors and plants and futures and pain.
Take yourself into account in relation to the medicines you carry.