Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Stories come together

I went to the Kumik today for the teaching and to meet with the Elders.  The teaching was on the story of the Rough Faced Girl.  I like the version today even better than the one we read and I reviewed here.  In the story today it is the sister of the invisible man that brings the younger sister back to her unscarred form.  I like the caring of the sister more than the salvation of the invisible man.  It speaks to the power of woman and does not put Rought Faced Girl in an unequal power relationship with invisible man as the other story could.  I geuss I need to ponder rought faced girl some more over the next days.
I appreciated the Elder who took the time to point out the details in the story and to help us learn to interpret and listen.  Even that part of story telling has been very comprimised.  They shared some other stories that require more thinking before I write here.
The girls and I wrote a follow up story to Rought Faced Girl where the jealous sisters use majic to transform the Rought Faced girl into a frog so that she will miss her wedding to invisible man.  The sister of invisible man helps to turn Rought Faced Girld back and turns the bad sisters to stone.  It was hard to get them out of the disney interpretation of the follow up story.  I think it was a good exercise for us to work together and interpret a new story.  I will put up some of the pages soon.  We all did drawings for the book.
I was also very blessed to have time to sit with the Elders today.  I worry that I talk too much most of the time, but I especially felt like I should have listened more today.  Finding wise ears seems so rare.  Why do I talk so much?  I appreciated their thoughtful questions and insights.  There is a lot to work through in their words and I will think on them for a long time to come.  It is also good to just share about the challenges of reclaiming a culture and finding a good path through life.  I think a lot of my work to come will be around how to help S navigate the next couple of years and how to not get complacent about her teachings in this area.  I need to sit with her regularly and work through the book I created for her.  I have started creating her dresses for her first moon time and we even did a smudge and prayer before starting - S stood on her head most of the time.
While it sometimes feels like only a little gets through to her as she hangs upside down while we do circle time or read, that other day she was given the job to learn something new on her day off school and she watched a video of a guy that did not like cats and thought they should all be neutered.  It really upset her, but she turned to me a couple of times during the evening and asked "How can this guy be an Elder?  He is not very thoughtful."  It is good to see those little glimpses that things get through and she is applying the teachings.
While I can get caught in all the things that are wrong in my life, those moments, the teachings and the stories that other share are so important in maintaining a healthy place for myself.  They are reminders to find the right balance between pushing myself when I need it and nurturing myself when that it what is best.  There is a lot that is good in my life and our daily dinner practice of sharing these moments has been really important in getting into a mindset of gratitude.  It is the same with the laying down of tobbacco in the morning and taking that moment to remember who we are connected to and to draw those voices around us as we move through out day.
We were reminded that tonight is full moon and that we should put out a plate for Grandmother moon.  What are you greatful for today?

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