Like a true elder, Stephen hears my troubled plea and hangs with me as we traverse great swathes of time and geography, tracking the catholic project to convert the world to Christianity that began with Paul the Apostle, through to Columbus opening the door for colonization of the so-called New World by the Puritans, up to the modern era of residential schools, globalization, AI and the revival of Christian conservatism.
It’s not an easy ride. Over the course of our conversation the range of emotions and responses is as broad as the story of How We Got Here. Grief, sorrow, bewilderment, joy and praise all make an appearance.
By the end, I’m mentally and emotionally spent and confess, “I can’t take any more!” Stephen laughs and says, “I’m not sure I can take any more either.” As Stephen says repeatedly, there are no answers, no way to fix things. But perhaps by wondering How We Got Here, we start to get a glimpse of How Things Could Be Otherwise and along the way, uncover a few hints on how to proceed like an ancestor worthy of being claimed.