Sunday, February 23, 2014


Yesterday afternoon, I got to see my beautiful daughter perform in CYT Spokane's Willy Wonka. It was also great to see my niece and nephew perform in the show.  

Whitney performed a tap dance
as one of the Oompa Loompas.

Whitney in the basement of the Bing
trying to avoid my picture. 

She finally gave me a smile.

London the Squirrel.

Charlie Bucket and his grandparents. 
I loved this book when I was a kid. 

Willy Wonka.

Charlie's grandparents.

Ethan as Mr. Bucket.

Ethan in the basement of the Bing.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Spokane Language Class

Beginning Spokane Language Class

Barry Moses will be offering a free class in the Spokane Language at the Salish School of Spokane at 4125 N. Maple. This class is designed for beginners or for language learners who want to review the basics. The first session will meet on Friday, February 28, 2014 at 1:00 pm. Everyone is welcome. 

Class will meet every Friday from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm. 

For more information, please contact Barry at (509) 599-4789, or respond to the Facebook post. 

Scroll down for directions and additional information. 

A yellow school bus 
sits in front of the school. 

Salish School of Spokane is located
at the corner of Maple and Rockwell.

Directions: From Garland, go north on Maple. The school is located at 4125 N. Maple, on the left hand side, about half way between Garland and Wellesley. Click on the map to view a larger image. 

You can park on the north side of the building facing Rockwell Avenue. Open the side gate, go down the stairs, and enter through the basement door. Please do not enter through the front doors. 

Sunday, February 09, 2014


On Saturday, my Uncle Pat asked me to help sing 
for the wedding of Dawa Numkena and Sherrie SiJohn
in the Jesuit Chapel on the campus of Gonzaga University. 

It was a beautiful service.

The bridemaids...

The ring bearers and groomsmen...

Mosaic behind the altar...

Father Jack performed the wedding.

After the vows, the couple was presented with a blanket. 

Flower girl...

The wedding party...

Stained glass window 
depicting a priest holding a cross.

A depiction of Christ
wearing a papal tiara.

A priest holding the communion emblems.

Gonzaga Crest...

Wednesday, February 05, 2014


You are the sum total 
of all that we have been.

Years ago, my high school English teacher assigned me to read Elie Wiesel's "Night," an autobiographical account of the author's experience in a Jewish concentration camp. I visited the high school library and checked out a different book by mistake: "Dawn" (by the same author).   

"Dawn" is the fictional account of Elisha, a young Jewish patriot who joined a movement to expel the British Empire from Palestine and to create a Jewish state. He was assigned by the leader of the movement to execute a British hostage the following morning at dawn, and throughout the night, he agonized over his impending descent into murder. As the hour of the execution approached, he was visited by the spirits of his deceased parents, along with other shadows from his past. He thought it strange that his dead relatives would return to watch him kill the English hostage. They responded that they wanted to see him become a murderer, and they told him the reason for their unexpected desire: "You are the sum total of all that we have been." 

This book had a profound effect upon me. It forced me to re-examine my judgments regarding good and evil. 

Recently, I re-read the book during my trip to Cleveland, and I have to say that it affected me even more than before. It caused me to reflect upon my own decisions in life. When the spirits of my ancestors look upon me, what do they see? If I am the sum total of all they have been, who then have we become? 

Tuesday, February 04, 2014


After the cultural gathering near Kirtland, 
we had a community dinner in Cleveland. 

We met in a house that was once an old store. 

Friends bring love and laughter.

Even though poverty is a constant companion in this neighborhood. 

Hundred year old store fronts line the streets. 

A tattoo parlor across the street...

But friends are an oasis of hope...

A homegrown church on the street corner. 

Iglesia Roca de Refugio
"Rock of Refuge Church"

When I took this picture, 
I heard someone
tuning an electric guitar. 
I wish I had more time 
to visit their worship service.

A flowering tree covered with snow. 
Did he say it was a tulip poplar?

Monday, February 03, 2014

The Kirtland Temple

On Friday morning, I had only barely recovered from a withering bout of bronchitis, when I boarded a plane for Cleveland, Ohio. My friends invited me to attend a cultural gathering that included people from the Anishanaabe, Cree, and other tribes. 

Ironically, a major portion of the gathering happened just a few miles down the road from the Kirtland Temple.  

The Kirtland Temple was the first such structure built by Joseph Smith and the Latter-Day Saint movement. The early Mormon saints carved the temple from the wilderness in the early 1830's when that portion of the state was still relatively wild and heavily wooded. Despite their own poverty, they sacrificed their material comfort to build a suitable house of worship. The temple was dedicated in 1836 amid an outpouring of spiritual manifestations.   

This was also a place of spiritual irony. Scarcely a generation before the Mormons took refuge in Kirtland, the Native American tribes of the Ohio region were devastated by the invasion of land-hungry settlers. Ohio became a state in 1803, but a few scattered survivors remained until the Indian Removal Act of 1830. The decline of Indian civilizations overlapped with the rise of Mormonism and the American frontier. 

Kirtland also represents a mystical, charismatic version of Mormonism from a bygone era. The early saints embraced a revolutionary faith that challenged conventional orthodoxies and dared to suggest that ordinary people had access to the divine through direct, personal experience. On the day of the temple dedication, people reported seeing angels walking on the rooftop. Some heard the sound of a rushing wind, while others spoke in tongues. The most faithful even reported seeing Jesus standing in bodily form on the breastwork of the pulpit. This was a youthful, exuberant faith, still untouched by the bureaucracy that would eventually transform the modern church into an institution defined in part by its uniformity and doctrinal conservatism.  

How strange to think that the people and events of Kirtland began a movement that changed the world, a movement that would eventually affect my family, my children, and my community. 

Finally, this last photograph is actually my favorite of all the ones I took that day. Unlike the idealized, picture-perfect renditions of the temple from official church publications, this photograph shows the temple in its natural setting - crowded by asphalt, the cacophony of passing cars, and a tangle of electrical wires. Here the ineffable and the mundane exist side by side, each one touching the other. 


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