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