From one moment in time to the next. I was having a heart to heart with my friend, a pragmatic individual, who like us all is on this itinerary with fate. We were discussing love. At times I feel I have been scolded or steered in the direction of, “well, you love everybody.” I assume that means, I love to love. I choose not to be defensive in that description of myself, for my life had been a folly of wrong doing and perception. The retaliate in kind, a benign tumor of behavior. You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours. An in-depth display of selfish, self-centered fear. The less than stigma. My friend is intelligent, charming and opinionated. Also deep and has become introspective. How I love watching and listening to growth. My change was catapulted out of truth. The voice of reason an unexpected source. My Father, a tough, strong, traditional man. He grew up on the reservation in Kansas, his mother who was terminally ill and a Papa who was equally tough. A practicing Alcoholic, a rolling stone, just like the Temptations sing about. My father was forced into Adulthood early, he joined the Marines at a young age and loved what it offered. He spoke of his first night in boot camp, late at night after everyone had gone to sleep, he would go to his locker, in it were seven clean shirts, seven pressed slacks, seven socks, seven undergarments, they were his and the most beautiful thing he ever saw. My heart swells writing this. He belonged and he loved it. My father, the war hero, the Gentleman Marine. A true renaissance man. Although my time with him was cut way too short, he remains with me , he taught me by example, how to love everyone, how love is a thousand to zero and so much more. In the background as I gather my thoughts, the flute is playing and it’s him, the third part of the triangle, my very own holy trinity. The father, son and holy ghost. My rock. His voice resonates acceptance and hope, a youthful purity of love, sweet love. He speaks of his own tête-à-tête with our father. Listening to a tape of one of his talks, knowing it was a divine appointment with his surrogate father, friend, his guide. I breathe in everything he is saying his words a meditation of gratitude. I can only pause and know, the trinity changes. The torch is passed, with words spoken, and acts of love, for fun and for free and that is truly our rite of passage, from womb to awakening.
Little darling of mine. It is a beautiful Summer afternoon, the kind a mother prays for. There was an elevated energy in the air, Just the night before we sat in an electrical storm watching the clouds form, the wind shift and a show of lights that would rival the coming of Thor. Today, it is sunny and warm, joining us again, is Dano. He is sitting tall in the back seat taking in his Grandmother and Aunties chatter. He is sweet and loving possessing the boyish charm of his Grandfather. We are following the highway and wherever it takes us. We end up at Lake Mead and are amazed at this oasis in the desert. My daughter saddened by the receding water line. I try to ignore this talk of global warming, my daughters concern for generations to come. I want to play and forget. Not be challenged with regret and reality. I want silly and flirtatious. What I really want is to be a Mother with answers and just be able to fix it. So I listen, for every child just wants that, so I oblige. My Grandson speaks, he is our scientist, our child prodigy who studies to be at NASA. He speaks, we listen. His words flow as is if music were guiding his thoughts. Dinosaurs, Volcanos and the world once covered in water. The depth of this enormous lake and the variations of light and dark water, then he speaks of the Pomo creation story, I smile, for it was I who taught him that. A scientist with a spiritual belief of his culture. Balanced in both worlds. I turn to look deeper into the soul of this man-cub, and there it is. He instantly has morphed into a teenage boy. I hear an echo in my head, shouting NO. I can’t stop this anymore than I could stop the world from turning. I slip back into the safety of my bucket seat and know the course of a lifetime runs over and over again. Although, unlike Paul Simon’s words. I will give you hope, unmasked. For the mother and child reunion is only a moment away.
The reason for my existence. I have found time to time, I have fooled myself into many apparitions. The more supernatural the better, to frighten you, to hide my fear. The escape of realism. The mystery of me. You go through the motions of crusader to cruelty. The truth is hurt feelings can regulate a series of justification. I have been a story-teller all my life. A kind definition for liar. I can give you many reasons for why I had behaved this way. That would just be another disguise in a long list of defenses. I can tell you when it began. I was nine years old. My family had just moved into a new neighborhood and for whatever reason no one consulted me. I loved where I had lived, I was in love with the boy across the street. That is, love, defined by a nine-year old. The American Dream. The Native American family moving upward. Everything would change, in a matter of hours. I was awakened in the middle of the night. No burning cross on the well manicured lawn, but the message was clear. We were unwanted trespassers on our own property. A letter to my parents that we weren’t wanted and the yard vandalized. Up until that moment in time, I never knew I was different. But there it was, It would also be the last time I would see my oldest sister. In my mind, I knew. You fight back, you pretend not to be hurt and do whatever you can, to be anything but what you are. Knowing that, facing that truth has been a process of discovery. Not that every part was dishonest, I just could never materialize the myth or the magic. Eventually, the source enters and you find your stride, a spiritual dance and you slowly reveal what you have always been. The lesson of life, that dishonesty has no place in the Universe. That the reason is you, and quite simply the only true form of existence.
Illumination is wonderful. I remember the first time hearing the words, looking within. I was mortified. It was Kimberly, again making the shift, transforming. In those weeks leading up to my own reflection, a grass-roots movement was in the midst. The emergence of a pathway to peace, granted, turmoil would have to come first. I can only compare it to when you gaze into the looking-glass and come across your first wrinkle, Botox and Restylane can fill the outside. The inside? A grizzly protecting her cub. “I am to do what?” In all honesty, it was music to my ears, although I behaved as if it were nails being dragged across the chalkboard. Prior to this endeavor, I assumed I was skipping through life. Rainbows and unicorns, with a dash of quick wit. How denial, that treacherous beast lies in wait. A true villain if ever there was one. It, by its formal name, sarcasm , defined as an ironic utterance designed to cut or give pain. Well, Ouch!! There it was, Merriam-Webster messing with my mojo. Killer’s of cruelty. Creators of kindness. Suddenly you’re never the same. Looking, becomes a journey. A Clint Eastwood saga, The good, the bad, the ugly. You can try to brace yourself for the next sharp turn and hope the seat belt is secure, so you don’t fall out. Sometimes you do. You face it and move forward. Grace is like that. I, at times revisit my sharp-tongued defect and toss it around like I have the ability to reign over it. I don’t. That is when, I am humbled by the love of the one, I have always sought. There she is, listening, with an open ear and unconditional loving tone, a lighthearted laugh like our mother possessed. Her words, pleasing to my ears, “No, stop, we can’t afford to go there.” Like she was apart of my shenanigans, so not to shame me. Only my little sister does that. So with mercy I retreat and leave her with an I love you. My reflection restored and the mirror no longer has two faces.
There I was with the old Man, his presence was what only I could define as the language of love. His spirituality enveloped every dimension of his being. I remember walking with him one summer in Oklahoma through what I recall as a huge amber field with my little sister Kimberly. His voice, singing as if with each step of an unheard drum. When I was still an infant, my mother would harvest potatoes and carry me on her back in a harness made of burlap. I, evidently would poke my head out, thus giving way to my first nickname, Pokie. My mother, said he would also refer to me as Honky tonk girl, his definition, resonates, since I was out until the wee hours of the morning with my mother. There was another huge reason as well. My Grandmother. For reasons only known to her, although I have my theory. She just could not come to love me, this pale skinned baby with ultra blonde hair. So, my haven, a potato sack. I, either accept her belief, I was not the image of a Native girl or I accept my own and I have. Many years of discovery, disdain and deep reflection. I determine what choice I make, what life I lead. The love I give. It is my strength, not distraction. As I am called a new name. Nohkometha, Grandmother, my first-born grand baby, a pale skinned ultra blonde boy, lead to another baby, a beautiful bronze girl, they both, a reflection of me. A transformation, a healing. We’re balanced together ocean upon the sky. No voice of confusion inside of me, with all possibilities of getting what I need.
You never know where you will draw inspiration, in my case I know just how fortunate I am. My galaxy is filled with endless shining stars. I can honestly look around me and know that I am in the midst of a divine appointment, an invitation I will not squander. I can easily dismiss meteors of the past and certainly I have known an asteroid or two. I know, I too, have been an indestructible force in the lives of some. A comet, hurling towards an uncertain destiny. If, and I shall hold to my belief, that regardless the situation, the alleged injustice. I am not a victim. Simply, I choose not to be. So much joy has replaced pain, so much love has diminished hate. The noise, that once filled my head with endless chatter has been calmed and in its place, a resurrection. the birth of peace of mind. I just know, without an ounce of doubt. I am the author of my own story. As I glide through the Universe, I am present, I am at one with the sun, the moon, the Absolute. I am the starry, starry Knight.
On a recent road trip with my daughter, the grandkids in the back seat, reclined, and ready with the equipment of their time, a far cry from when I took car trips with KC. I reflect back to a time when I traveled with my parents. I was 30, It would be the last time, I spent with both of them together. Actually, in hindsight we had a couple of trips like this. It’s those times when you are confined to a small space and the most important exchange is conversation. My Dad driving his big truck, my petite mom in the middle. The groom and his bride. I realize just how lucky I was to experience such magic. The rambling dialogue and me, their adult child included in this symphony of words. Such a gift. As I was lifted by this recollection of laughter, love and commitment, I return to the moment. I gaze over at my adult child who will be turning my same age. I sense that we have the opportunity to have our own memory. She has just left her grandmother’s who has eloped and found love again, by this time the kids have dozed off and it was just us. She was excited, and full of clever repartee, animated in her talk of her grandmother and her new husband’s attire. She went on to relate they were wearing matching polo shirts, what she calls,” a face palm moment.” As she looked over at me and wondered why I was so quiet. I uttered , I am guilty of the matching shirt faux pas, a clear fashion police violation. By then I had piqued her interest. Her dad and I had done the same thing, but in our case, it was me, who had us wear these bright-colored t-shirts with a black zig zag pattern. Face palm. She immediately replied, Oh mom, you and dad looked like Charlie Brown. We burst into laughter, because I knew that was precisely what we looked like and all I could say is Good Grief.