Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Call Me Human

Click on Call Me Human below to hear Lyla Johnston's new poem by that name. It is breathtaking and transforming.

Call Me Human

Lyla Johnstone is a Freed Soul. She's had many conversations with me about that journey to free herself to love all things. Lyla is Dine, and speaks of her treasured grandmother, her aunties, and loves her father who was a warrior in the movement and still carries, as many of us do, our righteous anger. She tries to help him put down that burden. I met her at Winnemem when she moved in to do her geographical study of sacred places for their use. She had already adopted Helene as her Winnemem Mother, and gave her massages, cooked for her good healthy foods, and took her seriously.

I love Lyla Johnstone. She is a magical person. Google her and you will see why I say that. You will see her dancing in the middle of a plaza at night, in Rome, Italy, lights reflecting, spinning spinning around. You will hear more poetry which moves you, takes your breath away, grounds you all at the same time. You will see an event honoring youth and their potential she organized in New Mexico. She is not predictable. Where will she be? What will she say? What will she do? When will I see her again? And yet she is very predictable. She is an alchemist which turns all suffering, and well earned anger into love which includes acceptance and love of self -- healing -- whereever she goes.

Monday, December 5, 2011


My good Sister and friend Judy Castro and little daughter Artemisa are traveling to Havana today! I am so excited for her. She will be visiting her family in Havana. I love Judy. She let me know so that I can send something. We are a little community of people -- we who travel to Cuba -- separated by the blockade, homesick for our friends and family which one makes so easily there, and so no one travels to Cuba without gifts. And in taking the gifts, they connect with others and meet others they would not have met, were they not carrying the love of another to Cuba. So this time, Judy will meet Sr. Miyasaka, of course, our Nikkei bridge to Cuba, and to two special people in La Isla, the intrepid third generation Nikkei woman who grows organic vegetables in Havana. Judy will meet beautiful Muraleando, a neighborhood brightened by art from around the world, pilgrims who come to be part of a vision brought to life by school children of the neighborhood and artists, poets and hip hop performers. When there last we also met the elder who cleans every day the art and art installations which transforms every corner of the neighborhood. So my heart is full of Nikkei Cubans and the artists of Muraleando and Judy and Artemisa who has one boot which is easy to put on, and one boot which is hard to take off, something that she shared with me this morning, her eyes full of laughter and voice full of the silly wonder of it all -- just when she needs to go to Cuba!! She also whispered conspiratorially about her other grandparents. When we went to Italy . .. do you know what. . . . they eat ice-cream EVERY DAY!!! In Cuba, she will also find some wonderful treat every day. She will also meet many Italians! C'mon, USA. Bring down the blockade. The time has past for this grey thinking. We yearn for the bright colors of a Cuban Day!!

"from Outside the Belly" was also known as "TBAsian" from 2008-2010. Thank you for reading.

from Outside the Monster's Belly

from Outside the Monster's Belly
. . . following Earth instead (Rakaia River, site of Salmon Ceremony, photo credit Ruth Koenig)


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Eugene, Oregon
I am a citizen of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe. I am a Nikkei descendant sansei (third generation);retired teacher, involved in the Winnemem tribal responsibility to Water, Salmon, and our belief that the Sacred is our Teacher. Working locally for human rights and supporting youth leadership.