Starblanket eBook available now!

Starblanket: A Mother’s Gift to Her Son available at Amazon and Kobo!

What happens when a Mother’s biggest worry is that her son will bear the burden and blame of a society who do not know how to Respect, or Honour Indigenous women?

“Starblanket -A Mother’s Gift to Her Son” – is a collection of stories about Spiritual Awakening, Motherhood and Healing.
When family bonds are grown from traumatic events a child-of-trauma is born. Starblanket follows the journey of an Indigenous woman facing herself as a child-of-trauma and seeking identity, self-respect, and self-love. A single-mother, she struggles to raise her son alone in one of the biggest cities in the world. Her small family faces ever-encroaching societal pressures of Capitalism, Materialism, and Conformity which contradict the Indigenous values she tries to instill.

“Starblanket” honours the Indigenous child and the family as ancient teachings of love and understanding are slowly reclaimed. As the Morningstar guides us from darkness into light, Starblanket guides readers to self awareness, one story at a time.
Amazon!
http://www.amazon.ca/Starblanket-Mothers-Gift-Her-Son-ebook/dp/B00RC2XHDQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1419859797&sr=1-1&keywords=starblanket

Print copies available at the Cedar Basket Gift Shop

Post-colonial divide, aka building bridges

I marvel at the myriad relationships between the Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island, and our various alliances. It seems in one way or another we’ve continued the practice of building bridges throughout the years. 

I enjoy watching the multitude of organizations, causes, and coalitions blooming on the landscape of our current politics. The many organizers and leaders and their respective teams all dedicated to their causes simply astounds me. 

Where does it all stem from? If I had to guess? A deep and unrelenting love for who we are as peoples and our deeply personal relationship with these lands. Our love and gratitude, our connection to these lands is something that is forever present. We are reminded of this connection with every breath we take, with our two feet placed squarely on our Mother the Earth. We fight for her survival, and that of our great-grand children. 

We are in the time of change and flux as told by our prophecies…great bounding shifts are revealing themselves in the warm winds blowing through our lands. Evidence of those shifts, is the warm spring air where there once was frigid ice and snow. The new and great war in the post-colonial divide begs us to make a mental shift…to see the Earth and our waters as inherently alive and dutifully protect that being’s right to life. Inherently free from the tyranny of humankind. We are so small and meek, so young in our collective understanding of the vast intelligence of the worlds great abundance. 

So ignorant are we of our responsibilities and gifts TO this world. Instead, we limit our understanding of our collective interests, create false divides and set ourselves apart from one another. Rather, than see ourselves as a massive force poised in the direction of truth and light, and deeply focused on building bridges with great intention to the healing of this world. 

I can see so clearly how very beautiful, gifted, wonderous, and brilliant the person reading these words truly is…how very sacred you are. I can feel the spirit abundance flowing from the Earth through your lifeblood and out into the vastness of the universe…an endless flow of amazing and creative energies. Tap into that flow, acknowledge that abundance, allow the energy to fill you to overflowing and share your wonderous gifts with the world…you were truly meant to shine brighter than any sun, than any light in the universe, you ARE that light, you are every light. See this, feel it, know your truth and raise your vibration to the highest possible…there are no limitations to the greatness we can accomplish together…ahaaw…

January aka winter storytelling

Tonight, I feel my parents closeby. I think about them often. Remembering how much they loved me. Thinking about all of the childish and wonderful time spent with them. We used to take walks the three of us…on sunny, cool spring days. I used to love walking along the patch of asphalt near our home. Pockets of asphalt heaved up and hollowed out by changing temperatures were my favorite oddity to examine. My dad walking along, whistling a jaunty tune. My mom examining the shallow ditches searching equally for sweetgrass and the empty beer bottle here and there. Filling up bags with old beer bottles helped buy groceries, maybe another case…sometimes.

That was life. When I was smaller, I remember holding their hands and turning summersaults. Sometimes I would hold my dad’s hands and run up the front of him doing a summer sault on the way back down. Crisp spring breezes carrying my laughter down the road. 

Brief moments of pure bliss. Just my parents and me. 

Sitting here, in the quiet of my apartment alone in the city…it seems like another lifetime. It seems like someone else’s life. I think back about all of the people my parents knew…all of the voices silences by time and the natural order of life…

Howard, Mousey, Uncle Henry Hank, Aunty Amelia, Tiger, Uncle Arnold, Uncle Russ, Uncle Levi, Uncle Frank and his crazy laugh. Uncle John, Aunty Thelma, Barbara, Uncle Harvey…

My parents used to visit. I remember going to Uncle Russ’s little house, old man smells and hot tea. Sun streaming in the window as my Dad and he chatted. Anishinaabemowin flowing out the crack in the window…

All of those people…memories, people my son will never know, except for the stories we share together. There is so much of my life I wish I could recall better…so many small events I want to remember…perhaps its the extraordinary memories that I retained…a dragonfly landing on a milkweed…the flash of a whitetail deer bounding across the meadow. 

Chuckling as I remember the time my mom ran down the road with my Eldest nephew in his stroller yelling at the top of his lungs joyfully…little did he know that we were getting out of dodge cause Dad spotted a momma bear, separated from her cubs…

I remember the taste of fresh cooked fish, and hot tea brewed at the side of the lake as noon. The smoky taste of the tea, warming my belly. My mom packing cast iron frying pan, tea bags, flour, and utensils…knowing that my Dad knew the spots to go, trusting in his ability to feed his family. Staring out at the blazing sparkles flashing across the water, the waves lapping at the side of the boat pulled up on the rocks…and I can hear the wind, whistling through the pine boughs…sighing at the perfect day.

I am grateful, here, in this moment. Grateful for the memories. Grateful for the people that populated our lives back then. Grateful for the ones that came before…

Give me something to write about

I’ve written about the big shifts in my life. I’ve written my way through the pain. I’ve written my way through the grief. I’ve written about healing. 

This mundane. This everydayness of every day. Is enough to drive one to madness. We sit in our husks, passing the time, whiling away the hours. Some days, we sit with our thoughts. All of them collide inside our brains…round and round. I have been sitting in silence watching and observing. Other times we distract ourselves with the external, the entertainment. It takes some commitment, some dedication to seek out the teachings. To be with others in community, to create community. 

I  love stream of consciousness, only because it is the least amount of work, lol. A lazy writer – great. I have written about the many, many ideas locked up inside these brain cells. Yet, I lack the conviction to actually write them. I lack the motivation to sit my a$$ down in the chair, research and write what I’ve learned. 

I fully acknowledge this. I take responsibility for my lack of motivation. In actuality, I am highly motivated NOT to write. How nice for me. It would be lovely to find the key to unlocking the motivators that will help me sit down and write…and…write.

Maybe I need a muse. Or just amuse.  Playful puns, play on words. Sometimes I just want to get out of my head. It is a bit of a prison, always the fluttering wings battering at the windows to get out…like the trapped moth at the window screen. All of these intense thoughts needing the expression…yet lacking the energy and will to put it together. To move forward. Another day. Another moment. What arrogance. 

To think I have another day to write. 

Hm, I am thankful for that awareness. We never know how much time we have, we never know if our day spent hiding in marathon TV episode watching will be our last. What a sobering thought.

With that…I request of my readers, topics that you want to read about…learn about. Give me something to write about…

Reverberation, aka the places that echo

I find myself at the edge of a precipice. In this place, the slightest sound is amplified to crashing thunder. In this place all the old nightmares of old die away in the shining light of the dawn. 

In some ways, I’ve been in this same place time and time again, revisiting, working up my courage to jump…and I jump. Always an adventure opening my heart. Allowing spirit to guide, and trusting Creator’s teachings of love and acceptance.

I’ve written a new piece, one that helped me through one of the darkest places in my life. Many, many teachers have helped guide me through this space and many others have helped me continue to invite the light into my life, helping me to believe and understand my path in life…

Every now and again, I bare my soul. I write from my heart and allow the vulnerability to come forward…every time, it brings me to this place…high above my known world, waiting to take the plunge…waiting to gather my courage…so I can jump…and not wonder whether I plummett or soar off into the wild beyond. 

Once again, I’ve come to that space…and I encounter the reverberation, in this well of echos. I recognize this place, I know this…and once again, I jump.

Check out my new piece published in the latest Ars Medica journal

http://ars-medica.ca/index.php/journal/issue/view/21/showToc

Animate or inanimate, challenging binary gender indentification

I have been mulling the idea of expanding my consciousness by exploring how my ancestors thought about “gender-roles”. Fluent language speakers have said that in Anishinaabemowin, there are no “genders” like we have learned in English. Unlike French or Spanish where pronouns are labelled as Male or Female, Anishinaabe pronouns describe whether something is “animate” or “inanimate”. In other words, does that item have spirit? 

When I first moved to Toronto I encountered a variety of very powerful teachings that allowed me to open my mind, open my consciousness to see a being and love that being for who they truly are. This experience taught me that love and respect are inderdependent concepts. While it has been an interesting path that has led me to investigate, and attempt to understand the idea of two-spiritedness, gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, trans, and the many other ways individuals identify…I will never fully understand the experiences others go through. The closest I can get is to look with an eye to the spirit because in spirit we are all connected, we are all one, and there is no question, only…knowing. 

I have been lucky enough to encounter environments that are moving toward decolonizing approaches, and I find that my learning and awareness have so much farther to expand. 

I encountered a sign in one such space that read “If you think someone is using the wrong washroom, don’t panic, they know where they belong.” I smiled, and thought to myself…Yes, they certainly do. 

Challenging myself to think consciously about the world around me in terms of “animate” and “inanimate” will present so many interesting opportunities to understand the linguistic connections to my ancestors. Growing up, my parents never really discouraged me from participating or trying anything in particular. I played sports, wore dresses, went hunting, and climbed trees. (separately, of course!)

In turn, I encouraged my eight-year old son to experiment with colour, he would wear pink (mittens, socks, shoes) accessories and wore nail polish to school in awesome Captain America and Sonic the Hedgehog inspired colours. We of course had a discussion that others in school may try to discourage him from wearing nail polish because “boys aren’t allowed to do those sorts of things” and he understands how sexist some books are when we went to the book store one day to find a book on bracelet making and could only find a book written mainly for girls. 

Many others have commented on my decidedly masculine energies surfacing in ceremony or in the way I carry myself, I think the provider/protector role is more pronounced as I am a single-mother living in a large city. I need to be able to provide for my family and protect myself and my son if I need to. 

Too often we get wrapped up in binary gender roles and forget to see the spirit in a being. We let society dictate to us what and who we should be. Could we not empower our children to attain their fullest potential, their highest and most perfect version of themselves? Can we not just encourage them to experience inspiration, joy, love and abundance, sharing that joy with those around them?

People choose paths in life and we learn from those encounters, we learn from others who come into our lives and bring those profound teachings with them. I am grateful to have such experiences, difficult as they may be. 

Anishinaabekwe endaaw…I am a being from the Nation of good peoples, imbued with spirit who is physically capable of bringing life into the world…

Top five signs your Ojibwe roots are showin’

So, I enjoy a chuckle every now and then even at the expense of myself. Tonight’s post is a throw back to those days when you hear your ma laughing at something cute and out comes this sound…it’s a cross between the “e” in “ever” and the “n” as in “nice” EeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeNnnnnnnnaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyy! 

These are totally coming from somewhere unknown cause I’m no comedian…but here goes: 

1. You’re on the streetcar one day, and some decidedly middle aged person in a business suit shouts “AH-nee” into their phone…and you rubber-neck, your eyes nearly popping out of your head at the Ojibwe falling out of their mouth…then to your disappointment realize they said “Honey” 

2. You’re watching your favorite romantic comedy, favorite movie, favorite flick which is featuring Japanese culture and language at a key moment in the dialogue and you hear them say “g’neechee-waa” and you’re so excited to recognize the Ojibwe words for “friend” in there somewhere…but once again you’re heart sinks cause you realize it’s Japanese, and they most likely said “Konnichiwa” which is Japanese for “Good day”.

3. My favorite stories happen to be when English gets mixed up with Anishinaabemowin, like the time my Dad was talking to his sister one day on the telephone. He was talking about something my mom said to him and he was using the nish word for mother which sounds like “dodo-em” My auntie was on the other end of the phone wondering what “dobermans” have to do with anything.

4. You’re standing at a party or some social event in mixed company and your cousin or your drum sister walks in. You give her a big hug and say “Boozhoo” a greeting that is common in community and which is short for Nanaboozhoo, a prominent spirit in Anishinaabe creation stories…and your friend or co-worker looks at you and says “I didn’t know you knew how to speak French. 

5. You’re walking down the street with your friend and realize you forgot to put your belt on and end up hitching up your pants every so often grumbling to yourself about your “miiknoot” wishing you remembered to put on your belt. 

Alright, that’s it. I’m done impersonating someone funny. If ya liked this and have some funny stories where your ojibwe roots are showing themselves…post your story in the comments section…G rated for everyone to enjoy please…lol

Momentum AKA The new old method

I have been at a stand still these last few days. Perhaps I’m conserving energy, maybe I’m hiding from the world. More likely I’m replenishing my energy reserves. This past autumn I embarked on many excursions far beyond my comfort zone, expanded my consciousness and openly invited more abundance than I have ever welcomed before. It was glorious. 

Now, I sit and reflect on all that I have experienced and that which I continue to experience. I take inventory of the many lessons I have learned, the new ones I have yet to embark upon, and revisit the old…wondering if I have fully let go. 

I caught wind of an opening in a leadership position recently, and I wonder if I’m ready for that venture. I think about where I envision myself in the not to distant future and see a parallel path, perhaps a precursor stage on my evolution. 

I have many ideas about a great many things, I have yet to open myself completely to them, to give myself fully to their capable leadership, to trust myself to bring them to life. I see many who are doing just that…living.

And, I see myself…egged on by fate. 

I have never heen driven solely by my own dreams and determination. I have never had one defining vision that propels me forward…not until now. Will I have the courage to follow spirit? Will I be able to see the path that lay ahead and trust the movement. Trust the momentum?

There are a great many teachings in our collective past. Our Elders share so much about how things used to be, and our youth take but a grain of that, combine it with their own ingenious view of the present and concoct something completely new. It is such brilliance to see our people coming to life. Using their intellect, and making things happen. Such greatness, for such good community healing and benefit. What I wouldn’t do to encourage that, to inspire that, to ignite it. 

What could I possibly do to bring my greatest evolution forward if not to trust in the path that gzhe manidoo has set before me, that I have chosen in the before time…that reveals itself to me so mysteriously. How could I not trust in the momentum that I seek. The momentum that I can feel waiting to be unleashed. Delegating, organizing, leading, inspiring…re-thinking, renewal. There are so many ways to breathe new life into old ways…it is exciting to think about the possibilities, the potential…hmmm this is creation at its finest, and I have so much gratitude for that awareness and beauty revealed by such a fleeting moment. Miigwetch…

On what really matters 

I have been mulling all that ego demands. Often the messages are new echoes of old beliefs. Sometimes they are reverbrations of new learning resonant and resounding. Perhaps it is the teaching to be aware of the ringing, the cacophony, and still find the silence. 

To be fully aware of one’s faults, our failings, and our human frailties and still have the will to love ourselves fully. To know that beyond the images projected, beyond the echoes, beyond the ripples we have made out there…we are still worthy of love.

I used to think that in order to love someone unloveable, I needed to be at some distance. I needed to shut them out of my life. I needed to walk away. I wondered if I was hiding. Was I running away? Was I not facing something that would bring bravery and learned teachings? I thought about all of the relationships just hanging there…unfinished. Incomplete. Unresolved. In this reality, they were. I know that when those pieces fully align, I will have believed in myself…because I am the only one whose thoughts I should care about. I have no business wondering, or caring what anyone else thinks of me. I have had to live this life, and I will continue to be the one driving this body forward into the next moment. I can’t keep wondering if I’m doing the right thing or saying the right thing. I surrender and give my life to Creation and just trust Gzhe manidoo to see me through. 

Worry has so often been a visitor in my home, but if life is so worrisome, that I cannot enjoy the moment, is that also not an aberration of Creation? Our vibrations are so very delicate that one single worry can cloud our minds an entire day. Is that what we are meant to do in this life? Wonder and worry? 

What is important is to seek the space out where worry, fears, and doubts hang just outside our conscious space on a cushion of compassion for ourselves. What’s really important is to clarify what we love about ourselves and ALWAYS hold that dear, to be grateful for the ability to see it, and the ability to seek it out in others, to nurture it, and encourage that growth to bear fruit.

Sometimes there are teachers, and teaching moments that are very sobering, so much that we are stopped dead in our tracks. As if we’d just woken from some nightmare, and we can be so thankful for that moment. That is what is really important, the awareness, to keep growing, to keep vigilence and know that we are fully loved every single moment. We must remain vigilant, so that if everyone we ever cared about disappeared in an instant we would know love within despair, for love does not exist solely from the external, it is in all things, it is IN us…

Grandmother and her daughter

I’m sitting inside today. I’m warm and cozy wrapped in a blanket. I’m happy the snow has come at last. Winter is a wonderful time for reflecting, for sharing, and storytelling. There are so many stories about the significance of Grandmother moon and her fullness. So many varied understandings. I sat with her this month, in ceremony and gratitude. Reflecting back on the many times I have glimpsed her beauty. Last month as she was full and beautiful I stopped dead in my tracks…and stared. Orange and wearing her full moon gown, as my son would say, she hung there on the horizon to the east…and smiled at her daughter. Helping, always helping. I think back to the harvest moon when we feasted our bundles, our helpers and thanked them for the good work they have done all this growing season. I think about how much work our women do every month to take care of others, and do their best to keep everything moving in their circles. Organizing, cooking, leading, teaching and parenting. So much work, yet we continue to show up, like Grandmother moon…always present and looking out for our loved ones. 

I think back on the summer when I sat with my sisters, nieces and nephews and shared the thimble full of knowledge I have about our moon ceremonies. It was the first time we’d sat together as family honouring our Grandmother, and it was beautiful. I’ve sat with Grandmother so many times and yet I am so very aware of how different she feels, of the many times she has held me in her gaze and allowed me to just cry…to be. Like a kind, and caring Grandmother she gazed at me though my window smiling at me as I slept. 

The last year has been an immense growing time. A time of change, flux, faith and abundance…so much abundance. 

Every month, she was there, my guardian spirit helping me through the different life trials. Her beautiful light shining through Grandfather’s love. The last few years have seen a number of significant events. Many, many times Grandfather and Grandmother showed their warmth and caring for their daughter. Supermoons, Lunar eclipses, solar eclipses, alignments. All rare and beautiful. 

I am grateful to the many different voices of our community Grandmothers for their teachings, love, and sharing that I may come to know my Nokomis Dbik Giizis, the nightime sun. There is  so much yet to learn…I am grateful for the work that she does with our waters, helping them to continue to clear and clean themselves of the many destructive influences of our human ways. 

Mother Earth, is the most kind and generous spirit, but even the strongest must rest once in awhile. Now that the snow has come, perhaps she can rest for a moment. In that time, we must do our best to send much healing love and light to her wonderful giving spirit. She takes care of us all…and along with her partner Father Sky, shows us balance and harmony. It is there, the teaching is there, one just has to be open to seeing it. 

These are but stories that come from the many different understandings. Each one of us understand all of these elements in different ways. We understand our place in the world in a multitude of ways, and I am grateful that Anishinabe ways are still present that I may relate to them in such a profound way. Miigwetch :)

I look forward to the many teachings, conversations, and abundance yet to come…

The last walk

I walk alone down these empty hallways,
In the night. Hollow faces stare as I pass. The magestic folds of my gown flow like water behind me, the soft scent of lightening a quickening in my absence.

You know me.

Tall and aloof, and towering beyond the wretched, none of them see. I am a ghost before I am dead. Marionettes without strings retelling the same lies, Scripted, sculpted, and choreographed the laughter echoes.

You see…

In a world full of the unseeing, I become alive. I become. I feel you in the evening wind, I feel you in the space between moments. Wintering here in the unknown…a storied tale spins unyielding, unending…a Universe within a Universe…

I become.