One Year Later & Kinship

One year ago I began Hashké and I did not know how long I could run a business while working a full-time job, going to school, and staying sane in the middle of a pandemic.

I just knew that I wanted to create, even if it was something for myself and a small group of friends, I wanted to release these thoughts and visions that I have has for so long. My culture has been on my mind and I often think about my ancestors and where our people have journeyed throughout the years.

Being Diné living in the modern world, I think to myself, are we not also modern people? Certain voices in our community call on us to return to tradition and the ways our great grandmothers and grandfathers once lived. In this world, I never consider maintaining tradition because our culture is all that we are and ever will be. I imagine a community isolated from the rest of the world, and a place where our language never wavered and where our artists, warriors, and medicine people guide our path. Compared to today's reality, somehow that world feels more modern than what we have right now.

After one year I have a lot of my mind. Returning home and reconnecting with my family has been priority for me. It has been so long since I've seen members of my own family. I want to respect and protect them, so I recognize that coming back in the middle of a pandemic may not be the best right now.

Ever since I lost my parents in 2007, my extended family has not felt the same. Years later as an adult, I understand more about my parents and the struggles they faced. Coming out into the world, seeking happiness, honoring family, and having fulfillment is surprisingly very difficult.

But I think there is something that will always remain. Our kinship. I had the great pleasure of reconnecting with uncles and aunts I have not heard or seen in years. Somehow memories I had as a child come flooding back. Now as an adult I see my family not as superhuman figures but as strong and brave as they maintain peace, seek out happiness, and celebrate each other.

Perhaps that is what is meant by return to tradition. It is not a call for the tangible and physical manifestations of our culture (which has transformed over the years), but instead is a call to return home and connect with our community. If that is tradition, then I am wondering how we ever strayed from that path of harmony.

Thank you for being part of this journey with me. I appreciate that you take the time to follow Hashké and for that I am grateful.