Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Happy NDN New Year...

There are a LOT of things going on in this world right now...but for a moment on Monday, those of us in our little longhouse in Eastern Oregon paused to give thanks for the pray for the new foods and a new cycle of life coming was joyous and rich.

These are two of the young women you can always find at the longhouse - those are such beautiful smiles!

As other groups and cultures celebrate the Solstices, we celebrate the New is the renewal, the time of new foods and turning our backs on the old year and the old issues.

We gathered first for a meal - for it seems we Indians eat together often - but this meal felt warm and inviting. When I got to the kitchen, there was Grandma Lonnie in her beautiful dress cooking the roots and I was so happy to see her! Leigh was also there, she's a quiet but deep woman and Trish who is somehow my new always and forever - I love her more than I can say and for reasons I can't enumerate...she's the ultimate mama and always has everyone dressed perfectly and her energy is limitless - I'm blessed to have her in the kitchen because sometimes I just really can't do it...

Grandma Lonnie made the pies beforehand

After the meal it's time for service - the singing of our beautiful songs and the longhouse dance in which we symbolize "making a path for our way" during this part we're given the opportunity to speak from our heart and this is when anything we say is SAFE.

When it's over we all shake hands and laugh raucously, hugging and smiling all around -

The next morning just felt SO NEW

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

just sayin'

learning things is sometimes just the dang pits...
while I was on my LEARNING trip to Vegas (and believe me, although bright lights and glittery shiny was on display in ABUNDANCE it was in every way a LEARNING trip) I was reminded by my instructor that we are mirrors....when we are annoyed, irritated, disgusted sometimes flat pissed off at someone, often it's only that they're reflecting a facet of OUR personality we're not too keen on....

It's true. I didn't want to admit it, I just wanted to say "well what if they're just someone I don't LIKE or something" and other equally as childish responses but it's true...

Flip side - and get this one DEEPLY if you can - those you love are equally as reflective - do you love their depth? That's you love their humor? YOU AGAIN...and so on.

That's all I have today - just remembering it all day has been EXHAUSTING.

:-) I think I'm just gonna go gamble for a little bit now - k?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Creator is BIG...I am small...

On my flight home recently, I took these pictures...they made me feel both small and safe

it's a wonderful world.

Friday, December 3, 2010

discretion IS the better part of valor

It's been a week from hell - I won't lie to you. Crushing disappointments, moments of forgotten grief from multiple losses (the month of November), regular daily stress, continued frustration with "the wheel" and the rest of the sad stories...

One of the days this week, I had one of those flashes of anger - you know the ones, so white hot there's nothing in you but wilted exhaustion when its done? I almost threw in the towel - said "I'm done, you take it from here" and walked away from my job...I almost said things to people that should never be said, and I almost did many things this week all because of this stupid emotional turmoil churning away...

I didn't do those things. I bit my lip and put down my head...I walked away and went to the copier instead of speaking...I listened to someone else's story and to my surprise found myself crying on HER behalf...

Today I got some good news. News that actually brought home that saying "discretion is the better part of valor" THANK YOU for not letting me say those words...for not throwing in the towel and walking off this job...THANK YOU FOR THIS JOB and thank you for not letting me LOOSE!

I am grateful:-) IT'S A BRAND NEW DAY

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Dear President Obama: November has come and gone...where is the fanfare of "Native American Month?"

I was just told a story by one of my coworkers...she'll remain unnamed at this point because I didn't ask her first but the story she told me shook me to the core AND reminded me of what we're really doing "here." My rendition of this story is sketchy because I heard it for the first time just minutes ago. Something we hear often from our longhouse is "if you don't tell the story you've heard you'll lose it" and I don't ever want to lose this.

My friends' grandma was a little girl...they were riding on horseback from one place to another and would encounter clans from time to time on their journey. They were arriving to one of these clans and as they came around the corner, they saw piles of what they realized were dogs. They kept riding and as they came across the homes, they found everyone there was dead but what was strange to them was that there were no children.

In a hopeful way, I imagine, they all thought that the children were out hiding, as my friends' grandma had been told to hide on occasion. Not true. They rounded the corner and to her grandma's horror (remember the grandma was a small girl at the time) they came across all the children - hanging dead from trees by their ankles.

I tell you this story not to horrify you, rather as a reminder for myself. This battle we fight is not against this entity or that is against the blind ignorance which rolled across our nations killing and robbing in blank's against the concept of blank rage and its to strengthen our tribes through honesty and education to wage war for generations to come against such indignities and horrific violence.

In this day and age we don't encounter young Indian children hanging from trees but we DO encounter the concept of our people as "expendable resources." We see our children exploited in much more modern and yet just as not say this would be folly indeed. We encounter our elders being abused by their own children...having their medications stolen so they have to lie in bed awake and in pain night after night...our children and grandchildren face a bleak future if we don't continue this fight...

Kind of makes my bad day seem so trite...I apologize to my elders.