maryblackbonnet.com

AUTHOR NOTE: this editing is messed up and i dont know why. And there are several typos. sorry. I was typing in a hurry.

I’m back from Rapid. Oh, there’s so much to tell. It was such a good time for me, I honestly didn’t want to come back.  If I did not have responsibilities here, I may not have.

I may not stick around either, but at least I came back, because I’m responsible like that.  Seriously, that trip was soo good for me on so many levels that no one even knows.  There’s been so much going on for me, for so long, it was/is actually starting to manifest in my physical health.  Smallish bombs have been going off in my life, and it causes me so much stress that I can’t even deal anymore. But I can’t talk about a lot of it either, because no one gets it, and I can’t dumb it down enough for them to get it.

There are all these little tendrils of things, most I can’t talk about yet, for several reasons; but I can talk about one of them. I know that I do not do well long term in “city” settings, I never have. And while some would argue that my town is

I know that I do not do well long term in “city” settings, I never have. And while some would argue that my town is hardly “city” compared to Rapid, or Sioux falls,  no it’s not. But to me, it is. I need to be engulfed in nature be able to put my feet on the earth and feel the wind on me, because it goes through me, and readjusts me in ways that others go to the chiropractor for. it may sound ridiculous to some,but i cna’t explain it, and I’m not going to. Anyway, one of the things I was so happy to be going to rapid for, was that. My body, spirit and soul know the air, the feel, the energy of rapid/the Black hills (specifically). As we go to that cusp on 90 where you can see the Hills in the distance, i felt my body immediately relax. They are so much like a womb to me, Being the motherless child I am, I’ve found comfort in nature and animals. (i think that’s pretty obvious to anyone who knows me at all) So, being there was so nurturing.

Now, let me touch on the reception.

OMG…THAT was soo amazing! There were so many people there, and the energy was so incredible! I was so honored to be a part of it. The awesome thing is we, the artists (and public attendees) were the ones that “officially” opened the show/gallery. Before our entrance, the exhibit had not been open to the public! Cunksi was with me, so that was also another little part that is always important for me. My precious girl, my blood and flesh, standing in a gallery of a show done by all Lakota artists. Another one of those slices of healing for me/generational healing that is huge. This trip has been emotional for me, and I’ve broken into tears a few times, for several reasons. One being that I feel the energy of the generations before, all the spirits around us that it’s really powerful for me. My mom, my grandparents, people I had never met, but knew of me then, as well as other tribal ancestors, were there, in that gallery with us.  A moment when I’m sure my mom was so proud, Feeling the spirits of her, and the others, is a mixed blessing for me. It’s such an honor that I can feel them, but it’s also hard becuause it’s blows through that hallow place I feel inside. But also know that part of all this emotional reaction is PMS. I”m always 1,000 times more sensitive, and weepy; so while it was a powerful experience, (the spirit part) my need to burst into tears and feeling all orphany was probably more PMS.

Meeting the other artists was cool. Everyone’s work is so amazing and so strong!  None of us worked together, we all worked individually on our pieces. For those who don’t know…We took one of our legends “The Great Race” and it was split into 8 parts. and each part had the following:

3D artist,

Musician

Painter

Poet

They each were assigned a piece, a vignette, and produced a piece in response to it. I was asked to contribute a poem for the 8th (and final) vignette.

I want to talk about this more, but it deserves its own post, so I’m not going to go too much into it.  What I want you to know is, it turned out amazingly! Everything flowed and went together so well and turned out so beautifully.

And I”m going so say something that a few others who may be reading this are not going to like, but it’s true.

This is the fourth “collaborative” show I have been asked to be in over the last two years. It by FAR, has been the most fluid, gelled, beautiful collection. The other exhibits were great too, strong work, but they did not gel, even though they all had a common theme. So while there were strong pieces in the other shows, the pieces did not feel as if they went together, they were just pieces of artwork put on walls. And the promotion for this show!! It was so well done and the public response was wonderful!  Again, spirits at work.

The reception I went to was the official opening of the gallery and of the “Wanci” Vignette one. Each section on broken down into the Lakota numbers 1-8 Wanci (one) through Saglohan (8), which is the opening my work will be honored at.That opening will be June 3. As it get closer I will give specific details about it, if you want to come see me at the opening!!!  Each vignette will have its own opening to honor the artists who did work for that specific vignette. That’s pretty cool if you think about it. Now, the only disclaimer I have is, spelling.  Lakota Language has evolved and nuances have arisen. (well, really they have always been there) Anyway, I just want to say that the spelling they use in my poem for ‘Saglohan’ and ‘Wana’  were changed to ‘Saglogan’ and ‘Wanna’    These are not the way I would spell them but the organizers of the exhibit asked if they could change it to their spelling to be consistent w/ the other spellings throughout. I was fine with that because I do play nice  with others. But, I just want to say that it is not the way I’d spell it if I were doing it on my own. It does not make it wrong, it just makes it, for lack of a better word, regional nuance.

This show is was organized by Craig Howe, who is a dear and long time friend of mine. He owns this center named CAIRNS, and it’s really awesome because we’ve been friends so long that I got to see this place go from an idea/spark in Crags head and eyes to being jotted down on paper to physical manifestation.  I am so proud of him. He is an amazing person anyway, but seriously, it is awesome what he has done.

Okay moving on.

The opening was Friday, and we were staying until Sunday so Saturday, we headed for the hills. (literally).  I had planned to go see my sister (the former MMA one) but on the drive up there, I got distracted by a National park, so I stopped there and she met me with her dog. IT was so good to see her!  We ended up spending the whole day together, which allowed us to talk about important things we needed to.  She and I have always gotten along, we are very similar in a lot of ways and we read people really accurately and we say what we think and that  makes us hard to digest for some. But she has been in contact with me since I first go back. Now during our little talk, some things came to light, which were so important for me and enlightening and of which I will discuss later. The point of all that is, I really had a blast with her, and cunksi got to see her auntie who has always been there, loved and accepts her for who she is.  So many “relatives” in our lives have agendas or conditions or try to manipulate her, or just flat out try to change her and the way she is,  which she sees and thankfully knows it’s on them, and not about her. But as her mom, it’s hard to watch.  They don’t realize what an HONOR it is to be a part of her life, and more, that being a part of her life is a privilege, not a right.

So now other news. ..well no I’ll wait on that and make a video for it, you’ll understand why when I do it.

Back to the trip. Obviously, one of MUST DOs in Rapid is Prairies Edge.  And, ironically, I guess they are dog-friendly, so we went there. I went to the music/books part. I only visit two parts when i’m there, the music/books and the beads/leather goods!  So I walked into the book part and right there, on the shelf  they had Genocide of the Mind. Which anytime I see my books in stores, it’s an awesome feeling! I looked  for the others, maybe the newer ones, but they were not in view. Then a Navajo man walked up to the counter and asked the sales person which of the children’s books were actually written by Indians; and the guy (who was white) got even paler and stuttered,: “Um I don’t know, I don’t actually work this section, I am just taking over for a guy who’s at lunch.” So of course, in my Mary way, I offered to help him.  He and his wife and children were visiting from AZ. She is from porcupine, poor girl  (J/K! HAAHAAA!!!)* AND she is an engineer..(I forget what kind, sorry, I hear engineer and my writer brain short circuits) but that is sooo cool!!! I told her is she wnated to spend her summers here at home, she should get involved with that STEM program. It otld her i thought it was really cool and important! So if you guys are reading this, shout out to you!!  I showed them the children’s books that were written by local (and regional) Natives and what other NF books were written by locals. (I’m totally Rosebud centric LOL) But it’s awesome that they (PrEdge) recognize and carry books by and featuring Rosebud authors.  He wanted to know which one I was in, so I showed him Genocide of the Mind. (I am proud of that one, but it’s so old and it’s not even my best work So I told him about my other work) Then I showed him Shaping Survival becuase my Tuwin (aunt) Lydia Whirlwind Solider is in it, so I always plug her work when I can.  By that time, Cunksi was hungry and thirsty so I needed to go, but it was so cool to meet them! I’m always so happy to meet and am proud of successful Native women! LILILILILI!!!      Oh, but before I leave the Pr Edge store (metaphorically) I have to tell you my zero’d in mission) You all should know by now how freaking much I adore Buffy Sainte Marie (to the point of ad nauseam I’m sure LOL). Well I had bought her digital copy of her new album, but also needed/wanted the physical CD. so it can play constantly in the vehicle you know!) so i totally beelined for it when I got to PE and was thrilled to get into my little paw. So hers, came home w/ me! (<<Mary voice LOL) i was telling my sister about her, because holy hell. everyone who has a pulse needs to know about Buffy!!!! I LOVEHER!! I love her! I love her!!! And she needs her own post too!!! I will honestly do a post just on her new album, but I just want to say here that she’s such a freaking role model. I will get to other things about her once I reach that part of the journey. So, scroll on.

My MMAsister, Cunksi and I all headed back to the hotel and ate while she and I talked more. that is where a lot of the stuff came out that I needed to know.  After that we talked of other things, and I told her what happned with Bruce. I knew she’d get it because she deals with life in similar ways that I do; meaning she trust animals and nature more than people; so she totally got it.  While there were some heavy discussions, it was also interspersed with laughter and hilarity as always. One of the great things about her is, she lets me see her. That is rare with her. But the fact that she lets me see her, (and always has) is an honor I don’t take lightly. To get a hug, a real hug from her is such an honor.  She stayed with us till late, then she had to head for the hills.Literally  (LOL!) it was sad to see her go, but I will see her for my opening in june. ( we are conspiring on some things too, so when the time is right, that will come to light.) I was not looking forward to leaving. I texted my husband (who stayed home because he had to work) that I would much rather hit that interstate and head west instead of east.

The next morning we got up and I took cunksi swimming for one last time. she LOVES swimming and so everytime we travel, I always pick a place w/ a pool. She’s such a great sidekick that she deserves the chance to do kid things. Of  course, wherever we go, we draw a crowd so we met and spoke with a family and a little boy who ended up being there alone. (?!) but he turned out to be 12, but looked 9-10ish). I was watching him and her. At first she ignored him. (she’s her Inas daughter LOL) but he stared at her and was totally enamored by her. He finally came up and talked to us. It’s interesting to see that power manifested in her. It’s the same power I carry and brings the same reactions from those around me, but for so long I didn’t understand it or know how to deal with it. So I misunderstood it and was terrified of it. I’m glad that she won’t have to navigate it alone. She just accepts it. That whole, ‘this is what happens because this is who we are’ thing. I love that.  And I love that she so strongly stands in her power. Not in a conceited way, just in a sure way.  That, makes me proud! I did that!  I was already so broken by her age I am so proud that her normal is nothing like mine was.

Which brings me to my drive home.

With a heavy heart and a light foot, I started us on the road back.   Cunksi and I listened to the radio, (SHE radio 106.3 of COURSE!) until we lost the signal and she immediately said:

“Put in Buffy!”

Cunksi thankfully has not tired of the constant stream of Buffy’s albums in all her 8 years.    The whole album is amazing, but to hear my precious little 8 Y.O. singing along to the CD, is awesome, and telling. She’s not just regurgitating words, she knows their meaning, what they songs are about.  Some people see their kids singing rap or pop and say, ‘aww how cute!’ I doubt it has any significant meaning.  But this does. She knows.  As the miles went by we each drifted off into our own worlds. ( She has to still sit in the back for safety so it’s harder to have convos for long periods)

I settled into the drive and let Buffy soothe me.  What I am about to say you may not get, and it’s okay, maybe it was not meant for you.

I am old enough to know what Buffy sings of. There are ways that the events and the times are tied to my mother. I’ve taken comfort in this in the past. {After talking to my sister this weekend, my mother’s image is all re-arranged. More on that later. But I don’t want to get into that yet.} Buffy was there, at the things I (sometimes) wish I had been there for. I was on earth, but I was just a baby so I was hardly in a place to be marching, running for my life, or dodging bullets.  Anyway, all of her songs are great, but some get me bam right in the soul.

okay, I can’t do this, not right now. But I will, I promise.  I urge you to go listen to her if you don’t know who she is. (and SHAME ON YOU for not.) You know how they say listen to the music that is important to someone else to better understand them?  Well, I just gave you a suggestion.

There is a lot more left to say but I need to tend to my turtle, so I have to go.

Let me just say this.

At the end of this weekend, things are much clearer for me and that will help my soul to start healing. I have a plan, a map, and if I just stay focused I’ll be okay. There are still a lot of tendrils out there to take care of, but if I just do it one at a time, embrace every chance to have naked feet (mary word) and get to the woods and river, I’ll be okay. I was born of earth, it balances my soul and when I pound too hard on concrete, my spirit whithers. I can’t drop anchor here, I never could but it served its time well. And now it’s time to do what will serve my soul.  I  titled this post ‘Clobbers’ because it references a scene in “The Education of Little Tree” His Grandpa has just sprung him from boarding school and they are safely nestled back in their woods/mountains when Little Tree takes off his hard soled shoes (from the school) and puts his feet on the soft earth.  His Grandpa takes his off too and they both throw them as far as they can. His Grandpa yells,

“You can take those clobbers!”  Perfectly sums up my feelings. I have always known my feet need to be on the earth  in order for me to to be balanced. As a child, I never wore shoes unless I had to and even  now once it is warm enough, read: no snow on the ground, I either have naked feet or I am in my moccasins.  (I speak only for myself on this.) Part of my getting sick is too much stress over the last two years with no outlet/purge but the other part of it is, my not enought bare foot time. Now dont be thining im gonna be one of theose ppl who dont’ wear shoes…anytime. that’s ick for me. one, I have respect for those social rules and two, I’m a big germ-aphobe that just groses me out. moccasins are just fine thank you.

There’s more to say, but I’ll be back.

Toksa ake, waste yuhapi ye.

In peace love and Turtles,

MBB (Tiwahe Wica Yu Wita Win)

Enigma.
Powerful.
Sacred.
Lakota Winyan.
Cunksi’s Ina.