Virtual Reality … and My Big Toe

VISIT:  My Big Toe

I listened to a fascinating interview with Thomas Campbell.  Quantum Physics can really help us make sense of these times…  Campbell is one of the great voices on the relationship between the physics of reality and the journey toward a richly conscious soul.  I have never heard of him before. (YouTube has lots of his talks.)

I feel so much better – WHEW!  We are here to be KIND and LOVE… (truly we are all related as souls) AND we CAN do this… LT

 

What Do You Know?

1. ____________ account for 52 percent of all internet traffic.

2. Schools with high levels of poverty are ____________ times less likely to perform highly than low-poverty ones.

3. In a 2014 study that covered 15 years of elections, researchers found 31 instances of voter impersonation out of ____________ total votes.

 

Answers: Bots, 22, 1 billion

and check this out:

How do contemporary artists deal with concepts of the future? Here, a national survey of 10 fascinating practices in Canada.

READ: 10 Canadian Artists with Forward-Thinking Practices

Music is Medicine | My Crazy Love for Rayon

beaded hummingbirds (1) rayon (2)By Lara Trace (former singer, keyboardist)

I don’t want you to think I’m dwelling on bad stuff all the time.  ME?  Heck NO!  I am a positively goofy “yellow bird” (a nickname) around out here in western MA… (But I do have bad days like everyone of you, of course.)

This got me to thinking about what REALLY makes me REALLY happily nostalgic.

Fabric? Music?  Music, definitely. Fabric is a close second. (Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.)

Years ago I had a conversation in Seattle with a musician who told me, “music is medicine.” He even had a small record label by that name.  Oprah spoke of Maxi Priest and his music is medicine HERE.

Music was my focus and life in my teens and 20s.  I was a professional rock musician. It was more than a career. It was a calling… (and the weird thing is I am not finding any people in my first family who had musical talent but my adoptive parents were both talented musicians.)

music is the artIn May I wrote this about cleaning my closet: what happens when I touch old band clothes.

I made my own microphone. The picnic table was the stage.
Age 5, I made my own microphone. The picnic table was the stage.

WHO I WAS: The Dress

I don’t know about you but when I clean my closet, I do feel much better (brain wise). I put away coats, sweaters, knits and switch them out for crisp linen and cool cotton summer stuff.

I’d kept quite a few “vintage” dresses from my rock band days, which was in my 20s, eons ago.  They are like a scrapbook of fabrics (yet I don’t sew a lick!)

Why do I keep them?   …these are many many good reasons…

First, I am from a family of dressy women. My adoptive mom Edie wore evening gowns! I can’t even imagine a holiday dinner when she and I (and guests) weren’t dressing up.  When I left home at age 17 I had little money to buy like her but I did collect a mix of vintage rayon, satin, silk and retro velvet.

Second, when you are in a rock band, you barely make rent money. Wearing unusual band clothes was a “fitting” thing to do… especially if you are female.  Fitting is my way of telling you it was very hard for me to afford tailoring.  The rock bands I joined had no budget, seamstresses, or dress codes. When I started in the late 70s, there were a tiny handful of female singers.  (Hint: Linda Ronstadt was one. Heart came along eventually.))

Third, most of these dresses were found in thrift stores yet they are probably the most precious creations I could own or wear.  One vintage 1940s black rayon midi-length has two beaded hummingbirds (see PHOTOS).  I also wore this to work in Seattle, I wore it to nightclubs, I wore it on a cruise. It is still lovely but I did a crappy job hemming it years ago…I found a tiny hole in the bottom of the dress. (No tag inside means it must have been handmade.)

Fourth, mainly it’s the feel of fabric and touching recreates memory for me. (Sometimes I think being adopted did cause me some brain damage and trapped some memory in fog.) (I’ve kept some old tshirts from my travels too; some are from bands, of course.)

I think of band clothes as body armor; in a way these simple clothes create an illusion that isn’t there.  Black leather pants — and what do you think?

Some of my rock band clothes were gifted.  One blue velvet dress was given to me in college by a classmate (the mother of Wendy who I knew somewhat in high school). Her mom wanted me to have this family heirloom and of course I did wear it often.  (I do wonder if Wendy knew about this?)

There is even a pink quilted bed jacket my mom gave me.  No, I have not worn it.  When did the bed jacket thing get popular? I think women in the 1930s and 40s had much better “taste” than we do now.  (I’ll admit I’ve a taste for kitschy colorful table linens, too.)

The rayon green print wrap dress was found in an abandoned house in Wisconsin (my friend’s grandmother lived there and was deceased)(top photo of dresses) (I scooped up a black fur coat, too.) That green number was what I was wearing when I met Blackfoot. (You will have to read my memoir One Small Sacrifice to know that rock and roll saga). I also wore it when I sang in Automatic and then Tropic Zone in Minneapolis.

I didn’t give up on music; my first marriage killed it for me.

Maybe these dresses hold the music in me, the music of the 70s and early 80s.

Christmas 1972
Christmas 1972

And I still have the burgundy velvet mini dress with gold brocade from 9th grade that caused a major rift between my adoptive parents (mostly on how much it cost.) (Photo: Christmas 1972, there’s that velvet dress again.)

At age 23, I lived in New York City and coveted designer samples like angora sweaters. I even modelled shoes for Claudio Rocco, a high end designer from Italy. I modelled as much as I could, since it was huge money for a starving singer.  I am still racking my brain for where I bought a raw silk off-white  full skirt (see photo below) and matching buttonless Nehru jacket that I wore for decades! “Raw silk” even sounds good when you say it. (I think the clothing brand was Espresso.)

The raw silk skirt I loved when I was modelling
The raw silk skirt I loved when I was modelling

I don’t sing professionally anymore. I don’t even like to be in public that often.  (FYI: I was a chameleon of hair color.)  Today I’m salt and pepper grey. I don’t look for vintage dresses anymore.  Where would I wear them?

But these very old dresses do remind me of who I was.

My dresses also represent beauty to me.

And I am still “her” in many ways.

 

p.s. This blog usually focuses on the serious.  I wanted you to know I have a wacky silly side, too. xox

Read Requiem for THE YELLOW SUIT

************************

Manus x Machina at MMOA

❤ READ: The Evolution of Dressmaking HERE

********

Music is medicine.  (Enjoy some of my music memories) It’s like taking a summer road trip with me! What’s your favorite?

 

 

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I'm reading: Native American Cultural Appropriation Is a War of Meaning | Sioux Chef | Woven Tale Press | Mr. Hornaday’s War | Rape Culture

You may want to read them. I did! xox Lara Trace

FACE?

Such is the case with FACE, an F.B.I. program described in a new, blistering report from the United States Government Accountability Office. FACE stands for Facial Analysis, Comparison, and Evaluation, the name of a relatively new unit within the agency. The G.A.O. found that the F.B.I. has been disregarding some of even the most basic privacy protections and standards. Keep Reading

 

Appropriation?

Excerpt:

In Indian country, there is a saying that being Indian is not about what you claim, but who claims you.

Dan Snyder’s grandstanding about the offensive team name is a joke that would be funny if it weren’t so serious for what it means to U.S. American national culture and how it contributes to the common misunderstandings of average Americans. In our upcoming book, “All the Real Indians Died Off” and 20 Other Myths about Native Americans, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz and I devote two entire chapters to the controversies surrounding appropriation of Native American cultures.  We discuss the Washington Redsk*ns team name in depth and the broader topic of Native American team mascots in one chapter, and in another we tackle other facets of appropriation including Halloween costumes, spirituality, and identity.  Look for the book’s release this October. (TOP PHOTO)

About the Author 

image from www.beaconbroadside.comDina Gilio-Whitaker (Colville Confederated Tribes) is an independent writer and researcher in Indigenous studies, having earned a bachelor’s degree in Native American Studies and a master’s degree in American Studies from the University of New Mexico, and also holds the position of research associate and associate scholar at the Center for World Indigenous Studies. Her work focuses on issues related to Indigenous nationalism, self-determination, and environmental justice, and more recently the emerging field of critical surf studies. She is a co-author (with Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz) of the forthcoming book from ‘All the Real Indians Died Off’ and 20 Other Myths about Native Americans. An award-winning journalist, she is a frequent contributor to Indian Country Today Media Network and Native Peoples Magazine. Follow her on Twitter at @DinaGWhit and visit her website.

via Native American Cultural Appropriation Is a War of Meaning – Beacon Broadside: A Project of Beacon Press

 

************

Creative and Tasty Lakota Food?? HECK YEAH!

Sean Sherman, who opened a business called The Sioux Chef this fall, is an enrolled member of the Oglala Lakota tribe and grew up on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.

 

READ THIS INTERVIEW

 

 

 

***************

Art, Coffee, Tea and Blogs

Woven Tale Press: Art, Coffee, Tea and Blogs

After coming across this first link from the Google Cultural Institute, I thought I’d take a look at some interesting art this time.

https://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/project/art-camera

The ultra definition in these works is incredible. Working with museums around the world, Google has used its Art Camera system to capture the finest details of artworks from their collection.


Next up is a unique way to work with color. And if you have the money, yeah I know I’m talking to artists, go here. If not enjoy the link

James Turrell Allowing Limited Visitors to Roden Crater for $6,500 a Person


This past month I was sidelined from working for awhile so I had the time to explore and download a new library of art catalogs. Create your own library from this extensive list.

http://www.openculture.com/2015/03/download-422-free-art-books-from-the-metropolitan-museum-of-art.html


This article is a bit older but the voices in it are more than worth listening to. so enjoy what women artists have to say across a number of generations.

Women in the Art World


Mr. Hornaday’s War: The Return of the Buffalo

…But Hornaday, always quirky, difficult, and relentlessly persistent, did not stop there. He’d always been a man who loved a good fight (he even fought with his friends), so he went to war on behalf of the bison. As time went on, Hornaday became one of the noisiest, angriest, and most unstoppable conservationists of his day, second only to his friend and colleague Theodore Roosevelt. He was the founder of the National Zoo in Washington, and for thirty years served as director of the Bronx Zoo—sorry, he hated that name, insisting on “The New York Zoological Park”—a soapbox from which he lectured, cajoled, lambasted, and wheedled the American public, the Congress, and anybody else who would listen about the alarming state of the “the grandest quadruped [he had] ever seen.” He also initiated captive breeding programs at the zoo, to see if it were possible, first, and if so, to rebuild the perilously depleted population. With Roosevelt, Hornaday created the American Bison Society, dedicated to bison conservation. And he began fighting to create wild reserves in the west, to give the buffalo a place to roam should their numbers recover.

In his “spare time,” Hornaday also wrote a raft of books about zoology and conservation, fought lax game laws and gun manufacturers, and became a major player in the “Plume Wars” against feathered hat dealers, who were ravaging rookeries in the Everglades and other wild places. He was a vigilante for justice for the animals, a political agitator for the natural world, a man who never knew how to keep quiet in the face of what he considered to be a monstrous crime in progress.  Keep Reading

***

RAPE CULTURE – I have no words to add… read this…

For most of human history, women and children have been treated as possessions of men—as economic assets, trophies, slave labor, and objects of sexual gratification—rather than full persons with preferences and rights, starting with control of our own bodies. This view is so deeply embedded in culture that the concept of sexual consent is wholly absent from the Bible, which continues to profoundly shape modern culture. In Bible texts, virgin females are given in marriage by their fathers, traded as slaves, kept as war booty, and sold as damaged goods to men who have raped them.  The Quran is no better.  This month, Pakistan’s Council of Islamic Ideology proposed legislation giving men the legal right to beat their wives “lightly,” as taught by the Prophet.  A teen who turned down a marriage proposal was tortured and then burned alive by the family of the rejected man, who felt entitled to her. KEEP READING

**********

That’s what I’m reading and processing. How about you?

Stolen Generations is here

See you next week… Lara/Trace

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I’m reading: Native American Cultural Appropriation Is a War of Meaning | Sioux Chef | Woven Tale Press | Mr. Hornaday’s War | Rape Culture

You may want to read them. I did! xox Lara Trace

FACE?

Such is the case with FACE, an F.B.I. program described in a new, blistering report from the United States Government Accountability Office. FACE stands for Facial Analysis, Comparison, and Evaluation, the name of a relatively new unit within the agency. The G.A.O. found that the F.B.I. has been disregarding some of even the most basic privacy protections and standards. Keep Reading

 

Appropriation?

Excerpt:

In Indian country, there is a saying that being Indian is not about what you claim, but who claims you.

Dan Snyder’s grandstanding about the offensive team name is a joke that would be funny if it weren’t so serious for what it means to U.S. American national culture and how it contributes to the common misunderstandings of average Americans. In our upcoming book, “All the Real Indians Died Off” and 20 Other Myths about Native Americans, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz and I devote two entire chapters to the controversies surrounding appropriation of Native American cultures.  We discuss the Washington Redsk*ns team name in depth and the broader topic of Native American team mascots in one chapter, and in another we tackle other facets of appropriation including Halloween costumes, spirituality, and identity.  Look for the book’s release this October. (TOP PHOTO)

About the Author 

image from www.beaconbroadside.comDina Gilio-Whitaker (Colville Confederated Tribes) is an independent writer and researcher in Indigenous studies, having earned a bachelor’s degree in Native American Studies and a master’s degree in American Studies from the University of New Mexico, and also holds the position of research associate and associate scholar at the Center for World Indigenous Studies. Her work focuses on issues related to Indigenous nationalism, self-determination, and environmental justice, and more recently the emerging field of critical surf studies. She is a co-author (with Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz) of the forthcoming book from ‘All the Real Indians Died Off’ and 20 Other Myths about Native Americans. An award-winning journalist, she is a frequent contributor to Indian Country Today Media Network and Native Peoples Magazine. Follow her on Twitter at @DinaGWhit and visit her website.

via Native American Cultural Appropriation Is a War of Meaning – Beacon Broadside: A Project of Beacon Press

 

************

Creative and Tasty Lakota Food?? HECK YEAH!

Sean Sherman, who opened a business called The Sioux Chef this fall, is an enrolled member of the Oglala Lakota tribe and grew up on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.

 

READ THIS INTERVIEW

 

 

 

***************

Art, Coffee, Tea and Blogs

Woven Tale Press: Art, Coffee, Tea and Blogs

After coming across this first link from the Google Cultural Institute, I thought I’d take a look at some interesting art this time.

https://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/project/art-camera

The ultra definition in these works is incredible. Working with museums around the world, Google has used its Art Camera system to capture the finest details of artworks from their collection.


Next up is a unique way to work with color. And if you have the money, yeah I know I’m talking to artists, go here. If not enjoy the link

James Turrell Allowing Limited Visitors to Roden Crater for $6,500 a Person


This past month I was sidelined from working for awhile so I had the time to explore and download a new library of art catalogs. Create your own library from this extensive list.

http://www.openculture.com/2015/03/download-422-free-art-books-from-the-metropolitan-museum-of-art.html


This article is a bit older but the voices in it are more than worth listening to. so enjoy what women artists have to say across a number of generations.

Women in the Art World


Mr. Hornaday’s War: The Return of the Buffalo

…But Hornaday, always quirky, difficult, and relentlessly persistent, did not stop there. He’d always been a man who loved a good fight (he even fought with his friends), so he went to war on behalf of the bison. As time went on, Hornaday became one of the noisiest, angriest, and most unstoppable conservationists of his day, second only to his friend and colleague Theodore Roosevelt. He was the founder of the National Zoo in Washington, and for thirty years served as director of the Bronx Zoo—sorry, he hated that name, insisting on “The New York Zoological Park”—a soapbox from which he lectured, cajoled, lambasted, and wheedled the American public, the Congress, and anybody else who would listen about the alarming state of the “the grandest quadruped [he had] ever seen.” He also initiated captive breeding programs at the zoo, to see if it were possible, first, and if so, to rebuild the perilously depleted population. With Roosevelt, Hornaday created the American Bison Society, dedicated to bison conservation. And he began fighting to create wild reserves in the west, to give the buffalo a place to roam should their numbers recover.

In his “spare time,” Hornaday also wrote a raft of books about zoology and conservation, fought lax game laws and gun manufacturers, and became a major player in the “Plume Wars” against feathered hat dealers, who were ravaging rookeries in the Everglades and other wild places. He was a vigilante for justice for the animals, a political agitator for the natural world, a man who never knew how to keep quiet in the face of what he considered to be a monstrous crime in progress.  Keep Reading

***

RAPE CULTURE – I have no words to add… read this…

For most of human history, women and children have been treated as possessions of men—as economic assets, trophies, slave labor, and objects of sexual gratification—rather than full persons with preferences and rights, starting with control of our own bodies. This view is so deeply embedded in culture that the concept of sexual consent is wholly absent from the Bible, which continues to profoundly shape modern culture. In Bible texts, virgin females are given in marriage by their fathers, traded as slaves, kept as war booty, and sold as damaged goods to men who have raped them.  The Quran is no better.  This month, Pakistan’s Council of Islamic Ideology proposed legislation giving men the legal right to beat their wives “lightly,” as taught by the Prophet.  A teen who turned down a marriage proposal was tortured and then burned alive by the family of the rejected man, who felt entitled to her. KEEP READING

**********

That’s what I’m reading and processing. How about you?

Stolen Generations is here

See you next week… Lara/Trace

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Star Stories of the Dreaming

 

By Lara Trace

Our relatives down under have stories very much like our tribal relatives in North America tell about creation and our descent from the stars. We share the idea that we are all connected and related.  The Lakota say “Mitakuye Oyasin” which means we are all related. If you stop and think about this, it’s everyone. Not just a certain skin or tribe or human. And it includes every blade of grass, every bird, every animal, every insect, every mountain, every drop of water. In other words, everything.

If more of us understood and embraced this idea – a greater respect and reverence would happen for all living things on Turtle Island, Mother Earth.

Our mother is below our feet but we come from the stars.  Breath in the Beauty of this idea every day, please.

About Star Stories

STAR STORIES of THE DREAMING documentary now showing

When the ancient wisdoms of the universe held by the oldest culture on earth meet modern astrophysics a new concept is born – cultural astronomy.

Increasingly Aboriginal people in Australia are being recognised as the first astronomers.

In the meeting of minds between Prof. Ray Norris, CSIRO astrophysicist project leader of the Evolutionary Mapping of the Universe (EMU) and Ghillar extraordinary parallels emerge in the two cultures – such as ‘wormholes’ and the pathway to Bullima, the Euahlayi Sky Camp, via the hollow Coolabah tree.

In Star Stories of The Dreaming Ghillar Michael Anderson shares publicly for the first time teachings passed to him as the knowledge holder for his People, the Euahlayi.

Star Stories of The Dreaming includes the Euahlayi Stories for:

▪ Wurrum-boorrool – Big river in the sky (Milky Way)

▪ Mil-Mulliyan – Eye of the Creator – Venus – Evening star

▪ Mulliyan-gar – Eye of the Creator – Morning Star – Mars

▪ Goolee-bhar – Coolabah tree hollow, way to Bullima, the Sky Camp – Coalsack Dark nebula

▪ Moo-dthe-gar – White cockatoos – 5 Stars of Southern Cross

▪ Goomar-why – Sacred Fire near coolibah tree– Alpha Centauri Pointer of Southern Cross

▪ Wunnargudjilwon – 3rd wife of Bhiaime – Large Magellanic Cloud

▪ Wullar-gooran-bhoon – Younger brother to Wunnargudjilwon – Small Magellanic Cloud

▪ Birringooloo – Mother Nature – Uluru her resting place

▪ Gunumbielie – 2nd wife of Bhiaime, Caterer who now lives at Goomar-why, Sacred Fire

▪ Gwaimudthun & Gweeghular – Night & Day– Dark & Light – moieties – 19 mile plain, Brewarrina

▪ Garwaar-ghoo – Featherless Emu – Dark nebulae in Milky Way, Dust lanes and Galactic bulge

▪ Bahloo – Moon, Waan – crow; Oolah – wood geckco

▪ Yhi – sun

▪ Mei Mei – Seven Sisters – Pleiades – Narran Lake and surrounding lakes; Bigoon – water rat; Gayadharri – platypus, Ghay-gharn – wood duck

▪ Birray Birray – Brothers – Orion’s Belt

▪ Womba Womba yiraay – Crazy Old Man at his camp – Aldebran

▪ Wirrawilbaarru – Whirly wind – Bad spirit travels inside whirlywind – lives behind Scorpio and entry in and out is through black holes in Scorpio;

▪ Buuliis – baldy mounds

▪ Star maps/astral navigational waypoints – two chains of waterholes – Beta Sagittarii to Gamma Arae; Beta Sagittarii to Zeta Scorpii

These are phonetic spellings of Euahlayi words

Euahlayi Astronomy parallels with Einstein’s space-time theory

Ghillar Michael Anderson shares the Stories of the universe that can be told publicly. He has been doing this though oral presentations and now for a broader audience in the recently premiered film ‘Star Stories of The Dreaming’. In these Star Stories he has revealed ancient Stories of the stars, the Blackholes and the creation of the natural world that we all now belong to. Very recently Western scientific research has now confirmed these very ancient Stories about the Aboriginal world of Creation. The ancient Stories go much deeper than what science has delivered so far.

 

A team of scientists have announced that they had heard and recorded the sound of two black holes colliding a billion light-years away, a fleeting chirp that fulfilled the last prediction of Einstein’s general theory of relativity – New York Times. Read More

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

A few years ago MariJo Moore and I collected stories for the book Unraveling the Spreading Cloth of Time: Indigenous Thoughts Concerning the Universe. Even the title evokes this idea we are all interconnected and western science and Native philosophy can and do connect.

You can read a preview here: LINK

Read more about this book.

Here is one of my favorites from Unravelling:

AMONG THE STARS

by MariJo Moore

Various Mayan elders have encouraged their people to go to the sacred sites and perform rituals in order to “take in the knowledge of the sun.” By doing this, the Maya hope to understand what they have in their memories and use this knowledge to wake up society as to the environmental damage being wrought on earth.

Some Hopi elders have said that if just one person continues to practice traditional ways, there is hope that the energies deeply entwined in the universe will continue balancing. I am determined to remain positive and believe there are those who do want to stop the senseless abuse and neglect of others and this planet. For those who let material gain and greed rule their lives, perhaps something will cause a great change in their patterns of thought. After all, time is definitely a circle that guarantees what goes around comes around.

 

When all secret thoughts of the universe are known, life will begin again.

When dark waters breathe into the bluing mouth of the sky,

when all that sprouts from the blazing core is singed in harmonious change,

when masculine and feminine energies are equally accepted,

when time crawls inside itself, exposing eternal existence,

then all shall know there is, always has been, everlastingly will be

a Sacred Place where spirits gather to pray for all in all.

 

Let us become consciously, ceremoniously grateful.

On rethinking Lebanese origins #adoption #DNA

Daniel writes:

I’ve said it often, but it bears repeating: Every day I think I’ve reached the bottom of the abyss in terms of what adoption represents; every day that abyss opens up, and I find myself in freefall yet again.

…Our DNA, along with pure reason and logic, points in a direction antipodal to that of “nation-state” and “national identity”. If we think about it for two seconds, we can readily admit the offense of identifying with those who wanted to be rid of us. This is the flip side of the racism we might be fleeing from our places of acculturation; but it is no more valid for seeming to validate us. As hard as this might be for us to do, it seems now vital to me that we shed the very thing we might hold most dear as we consider return and reunion.

Source: On rethinking Lebanese origins.

 

Read an earlier review I did with Daniel here

 

Daniel and I contributed to the anthology Adoptionland

The Real Story: Geronimo’s Captivity In Pensacola

We just watched the movie Geronimo with Wes Studi. Then this story appears. Synchronicity, of course. I’ll be back soon…

RED POWER MEDIA

FortPickens2featured Fort Pickens

By Drew Buchanan | The Pulse, Oct 19, 2015

On the morning of October 25, 1886 a train pulled into the bustling maritime city of Pensacola. Onboard were 16 Apache warriors, but unlike many who visit here today, these men were not here by choice. They had been hunted down, captured and dragged against their will by the U.S. government to one of the nation’s most battle-hardened military fortresses — Fort Pickens — and locked behind bars.

This is a lesser-known chapter in American history that is often glanced over, or even skipped entirely in school textbooks. Over the past century, Hollywood and television have portrayed Native Americans as savages and propagated harmful stereotypes of their culture. But this detriment of an entire people didn’t begin in Hollywood or on T.V. It had its roots in reality.

129 years ago this week, just three days before the worldwide symbol of freedom — the Statue of Liberty — would be dedicated, the train…

View original post 1,202 more words

What Is THE MIX and Why Is It Important? – An Interview with Trace Lara Hentz

Source: What Is THE MIX and Why Is It Important? – An Interview with Trace Lara Hentz

Hey there everyone… this interview is important… I will be back posting soon (not real soon but sooner or later… xox Trace) (I’m teaching all this month)

A Deafening Silence On Aboriginal Issues #TRC

Over the weekend, author and university administrator Wab Kinew, Rwandan genocide survivor Eloge Butera, Broadbent Institute director Jonathan Sas and 19 honorary witnesses to the TRC issued a call to action, urging Canadians to “make reconciliation an election issue.” Kinew told Maclean’s he remembers NDP Leader Tom Mulcair and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau “immediately in front of news cameras” after the tabling of the TRC report. “When it was politically expedient to jump on the stories of my father, of our ancestors, I remember them being there.”

“At this late stage, it will certainly be difficult to insert reconciliation into the conversation,” says Justice Murray Sinclair, chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. “Time’s a-wasting; and the opportunity has almost passed.

“The reality is the federal government has been largely responsible for causing this harm, and the chaos that results lies in their lap. And to a certain extent, they are a bit confused—looking for direction, continuing to dither while they try to gauge the public appetite.”

KEEP READING: A Deafening Silence On Aboriginal Issues

Ready for a little history lesson? A (not-so-long) time ago, this continent was full of people. People who had been here for thousands and thousands and thousands of years, since the beginning. Then around 500 years ago, some folks showed up, pretended those people didn’t exist, or deemed them “savages” unworthy of status as human. Those interlopers decided that they could just “claim” land and resources and people and whatever else they wanted by some papal doctrine that said they could, and killed millions of the original inhabitants in the process. All in a quest for land, resources, and wealth. Then they sent in their own people to illegally occupy the previously (and continuously) inhabited lands. That process continues today, it wasn’t something that ended in 1776 with the formation of the “United States of America” on top of stolen Indigenous lands. This, my friends, is settler colonialism. Say it with me. Settler colonialism. How is this different than other colonialism? The main goal is the establishment of a new sovereign entity, not to extract resources/wealth/people for the gain of another nation-state (though there was plenty of that in the early days). There has also been no process of decolonization (working on it)–y’all are still here, still answering to a foreign power on stolen lands, and still doing everything possible through institutional and structural forces to assert that your race is superior to the “savages” on whose land you hang out indefinitely.

KEEP READING: When you’re invisible, every representation matters: Political edition | Native Appropriations.

====

I will be posting soon about some amazing revelations in my life as an adoptee… and a recent miracle…and more on our trip to the Gulf Coast. Stay tuned to this blog… Trace L Hentz

An Interview with Adoptee Author Claire Hitchon #flipthescript

Have you ever wanted something so badly it was all you could think of? All you could talk about, write about, dream about. Claire did.  She wanted a horse.  Finding Heart Horse is her journey and her search for her Heart Horse. It takes her from being “the girl most likely to succeed” to a life on the streets of Yorkville in the late sixties.  As an adopted child she had no identity, no history, and no place where she “fit.” Her years on the streets lead her into many dark places, where she began to add more secrets and traumas to her already large collection in the wall of secrets.  Life changed quickly in those days, from peace and love to war and violence. She went along for the ride not knowing where it would lead, just knowing that she had to find Heart Horse.  If you know anyone who may be struggling, perhaps even yourself, Finding Heart Horse can give you hope where you thought there was none.  We all have different journeys, but the essence is the same.  We all want to be loved, to belong, and to be happy.  Everyone at some point has yearned for something so powerful that, like a magnet, it pulls you into the unknown.  Even if you weren’t really sure what it was for, you knew you had to pursue it.  Life lessons are learned, spirituality discovered.  The reality of opposites is proven.  With pain comes pleasure, with despair comes hope, with sadness comes joy, and perhaps along the way even your Heart Horse may be found.  (Description of first memoir FINDING HEART HORSE)

By Lara Trace Hentz

Hey there. As some of you know I have wonderful friends who write adoptee blogs and books. The books FINDING HEART HORSE (A Memoir of Survival) and THE WALL OF SECRETS (A Memoir by The Almost Daughter) are memoirs of the highest order, in my humble opinion. When a book can make you tense, then hurt then yell then cry often, then you know they are REAL and meant to be read, valued and savored. Claire is that special writer of these two memoirs and her blog THE ALMOST DAUGHTER. Claire’s life has not been easy. She suffered drug addiction and abuse by her adoptive mother who rivals Mommie Dearest in terms of terror and horror.  And even though Claire has been ill, she found time to answer a few questions. So please read. The links to her books and website follow the interview. (I read Kindle versions of these books.)

Claire, your first riveting memoir needs to be a motion picture. How long did it take to write Finding Heart Horse?

Claire Hitchon: Actually, it was all one big pile of stories in the beginning, far too much for one book so I had to split it in two.  It’s taken eight years to complete them.

I always felt there was a book inside me. I never had an ending and was too busy trying to survive and provide for my daughter.  In 2006 the ending became clear. The end then became another beginning.  Pain was like a poisonous inspiration for me. I began writing and couldn’t stop. As I relieved each and every trauma I realized how much I had survived and felt others could benefit knowing there is always hope.

So many people, especially young people are caught up in addictions, violence, pain and trauma, and adults, too, of course.

Sometimes, all we need is someone to believe, someone to give hope that healing is possible and that you have internally all that you need.

Did your early journals assist you in any way with your writing?

Unfortunately, many of my journals were stolen while living in Toronto.  The next era of writing was destroyed when my friend and mentor Daryl died and I was in the hospital.  Our mothers cleaned out the apartment and when I came home the apartment was empty, Daryl dead and all of our musical writing and my journals gone. I imagine they were all just disposed of. I remember many of the stories of course, but my music and poems I lost.

When writing, I surrounded myself with pictures from the internet and relived each and every moment written about.  It was so real, I could smell my fathers pipe tobacco.

In an instant I went from “the girl most likely to succeed” to a 15 year old runaway living on the streets of Yorkville Toronto in the late 60’s (the hippie era).  I became a street kid, a hippie that encountered every subculture you could imagine, always searching for were I belonged. The Peace & Love quickly turned ugly. From rapes, drugs to jail in a few short years, I experienced it all.

Spoiler Alert: Tell us about the transition from book one to book two?

As I mentioned above it really was one huge book to start with and had to be separated without truly disconnecting each book. Believe it or not, there were a lot of stories left out.

It’s as if part of you is erased, leaving you with many missing pieces to a huge puzzle. I set out, leaving an abusive home at the age of 15 to find these things.  Overnight I went from the “girl most likely to succeed” – I was a classical pianist and planned on being a physician.  In an instant, I took an abrupt turn, ending up on the streets of Toronto during the Yorkville Hippie era in the late 1960’s

It’s not the things that happen to us that cause us to suffer, it’s what we tell ourselves about them.

I know you have been in hospital. How are you handling your health issues and you do believe they are related to your being adopted?

Absolutely related.

As long as I searched for my biological roots, I searched for answers to my health issues. Many things now I wonder….if i had the knowledge then would I be as ill now…the answer being NO.

I have a rare mast cell disease, Systemic Mast Cell Activation Disorder.  My biological grandfather died of leukaemia which is related and helped in my search for answers.

Unfortunately, the actual finding of my biological roots in 2003 set off a cascade of stress reactions which is one of the major triggers to mast cells.  I still didn’t know my diagnosis but adoption reunion sent my mast cells into the abyss, taking me with them.

As I wrote out my history for a mast cell doctor in the USA, I couldn’t help but notice with each trauma I experienced, my illness was bumped up a notch… it was clear even back to my childhood with adoptive mother. Of course reunion being the most powerful.

For adoptees who read this, where are you in reunion?

Reunion: Somehow that puts an element of “happy” into a situation that was born of sadness.

I found my biological family in 2003. I had been searching for over 35 years. Totally shocked to find there were actual “people” attached.  I know it sounds strange but we, as adoptees are so conditioned for rejection and I had spent a lifetime. I was doing it as a last resort, for closure.

In 2005, I was ill enough that I had to take disability from my Nursing Career that I loved as an RN,  I decided that I would always regret not taking the next step, which was moving across Canada to get to know this family of strangers. My family.

My birth mother was quite ill and passed away 9 months after I arrived on Vancouver Island. BC from Ontario.

The reunion itself was fast and furious because of my birth mothers health. It also became the prime focus until she died leaving three siblings and myself in a place of grief. They had lost their mother, and I had just found mine, only to lose her in the next breath, never knowing what it was like to be mothered.

I was left with a family of strangers who had decades of history together. I tried several times to enter their world, to bond, to become friends hoping to be allowed in.

I was becoming extremely ill and finally realized I would never belong, never fit. My health had to take priority, So in my case…history won.

I was an only child and having siblings was beyond my wildest dreams…Reunion should be a time for family healing and growth. I can wish all I want, but the fact is, I’m still alone.

I would do it all over again in a heartbeat for the process has given me pieces of the puzzle and reintegration of self. I am, at last at peace.

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LINKS:

The strength of the human spirit is unending…. Claire Hitchon

My thanks to Claire for her memoirs and for her tenacity, great writing and inner beauty to survive her journey and for this interview… Lara

A Universe of Words: A Note on Process

favorite words?

A Universe of Words: A Note on Process.

Shape and Nature Press is here where I live and wanted to share this project… OXOXO …Lara (bundled up waiting for more snow (urg) 😦