What I laid out for the attendees was the foundation of a conversation: that the U.S., by its own admission, is in active occupation of 500 – 1000 sovereign nations in the continental U.S. and that the Los Angeles tribes (who are very much alive and still culturally active and yes, there’s even a tribal government) never had a ratified treaty. If you live in L.A., you’re squatting on their land.
About a week back (more or less), I was witness to one of those curious interchanges that occasionally leapfrogs its way across social media. This one was about art. Insults …
You are living in the middle of an artificial desert, created by people gaming with your life. You can’t go back to what was before because it’s gone and even if it was around, it wouldn’t sustain even a tenth of the people who are now here. This storyteller has a message for you. Let’s end this game and envision a new one to play.
This is a city seeking to constantly be reborn, a city founded on initiation. Initiation can be described as nothing more or less than the attempt at renewal, an alchemical achievement, the desire to shed that what you were before and take on a new form. It’s shapeshifting for the soul. And it never ends.
There are some folks who need a touch more: a Mystery they can pray to, a sacred space they can hide all of their hopes and fears in, a ritual to share that feeling that out there, somewhere, something greater watches over them all. Like the followers of science, the worship of the Mystery is good enough for these folk, good enough for art to flourish and spring out into the world, overwhelming people with awe and emotion for just a time before moving on.