Wednesday, November 25, 2009

DuBose Thankfulness

I won't be able to spend any time with my parents and siblings for Thanksgiving, so in case they read this during this season, I wanted to be sure they knew of my thankfulness. Here goes:

  • I am thankful for picking up cans.
    I can almost see Mama's face over that one. She's waited umpteen years to hear me say that, and even now, she doesn't get to HEAR me say it except in her mind as she reads it :D
    But seriously, I'm thankful Mama made me pick up cans to pay for my trip to Australia. It was humiliating at the time, but I look back now at the humble quality it instilled in me and the appreciation I gained to be able to take such a trip. It worked, Mama!
  • I am thankful for cupcakes and wii and Guitar Hero.
    I'm not a big fan of cupcakes, but sharing them with my sister over a game of "battle of the bands" (whatever the game was called) makes them the best treat in the world.
  • I am thankful for buckskin.
    When I was 17, I had stars in my eyes and wanted to give my beau a Christmas present he would never forget, something with meaning to him. I came up with what I wanted to make, but had no idea how to get the supplies or how to make one. My daddy took me to the shoe cobbler in town, bought me beautiful golden buckskin and then designed a leather pouch that is so unique and beautiful. Tommy still has it, still uses it, and still marvels over it more than 20 years later. What I gained from it is a memory of my daddy, and how important it was to him to help me with this,....thank you daddy!
  • I am thankful for Facebook.
    That's insane, I know! But that's the place I have gotten to know my little sister. She still does "little sister stuff" and I roll my eyes at her, but I've gotten to see things about her I've never had the chance to see otherwise. I've been able to watch my nephews grow when space and time have not allowed me to otherwise. I've even been able to argue with Doug there, and that's just plain fun!
  • I'm thankful for roadkill.
    No kidding- ROADKILL! David and I actually went on a roadkill hunt once...but the hides we were going for were just bonus. It was the time to be together and talk,...something we've only done about 3 times in our whole lives.
These are only a few things. I am thankful for SO many things. The internet just isn't a big enough place for my gratitude, so I'll leave it at this,....and a note to my family that I love you all.... soo soo much!

Have good food, good conversation, and good feelings among you and think of me for a moment this Thanksgiving Day!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Family Excursion

I have been quite remiss in keeping content on my blog. I should apologize for that, truly I should,... but I plead insanity instead. If you read the post just prior to this one, you know that my poor respiratory system has been trounced upon for quite sometime and that my stress levels have looked down upon the highest mountains,.... and therefore it stands to reason that my emotions needed some relief from it all. I did get past that allergy of the dog dander, but wouldn't you know it---there is something else in my house disrupting my system? I'm guessing mold. It seems like all that's left to blame! I want to rip the carpet out of my house and bleach everything, but that seems a little extreme especially considering how much help I'll have available to me in such an undertaking,.... so its not done yet,....and I'm not well yet either. My sinuses quit being my friend a long time ago anyway,....

So let's move along,....

I've looked in all sorts of directions for that mind numbing relief that makes everything tolerable for a time. I found games,...not just one game, ... LOTS of games! I got wound up tight in those and had to involved my family in them. I hooked up with Lee and together we make a fierce a mafia who farms well during the day and indulges in vampire activities at night. We're good :)

That worked for a while. I was distracted. And then a little agreement came due.

Let's back up in time for a moment.
We have a friend. He lives in Nashville, but he came to a powwow we were at and that's where we met him. He is Lakota, so there is our common ground. He's a super nice guy and a really great musician. We've gotten together with him a few times and have a new but special friendship with him. Can't really explain it beyond that. Well, he had spoken at the University of Alabama in Huntsville last year, and they wanted him back. He had a conflicting schedule though, so he recommended ME to take his place. I agreed. I figured it was no different than the many times I had spoken to middle school and primary school kids, right? WRONG! There was a contract I had to sign, ... and I was formally introduced! That was a first!

We got our regalia together and packed up a collection of my beadwork and some herbs and headed to Alabama last week. We stayed in a nice conference center/ hotel and had the BEST continental breakfast I have ever had in all my life!!! SERIOUSLY! We got up and got our buckskins on and were escorted to the building where we were to present our culture. Our topic was native medicines and beadwork,... so I approached it this way:

A medicine wheel represents that circle of life Disney made so famous. It has so much symbolism in it that I could go on and on about that. I won't do that here, so if you want to know it you'll have to ask me. The basic gist I expressed was that there are 4 aspects to your health. You are the center of this wheel, where all the responsibility lies. The 4 aspects are: mental, physical, emotional and spiritual. To relate these things, I described a medical doctor. If you are sick and go to a doctor, you are getting great assistance for your PHYSICAL health, but he doesn't even think about the other aspects of your health. If you are under stress, that is a mental difficulty that leads to a physical condition. That physical condition leads to an emotional depression and when we get to that point, we have no where to go but to our God in prayer. That's why hospitals put chapels in their buildings!

The native point of view is to focus on all these aspects yourself and seek help when you need it, all areas. So we approached our demonstration from there on in a similar way. Tommy told a story we tell children about a boy and a snake. The boy carried a snake from the cold mountains to the warm valley, but the snake bit the boy at the end of their trail. They boy asked why and the snake said "you knew what I was when you picked me up!" That moral teaches us to think first,...and be prepared for consequences. Choose wisely and the consequences will be easier to endure.

The physical aspect of health, of course, was herbal in nature. I showed some herbs, talked of ways I use them and how they came into my life. I had a good bit of interest in that! I was surprised!

Then was the emotional aspect of health and I feel creativity is involved there. In aboriginal healing ceremonies, images might be painted on a body, songs sung, beauty brought in,... and this is where I displayed my beadwork. If you let your creativity be a part of your life, that beauty will work to lift your spirits often.

Then we go to the spiritual aspect of health, which is your relationship with your Creator. At this point, Manti and Mesa sang two prayer songs. You never heard the like! I wish I could have recorded that, it was so awe inspiring and beautiful! It wasn't that professional sound you look for in a musician, was soul warming purity.

We ended with a Q&A session and then we let one of their instructors take a couple pictures of us. This is one he took with Manti's camera for us. What a time we had!