On Saturday night, quite late, I got back with the spring break group (doing service work and learning about Lakota life on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota); since then I've been walking around somewhat zombie-like. I'm too tired to write a coherent, flowing post, but I have a lot of scattered thoughts that I want to share... so here goes.
Something I like: it was still light out at 7 p.m. tonight.
Something I don't like: we're getting up in the morning in the dark. Again.
Even worse: In addition to losing time to Daylight Saving, I lost another hour driving from Illinois to Indiana, so I feel like I'm jet lagged. To the point of feeling ill. Yuck.
Something I like: pictures of the prairie, apparently. I have a ton of them. To add to the ton I have taken every other time I've gone out there. It's just so amazingly beautiful!
(These were all taken from the van at various points in the trip... You can see that the weather got warmer as our "going home" day approached. Dang.)
Something I don't like: Ohio, in addition to being dreary and grey, seems to have a lot of homework in it. Hm.
Something I like: taking students out to one of my favorite places on earth, especially when those students are ready to learn and engage with what they find there.
Something I don't like: when it's time to leave.
Something I LOVE: when the students love it, too.
Something I like: playing hand games.
Something I find troubling: even though it's the third time I've been taught, I still am not good at this game.
Something I really don't like: not being able to understand the scoring rules. STILL. Perhaps the universe is trying to remind me of what it feels like to be a beginner...
Something I love: hearing this group talk SMACK during our games. It was hilarious!
(Can you see Caroline making the call in this pic? Despite the serious faces, there was a lot of laughter and fun that night! Gabby was a great teacher...)
Something I love: the Heritage Center at Sinte Gleska University and the museum at St. Francis, both full of treasures of Lakota art.
Something that's even more awesome: having Steve explain the significance of the designs, materials, and construction of the pieces to us.
(This is a beaded talking stick with winter count images on it. Beautiful, and a new way to think about Lakota writing... You can see a photograph of Sinte Gleska (Spotted Tail) in the background.)
(I took this picture of the duck flute for Dexter... You can also see a tinpsila braid on the left.)
(A painted buffalo hide. It was so big I couldn't really get it all in the picture, even from about 10 feet away! The shapes represent what the spirits would see if they looked at the chief who wore it from above--his bonnet of feathers denoting the honor and trust bestowed on him by his people.)
Something I like: being in a room full of people who, inspired by those works of art, that evening learn how to make tiny moccasins.
(I was so proud of the way that everybody tried--in some cases in spite of never having sewn a stitch!)
Something I'm very grateful for: that Steve and Gabby and C.J. were so patient with us and willing to teach us and share their culture with us. What an amazing gift!
Something else I like: people so excited about making dream catchers that they buy supplies at the bookstore on the way out of town and make them in the van. Inspiring!
(Alyse used embroidery floss in the colors of the four directions and made a kind of medicine wheel dream catcher. Cool!)
Something I like: seeing the moon above lodge (tipi) poles.
(Can you see it there? on the right?)
Something I like: seeing the Missouri River. When I cross over it, I know I'm in the land I love.
Something I like: traveling in a flock, each of us contributing to the group effort.
It was really a great trip. I feel very lucky to have been a part of this group!
I hope you feel a sense of belonging today.