Sunday, June 29, 2008


Random Writing Challenge number 17

I am soo late on this but I had to do a little research. Carol did it different this time, by making us all say one word and then grouping the words for us to make a story out of.

I took on the group number two because no one else did. Plus I think I threw it off by adding the word waterbird and everyone is like HUH?

Here are the words from group 2






Here is my challenge entry.


Rain always has that effect on me. Here I was a lowly, mousy secretary in the city, trying to be depressed about a little rain.

I need to get away from work so I took the afternoon off. I decided to go see a local exhibit at the museum. I moved away from the reservation right after hish school and had been living n a walk up apartment for the past year. I hadn't made any friends yet and sometimes I wished for the reservation life. Sometimes.

I threw the wrapper to the chocolate bar in the trash when I got off the bus downtown. I ran in the rain towards the museum. It took me all of two minutes to get to the front door, but in that two minutes I wondered what would become of my life. I felt like I had no purpose and was in limbo. Why was I here? I was always the perfectionist who thought she had her life planned and now,...well, now what?
I opened the heavy door and was given a program on the new exhibition of Native American history and culture.

I looked at the regular collection first, wandering in and amongst the beautiful fabrics and textiles and paintings that someone had made their mark in life with. Why can't I make a mark like that?

After an hour of being amazed by the sheer beauty some people can create, I wandered to the Native American exhibit that was going on for the summer.

I wandered amongst other people in awe of the history around us.

Then I saw it.

A ghost dance shirt.

It was beautiful with the paintings of waterbirds and stars on it, made with pigments from the earth.

I remembered one time seeing a waterbird with my grandma. She told me the story of how a waterbird repesented renewal of life. How the waterbird meant so much to our Lakota people. She told me of Wounded Knee and how so many people believed that the government was scard of Lakotas dancing to bring the ghosts back to help them carry on with their way of life. No, it wasn't that, she said. It was retalliation for Little Big Horn.

But don't let that truth take away from you the fact that the waterbird will always have meaning for us. It is always a renewal of life to us. Maybe that way of life ended but the waterbird brings us hope that the ways of the Lakota will live on.

Then she sang a song to me....and made me pray with her as we offered tobacco to the earth.

I must have looked at that shirt for an hour with tears in my eyes.

I knew what I had to do. When I left the museum, I went to the nearest magazine stand and bought a pack of cigarettes. I walked to the park and enjoyed the fresh smell of rain. I prayed and offered the tobacco to the earth singing the same song my grandma taught me all those years ago.

When I got home, I searched though my things that I had in a shoebox under the bed, then I found it. It was a quilled waterbird lapel pin that my grandma made and gave me. In it, I saw my future, I saw my destiny. I made arangements while holding that pin. I called my grandma last of all.

Grandma I am moving home to go to the tribal college. I think I want to teach the youth our ways. Our Lakota ways.

Come home takoja, she said.

(the above story is fiction, and it was inspired by a quilled waterbird pin that we have at work.)


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