Descent into the underworld

Photo of ladder into kiva.

”We Americans love to think ourselves innocent of the tragedies — personal and public — that the past and our compulsions have visited upon us, all of us. Most of all, we want to be innocent of how much the ghosts and bones of our beautiful landscape have shaped and twisted virtually everything that has happened here; and we want to remain ignorant of how costly our innocence is to our government, our communities and our hearts. In Mississippi I wandered among some of those ghosts and bones, and it is my great lesson to have learned to stop trying to evade and forget what I have seen and heard and understood and now must know, but rather to embrace the ghosts and cradle the bones and call them my own.”

— Anthony Walton, Mississippi: An American Journey

As Anthony Walton expresses so eloquently, at this point in American history, it may be the denial of the traumas in our collective past — and our failure to grieve these unhealed wounds — that keeps us attached to foolish, yet heroic ideals of invincibility, when acknowledging our suffering, neediness, and vulnerability is what will make us stronger.

© 2013 Laura K Kerr, PhD. All rights reserved (applies to writing and photography).