Friday, October 28, 2016

Métis Fear 150

Cats Are Cats No Matter The Size:
Métis Fear 150: Sometimes it is hard to figure out where I belong. 

Nanabush steals my words

I have been having a hard time settling myself down to write these past few weeks.  It is just so easy to sit and let it all pass by.  We had our first snow last night and Runa asked to get out our book "Last Leaf, First Snowflake to Fall" by Leo Yerxa. We read this book each year and take a moment to talk about the changes in the seasons and our lives.  I reviewed this book a couple of years ago in this post.  She brought up a bunch of candles and got the table cleared and it did my heart good to see her leading us in this tradition.  Sometimes I try to mark these moments and it doesn't happen, so having someone else put some energy into it is very much appreciated.

We made it out to the Lodge this week to share dinner and decorate a pumpkin.  Runa was not too into it so Joel and I took sides of a pumpkin.  I tried for a cool raven and ended up with a weird looking fellow.  I liked Joel's version better (right).
We having been watching a lot of "Russell Howard's Good News", you can find full episodes on youtube.  I am being struck by how much he talks about his family and shares their views.  He is not a person created for consumption, but comes across as very genuine.  He also spends a lot of time acting out very sill things like how a duck would feel about a reach around (he is pretty crude), but he is not sexist, racist, ablest or homophobic and outside of those constraints it is a lot of dick jokes.  As I was realizing how many times he has acted out a scenario like the duck I thought that maybe what was attractive in his humor was the spirit of Nanabush.  He takes sort of naughty pleasure in pushing buttons and causing trouble, but keeps it within certain constraints of looking after each other and being in community.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Métis Fear 149

Métis Fear 149: the raccoons in my kitchen don't have good motives.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Métis Fear 148

Nick Cave:
Nick Cave
Métis Fear 148: Urban bears are getting way to into fashion for my taste.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Métis Fear 147

1461490_526718070758446_2070274526_n.jpg (500×331):
Métis Fear 147:  I worry about what my animals are up to when I am not at home.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Métis Fear 146

Métis Fear 146: Some of the animal relatives scare me more than others. 

Friday, October 21, 2016

Métis Fear 145

Who's the bait? A cat and mouse cartoon by Polish artist Paweł Kuczyński. Click through for more.:
Paweł Kuczyński

Métis Fear 145: some days I don't know what role is better.

Motorcycles, schools and cat purrs

I have begun reading "Motorcycles and Sweetgrass" by Drew Haden Taylor.  I am drawn to make comparisons to Salmon Rushdie.  The sense of place is palpable as is the magic.  Perhaps I found myself pulled into this story more than usual as we had the pleasure to hear Christy Jordan-Fenton supporting her mother in law, Margaret Pokiak-Fenton to share her story about attending a residential schools. 

These two have written a number of books about Margaret's experiences, including "Fatty Legs".  They spoke eloquently to the layers of harm in the residential schools, some of which was new to me, as well as to the ongoing legacy of those harms.  This was beyond the more obvious kinds of abuse, to make clear the realities of the everyday abuses and their legacy.

I was glad to share this time with Runa.  She needs to carry these stories forward.  It reminded me, that learning an Indigenous language is not just a nice things to do, but an important part of decolonization and that it is important to look critically into our lives to where we may still be carrying ways of doing things and thinking that are harmful.

On a different note, I am really enjoying this cat purr simulator which allows you the cat sound experience wherever you are.  I find it calm for when I need to concentrate and it is lovely to fall asleep too.  My one colleague was bemused, "..but you are a highly educated economist."  I am not sure how to take that, as this economist thinks animal noises are pretty good at maximizing my utility.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Métis Fear 144

Oliver Jeffers - This Moose Belongs to Me
Oliver Jeffers - This Moose Belongs to Me

Métis Fear 144: the issues of urban moose ownership can be complex.  Consult an expert.

misi-kinêpik ᒥᓯ ᑭᓀᐱᐠ (large snake, serpent)

I have begun the beading for Runa's dress for her first moon time seclusion time.  I am working on a snake with strawberries.  It ended up a lot larger that I was planning but that gives me more room to get the detail in.  Joel says it looks very GI JOElike.  I am happy with how it is coming along.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Métis Fear 143

Raven's New Purse print by JonathanThunderArt on Etsy:
Raven's New Purse:
Métis Fear 143: consumerism will finally catch up with me.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Métis Fear 142

Reminds me of my Tata. She'd always tell me this every time we'd  talk about my problems.:
Métis Fear 142: You may want to ask the bull how it feels about this before trying it!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Métis Fear 141

Victo Ngai
 Métis Fear 141: Sometimes the lessons of our animal relatives are hard to learn.

Staying in the circle

I am feeling kind of down these past days.  Having days where everyone in the family has a panic attack and I spend the day feeling like a therapist trying to talk everyone through it.  This has left me feeling tired and a cold over the weekend gave me some time to think.  I am going to try and let go of some behaviors and people that are not helping me.  I want to support others around me, but it costing me and I don't have much to spent at the moment.

While my older daughter responded well to medication, the younger one is still being pretty anxious.  We need to keep up the hope and help everyone to keep on with life, but it limits us.  I didn't think that being a parent would be this hard sometimes.  How do you help your child when they find the whole world scary and you know that you have to push them out there into it anyway?  How do you do that without damaging  trust ?  How about all those lost experiences because my children can barely do the normal stuff?  We had to give up on enrichment activities when they became just another fight.

I know they will grow up ok, but sometimes that path to maturity seems so long.  I feel like I spend all the time recovering from one episode and trying to build up a little reserve to deal with the next one.  There is a peace in real crisis for me.  I know how to deal with that, but it is not a space you can stay in full time.  I usually deal with it by eating.  I am trying healthier ways but that is hard change.  Trying to keep my mind in the circle.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Métis Hope 37

trampolining armadillos:
Métis Hope 37: that even though your are tough you will have a soft place to land.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Métis Hope 35

T-Rex Coffee:
Métis Hope 35: you will take time to look after yourself today.

Métis Hope 34

Meanwhile, in Canada (34 Photos):
Métis Hope 34: that even in the city you can teach children the traditional ways.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Métis Hope 30

Practice make Perfect:
Photo by ILoveDoodle on Flickr
Métis Hope 30: I hope you can find the strength to keep on trying (even when it takes a lot out of you).

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Unexpected teachings

Base of a pine needle basket
I don't know why some forms of teaching surprise me.  I know there are lessons all around for me if I open my ears, but some teachings feel like they creep up on me.  This weekend we went gathering pine needles to make baskets.  I was really into it, feeling the ancestors there with me as I lay down my tobacco and searched beneath the trees for their bounty.  The children weren't that interested but I asked them to take a moment and gather with me.  That was a perfect moment and I thought that the lives of the ancestors must have been the best thing ever.  But standing up cured me of my folly, as my bottom was covered in burrs.  You get what you get and you make the best of it.  There is no value in living like somebody else had it way better.
The pine needles in themselves have a lesson.  I remember the woman who taught me to make pine needle baskets and wonder who she learned from.  I enjoyed the sent of the needles as they soaked in the water.  I am fascinated by how something so small and fragile can come together to make a basket.  I think about how insubstantial each needle is, but when it is part of the basket it is an important part in its existence.  I have had these same feelings learning to crochet recently.  It is just string, but through time and a simple repetitive motion it become something substantive that can bring warmth.  At the same time it is so vulnerable, break one thread and start pulling and the whole thing can fall apart.  I feel these metaphors strongly these days.

I also had an old friend I went to visit to cheer him up.  The teachings he shared with us were so much more than what we offered by our visit. It was humbling.  So much to learn.

Métis Hope 28

Insect Art Illustration Vintage Inspired Altered Art by AgedPage:
Insect Art Illustration Vintage Inspired Altered Art by AgedPage
Métis Hope 28: there will be plenty of opportunities to keep learning.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Métis Hope 31

Fang Chuxiong - Wisteria:
Fang Chuxiong - Wisteria
Métis Hope 31: I hope you can find a restful place to lay your head down.

Métis Hope 27

The Art Of Animation:
The Art Of Animation
Métis Hope 27: I hope there will be time this week to honor our connections to all our relations.