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Nanabozhu is on his way to Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, where the people are unique and peculiar.

“Can you pull up next to that guy driving that semi?” He rolls down the back passenger side window to the Chrysler Town and Country.

“I don’t think it’s going to accomplish anything.” Says the blond in the front seat.

“Well, I have to try,” he replies.

By now they are alongside the guy driving the semi at 75 miles an hour. Nanabozhu sticks his head out the window (which doesn’t quite open up all the way so he’s kinda squished through it.)  The trucker looks down at them and sees an older Anishinabe fellow squinting with effort as Nanabozhu tries to make a  rolling motion with the one hand he can get out of it.

The truck driver rolls down his window with a curious look on his face. With the wind whipping by, he thinks he hears Nanabozhu yell something like “Your barn door’s open!” (Which is a euphemism for “the zipper on your pants is undone”.) Nanabozhu can see him mouth “What?!” with an incredulous look on his face.

“Your back door is open!” Nanabozhu yells again. The trucker smiles and waves with that easygoing look of someone who has heard you say something but is too polite to tell you that they didn’t quite understand what you said.

Their Town and Country pulls ahead, leaving the truck behind with Ben their driver glancing back in the SUV’s rear view mirror to watch the trucker checking his side view mirrors looking like someone who, with a little thought, has finally  figured out what you were trying to say,  and the trucker finally begins to pull off the road.

Mission accomplished.

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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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* Happy Thanksgiving Day!

It’s 2:45 a.m. here. My little hairy black standard poodle kid Belle nudges my hand. “Dad, I gotta go.” So I let her outside and know that she will be at least 20 minutes dawdling around until I give in and tell her I have a treat for her if she will come in. (She has me trained well.)

In 20 minutes I will be sleepy and ready to turn in, myself. I also know that this is a time when my little mind is most creative, (IMHO) so I thought I would write a “stream of consciousness” piece and see what happens, without having to worry about family nodding off at the dinner table because I pray to God on-and-on about all of the things for which we personally are full of thanks.

Today is Thanksgiving Day here in the good ol’ USA. I choose to emphasize the positive about it. Here I sit in my nice warm house, a roof over my head, and  a place to sleep, looking forward to a day filled with food preparation and food eating. I have a wife and a dog whom I love, both of whom have chosen to continue to put up with me. We have grown-up kids living nearby whom we get to see regularly. My mom is still in decent health and I have a nuclear family of brothers and sisters, and an extended family of cousins, nieces and nephews and their children with whom I can stay in contact.

I have a great support system in my church, work in church which enables me to help other people and feel self-worth. I’m thankful for God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost and everything they do for me.

I’m thankful for my friends and acquaintances from church or college, or whatever walk in life, in many different states and countries with whom I have stayed in contact, some for forty years or more. I venerate all of my mentors, whether very young or older who have taught me so much and continue to do so.

I’m thankful for time. I have it to pursue my little hobbies; writing this blog, poetry, my journal. And I’m thankful for you dear reader, because you’ve allowed me into a small portion of your life by following me. Thank you.

Now I’m drawing a blank. Which makes me realize five things: that I don’t want to boor you, that I take so many things for granted, and that I have the luxury to do so, and that I have all that I could want, and that I am sleepy again.

So I will end here with the hope that you will have a happy thanksgiving too.

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a lovelorn Partridge

drumming wildly for a mate

lures a gun instead

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“I’m from Minnesota

Got no one to call my own

So I go a lookin’ for you Hi-ya

 

 

If you’ll be my honey

I will be your suger pie

Wei ya hi

Wei ya hi ya!”

___________________________________

These are lyrics from an old 49er song. These were sung for round dances where young people could socialize with each other after a powwow.

Here is a link to a softer kind of 49er that I think you’ll enjoy. It’s called the “Eternity Song” by Randy Wood and friends. The English lyrics are:

“As long as the grass grows, river flows.

As long as the wind blows,

That’s how I will love you,

for all eternity”.

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Run Wild

You may have heard the stereotypical phrase, “Running around like a bunch of wild Indians”.

Well, I saw this sign in a nearby park, alluding to that.

See?!  It’s not some Indians.

Other people are planning on running wild in the woods!  😉

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Now that I am back, I have been thinking about the different feeling of living on the reservation versus living away from it.  The Anishinabeg are blessed to live in Red Lake. There is a different feeling living there.

Ours is big for one thing, so there is a lot to see. I found myself rediscovering places I had known before, but also discovering new things and new places. As time passes I discovered many things stayed the same and many things had changed.

The scenery is all so varied. There are different kinds of lakes: Red Lake, which is BIG, and small lakes, lakes of different sizes, lakes which have different kinds of fish in them, rivers creeks, swamps. sloughs, marshes,  Forests of different trees: Birch, Jack Pine, Norway Pine, Cedar, Poplar, Maple, Various Oaks and Tamarack, and all the different kinds of plants.

I also found myself enjoying spiritual experiences. I don’t mean supernatural experiences, I mean just meeting another/other beings. Sometimes those were people: family, friends, people from high school, and people I hadn’t met before. Sometimes they were the crows, deer, eagles, squirrels in mom’s back yard, mom’s or the many neighbor’s dogs, the huge bears at the dump, fish in the water, the partridges I heard out in the woods, ducks, geese, loons, a field mouse.

I am reminded that we take so many things for granted. I remember moving here to Missouri and seeing a Nuthatch hopping down (facing downward) a tree trunk looking for bugs. The first times it was such a novel experience. Now I take it more for granted. The point is however, that there are so many strange and beautiful things in nature, and I found myself wanting to travel about the reservation as an exercise in experiencing those things.

One difference, I suspect was that I felt this was land held in common with other Anishinabeg that I could experience as I wanted, subject to my personal controls of common sense, moderation, and consideration, and not to the outside rules imposed on me by an impersonal authority.

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