Imbolc Hare Moon
The gifts people carry astound me. Tonight at the St. Patrick’s day ceremony of corned beef, cabbage, mashed potatoes and Irish soda bread Frank brought in as a guest a friend of his Chholing Taha. Chholing is a Cree woman who had a difficult road back to her native heritage. At 3 she was taken from her people and adopted by a German couple who lived across the border in Niagra Falls, New York. Why this happened was not explained to her.
She grew up full of rage and “culturally schizophrenic” walking in two worlds at once. Through a pull that seemed almost genetic she visited sweats, went to the sun dance, got an Indian name from a Blackfoot medicine man and finally did four fasts over a period of four years. These were not easy nor were they obvious answers to her bifurcation, but they seem to have brought her to a peaceful place, a place where bitterness and anger do not dominate her.
She is an artist with terrific imagery, color and composition, part of a current generation of native artists that draw from deep within their heritage and themselves. She dreams her works, whole, then records what she sees.
At the end of the evening she smudged us with sage that had been used in a sun dance and gave us each a seeing. She believes everything is visible, that the world is transparent and if you look, you can see. She said Tom was comfortable with life, she saw him clad in flannel shirts and wandering the north country. To Frank she said, brushing him as she did all of us with her eagle feather fan, “They continue to say not to worry.”
Charlie Haislet reminded her of the light in the meadow; Scott sees things at their elemental level. To me she said I had a precise mind, able to see something small and learn much. And that I would do amazing things. It surprised me, brought me tears to my eyes. It felt as if she had called my name, a name I didn’t know I had.
Her stories and her presence were, as Frank said, remarkable.