Sunday, July 31, 2011

Taking care of our own.....

I get sick of American Indian women being portrayed this way. Or like this.

Always a scantily clad, shoulder-less, buckskin dress with a wolf. WTF is up with that??? Maybe some of these young girls now like to go around, dressed with thier ass cheeks hanging out and tiny tight shirts because it makes them feel good about themselves, but that is not what we were ever about.

We were always about family, about taking care of our own.

There are still so many Lakota women that are about family, many American Indian women about family.

Sometimes things get in the way, things happen to a young woman along the way to make her forget that. I was a horrible mother for awhile. I thought I was ok, but delving in my alcoholism hurt my children and made me miss precious time with them. I never wanted them to be "survivors" of my sickness, but that is what happened.

I met so many girls along the way, young girls that I talked to and listened to their stories. I listened. And they told me, why they turned to alcoholism, why they turned to drugs, why they became who they never thought they would be a few years earlier when they were dreaming of happily ever after. All of it had to do with some sort of abuse. In turn, it led them to abuse themselves. I am still connected with many of them to this day, I see them doing te same things they did to get them where they were when I met them, and some of them are trying hard to change their lives in a world that don't give a shit. I think it hurts so much because they are the same ages or almost same ages as my oldest kids.

It hurts my heart to look at a young girl, young mother with hopelessness. I wish the best for you, I think to myself, I wish you would see the light, I wish you would look at that baby and see the precious life you gave.

But I don't, I remain silent and remain a friend and let them know when they need to talk, I am there, just as I was there in the cell block we walked laps around when they told me their stories.
I pray for these young girls every day and their children, just as I am sure, someone must have prayed for me.

I also met many women older than me, who listened to my story. Women who in their own little ways, listened, said something to me that made sense, something that I still carry in my heart to become who I was meant to be.

See us Indian women can endure because of family. That is what keeps us going. Our life source. That is our reason for being on this precious Mother Earth, for our family, our people, and our way of life.

And so is the story of Moving Robe, Tashina Mani, The Hunkpapa Lakota that fought in the Battle of Greasy Grass, or as the Government likes to call it, The Massacre at Little Big Horn. Because we all know if the government does it, it is a battle or a victory, when it is against them it is a massacre.
Moving Robe's brother was killed and she took his lance and went into battle to avenge his death, she is rumored to have secured a revolver and has two confirmed kills. She is also rumored to have killed Custer, but that is not confirmed as many have claimed that.
That is a woman warrior. Taking care of your own, wanting to go to war for your family. No different than anyone who signed into the armed services after 9/11.

I wished I could make these young girls see that, life is so precious. I wished I could show them they are strong, beautiful, young, women-mothers, that don't need men to treat them bad to be someone. I wished I could make them see that. I had to find out the hard way....but I thank god I did.

We are Indian women, we take care of our own. I will be there to listen when and if they need me.

This is the kind of picture I like.
Moving Robe, as a younger woman.

And Moving Robe as an Elder.

"A nation is not defeated until the hearts of it's women lie on the ground, then it is done. No matter how strong it's men or how numerous it's weapons.". Cheyenne Proverb

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Wellbriety Freakin Rocks, but this whole day rocked!

I had to sit and write about my AMAZING day before I drift off to dreamland.

It started off with me waking up happy as hell because one of my good friends is free today. He left the halfway house in another city at 8am this morning, and I woke up happy thinking, fuck yeah, I know how that feels. No one over you anymore know that they are over you. So I tagged him on facebook with Godsmack's Alive.

Awesomeness. You have no idea how freedom feels, how it is such a want. When you are locked up the want and need for freedom is so bad, it is like a hunger or thirst. I thank Tunkasila another Lakota was released today! (A couple of leelees if I see you.)

Then I kind of freaked out because my ex messaged me today. We talked. He's the one I married. I told him he was still my friend, no matter what and I wished he would sober up because I hate hearing about him going around town drunk and beat up.

He said he has nothing left in life anymore. Nothing and that's why he drinks. I said Are you kidding all those songs you spent years gathering from the elders, visiting them, taking them blankets and tobacco so you can learn the old songs, all the spiritual songs you have. You have more in your heart with those old ways than some people spend a lifetime trying to get, don't say you have nothing. You are lost, you need to find yourself because I sure don't want to be going to your funeral next. He said Thanks, he was on his way to a pow wow to sing. I asked him to sing from his heart. He told me thanks again for saying what I did and I wished him luck. He was with one of his sober friends, so I guess maybe he was going to a pow wow. I wish him the best.

The next thing is I made a sale and my sons made more money than me today, that was cool as hell. I was walking around with my two oldest then we decided to split ways so they could explore the city, I walked along the river that runs through this city.

I saw the river and decided to sit by the river for awhile and ponder. I was texting one of my best friends the whole time, I must say it feels good to have him back in my life too. We are hoping and praying (well I might be the only one praying) to go to the Yankee/Twins game together. That pic above is from sitting by the river while texting.

After than I walked to the store, got cold chicken and coleslaw for supper because I knew I wasn't gonna cook. I think when I walked into the store it was maybe 95 degrees, when I walked out it was 118 degrees. This old lady in a huge van asked if I wanted a ride, I thought for a millisecond about all the vans like that on Law & Order SVU, then said sure. It was really hot. I live 3 blocks uphill so it wasn't that far for her to pick up speed as someone might chloroform me from the back seat, I had mayday ready to text but she took me home. When I got out I looked back because I knew I heard breathing.
There was not one but three large 80 plus pound dogs in the back on a mattress. Whoa! Ha Ha, that was a surprise. Oh yeah and she talked about the book of Revelations on the way back and Mayans and whatnot. Nice old lady and three ginormous jomonstrous doggies.

Next I get ready for Wellbriety, still texting bff, and then I am off.

I get to Wellbriety and as I get there I get an email from my old boss, whom I attempted to make ammends with about two weeks ago, fingers crossed the whole time. It went through, The feds, of course never gave him my apology letter they probably peed on it and laughed. I was able to get it out and have him forgive me and my heart is so much lighter. It was such a HUGE step in my recovery process.

Next I saw someone from home, who was also just released from prison. Someone who was new to this town and I went to school with all my life. Sometimes a familiar face is all someone needs. I sure would have appreciated it. I was able to give encouragement, straight from my heart and he thanked me.

Everything and everyone I interacted with today had a purpose.
Including my brothers comment on facebook about my post on Wellbriety.

"Anything that helps my sis over come the bullshit this world drops all day. each and every day. love u sis."

This comment from Mike

" know you're on the right track for YOU when you start looking forward to such gatherings and attending all things sober. The heart and head may be messed up to the max, but still easier to cope and grow when sober. You get to make decisions that you can appreciate later, unlike most decisions made when high."

Then this text with my one of my bff's Ron

"Awesome, seems like you're having fun. And that's what matters."

And I will end my great beautiful awesome lovely wonderful day there!!!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

"Sit back and watch the world go by" -WayJay

LOL This is a picture my sister Jaida took when we went back to the rez of Grandma Tiny and the newest edition of the family, my cousin Kaylene's precious baby Nakiya. I think I spelled that right. I guess Grandma Tiny is a legend for making babies cry by talking to them all sad and saying "Oh poor baby, who's picking on you..." and stuff like that and the baby will indeed cry. Word is, she used to make me cry in less than a second, nice to see she still got it like that.

In my recovery process, I learned about life going on, with or without you.

And today was a good day in my Pirate Reformatory Class. Or Moral Recon-whatever Therapy. I completed Step 3. (I would spell it right but my book is upstairs.)
I realized something when I was going through class, things I worry about that I have no control over. I like to credit myself for being smart enough to dodge that whole "not letting other people's toxicity damper my moods."
But to actually try and worry and stress over other people's problems, that are not really my business, see I even have the nerve to say "not really" my business. Because these are people I love and I wish I didn't worry about them so much because life just has to be.....sometimes, let it be, you know.
I agree it is a waste of energy, I do need to not let it get to me. And my final goal in the step was to someday reach that level of Wolakota. Beyond peace. Today I realized I will never do that if I let worry stress me.
I question myself how, how, and how do I not worry about my family? As a Lakota woman who has a strong sense of family, how do I not let that worry burn bright as picture show?
How do I relax enough and let life play itself out like that picture show?
We also talked about temporary. I remember being stressed, worried, like I was carrying a huge weight on my shoulder and it actually weighed me down at the nape of my neck, about being locked up. I wasn't really scared because I had talked to my dad and he told me some things. He told me (he actually knew I was stressing about prison before I told him) but he told me that us Indians are hustlers, we know how to adapt and survive anywhere and we do good in prison, not that we should be there, but we can handle it. And I did. He also told me a bunch of other stuff that I will never forget and never would have gotten through if it weren't for him. But all that went by so fast that I got how we talked about things in life being temporary.
In fact life itself, is temporary.
Like I had to say good bye to one grandma a couple of weeks ago and at the same time say hello to a brand new beautiful niece.
Yes, my instincts are to worry about my family, to think that is my job, but I realize there is nothing that worry will do but give me more silver hair. (Yes, I said silver)
I have to sit back, as my cousin WayJay says, and watch the world go by. (Of course he says it from the front seat of his car sitting outside of his house with a beer in his hand,) but it sounds like good advice, nonetheless.
Life will indeed go on, with or without my worry.
Gotta learn...sit back and watch the world go by.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Right in the old cante....

I haven't really been feeling the urge to write, from my heart. Then I read this link my friend in Paris, Karin put on her facebook to this guys's blog.

I especially didn't want to write anything about anything to be even associated with the recent passing of the new member of the 27 club.

But after reading that guys blog, it hit me in the ol' cante. (heart)

When I was in treatment, we were given this chart called the Jellinek Curve and was told to find ourselves on it. I started on the left side and worked my way down, until I got to the bottom, where the circle was.
That is where I was before I got locked up.
I knew it, all along.
I just never wanted to know it. I hid it from myself more than anything, making my drinking a big I would never have to face it...feel it....or fear it.
I tried to act like it wasn't hurting anyone, though I knew it was, especially my kids. I used excuses to drink, every excuse I had.

When I finally got to prison, the wonderful man who was my treatment counselor showed me what the two outcomes of my area on the jellinek curve were....incarceration, or death.
I thanked God I was in prison, my kids did nothing in this world to deserve to lose their mother. Sure I was locked up, forced to be away from them for a while, but I lived.
I will continue to live. For them.

When I was asked the other day in my MRT class, during testimony, "Do you feel a force inside you that makes you want to be sober?"
I said yes, it is the will to live on, for my children.

See for me, prison wasn't a bad thing, though I hated it every day, every minute I was there, I am thankful I went.

Because I live.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Mitakuye Oyasin

Do NOT underestimate who I am
Or twist the meaning of my words
For so defiantly with my right hand
I will throw down some wicked nouns and verbs
Like this:
I come from my mother
Whose knowledge spreads like the Milky Way
I come from my brothers
Who are the warriors of today
I come from my grandmother
Who wasn't scared of a soul
I come from my father
Whose heart glows like a red hot coal
I come from my sisters
Who always stand to the side of me
I come from my grandfather
Whose beliefs are rooted deep as a tree
I come from my ancestors
Whose spirits are those that are truly free
I come from a strong people
Who have been underestimated
Remember that
Before you think you know who we are
For we are all related.
Mitakuye Oyasin

© Dana Lone Hill 2011

Saturday, July 16, 2011

What? I'm an engine now?

So many times in my life, I have dealt with with alcohol.
Like my grandma died or when anyone died, I drank and tried to remember them in a good way.
Holidays, almost every feeling, whether good or bad, I had-was dealt with inebriated.
I saw the world as maybe an artist from the Impressionism Era you know-no clear lines.
Which is crazy, that's how I paint. I always wonder if maybe they were near sighted back then, but it can't be that, the details in all the colors are there.
I got used to letting the brandy go down my throat in order to cope.
Now my life is different.
Now I deal.
And cope.
And it's not easy.
And I am not doing it this way to prove a point to anyone. All I am doing is proving to myself I can do this.
And I think I can.
I think I can.
I think I can.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Rezervation Girls

I miss all my rez girls.
When I was in county, so many of the girls were doggin' on rez girls.
-They're so scandalous!
-They're so mean.
-They're hatin'.
-They're jealous.
-They'll take your man.
-They fight.

I heard it all, and trust me I asked for more. I thought it was funny. Funny that rez girls had such a rep.
I was born and raised on the rez, the Pine Ridge Rez at that.
It's funny the rep you get for being a rez chick and then for being a rez chick from Pine Ridge.
I don't know how many times people get "that look" when I say I am from Ridge.
I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world, though. The world I grew up in, the memories I made, the chinese fire drills at the four way, the hay ride, the times out at the T, the Satellites, East Dam, Whiteclay Dam, cruising round and around the town on summer nights laughing, it was some of the best times of my life with my rezervation girls. My cousins, my friends, Paula, Georgine, Joy, Lori, Aimy, Cayme, Sox, Lisa, Melita, Lisa, Andrea, Darin, there were so many....and so many times we hung out, raising hell, being young and not giving a fuck.
Those were the days and maybe we all didn't accomplish our dreams, but we did have them, back on the rez.

Are rez girls really all that bad...ask any one of them they'll tell you.
Not bad, bad ass.
And the times were bad ass.
We used to sing this song as "Rezervation Girls"

Those were the days. I can look back now that I am approaching 40 and say I had such fun in my youth. And someday I can look back to these days and think the same way....

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Writing About Some Kind Of Wonderful

"A writer is a writer not because she writes well and easily, because she has amazing talent, because everything she does is golden. In my view, a writer is a writer because even when there is no hope, even when nothing you do shows any sign of promise, you keep writing anyway."
~Junot Diaz

That was sent to me by my friend Mike in Maine and I know in my soul I am a writer. I wrote myself through the most turbulent time in my life because that is the only thing that made me feel better, hopeful, and because that is what I do.

Here is a piece I wrote while I was locked up in federal. This was probably October of 2010. 5 months from release, but I didn't have a release date yet.

When I first got my second hand radio, most of the songs made me sad, reminded me of a different time. Reminded me of home, of my mom,of my dad, of my kids, of my brother, of my aunt, of my friends, and of course, of him or whatever. I had to work hard at getting over the fact that I was away from all that I love.
After I got over it, music set me in deep thought, thinking of what to write about now as I walked. Every word meant something. Every phrase a philosophy until I came back to my precious notebook.
I got off work today, took a cold shower, and elected to stay in rather than go to rec. I needed some alone time. I put my headphones on and Louis Armstrong's "It's a Wonderful World" played.
I opened the window through our bars and pulled up the shade. The breeze was blowing and for once didn't smell of the trash pile or pig farm the prison supposedly sat near. I watched all the things out there that Louis sang about: the sky of blue, clouds of white, leaves of green, and all that crap through the bars. I remembered being in county and seeing it but never feeling the fresh air on my face. Feeling that tease of freedom that is right around the corner for me.
This incarceration is not only a slap in the face kick in the ass wake up call. It is also a gift to me.
I am sober.
I can see clearly the second chance at life I was given.
This was my chance to make right, to do what I was destined to do, and to make time and memories for my children.
This is my life.

Louis Armstrong had it right, What a Wonderful World indeed.
I feel it in the breeze through the bars.
Thank you Wakan Tanka.

So that was writing from the inside, have a wonderful day.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Where I come from....

So I went back to the rez, took my Grandma Erna home, and we had a nice service. It was so good to see my family, maybe it was part of being locked up, maybe it was part of not seeing everyone since the last funeral, maybe it was part of going through loss together, maybe it was part of living off the rez, (btw my Steve Madden shoes survived the mud), or maybe it was just because deep inside my heart there is a need for connection to my family, I felt so comfortable and loved at the funeral yesterday. Everyone that gave me a hug, held on for a minute and kissed me. Nothing was said about where I was or what I went through except by a drunk Uncle who teased me a little bit about "Big Mama getting me in prison." I retorted by saying "Maybe I was Big Mama." But the hugs are what got me, I let them hug me and enjoyed being held, even with my 39 year old ass. This is what freedom was about, this is what I dreamed of....this is what family is. I was sad to leave. It made me miss those days back when we had get togethers for more than funerals. When we had family events for holidays and one aunt would bring homemade pickles. When everyone had their special dish and the love was there with the food and the stories. I've been talking, trying to get the word out. We don't really do that anymore except maybe within our own immediate families. We need another big family get together. To just enjoy ourselves. Aunt Erna, or Grandma Erna (I always called her aunt) was the last of the brothers and sisters that started us all out as a family. It's never too late to start the traditions over, especially since Aunt Patty makes a bomb ass pasta salad. Lovin' my life and where I come from today.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


It was fate they say
That rage of hate from yesterdays
Although it was about an hour late
It still picked me up on the way
And took me to a land of no opportunity
Listening to the man
While praying for mutiny
Never did I dream this would be me
My life didn't seem to have a hold of me
As I looked about me
And at the fence that held me in
Although I wanted to scream and shout FREE
I knew that "free", that that's what I found within.

-Lonehill 10543-273

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


"-as each of us can live but one life, a choice must perforce be made.
We choose in reality without ceasing; without ceasing, also, we abandon many things.
The route we pursue in time is strewn with the remains of all that we began to be,
of all that we might have become.
But nature, which has at command an incalculable number of lives,
is in no wise bound to make such sacrifices"

I found this on
Which is a very addictive website, btw.
But it really made me think.

We do shape our destinies by the choices we make and by the choices we throw to the side, you know. What's going to happen, eventually will, but we shape the path there and inadvertently become who we are by those choices.
Sometimes in life we don't think that the choice we are making today, something as small as not stepping on that ant on the sidewalk may affect us down the road. Like the butterfly effect.
Because it is this one life, we have to choose for.
But nature, nature is choosing for many, including ourselves and has no mercy or caring of the outcome. Nature could be as beautiful as it is harsh and mean. And one of these days this planet will shake us all off like bugs....and start over with cockroaches again.
Although we are already stumbling down the path we were meant to be on, what we do or don't do today can and will shape us as to who we were meant to be.

Makes me wonder about the young med student in Florida who just passed his boards and wanted my number.....but my boss put the ixnay to that. Aw, he's probably boring as hell anyway and don't even like baseball.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

RIP Grandma Erna

Grandma Dod, Grandpa Bog, Grandma Erna

When I was little, my grandpa Bog died. That's him in the picture. He was my Grandma Dod's twin. It never hit me what death was then. I didn't go to the funeral. I remember when so much family was gathered at Grandma Dod's for this though. It took until I was 7 to realize what death was, meant, the sadness of it all, when my Aunt Kathy died. She was 15. There was no way she should have been lying up there in a coffin, but she was. I distinctly remember thinking. I'll play with her later.
Then I saw the sophomore class from her school go up to the casket and let out one combined wail, and it hit me right then and there. I was never going to see my Aunt Kathy again, was I? She was never gonna tease me, let me sit in while she smoked joints and burned strawberry incense, while she listened to Dr. Hook and Rod Stewart sing and daydreamed about whatever 15 year olds in 1979 thought about. I was never gonna tease her until she chased me again.
And I cried so hard because I realized she was gone. Taken from me and my life and I am so selfish, I want everyone I love around me.
My Grandma Dod was taken from me in 2008. I'm glad she didn't have to go through me being in prison and everything. It probably would've broke her heart.
While I was locked up my Grandma Erna wrote to me. She wrote to the judge for me about my character, one of the only ones that did. She sent me money now and then, always apologizing for not sending more and always apologizing for not having anything interesting to say. She never had to apologize. I told her it was just wonderful to hear from her.
She moved back East about 4 years ago, to take care of her son (my Uncle Pete) with his progressing Parkinson's.
I had a feeling I would never see her again.
The last time I talked to her was before she went in for surgery, she had cancer. She told me she was so happy I was out, she loved me and she didn't have to worry about me being locked up anymore.
Talking about me, when she was going in for surgery!
I told her I loved her too.
She was all heart, always helping me out even though I never asked her too. That's just how she was.
She was never the same when she came out of surgery. She passed yesterday about 2 in the afternoon.
Another Grandma gone.
I'm gonna miss her.

I love you Grandma Erna, I will miss you always.
Rest In Peace, and join your family on the other side. They are surely waiting for the last sister.

I'm gonna go cry for the hundredth time, now that I have another reason to dislike the 4th.

Monday, July 4, 2011

The Story of the Kick Ass Boots

One time, when I was a bartender in the strip bar like a zillion years ago, my best friend Becks the lap-dancing waitress at the time had told me about these boots.
They're kick ass and about a hundred bucks.-she said. I'm going to the Mall of America tomorrow to get a pair, if you want a pair give me the money. I'll bring them to work tomorrow.
I hesitated. I had two young sons at home and my job was great with tips but a hundred bucks was , well a HUNDRED BUCKS!
I don't know.-I said.
Well, think about it, let me know.-she said.
Every time I banked a tip that night in my beer pitcher, I thought about those boots. There was a stripper there with those boots on, she's the one that told us about them. I kept looking at her boots, a hundred bucks.
I never did anything like that...for myself.
I remembered when I was about 18 years old, I saw this girl I went to Jr. High with, she had two small babies. In her cart she was buying all the necessities of being a young mother.
But nothing for herself.
My mom pointed with her lips, -Don't ever let yourself get like that. Take care of yourself, as well as your children.
When I thought of that, I gave the hundred bucks to Becks. I knew I would make another hundred the next night.
I bought those boots.
And damn they were some kick ass boots.
Every time I wore them, I thought about how I was able to take care of myself, that time.


Wolakota is peace, beyond peace. Being happy with who you are, what you have in this world and not wanting more, while in this world.
I'd like to think I was there, I know I'm not, but by God I will claw my way there. Sometimes, in this world you have to lose yourself to find yourself.
It's about finding myself now.
Wolakota: my goal in life.
I pray for Walakota for all my relatives who are lost and not at peace. For all those who need to find themselves today, I pray for them.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Learning to Fly, but I ain't got wings.

I love so many of Tom Petty's songs, so many of them hit home, so you know he has heart.
Yesterday when I was cleaning, I heard Learning To Fly so I will post it at the end here.
That's where I think I am, I think.
I'm learning to fly without wings. I'm learning to be happy and control my emotions by my happiness,...without the aid of alcohol.
I had to open up my heart in MRT class last week and give my testimony. God it was so hard to tell them why I was committed to change. It's not like you can say, "Just cuz." I was able to do it with a shaky voice and ready to cry at times but I did it. I told everything I have ever done bad, well almost but my progression into alcoholism and how easy it was when I moved back to the reservation. I told how it made me forget any bad things I knew I had done, and how easy it was to drown.
And I was drowning that whole time.
I was looking for a life preserver and thought the FBI threw me one. Tell us, they said, everyone will go down.
I did.
And I went down.
That was my first lesson in this government don't give a fuck, this government will lie to you. And they can.
SO that's when I knew.
It was time.
To take care of myself.
The right way.
To stand back up and keep my head up.
I came from my grandmas, and I will not go down like that. I will not be "that one that got locked up." I am still me and I will let everyone know who that is.
I am that one. That one that is a mother to four beautiful children, that one who writes with all her heart, hopefully like Tom Petty sings. That one who loves the Yankees and collects rocks as memories.
And that one,
that is currently learning to fly.