"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Sons of the Pioneers theme for TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon artist's musings melding metaphors and journalism, for readers in more than 150 countries.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Homelands and immigrants at "Christmas"

"Homeland," today's 5 x 7 #watercolor card
We are children of geography...the pull of place grows deep inside, especially at this time of year.
I cannot imagine the desperation that forces thousands of immigrants to leave "home," to seek asylum, salvation, someplace else. 
As a so-called "Christian" people celebrating the birth of Christ who taught people to love and not be afraid, can we not in this time calling for love and peace, have compassion, and not hate or fear, for  those uprooted from their homelands? 
Or maybe we're not. Maybe Christmas should be renamed Materialismmas, judging by our selfish reactions in this time of turmoil for  people voluntarily who eave homelands because of poverty and hunger, or because of war and persecution and disease, are forced from them.
Maybe Christmas should be renamed Materialismmas
It's not new, of course, as our "Christian" ancestors did their best at genocide of native people. That included uprooting them from their homelands as with the Trail of Tears in Oklahoma, where the pull of place was and is sacred, and trying to "convert" them.
Fortunately they have survived, primarily because of the strength of their cultures, anchored in their religions, and as with the Pueblo people and other tribes, their sacred geographies. Perhaps their god is more powerful than ours?
All of this is spontaneous as I write about geography in my life. I am a part of every place I've lived, and one of the strongest is New Mexico.
One of the most powerful places on earth spiritually, and symbols of New Mexico to me,  is Taos Pueblo...a civilization and "religion" that is older than America. That is because of the people and places that are an essential part of who they are. Most of us in Western religions cannot fathom the depth of their beliefs.
This was not supposed to be political, and perhaps it is not...but it is religious. Spontaneous thoughts,  spiritual emotions, erupted about what Christmas is supposed to be as I viewed and wrote about my annual watercolor cards featuring Taos Pueblo. 
Have we forgotten that all of us are immigrants, and even the Oklahoma nickname honors desperate illegal immigrants--"Sooners"?
How would Christ react to desperate immigrants? Aren't we all desperate immigrants, hungry for a sacred homeland?

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