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20200319_191439If I were to die tomorrow…
The thought has crossed my mind a few times today. What with Corvid-19 going around and being 65 and a hypochondriac. I have the dry cough, sore red throat, and congestion. Wifie says the virus kills the cilia lining the throat. You can’t cough stuff up so you get pneumonia and die.

So, if I were to die tomorrow. I wouldn’t be too upset. A sudden illness and quick death would be much better to me than say, a slow decline into Alzheimers. Better to rip the bandage off quickly than to peel it back slowly.

Hm. All this imagery.

I suppose I’m not too worried because I have certain expectations of death. It will be like the next horizon. The undiscovered country. When I stand there, you’ll see me, but you won’t see those whom I see on the other side of the hill. There are the people I leave behind and the people I meet: generations of family members, friends, acquaintances, and strangers for whom I’ve done so many things I don’t remember.

Life’s been good. For the past 33 years. I’ve had a better half who has kept my heart warm, life challenging, and to whose presence I’ve looked forward every morning. If it’s true that “man is, that he might have joy”, then, having “endured to the end”, I have “fulfilled the measure of my creation”.

I do have my regrets though. I wish I were more brave, and could have said those things I wanted for my family and friends, to them. I’ve partially hidden behind a facade of “live and let live”, and Zen. That if people wanted to change, wanted more, they would have pursued it.

But that’s not totally true either. People are sometimes afraid, and that fear can keep them from what they want. Just as my fear of rejection keeps me from sharing what I want for them. Perhaps if I had said something, I could have helped them with their fear.

I know there is no letting someone do something. I can’t control my family, friends, and acquaintances, but, I can influence you.

So if I were to die tomorrow, tonight I would say to you, “Be Good”. Most of the troubles we endure, we create ourselves. Live while looking forward with an eye of faith to the undiscovered country. Life is eternal.

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The rushing of the wind

ruffles the feathers of my soul.

And makes me yearn to crouch and leap and slip my earthly tethers,

unfurl my spiritual wings

and by thought alone,

to navigate the heavens.

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I just finished watching “The Fault In Our Stars”, a great tearjerker about love, eulogies, etc.

It made me think of what I would say if I wrote my eulogy, and I realize that anything one says or writes, is a part of their eulogy.

I think part of my eulogy would be an apology. Because I can come across as hard and unyielding in the moment, when I know that my intentions are good. And that’s because of pride. Pride is such a defense mechanism, a flawed way of protecting yourself. It is a dis-ease, a dis-ability. It’s a way of hiding vulnerability in the moment. Of not being in the moment. Or perhaps of being someone you don’t want to be in that moment; when the moment is all we have, and that most important moment involves people.

Humility on the other hand, is being vulnerable in the moment, open to the moment and flexible in relation to all of its possibilities. That’s the funny thing about being vulnerable. I don’t know if it’s something that you can spontaneously feel in the moment once you have reached a certain level of awareness. It is only something that you can practice.

It’s like patience. I don’t consider myself a patient person though some other people may, I don’t know if patience will ever feel natural. I think it is something you can only practice. I only know that to date, I do not comprehend the feeling of patience. But with practice ( like choosing to wait in the longest grocery line) patience is becoming second nature. I don’t have to think about it. Perhaps when one reaches a certain level of awareness, anything/everything becomes second nature.

The point being that for me,

humility in the moment ,

is an intermittent short in the wiring.

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The sound–like sleet upon a roof

draws me outside to see

a great flock of European Starlings

filling the surrounding fall trees.

surrounding me.

 

 

 

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Dear Readers,

In two weeks, I am going to present at a fortune 100 company as part of their diversity program. I have a half hour for my presentation and a four-by-eight table on which to place pictures or things. I get to talk about being “Indian”.  (In my case, being a member of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians, and having ancestors from the Red lake, Leech Lake and White Earth bands as well.) I suppose my audience will be people I’ve met from a relative’s department, and perhaps some of the big wigs from the company.

Having lived on and off the reservation and having degrees in American Indian Studies and psychology, it would be easy for me to come up with my perception of what being Indian means.  However, as part of the presentation, I would like to know and present two things. 1) What you would like to know about a person/people from these cultures if you are not from there, and 2) what you would like other people to know if you are.

For fellow Anishinabeg, I’m aware that we come from many different  reservations, reserves, places and experiences, and want to take this into account. But I need your input in order to do so. If you would like me to keep your replies confidential, I can do that, as this blog is set up so that I have to approve,  and can edit, your reply before posting it. I would however like to use your reply and at least note where it comes from.

Yours Sincerely,

Russell Littlecreek

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If we do not linger abed upon awakening,

and dwell upon our dreams,

we run the risk of not hearing/

not heeding their synopsis and interpretation

by their director and producer.

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White Sucker Fish

Namebin

Thank you for spawning later this month

and feeding my people.

 

We will find you in the depths of the creeks

as dark shadows at night

as our lights and spears pierce the water.

 

You came and kept us from starving in the past,

and we are grateful.

 

_________________

Nă·mĕ·bĭ·nē  Gē·zĭs: Sucker Fish Moon / February

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