Category Archives: learning

Paradise.

I have been working and (sometimes) running a lot recently.

I find myself working out common hormone, stress and life change ailments in the duration of a run.  Sport fascinates me. Elite athletes amaze me. I’m amazed and terribly humbled by many things daily.  I’m taking this as a suggestion that my spirit is growing and the universe sees fit to continue to drop me to my knees enough to pray and say thank you.

Some people take offense to my belief that the universe, or more specifically the creator, humbles us.  I am not bothered by that. I understand the conflict. I believe for me, as a human, it is my nature to suffer to some extent. Without this challenge I would struggle with my own sense of purpose. Believe me, I’d love it if there were not the case. But, I’m not a holy creature, God or a divine one.  I’m just an aging chick with some challenges. For now this works for me. Years ago I would have felt differently I’m sure.  Years ago I blogged about dating, my father’s alcoholism, being Indian and learning.  Those things are still important, but they are not everything.

By no means do I think or believe the creator does not love me. Nor do I believe that there is an anvil waiting for me to pass under her slippery face.

I think a lot about what I want my son to know about me, to see, to believe.  I want him to learn kindness, courage, when to be brave,patience, and ways to practice kindness.  I feel like the world I live in has much kindness but could use more.  I see reactionary behaviors everyday, people making excuses for shit behavior. I have to walk away sometimes, I’m not a fucking saint. But, the collective hurt, it hurts me. I don’t know understand it. I suppose now is not the time to ponder this, but I’m sharing as an observation.

Anyhow, I digress, I just thought I’d share & say I’m still here, growing, changing, laughing. 

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We moved.

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dunkin donuts

We made it back to the desert. It’s been busy and happy.

I’m nervously training for a 5k. I feel slow and tired but my body loves the exercise.

I’ve hiked Piestewa Peak with a friend.

Kale is growing.

I mean to quilt more.

I’ve considered dumping the blog because I rarely post. Most days I’d rather live my day than reflect on it.  I still have periods of missing my grandma terribly, she left this earth 2.5 years ago and the grief doesn’t get easier-you just acclimate.

I like my new job. Most of the time I love it. I hope whomever reads this is well.  🙂

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The charge of loss.

I wrote this the other day, and it made me cry:

I met someone in a professional setting recently and he asked me how I felt about the Navajo Nation and it’s problems. It seemed like the beginning of a conversation but turned into a mini lecture.  I thought he wanted to talk about the basics: addiction, poverty, low educational attainment.  Instead he offered up modernism.  According to him all the problems with the youth on the Navajo reservation are due to modernism and “being lost.”

He said modernism has overtaken the reservation and the current generation has lost its way.  He told me that the elders spoke our language, but noted that the children did not.  There’s a gap he said, a generation gap.  Some reference to tv.  Not enough time sitting under trees.  He wondered if I was willing (and able) to sway the youth back to their rightful place as keepers of our culture.

I think I may have chuckled a loud both confused and surprised to find myself the middle of the conversation with the expectation that I say something clever, yet oh-so-Indian to convince him I am not in fact modern myself. (Drats, for I am.)

I think he meant it as both a challenge and an attack.  He then went on to discuss how with all “our” (mine) education and “fancy” certifications that we don’t know what’s therapeutic for our children.  (The Navajo children, the children on the reservation.) There was more about “us” not being able to think outside our educated box.  Us being me.

I wanted to ask him about trauma and how he felt that affected these lost children.  I had statistics and research at the ready.  There was no pause to interject.  I wanted to talk about psychotherapy and it’s benefits.  I wanted to ask how he felt about doing therapy in Navajo and how he documented such exchanges.  But, since the children don’t speak Navajo I realized I had an answer.  I began to suspect my educated, experienced and evidenced-based version of psychotherapy was not seen as helpful because it represented the enemy.  An enemy had he named but had not yet slain.

I think he wanted me to pick a side, to state my intentions, to say something:  the White world is terrible!  To shout, ” Navajo Nation is king!” or something equally masculine and heroic. I did not.  I don’t recall how we changed subjects, but we did and we talked about play therapy.  I never put my flag in the ground.

This battle is not new.  I suspect many urban Indians have debated, defended, argued for and clarified modernism.  We’re well aware of our unofficial status as apples (red on the outside, White on the inside) for our decision(s) to move off the reservation.

Our families on the reservation (including mine) do not let us forget we have moved and have left the ways of our people.  Every holiday, every weekend spent off our ancestral home is a reminder that we have abandoned the flock. (Or so I’ve been told.)

Saving the reservation seems wonderful.  It’s a dream I’ve had too.  And the older I get, the more I realize maybe it is just that-a dream.  There are massive barriers and little support.

When I go home I meet tribal members who are quick to judge me.  Who would rather argue and try to slice me up than talk about the social issues, the high teen pregnancy rates, the high suicide rates and come up with a plan.  They insinuate and tell me that I’ve led the charge of loss because I left the reservation and therefore must have left my culture there too.  Fortunately, it doesn’t work that way.

I’m a different Indian having left.  Yes, I’m one that likes Angry Birds and cooking Chinese food, but I’m not bad, just different.

A note about Crownpoint, New Mexico

I grew up in a small town in New Mexico.  Little did I know the town was a gold mine of culture and natural wonder. I did a lot of running, walking and hiking as a child and teen.

I always assumed that was normal.  Living in Kansas has led me to believe otherwise. I think I was meant for mesas and mountains.  I miss the sky there. I miss the food.

I think I’m grieving the loss of terrain, friends and work in Arizona and therefore feel temporarily without a sense of peace.

I’ve learned a great deal in Kansas but it doesn’t feel like home.

Crownpoint is in the recent issue of the Navajo Times. Look for the howler article on http://www.navajotimes.com

The rug auction is happening this weekend : http://crownpointrugauction.com/

Enjoy your December everyone.

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Christmas Ornament swap.

I’ve always wanted to get involved in a swap. For a while now I’ve lurked around craftland and watching all these great swaps. By chance there was an ornament swap starting so I jumped in.

I crafted 10 tree ornaments. I used green felt, embroidery thread, buttons, ric rack, some ribbon and a few odds and ends. The felt I used is made from recycled plastic bottles, I love that!  The ornaments came out pretty great.  I originally wanted to machine sew and stuff them but after a few of those I revisited my design and decided to make the rest of them flat.  Making them flat gave me a few more options in terms of decoration.  I machine stitched some parts and closed them up by hand with embroidery thread.  I bought some packing material, it’s not often that I mail ten packages. What’s fun is this swap is also international so I sent a package to Estonia. I’m hopeful that package reaches its intended owner, but to be safe I made a couple of extra trees.

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I’m excited to see what I get in exchange; it will be an exciting month with ornaments coming in the mail (for the swap you mail 10 ornaments and should get 10 back from different people).

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Breakfast

Me: “Kale what do you want for breakfast? Eggs? Waffles?”

Kale: “waffles! Cook them in the dryer mommy.”

That’s how we roll.

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On having a son.

I was getting ready for work this morning, running around like a mad woman when Kale excitedly says, “I found the sword of Omens!”

I turn to admire the sword and laugh. It was a tampon.

Fey

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http://whipup.net/2011/08/29/guest-post-using-vintage-sheets-in-your-crafts/

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I found this today & figured I should practice what I preach:
1. Start each day with a grateful heart
2. Focus on the positive aspects of energy person you encounter
3. End each day with a grateful heart
Lucy Macdonald

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Mini Quilt: Circular Applique – the purl bee

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http://www.purlbee.com/mini-quilt-circular-applique

I want to make one.

I hope you’re enjoying your fall. We’ve been gifted a cute pumpkin already. I can’t wait to carve it up.

Kale has been cooking and baking like a pro. I suspect he eats more when he’s involved in the process which is a nice thing.

Be well.

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