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. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Monday, Monday...

Mondays are usually a promising day for, I arrived at my place of work today with several thoughts flitting about in my un-caffeinated brain (neither tea nor coffee had made the break yet). "It's Monday, stay positive" "Thank You for this job!!!" "How can I adjust that budget?" "Better get the notes formulated from the weekend's retreat on..." "wow, I left my desk THAT MESSY?"

Got the coffee now taking a quick break before diving in. Here are a few of the blogs I read on a regular basis:

Your Success Corner

VERY good tips this morning; deal breakers, actually - thank you RENA WILLIAMS

Ugly Overload

This one is NOT so ugly he's cute!!!

One Perfect Bite

Beautiful delicious - and ATTAINABLE recipes!!!

These are just the first three that grabbed me this morning. I'll share more another day.

Because it's Monday and my last week was fraught with meeting after meeting I have a lot of minutiae to catch up with...please pay my friends a visit but I'll have the tea on again tomorrow!!!!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

It's LITERALLY the last day in July, 2012...

I haven't accomplished very many items on my "Summer of 2012" list BUT I've done quite a few things above and beyond...
Weaving is healing and growth to me...the piece here has my version of chokecherries at its base, this is our Huckleberry Feast season and chokecherries are part of any meal at our longhouse table. In the center is the sun Weyatanat...rises each morning with a song and a gentle strand of wisdom in his heat. Finally, to end each meal at our longhouse table we drink our "Choosh" water, we couldn't live without it, we begin and end with water...I love to weave.

We went on a short day trip to Wallowa to help out with the service up at the lake...
 Here are some of the drummers/singers from that day. Strong men with good hearts singing from the depth of their existence. It was a beautiful day.

On our way home we stopped to cool off in the beautiful Wallowa river. The way in was so inviting...then the water was deliciously cold and refreshing!

 After our dip we continued on the road home...after saying thank you for this beautiful place...

On our way home we saw riotous colors and heard the birds was almost TOO beautiful sometimes.

It's been a difficult painful year - sadness returns from time to time but always in my heart I am grateful. I'm grateful to be home, I'm thankful EVERY SINGLE DAY to be home and to be an Indian woman living in centuries old traditions...
 I'm thankful for my sweet Mimqas (means "orange" in Nez Perce) kitty, who although he has the loudest most obnoxious voice you ever heard on a cat, is undyingly faithful and ever hopeful that we are bringing him home something more delightful than he has ever known...he's truly an example to me:-)

and I'm thankful for each new's true what has been said..."Weeping may endure for a night but JOY comes in the morning!"

Monday, July 16, 2012

Good gracious...

Last week was a bad week. Oh I won't drag you through my plethora of physical maladies or even shock you with the intensity of my familial stories. There's just no cause for've done nothing to me!

I will share with you the outcome though.

I am not the judge.
Whether I agree with your viewpoint, opinion, feeling, action, inaction, response, unresponsiveness, any of it. Whether I like or dislike your outfit today, the way you fix your hair or even the label of your shoes...or even if I've staunchly defended you in the wake of what seemed to me to be ludicrous accusations, I'm not here to judge, when it's time for me to take that place, I'll have to go alone and Someone else will do the judging.

I am not perfect.
A flawed creation is one who can change. For some reason this is exciting, not discouraging. A daunting task looms though, if I look at myself in the mirror and ignore such flaws. I choose to be thankful for those who willingly point out my many flaws...Someone will help me help me change.

I don't know everything.
Although I've been on this earth a fairly long time, my learning curve varies. Some things I learned quickly and avidly. Others, I was a little slow on the uptake. I still have much, much more to learn. Hopefully though, I'll study hard and pass the day I hope to make Someone proud.

It was a long, difficult weekend. The lessons learned came at a price but at the end of the day, I would not trade these lessons for another moment. THANK YOU

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Summer's finally here!!!

<p>Oh we whined and writhed, stomped our feet EVERY TIME it rained! "When will summer EVER get here," we exclaimed...finally, Wiiaatinaat showed up in his glory. Auntie Umatilla slimmed down but cheerfully makes her dainty way down her rocky bed...summer's HERE & where do we all run???? FIRST AND COLDEST A/C AVAILABLE!!!

Friday, June 22, 2012


It's Friday...yes...FRIDAY
I do hope if you're sad, you'll take a break, find something to smile about and have a nice iced tea with an old friend...
I hope if you're homeless that some grateful benefactor grants you a boon and provides for you a soft bed for just one night...
I hope if you're lonely you may take just this one weekend to embrace solitude and enjoy...
I hope if you're joyful you'll take a moment to dance it out and
I hope if you're hopeful your prayers will be answered...

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Mimqas goes hippie

ohhhh I hear laughter in the rain...

Sadness surrounds us. Last night I heard a story about a dear friend now married to the sweetest woman and he was randomly assaulted due to alcohol bravado wrapped in pungent stupidity. That made me sad. My precious nephew is in a situation that may follow him for the rest of his days due to ONE bad decision...that makes me sad. I saw a homeless gentleman walking down the street muttering to himself on Tuesday, he looked up and our eyes met. He smiled at me, the most outrageiously sunny smile you could imagine...that made me warm.

On May 22, the Rock of our family, the glue who held us together when none of us could stand the sight of each other, my strong and wise brother D_____ passed away. I'm still sad about this. The pain of not knowing he's over the hills down in the hollow makes me nauseous at times. Knowing I won't see him at THAT machine when I'm at the casino and all these other thoughts that occur when you've lost someone as close as a brother are my ever-present company.

But wisdom is found in unlikely places, a beautiful grandma in a movie once said "if you're sad, cry. but keep going, there's things to be done" so there it is. When I'm sad, I cry.

As trite as it sounds, life DOES go on...
Pictured to the right is another wise tribal elder. One of my OTHER brothers and I thoroughly enjoyed her stories and the amazing sparkle of her eyes...

My little grand-daughter Nellie still needs her snacks:-) and of course, being the kautsa I am, I couldn't just peel the banana and give it to her, I had to artfully slice it, a dollop of whip cream and garnish of love? I mean please. ANYONE can just PEEL a banana!

I still look for my brother in the parking lot. We didn't seek each other out often, but we worked in the same building. In my life, with the intricate weaving of paths and choices, I wasn't reunited with my biological family until I was almost 20. At that time this brother that left us was the first to "take me in" if you will. He contacted me ofen and although I don't recall our visits as being earth-shatteringly amazing, it was such a comfort to now "have someone," for truly, in my adopted family, I knew I didn't belong. My brother gave me away at my wedding in 1981. A few months before he passed he called me up to talk about some tribal politics, questions he had about things and our conversation turned to different projects and work I do. He questioned me at length about these and when we were almost ready to hang up he said "well, you haven't been home very long and you've done so many things. I'm really proud of you Bones (family nickname), I'm just really proud of you..." He's literally the only family member who's said that to me.

On to the business at hand. Literally.\

Something about colors is comforting and brings me joy. I just finished this doily and I was pretty much please as punch with the colors under the candle in the crystal bowl on my coffee table. Something about working with your hands kind of heals those broken places.

More comfort is I have a new friend, she's got the softest beautiful brown eyes you can imagine, her smile lights up an entire room and she's got warmth like no other. What a blessing to find a new friend then my brother tells me we're actually cousins. HELLO:-) Another happy thought? My sister and I are much closer. I should probably call her right now!
Laughter brings healing. Songs bring healing. This is an amazing world, hopefully, if I follow the ways set down by elders upon elders, I'll see my brother again from the OTHER side of the sky. Until then, I hope I'm still making him proud, I hope he knows I'm doing my best to follow the teachings brought out by his sudden passing...take care of your family, show the ones you love by doing, not just saying, walk away from petty gossip and turn away from empty chatter...keep a song in your heart and sing it every night. Look around you and with reckless abandon, embrace the beauty.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

an amusing anecdote...a mnemonic cup of tea if you will...

I've shared this story before, but it came to mind today as I was yawning around at my desk adn I thought "hm, made ME chuckle in the middle of the day..."

Back in the '70's I hitchhiked about a great deal. I often went to places I couldn't even IMAGINE going today and nothing daunted, went wading in with all due social ineptness. While outwardly brave, my inner child was just that. A child.

Often I would find myself stranded on dimly lit, rarely traveled stretches of what usually ended up to be highway 101. I adored the coast, still do, and as often as I found myself stranded, I had many comfortable nights being sung to sleep by Grandmother Ocean. Of course just as often, I'd be awakened by Cousin Rain and mischievous Cousin Wind.

One such night I had wandered down south of Crescent City, CA, not far north of Petaluma (oh believe me, it never failed to amaze me about Petaluma, that was one of Snoopy's end goals).

So here I go, off on an adventure all alone and I end up in the wooded section of highway 101 where when dark falls, there is no streetlights to keep one company, no lingering traveler to possibly stop and pick up a young American Indian hitchhiker who most likely didn't have any shoes on that day. I hunkered down in front of a huge comforting redwood (more often than not, these giants were my comfort and company throughout these years)

The dark began to whisper and I will admit something here: I was then somewhat trepidatious of night sounds...I still am:-) so being alone but with bravado I will only attribute to the strength of that redwood tree I began to sing. I started tremulously and the only song that would come to mind was a silly song of the 70's

"Sing, sing a song
Sing out loud
Sing out strong
Sing of good things not bad
Sing of happy not sad.

Sing, sing a song
Make it simple to last
Your whole life long
Don't worry that it's not
Good enough for anyone
Else to hear
Just sing, sing a song.

Sing, sing a song
Let the world sing along
Sing of love there could be
Sing for you and for me."

I sat in front of that tree and sang this song until I was hoarse and finally fell asleep.

Awakened by the birds in the morning, I got up, stretched and thought to climb the little hill behind the tree to go about my morning oblations. Imagine my surprise when I got to the crest of that little hill (so well hidden by the tree), looked down the other side and what did I see?

AN ENTIRE LITTLE COMMUNITY...yes, a quiet one, no one seemed to even be stirring about yet but I COULD smell coffee wafting joyously towards me.

HOW EMBARRASSING for me, but can you imagine THEM? LOL being serenaded by this young voice from the dark!
This photo has been around but oh my goodness...sometimes it helps to bring clarity to the moment...

Monday, June 18, 2012

small stuff

You've heard it before, "don't sweat the small stuff..." My question to you is this: what entails the property of "small" in terms of the vast quantity we all sludge through and call "stuff?" We all have such differing views of what is small and what is stuff, opposed to what is momentous and what is of dire import! I'll weed out a petty item on my own for now: Work. We're all painfully aware of the varying degrees (lol...pun intended) of pay encountered in just one place of employment. From the receptionist to the CEO all are labeled with a value created by compensation philosophies determined by nameless, faceless and at times seemingly soulless industry driven entities. All too often the talented and brilliant office manager may remain just that because this poor individual never took opportunity by the tail and went to college for that almighty piece of paper, the degree. Without this degree one might receive recognition, accolades, pats on the back but will most likely not rise up among the ranks of one's peers. I digress. Walking into a building, are we met with the CEO? For tribal entities, are the offices of the governing body in the front of the building? No. The first person you'll meet is the front desk receptionist. This person for all intents and purposes prepares you for the rest of your experience in this building. Is she friendly, knowledgeable, did she smile, greet you, look you in the eyes and competently send you to your goal location? Most likely. Why is it then, that the front desk receptionist is usually lowest on the payscale of that organization and lowest in recognition at, for instance, company banquets? Here's my hypothesis: very often the person hired for the position of front desk receptionist entered that position with dreams of one day making herself known for the genius she is then gracefully and grandly making her way to the corner office. When this hasn't happened in a number of years, she begins to lose the gloss on her smile. Her once friendly greeting may become a tattered and embittered "hello, who may I say is calling" and ...wait for it... SHE ENGAGES IN PETTY OFFICE POLITICS TO FORCE HERSELF INTO SOMEONE'S BETTER GRACES. Phew! Now that I've shared this, I actually DO feel somewhat better about a certain co-worker! I realize that it's not a personal vendetta at all, she merely wishes she were afforded the same "perks" as some of those who walk by her daily without even a glance in her direction. Gradually the realization has hit her that she will remain in that position until she does such wondrous feats as attaining her degree in SOMETHING. That seems an insurmountable goal for sometimes it seems the siren call of other expensive pastimes drains her resources. Although I won't pity her, for pity denotes a sense of superiority, I will understand her and smile in the face of the petty darts she tosses my way. Office politics are much better understood when discussed. THANK YOU!!!!!

Monday, May 21, 2012

singing in the rain...

There's really nothing to compare with having been raised in a somewhat beige world and at the midlife range be tossed by sheer grace into a world of color beyond imagination. I've said it before and I'm saying it yet again: not ONE DAY goes by that I don't give thanks for being home. Home where I can bury my barefoot toes into that lush aquamarine carpet I fell in love with back in the late 90's; where I look out to the north, south, east and west of me and see only rich fields of wheat in different shades of ripeness (according to season); and where I can see the OTHER end of town which is 15 miles away and I can see the wind turbines cheerily blinking in the dark up to 50 miles away...Home where I've been taught the songs that bring us through our darkest days and help us rejoice in our most joyful moments - where my brothers have taught me the craft of weaving... So there it is. I'm grateful to be home. Last week was a rough one in this homeland. Three deaths in six days. Another one early this morning. I was at a "house service" for one of the families who lost their beloved and part of our life at home entails "cleaning" the house after the loved one has left. The leader brings a mixture of medicines in to "smoke" the house and the singers follow through, they sing from one end of the house to the other bringing that glorious Light of our Creator's into each corner of the room. I sang along with those who were cleaning and as I sang I could clearly see our songs as weaving...each thread of song woven tightly and skillfully around the warp of the lives of our families and friends. Creator's Light in various colors and shades making designs sometimes only visible to His eyes. Each vessel made from these songs was one of us and I could clearly see us standing in a row to be used for that which we were created. When one of our loved ones "leaves" it is our belief that the rains will come and wash their footprints away. This helps in the healing process. What an honor to be singing in the rain.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

a quiet place...

Last night I had a dream. It was so vivid...I was with a group of people at home, we were gathered at the longhouse at what my son, when young, would call "blue dark." We looked towards the western sky and suddenly it was lit up with fire and sparks. Clear. Fire and sparks. Either Mt. Hood or the Three Sisters were erupting. All I remember is thinking "oh babies, run, please RUN."

Truth is, one day, none of us will know when, the sky IS going to light up, the fire's going to be somewhere near people who are loved and suddenly, thousands, millions, maybe even ALL life essences as we know them will be extinguished.

My hope, strength and peace in the midst of that dark knowledge is this: THIS WORLD IS NOT MY HOME.

Today I canceled my FB membership. In the glaring light of constant electronic traffic I realized "FB is not only the social network, it's the distraction, the false idol and the utter nonsense of these days." I tire of the constant whining of relatives "does ANYONE know where I can get a cheap so and so?" This looks so innocent and I've seen many respond, but looking deeper you can see "Does anyone have a so and so they can give me so I don't have to go buy one of my own? I SO need these new shoes instead!"

Ah the utter jaded soul. I don't want it! I want to remember the snowy days with purity and innocence. I want to share thoughts that are read in more than a fleeting glance; I want MORE...

So long FB, HELLO BLOG...I've missed you!!!!!!