and honestly, it's a word i used to hate. there was this movie we watched when i was younger. i don't even remember the name. but this woman called her children "the Lacey tribe" and never told people all their names because "life is short and time is precious."
and it made me feel strange, unsettled, even when i was eight. because why wouldn't time be precious enough to list off your own children's names? why lump them into this vile thing...this tribe?
and then i realized something for the very first time, just yesterday, at almost twenty-three years old :: being part of a tribe is about being known. to take the idea and make it about being identity-forgotten, to strip away the you-light from this candelabra of tribehood, is to destroy the very essence of what it is to be.
because the Lion sang tribes into existence from the soul of the man who wrapped himself in fur and lied, who worked fourteen years for love, who dared to wrestle in the hour of his unknown. and from him there came twelve, and from one came the One. and there is something so precious, so unique about each tribal voice that led to the breathing of the Most High.
being in a tribe, finding your circle and your family of exhale :: it's about being see. it's about gazing and locking eyes with another, the brush of fingers over your cheek to leave a soft painted blessing on your skin.
it's not about being smooshed into some sort of grey-hued mass where you blend in, where you simply are. it's about the circling of arms around you as sisters braid your hair and wind your neck with colour. and there in the caves with the soft lap of the water against the stones, the light flicking and the Light flowing from He-Who-Sees gathered in their midst.
we see you, unique one.
we know your name.
and i know theirs. because i'm their family, and they are mine. and we take the time to see their lives and call each soul by name. just as the Lion who sang the stars, one burning flicker of light at a time, and whispered their names in the darkness.
I have known you long.