Buffalo, books and art: catching up

Hello dear ones,

          I have been so very busy of late, but let me tell you, I don’t mind at all, I love it very much. It makes me happy to see the sky meet the gorgeous horizon, the road stretching out before me. Moving in a car feeds my soul in a way I cannot accurately describe. It’s not just the movement of the car, the digestion of the miles, it’s all of it. The preparing, (which for me is usually the night before I leave,), the drive itself, the arrival and the possibilities of what will/can/might happen while I am at said destination. And the joy of meeting new people or seeing those  I already know who are in my heart.  I love it all.

    While much of my time has been on the road, traveling to one destination or another, that has not been the only occurrence  so let me catch you up.

    You all already know about the book being “birthed”! I think the permanent smile that had captured my face has finally lessened. 🙂 But the pride in it hasn’t. I look at it and I’m just so proud it!  Many pre-orders are being placed, so that makes me really happy!

   In studio news,  have been in the studio a bit, I painted a new piece, which is for sale and will be in my show in Oct. I’m really proud of it, it has a whole story behind it too, I love how it turned out.

     I debuted my book at the Black Hills Indigenous Writer’s Book festival on June 24, and that was a really amazing and fun event. There were so many important discussions there about Black Elk Peak’s re-naming, the battle of Greasy Grass, we got the pleasure of hearing Don Montileaux and Gerald Yellow Hawk tell stories that are sold and packaged to children (children’s books) but are really for everyone. Cunksi LOVED that part. We love Iktomi stories, because we use them in our house.  Gerald and Don have such natural talent at story telling and enthrall me so easily that I could have sat there for hours listening to them.

    I gave a workshop to Youth before the Book festival, which was a hit. The participants’ were really talented and seemed to have a great time. Here are some of my favorite examples of their work:

     After that we literally came home for one day only to turn around and go to our rez for a Sundance. The highlight of that was assisting with a buffalo butcher.  Two lovely humans hosted a buffalo for the Sundance, but once it was time to process it, everyone who was supposed to help process it all disappeared faster then Custer’s men after his fall.  It was 85*, there were four men processing a buffalo, so cunksi and I grabbed knives and jumped in to help. It was huge honor and an experience for Cunksi. For those who don’t know, this is how it was traditionally for Lakota, the men killed the buffalo and the women came to the fields with their knives and tools to process and dress. These are things Cunksi had heard about or read in books, but not experienced it yet. And it was my first buffalo processing, I’d helped Mihigna Ki with deer, fish and large game fowl, but never a buffalo. Being a Lakota is such a cool thing to be.

     When I’m home I am also working on the RSLO manuscript, which is ironic since all those years ago the 4th of July is what caused my PTSD to come to the surface. And now, it’s the fourth of July holiday again. My adoptive parents are here. They will be coming up to the Tapun Sa Win exhibit reception on Friday so they can hear the reading of my poem. That will be cool for my mom, since I was at her house when it was written. (She had fallen and I had gone to MI to take care of her and help my dad.) And just a smallish note, while I am doing much better than years previous, I still do not care for the wretched fireworks, they still upset me no matter how much I thought they wouldn’t. I don’t know if that part of my PTSD will ever go away or not. Obviously with the hearing loss, it’s different, but the vibrations are still the same and maybe worse, due to the vibrations that are felt in my body and have nothing to do with my ears. Until last night, I was staying at my sister’s house and that crew likes to shoot guns, which is not a good thing for someone with PTSD.  So, I removed myself. End of problem.

    Life remains busy, which as I said, I don’t mind. After the 7th, I will have a bit of a break until the book is released on Aug 15, but I’m sure I will be doing book promo stuff up until then.  The book tour needs to be finalized so there is that to do and I don’t know where the book launch will be. All the little details that are fun but necessary. I will also be preparing and finalizing pieces for the show.

Alright, I need to go, take care all. Thanks for reading.

Peace and Turtles, MBB


Lakota Winyan.
Cunksi’s Ina.