September 3, 2015.
We are a people born into journeys of identity.
If we like it or not.
I get asked all the time…
“Where are you from? No, like really from?”
“Are you from here?”
“So, you’re Indigenous? Like an Indian?”
“What pronouns do you use?”
“Oh, you’re an artist?”
“Oh cool you’re an artist. What type of painter are you?”
“What’s your native name?”
I don’t know my ‘traditional’ or ‘Anishnabek’ name.
I am Theodore the third.
Like a regal royal.
Common in many cultures.
Gift from God.
Or the Creator.
But sometimes, that’s all I have.
It is what we place on polished stones and obituaries.
To tell others ‘where we are.’
A close friend dreams of horrific scenes.
Probably why were friends.
People are ‘weird’ that way.
But she dreamt of my funeral once.
And I asked them, if there were a lot of people there?
Like an asshole.
But, how many?
Quantity over quality.
But always on the search for ‘quality’.
The ones I love and latch onto for comfort.
The ones I’d be open to hugging.
Not hand holding.
Too many germs.
And fast, loud trucks.
Triggering memories of those stories in the headlines of him.
Of what they did to him.
How young I was.
Learning what those definitions meant.
What “you” meant.
But hugs, when ready.
A hug to you all.
The ones that never let go.
Even after the embrace is over.
To find oneself in moments like this.
With folks like you.
I hug you.
I hug you too.