Matrilineal tracing constantly being confronted with displacement
What would the landscape of my existence feel like, if I could identify what a sense of belonging felt like? A more pressing question is: what would the landscape of my existence feel like, if I could identify what a sense of belonging to myself felt like?
Hovering about; in between the crevasses of a history denied; a people violently displaced and a privilege that assures my ‘liberation’, far beyond having to identify with anything that has to do with being coloured in South Africa and even further from being Khoi. A series of events lead me to the gathering of thought: I secretly meet with my Khoi healer. _______________________________________________________________
I see my healer every other month. Self-worth and intuitive diversions led me to her.
Our secret meetings continue to be a secret because secrets seem to be the only way that I can maintain a sense sacred safety. Open truths have always been met with scrutiny and judgement. Open truths have led me to a place where my safety is compromised. I just simply could not have the sacredness of my ancestral belonging exposed to the unkind ways of people who contest their relation to their own lineage.
While I take account of the feelings of judgement and displacement, I understand the systematic discord which has led to the denial of one’s lineage. I especially understand that the need to survive often supersedes the need to acknowledge your history. When your history is beat out of you, rendered ‘less than’ and essentially erased because surviving is simply the smarter choice to exist; then I can only have compassion for those who have had to externalise their sense of connection to their lineage.
In effect, this has just made the mapping out of my lineage inherently difﬁcult. I only have access to a few photographs and a few family scandals; which aid and fuel my search for greater understanding.
My history isn’t as easily accessible as literally ’any other given’ history is. There are no smart anecdotes to pacify me about how I am represented. I have to physically search for history stored and shared only in sacred circles of family beyond my matrilineal placings. My history has generally been erased and replaced with a narrative that serves to harm and dismantle the very little identity that coloured people have sought.
The more I search, the less I feel I can claim. The more I search the more I have to confront Western ideology and its deﬁnition of what belonging ought to be or appear as. I have found that, the more open I am to connecting with my ancestors, the more is revealed to me. This claim and connection makes me wonder if spiritual connection, is the only means to tracing my matrilineal lineage. I wonder if spirituality and belonging are mutually exclusive?
As I continue questioning, my Khoi Healer and I explore various things that connect us to our ancestors. She has been guiding me toward my matrilineal tracing. Mapping out movements and history that we presume started out in the Outeniqua Mountains; and moved up north into what we know as Kimberly today, seems to be quite a task. Unpacking my yearning and connection to honeybees, indigenous plants, botany and the general care for the environment; further disconnect me from capitalism and my peers; but they draw me to the closest feeling of belonging, that I’ve ever felt.
Again, I question whether or not spirituality, nature and the feeling of grounding that it provides me with are all mutually exclusive. Can these things only exist together in order to openly reveal your matrilineal path?
Are these connections a predetermining factor in you feeling less displaced throughout your life?