Posts tagged ‘Learning from the elders’
30 April 2017
I asked for a dream before going to sleep last night, a dream that would help me to solve a problem, answer a question I had. In the ways in which I was raised, dreams were just one of multiple ways of learning, ways of knowing.
Unlike mainstream Western culture, which tends to limit ‘knowing’ to what is categorized as ‘rational,’ indigenous cultures across the globe recognize multiple sources of knowledge an individual or community possess and can access, including traditional wisdom, dreaming, land knowing, symbols and images, shared knowledge through connectivity, and story, among others.
Make art about ways of knowing.
4 March 2017
In many cultures, the teaching of heritage and cultural practices is carried out by members of the extended family, grandparents, aunts, and uncles. In certain cultures, this relationship and teaching is formally recognized, and in cultures with matrilineal descent is referred to as the avunculate, sometimes called avunculism or avuncularism, a social institution where a special relationship exists between an uncle and his sisters’ children. Several Native American tribes practice a form of this, where the uncle is responsible for teaching the children social values and proper behavior while inheritance and ancestry is reckoned through the mother’s family alone. Modern day influences have somewhat but not completely erased this tradition.
Thinking on this especially today, as I watch my sons interact with their sister’s baby son, my GrandPerson Max <3. Thinking on it too, as it’s the weekend of my lovely daughter’s birthday, and my own brother, Bill, now gone on to the next life, was present and there for her literally from the moment she first drew breath. He remained a constant source of Love and education for all of my kids until he left us. My daughter Lia couldn’t say ‘Uncle Bill’ when she was small; it came out ‘Opie Gill.’ So now her brothers are not just ‘Uncles’ to her son, but ‘Opies.” Important job they have ❤ And I have no doubt they’ll honor it well.
Make art about extended family, about aunts, or uncles, about those elders from whom we learn our culture.
5 March 2017
Spent the day with my sons, two wise and funny young men. The two things that impress me about both of them are: 1) their shared sense of honor, and 2) their shared insatiable curiosity. They are both always–always–learning something new, or seeking to learn something new, or thinking about how they can learn something new.
Make art about learning, about loving to learn, about the magic and mystery of curiosity.
22 November 2016
Make art about leadership, about the qualities of leadership, about the responsibilities of a leader.
I grew up in Hurricane Alley, eastern North Carolina, so the preparation for these big storms is something I learned early. Hurricane Matthew has ripped through Haiti, and is on his way to the US East Coast. All my provisions are laid in, flashlights and emergency equipment in place and ready, and I’ve battened down as much as I can. But sometimes Mama Nature’s just too big and unpredictable for any kind of preparation.
Make art about preparing the best you can.
Thinking a lot today about all the ways people find their way to, or demonstrate faith. Took me immediately to one of my top three favorite songs, The Mountain, by Dave Carter and Tracy Grammer.
Excerpted Lyrics by Dave Carter
Some build temples and some find altars,
some come in tall hats and robes spun fine.
Some in rags, some in gemstone halters,
some push the pegs back in line.
I see the mountain, the mountain comes to me,
I see the mountain and that is all I see.
Make art about temples or altars or shrines, faith in some unexpected way.
Road Angel Andrea at Walmart today told me about her grandmama teaching her to sew, first by making curtains, long straight hems, she said, over and over again, summer curtains, winter curtains with their heavy lining. She said her grandmama was patient but tough, making her tear out crooked stitches, and try again til she got it right. “I learned to take my time,” she said. “I learned to take my time, look ahead of the foot, and how a pair of curtains can make all the difference in a room.”
Make art about curtains. Or about what you learned from an elder.
We’re now less than $200 away from making this dream of attending the retreat with The International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers in August. I can’t even find the words to express how grateful I am to all of you, for giving, for sharing, for reading.
Meet the Grandmothers here in this video, and you’ll understand why attending this retreat would be truly the dream of a lifetime.
“Ours is an alliance of Prayer, Education, and Healing, for our Mother Earth,and her inhabitants, for all of the children, and for the seven generations to come….TIme is short…Time is calling us.”
Celebrating the wisdom of women, in hope and prayer that it will save us all ❤
Please visit my GoFundMe campaign here:
Thank you in advance for reading, and sharing!
Surrounding you all in Light and Love and Prayer and Joy ❤ and Gratitude, always Gratitude ❤