Friday, May 8, 2009

walking away...

I didn't walk away from you,
I stayed where there is growth
I didn't turn my back on you,
I turned towards the Light.

Here is where the gentle scent of tules
beckons for strong woven cords
the brightly colored beads lend themselves
to the sturdy sinew for necklaces
lovingly chosen to be worn with THIS dress for the memorial or naming
or funeral...

there's the song - do you hear it?
if you close your eyes you can see the old ones weeping
for the sheer joy the song brings forth
hum with me now, you'll see why I stay...

you call me away from here
would you pull my roots from this ground
and plant me in that place so loathed?

Prayer for My Brother, The Bear by Chief Dan George

O Great Spirit who listens to all
I speak for my brother the bear.

Make the moon shine softly during the nights of his childhood
So that the warmth of his mother will always be in his memory.

Make the berries grow in abundance and sweetness
So that the vigor of life will strengthen his heart

And the years of old age shall never be a burden to his body.
Let the wildflowers refresh his temperament
So that his manner will always be carefree.

Give his legs swiftness and strength
So they will always carry him to freedom.

Sharpen the senses of his ears and nose
So they will always keep harm from him.

Let only those men share his path who in their hearts
Know his beauty and respect his strength so that he will
Always be at home in the wilderness.

Make men praise life so that no one needs to feel the shame
That lives in a heart that has wronged.
Then my wild brother, the bear, will always have a wilderness,
As long as the sun travels the sky.

Oh, Great Spirit, this I ask of you for my brother, the bear.

Note: Many in my family and among those I love are bear people...when I saw this I wanted to share it with these in particular: Heyoomakin; Heyuum Asa Ki; Heyuum; Hume-tukalalilt; and all of my bear relatives whom I love so dearly.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

you might call them weeds...

dandelions Pictures, Images and Photos
blithely walking by, bits of sunshine underfoot...dandelions glory; remember the class? Here's what the books say: Dandelion inflorescences are yellow, up to 2 inches in diameter, and appear to be solitary. They are borne on hollow stems that can grow up to 20 inches long, and held above the foliage. The inflorescences ripen to become round "puffballs" of wind-dispersed seeds. Flowering period is from early spring to late fall.
They fail to mention the dainty curled wisps of sunshine dancing out of the deep yellow strength...nary a word about the bold green hollow stem rising from the hunter green foliage...
Do you wonder sometimes how you could have walked by such a performance without so much as pausing to tip your hat?

In southern Oregon where I spent my youth there were foxgloves in abundance, delicate purple bells inviting bumble bees to feast...
Foxgloves Pictures, Images and Photos

All of this pondering is due to this fact: I am not the judge and jury...if I work with someone I deem "weed" I just need to remember there's SOMEONE out there who thinks of this person as their dandelion or foxglove...or nettle (smile).

Violet Wood Sorrel Pictures, Images and Photos

I find that I love the weeds with their flowers as much, maybe even more than I love garden flowers although I've tried a few times to raise my own little patch of pansies and so forth...


I am a

What Flower
Are You?

"Many people think you are just a little bit odd, but you consider yourself just a little eccentric. You find new experiences exciting and fulfilling."

It's kinda true...

there's no "i" in TEAM

This morning I was pondering the words I would write's been a rough and hectic month - yesterday was particularly challenging insofar as responding graciously to unreasonable narrow-minded "little mans disease" style of supervision. While considering my words, I came across an old email received from a friend I'm no longer even in contact with - the message was strong enough to change my whole outlook:

"The real meaning of being a Team

This is a wonderful true story I heard about. It will just melt your heart!!! I thought we all needed to know about it!!!

They played the oddest game in high school football history last month down in Grapevine, Texas.

It was Grapevine Faith vs. Gainesville State School and everything about it was upside down. For instance, when Gainesville came out to take the field, the Faith fans made a 40-yard spirit line for them to run through.

More than 200 Faith fans sat on the Gainesville side and kept cheering the Gainesville players on—by name.

And even though Faith walloped them 33-14, the Gainesville kids were so happy that after the game they gave head coach Mark Williams a sideline squirt-bottle shower like he'd just won state. Gotta be the first Gatorade bath in history for an 0-9 coach.

But then you saw the 12 uniformed officers escorting the 14 Gainesville players off the field. They lined the players up in groups of five—handcuffs ready in their back pockets—and marched them to the team bus. That's because Gainesville is a maximum-security correctional facility 75 miles north of Dallas.

This all started when Faith's head coach, Kris Hogan, wanted to do something kind for the Gainesville team. Faith had never played Gainesville, but he already knew the score. After all, Faith was 7-2 going into the game, Gainesville 0-8 with 2 TDs all year. Faith has 70 kids, 11 coaches, the latest equipment and involved parents.

Gainesville has a lot of kids with convictions for drugs, assault and robbery—many of whose families had disowned them—wearing seven-year-old shoulder pads and ancient helmets.

So Hogan had this idea. What if half of our fans—for one night only—cheered for the other team? He sent out an email asking the Faithful to do just that. "Here's the message I want you to send:" Hogan wrote. "You are just as valuable as any other person on planet Earth."

Some people were naturally confused. One Faith player walked into Hogan's office and asked, "Coach, why are we doing this?"

And Hogan said, "Imagine if you didn't have a home life. Imagine if everybody had pretty much given up on you. Now imagine what it would mean for hundreds of people to suddenly believe in you."

Next thing you know, the Gainesville Tornadoes were turning around on their bench to see something they never had before. Hundreds of fans. And actual cheerleaders!

"I thought maybe they were confused," said Alex, a Gainesville lineman (only first names are released by the prison). "They started yelling 'DEE-fense!' when their team had the ball. I said, 'What? Why they cheerin' for us?'"

It was a strange experience for boys who most people cross the street to avoid. "We can tell people are a little afraid of us when we come to the games," says Gerald, a lineman who will wind up doing more than three years. "You can see it in their eyes. They're lookin' at us like we're criminals. But these people, they were yellin' for us! By our names!"

Maybe it figures that Gainesville played better than it had all season, scoring the game's last two touchdowns. Of course, this might be because Hogan put his third-string nose guard at safety and his third-string cornerback at defensive end. Still.

After the game, both teams gathered in the middle of the field to pray and that's when Isaiah surprised everybody by asking to lead. "We had no idea what the kid was going to say," remembers Coach Hogan. But Isaiah said this: "Lord, I don't know how this happened, so I don't know how to say thank You, but I never would've known there was so many people in the world that cared about us."

And it was a good thing everybody's heads were bowed because they might've seen Hogan wiping away tears.

As the Tornadoes walked back to their bus under guard, they each were handed a bag for the ride home—a burger, some fries, a soda, some candy, a Bible and an encouraging letter from a Faith player.

The Gainesville coach saw Hogan, grabbed him hard by the shoulders and said, "You'll never know what your people did for these kids tonight. You'll never, ever know."

Isn't that the most wonderful story!!!??"