Friday, December 13, 2019

Punishment By Naming The Faceless

I remember the Oka "Crisis" of 1990. Many of us Indian folk would not be in Quebec for the attacks by the Military on Mohawks over Land. The Town of Oka wanted to build a golf course on Mohawk land. The treatment of the Indians by the Military and by the public was and is shameful.  One of the things which is forever etched in my mind, my memory is the photos of white men, white women throwing rocks at Indian Women, Indian Elders and Indian kids as they drove across a bridge.
There was a whole town of folk throwing rocks at Indian people. The cops stood by and watched. I can still see this white guy, in pink shorts a 70's style mustache and mullet throwing rocks with a happy look on his face. Who the guy is I have no clue. I wonder if his family knows what he did? Where they proud, ashamed or didn't really think about it? I wonder if he carries any shame for his despicable crime?

There are so many incidents where anonymity emboldens hatred and ugliness. Large numbers can be used to hide in plain view. Standing in a crowd can be a cover for those who are ugly and willing to do harm. I wonder if they knew they would be identified if they would go ahead with their actions? Perhaps shining a spotlight on them, would stop them in their tracks? Just like when I am hunting Deer with a million candle watt power spotlight. The deer is just frozen and I take a kill shot right in the head. Of course I don't condone using a spotlight on Deer or anyone for that matter, I am just illustrating a point (analogy or allegory I don't know). The thing is exposing the ugly should or could be meaningful.

We are in an age of ugly; the world is in chaos with the rise of hate (Nazi's, White Supremacist, Saudi Arabia killings,  Rohingya being genocide by Myanmar,  Syria slaughter, Brazil burning its country, Russia expanding, China's jailing of Muslims, and the Burning of the Planet by greedy corporations). The question is what can we do about it?

There is not much we can do. There are so many people expressing the frustration at the chaos in the world. People will march, protest, engage in debate, make documentaries, donate money, write letters, vote in government elections, take their own lives and of course murder someone; all in an attempt to get change. With the action you would expect acknowledgement by the powers in control of the world to say your are heard. The opposite seems to be taking place. Jamal Khashoggi was a journalist who used his voice to point out the ugly. It got him killed; he was chopped up in an Embassy, an Embassy, can you imagine that? In other situations children are being slaughtered and the powers to be seem fine with it. Twenty 6-year old kids were shot and killed while sitting in school. The powers with the ability to change things, changed nothing. Children are still dying, voices are still being silenced and the Earth is still burning.

The thing is almost everyone is faceless. Even in their public lives they are anonymous. We can internet search for almost everyone but we need to know who we are searching for:  Darren Woods, Rex Tillerson, Michael Dolan, Mark Abers, Brad Corson, Rich Kruger, Borja Prado Eulate, Ulf Mark Schneider, Paul Bulcke, and many many more people. This tiny example of names are the public faceless killers of the Earth. We really don't know who they are. We don't really know the corporations they are championing. We don't really know how much damage they are doing.

So what if we name them? There is absolutely no consequence to seeing these names in a public forum. There could be or should be. The legacy left is one of destruction; all for the greedy pursuit of money and power. There should be a compiled list of all those Wiindigo, the corporations, the owners, the leaders and supporters which are greedily destroying the Earth. The legacy these Wiindigo leave should be carried on the shoulders of their families; the Sins of our Fathers. Shame is a hard emotion to carry. We are at the point in the world where the Planet killers have no care. Can they be shamed? Maybe erasing their public facelessness may be the way to get them to care?

Just the other day two men were on a plane saying all sorts of racist garbage to Inuit people on the same plane. The first news attention had these men's faces blurred out and not named. The story gained traction and the men faces were shown, they were banned from the airline, the company they worked for lost its contract with a major construction project, and the company they worked directly for fired them. There was a follow up article saying how sorry they were and about how their family was ashamed and they were worried about their futures (two old white men earning a living in Indigenous areas). The naming the faceless.

The families of these Wiindigo are not innocent. By way of association they should bear the cross (do you like how I linked the a couple of Biblical references so far) of their parents, after all they share in the spoils? They should carry the shame of the despicable crimes their parents have committed. Maybe have them do the Walk of Shame like in Game of Thrones. I might pay to see that.

I love my kids and my grandkids, so I hope I would think twice about the harm I cause them when I behave like a Wiindigo. We want the best for our kids. So why are the greedy corporations and their collective owners not caring for their kids?

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Hero to You, Monster to You

I believe we have all met the monster, the individual or individuals who torment us. Funny how our tormentor could be a friend, a family or just someone in the community. The monster does not hide from you. What is really strange is this monster might be a hero somewhere else. 

I met many monsters in my life. They always seem to be bullies. I know this one guy, man he was a bad person. A big guy of course, and mean. Never seemed to pick on his own size, he relied on his size, his meanness and his surprise to hurt someone. A rather despicable creature. Weird how this monster had lots of friends, seemed to be well liked and had numerous female companions. Guess people do like a "bad boy?" Like many monsters, he was very likeable, very good looking, charismatic, charming and affable. I have no doubt he was a hero to many. 

The monster isn't limited by gender. Wicked can be a word to describe some of the female monsters we meet. And like other monsters, a hero in other circles. I know some pretty wicked ugly women who command a great deal of respect in the community. Some are even bestowed the title of Elder? Elder for shit sakes. I wonder how the monsters and heroes are going to feel being outed? 

Being outed as a monster is a process Canada is engaged in: an Indian Day School settlement. The process involves the Indian stating what took place in school and who were the monsters. I wonder how the bully's feel? If they even recognize they were in fact monsters? The bigger boys who would, for no reason, just slap you in the testicles as you stood around oblivious to what was coming. To the Teacher who always engaged in showing off his scrotum and penis in gym class. He would get all the students sitting in front of him doing leg stretches, where he would open up his legs and show off his stick and balls to the kids. All the girls would laugh, do the collective loud "Errrrrrrrrrrr." The girls would be talking in the halls, "see his wrinkly old balls?"  The Teacher knew what he was doing. There were other Teachers who did not hide their monster mask and there were those who did. The open monster's had no issues with hitting you, beating you, locking you in lockers, and there were those who can be funny and nice. Next thing you know you get hit in the head with a chalk eraser, a book or what ever he could use to hit you with. Funny the other kids either got quiet or laughed, depending on how much you were hurt I guess. There was also very dark monsters and they can't hide. 

I think we have met lot of monsters and in some cases, demons. I had this one demon who constantly threatened to kill me. Fact was he was actually a coward, but his tormenting of me, did take a toll. Monsters have family and friends as this one did as well. So at home I imagine he could have been a good person, I don't know. All I know this person was evil to me. Evil where he swerved his truck toward me and my wife. My wife carried our one month old daughter and I walked on the road when the guy swerved so he could run us over. We were walking to our vehicle that was parked on the road next to the church; we were at funeral service of a loved one. It was a show by him as he swerved the truck back away from us, but it really bothered me. How evil can someone be? The monster should have limits you think? I guess there must be a level of monster-ness? 

There are famous monsters we know of like Joan Crawford, Leona Helmsley, Aung San Suu Kyi, Ellen DeGeneres, Madonna, Jennifer Lopez, Matt Laure, John Mayer, and Gandhi. So monsters are everywhere. Can we call Ellen a monster in the same category as Aung San Suu Kyi? Aung San is taking part in genocide of the Rohingya Muslims. Wild is the fact, Aung San received Nobel Peace Prize. While Ellen is not active in genocide (that we are pretty certain of), she is rumoured to be a terror at work. While she is a hero for many, she is a monster to others. 

Me, as a hero and self proclaimed god (not Thee God of course) I am sometimes torn by my actions of being a monster. So I rationalize my monster ways, weighing the wrongs I do with the good things I do. So basically I am trying to balance the ugly with the good I do. As I say, I'm trying to get into heaven by doing good while at the same time I have a foot at the stairway to hell.  So I keep a running tab on the good things. I also weigh how big the good thing is compared to the bad thing. Like the really horrible thing I have done in the past and not so past. So I realize picking up a hitch-hiker or buying a coffee, or holding open a door for someone is not extraordinarily good, but it's a good foundation to carry on. So I have to try and measure the amount of good I do against the bad I do. This way I can estimate if I am on the right side of being good. 

There are people in my circle who would absolutely kill for me and there are some in my group who wouldn't pee on me if I was on fire. Heroes and monsters should expect this type of reception. My friend says "And you! You're going straight to hell!" He will say to this to people he runs into at the Reserve. I laugh with him about telling people they are going to hell. I tell him I will see him there, and he says "No, not me I already have my ticket to heaven."  You got to admire people who are cool with who they are. 
I know a number of people who are heroes. I know them never to be anything but good people. I envy and appreciate them.  So I am glad there are heroes out there, who have no monster in them. 

Thursday, November 14, 2019

On My Honour

My Mom told us a few times "be like this", as she held up her index finger, "and not like this" as she then bent it. She said my Mishoom, my Dad's Dad had told Mom and Dad this. It is not about being the crooked finger, as meaning not to be crooked, but rather be straight with your word. My Mishoom said, "your word has to mean something. In his day if you told someone, I will meet you in town it was not as quick and easy to get there, like it is today. So don't waste their time and not be there, be your word." Mom wanted us kids to be honourable, to mean what we say. Your name is a big thing and you have to act in a way to honour your word, your name.

Today we use the honour word and I'm not sure if we truly understand honour. For some reason whenever a person does a stupid thing, like dress in an Indian Headdress or do the "Tomahawk Chop", these people will say they are honouring the Indian. The secret is everyone knows it is pure nonsense. No one is honouring anyone. It is all about having fun at the expense of others.

Being a Granpa with very young grandkids, I am familiar with this saying "On my honour."  It was the Prince in Frozen who said it to the  Princess. I think I may use the phrase from now on; On My Honour. We practice Honour in different ways. There are the widely public honour events like the  Memorial Powwows, the Speech at Weddings, the Eulogy at a funeral, the Nomination of someone for office, and the presentation of awards. Honouring someone is not always in view of big audience, sometimes it is just you and the person.

We honour someone almost every single day. It can be as simple as the "nod."  Indians do this when they see or meet another Indian in a public setting. We nod at other Neechies when we pass by them on the street or at the mall. Same thing with people of other Nations, they see a person in Military uniform and give them a nod or a handshake. Some people may see police officer eating and decide to pay for their meal. Honouring someone can be as simple as just being courteous; like holding open the door for the next person to come in. You honour their presence with your good gesture. Many folk will honour their family with using a Namesake. I have Italian friends, Ojibwe friends, Cree friends  who have named their children after the Grandfather and the Grandmother, Uncle, Aunty and other family members.  Honouring someone is part of life. The sorry thing about honour is we may not recognize it. We can dishonour someone and dishonour our selves as easily as to honour someone. Honouring someone is honouring yourself.

For us, Indigenous folk we do believe in honour. It may seem we have lost our honouring ways but no it's still in our ways and our parents ways. We may be rough in some areas for sure but we do try. One of the ways we are showing honour is in how we address older folk as Auntie and Uncle. We also might be over board when it comes to the Honour Ceremonies and Honour Songs, which is a good thing. We are honouring our Ancestors by naming our Children with Traditional names. There is also the Naming Ceremony where people will seek a Spiritual Name for their child or themselves. The honour of giving a Spirit Name is given to an Elder. It is a two way street when Honour is involved. You honour the Elder by selecting them to name you or your child. The Elder should realize they have been honoured by you to think of them with such a significant act. They have become part of your or your child's experience. The name carried has now linked to the Elder. They should be aware of the enormity of this honour.

Honour is never really isolated. You carry it with you. I have had a difficult time writing about honour. Many times I have be dishonourable: violent, abusive, jealous, thoughtless, rude and not keeping my word. It is a constant on my mind and a source of regret. It can be the big things and also the not so big things which I think about. This spring I promised to make a copy of a Powwow CD and send it to a childhood friend living in another Reserve. The CD I was making a copy of was scratched and did not load fully into the computer. I didn't send the CD. It has been on my mind and I want to make good on my word. The honour of word is something we should all strive to keep. I have to make good on my word, to be Bushido (I don't know the Anishinaabe word) to have honour.  I want to be able to have a straight finger.

What are you doing to be able to say "On My Honour."

Friday, November 1, 2019

He Hits You, Dump Him.

Jealousy is not cute. Hollywood movies and sitcoms may portray the jealous boyfriend/girlfriend as being cute. "Ahhh you were jealous for me?"  My Mom used to scold about the "green monster." She was the recipient of some not so cute moments of jealousy so she had some experience. She used to warn us about how my Uncle was to our Aunty. No jealousy is not an indication that he loves you. It is a sign about how insecure we are as men so run away Women.

There are many little signs for you Women to watch out for. It starts very early on, when you are first becoming to know each other. He will say things like "I wish I knew you long ago." Why does he wish that? The experiences from your life make you who you are, so why would he want to negate that? Simple, he wants to be first, the first love, the first friend, he doesn't want you to have experienced relationship before you. He wants you all to himself. It will only become more and more pervasive as time goes on. He will say things like, "who you thinking of?" and "you still love him?".  In time it will become more harsher with him no liking how you do your makeup or have your hair styled. "Who you losing weight for?" It is crazy because the things which made you attractive to him are now his sense of dread. He doesn't like your friendly open mannerisms. He starts to hate it that you have friends. He will start with making remarks about your friends, saying "they are using you." The insecure man will be come angry, angry at you because he is jealous and doesn't feel good about himself. He will get mean, first with his words, "you were fucked before I fucked you." He will attack your house, break cups, punch walls and then he turns on you. He pushes you. He hits you. He chokes you. He puts you in the hospital. Finally he kills you.

It is easy to say, "Leave him." The fear of being alone, or the thought he will change, has people thinking there is light at the end of the tunnel. The man will be the man you want him to be, so you excuse his beahviour; "he didn't mean it, he was drunk, he is so kind when sober." Change is not an easy thing. Can an abusive man change? Maybe, there have been some who have. But not before there was much suffering by a Woman. In some cases the only reason a man is not beating you is because he is either in jail or he is dead.

A 3 year old boy was stabbed as he slept. He was stabbed in the neck and numerous times by a man who was abusive to the Mom. The boy suffered brain damage and was taken off life support. The story of what happened is one of abuse. The man had a restraining order and was not suppose to be in contact with the mother of the boy. He met up her a local bar, beat her and then he walked over to her home to stab the boy. The boy was not his son.

What I can only think is just how? How can anyone be so cruel?

What do we as a public do with our anger? How can we help the family? How can we do something tangible?  I say donate blood, take part in a rally, voice against domestic violence, call out men who are being abusive.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Anishinaabe Creation Story

The Anicinabe creation story is a long story. Elders and storytellers talk about the story, by talking about bits and pieces of the story. It takes a long time to hear the whole story because of the many teachings within it. This is a simplified story. It is a ceremonial story, the little boy teachings which are told in the sweat ceremony. This is being shared because it is sacred knowledge that belongs to the people. It is every community member’s right to hear this story. This is how the storyteller heard it. In the beginning, before creation, there was nothing. There was darkness: no universe, no planets. In the dark and emptiness, the Creator made space with the use of His she-she-gun (rattle). The Creator shook His rattle once very lightly and it barely made a sound because it was so faint. He paused, which was a great, great length of time. Then He shook it again, and this time it was a little bit louder. Again, He paused for a great amount of time. Then He shook His rattle again and this time it was a little bit louder. NA KA CHI-TOOK KE DO DA MANG 12 Again, an unimaginable amount of time passed before He shook it for the fourth time, which made a tremendous sound, an unimaginable sound. The sound was like millions and millions of multiplied rattles, it was so loud. From that time on, Creators’ rattle sparked lightening and issued forth the stars in the sky; filling the universe with the night sky, the moon, stars and planets. He sent forth the sacred fire, the sun. This was Creator’s way of setting the stage for existence. In order for life to exist in space, the Creator made thought, memory and knowledge to set the stage for existence. This is the Creator’s knowledge, kind loving being, giving, sharing, and a pure honest being. It is the Creator’s knowledge that gives us a way of existence. Creator’s knowledge is like the unfolding of a piece of paper. In the unfolding, there is duality of existence. The first opening created the positive and negative existence of life, which transcends to all fields of education. The paper was unfolded again and more and more of the Creator’s creations began. This went on for a tremendous amount of time. It is thought that the Creator’s knowledge is still unfolding to support and make life. He placed all His sacred rocks (planets) before Him. He looked upon His rocks and noticed Aki (Mother Earth). He took His tobacco and sent it to Mother Earth to ask her if He could place life upon her. Mother Earth was still very young and it took her time to accept the tobacco. Once she did, life started to grow upon her. Therefore, tobacco was the first plant to take root. It took a long time for the process of growth to become a full green garden upon Mother Earth. All the other plants descended from the stars and began to grow upon her and finally she was green and full of life. Then He began to place animal beings upon her, the great ancestors of the animals we know today. He went on to place penais-she-ok (birds) upon Mother Earth, and water to sustain all the plants, animals and birds. He finished creating all the animal beings and they prospered. Many nations of birds now lived upon Mother Earth. Again, this took a long time. One day, the Creator was sitting, admiring the beauty of Mother Earth and the life that she supports. He looked at the animals, plants and birds and how harmonious they were. He decided to make somebody to experience what he was looking at and to take care of His creation, Atum Anicinabe (first man). To set the stage and prepare the earth for the coming of Anicinabe, He sent down Nanaboozho (great teacher and messenger), to inform the beings and to ask them if they would help Anicinabe because he would be pitiful and much smaller than them. Nanaboozho, the bird and animal beings had a big meeting and sharing circle to find helpers for Anicinabe to survive, “Who among you will stand up for Anicinabe and help him live life? Who among you are willing to adjust your size so, Anicinabe can co-exist with you?” All the being presents spoke in the circle, with a willingness to adjust their enormous size for Anicinabe, they became smaller. Nanaboozho learned that most of the earth beings were willing to feed, give knowledge and support Anicinabe. He also learned that some of the beings had nothing to offer, by their enormous size and nature however, they agreed to leave so, Anicinabe could survive. All this took place close by here, where petro-forms are found. It took place to set the stage for the creation of Atum Anicinabe. Our Anicinabe Nation was created when the Creator took Aki (earth/mud) and divided it into four parts in the palm of His hand. He shaped a person, with a body, legs, arms and a head. In the center of the 13 being He placed a sacred ceremonial object, a megis (shell) and closed His hand. We were not called Anicinabe yet. He blew His breath into the palm of His hand. He blew it four times and He said, “A-ni-sha-nabe, I will lower Anicinabe to Aki, the garden”. The Anicinabe was lowered from the star world, where the Creator sits. On the way down, Anicinabe had to stop, because there were other creations above Aki. He had to get to know who the others were. On his way down, he stopped four times before he came upon Mother Earth. As he was being lowered, he could see a beautiful creation, Mother Earth. He stretched out his foot to try to reach the ground and finally he was able to touch it. He was set upon a plain of sweet-grass where Creator had placed him. He was Na-tum Anicinabe, the very first human. The Creator spoke to Anicinabe, “Go out and experience all the directions. Go out and touch, smell, feel and look at all of what I have created.” So Atum Anicinabe (first man), was given his first direction, to experience the world. Atum Anicinabe went great distances to the east, north, west and south observing, touching, smelling and experiencing the world. Atum Anicinabe was not empty but his knowledge of the world was very limited. As he travelled, he soaked up life and all the knowledge that had already been there for years. He travelled and he became more aware and bolder about life. Many of the beings that were on Mother Earth welcomed him and fed him knowledge and life. When Atum Anicinabe came back from his travels, he came to mountain ranges that were yellow, blue white and red in colour. He had finished this great journey. He had returned to where the Creator had placed him. The Creator asked him, “Do you like what I have created for you?” Atum Anicinabe said, “Yes, this is a truly beautiful place you have created for me. As I travelled, I noticed all the animals, plants, trees, and bird nations have partners and make more of their own kind. And, there is nobody like me, I’m the only one of my kind here.” The Creator made a partner for Anicinabe, and that partner was not yet male or female but still a spiritual being. The Creator told them, “Go out and experience.” So, they ventured out and learned great experiences on a sacred land where there was more of the Creator’s bundle. As they travelled, they learned that the Creator has an opposite being, a trickster. Trickster talked to the two while on the sacred land, “When you eat some of these berries and fruits on this sacred land, you will be like the Creator and you too will create wonderful beings.” Trickster continued to coax them to take from the sacred land. The Creator came to see Atum Anicinabek (more than one person) and told them not to take from the sacred land. Eventually, the trickster talked them into taking the berries and fruits from the sacred land. One of the sacred beings had a berry in the mouth and the other was holding a piece of fruit. The Creator came down and scolded the two for taking the berries and fruits. The Creator explained, “I asked you not to take these berries and fruits and for this, life is going to change for the both of you.” He said to one who swallowed the berry, “From this moment on, you will have the power to create.” That NA KA CHI-TOOK KE DO DA MANG 14 was the birth of woman. It is woman who is given the power to bring life, to create life. The other, became a scha-be (helper), a man to support life. From that moment on they became shy of one another. Anicinabek, began to cover themselves, to conceal their differences, for they were ashamed. They left the sacred land to live and discover one another upon Mother Earth. They settled and made camp. They had 10 children (five boys and five girls) and their roles changed. They had become the first parents. Anicinabek were sustained by the knowledge given to them by spirit, plants, trees, birds and animals; that knowledge carried them forward, supported them and their children. They brought up their children to live mino pamatiziwin (a good life). They were innocent and everything was innocent. The first parents groomed and clothed their children well, because of their shame. Time went by and the children grew up and became young adults and began to notice each other. The children were no longer playmates. Their parents observed that their children were looking at each other as possible partners. Atum Anicinabe (the first parents) became heavy-hearted by what they were noticing. There was nobody in the world for their children to partner with. They knew it would be wrong if their children became partners with each other, for this was not happening in the natural world. The Creator came down again and spoke to the first parents. “I see that something is troubling you, I will send your children a clan, a family. A bloodline for each of your children’s families. The bloodline will change and your children will be safe from this moment on.” It was then that the Creator placed the clans. The first four clans descended were pure white spiritual beings: bear, wolf, crane and turtle. Some of these beings were in the world and, some came from the stars. The beings made connections with the first children and had especially gifted and spiritual children, because they inherited a part of their spiritual parents. Examples of gifts and spirituality are noticeable in the crane’s incredible vision and ability to see far, not physical far but spiritually far. The wolf clan carries the gifts of humility and incredible honour within the family clan. The clan family’s gifts go on and on. Upon the descent of the clans, life for Anicinabe became tremendously spiritual and the people were gifted. Life was good and flourishing. The people were still spiritual beings, meaning they could communicate with the animal, bird, and plant beings. They grew into humans, nations and our clans. The clan law did more for the families - it formed our governments. The Creator called it a clan law. From the first Anicinabe, he said, “The passage of clan will follow the father. No clan can partner with the same clan because it makes us sisters and brothers. The clan will keep you safe as long as you stay within the law.” The clan system is a natural law and prevails for our people. “Always know your clan before you partner with someone. Do not partner within your clan family: your sister or your brother. You must know your clan teachings, your colours, how to honour, feast and make offerings to your clan; for you are feasting your ancestors, the first parents and the spirituality they gave to you.” 15 For Anicinabe-speaking Nations across Turtle Island, the Creator lowered 10 original clans for families to live. In our area, including Sagkeeng, Anicinabek were given 7 clans for life. The Creator stopped after he lowered 44 clans for the world. He looked upon the people and knew they would be safe from the original problem of interbreeding. He had stopped that from happening. The Creator’s law is not just for the past. It is still talked about today. It is valid and current.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

No One Is Perfect

You make a really bad mistake so your friend says to you, "it's okay no one is perfect." You cheat on your spouse and when they confront you for your indiscretion, you say "no one is perfect." I guess it is true no one is perfect. Based on many beliefs throughout the world there is only one who is perfect, God, the Creator.  So if there can be no perfection in people, why don't we just accept it? Why try to be as good and perfect as we can be? We are destined or doomed to fail, right? Still we try and do the best we can in most cases. We try to be "our Brother's keeper, the good neighbour," despite our shortcomings.

Trouble is the "I'm not perfect" answer is more of an excuse rather than truth; the ultimate Get Out of Jail Free card. There is no doubt we make mistakes and will continue to make mistakes or perhaps it is not a mistake. There are some decisions and actions we do knowing full well the impact it has and will have. There are some mistakes we make with no thought of how it affects others or how it will affect us as well.

The Prime Minister of Canada has been found to be a fan of Black Face (and Brown Face). In his youth, he dressed up with full Black Face, and also as an ethnic character. The act is a very disrespectful act, no question. The discussion now focuses on the mistake; is it long time ago and didn't know better, or is still relevant to today? Many voices are saying it was long ago and we all make mistakes and now we know better. The Prime Minister gave an apology and many have accepted his apology. I think an apology is a good place for a start in any situation. Still there are those who feel hurt and even betrayed by the actions.

There are some "mistakes" that may not seem big but still the consequences are felt somewhere and by someone: The Priest who betrays the trust of the community, the Traditional Elder who falls short on living with The Teachings, the Teacher who hits the child, the Organizer who steals funds, the friend who no longer keeps your secret. The aftermath of a mistake can be an irritant or it can be agonizing.

There is the thing, when do we accept if it was mistake and enough time has past that we can move forward (what ever moving forward means)?  There are some actions which may seem unforgivable;  a 16 year old boy killed himself over the bullying actions of his school friends.  Some mistakes have horrible consequences while some mistakes may not be as tragic. In England there was a mistake so ugly and horrible it shocked the world. In 1993 two young boys murdered a small child in a horrific manner. It was the case of 10 year olds who took a 2 year old and tortured him to death.  The story is beyond tragic and the aftermath unimaginable.  The 10 year old boys were sentenced and served 8 years where they were released with new identities after serving the time.  There are many instances where the actions can not be labeled as mistakes.

Not being perfect is a truth we live with, but it is not an open door to being a jerk, an arsehole or a monster. Much of the mistakes we encounter are the small kind. Not the horrors we read about or see on the television. Nope, it's your friend who takes your kindness for granted. The person who says I'll meet up with you but stands you up. It's forgetting your spouse's birthday and not feeling bad over it. It is spanking your child in a fit of frustration but yet have no words of apology for the spanking. It the friend who doesn't have the courtesy to answer your texts to visit and has no care of how it makes you feel.  It is the daily little hurts we inflict on others.

So yes, we all make mistakes and no one is perfect. Still we can never use it as an excuse to abandon thoughtfulness.  There is a price to pay for what we do wrong. We may lose a friend for our lack of kindness and thoughtfulness. So what do we do to accept we are not perfect but not an arsehole? We can try and live the next day better than when we made the mistake. If we kill someone, (maybe by accident) we live a better life making sure to atone. If we still act the same way and live the same way after we have made a mistake or made a choice which done harm, then we truly are the Arsehole.  I like to think we are better than that, we are capable of being mindful and thoughtfulness.

There is a road, no simple highway
Between the dawn and the dark of night
And if you go no one may follow
That path is for your steps alone

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

I Drunk Your Wine

Not wanting to invite conflict but it seems we are destined for trouble.

Regret is a sore which never heals. At night I sit and listen to songs on the youtube channels. It is here regret, sorrow, loneliness, longing, hurt and guilt enter my heart and body. My eyes hurt and there is a pain over them. It is damaging to keep the hurt but how in the heck do you extinguish it?

We all know regret. We all know hurt. We all know loss.

Punishment By Naming The Faceless

I remember the Oka "Crisis" of 1990. Many of us Indian folk would not be in Quebec for the attacks by the Military on Mohawks ove...