Tuesday, August 28, 2007
The Talking Stick
Last night I had a very fun time in the Tu Diabetes chat room with some delightful people.
We were talking about art and my beadwork and Beth asked if I’d ever done any beading on wood. I said yes, I had made a talking stick.
Several years ago I worked at a center for troubled youth, many of which were Native Americans. We decided to adopt some traditional rituals and use them as tools for healing. One of them was the talking stick.
Any type of group of people can use a talking stick - whether you are discussing a topic, trying to come to a decision, sharing victories and defeats, offering support - the list is endless. The one rule is that the person holding the stick is the only one speaking - no interruptions. When he is finished, he passes it to the next person. It was a great tool for shy people (of which I still am). Somehow, just holding the stick gives one the courage to speak their mind. It was empowering.
I have been blogging for over a year now, and feel that both the Diabetes OC and Tu Diabetes have given me the courage to put my thoughts down on paper. I was really “stopped up” for many years - just kept stuffing things as deep as I could get them. This certainly was not healthy.
Things are different now. I have friends who understand me. I have people across the country (and the world) that I care about. We are bound by the fact that we have diabetes, but also connected in our vision to take care of our health, keep up on new developments, nurture a positive attitude, problem solve, and live a vibrant and fulfilling existence. This has had a big impact on my life, and I say “thank you”. (sniffle, sniffle).
Anyway, about the stick - I love the Mississippi. I could sit on the shore for hours and watch the clouds go by and think of how the settlers came upstream by riverboat and how Minneapolis was once called The Mill City because all the big barges of grain came up the river to be processed. Cool.
The wood for the stick was found along the river’s edge. It had been polished by the current (somewhat like driftwood). I have stopped going down to the spot where the driftwood accumulates because it is isolated and I am no longer young enough to outrun someone with harmful intentions.
But, the wood still reminds me of the grounded stability of the river and the current that keeps moving forward, as it has for centuries.
Life transports us onward, whether we are willing or not. I spent many years paddling upstream. It was exhausting and got me nowhere. By being a part of two blogging communities, I have given myself permission to flow with the bitter and the sweet, and stay upright in the process.
This is good.