Monday, November 02, 2015

All Souls

l' qe i st'mčʔelt u qe čxʷuymntm łuʔ sntmtmneytn xʷl hecyaʕ snxpew's sxlxalt, u qe wičntm łuʔ qʷamqʷmt čʔul'sey'utyeʔ u hec c'ek'ʷmi łu l' skʷkʷʔec. 

My daughter and I visited the cemetery for All Souls Day, and we saw the beautiful candles shining in the night. 

Mi hija y yo visitamos el cementerio para el Día de Todas las Almas, y vimos las bella candelas que brillaban en la noche. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Kalispel's River at Sunrise

axla hec k'ʷul'stn l' qlispeʔ st'ulixʷs, u lše u hec q'iʔstes łuʔ q'iʔq'iʔmin l' nqlispelišcn xʷl sccmelt. kʷtunt in xmenč łu i sck'ʷul'. nkʷtnaqsm łuʔ qe sck'ʷul'. yec yoʔnunm łuʔ hiqs xstwilšm łuʔ in nqʷlqʷeltn u lšey' m xest xʷl qe sxʷsixʷlt. 

in xmenč łu qlispeʔ st'ulixʷs. qʷamqʷmt. 


Every day I go to Kalispel country, and there I am writing books in the Kalispel language for children. I love my work. Our work is important. I am learning to improve my language so it will be good for our children. 

I love the Kalispel country. It is beautiful. 


Cada día, voy al país Kalispel, y allí estoy escribiendo libros en el idioma Kalispel para niños. Amo mi trabajo. Es importante nuestro trabajo. Estoy aprendiendo a mejorar mi idioma y así será mejor para nuestros hijos. 

Amo el país Kalispel. Es hermoso. 

Monday, August 31, 2015

The Role of Judah

Dakota is performing the role of Judah in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the Four Seasons Theater in Logan, Utah. His role performs a comical solo "Benjamin Calypso." 

Recently, the Utah Theater Bloggers Association reviewed the play and mentioned Dakota by name. Peter Harrison wrote: "Dakota Moses (who played Judah) was another vocal standout. His bright cheery performance of 'Benjamin Calypso' was an excellent segue from the more serious prior song, 'Who's the thief?' Moses also took some minor risks with the music with his over-the-top energy and vocal pep and flair, which made the song really memorable."

The full article is posted here

Joseph is one of my all time favorite plays. I am just sad that Dakota is performing so many hundreds of miles away. 

Ty and Dakota

Saturday, August 22, 2015

The Visitor

My friend Tim and I were having breakfast at his home when a black bear arrived on the lawn. The bear passed through the children's toys and walked right up to the window. A moment later, it walked up to the front porch, where only a screen door separated us from one another. The bear heard us and ran away. It circled around the house and then ran down the driveway. 

A little while later, Tim got some plaster casts of the bear prints in the sand. It was a little eerie to stand so close to a bear, but I count it as one of the more amazing experiences of my life. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Fire on Rutter Parkway

As I was riding the bus home from the Kalispel Reservation, I saw a plume of smoke rising into the sky. Some of my fellow riders had already checked their Facebook accounts and learned that a fire was burning near Rutter Parkway. I got this picture near Whitworth University. 

Read the news about this fire HERE

Friday, August 07, 2015

The Bridges of Cannon Hill

I wish I had gotten a picture of the old man who spoke to my family. I wish I had gotten his name. 

My family and I took a picnic the other day at Cannon Hill Park on the South Hill of Spokane. We have always loved that park for its beautiful green trees and stone bridges. 

As we were eating our picnic lunch, and old man stood a ways off and started telling us a story without any introductions. He said that he was almost 100 year old, and that he has lived in this neighborhood his whole life. When he was a young boy, these stone bridges were not just decoration; they were actually necessary because a system of ponds and streams once flowed beneath them. He used to catch crawdads in that stream, and people from the city would come up and buy them for a penny a piece. Green grass grows where the water once flowed. 

The old man told his story, then simply walked away. 

I felt so happy and grateful to hear his story, but then I immediately regretted not getting his name. I would love to hear more about his life and the history of our city. 


Hubiera tomado una foto del hombre viejo que le habló a mi familia. Hubiera preguntado su nombre. 

Con mi familia, hicimos un picnic el otro día en el Parque de Cannon Hill en Spokane. Siempre nos ha gustado visitar ese parque por sus bellos árboles verdes y sus puentes de piedra. 

Mientras comíamos, un hombre viejo se paró a una distancia corta y empezó a contar su historia sin ninguna introducción. Dijo que casi tiene los 100 años, y que ha vivido en ese vencindario toda su vida. Cuando era joven, los puentes no eran simples adornos, sino que eran necesarios porque había un sistema de estanques y arroyos naturales que fluían debajo de los puentes. En ese tiempo, pescaba cangrejos de río allí mismo en el arroyo, y la gente de la cuidad llegaba a comprarlo por un centavo cada uno. La grama ahora crece donde el agua antes fluía. 

Cuando el anciano terminó su historia, simplemente se fue. 

Me sentí tan agradecido escuchar su historia, pero inmediatemente me arrepentí por no preguntar su nombre. Me hubiera gustado escuchar más de su vida y de la historia de nuestra ciudad. 

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Spokane Language

The other day, I had the good fortune to sit next to the world's leading expert on the Spokane language. We were attending a funeral, but she happened to look down and see my name printed on a bag. This inspired her attention, and she passed me this note to explain the original, long version of my name. From there, she passed me several other handwritten notes - all of them translations of important prayers in our language. 

These notes made me feel like the richest man in the world. 


The q'ʷiq'ʷay on the Kalispel Indian Reservation stood close to the road the other day - close enough to get some decent pictures. 

Update: My good friend Carole mentioned that these animals are really bison - not buffalo. She has a master's in zoology, so I suppose she is in a position to advise me on these matters. But I really love my buffalo; never did care for bison. Our language is filled with many beautiful misnomers.

In any case, I could not bring myself to call them bison, so I changed the title to Salish: q'ʷiq'ʷay.

Religious Images

Statue of Jesus at Sacred Heart Medical Center. 


Over the last ten years, we have had several generations of quail nesting in the tree in our front yard. However, this current generation seems to have been raised in our back yard instead. This year, my daughter got some great pictures of the parent quail with their chicks. 

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Summer Solstice

This year, the summer solstice fell on the same day as father's day. Other than the many kind wishes from my children, my wife, and others, the only thing I wanted was a picture with my girls. We went to an overlook of downtown Spokane and picked bachelor buttons. 

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Tiger Lily

When I was a little boy, I said that tiger lilies were my favorite flower. 
I haven't seen them since I was a child, but lately I have seen a lot of them.

The Shadow of the Spider

łuʔ t'upl sml'k'ʷeyeʔs.

The shadow of the spider. 

La sombra de la araña.


hec kʷʔermi xʷeʔit łuʔ polplqn u hec nšeʔy' łuʔ hes clcil.
puti eʔp sc'ʔek'ʷ.

Many thimble berries are growing among the trees.
They still have flowers. 

Crecen un tipo de frambuesa silvestre entre los árboles.
Todavía tienen flores. 


Wild rose...

A lighter variety of wild rose...

I don't know this flower...

Or this one...

Friday, May 15, 2015

Whitney's Painting

My daughter Whitney is becoming a great artist. She gave me permission to post this painting that she created just this morning. I always tease that I taught her everything she knows, but in reality, she has far surpassed me in technical ability and creative soul. 


I want to express my gratitude to my friend Nate who came out from Indiana to help with my recovery. He has been taking me to my appointments and making sure that I get out of the house. Yesterday we visited the Manressa Grotto in the Kalispel Country.  

Peace Panel Poster


I suppose I should have blogged the poster before the event. 

Interfaith Peace Panel

The Buddhist Club at Eastern Washington University organized an interfaith peace panel with representatives from Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, and indigenous spirituality. My friend Geshe Phelgye moderated the panel and invited me to participate. As always, it feels overwhelming to speak in a public forum where people might misunderstand my heart. I can only speak for myself, and not for anyone else in my communities. 

The panelists were amazing. Every one of them impacted me in a positive way. I took notes and hopefully quoted each panelist as accurately as possible. 

We watched a video before the event where Desmond Tutu was praising the current Dalai Lama. He said, “There is no way in which injustice, oppression, and evil can have the last word.”

Later, as Geshe-La introduced the panel, he said, “Prayer alone is not enough... Along with prayer, we need to engage with others to promote peace" and “Peace only happens when we communicate.”

Imam Yasser Shahin began his presentation by reciting part of the Quran. He said, “In the name of Allah, the most merciful, the most compassionate.” I have heard this phrase before, but in light of our discussion, I appreciated the reminder that God is both merciful and compassionate. 

He said that saying hello to people will spread harmony more than keeping to oneself. “Peace starts with knowledge.” He encouraged the people to study other cultures and religions. He also said, “If you know that drawing the Prophet Mohammad offends many people, then you should stop drawing the Prophet Mohammad” and “It’s okay to debate, but we should refrain from arguing.”

The Reverend Happy Watkins told a touching story about meeting his mother in a bus. In front of all the people, she placed her hand upon him and prayed for the Lord to watch over her son. He said, “My mother had no idea what the future held, but she prayed to the future-holder.” His words reminded me of my own struggle after suffering a stroke. Likewise, I have no idea what the future holds for me. Lots of people make predictions and give advice, but only the Creator knows what my future will be. 

He also said, “We have conquered the air and land, but we are not yet wise enough to displace war and hate” and “There’s hope for this Universe of the God we serve.”

Rev. Watkins spoke about the three institutions that give hope for our future: 1) The Institution of the Family, 2) The Institution of the Home, and 3) The Institution of the Kitchen Table.

Lama Lakshay said, “To hurt is not very pleasant.” He told a story about hurting a baby yak, and as a result of that hurt, the yak no longer trusted him.

Pastor Shelley Wee told a story about a young boy from her childhood who was kind of an outcast from the others. He was disliked and teased. Once day, he was singing, "Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so." She recalled thinking, "I wish you wouldn't do that. People will only treat you worse."

Much later, she realized that the boy was part of her group in every way. He attended the same school. He came from the same racial background and the same socioeconomic class. He even attended the same church. She wondered how she could ever come to love people who were different, when she struggled so much with someone who was the same. I really appreciated the vulnerability and emotional honesty of her question. 

After each panelist spoke, the audience got the chance to ask questions. Unfortunately, I didn't feel that the event allowed enough time to truly answer each question. For example, one man asked how our faith traditions could improve in promoting peace among the LGBT community. One or two people attempted a response, but I sensed something lacking.

This is not a critique of Geshe-La. My only hope is that we can continue to engage in courageous conversations in the future around these difficult topics. 

Geshel-La, Imam Yasser Shahin, Rev. Happy Watkins, Lama Laskey Zangpo, Pastor Shelley Wee, and I. 

Lama Laskey, Pastor Shelley, and I conversed briefly after the event. 


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