What an amazing time we had at a jam packed event for AICHO -as stated in their event notice:
Dabinoo’Igan is empowering the voices that are often silenced due to Domestic Violence. “One Community, Many Voices, Stop the Silence” is an opportunity for our community to come together for the victims who are silenced. Enjoy musical performances by Erik Koskinen and Band, Anishinaabeg national music award winners Annie Humphrey and Keith Secola along with the Miziiwekaamikiinang Drum Group on April 6, 2023
AICHO is expanding our culturally responsive domestic violence shelter Dabinoo’Igan to help more victims of domestic and sexual violence in our community. …in partnership with the Ordean Foundation. All monies raised will go toward the Dabinoo’Igan Shelter expansion.
In the fiscal year 2021, the Dabinoo’Igan Shelter provided 490 unique individuals with shelter services, accommodated 2,509 bed stays, and answered over 577 crisis calls. During the same year, Dabinoo’Igan had just under 200 requests for services that were unmet due to capacity issues.
Victims of violence should never have to face these barriers when seeking safety and help.
Help us help our community in need. Dabinoo’Igan is Anishinaabemowin for “a place where you are safe, comforted and sheltered”. More about musicians, tickets, fundraiser: : https://www.aicho.org/funddvshelter
Top event sponsors: Ordean Foundation, Krenzen Auto, McKnight Foundation, First Nations Development Institute, Maurices, St. Louis County Attorney’s Office, Essentia Health, Ivy Vainio + Friends, Bois Forte Band of Chippewa, Arrowhead Regional Arts Council, National Bank of Commerce, RBC Wealth Management-Duluth, and RSM US LLP. #AICHOFundDVShelter
from the event info
This event was incredible. Terrific organizing. Amazing performances. Annie is always powerful – EVERY time I’ve seen her – and the middle guys were stars with a big booming sound – really rocked it – then Keith came out and blew our minds.🤯 Great to see David Huckfelt.
Ivy and team did a fantastic job. The Ordean guy was terrific. Really could see the coherence in the group. Good to see some friends there to support the fundraiser and we really enjoyed the after party! 😍
More time with friends all the way home, including visiting our babies!! 😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍
So many good friends and family. 💖
Working this week on getting our place organized again for kitten arrival. After swearing I wouldn’t… ever again… 😵💫 Only excuse… Overwhelming cuteness.😻😻 And they say two is easier…🧐
Deep conversations and time in the woods all made for a terrific welcome of spring. 🌱 🌺
So many good friends and family. 💖 My life keeps getting better and better.
We watch our banks… collapsing? Or being made to appear as if they are anyway.
I wonder how much longer… before all the systems ~ every one of which is showing signs of strain… to keep up with growing needs, improve upon services, or even maintain its basic foundations ~ are simply GONE.
We joke about the internet disappearing. Yet, how much is already unavailable… under the thumb that ensures no “misinformation”? (Or… maybe just moved… to a new platform… where one can still speak freely?) But is the day soon? When we simply won’t have these magic computers in our pockets to tell us…
Who to be. Which place has the best doohickey for the least output. How to get where we’re going.
Some joke about humans who cannot get from point A to B without a GPS machine directing them. The latest fad is using paper maps. (Who knew, Mom!?! You’ve always been ahead of the curve.)
So how are we navigating now? Are we still following the signs of a colonized culture, hell bent on using military might to ensure its GDP? Are we still mindlessly seeking the next job, clothes, partner, car, house… that will fulfill us? Are we sensing the fruitlessness, nay cruelty, of the American Way of Life?
Many more each day, by choice or circumstance, are choosing a new way. A holistic, universal, mutual aid network way of engaging with their fellow crew members. A way that is more direct, local, sustainable, and… FUN!!! I am calling it the BEconomy.
This is a place where each of us can BE who we are… doing the work we love ~ be it cooking, researching, fishing, sewing, cleaning, growing, organizing, teaching, entertaining ~ each and every one of us… loving our neighbors as we find our way forward together… in love, for the good of all.
Some may call me a Dreamer. Nevertheless.
This feels like a big new year opening before me… And I feel it just may be… My best yet. 😍
As Dan and I made our way home from Nagaajiwanaang (Fond du Lac Reservation) on New Year’s Eve, I felt wonderful Peace.
It seems I’ve done all I can in the past year to bring good, find solutions, offer my help, and do my best to win*. And it was good to feel that success alongside good friends and collaborators who are so supportive.
If our greatest joy is in connecting, then does it make sense our greatest fear is in not being accepted?
Do we not connect when we embrace another being? Do we not connect with each flower we meet with our eye? Are our ears not connected to the wind… or the song of a bird? Can we not taste the connection as we are nourished, incorporating another life to ensure our own?
Is this not the greatest gift a being can give, to nourish another with their essence… be it song, beauty, sustenance, or comfort? Do we not sense the interconnectedness of it all, sometimes consciously, yet surely unconsciously in each moment?
Are we afraid now… of not being accepted by the Earth? Are we needing only to reconnect with Her to find our peace?
Are we not forgiving of the needs that come our way? Meeting them with grace and fulfilling them in love and compassion? Be they our own needs or those of others?
If we can do this, perhaps we learned it best from our first Mother… Mother Earth?
Here are some of the things I’m learning in recent weeks.
I attribute these things to my years studying the Tao (with a bunch of wonderful folks, mostly my Alex friends yet others along the Path as well) and also to the many books I’ve enjoyed over the years, of which, a new one (to me) has been especially helpful – The Mastery of Love by don Miguel Ruiz. [I liked this gal’s summary highlighting the lessons in this work.]
BTW, BIG SHOUTOUT to Amy McCoy who simply gave me this book after I asked her about it on her bookshelf. She is an amazing human being.
In The Mastery of Love, don Miguel Ruiz illuminates the fear-based beliefs and assumptions that undermine love and lead to suffering and drama in our relationships. Using insightful stories to bring his message to life, Ruiz shows us how to heal our emotional wounds, recover the freedom and joy that are our birthright, and restore the spirit of playfulness that is vital to loving relationships.
The Mastery of Love includes:
• Why “domestication” and the “image of perfection” lead to self-rejection • The war of control that slowly destroys most relationships • Why we hunt for love in others, and how to capture the love inside us • How to finally accept and forgive ourselves and others
“Happiness can only come from inside of you and is the result of your love. When you are aware that no one else can make you happy, and that happiness is the result of your love, this becomes the greatest mastery of the Toltec: the Mastery of Love.” — don Miguel Ruiz
From the Publisher
I’ve also enjoyed some insightful blogs that resonated this past week.
And here are some of my own ramblings on things…
There is plenty of injustice in the world. I’m hopeful we can start loving ourselves to the truth… that we’re all horrible and wonderful beings. It seems to me that we all deserve grace and compassion. We can offer those to our kin, even while honoring others who have gone ahead, regardless of how they went.
Fear and division bring suffering.
No blame is necessary. Nor praise for that matter, I’m finding.
Love serves us best in this life.
I’m working to learn all these lessons myself.
Response given on my Send Leonard Peltier at Card FB post …to one not sure of my mission.
I would recommend taking what any government is currently saying with a few grains of salt.
I’d note that our own US Govt has yet to figure out an end to poverty… while many serving in the US government are millionaires these days.
And look how GREAT it’s working for them. Our “leaders” have health care provided for them, while Americans in general, do not. The politicians fly about on the taxpayer dime, while many Americans can no longer afford to get to work each week with the price of fuel for our cars… as the managers continue to provide little in the way of public transport.
Consider the goals of the government narratives – endless wars and destruction, extraction that steals the future from our children, instead of talking and working to find commonly agreeable solutions.
And consider the history as well. The US has been moving for decades with this Us v. Them narrative… that divides and distracts… while the powerful and rich continue to thrive… and everyday Americans get the choice of heading to war for the machine… or living on the scraps paid by the Corps(e).
A thought shared in response to commentary on war.
This too awakens.
“Your sense of alienation is entirely valid and based in truth. … Truth is beckoning us all forward and these mind-cages they have built for us aren’t real enough to hold us in for much longer.”
Consider cutting through the dream… and embracing truth and beauty… and then bringing the world we know can be?
Great work by ALL our ALLIES for sharing online and talking to everyone they know… about the horror of Enbridge’s Line 93 (Line 3 Replacement pipeline) Construction. We are NOW the TOP STORY on MPR’s home page!!
I have a friend who’s looking at major life change. Actually all my friends are looking at major life changes right now. It feels like a time of massive global transition – in part forced on us by coronavirus – though perhaps she was just a symptom of a larger disease? That of humanity failing to recognize its limitations, its impacts, and what it needs do next to move forward in a good way?
My friend and I spoke of readiness. We spoke of grief and letting go. I remembered… Grieving is an expression of gratitude.
Gratitude for what is being let go.
Gratitude for what all we’re letting go of has done to make us who we are.
Realizing that even as we let go – of the many things we let go of throughout this life – we’re still us. It’s still me – the spiritual being inside of this body! This body which has produced another spiritual being… inside its own body! And for that, I am ever grateful.
I’m finding more and more today, as much as we ridicule or laugh in frustration at the mention of “thoughts and prayers”… that perhaps that might just be the best thing I can do.
Is there not energy for good in my thoughts and prayers?
Is it not true that the thoughts and prayers of others have been a part of what has pulled me along this path even when I felt I couldn’t go on?
Is it possible that in those moments of greatest despair – when peace suddenly finds a way to me – that it might be because of the thoughts and prayers of others?
Whether through a chickadee landing in my hand to eat a seed… or an eagle visible in a tree as I pass down the road… or a hawk flying low to snag a bit of dinner… and lucky me as I witness this everyday part of life: eating to sustain ourselves as living beings… are these not answered prayers?
Is it coincidence that these examples coming to mind quickly are all of flyers? Is that because they are closer to Creator than me? …because they are high in the sky where so many of us feel Afterlife is… Creator is… Spirit is? Or is it simply because they live their lives trusting in the universe of ecosystem around them… and in each other… and maybe they even trust in that seed lady who holds out her hand?
Or is this why we think Creator and Afterlife are in the sky? …because we see the freedom of the birds? We see how they rely on the day-to-day universe for their nourishment… for their homes… and for their livelihoods. Are they not the same as us?
I’m learning… more and more these days… to go with the flow… to do what is really necessary and trust that what I’m doing is the truly necessary… to free myself… more and more… of the distractions… meant to disrupt… designed to pull me away from those things that truly are most important.
Breathing clean air Drinking clean water Eating nutritious food [Unspoiled by chemicals… or as unspoiled as any of it can be… in a time when all of our water contains PFAS?]
And LOVE… is she not perhaps the most necessary for a happy and healthy life?
“I bless the day I discover… Another Heart… looking for love.” ~ Johnny Lee [Is this true for us all?]
We’re programmed to be consumers here in America. We seek love in fashion… and decadence… and what we like to call progress. Things that money can buy. But doesn’t money come from working ourselves to death… in a job that maybe we don’t even like… or don’t even believe in… but do because it pays the bills? And is money truly what we need to exist? In our natural world, greenbacks are irrelevant. So why are so many giving money and stuff such a focus? It seems we’re addicted to our own destruction.
We don’t really have control over them though. All we have is control over ourselves… and often times, we don’t even have that.
So this is a year of continuing the journey to simplify life and lighten my load on Mother Earth… as best I can.
We’ve built a home that is far more sustainable than any home we’ve ever lived in… though it too could be improved. It still relies on electricity, which for now… for us, still comes from the burning of fossil fuel. And much of our food still comes from a process heavily laden with fossil fuel use; much of what we eat arrives in containers made of fossil fuel by-products.
As such, my goal this year is to spend a day every week at the organic farm working for food as I did in pre-Covid days.
I miss the feel of the small seedling as I place her into the soil… tucking her into a bed of beautiful black Earth… Earth full of life itself. I miss adding that first drink of precious sacred water she will have as she begins life in her new homeplace. And as she works to grow – living her full life – I will continue to add water and protect her from invaders: The weeds… simply doing their job of living… breaking up the soil – as has been their duty over millennia. The same soil that I pack down to give my seedling friend a new place to start… the weeds quickly come in to loosen.
Can I thank each of these weeds as I pull them this summer? Can I thank them for their lives as I push them aside… killing them to maintain a place… where this life that will bring me life, can have her space?
I will allow them their short life and then their death will return them to the soil again… creating food as they incorporate into our ecosystem: the system of life-and-death is never-ending.
We live within these same natural laws as humans… though we like to pretend that we do not. As long as we continue to ignore the natural natural law we will continue to destroy the life on this planet that sustains us. It is only when we recognize ourselves as small cogs in the ecosystem of life that we will know our true place and begin to live in harmony with the rest of life… on which we all depend.
A few months ago, on about day 500 of quarantine, an official hippie declared us “Hippies”. It was quite a day, as I’ve long worked to be a hippie.
Early on in C0VlD days, on a phone call to a sister, bitching about how I felt about all of the bullshit going on with Line 3… and living in rural Minnesota and being ignored… and the white supremacy idiocy… and all of that. My Indigenous Sister laughed and said, “Oohhhh, yeah, now you know what it’s like to be Native!”
It was bittersweet, and though I’ll never really know what it’s truly like to be Native, I’m learning more every day. The up side is it drives me to continue to bring a new world… one where the ways of the Anishinaabeg are again revered and practiced more widely.
I was texting my son last week, as his company Deck Nine Games prepared to launch their newest offering, “Life Is Strange: True Colors“. I’m really proud of what he’s done and I think this game has a timeliness to it that’s almost magical.
A few days ago, he called to let us know how it was going… to give us an update on how he’s managing through the launch. And things were going pretty good.
Critically, True Colors’ story is well-rounded, with a satisfying and definitive ending for both its central mystery and for Alex’s personal journey (and as all good thrillers should offer, there is a resolution you can deduce for yourself if you are paying enough attention). It’s not a failing to me that True Colors tells a lean story which prioritises quality over quantity, feelings over finer details, and a sense the series, like Alex, has come back to its roots after a period of absence and change.
Whereas Life is Strange 2 acted to disrupt the original’s formula and engage in heavier themes, True Colors is a safer riff on Dontnod’s debut, but one whose quality allows it to stand on its own without feeling too much like a cover band. Deck Nine is a supremely talented studio, True Colors makes clear, and more than worthy of continuing the Life is Strange franchise.”
While I spoke with my son I shared about how I’m feeling right now, just pretty overwhelmed with being steamrolled by the pipeline project, aided and abetted by the Walz administration – and their lack of conscious, courage, compassion, cognizance, creativity, and common sense.
I spoke about how it feels hard to imagine that there’s any meaning in doing anything at all except just holing up in the woods and playing video games all day long… plugging into the electrons and pretending that the outside world doesn’t exist as it does. Feeling hopeless about how much time there is left for humanity. Feeling frustrated at the lack of any lack of any action – by the powers that be – that feels geared to serving the people.
I told him that I often think of how he shared with us, midway through our now 560-day quarantine, about the fact that he’s known most of his life that his generation would be the throwaway generation… that they would get nothing. I told him how horrible I felt about my inability to do anything about that.