Saturday, August 29, 2009


This morning I had the pleasure of reading Sherman Alexie's One Stick Song. I remember now why I was so taken with Alexie's writing. He mixes humor with pain and writes with such an honesty I want to write with in my poetry and creative non-fiction. The MFA program will help me mature as a writer. I hesitate to post any of my poems here, they're not finished yet. Going into the MFA program I was enthusiastic that my two chapbook length collections of poems were just about finished but I am wrong. New levels have been reached and given my penchant for doing things backwards, it makes sense that I learn things now I should have known long ago.

So I'm sitting in Mark's Maple Leaf Restaurant waiting for my breakfast and reading Alexie, smiling, chuckling and shaking my head because there is no other humor like Indian humor. Read his work if you want to know why I think this. I felt a little envious of Alexie, because he lived on the reservation longer than I did. I was there until age two. Unless I become a fan of hypnotism there is no way for me to remember what my life was like. I only know what reservation life is like now, when I visit.

I wonder if I would be in an MFA program had I grown up on the rez? During the days I was still searching for my birthmom I wrote out different scenarios of what her life was when she was young and after I was born and what I might find when I got there. If that happened. It's on my mind now because it's been six years since the reunion and now that I'm growing closer to my family I feel a unity building.

I spoke with my mom recently and she said, You will come back to live on the reservation permanently. I wondered if this was a prophecy; does she know something that I don't know? My biggest fear is what happenes if I do pick up my life here and take it over to my family and don't feel like I belong? What then? That's a serious committment I'm not ready to jump into.

Each day when I wake up I give thanks and praise for the gift of life. I ask Father what He wants me to do today, where He wants me to go, who He wants me to talk to about Him so I don't step out of His plan and purpose for me. I believe when it is time for me to return to the reservation He will give me the okay loud and clear so I don't have to question His timing. I will know that I know that I know. Until that moment, I don't know. I'm okay with that. As long as I 'm here, I'll keep learning, keep working for my degree, raise my child, and reconcile with living the life of an Urban Native.

Even though being taken from my mom at age two was a horrible thing to do to both of us, I still believe, everything happens for a reason. I'm not talking about fate or karma. I'm talking about plan and purpose. Until I can write about my story and the stories of countless others who lives are changed permanently by separation with clarity and power I still need to keep myself accountable to those who teach me that craft of writing.

I had no voice when I was taken, but I have one now. Believe me, I will use it.

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