Dangerous Compassions



“Do you read any kind of scriptures?” my friend in Montana asked.

Wow, scriptures.  Like the Bible.  The Gita?  Sutras?  I sing a song Ya Devi often which has lyrics from a holy book called the Chandi.

“No, not lately,” I said.  “But I pray, do ritual, dance, sing.   I listen to Mother Earth and look at the sky a lot.”

“Oh, so you’re doing some kind of Native American, mother goddess sort of thing,” he said.

“Uh, well…?”  No, I know almost nothing about Native spirituality.  Just what I’ve learned from spending time with the spiritual person who married me and Ming.

“I wrote an ecstatic poem the other day, at my friends’ house,” I said.  “I was by this rosebush covered in white roses.  All these pollinators were visiting, and I got the feeling I was one of the bees, a little bee who was falling asleep in a flower.”

poetry truth

The truth is I read beautiful poems sometimes.  They feel like scriptures.  Poems a friend shares on facebook, or a friend sends me in the mail.

Later Ming and I were driving north to a different part of Montana.  He told me what he thinks, about whether I read scriptures.

“Paying attention to the earth around you, you’re reading scriptures that haven’t been put into a book,” Ming said.

“Oh, like they’re not codified,” I said.

“I was thinking it might have been good if you told him that,” Ming said.

“Ok!  Yeah!” I said.  I liked Ming’s validation.

Thinking about things being codified made me think of how zines can be like scripture.

“My scripture could be in a zine.  Or talking to my witch friends,” I said.

“Exactly,” Ming said.  “Just because it’s not in a book doesn’t mean it’s not real or important.”

“Wow, yeah!  I do believe that!” I said.  Diy is my value.  And women’s ways of knowing and being that are less established, defined, standardized.

Mother Earth

“Should I say something other than Mother Earth?” I asked Ming.  “Is that what throws people off?”

“Well…” Ming said.

“There’s nothing particularly Native about listening to Mother Earth, right?  Anyone can do that,” I said.

We never came to a conclusion–please let me know if you think of anything.  You know I’m a goddess worshiper and think of earth as mother.  But I could switch to Parent Earth?


I had a thought about my nose that just about panicked me.  We were at this sweet little cafe in Rivalli, Montana called Bison Inn Cafe.  I was looking for the bathroom and glimpsed a table with Native people at it.

As I was walking out of the restaurant, down the steep ramp, all of a sudden it hit me–this big, narrow nose of mine, with its bump–it’s a characteristic of my mom’s side of the family.  A couple of my uncles have bigger noses with more pronounced bumps than I do.

But I always thought it was weird, this was the Mexican side of the family, but our noses were not like Native noses.  Our noses are maybe Roman?  Why is that?

After my mom died and I looked at our family tree stuff going back to the Canary Islands and Spain, I think maybe the nose is a European nose.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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