"CLEARING THE WAY"
Rap Song: "The First 90 Seconds"
Keep climbing, the grass is green there, the water gentle and clean, the air filled with the fragrant scent of nature; the stately guardians (trees) await you. As do, the flyers, swimmers and four-leggeds. Dance and Drum with them, for they truly know the meaning of what it is to be in harmony with each other, and remember SING like everyone is listening! Wilwilaasyk, All My Relations.
|Rodney||The original art is on the right, Nathan's copy is on the left. He has a truly amazing gift!|
to Abraham, Jonathan and Justin,
Remember the lyrics to the Rap Song we wrote together, "The First Ninety Seconds." (Lyrics printed below). The words are powerful and ones to take with you as you climb your sacred mountains. If you feel your feet slipping, grab the medicine bag you made, hold on and count rhythmically to 90.
You know what you have to do, you know how to walk in the world in a manner that pleases your Ancestors. You know this......Just do it.....oh yes, and have some good fun on the way. Go in peace, my precious young brothers, remember, our people need you.
Wilwilaaysk, All My Relations
Elder, Shannon Thunderbird
(WINTER COUNT CALENDAR) - LAKHOTA
The Lakhota used the Winter
Count Calendar to record important events in the daily life of the
tribe, snowfall to snowfall, or one year.
means 'year', Wowapi
means anything that is recorded on a flat surface, most often a
piece of animal hide. A further interpretation of
anything that could be counted or read. The
along with other artifacts, as noted, such as the medicine wheel
supported the vast oral histories of each tribe. Here is a photo of
an original Calendar.
I decided that the boys should create their own sacred symbol of daily life.
Their version depicts some of the things they relate to.
Starting in a clockwise direction, I drew the calumet (top left) and
explained to the boys that by placing a Native pipe (calumet) on the
hide, it now becomes a sacred artifact and that that only the truth
can be told in pictorial form. Drawings such as the barbell to
represent the workout room, microphone and musical notes because of
their love for rap, the heart for love.
Photo Left: On one visit, which happened to be September 11, 2011 (the 10th anniversary of the great tragedy in the United States), Kate and I discussed with the boys the value of freedom, the responsibility that comes with it and asked for their views on why this happened. Their responses were quite profound. I cannot reveal them here, because they were spoken in sacred circle. I suggested that each of them draw a picture about 9/11, and what you see in the photo is nothing short of fabulous, very moving, emotional and powerful.
Photo right: As you can see it is moving along, as the boys add things they are thinking about, i.e., hallowe'en!
MEDICINE BAG is traditionally a pouch of varying sizes filled with meaningful items for the owner. For example, stones, herbs, found objects, personal memorabilia, etc. and is intended to bring protection, good luck, and/or for use in healing.
TEACHING FOR THE YOUTH
"Our people have made and used these bags for thousands of years. They can be worn around the neck, or attached to a belt or simply carried. Whatever method you use, it carries special healing spiritual medicine. It should be feasted from time to time and smudged regularly. Your bag must be hand made, no sewing machines need apply! To have your hands on all aspects of its creation gives it your personal power. It can be decorated or plain, it is up to you to decide.
It is a sacred item and if it is worn around the neck it must hidden
under your shirt. To display it on the chest is a sign of arrogance
and self-importance. In other words, EGO need not apply either! No one should open the bag but you; to do so allows
the other person to tamper with your personal energy. You can replace items from time to
time. A pinch of the four sacred plants, sage, cedar, sweetgrass and
tobacco should be kept in the bag. The photo examples in this box were
made by Thunderbird."
|Steven||George||Abraham||Beautiful Medicine Pouches made by Darryl, Eric, Forest, Jesse, Matthew, Nathan, Roger, Stephen|
THE FIRST NINETY
The Rap Song you are listen to came out of a number of discussions we had on how to control bubbling negative emotions within the first ninety seconds of something happening. Studies show that how you react in those first 90 seconds is how a situation can escalate or de-escalate.
For example, if your immediate response is one of blinding rage, at the end of the 90 seconds, your adrenalin starts to fade and you fight hard to retain the initial anger, but it is very difficult to hold onto it. Ask yourself, "will a negative reaction to this situation harm me in the short and long-term?" If the answer is yes, say, "If I can make it through the next 90 seconds, I have a chance to change my energy and avoid possible catastrophic results for me." This conversation struck a chord with my young brothers and they were very thoughtful in their responses. I suggested they write a rap song about it, and they laughed when I said I was the world's worst rapper, so they have been trying to teach me. We've called our animated rapper, "Sixty Cents" (due to inflation!).
Lyrics: Jonathon, Justin, Steven, Thunderbird & Kate
Bailey (Vocal) - He did a fabulous job with no rehearsal.
The First Ninety Seconds is the challenge
To get past rage to find my balance
If I can wait for this time to pass
Then I have a chance to make peace last
I can respect the time for writing this rhyme
And realize the line that I walk is fine
I push through the struggles like a breeze through wind chimes
Seein' the world through calm and clear eyes
Thunder don't have to be anger and rage
It can clear my mind and set the stage
To honour myself for restraint of action
As I go through the first Ninety Seconds by relaxin'
Livin' through the first ninety seconds of rage
Even though we are shut down, locked in a cage
We still can make a change, and turn a new page
and abstain from pain and honour our names
A sweatlodge is a time of quiet, reflection and teachings. It is a serene time for all of us as "my boys" put into practice Hanta Ho while in the lodge. When we are finished, we re-hydrate with strawberries, biscuits and power drinks. The kitchen prepares a ceremonial meal for the whole facility on the "high" ceremonies, that is, the Summer and Winter Solstices.
A sweat lodge was originally created for men, so that they could experience the peace of spiritual, emotional, physical and mental cleansing and purification that women naturally experience on their moon time. Much later the sweat lodge ceremony was extended to women as long as women sweated by themselves, as did the men; Modern sweat lodges now allow for 'mixed' sweats.
In one form or another, the sweat lodge pervaded cultures from the Alaska south to the land of the Mayans. The purpose, in most cases, went beyond getting the body clean. It provided a cure for illness, revitalization for aching muscles, a connection to the Ancestors and a sense of both cultural and spiritual identity. A chance, in other words, to reconnect to both the seen and unseen worlds.
Sweating rids the body of wastes and gives the body an almost magical and very thorough cleaning. In this modern sedentary age that includes lack of regular exercise, air and water pollution, artificial environments, and synthetic clothing, a sweat lodge opens clogged skin pores and stimulates the healthy flow of a body's own natural sweat. A Navajo who fought in World War II once said that he had came back for a sweat "to rid himself of evil accumulated during war."
K'OOL GYET (ALL ONE PEOPLE) LODGE
Chaplain Andy who Kate, Sandy and I absolutely adore and missed terribly
while he was on medical leave, gave us a room to
convert into a Longhouse! After speaking with my young brothers, we decided
that the room should be for everyone. The boys and I enjoyed the
space because it had a magical, healing spirit. On top of
everything else, the room was just steps away from the Sweatlodge site.
Very, very cool. \
|Kate (my Sister) & some beautiful posters that Andy contributed - Great Spirit Pray, Seven Grandfather Teachings.||Big Drum - made as a gift by an Elder from Six Nations of the Grand.||Warrior Shields & words from influential people from all races.|
|Eastern Wall representing the Yellow (Asian) Race. Symbols on the plaque mean "Love".||The lodge is a restful room where we can write stories, that I intend to publish as soon as we have amassed a body of them.|
POET'S CORNER (copyrighted) - Poetry by Matthew
|TEMPERAMENT SKIES||HESITENTLY HOPEFUL|
Skies of green and purple hues
Painting colours on my temperament
Playing with my playing thoughts
Storming in they make it shine
Skies of blue and yellow nights
Cover up the black and greys
And pull me deep into the pain
Within green and purple hues
BLUE OR GRAY
My eyes are blue, but they feel gray
The only depth to see through
My eyes see gray but they see you
Only when they focus through
My eyes see depth, but only gray
Only when they focus, blue.
Hesitant, as I turn to the right
Arising, as I turn to the dark
Enraged, as I reach out to touch
Restless, as I walk to the dream
Anxious, as I turn to the left
Withering, as I look to the light
Apathy, as I reach out to harm
Restless, as I turn to the dream
Hopeful, as I look straight ahead
Fearless, as I act with no mind
Enraged, as I think with one more
Restless, as I walk through the dream
Conscious, as I want to look back
Confused, as I talk to the dark
Apathy, as I turn to the right
Reckless, as I wake from the dream
Restless, as you look at my change
Pointless, as I start straight ahead
Loneliness, as I reach out once more
Where did I go
Can't find my way
Reaches out for you
Show me away
Wxtend my hand
Reach out for this
Where did it goe
Can't find a way
Where did you go
Can't stay away
Reached out your hand
So far away
I have walked through the fire
To help walk two away
I have gone through torture
To help walk two away
I have gone though the pain
To help walk two away
You have fought all you can
To help guide me away
But, I walked through the fire
To help walk two away
|CHILD OF THE DARKNESS||CHILD OF THE DARKNESS, CONTINUED|
Within the present of my essence
The child of the spirit
Internal messages of my power
The child of the fire
Raging demons of my souls
The child of the cage
Counting ones that stand with me
The child of the legion
Voices screaming at my eyes
The child of the change
Desirable violence inflicting harm
The child of the apathy
Irreconcilable sense of self
The child of the family
Visions of the thing's to come
The child of the dream
Conscious memories of the lost
the child of the truth
Enraging everything with a cost
The child of the demond
Replacing everything I have to hold
The child of the forsaken
Within the forest of the damned
The child that will liberate
Holding tightly to what is mind
The child of the selfish
An added feral touch to the rain
The child of the serene
Unobtainable pieces of my puzzle
The child of the whimsical
Untouchable madness to be released
The Darkness of the child
An unexplainable serenity
The peace of the child
An uncontrollable state of mind
The change of the child
A painful touch of love and life
The family of the child
A visionary man of rage and hate
The cage of this child
Contemplation of his fate
The dream of the child
Anxiety built from somewhere within
The fear of this child
A painless touch that
The hands of the child
Soundless songs that must be sung
The voice of the mind
Sightless passings through the soul
The shadow of the child
Destructive nature's of the mind
The flames of the child
Insanity that dwells in love
The sight of the child
Unreachable close to something new
The faces of no smiles
Untouchable danger to be released
I am that child
the Child of the Darkness