alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (Default)
One good thing about driving a car, even--maybe especially--in horrid rush hour traffic is that you get the chance to listen to college radio, and hear over the course of a couple of hours alternative news, Native American music (powwow, rock, blues, whatever, so long as a Native American made it) and a show whose only unifying theme is that all the songs are sung/rapped/chanted/otherwise enunciated by women.  Need to find out what that Portuguese techno was...

I'd kind of forgotten just how damn funny powwow music can be.  Humor, as Sherman Alexie said in Indian Killer, may be born of a survival strategy, but at least it's smart, provocative strategy that works the brain.  I do miss the days when I spent a lot of time in that world.  Not long ago I googled some of the people I knew back in Chicago and Canada, and it was so wrenching how many were dead in their 50s and 60s--cancer, complications from diabetes, a mysterious death in a bar.  Here on the US East Coast we don't see Native American issues that immediately, except for casino negotiations, and it's easy to romanticize reservation life in many ways.  And indeed, it isn't all horrible, there is strong community and the continuation of traditions and values, but so much of it is truly grim, in a way that surpasses anything I've ever seen in urban settings.  One of those who has passed away told me back in my anthropology student days that I would sooner or later leave Native American issues behind, because all the students eventually do.  I was a bit insulted, and insisted no, I was in it for the long haul.  But here I am, just as he predicted.

So for Columbus Day,as it seems timely, I'm going to try to put together a list of books, movies and some music that I think every American ought to read/see/hear.  It will just be my white girl's opinion, but they will be sources that educated me, and that I know ring true to the Ojibwe, Menominee, Hochunk, Kanienkehaka, Cree, Inuit and the other peoples it has been my privilege to meet over the years.  I can--should, must--do that much, share what I have been given.  Because that's the spirit in which it was given to me.
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alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (Default)
Courage is paradoxical.  It asks us to risk something; but what do we risk?  Not our real selves.  We cannot lose what truly belongs to us.  Creative courage, then, implies only that we risk our easy answers and comfortable patterns for the sake of discovery.  And the true purpose of this risk-taking is to separate the wheat from the chaff in our inner makeup.  Within us lies an inner measure, the capacity to discriminate between integrity and falsehood.  Through creative risk-taking, we are asked to place in question, to release, that which is merely our automatic or learned characteristics--for the sake of growth and discovering our inner nature.  Though we may feel fear, we know from deep within that we must reorder our inner nature and loosen the dominance of our ego and false personality.  We are only risking the outer layers of conditioning that serve to hide us from ourselves.

Clearly, then, creativity requires courage.  Not arrogance, or false bravado, or pretension of any kind, but genuine courage.  The kind of courage that risks almost everything we know--in order to grow and expand and become what we are.

p174, The Widening Stream:  the Seven Stages of Creativity, by David Ulrich

I try.
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alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (Default)
It seems to be the thing to be doing, so my 2009 in a handful of points:
  • started 2009 with my foot still in pretty wretched shape, but by Feb or March the alcohol injections finally killed off that nerve in the ball of my foot, and slowly I've come to be able to count on my feet to be there for me once again.  I still have some resculpting to do (that's really how it feels, like I am rebuilding the way my ankles and feet work) and I'm still not 100 percent pain free but I'm optimistic that to a large degree I can change what nature and nurture dealt me and have strong functional feet again.
  • lost a fair amount of weight but more importantly gained a lot of strength in my legs and core.  I feel I have a lot more power in my movements now, whether it's dance or yoga or just daily activity.  I like this and I am determined to keep it.  It's hard work but it's rewarding.  On a related note, with the exception of the last two weeks or so, I've been happy with the diet I've created for myself--not diet in the sense of weight loss program, but diet in the sense of well rounded nutrition, food that tastes good and sustains me. 
  • Danced in a variety of different venues, and in the process have been sounding out what is important to me as a dancer in terms of my goals and ideals.  Definitely a work in progress, some lessons are not always so pleasant, but it's part of being an artist.
  • Lost my ferret Ianto, but that was tempered by being so glad that we were able to give him a good loving home in the evening of his life.  He was such a sweet fellow, with his little Ianto prancing walk.  And his loss meant that we were in the right place at the right time to give a home to Edgar, who is quite the endearing character and brings us much joy.  Little Sisiutl has stayed a constant, deepening her bonds with me and welcoming the new guy along with us.
  • Got a Zipcar membership and started driving regularly again, for the first time since 1995 or so.  It's been very freeing and liberating, and nowhere near as scary as I thought it would be.  I've enjoyed driving a variety of different cars through Zipcar, and I've equally enjoyed not having the responsibility of car ownership.
  • Took the kind of plunge I'd been promising myself I would do for *years* and applied for a new job which represented a step up in my career--and got it!  The whole process went so smoothly it was like a dream, and clearly meant to be.  I'm very happy in the new job, while grateful for all that I learned in the old job.  Executive Assistant may not seem like a glamorous or important sort of career, but trust me, all your companies, non-profits, universities, etc would fall down without talented and intelligent people providing structural support.
  • Held Raks Spooki IV--I can't believe it has now happened four times!  I made a leap of faith that the market was still there even in this economy and moved to a larger theatre, and my faith was pretty justified.  Lots of thoughts for how to run next year's!  As always, the variety of creativity and talent on display in the show was humbling to me as the organizer.  I'm very proud to be able to put on this show.
  • Bought an iPod Classic, which seems like a small thing, but I am loving it so it bears mentioning.
  • Set in motion the process of renting regular studio space in a quiet place, something I have been deeply craving for a long time.  The studio is part of a small artists' community and I am excited about the synergy of that as well.
For 2010, I essentially just want to keep on track with the things I've been doing well.  I need to be a little better with keeping up with foot exercises.  I am really looking forward to utilizing that studio time.  We will have our tenth wedding anniversary in 2010.  I want to get out to more concerts, live music of any style that strikes my eclectic fancy.  I definitely want to travel outside of the Boston area for dance workshops more often.  I want to keep learning more about mixology, and get brave enough to start making drinks up, drinks that actually taste good.  In the end, perhaps none of those things are individually that important, but in sum they equal the process of building my life onward and upwards, improving what I can and accommodating what I can't.

Happy New Year, everybody!  May the triumphs and joys of the past year continue to sustain you, and may those you have lost live on as beautiful memories within.
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