Saturday, August 30, 2014


I've done exceedingly well with NOT buying 'things' and trinkets
I neither need nor want to care for;
retirement is time to par-down,
not acquisition up!

I made an exception today -
to celebrate the start of my Social Security checks -
or should I say, to celebrate the beginning of drawing 
on my ex-husbands benefits!

I found this small oil painting weeks ago at a local antique store
and, for whatever reason,
couldn't get it out of my head.

Now it's hanging on my wall 
and I can see it every day!
Totally love it!
What do you think?
Some kind of voo-doo ceremony?
Sistah Happy Hour?
Memorial service?
The possibilities are endless;
the conjectures unlimited.

It IS signed by the artist, 
but when I was painting the matting 
I forgot to write down his/her name to look it up -
and its not important enough to me to take the frame apart again 
to have another look.
It will just remain just one of life's mysteries -
unless one of you tells me its valuable enough to make the effort worth it!

I also love that retirement is a time 
when I have so much time
I can paint acorns!

It's the little things, children, 
that in the end
make you happy!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Road trip - again

"Sometimes we travel to get away and see something of the world. 
Sometimes we travel just to get away from ourselves. 
Sometimes we travel to convince ourselves 
that we are getting someplace".
Frederich Buechner

And, sometimes, a trip is just a trip ...
isn't it?

It felt like a 'normal' trip back to the reservation 
for the Annual Fair and Wacipi (Pow-wow)...

there was a roadside attraction -
 with friends whose political leanings cancel each other out -
keeping our country 'balanced' -
although I have far less interest in being balanced 
and think our country would be better off 
leaning farther LEFT!
 Being America, there were of course souvenirs involved - 
all of which were made in China!
A diversion to take our minds off the fact 
that we'd already been sitting for 12+ hours -

and still had several more to go 
before reaching our destination...
but arrive we finally did!

The rest of the weekend was also spent sitting - 
although in ringside chairs this time, 

with eyes saturated by color and movement...

dancing in every 'inter-tribal' dance,
coveting clothing,

enjoying typical carnival fare,

ways to throw your money away,

and avoiding vomit inducing machines - 
at least VI for someone my age 
with my balance issues.

 Hell, with MY inner ear, 
I couldn't even get on THIS ride without getting dizzy!

It was terrific to catch up with friends,

see a child we've loved since he was a toddler 
win 1st place in his division 
of Grass dancing

and loving the Dakota sky -
which is a feature of the topography 
in and of itself -

through good times 
and bad.

There is SO much in this place, 
among these people,
to which my heart responds;
a place that holds equal measures of poverty and richness
beyond most of our cultures understanding of the concepts;
a people who are survivors of our nations attempt at genocide.

I have wrestled, for years, 
with trying to discern if I'm being called, 
not only to return again and again to visit,
but to stay. 

Each trip brings clarity into what I love about being there
but there's still something holding me back 
from saying a 

The process of discernment is hard and long
and, apparently,
to be continued ...

Maybe at the heart of all our traveling is the dream 
of someday, 
getting Home.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Headed back

I survived the Camino for 2 months -
without any newspapers, periodicals 
or mass media in ANY form.

I take that back...
I inadvertently saw one TV report 
(about child sexual abuse, no less) - 
which reinforced why I should never watch TV, 
even overseas.

Actually, I did more than survive, 
I thrived!

I'm headed back to one of my favorite places this weekend 
to celebrate, play
and dance with friends...
and, yes, 
eating fry-bread BLTs will probably be involved!

No laptops, computers, cell phones
or communication devices - 
beyond my voice 
and my 'new' antique purse-
will be used.

If I get into real trouble,
I'll send up a smoke signal!
 I'll be back when I'm back.

Peace, my friends.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

A blessing or a curse?

“What manner of human being is a prophet?”

A person of agony, 
whose “life and soul are at stake in what (s)he says,” 
one who is able to perceive “the silent sigh” of human anguish… 
the importance of prophecy lies not only in the message, 
but in the role of the prophet as a witness, 
someone who is able to make God audible…

The prophet hears God’s voice 
and looks at the world 
from God’s perspective.

I don't know about you,
but I have several prophets as Facebook friends.
And, I don't mean that facetiously.

I have half a dozen people feeding my news stream 
with editorials, news articles and opinions
on a regular basis 
concerning the latest crisis du jour.

These are people of deep and sincere faith;
ordained clergy (primarily) who are intelligent, insightful, well reasoned -
and total buzz kills.

Their exhortations never cease;
their ability to witness each injustice 
and point it out to all their 'friends' is inexhaustible:
the Pipeline,
refugees on a mountaintop,
victims of natural disasters,
sports teams with offensive and politically incorrect names,
prisoners unjustly accused,
broken financial systems that are weighted in favor of the rich,
global warming,
non-accompanied immigrant children being detained,
inequities of every size and manner,
on and on and on ...

I'll leave it to you to imagine their distress at the whole Ferguson issue!

I swear when not on their knees praying,
their asses must be glued to a chair 
with eyes on their computers, 
reading - and commenting on - 
every article ever written about every issue.

Not only are they more well read than many of the people they try to persuade
(myself included)
and therefore intimidating to try to engage in a dialogue,
rather than their diatribes,
but any attempt to slow down the train -
to gather facts,
to reason,
to discern for ones self what sources to believe and
what weight to ascribe to the information -
is seen as inaction -
which translates to them as not caring 
which must be railed against further.

I don't know what the reasons were for why the people of Israel ignored their prophets,
but I can tell you what I would say to mine ...

My dear prophets,
if everything is a crisis 
than nothing is.

For most of us mere mortals,
your level of intensity, pain and awareness is unsustainable.
We're not bad people, 
we're just trying to live our lives.

I can't imagine having to live with the gifts 
which God has bestowed on you;
frankly, it seems like a special kind of hell.

For all our sakes,
take a deep breath
and please post a picture soon of you holding a puppy 
or having a BBQ 
so I know you haven't forgotten 
how to wrestle as much joy from this life as you can!
It's not all pain;
its not all suffering and injustice...
even God rested on the 7th day.
For His sake, and ours, you need to take a break!