Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Sunday, December 9, 2007
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
they tell us stories and cause us to think
how can i say it this expanse of the heart
all things are new, every day a new start
teachers and brothers, elders and friends
have brought this new day and made a new end
every moment a treasure to be awed and revered
joy immeasurable moving to tears
and there is my brother in the midst of this time
strong and true and his laughter a rhyme
song and power the hawks brought as gifts
to the prairie home where the sunset sits
Sunday, November 25, 2007
the moral? none. just passing thoughts:-)
Monday, September 3, 2007
friday was FINALLY the day! a few times this summer, we thought we were going to go somewhere and at the last minute plans changed...the most recent one? legends...and i have to tell the truth, i was desolate at our change of plans i had SO looked forward to this...
so FINALLY...friday, august 31 shows up and all day long i held my breath because now i know we don't always get to choose these things...4:00 rolls around and we hop in the car with everything we might need and take off for WELLPINIT!!! YAY!!!
the drive was no less than amazing as is always our experiences...but like i said, this is totally a different story...texted noee to let him know we were on our way and he actually thought he might come up and JOIN us!!! that was fun too...sorry you didn't make it noee, we thought of you the whole time!!!!
we got to Wellpinit FINALLY and first jumped out and Brother had the tent up in no time at all...off we went with recorder in hand:-)
first stop, grand entry at the pow wow...an array of colors and sparkles and beadwork and intense beauty like no other!!! the smell of frybread intermingled with dust and hopes and strawberry lemonade!!! MMMMMMM!!!!!!!
walk through the vendors a TINY bit but not too interested because where are we going?
we can hear them already!!! songs of power and fun and grandmas with such smiles you can't even imagine!!! yay!!! throw 'em over!!! the first night we played a couple games, won a little lost a little and off we went to bed, tired, dusty and oh so glad to really be here!!!
saturday we woke up and took off to town for showers rather than wait in line...stopped and did some "old ladyin'" at the goodwill and picked up a few odds and ends we'd missed on our way up...
back to the grounds and there it was again those SONGS...went back to the stickgame arena with our chairs a BUNCHA cigarettes, new tape and ready to go! met up with our Niimiipuu brothers and enjoyed their raucous laughter before getting down to serious game playing met up with our Niimiipuu brothers (also bought a set of bones from 2-A...the sparkly ones...no, not the SPORTY ones...they're SPARKLY...) and enjoyed their raucous laughter before getting down to serious game playing...we listened to some kick ass songs and finally picked a game to join in on...it took THREE HOURS to get the money needed to match the other side! HERE we go though and look...row upon row of people...all from different tribes, many old timers and a few new players but what are we doing? we're joining into one big powerful song to help the bone handlers hide those bones!!!!! beautiful intense songs with echoes from powerful women...and when the pointers missed it was a victory for the whole team...
so...stickgame you see is a life lesson...the songs are strong and give hope for a good hide...you greet each other like aunties and uncles and brothers and sisters, there are no strangers in stickgame...no one sits alone for long and the smiles are genuine and joyful...
we are still basking in the glow of the experience and we're grateful beyond expression for getting to go!
Sunday, August 19, 2007
first, brother went out and found Daria had a sore foot so he had to bandage her with the spare...Clarence watched and kind of chuckled at our plight for he had seen it coming and then he took off to go share the hilarity with Bunny Tree.
off we go upriver...
you know of course, that wild horses are by far the Elders of humans and not to be trifled with. they show themselves only when they choose to, much as legendary unicorns but with more intense and colorful powers:-) we saw a bunch of them on our way upriver and this made us smile for surely we were going to have an Adventure of the Most Amazing Sort.
the world was in full "show off" mode and every bush and tree and fruit laden berry patch sang loudly with stickgame fervor "hey!!! LOOK AT ME!!!!" and we did...we admired some rich ruby chokecherries, complimented the beautiful purple blackberries for their graceful sturdiness and chuckled at the dancing poplars as we drove upriver. there were flowers in abundance showing off in every imaginable hue my favorite of course the purples and yellows...
i worked on a weaving project as we drove because it just seemed fitting...
we got there - the most perfect little spot on the entire umatilla river! there in the midst of a private cove was a deep little cave just for us to swim in and we did however it must be told that brother wasn't quite as wildly excited about the water as i..."come on in!" i shouted (yes, i was hiding my chattering teeth) "it's not that bad" "NO" he said determinedly..."come ON! that's what we're HERE for!" "NO" he said with resoluteness to be admired..."come on brother it will be FUN" he never answered me...he just started taking off his sox and wading in...
our swim was accompanied by polite crawdads asking after our family's health and promising not to bite our feet...oh how polite those crawdads are! as we walked back to find Daria we suddenly realized that we were RIGHT in the middle of a baby tree playground! baby pines, cuddly baby poplars, baby fir trees...all BABIES...they were cooing and clucking at us so i told them how cute they were and i won't lie to you, i even tickled the pine tree a little...
so off we go home...more wild horses, some wooly kind of cows with long horns who wouldn't be bothered with our presence and brother drove the long way home...okay let me tell you...the long way home is up a steep steep STEEP winding road and if you look down it makes your legs hurt! no jokes!!!! so i just mentioned that to brother and he said "oh really...look down NOW" and as i did he swerved the wheel...my toes are just now uncurling from the fright of this hilarity!
our last miles home we were accompanied by a ladybug who just wanted to hear us sing, and we drove right by a little patch of hair medicine which we gathered a little bit...
ahhhhhhhh such fun we had!!!! amazing day with auntie umatilla!!!!
Friday, August 17, 2007
so you now know that the toads have gone...driven hither by the din of teenage pheasants - right?
they stopped by whilst i was At The Place Of Many Papers where the Humdrum Becomes Drama and Insanity Prevails (work) and left a token of their love. brother and i came home early today (i will share why soon) and i went to the door to look out and WHOOP! i thought i saw a brown toad sitting on our doorstep! nope...just a piece of bark but WHO may i ask you would put a toadshaped piece of bark there??? ONLY MR AND MRS TOAD - thank you by the way, we're doing fine and Mr. Man sends along his salutations and wishes you many happy returns of the day!
Our Watcher Hawk Clarence sharply glared as Daria fancy danced her way into the Wide Path of Entry to Hidiness (oh dang those pheasants listened WAY TOO MUCH to Sonny and Chunxy Mama!) and surely you know that when Daria fancy dances it's because Mr. Man is at her wheel! Back to Clarence who asked us sternly just what we were about returning to Hidiness so early in the day (apparently he knows our schedule) and out of Daria we emerged with what?
The New Kid. Our tiny black kitten with sparkly eyes and a mighty hiss of defiance!
So out there this evening in the cool summer wheat sunset Clarence is hunting and the pheasants are dust bathing in the garding (the corn is long gone with woeful stalks chewed to the core...) and settling down with some quiet stickgame songs (yeah...okay we ALL know stickgame songs are never quiet!); the beetles are gathering on the front porch for council - i've asked them politely time and again to meet elsewhere, but what are ya gonna do? The New Kid is gathering information with which to make himself at home and it's FRIDAY...
Mr. Man is resting up for jollifications and here i am...
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
when i came home, my brother would go down to Cuzints house and give weaving lessons twice a week sometimes...i would go there and listen but got into watching Cuzint and listening to his incredible moments shared over cutting and measuring twine and yarn...my brother is so patient...he never failed to give encouragement "yay niecey that's really GOOD" and "well, let's just fix this a little bit" (that of course was with mine which seemed to always be a little bit wobbly looking).
i never could grasp the concept of changing colors until one day it just WORKED - OMG!!!! YAY!!!! i learned that you don't necessarily use colors that "match" per se and you DO use colors that you feel right about...i learned that the story of your weaving will show itself and each piece done with your heart is beautiful...i learned that the weft (twine) isn't supposed to show but where would a weaving be without it? a ball of yarn...
sometimes i wonder if i am the weft...and if i am, then happy and honored i should be to be covered with brightly colored richly storied yarn... I want to be resilient and sturdy and worthy of my role...
if not then OH HOW I HOPE to be purple and yellow and red and sometimes turquoise!!!!
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Thursday, July 12, 2007
wallowing on in silliness until out of the blue i come home and what awaits me? the most gloriously worked silver bracelet...or a new shower head...or seeds for my garden or a book i've been checking out on amazon.com...
yeah...what are those words? WORDS...
wounds bared to the sun
sometimes too tired
can’t even run
looking with hope
for a glimmer of love
an encouraging whisper
is that unheard of?
the psyche implodes
sighing deeply relief
shines brightly from there
oh silly spirit
quit grasping at tares
look at that sunshine!
the smiles therein knowing
can you hear that singing?
deep love is glowing
stop wearing the clothes
that don’t fit or look right
start trusting your heart
and just walk in this LIGHT
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
I wanted to put a picture of what's left on here but can't find it so I put the sun - why??? - because it's been EFFIN HOT here!
Anywho let's talk about my garding...
You may recall I dug it by hand. I was so proud of this feat! I worked for several days in a row and had sore muscles to prove it...I was happy with myself for the natural burning of calories - I know we've discussed this too - I am not so much with burning calories by exercise, it seems such a dang waste of TIME to me...back to the GARDING...
So my good friend Lydia counseled me to put all my seeds in on Memorial Day - this, she declared was the OLD WAY of doing things so I faithfully went out and my brother even helped me and we put in a BUNCHA seeds...of course you know the drill. I went out EVERY DAY to see if they were coming up and finally gave up and quit looking because they didn't yet. The tomatoes it seemed didn't like the cold and immediately acted like they were dying so we just kinda looked at them with disdain and kept waiting for the other seeds to come up...
NOPE. Lesson learned: In EASTERN OREGON we do not put our seeds in on Memorial Day!!! Okay so on we go, I planted more seeds later and was rewarded with some beautific rich and lush looking squash plants (the psychology here is that squash plants will ALWAYS grow and look lush thus, encouraging my whole "garding" spirit). My corn started growing and some radishes and even carrots! YAY!!!!
GROWTH IS WONDERFUL!!! So I started nurturing this lovely green lushness daily...would go and stand proudly over them and coo at them as though they were a nursery full of adorable Indian babies...
Then the farmers started harvesting. They harvested the peas in the field across the road and that was fun but you know...I didn't account for the fact that Mr and Mrs Pheasant AND their whole extended family had homesteaded over there. When the farmers harvested they of course evicted the Pheasant entourage along with a pretty disgusted hawk...
So one morning I went out to enjoy my garding and THERE THEY WERE...ALL THE PHEASANT KIDS had taken up tipi livin' in my garding! They actually acted like I was being RUDE to have awakened them from their BEAUTY sleep so DANG EARLY!!! I chased them out and they all took off...the next night when Brother and I came home THERE THEY WERE AGAIN! They had eaten the squash plants to pitiful nubs and completely obliterated the carrots and radishes...they left the tomatoes alone and the corn was apparently too big for their tender little mouths...anyway my brother shouted at them and chased them away and you know those little shits sat just out of reach and babbled on all NIGHT about our rudeness! They told on us to their mom and dad and their auntie and uncle, they told on us to that deer that wandered close enough to listen (doubt he'll do THAT again), they tried to tell on us to the hawk but he told them "stop it you're driving me CRAZY" and they told on us to the barn swallows who in turn decided to dive bomb us!
My garding is a sad situation now...a few faithful corn plants standing strong and proud- AND knee high by the fourth of July (YAY) and two stalwart tomatoes.
It was a good experience. I'll do it again next year!
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
each tree up there was individually formed with a specific design. you could tell Creator had said "ahhh this tree is going to say Strength and THIS tree is going to say Fortitude but hm, this little tree will say humility and ohhh look! this tree is going to say BEAUTY"
what struck me then and i'm reminded of today is that each tree grows as seeded...there is no questioning, no agonizing over "who am i and where is my place?" there is only roots digging deeper and branches raised HIGH to the sun each new day...i was watching them as they whipped by me and i remember my brother asking me "what are you seeing" that day and i could hardly put it into words THEN because i was so taken by the realization that if can just grasp that TINY little concept that we were created and put in THIS place for THIS reason and not keep desperately scrambling for our place we'd have so much PEACE.
on the left in the picture on this blog is Yellow Wolf, a Nez Perce warrior who changed his world and the people he lead...how? because he knew his place and wasn't afraid to stand there.
why say this now? epiphany:-)
Thursday, June 7, 2007
Thursday, May 24, 2007
"Your mother along with many elders like her was a teacher in the way she lived her life. Each day is a choice to us, am I going to be content and live at peace with the life Creator has handed to me? Am I going to stand strong in the beliefs I have chosen to carry me through the bumps and lumps of life on this planet? Will I graciously submit to the teachings and corrections of my elders and pray for strength to follow them even when it looks impossible? These are things I saw in your mother. Not once did I ever hear her complain of pain or speak ill of anyone. Up to the very end she was affectionate and loving. I just hope that when I’m gone I will have left behind even a TINY bit of this kind of legacy for my children and grandchildren!
And that’s where our songs come in. They are not just sounds...they were given to us for all these reasons, for strength and for prayers and for WISDOM and teachings and even correction. So that’s what I share with you todayJ A SONG!!!!"
Thursday, May 10, 2007
as i passed the Willow in the fiery yard (another story altogether) i heard him singing under his breath and it was such a deep rich song it could make you cry and dance with wild abandon..."this one walks in silence, he thinks his heart to be broken - his thoughts run wild and angry, these things he thinks unspoken...i'll sing to him tonight and in the morning he may smile. i'll gently hold his heart and let him rest awhile..." i asked Willow who is it you sing for? and he quietly pondered as i slowed for a passing truck "i sing for those who can't hear the song, and the ones who do should listen..."
Dirty Dirty stirred as i drove by in the night and she dreamt of suns yet to be risen; even the Mouse who i try to shun speaks stories to pheasants under the stars...
so dream in peace and awake in joy but always and forever there will be songs...
Tuesday, May 1, 2007
ugliness i will not partake
from glorious moments of the past
to hear shattered visions by lurdane rhetoric?
no, not i...
first but to scoff and toss the hair
and then to ponder
is this my heart unaware?
i soared through the
new blossoms of wisdom
wispy tendrils of growth
songs sprang from the deep
i heard them
quiet whispers of callous vacuity
oh please is this
my truth of identity?
breaking through the insignificance...
this is my hope
what i believe to be true
is the songs that i sing
and from my heart these songs
will fill with fire
the selfish chaff and numbing fear
i will stand and i will not wallow
Sunday, April 8, 2007
sonny's spider Nicto (there's even MORE of a story to her than you KNOW) has overed on our purple flower tub...we planted a tall purple plant neither of us know the name and some pansies and Nicto claimed it today with a delicate lacy but oh so present web...she turned her nose up at the tomatoes and completely ignores the rest of my little garden...
my little garden is REALLY little which i must tell you is quite disillusioning from the time I spent digging it...
today we took the movie over to Lydia who is my garden guru and told her about Nicto and she gave me some PEPPERMINT which i may as well tell you i believe to have mystical fresh powers of its own...i think really that the Rain Woman uses it to mist her hair with and that sometimes even the Sun Auntie sprays it over the Spring as a fresh cleansing Wash.
that's what i think anyway:-)
so Spring is here...the sunflowers are cheerfully greeting us against the rich green carpet of young wheat...the sun was kissing the dancers our hills on the forehead as we drove through the early evening today and they were twirling gracefully with the clouds adorning their hair...
Wednesday, April 4, 2007
i've already done an explanation to one person about my garden feelings...i'm doing the whole thing by hand meaning no rototillers and/or other dirt clawing thingies except for my shovel...want to know why? because truthfully i could stand to lose several pounds...i tried working out in the morning, i tried working out at night, i tried eating only rabbit food and i tried eating only stupid stuff...i don't LIKE to work out...i hate the very idea that instead of doing something fun or creative or productive or colorful i'm standing or jumping in one stupid place and why? for the burning of calories...so i decided to burn my calories the old fashioned way...and i had this epiphany that i won't bore you with...
back to my little garden. so out i go and who do i meet up with first? oh my goodness an entire worm clan...i didn't ask their names, it seemed rude and intrusive, i nodded at them and thanked them for their hard work in making such rich topsoil for which ONE of them stuck his tongue out! (oh yeah..worms DO have tongues!). Next as I continued digging I came across Nicto (you know her she's Sonny's spider friend) archenemy and I didn't ask HER name because she turned up her nose and went skittering away like I'd bumped into her with a grocery cart! Oh, I DID bump into her with a grocery cart! DERRRRR
Digging and kind of humming along I heard Mr & Mrs Pheasant having a spat about whether or not they should try to lead me away from their young by flying hysterically in some random direction...funny thing is they don't know I understand and speak fluent pheasant...poor dears...a dove or pigeon (you know, the cooing birds) laughed at them from the telephone wire and told me to go sneak up on them just for s & g....I was surprised that she knew that word but there it is...that dove actually told me "hey! go sneak up on those Pheasants and scare the stuffin' out of them just for shits and giggles!!!" She fairly fell off the wire laughing so hard at her little pun about scaring the STUFFIN' out of those pheasants.
I kept digging and it sounds to YOU like maybe I did a lot of work but I didn't, I only got two rows re-turned and am going to go out right NOW and do two more...
I won't bother you with the stinkbug's story because he kind of had a potty mouth and stuck his little butt up in the air to freak me out...which I did because you probably remember that time that Cal chased me around the living room making me curl my toes...with a STINKBUG...
When I go out the Pheasant family is going to be settling in for their story time and I understand Mrs. Pheasant is going to be singing a coyote song tonight...the dogs up the road have said that they were going to be cow-tipping which I am a little chagrined to know but hey, maybe they'll forget:-) The dove/pigeon couple are getting ready to watch tv (and by this I mean they go and nest up in the trees where they can watch the little creek down the road bed down and then they laugh and make stories up about everyone from that hawk to the little ants working hard before nightfall!).
My garden will be small but there's no end to the stories it will grow!
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Perhaps I had a wicked childhood
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
you’ve been my addiction since the day of your birth
nothing you do makes me love you the less
you’re stronger than me sometimes, i guess
so don’t think it awry when i ask you these things
questions become merry-go-round rings
i’ll grab what i can be it gold, silver or brass
and i’ll hold it to me like precious clear glass
each smile you send me, each moment’s delight
i tack on my wall and watch in the night
conversely the times when you push me away
exquisite pain... my sun turns to grey...
random piercing of sorrow the tears will flow
i’m not going to tell you, i won’t let you know
how deeply you wound me how often i weep
because tomorrow your sparkle again will i keep...
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Friday, March 16, 2007
Monday, March 12, 2007
That was 50 years ago. The ancient ones left a record of their lives in the ashes of campfires and buried sanctuaries of their dead. They left tools and weapons, items of adornment, and samples of their art. Their record of habitation proves Wy-am to be one of the longest occupied sites on the continent.
For its thousands of years of human civilization, Wy-am was one of history's great market places. A half dozen tribes had permanent villages between the falls and where the dam now stands. As many as 5,000 people would gather to trade, feast, and participate in games and religious ceremonies.
Celilo Falls during fishing season. Carefully constructed scaffolds lined the areas surrounding the turbulent waters flowing through the falls.Elders and chiefs regulated the fishing, permitting none until after the first salmon ceremony. Each day, fishing started and ended at the sound of a whistle. There was no night fishing. And when a fisherman was pulled into the water during his pursuit - most who fell did not survive - all fishing ceased for the day. In later years, each fisherman was required to tie a rope around his waist, with the other end fastened to the shore. Old people and others without family members able to fish could take what they needed from the catches. Visiting tribes were given what they could transport to their homes. The rest belonged to the fishermen and their families.
When the United States government submerged Celilo Falls in 1957, it compensated the tribes for flooding their fishing sites. It did not, however, purchase their fishing rights. Those rights, as set forth in the 1855 treaties, were not in principle affected when the government paid for inundating tribal fishing sites, but the tribes' economic base was shattered. Francis Seufert in Wheels of Progress, his book about his family's many years as cannery owners and operators in the Celilo area, explained, "The government, in paying the Indians for destroying their fishing sites at Celilo, was doing no more for the Indians than the United States government did for Seufert's when they bought Seufert's shore lands that were flooded out by The Dalles Dam pool."
These pictures are from the commemoration day although they are not from the Celilo village - my brother and I went upriver to the Deschutes another historic spot and that's where these pictures are from...
Monday, March 5, 2007
My brother and I were walking around not really going anywhere but just being together and talking about things (which is something we do and I totally love every minute of it) and we came across a big industrial building. Being of the curious nature, both of us were like "hey WOW a fun place to explore!" and in we went...at first it WAS fun, we went through hallways and doorways and could smell tar and work stuff, saw machinery and climbed around it...we somehow got separated and I realized in one of my hallway wanderings that we'd been here before and we'd been separated before...at first I was unafraid, just kind of twisting and turning and sometimes calling him and sometimes he'd even answer..."Brother where are you?" "I'm over HERE freak!" and we'd laugh and I'd keep trying to catch up with him but somehow it turned into a more menacing situation with toxic waste rushing down in a stream...at first I thought it was water and I was just getting ready to splash in all happy and have fun then this Indian (not American Indian) guy stopped me and said "no that's POISON" so I was a little taken aback and just looked. He threw a stick into the water and it dissolved instantly and I was NOW afraid of the stuff. More wandering and I could no longer hear my brother or even sense that he was anywhere near.
My wandering took days and I fell into the liquid and burnt my hands. At times I would cry and was afraid I'd never see my brother again...
Finally, I got to a place near the outside of this "tire factory" and there he was standing with some other people...I ran down to him and they all kind of laughed, they said "He wasn't going to leave without you, he's been waiting here for a couple days!" So I hugged my brother and out the gate we went finally! WOW...we talked about the things we'd seen inside, and my hands were sore but I was okay. We looked at my hands and they were badly burnt, but he said he knew where there was some stuff to wash them with to heal them.
We were looking around the world we'd stepped into and I realized it was different and I turned to him and said "Wow, this is an ALTERNATE universe!!!" I was so excited! It was pretty fun, there were whales flying around in the air then down into the water below, some skate fish were flying and then gracefully dove into the water below, the water was the most astounding shade of aquamarine and the shrubbery was orangey purpley awesomeness...the ground was sandy mostly but also grassy along the edges...
We were watching some whales down below and all the sudden Michael Ray realized that one of them was trying to beach himself. He literally shapeshifted himself into a whale, flew down and dove under the beaching whale, he somehow wrapped his "arms" around the whale and flopped him back into the deeper water then stayed with him until he'd calmed down and quit trying to beach himself then suddenly Brother was standing next to me again all out of breath from flopping the whale...I didn't think anything of it, to me it seemed normal that my brother could shapeshift! (I still kind of do think that) We walked on and were enjoying the sights around us and it started getting dark, a group of what I thought were swans that glowed in the dark flew above us and made quite a spectacular show for us then I realized these were PHOENIXES!!! I was so excited!
Suddenly we got into a kind of human traffic jam and Brother grabbed my hand and told me whatever happens don't let go just keep up with me so I did...we ended up following a group of people who were pretty happy and talking some kind of political stuff about "going out and now it's time to go back in" and they were excited about going back in...suddenly I saw the TIRE FACTORY place in front of us and I started almost crying again I did NOT want to go in there again and Brother kept my hand tight and said it's okay it's okay stay with them but we won't go in don't worry...We ended up going in just the outer part where we had first found each other after I'd gotten lost and I was so afraid we'd be stuck back in there again but they let me right out.
They were going to try to keep Brother in there and I got myself ready to do whatever it took to get him out but they ended up letting him out...
We tried to warn people from going in there from the outside but they either wouldn't hear us or ignored us and went right in...
But this I know...my brother can shapeshift into a whale without even TRYING!!!
Friday, March 2, 2007
yup, that's what we were thinkin' but here's the thing, y'know that Bunny Tree down the road? He was thinkin' "oh please just ONE MORE SNOOZE on my snooze alarm!!!!" he quickly reached his paw out from the ground and clicked that snooze button just ONE MORE TIME and voila!!! SNOW!!!
Auntie Umatilla had started putting on her Spring Shawl but she saw the delight of the Trees down along her bank and said "oh okay, ONE MORE sparkly snowy play day!!!" and MORE SNOW...
Ya see the facts are we're not the ones in charge here...don't tell anyone but we're much smaller than we imagine ourselves; I heard the horses down the road kind of chuckling as we drove by "oh yes, there they go, they think they're in charge of the universe but (and here Mrs. Bay Mare lifted her hoof oh so daintily) they're just little KIDS aren't they?" she turned to Mr. Black Angus who was still a little offended about the you-know-what which left him a Steer and not a Bull "In charge of the universe my ASS it makes me want to LAUGH or something" (you and I know that Angus's don't laugh...right?). Even Mariah Mouse threw in a tinkly laugh "well you know, we mustn't chide them...let them think it's Spring already!"
So out came a few leaf buds just to trick us...back to the Grey Mare in charge who lives right next to the Bunny's field..."WHHHHEEELLLLLL they're cute that's what!!!" and she ran up to the top of the Manure Mountain of Melodic McMusicness "I would sing but MAN my pigs are hurtin' from all this Winter Dance!"
Because that's what it is, first, the Winter Dance - graceful snowy cold and sparkly, then we eat the Celery and THEN we can do the Spring Dance...cheerful, rainy and green with spots of luminous sun to make us strong...
Well. At least that's the way Bunny Tree tells it...but shhhhh don't wake him up because you KNOW he'll just keep hittin' the snooze button until he DECIDES it's time to do the Spring Dance!!!!
Monday, February 26, 2007
My brother often asks me "If I'd told you even five years ago that you'd be doing the things you're doing what would you say?" I think about it and I'm like "I think I'd be scared, but even then I trusted you (my brother) enough to follow you if you said it would be safe/fun/amazing...
So yesterday was Celery Feast day. This starts a few weeks ago when the lead Food Gatherers go out and check the status of the foods...the Celery (our Big Sister) wasn't ready but in a few weeks! Last week she went out and checked again and YAY it was ready for harvesting...the Food Gatherers put on their best work wings (our wing dresses such as my grandma Susie has on in her picture) and boots over their moccoasins and off to the hills to gather the celery! It's amazing to watch them, they're all so beautiful in their wisdom...old old OLD digging bags are brought out, woven of cornhusk and something else for color; a lot of these came down from the grandmas of the grandmas! Some of us stay behind in the longhouse and cook throughout the day to feed these beautiful women when they return. It's our honor to serve them. In the evening they come back and they were COOOOOLLLLLDDDD it had been snowing and hailing and the wind blowing all day up in the hills but there it was, the yummy green celery that tastes JUST like Spring when you bite into it!!! The longhouse drummers sing to honor the Big Sister Celery and the women who gathered her. We then gathered around the table to laugh and eat and talk about the day.
Sitting at the longhouse table is where I've learned some of the most valuable lessons ever and I usually sit by my brother who has a deep strong laugh and sings with the richest most honest voice imaginable.
That was Friday. Saturday evening was the service and we dressed ourselves and went to the longhouse again. I usually cook throughout the day for this but my knees have been bad so I stayed home and rested Saturday. We got dressed Saturday and by "dressed" I mean wings, moccasins, otter wraps on our braids, our best shell earrings, my new necklace just finished for me by my brother...we did our songs and got ourselves ready for the big day.
Sunday back to the longhouse, I into the kitchen, my brother at the drum, and we celebrated with songs and prayers and words of thanks to our Big Sister Celery. Dinner is served and we eat our foods in the order of Creation...first the Salmon, who gave itself to keep us strong, then the Deermeat which offered himself up with grace and dignity again to keep us strong but also to clothe us...next is the Bitterroot, the coush (like a carrot but not), the Celery, then then the chokecherries and huckleberries...after we taste and give thanks for each of these then we drink the water which we're all made of...
I have a special "thing" for water, have all my life even before coming home, and in every piece of work I do, my trademark has become putting a "piece of water" (represented by a small lead crystal bead) in some place on everything I make.
I've probably left something out but yesterday was amazing in every way...
Thanks for sharing in it if you've managed to read this far!!!!
Friday, February 23, 2007
Friday, February 16, 2007
all i wanted was to make it go away...
When I first heard the news it was Saturday morning and we got the call. My first thought was OMG how can I help this friend of mine? This teacher, this leader, this amazing personification of strength and song? That's all I wanted was to have the words that might help him through this horrific time and I couldn't for the LIFE of me think of what I could say...
I prayed about it and then a memory of an old friend came to mind, John was a friend of our family and was every bit as "there" for us as my husband at the time; he brought my boys treats and toys and would scold them and also praise them when they were good. He drove me to the hospital for the birth of two of my children and was in general just one of us. He moved away to go fishing in Alaska and we missed him a LOT...I had NO IDEA how we would miss him because really, there were times I would get annoyed with him and want him to just go the hell home. While John was away in Alaska, he would from time to time call us just to check in and he ALWAYS asked how the kids were and how was I doing...he lived for awhile when he was back in town with my mother-in-law who was at best a difficult woman and at worst, well...anyway John always said "you know, there's no point in judging her Shawna, she's going to end up judging herself you know..." and I would take hope and move on.
John went back to Alaska and his fishing. He was so happy up there, he would call Greg and I and always had the most amazing stories to tell of Northern Lights and amazing midnight suns...one day we got a call from the fishing company and they told us he'd fallen into one of the processors and had died up there. There was nothing really to send back...for years I would wonder 'what was it like for John in those last moments? Was he scared? Was he hurt? Was he sad? Did he wonder why no one helped him?" I wore myself out with the sadness of it and then gradually it faded until just a month or so ago I was watching a program on the Discovery channel about medical traumas. This gentleman fell into some kind of processor in Wisconsin...also a fish processor. He was torn apart too and it was just amazing that he lived, but he did and in his interview on the program he said something that gave me hope for so many other things in life. He said "I felt pain at first but it wasn't bad, as the machine tore me apart this amazing peace came over me and it was as though I was watching myself from the outside in...That was my body and I could watch it being pummeled...all I could feel was peace and joy and wait for the other side..."
So then I was thinking hmmm, that's not exactly the words I was looking for and then I happened to see a pipebag I'd made for my brother and I remembered how I had carefully chosen each color and the weight of the cord and made sure my design would fit exactly...I remember how carefully I cut the fringe on the bottom and how I chose the beads for my signature to demonstrate our relationship as brother and sister...and I realized this:
As painstakingly as I chose and created that bag how much more attention to detail is given the creation and design of humanity by our Creator; and how do I know this? Because years and YEARS after a sad event in my life, one which profoundly caused questions in my mind, Creator sent a message to give answer both to my questions and to quiet the fears in my heart...Those moments had been PLANNED for...Before we are even given breath each moment of our lives has been carefully thought out and planned for and there is not one moment of our time, not one pain or sickness or horrible sadness has not already been sung for by Creator...
So this afternoon I realized I should tell this story to my friend because it had come to me at this time...I also now know I shared this story at another time when it was right and I don't know if that helps you...i hope so...
Thursday, February 15, 2007
how to sort and define and alphabetize the visceral entities borne of external stimuli?
this started i don't know when...yesterday? time runs into time and mega runs into giga...i'm tired and i want to go home!!!
Friday, February 9, 2007
now i see that was the lesson...don't let my feet get planted too firmly for somehow the blood the pumps through the fancy in my heart will get caught down there and i will lose my dreams!!! so this i will share with my beautiful daughter jilly-marie allegra; i will share it with my fanciful friend on the coast - you know who you are - and i will share it with my sisters and friends here where i live...
live those dreams, never be afraid to see the dryad and don't believe the ones who tell you she's not there! gloriously bathe your eyes with the beauty around you and splash yourself with wild abandon in the copious wonder of this earth for yes, there are battles and yes, there is life, and yes there will be chores to be done but the strength you need for all of these is in the joy you find from your fancies...
Thursday, February 8, 2007
where oh WHERE do you draw the line
between civil disobedience
and pure bitchdom?
is it at the juncture in which you
turn with nausea and disdain
from the vacuous
is it at that place where
you find your
swirling at the inadequacy
with which to express
help me know the difference
between speaking my mind
and blowing up