Thursday, October 25, 2012

Not getting a lot of sleep lately...  pneumonia for the last two weeks, and my fibro med has the lovely side effect of insomnia...  So as it approaches 4 AM on this surprisingly warm night, I am going to keep my promise and attempt to recount some of my ghost hunting tales...

My experiences of spirits started as a small child, long before I knew what a "ghost" was...  apparently my mother was aware of a spirit standing over my crib, in the brand new house she had built for her in Guelph.  She didn't know who this might be, so she trundled down Victoria Rd to the York Rd Baptist Church (later to become the Triangle Photo Centre) and talked to the minister there...  He visited and being psychic, proclaimed it was her mother!  My grandmother Rose died when I was not quite ten 11 months old.  My father, whose drinking was escalating,  was at times very violent.  He couldn't hold a job for long, so my younger sister Judy and I were often left in his care while my mother went to work at the local hospital.  When his mood turned violent, I would ask the angels (who I saw quite clearly, and assumed everyone else did) to help me hide.  The directed me to closets and behind the furnace and I remained safe.  In grade school my mediumistic predilections were noticed by neighbours, and some would have the gall to take me downtown to Woolworth's (on the bus) on the pretext of having a sundae or a muffin.  What I learned, sadly, was that they wanted to get me away from my mother to pump me for future-based information.  I was not very old before I became guarded about this whole psychic thing.  I did do a speech at school on Bluenose Ghosts, after a family trip down east in 1966 - I got an award!

By my teens I was totally turned off - I loved reading and studying about ghosts, and even advanced my skills, but not for the purpose of letting people know.  I struggled with my concept of death and God - it created a terrible stress for me, when the Presbyterian Church was a huge part of our family life.  I drifted toward Spiritualism, and began visiting the Spiritualist Church in Brantford.  There were two pivotal events in highschool that haunted me for years - the death of a classmate, which I foretold in September, and the death of a teacher the next year.  I will continue my story as it appears I have run out of room for this blog entry!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Wowee pneumonia sucks!  I have so much to do today to get through the end of the week and prepping for the shows...  I hate when my body doesn't co-operate with my mind.  The open houses are just a month away, and in the meantime I have the Ontario Multifaith Council conference to attend and drum making at the local highschool over a two-day period all before the open houses....  We are doing these for the first time in many years, and absolutely the first time in Lafontaine.  The dates we've chosen are Saturdays Nov. 17, 24, Dec. 1 &2, 8 and 15.  The Dec. 1 & 2 days are the "big" open house, lasting for the weekend, and we have guest artists arriving...  Thankfully Angeni has Nov. 16th off of school so she can help us set up for the first Saturday we're open.

Brian is making drums over the next couple of weeks so they have time to "cure" and then I do some artistic designs on them.  I've been knitting hat and scarf sets, prayer shawls, shrugs, and sweaters.  I have quilts and jewelry - both native and sacred designs.  There are dolls and bears, native cosmetics and sacred medicines.- lots of different odds and sods.  I'm proud of the work we've done.

In the meantime I guess I have to be patient with myself and allow myself to heal.  The antibiotics are NOT pleasant, but I will persevere

I'm too tired to write more...  Have a blessed day!  Kathryn.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

So I am pushing myself to bring up a topic that causes great angst in my life, and the lives of many aboriginal people - "lateral violence".  What is it?  It's known by a number of names:
• work place bullying
• horizontal hostilities/violence
• internalized colonialism
• relational aggression

I have included a link to a very short, but totally valuable commentary on the subject by the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC):

Here is another comment:  “ When a powerful oppressor has directed oppression against a group for a
period of time, members of the oppressed group feel powerless to fight back and they eventually turn
their anger against each other.” – Jane Middleton-Moz

I have worked for private corporations, provincial ministries, hospitals, corrections, the literacy community, and ultimately for no one but myself.  The perpetrators of lateral violence have most often crept up in the public sector jobs we've had - by both our staff peers and management.  I am still recovering emotionally from physical and emotional abuse experiences that happened in childhood, but also from the extreme personal devastation of experiencing this lateral violence in the workplace.  It actually emanated from aboriginal employees who live within the community, and 2 local aboriginal agencies which coveted the contract we received...  Everything was questioned - our "nativeness", our spirituality, our teachers, our traditions, our lifestyle, and even the fact that we are Elders.  This went on for almost 5 years - we gave up the farm and our animals to come here for the contract we were given, and are forever grateful for the experience of living here...  We worked hard to create a great home for our daughter, and not sacrifice too much of what we are intrinsically, as individuals.  The financial reward was wonderful.  The friends we amazing resilient people.

Neither Brian nor I consider ourselves victims.  Not at all.  From a spiritual perspective, we bring to us experiences we need to learn from, and can possibly be "agents of change'.  In this instance, I think we were not agents of change at least not at the local level.  One of our chaplain friends very succinctly put it that "the dark side won".  The lessons were ours to learn - we shone in our job and got exemplary reviews, but we were too "nice" and did not always build clear boundaries.  We did not want management to see us as the same "nasty Indians" they were used to working with - so we were people who pretty much always turned the other cheek.  Nice guys often do finish last.  However, I would NOT stoop to the level of the agencies and people who were purposely hostile.  It is important to acknowledge that while we have been plunged into unemployment, we still have our spirits and souls intact.  The bruising has not yet gone away.

So we are looking at spiritual institutions and other public agencies who do "good" work.  These are the people savvy in the ways of working with employers who don't know how to ameliorate lateral violence.  I do not want a pound of flesh - I just don't want this to continue happening to us personally, and the First Nations, Inuit and Metis people of Canada.  I have asked for divine guidance, and my gnostic conscious self knows that some how, some way, the right thing will happen and ultimately the dark side will have lost this one...  I have enough Mohawk in me to still be a spiritual warrior, albeit a tired one.

In the meantime Brian and I are having a great time refocusing on our art and spiritual careers.  Our open houses are looming and I will be in the company of my spiritual peers in a couple of weeks.  it's all good and I am mostly at peace.

Sleep well friends.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

New day - we had such wild weather yesterday and through the night!  Snow, hail, rain and winds gusting to 70 kph.  I'm surprised all the flowers haven't wilted!  We have some sage to finish harvesting, and that needs to happen soon or it will be mush.  I thought David Phillips of Environment Canada said this would be a long, warmer-than-average autumn season.  He has been so wrong!  It's been colder and certainly wetter than I think it should be for early October.  Maybe I'm spoiled from the long, hot summer...

I'm playing with an Apple iPad that was loaned to me for a few months.  I'm comparing it with the Blackberry Playbook I own...  so far I find that the BB will play any Youtube video I've wanted to see, but the iPad does not.  That's the only strike against it so far...  it certainly charges quickly and has a plethora of "apps".  Once I figure out the design software, I'll have a better notion.  We've never had Apple products in this home, so it certainly is a unique learning curve!

My scarf and hat sets are taking shape...  I'm also gearing up to use my SK 150/151 knitting machine/ribber combo again.  I haven't touched it in at least 18 years, so reading the instruction book is like attempting to read gibberish.  I am trying to reframe my distress at forgetting so much about the damned machine.  I love making yardages of knit fabric, then cutting and sewing/serging clothing.  Otherwise it is limiting - I don't hand knit as fast as I machine knit, but I find that if you are doing any sort of patterning or cabling, the knitting machine is slower...  I have some new designs in my head for knitwear and I'm a bit stalled with the creation of same.  It will come...  I've never been known for my patience.  :)  I do need a kick in the proverbial pants when it comes to making some chakra healing jewellery.  My head isn't there right now at all.

As for spiritual musings, I am thankful for my angels today.  I am feeling much gratitude for the clarity and the ease of the physical pain in my head and legs.  People are asking me what I think about the Mayan calendar and the "end" of time on Dec. 21st...  I for one, am having a winter solstice party on Dec. 21st - it arrives just after 6 AM, so I won't warm the canapes until we see what happens.  Just joking there...  I believe that this is a shifting of consciousness time, rather than an end of the physical world.  My guides and teachers have said nothing to me of apocalypses or other calamitous events on or around that date.  When you educate and elevate a core group within a larger  group, the rest of the larger group start to follow along (even with resistance).  Corporate structures bank on this paradigm.  I think winter solstice and the end of the Mayan calendar is about spiritual elevation within humanity.  That being said, archeologists have found information that suggests the calendar doesn't end for a few hundred years.  I guess we shall see!

Blessings friends on this blustery day.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Been awhile....

A lot has happened for Brian and I this past 16 months...  He was diagnosed with cancer in June 2011 and had bowel/rectal cancer surgery in August 2011.  It took quite a while to recover from completely.  Then we were unsuccessful in getting the contract back at CNCC (a superjail in Penetanguishene)...  From there Brian waited for open heart surgery.  It was very painful and agonizing watching him go through the physical decline of ihs heart issues, while grieving the loss of our employment.  Once the surgery happened in August, we've gone through hell again as he recovered this time.  And he is still recovering - every day gets a little better...

Despite everything that has gone on, we've still managed to dream with the medicine wheel.  It is important to recreate ourselves.  As the summer moves into autumn, we are beginning to embrace the gift we've been given - the opportunity to return to activities we love and enjoy! 
  • We've done some teaching in the community.  
  • There has been time to rebuild and finish our respective studios.
  • We are planning a series of open studio days in November and December.
  • I am channeling again for people - particularly enjoying doing so on Skype.
  • I am designing some fabulous knitwear.
  • Writing, writing, writing - I'm planning a book on psychospiritual development.  I'm beginning to connect with publishers.
We see this time as the necessary "kick in the pants" to get us going with what we really love.  The surgeries remind us both that this third dimensional life is limited, and there is no time like the present to do what we love and are good at!!  Why wait?

Blogging is an important part of this process.  I hope I can be more available to keep this blog up-to-date.  There is nothing I love more than talking about spiritual issues and textile design.  So that is what I intend to direct this blog into - with the odd tangent.  Let me know what you'd like me to address and I'll do my best to chat on these subjects.

Blessings to everyone on this wild weather, autumn day!