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Archive for the ‘the kara and me’ Category

the element on my mind the most right now is – outsidership. an uncertainty about how to enter in. i just recently began wearing the kara, and even that feels so vulnerable, as i spent the week putting it on. then taking it off. then putting it on again…

first i would think: ‘sikhi is primarily about one’s relationship to God, not about appearance or identity. and maybe you aren’t even sikh! and do you even need to have a label? and what about histories of colonialism that have made available a panopoly of spiritual and cultural traditions for your personal indulgence? and what if (my greatest fear of all) this feeling of God-connection leaves? what if this is just a passing phase? a stop on your spiritual journey? what if this isn’t real at all? and you aren’t even baptized, so why wear any of the 5 k’s at all?’

but there is something about this hesitation that intrigues me, as well, and I can’t help but wonder – is there something underneath?

and then fears come up like – imposition, taking up space, not belonging, of being exposed, of participating in cultural appropriation, of trying to be something i’m not.

so then i would take it off.

then i would think: ‘yes, sikhi is primarily about my relationship with God. and when i wear the kara, i feel accountable to that relationship in a particular way, like – if i’m going to have the privilege of wearing this, then i better walk the talk.’

and so it has functioned in this way for me, of reminding me of God when I look down to see it on my arm, and also of motivating me all the more to do my prayers.

so then, i would put it back on.

i must sound so neurotic :).

well, that was last week. and this week i have worn it almost constantly, still with some discomfort and uncertainty, but only when i get stuck in my mind. for more information about what that’s like, please re-read the preceding paragraphs.

at least four times :).

i am still not convinced that this is essential to my worship of God. but that it is important to understanding more about who i am, and that it may hold an important clue about attachments that i have to being able to “blend” in particular ways, of eliminating as much as possible elements in my physical appearance that would draw attention, or make me feel vulnerable, i think it does help to highlight these things. and that is work that i’m willing to engage with and explore further…

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