Monday, February 26, 2007


Besides getting unlimited free massages, the best thing about being married to a massage therapist is getting exchanges on other great services. Rhonda trades massages with our friend Laura who then cuts my hair for free. She cut my hair today and lightened it somewhat. I had never colored my hair before, but since it's free, what did I have to lose?

At first, I was hesitant to change my appearance. Now I wish she had lightened it more. If you look closely, you can see the red, but you have to look CLOSELY. I guess you can say I wanted to be cool like my brother-in-law Paul, though he comes by his red hair naturally. :)

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Family Drive

Nothing exciting happened today. We took a family drive into the hills above Tum Tum, Washington, but after a while, we decided it might be safer to drive someplace else. Every 500 feet or so we saw "No Trespassing" signs, and we even saw one warning that trespassers will be "shot on sight."

Nice. It's not the place we want to break down and look for help.

Anyway, we had driven to Tum Tum because I forgot my camera at Heartsong. We had a soul dance last night at the old barn, but sadly, there are no good pictures of such events. Maybe next time. We also had Kaleb's birthday on Friday, but no pictures again.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Literary Reading

Monday evening, Rhonda and I attended Paul's 40th birthday celebration. To honor his "midlife crisis" he wrote a piece of fiction with a somewhat dark theme, and read it over tea and scones. This is not exactly crisis material, if you ask me, but I appreciate the effort to follow his dream as a writer/creator. It inspires me to continue my own personal expression.

Miss You Kelbie

Kelbie: August 26, 2002 - February 15, 2007

Kelbie finally passed on February 15 after losing a short but deadly battle with cancer. She wasn't even five years old.

I wasn't prepared for how deeply I would grieve her death. So many times, I expressed a certain degree of detachment from my pets, but when she finally left us, I cried. Even several days later, I find myself feeling unexpected bouts of sadness. We miss you Kelbie.


So I'm catching up with past events... Rhonda and I attended a Valentine's Day Dance at the LDS Church. It was a little stressful because I had already made other plans that night (my bad), but in the end, I pulled it off, and we had a great time.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Bad Day...

Our dog Kelbie has only a few days left.

What a bad day!

I found out my son had a relapse and likely lost his job. I'm so angry, frustrated, scared, and sad all rolled into one. When will he ever learn? Every time the phone rings, I pray he's safe someplace like jail and not dead.

Adding to our heartbreak, we took our dog to the vet this afternoon and discovered she has terminal cancer. When I got home from work this evening, I broke the news to my three children, who understandably reacted with shock and grief. The doctor said we should take her home for a few days, say our goodbyes, and then put her to sleep before the pain sets in. I know it's the right thing to do, but it just sucks to see my kids cry and know their tender hearts are breaking.

Eva Boyd

Eva Boyd is a traditional basketweaver/storyteller, and attended the Healthy Nations retreat last Saturday. We first met several years ago when she taught basket weaving to my students at the Medicine Wheel Academy. Seeing her again is a real joy. She told me a few things I didn't know about my family and gave me courage to sing when I wanted to run away. Thank you Eva for your kindness and example.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Healthy Nations

Heartsong in the morning fog...

My dear friend Francesca Firstwater invited Rhonda and I to present at a special retreat for the Healthy Nations Coalition this afternoon. The retreat took place at Heartsong near Tum Tum, Washington. I had some anxiety, but we agreed to present. It's a long complicated story, but in the end, I sang some old songs and called in the healing powers. It was an amazing experience.

Healing the Ancestors

My grandmother Minnie Moses.

My great grandfather Wilson Moses, my grandfather Gibson Eli, and my great uncle Willie Moses.

After invoking the memory of my ancestors during the workshop this afternoon, Julia Seyler handed me a book filled with old newspaper clippings. The very first page contained these photographs of my elders, long since departed. It happened so quickly after an intense spiritual experience only moments before; I felt utterly speechless. Tears filled my eyes, especially when I looked into my grandmother's sweet face.

Many people remember my grandmother as a bitter mean old woman, but this photograph reveals her true identity. The theme of the workshop revolved around healing and seeing the truth in other people and ourselves. How appropriate to see her face as a young girl, before the burdens of life set in. No matter how much we become covered by outward pain, I believe the light never leaves our heart. This day has been a deep lesson in this great truth.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Miles to Go

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
By Robert Frost.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Subbing at SCC

A fellow instructor at Spokane Community College asked me to sub for her class this morning. I've never subbed before, but this particular student group was very friendly and supportive. It didn't really feel like working.

Afterwards, I went outside and saw this bright object in the sky surrounded by a field of blue; oh... that was the sun. I guess I had forgotten.

Monday, February 05, 2007

The Self

As I've become more deeply intrigued by the shadow, I reflect on the integration of all the conflicting parts and the healing of self. By listening to the wisdom of each hidden perspective, we become more whole, and ultimately more holy. God is in all of us, and in all the pieces of the soul.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

My Grandson

Anthony is acknowledging his son and even made a special visit this afternoon. I'm glad he's taking responsibility, though I'm still adjusting to the idea of having a grandchild. I'm only 35, so by the time I'm 55, I could very well have great grandchildren. That is too weird. It's a blessing, but it feels surreal.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Toward the Shadow

As I returned from the counselor training in Maryland, I found myself lost in thought about the notion of psychological shadows. I've heard this concept before, but during the training, we observed shadow work up close, and learned to converse directly with the shadow to gain important insights.

Simply defined, the shadow is any part of our personality we repress or deny. We may find certain parts of ourselves shameful or bad, but all parts of us serve some helpful purpose. We can learn a lot from our shadows, but they can also destroy us if we repress them too hard.

When I returned to the sweat lodge, I mentioned my shadow work to the brothers in my circle. I was surprised how much the topic inspired some pretty deep conversation for the rest of the evening.

Last night, I returned to the sweat. My friend Gene had been part of our initial discussions around the shadow, but he was absent last night. Even so, he left me a handwritten note that let me know something of the impact of our discussion on him. The note said:

"So this is how it feels at the Rock Bottom of Despair, when the house I built comes crashing down; and this is how it feels when I know the man I say I am is not the man I am when no one's around."

Now there's food for thought. Thanks Gene.

By the way, the photograph above was taken on the road to Wellpinit last night. It represents that golden moment right before the sun falls and the earth plunges into shadow.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

More on the Soul

These photographs are several days old, but I forgot to post them at the time. Actually, they remind me of my previous post regarding the soul. According to one source, the traditional Salish definition of the human soul relates to the substance that "lines" a human being, like the lining of a garment. In these photographs, evidence of the soul abounds. The trees sleep beneath the winter snow, but the ethereal lining retains life.

The snow itself is like a soul-lining over all the earth. I once heard a tribal elder from Canada speaking of the snow, how it covers the land and erases our footsteps from the previous year. "The snow covers our tracks," she said. Winter is a spiritual time when nature sleeps yet comes alive in our dreams.


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