Thursday, November 3, 2016

This summer I've undertaken to weave a new "wapas" a basket for gathering. It hasn't come along very quickly but that's okay. This entry was begun on August 25, 2016, a momentous day indeed - Today is an amazing day, after years, and I do mean YEARS of work, sweat, disagreements, hard feelings, good feelings, no feelings, we're breaking ground on our new clinic. How do you describe something so amazing coming to fruition after only just hoping it will? When I started on this health commission journey I was waaaayyy in the back seat of the van...I wondered where are we going? What comes to mind though, is the late night discussions with my cousin Hin-mah-toom-see-loo. We talked about my years as a nursing assistant, my beginning in an EMT course many years before, how I learned about tribal health issues through a clinic up in Northern Idaho and again in the city where I worked for a large organization which dealt with all the NW tribes and their health issues. Then coming home and talking with him about the things I'd seen and heard. He never looked at me during these discussions, but would say in his quiet voice, "well, you came home for a reason, you should get on the health commission." Within a year, there I was. I wish he could be here today to see where we've come. My brother, too, Twie-pie-tit, he encouraged me one time, he looked at me and asked "what exactly have you been doing since you got home?" so I told him and he just smiled, kind of shook his head and said "I'm very proud of you, you've done a lot of things in a very short time." Throughout the following years, many different people talked about the new clinic, it was spoken of with hope, with affection and in stark contrast with disdain and hauteur. Along this journey our group has had many allies, speaking encouraging words and helpful thoughts and also many naysayers, speaking doubtfully of shattered dreams. Beloved aunties and elders who are now gone offered their wisdom and hope to the project giving direction at times without even knowing they were helping to shape the future. All of this input has been helpful. All of it. Through accepting instruction we are now free to pursue with passion that which we believe to be true. A new clinic will FURTHER help our tribal community in seeking better, holistic health from the babies to the great grandmas and grandpas. New treatments may be offered and the tried and true improved upon. The fruition of this vision is like a basket being woven. Sometimes you don't like the pattern, you have to tear it down to the foundation and start over and SOMETIMES you hold the work out and a light shines on it, the design and concept are visibly amazing and everyone can enjoy it. Weaving is an ongoing and utterly consuming passion - this new clinic, the health of this community, the health of my beautiful grandbabies is much the same!!!!

Never too old...

If you watched me walk down the street in front of you, you might muse to yourself, "oh look at that poor lady..." the limp, the grey hair, the weight are all telling factors of the human aging process. I should tell you though, that every single day I wake up I'm truly grateful. No, REALLY. This year at my celebration of sun cycles, I will be FIFTY NINE. 59!!! Ten beautiful grandchildren, four adult and ever so respectable children, a little house on the prairie, a pet goat, seven cats (yes, seven, only one is an "inside" cat though, k?), several neighboring hawks who are around to have been named (Clarence, Stacy, Stuart, Melanie) Life, while not always a bed of roses (who would actually LIKE a bed of roses? Seems pretty ostentatious to me) has been pleasant these past few years and I am grateful for each day. One of my favorite components of being a woman of a certain age (I've ALWAYS wanted to use that phrase appropriately!) is that I am no longer encumbered by the notion that at all costs the appearance of "having it all together" must be perfected. This is a release, a freedom to learn with wild abandon! It's been said before, "you're never too old to learn." Today I fully plan on embracing this truth. Hopefully again tomorrow!!! have a frabjous day... These are some quick shots from my recent trip to Suquamish, WA

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

New days ahead

I haven't been here in forever but I think to myself every now and then "I should blog this." Life is a never ending challenge and each day our choices determine the outcome. Shall I have a good day? A bad day? Shall I prevail over the many obstacles that befall me? I believe so. We're never alone in these battles. All of our energy and all of our emotions are a part of this universe so today, I leave you with this thought: I am in love with life. Every waking moment is filled with love, my family, those I work with, people I meet by chance, these are moments to cherish!!!

Monday, October 1, 2012

first day after september's last

Try to imagine the taste of warmth has overtones of sky and a delicious aftertaste of summer-breeze wheat with a final hopefulness of rain. That's what the first day of October might taste like if you ate it. September as it turns out is a delightfully busy time around here. There's the Pendleton Round Up, weaving conferences, people need help with their regalia so you must sew and weave and bead and the midst of this is grandchildren growing and laughing and crying, painting the house with mud but oh my goodness, with skillfull little hands you notice they actually stayed in the LINES of the house... Grandbabies bring joy...their parents stay connected and though grown, there's still that tiny cuteness pulling even MORE love than you thought possible from the depths of your being. Oh don't get me wrong, difficulties arise but through it all is this golden glow of hopefulness. What do you do though when the hope edges are weakened and weariness dries out the dregs of remaining strength? It does happen, even to the joyful, the beautiful, the royalty and minions. No one lives in THIS dimension eternally bathed in beatific smiles but when I get tired I will dig through my old photos. Reliving delightful memories will ALWAYS bring a smile to my face...oh, I may stumble across one or two that bring tears but I'm grateful for joyous memories and grateful for life. Everyone has challenges. It's best not to bemoan them but to get up, pull up my bootstraps and soldier on. Who will teach my babies to be strong if I'm not!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

So much more than a number...

You've heard it before, "age? oh, that's just a NUMBER! you're ONLY AS OLD AS YOU FEEL!" Of course when someone is saying that, they're busily spinning that wheel in their own mind saying "it's true...yes, of course it's true!!" all the while chuckling in that nervous tone that states clearly for all to hear "please say it's true."

I had a memory today - from the sparkly side of under fifty, I recalled watching my "girlfriend" doing something oh, let's call it, of a self-preserving nature, and I remember thinking to myself "I'll never do that." I later watched this same friend do another thing and talk about more things to which my -49 year old brain instantly shuddered and my -49 nose instantly turned up! My friend is gone now so I can't apologize to her personally, for truly, even though I didn't say a word, I know to the depth of my being that she both heard and understood my repugnance loud and clear. I'm going to say it anyway. I'm sorry Sue. I wish I'd been more understanding and much less condescending.

But the funny thing is? My dear friend was condescending towards me and a few of the others in our tight circle. My friends P. and M. were nearer my age, and she had a few that were closer to hers. On the edges of this circle were my two daughters, at that time about 16-18.

I realized today with that brilliant flash of epiphany that we enjoy so rarely in our lives. Age is so much more than a number.

It's because of age that I can reminisce back to days of my youth now without utter horror and pain, I can look back and say "thank You for the strength gained from those years" and I can honestly share the pure release of actual forgiveness. Funny, really, true forgiveness isn't simply saying "I forgive you" and walking away, you must actually release the wrong doing from your being and consciously release the wrong-doer at the same time. Otherwise, it's just words. This is because of age.

Oh truly, there are some who at an early age learn with clarity some things that I, at 54 am now just beginning to grasp, I welcome their wisdom and appreciate their glow but I've learned to no longer assume that.

I'm now 58 years old. Still holds true.