Thursday, March 30, 2006

Latah Bridge

On Latah Bridge.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

Plaque on Latah Bridge.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

During my lunch hour walk this afternoon, I also stopped to take in the view from Latah Bridge. The bridge overlooks Latah Creek, also known as Hangman Creek. In 1858, Colonel George Wright hanged a handful of Indians near the creek in retaliation for their role in the war against the United States. His cruelty is well documented. An old Spokane legend says one of the men sang his death song just before the hanging. Contemporary indigenous observers remembered that song and passed it on to their descendants to the present day. We often sing it in honor of veterans. I learned the Hangman Song years ago while sitting around Hank Wynne's drum. I remember that song today, and all the elders who went before.

Browne's Addition

The Finch House in Browne's Addition.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

An Old House in Browne's Addition.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

During my lunch hour at the museum, I took a walk through Browne's Addition and admired the old homes; many of which are featured on the National Register of Historic Places. I've often thought I might like to live in this part of town. It's a beautiful place.

Man Without Blood

Man Without Blood at the MAC.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

The Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture is hosting an exhibit dedicated to the great explorer David Thompson and his visit to the Plateau Salish people. One item of the exhibit features a painting of a Spokane chief by the name of Tum-sen-a-ho; 'Man Without Blood.'

I once showed this picture to my ya-ya Norma and asked her about the name. She is one of the last fluent speakers of the Spokane language. As best as I could tell, the true name should have been pronounced 'tam-sn-whul,' but she disagreed. If his name means 'Man Without Blood,' then it should be pronounced 'tap-sn-whul.' I was grateful to the lesson in language and our cultural history.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Gonzaga Fire Caused by Arson

The Gonzaga fire was deliberate.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

News reports announced the Gonzaga fire earlier this month was the result of arson. After removing huge amounts of debris, investigators uncovered multiple sources of fire, though no suspects have yet been identified. For a more complete report, click HERE.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Home at Last

Anthony Haines; Home at Last.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

Several years ago, Anthony left our home under very difficult circumstances. Since that time, he wandered the streets of life and got into all kinds of trouble. People said he would never come back, and yet he calls us fairly often. He returns to visit and have family dinners and spend time with the kids. Just when he seemed lost to us, he returned and truly became our son.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Inge Mebes

Inge Mebes in Colville, Washington
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

My step-mother Inge Mebes showed up at my workplace in Colville, just as my shift ended, and took me out to lunch. We rarely visit anymore, especially since my father died in 1994. But today we talked about the way things were and what it feels like to finally face old hurts. My father was a wonderful man, but he had a tendency to push and teach everything the hard way. I think my father drove himself and took on so much spiritual responsibility until it finally killed him. After I inherited his spiritual obligations, they quite nearly drove me mad until I finally stepped back and realized I can’t do everything.

I told Inge about a dream I had about my father about a year after he died. He was sitting across from me with tears streaming down his face. He said, “I’m so sorry for the way I treated you Barry. I was always driving you, and I never took the time to tell you I love you. I do love you, and I’m so proud of you.” I woke up sobbing. It was so interesting; when I told her my dream she said she had the same dream at about the same time. My father returned with a message of reconciliation for both of us.

We laughed during our conversation and several times we cried. You know, the community practically sainted my father after his death, but it felt wonderful to acknowledge the wisdom he left us and still recognize his human failings. Somehow I love him more as a result.

I’m so glad Inge stopped to visit. My life is more complete because of her.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Traditional Dinner

Remains of a Housefire
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

This was a powerful weekend on many levels; my family gathered for a traditional dinner and enjoyed many of the old-time foods. I also got to visit with family and friends in a variety of settings. We shared spiritual experiences and practices. Something about our time together made me feel indescribably happy.

There is no photograph to convey what I felt. The photograph I am posting today comes from the remains of a housefire I saw on my way home. Something about the way the chimney stood over the ashes really caught my attention.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Liberty Park

The Old Stairs at Liberty Park.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

Every now and then, my sister and I set out on some wild adventure to photograph the most interesting, noteworthy, or memorable places in Spokane. But I have to say, it's not always easy to maintain interest. This is Spokane, after all. Sometimes we have to get creative.

Motivated by a whim, we drove around Spokane this afternoon looking for some old, abandoned buildings. Unfortunately, everywhere we looked, developers arrived before we did and transformed the ruins of past buildings into upscale condominiums or office suites. It's good for business, I suppose, but I think old places make better pictures somehow.

We did see something moderately intriguing in the form of Liberty Park on the Spokane east side. I've passed it a million times on the freeway, but I never stopped there until now. The park has a wonderful display of ancient basalt exposed to the elements and a wonderful rock staircase leading toward the lower South Hill. The stairs looked old, and as you can imagine, they held my interest longer than anything else. We might have stayed longer, but my sister didn't feel well, and sadly, Liberty Park seemed to live up to its reputation as a place of questionable transactions. During our short visit, we saw men in business suits driving fancy cars conversing with people who look like they sleep under bridges.

Curious, isn't it? We had fun, but I don't think I'll be bringing the kids any time soon.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Logan Heftel

You ever have one of those experiences where you turn on the radio and you hear exactly the words you needed to hear that day? Or you thought about an old friend you haven't seen in 20 years, and that same day they call you? I had something like that happen to me today.

My mother-in-law's friend Jean stopped by for a short visit and started talking about her grandson Logan Heftel and how he recently recorded his own CD. Of course, I was happy to hear this young man was obviously following his dreams, but I was especially happy because he and my son hung out together a few times. I feel like I know him, albeit somewhat distantly by now. Well, Jean gave me one of his CDs and asked me to listen to it. As I did my errands for the day, I popped the CD into my player and tried it out.

Logan uses a lot of acoustic guitar and harmonica, and many of his songs reflect a certain pensive characteristic. He has a wonderful voice and some obvious talent, but I was not prepared for how the words would affect me.

One song in particular says, "I could not close my eyes for fear that I would find myself waking up back again where I had been before I came to my senses" (Blind).

Suddenly I felt like the music were speaking my deepest thoughts and fears. Anyone who knows me well can tell you of my struggle these last few years and all the insanity leading up to this difficult time. Things have been getting progressively better, and yet I wonder, have I really come back to my senses? Have I gained enough wisdom to avoid that kind of struggle again? Thinking those thoughts and hearing that music in that moment made me want to cry.

Another song reminded me of my son Anthony: "You know I wish you health. Above all I wish you to be free. I hope that you can find yourself, and when you do, come find me in the rain" (Rain).

I feel grateful to the Spirit for speaking to me through this very unlikely source, and congratulations to Logan on his music!

You can find his music at:

Visiting the Catholic Diocese

Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Cathedral.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

Cherub on the door of Our Lady of Lourdes.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

I visited the Catholic Diocese of Spokane this afternoon to obtain a photocopy of an old article from the Inland Register. The article was written by Alice Abrahamson of the Chewelah Band of Indians, and recounts a brief history of our family (we descend from the same family tree). She alludes briefly to the spiritual traditions of our people, but says the old ways are forgotten. Thankfully, a few of us still remember.

In other "news," I had the chance to visit with three remarkable people over the course of the day; Inge Mebes (my father's former wife), Michael Hollaman from the MAC, and Deb Abrahamson. Each conversation was totally separate from the others, and yet each one had a distinctly spiritual quality.

Happy Birthday Jack Riley!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Ford, Washington

A lonely stretch of highway near Ford, Washington.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

The old Ford school.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

Site of the Tshimakain Mission.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

On my way home from work this afternoon, I took a long detour through Ford, Washington in order to visit a relative on the Spokane Reservation. Not too much happens in Ford, that I can tell. They have a store and an old school. Across the creek on the reservation there's a "smoke shack," an abandoned casino, and a seasonal fireworks stand.

I never think too much about Ford, except as I pass through to get someplace else, and yet this little settlement has a unique history of some consequence to my life.

More than a hundred years ago, the Reverends Elkanah Walker and Cushing Eels established a Protestant mission on the site of present day Ford, Washington: Tshimakain (Chimokane). They resided only ten years among the Spokane without much missionary success, but their presence set the stage for later cultural contacts. I believe they abandoned our country shortly after the Whitman Massacre.

My ancestors settled in the general vicinity, and I'm sure they must have had some contact with the mission at Tshimakain (Chimokane). My ancestry runs deep in that area.

Fast forward a hundred years or so, to about 1990, and I attended one of my first winter ceremonies in the old Ford school with Evaleen Corral. It was a very memorable experience for me.

Today I drive through this tiny place and think how looks can deceive. You would never guess the importance of this place on the events of my life.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Jehovah's Witnesses Comment

Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

Several months ago my sister introduced me to StatCounter to help me keep track of visitors to my blog. I was impressed by the number of visitors I received from a wide range of countries, but I was also surprised by the search words entered to locate my site. For example, within 48 hours of my brother-in-law Steve Merchant's passing, I received literally hundreds of visitors from all over the world looking for more information about Steve. It was quite moving.

Surprisingly, an entry I posted regarding the Jehovah's Witnesses produced the second largest number of hits. I also received comments from opposite ends of the religious spectrum. One reader referred to Jehovah's Witnesses as "wolves in sheep's clothing," and called the Watchtower "a destructive cult of false teachings." A more sympathetic reader stated "...we TRY to live by bible standards which would thus qualify us for a heavenly life."

Frankly, I never expected to receive so much interest in either topic. In hindsight, Steve makes sense. He had friends all over the world, but Jehovah's Witnesses? I would have never thought...

Monday, March 20, 2006

Woodhaven Apartments

Woodhaven Apartments in Spokane.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

I was supposed to work out at the gym tonight, but Rhonda drove away with my membership card, so I took the dog for a long walk instead. We walked down by the Bozarth Retreat to get a picture of the mansion, but the gate was locked for the night. I got a picture instead of the Woodhaven Apartments. I know what you're thinking. The excitement is overwhelming. Nice picture, though.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Family Gathering

Turtle Lake on the Spokane Reservation.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

I attended a small gathering on the Spokane Reservation to honor several family members. It was a warm and happy event. Afterwards, I spent some time alone above Turtle Lake and took pictures at sunset. It was a beautiful, perfect day.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Friendship Dance

Friendship Dance at Northern Quest.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

About 13 years ago, the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture (formerly the Cheney Cowles Museum) began sponsoring an annual Friendship Dance, featuring Plateau Salish drums and dancers. It was a brilliant idea put forth by Spokane Tribal elder Robert Sherwood, among others. Most local powwows reflect strong cultural influences from other tribes, making it difficult to identify indigenous characteristics from this region. Furthermore, non-Native observers generally lack a clear understanding of the various dances and songs.

The Friendship Dance addresses both issues. It provides a forum for specifically Plateau Salish traditions and offers an explication of the meaning behind each dance. As I say, it's a wonderful opportunity for people to learn more about local customs and traditions.

It's a great idea, but I also have a painful personal history associated with this dance. My father was the "Whip Man" at the second Friendship Dance held at the Masonic Temple in 1994. He suffered a massive heart attack and died before the ambulance even arrived. I was supposed to be there that night, but I missed it. I would have been by my father's side as he passed from this life.

The following year, the Friendship Dance honored my father with a special dinner and dance. I attended out of respect for my father, but it was very hard for me to visit the site of his death. I tried to show a brave face, but all I could do was weep. I never went back to the Friendship Dance, until today.

Dakota and I entered Northern Quest Casino through the "family entrance." We heard the sound of drums mixing with the sound of modern music from inside the casino. The arrangement seemed somewhat strange to me, set in a ballroom with the drummers on a stage. Dancers mingled with casino staff carrying trays of food and pouring banquet style glasses of water.

Something about my surroundings felt so totally foreign, and yet the songs were the same as always. The spirit of the songs filled the room and old friends made me know the tradition continues.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Foggy Night Above Little Falls

Foggy Night Above Little Falls.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

I drove home tonight from Wellpinit tonight and passed through patches of thick fog. This particular view caught my attention because of the way the moon cast silhouettes of the trees and one lonely car lit up the guardrail and the highway.

New Curriculum Taking Shape

Gallery at the Entrance of the MAC.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

The curriculum I'm writing for the museum is beginning to take shape. I spent several hours at the museum today condensing the previous lessons into their main ideas, or what we call "Enduring Understandings." Most of the lessons retain their major themes, but many have taken a slightly different focus. From there, we can decide which activities will support the main ideas. Did I mention before, I'm excited about what these lessons will become?

Thursday, March 16, 2006

First Buttercup of Spring

First Buttercup of the Season.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

The signs of change are often small and imperceptible, unless we take time to notice. My friend and I spent some time in the canyon and found the first buttercup of the season. It reminded me of something my father told me once about the spirit of the flowers. Seasons change and the flowers wilt and seem to die, but their roots remain alive beneath the surface. Likewise, our loved ones seem to leave us, but they never really go very far. As I find this sign of spring, I'm encouraged by the power of renewal and rebirth.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Writing My Profile

This photograph typifies my search for meaning in life. We took this picture several years ago at the US-Canadian border near Blaine, Washington.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

After hours of struggling to find the right words, I finally produced a single paragraph to display in my public profile. I can't believe how hard it was for me to accurately describe my experience to others. As I indicated in my profile, I am a husband, father, teacher, counselor, and many other outward characteristics, and yet, none of this is who I really am. In fact, I've spent the better part of my life knowing there is some intangible quality to my being, but I've never been able to really talk about it. Labels identify us, and yet they also limit.

This is what I finally wrote:

"My life is defined by many outward roles: husband, father, college instructor, counselor, and others; however, the true source of human experience is both invisible and intangible. It’s what we call spirit. I find pieces of life’s deeper meaning by observing spirituality, religion, family, indigenous cultures, nature, art, symbolism, dreams, tradition, and living social movements. My writing and photography provide a way to practice what matters most in life."

Image of the Cross

The Cross by Saint Luke Lutheran Church.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

The image of the cross has a long and varied history in my personal life. When I was a baby, my parents baptized me in the Lutheran Church, and I'm sure the priest made the sign of the cross upon me to claim my soul for Christ. My mother's family stopped attending that church shortly after my christening, and I think my mother never went back. I'm not sure I ever visited a Lutheran Church again, though I would like to, just to see where my religious path started.

As a young boy, my grandmother (my mother's mother) brought me to services at the Assembly of God. I still remember the feeling I had when the congregation sang praise to God. Something in that spirit made me want to cry, but I'm not sure if I wept for sadness or joy. All I know is something buried deep within myself tended to well up when I heard the people sing.

When I was about six years old, I visited my ya-ya (my father's mother) in the hospital and witnessed some kind of argument between my father and the nurses. The family rushed me out the door, but no one explained anything to me. I thought my ya-ya was going to die, so I cried all the way home. My other grandmother took me aside and asked if I wanted to pray for my ya-ya. I nodded. She took my hands and placed them on the Bible, then told me to repeat her words. She asked God to spare my ya-ya's life and then asked Jesus to come into my heart. I followed my grandmother's lead as I spoke these words: "I accept you Lord Jesus as my personal Savior." My spiritual path began again.

For the next six years, I followed a Christian path by attending services at the Assemblies of God and a Baptist Church down the street. I also attended Bible study in private homes. I read the Bible in my room, even when nobody was around to help me. I really loved the Lord. The cross became a symbol of my hope for heaven.

Things changed for me when I was 12 years old; my best friend introduced me to Mormonism, also known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I was baptized in the Mormon Church about a year later. I still loved the Lord, but my perception of the cross shifted dramatically. Latter-day Saints do not use crosses in their churches, or on their person. They believe Jesus died for their sins on the cross at Calvary, but they view the cross as an instrument of torture. For them, the true symbol of their faith lies in the power of the resurrection, not the tortuous death of God's son.

During my years in the LDS Church, the image of the cross faded into the background, but sometimes I would see a cross on a steeple somewhere or in the media and I would feel something moving in my subconscious, just beneath the surface. When this happened to me I would often ask myself, "What is this feeling? Why do I feel this way?"

During my senior year of high school, I took a class called "Senior Studio," an advanced art class for students who showed some dedication to painting or drawing. We had a student teacher join us that year from the Seattle area who made the most enigmatic paintings depicting abstract scenes adorned with crosses. Something about her work held me in a spell. As Iworkedd on my own art, I found my eyes wandering back to the crosses on her paintings. I found myself asking once again, "What is this feeling?"

Finally I asked her, "Are you Christian? Is that why you paint so many crosses?"

She smiled and said, "No. I'm not Christian, but I really like the image of the cross. There's something powerful in that shape, don't you think?"

"Yes, I do." I admitted in a whisper.

Several years later I served a mission for the LDS Church in Guatemala. The spiritual landscape of that country is very different than here. The majority still claim at least marginal affiliation with the Roman Catholic Church, and as such they accept the presence of crosses and other religious images as part of their devotion to God. On the other hand, Evangelical Christianity has made strong inroads and claims as much as 30% of the total population, or more. Evangelicals in Guatemala generally abhor any kind of Catholic pageantry. They tend to hold a more literal view of the Bible when it says, "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven images..." They tended to consider crosses and religious statues as a modern form of graven image.

Here's the irony for me: I went to Guatemala to teach Mormonism, and yet I secretly found myself being influenced by the conservative viewpoint of Evangelical Christians. Something about their claim seemed reasonable to me. Isn't the cross a graven image? And what about statues of Jesus, like the Christus at Temple Square? I know Mormons don't pray to the statue, but the 10 Commandments don't say anything about prayer. They simply say not to MAKE any such images, either of things on the earth, or in heaven. Jesus is in heaven, and the Christus is an image that was graven by human hands. Was it also an abomination unto God? And what about paintings or drawing depicting God? Aren't they also graven images?

I remained faithful to the LDS Church after my mission, but I held those kinds of doubts for many years. I was secretly afraid Mormonism was too liberal and thus displeasing to God.

Well, anyone who knows me well can say I took a dramatically different turn several years ago. My attitude on social issues shifted and became increasingly critical of religious dogma. In essence, I became a liberal. I began to have serious doubts about Mormonism and conservative religion in general. For a time I even questioned the existence of God, but I was never able to deny my deepest faith. My perception of God changed radically, and yet God remains at the center of everything I do.

A big part of the change came from my Native American heritage. Without going into too much detail, I essentially inherited the obligation to perform certain ceremonies in our family dance. Eventually, I had to choose to follow one religion or the other. I followed my heart and formally withdrew from the LDS Church.

Again I faced another irony. Some would say I returned to heathenism or paganism, and while some of our rituals would seem foreign or strange, I feel my old devotion to God welling up once again. We don't wear crosses during our rituals because of their association with death. Our ancestors didn't know the cross until the Catholics arrived and placed a cross on someone's grave. It became a symbol of bitterness and grief for all the destruction to follow.

Even still, I keep a cross in a special place in my home to honor my spiritual ancestors who were Christian. I may not use that image in my public duties, but the cross still moves me after all these years. Even as I drove home last night and saw the cross bathed in light amid the fog; I had to stop and pay my respect.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Memory and Destruction

Smoke rises into the moonlight from the Gonzaga fire.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

My sister and I both posted photographs from the Gonzaga fire, and decided to return last night for a different perspective of the destruction. She published several excellent shots yesterday which you can view here. I had some trouble getting these pictures online (most likely due to server difficulties), but I leave you with one illustration of the loneliness I felt from seeing the smoldering debris. There were no human casualties, but I can't escape a feeling of deep sadness as I see the smoke drifting into the wind under a moonlit sky. Perhaps the fallen building evokes a subconscious undercurrent of archtypal memory associated with loss and the end of times.

Sadly, I'm no stranger to bereavement. More than once I survived the collapse of everything I hold dear. More than once my world fell to pieces; through my parents' divorce, physical violence, two house fires, my father's death, my aunt's murder, and the loss of my two foster sons. Even more profound than the collection of traumatic events in my life is the loss of childhood innocence and beauty. I think perhaps the mere sight of burning buildings draws upon deep memories of losing myself.

And yet I have to believe God gave me this vision to bring healing, and not to stir up painful memories of events I can scarcely change. Through the memory of everything I lost, I see a new vision of what can be again through God's mercy and grace. It's a great irony; the Spirit of Creation brings destruction, and makes all things new. On the ruins of my former self, I am re-made, stronger and brighter than ever before.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Gonzaga Fire

Firefighters survey the destruction at Gonzaga.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

A fire hydrant near the Gonzaga fire.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

The buildings were quite nearly destroyed.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

Black billows of smoke over Gonzaga.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

Taco Time covered with black smoke across the street.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

This morning I woke up to scenes of disaster on the television and reports of an explosion at Gonzaga University in Spokane. The whole city had watched with anticipation as the new student housing went up near the busiest street in Spokane, and no doubt looked on in shock as the buildings burned. Construction had not even finished. I've still not heard the cause of the fire, but authorities speculated about several transients living illegally in the construction area. I certainly hope it has nothing to do with anyone I know, especially one homeless man I know very well.

I need not recount the details of the fire; you can read about it here. All I can say is that I felt moved to see the damage firsthand. It's hard to imagine without seeing it in person.

Here With Me

Hangman Creek; several summers ago.
Copyright © 2004 Barry G. Moses.

Every now and then I listen to Christian radio as I drive home from work, and today I heard a song that quite nearly moved me to tears; "Here With Me," by Mercy Me. The song has a sound I love, and a few lines really spoke to me: "I can feel your presence here with me; Suddenly I'm lost within your beauty; Caught up in the wonder of your touch; Here in this moment I surrender to your love."

I suppose these words hold special meaning in my life right now because everything about my current experience of life speaks to the issue of surrendering to the greater purposes Creator has in store for me. I've struggled through resentment and fear, but now I stand on the edge of accepting my destiny as a man of God.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Attack on the Family

Statue honoring the family on the campus of BYU.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

I attended a religious conference today and listened to several respected leaders denounce what they called an “attack on the family.” Of course, this phrase packs emotional heat these days and has evolved into something of a battle cry for conservatives everywhere. All the usual suspects were named, specifically feminists and homosexuals.

I don’t wish to engage political debates, or challenge the cherished beliefs of others, but I do wish to say how much it hurts me to hear that kind of language over the pulpit. I believe sincere people of many faiths and political persuasions can have honest disagreements regarding substantive matters of religion, politics, personal freedom, or human sexuality without accusing the other of attacking such a noble institution as the family. I’m certain I would disagree with these men on many issues, and yet I love my family deeply. So if I support equality and dignity for differing groups of people, does that make me a threat to the family? God forbid! Family is all that matters.

Sadly, it seems we’ve lost the ability to disagree with civility and respect.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

"Stay and Play" at the Ramada

Whitney crying by the pool.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

Rhonda and I took the kids to the Ramada Inn by the airport to take advantage of their "Stay and Play" birthday special. The deal we got was to stay overnight at the hotel, then they pay for pizza and soda, and breakfast for the kids in the morning, and the chance to play in their indoor water park. It has several pools, a hot tub, and even a water slide. It sounded like a really good deal, and it would have been more fun, but there were a million and one other people there; you know, thousands of kids screaming and splashing out of control. One kid even threw a ball and hit Whitney in the mouth. It knocked her tooth out (one that was already loose). She cried and cried, and being the sympathetic father I am, I got my camera and took some really good pictures. She wasn't too pleased with me, but I couldn't help myself. She's just so cute when she cries :) Otherwise, we had a great time.

(By the way, now that Whitney saw the pictures of her crying, she thinks they're cute too).

Friday, March 10, 2006

First Flowers of Spring

The First Flowers of Spring.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

In spite of abundant snow and even a little bit of hail, I saw the first flowers of spring peeking through the soil. It brought a moment of pure happiness to see the bright yellow flowers emerge from the earth.

A Remarkable Snowfall

Dakota in the snow...
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

Barry in the snow...
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

This lamp post at Whitworth reminded me of Narnia.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

I met with my graduate advisor at Whitworth College to discuss my curriculum project at the MAC. During the course of our discussion, we generated a few ideas about taking the teachings of the various tribes and turning them into "Enduring Understandings" within a cohesive academic unit. We essentially talked about creating a cutting edge curriculum from the most respected traditions of the local tribes. I'm excited by this project, and quite honored by the support I've received by Whitworth, the MAC, and the Native community.

As we left the meeting, Dakota and I witnessed the most amazing snowfall. Giant flakes of snow began falling in such great quantities it seemed the very air turned white, and yet the sun was still shining in scattered areas. It really presented a remarkable effect. There was a lamp post on campus that reminded me of Narnia in the snow. Dakota and I saw it at the same time and made the same comment.

Dakota Visits the MAC

Dakota views a painting by Ric Gendron.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

A neon piece at the MAC.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

Dakota and I took a few hours this morning to visit the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture in Browne's Addition. I sort of led him on a personal tour of the various galleries and exhibits, including the Plateau Cultural Center where I currently work. I was especially pleased to show him several pictures on display of our elders; my grandfather Gibson Eli and great grandfather Jim Elijah.


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