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Smoke & Feather

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  • #374959
    wnishin
    Participant

    My Uncle Eugene Little Wolf always spoke of the importance of spiritual nourishment, and a person could have the strength of three bears, but what good is that strength if the spirit lies broken.

    There was a time when my spirit was broken, it’s been twenty years now, since we lit the fires across three nations and seven states so that my brothers could find their way home.

    It never really ever goes away, I’ve learned how to walk again, and I visit those memories, but they can’t keep me because I’ve grown wise on my journey. I’ve learned to celebrate each of those moments, I remember those big smiles, and the endless laughter as we beat our drums, beneath the moon. We shared our stories, I always loved how the flame would light the outline of those red faces, as they spoke, and how the smoke tried to hide the stars but just couldn’t, because yes, those smiles were too damn big to hide, and I wasn’t sure if the stars were reflecting those big happy teeth, or they were finding that extra shine from just people living.

    My truth is I feel that when I found myself again, I lost something, something passed down from my grandmother, from my uncles, and my mother. I feel like everything has moved so fast, since the day it all went grey, I didn’t just learn to walk, I ran to university, promotions, a prospering career, right down to an SUV and twin baby girls who call me dad from their booster seats. I feel domesticated and every time I blink another year passes. My truth is this epiphany that I need to find time to beat my drum and teach my little ones who they are, and teach them sometimes the greatest pleasures in life are the simple ones.

     

    Smoke & Feather

    Swooping low, then rising high;
    fingertips upon the golden grasses
    with the grace of a hawk,
    the old medicine man dances.

    Drums beating, fires burning,
    sacred ways, dying traditions
    with his steps, he makes a circle.

    Closed eyes, tears soak the lashes,
    his arms reach, alone he dances.

    Black feathers, helpless without wings,
    falling from the headdress, like a murdered
    crow, left a strew, beneath the naked branches.

    Swooping low, then rising high;
    silent drums, no fires burning,
    with the grace of a hawk,
    the old medicine man dances.

    #374970
    anita
    Participant

    Dear wnishin:

    “My truth is this epiphany that I need to find time to beat me drums.. Swooping low, then rising high’ silent drums, no fires burning”-

    –  what does it mean, that your drums are silent, can you tell me?

    anita

    #375224
    wnishin
    Participant

    The drums are silent because nobody is practicing the old ways / traditions.

    #375227
    anita
    Participant

    Dear wnishin:

    I will be back to your thread in about 13 hours from now.

    anita

    #375250
    anita
    Participant

    Dear wnishin:

    I am in the habit of retyping what a member shares, including quotes, because it helps me process information. So here I go:

    In your Feb 19 post, you shared regarding the context of the workplace: “In leading a team, or being a part of one, I look to finding the gift within… what have I learned? And how can I rebuild the process.. in such a way that because the occurrence happened, we as a team.. are ultimately better because the event happened.. I’ve always found my strength in my team”, and that you “tend to look at the brighter side of life”.

    You shared that you were raised by “two very strong women”, your mother and grandmother, while your father was “a horny tax accountant that wondered too close to the Indian Reservation” who had a new family, and slapped you that one time when you failed to tie your shoes out of fear of him.

    Your uncle Mike found Christ, lost his boys in a car accident and lost his way, but this one pastor was there with your uncle while the doctors were trying to stop Scott’s internal wounds, not realizing that Scott’s brain was dead. This pastor was there “year after year .. long after any of us ever stepped foot in his church or even gave him a dime”. Because of this pastor’s actions, you “believed in something divine”.

    When your grandmother passed away, the Medicine Man “gave his speech, there was drums and singing”, he said: “white man’s Jesus.. was a myth, if you tried to grab him, you’d only have empty hands, he wasn’t real, nothing more than a justification to suppress a culture”.

    “The Creator gave us the sky, mountains, trees, the earth we walk on. Things you can hold in your hands. Creator didn’t need a book, he gives you things you can touch, see, and feel”.

    When your mother passed from cancer, there were two sermons, one by Medicine Man and another by the pastor in whose church you haven’t been in over a decade. He was “proud to see the little trouble-making Indian kid grew up into a man”.

    “I remember those big smiles, and the endless laughter as we beat our drums, beneath the moon. We shared our stories.. the smiles were too damn big to hide… that extra shine from just people living”- you lost that, “something, something passed down from my grandmother, from my uncles, and my mother.. everything has moved so fast.. I ran to university, promotions, a prospering career, right down to an SUV and twin baby girls who call me dad.. I feel domesticated and every time I blink another year passes.

    “My truth is this epiphany that I need to find time to beat my drum and teach my little ones who they are… Swooping low, then rising high.. with the grace of a hawk.. Drums beating, fires burning, sacred ways, dying traditions.. Black feathers, helpless without wings… Swooping low, then rising high; silent drums, no fires burning”.

    And now my thoughts, as the come: the first thing you shared about a week ago was the concept of a team, suggesting that you care a lot about being part of a team: “we as a team.. are ultimately better. I’ve always found my strength in my team”- you referred to a team in context of the work place, but a group of people beating their drums beneath the moon, sharing stories is also a team. That team is lost to you.

    A team is a group of individuals working together to achieve their goal. Was not the goal of the individuals beating their drums beneath the moon, sharing stories- wasn’t the goal to infuse the individuals within the team with joy/ new energy, so that each individual’s spirit is kept alive through all the mundane and difficult tasks of daily life? All of us individual humans, being the social animals that we are, need that refreshing, energizing, joyful togetherness every once in a while to keep our spirits alive. So that we don’t lose our wings.

    In the context of a team in the workplace, you wrote: “what have I learned? And how can I rebuild the process… in such a way that because the occurrence happened, we as a team.. are ultimately better because the event happened”?-

    – if the occurrence is the loss of tradition, what you referred to as “dying traditions.. the old ways”, resulting in “silent drums, no fire burning”, what have you learned, and how can you rebuild the process: finding perhaps a new team, a team bigger than your small family?

    anita

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