Wednesday, February 10, 2016

What's Inside: Blood Memory

I'm laying in bed and listening to a few N.W.A songs. These things don't have a connection really, just setting up a scene for you. So, I am laying in bed and listening to N.W.A, a part of a song comes on and it takes me to a time I hadn't expected to go to. Latchkey. Jokes and definitions aside, it was a recreational program, for the kids. One of the best part of my childhood. It was just a mesh of kids hanging out in building with adult supervision.

It's summer time in this memory.

I guess our camping trip got canceled or something along those lines. I can remember how we were in the rec building, now the C.A.R.D building. Normally we would go to Algonquin Provincial Park for a trip. It was annual. The saying "if it isn't broke, don't fix it" comes in play a lot in my community. There was another camping trip that we would go on and it is escaping me right now. (It came to me, Niagara Falls.)

That aside, we are staying in the building. We all tell stories, as any group of kids would. Prior to the night, we had probably had teachings. Teachings of our culture. Not all of us come from families that practice the traditional ways. It is something that would come back to us time and time again. Different examples of feeling safe, keeping each other safe.

Around the fire, still during the daytime, I should mention. We notice that there are birds flying above us. Just flying in circles. One was a nice bird, the other not as much. It was like a game of chase. Just the one wasn't in on the game. We go on through the usual ghost stories. Tradition, why break it.

At one point the boys get it in their head that they need to call out this bird. Rightly so, he was clearly picking on the other one. I should note now that these birds are seagulls. Originally we thought that they would be after our hotdogs that we were cooking by the fire. It isn't the case, however. This we all realize after a while.

The names that we had given to them were in relation to what we had learned earlier that week. The mean gull is now peaking and picking at the other one. The guys shout out, "this guy is a dick". "Hey get off of I think, Steve". (I know that it was a name that was very human and not anyone in the group.) Everyone is shouting, a few of us "pray". Not at all in the traditional sense of invocating. From either culture that we might be referencing. There is a church in our community.

A few of the girls would attend. Not I, however.

We weren't praying to God or the Creator in the religious and spiritual sense. Not yet. It was more of a sarcastic manner. "Let this dick seagull leave, Steve alone." For an example. It was something along those lines. When it came to this program we were a little bit mouthy. Depending who the counselor was at the time. There was a handful that none of us took very seriously. I am sure they never thought much of themselves either. I mean in the role.

Getting right to where I meant to get. We laid down some tobacco. The memory is hazed and not as strong as once was. I haven't thought about the bird since it happened. It could have been a dream I had that night in the rec building. It still counts as a memory, doesn't it.

We laid down the tobacco for the seagull that was now hurt. Even tossed him some food, strongly suggested from the older people to not feed them. As they would keep asking for food. Of course, we did anyways. They damn bird was just beaten up by a fellow gull.

Throughout our childhood and a bit in our teens this would happen again. Not the birds but the call back to who we are. What we feel inside of ourselves. I would think that it is a tool that is barely used in our arsenal. It is something that is there. Some of us don't know how to go about it, feel out of place even thinking about our culture. That fear is yet another thing that is inside of us. Tipping the balance inside.

Every so often I am reminded of these events in the past. The past where I can remember having the best times. Laughing and giggling with friends. Most of these people who I am not all that close with nowadays. But still see at times, as these kids; wild, brown and mouthy. Alright, some of us might be a little taller, maybe a little rounder. Still mouthy and toning down on the wild part.

Post Script 
I do realize that I am an 'N' away from Seagal.

Friday, January 22, 2016

I Went Back To School

It was last year around this. Actually it was probably closer to my birthday, now that I really think about it. Well, anyways. I was out for a drive with one of my good, good friends. We had gone for a drive, needed some time to vent and let the shit dry in the breeze of a smoke and the breeze coming in from the windows of her car. 

We are talking about this and that. Nothing that could really stick the minds right now. It was just talk you know. Old fashion girl talk. Possibly even some gossip. My friend had told me that now was the time to go back to school. That's really all I needed was someone other then my mother telling me to go back. To do something. It was a sort of "yeah, yeah, yeah" thing when my mom would say "Listen Starr, you need to do something. Get another job. Go back to school. You need to do something." I love my mom, but I don't always hear her.

Not as much as she would want me to, anyways.

I believe it had taken me a week to actually do it. Partly because I couldn't figure out the websites and didn't want to ask for help. Which is a problem of mine that should be taken care of. Or not. Its fine, everything works out eventually. So after figuring out websites and filling things out and using actual money to pay for this new venture I got a letter saying I was accepted, to university. 

Living in a dorm would take me another 3 months to figure out. Really just mulling that over. Giving it a good thought. Thinking about how it would be. Why I would need to live in dorms, especially since all I hear is good things from people who have lived in dorms. Now I can officially say that I am one of those people who hate the experience.

It is pure bull-poop. I do not know how people are sticking this living for four years. The drama is cray-cray. Yes, I said cray-cray. Because it is

That being said I have never been more happy about what it is that I am doing this past year. It is exhausting. I do question why I am in school. What the hell am I doing here? It is always on the down time that can hurt my brain. When I am amazingly tired. Completely exhausted from the readings and the writings and listening to the drama down the hall. For all of my complaining I don't think that I would change a damn thing about what it is that I am doing. I am actually proud of myself for going in and going in for what it is that I love to do.

Learning all that I can. I want to be able to walk away from this education, this experience and say I am proud of myself. Right now I happy but that doesn't mean that I am also thinking "YOU CRAZY BITCH WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING TO YOURSELF?"

I had received a lot of encouragement from my friends and family. Well, my family didn't all the way know about my plans to go back to school. They didn't know I was serious this time. I cry wolf a lot of the time.

My friend, the one who had told me to get back in there and that this was the year to do, was pretty much the only one who knew every single step that I took. Hell, she pretty much still knows every move that I make. She was making sure that I stuck to my guns and did what I needed to do. She helped me fill out forms to get funding….mind you that is another story all on its own. I hate the system that’s out there. (Make me cry and put me in debt. Bastards.)

We all have that one friend who is basically the mother hen. I got one of those. Mind you in our dynamic we all take a shift here and there and become the mother hen. Let the stressed out ones take a night to gather themselves in a night of rambunctious, good for nothing fun. It’s a system that we didn't really know that was even in place till. I am sure even know as my one friend reads this she is like "oh yeah".  {I love you. ha} Our round the house mother hen is always there for a hug and encouragement. The voice of reason. She cheered me on through the whole process. Not always in the traditional sense but she encouraged me.

I love my friends for that. It is the sort of friendship that has begun in daycare. Its what you get in a small community. We have grown up, even predicted our lives. Pretty on par so far. From what I can remember. That's what is so great about us and what works for us. Even though we don't always see each other it is exactly like we haven't missed a beat. Right back in there.

They have been a big help. My support group my family is the foundation but my friends are the pillars and the paddles that give me the push I need to do what needs to be done.