Artist's Way

A Clash of World Views

I see a great disconnect between the tribal nations and the Wisconsin in terms of the worldivew of Mother Earth herself. I have participated in the Native American science fair for 8 years through the American Science Indian Science and Engineering Society and University of Wisconsin of Milwaukee. I won 8 gold medals at the state level. I was studying to be an Environmental Engineer. I had an internship at the Center for Great Lakes studies. I went with great interest because I was passionate about the study of water. I remember receiving a tour and an explanation of what they do. They said they study the lake by studying the fish. He then took a very large test tube and loaded it up with fish and then gleefully grinding the fish and while maniacally laughing. Total disregard for life, no sacredness for the spirit of the fish. It’s then I saw the truth that the Western world of science sees Mother Earth as inanimate and dead and that is why there is such total disregard for life. That was the day I stopped pursuing Western science. For I was raised in the native traditions that Mother Earth is alive and can feel. That is why the Wisconsin Legislators won’t understand the Native American point of view because the Wisconsin Legislators come from a world view where they think Mother Earth is dead and they can do whatever they want.

Artist's Way

Mining Hearing at the Madison Capitol on Wed. Jan. 23, 2013

Here’s a scary story…if native people don’t rise up and stop that mining bill if it passes it gives mining companies the right to mine anywhere in Wisconsin including ALL the reservations not just Ojibway reservations. I am enrolled in the Stockbridge-Munsee band of Mohicans tribe and I was a witness and I signed up to testify at the state hearing in Madison Capitol Jan. 23, 2013

On Wednesday Jan 23, 2013 I went to testify at the one and only hearing on the mining bill at the capitol in Madison, WI. I was overjoyed to meet a Mohican-8 member for the first time. This was the first time I was ever inside the state capitol as well as part of a state hearing. It was a momentous occasion marked by the fact I learned what my Indian name in Munsee is Wapaan Alaangwee. Anushiik Roxanne and Jeremy Mohawk of the Language and Culture board. I am officially on record that I am against the mine bill. I printed out the Four Crow prophecy of the Pennsylvannia Lenape and I was going to testify the Four Crow prophecy of the Lenape, that we are the rightful caretakers of Mother Earth, and we need the treaties to be honored for the caretakers in Bad River because the treaties are the supreme law of the land. I have never testified in a hearing on this kind of matter before.

I witnessed the testimonies including the testimonies of the Ojibway people. What broke my heart was that delegation of Ojibwe tribal nations showed up and the group was told the group had only 2 minutes to testify for the whole group which I found shocking! Where was the nation to nation partnership laid out in the treaties? This bill violates international law! One legislator stated he sent one tribal nation a single letter. Another legislator stated he paid one visit to one tribe. However, an Ojibwe member testified that the Wisconsin state government treated the Ojibwe as second class citizens. I totally could see that at this hearing. There should have been a formal meeting with the tribal nations in a nation to nation conference or summit to properly discuss this mining bill which the Ojibwe I heard were against it stating tribal sovereignty and protection of the environment. I heard and saw a real disconnect between the tribal nations and Wisconsin government. I strongly believe that a talking circle is needed so that everybody is on equal playing field to promote real cooperation and partnership among the nations. I believe anything involving tribal lands should involve the direct input of the tribal nations every step of the way.

There were over 150 people signed up to speak and I was there for 8 hours since 10 am and most from Waukesha or Milwaukee were not called because they decided to have all those from up north speak first since they traveled for 6 hours to be at this one and only hearing. It was appalling and an oversight that they did not have a hearing for the people in the north and that the hearing they did have in Madison was so last minute many testified they barely had the chance to act because of such little notice. There were repeated testimonies calling for a meeting up north to properly address this issue.

Another thing that was disheartening was where were the rest of the Wisconsin tribal councils? Where was the Stockbridge-Munsee band of Mohicans tribal council at this hearing? It was stated at the hearing that this bill will affect the entire state so why didn’t Stockbrige-Munsee band of Mohicans tribal council stand in solidarity with the Ojibwe at the hearing? Where was my people? This isn’t just an Ojibwe problem. This is everybody’s problem. With this bill that they could mine in any part of the state of Wisconsin including our Mohican reservation. However, I clearly see this is only the beginning of the healing journey. When you think of the Idle No More movement I hope you don’t see this is just some problem for the Canadians, but we are going through our own tribal sovereignty issues here such as the mining bill. It hits home here. I hope Mohican-8 can be a part of the discussion on the topic as we help each other to learn and act. Cause as the Four Crow Prophecy says we are the Caretakers and together we can learn what that means.

Aho!
Wenona Morning Star Gardner

Artist's Way

Idle No More Peace March in Milwaukee, WI January 18, 2013

Today I went to a Peace March in Milwaukee, WI for a deeply spiritual and powerful movement for protecting tribal sovereignty and the environment. Here are the pictures of my day.

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Chief Robert Red Hawk Ruth of Pennsylvania Lenape Nation carrying the Four Crow Prophecy Drum with Wenona “Buffy” Gardner, Wabun anung (Morning Star) of the Stockbridge Munsee band of Mohicans tribe of Wisconsin. At Grand Ave Mall in Milwaukee Wisconsin for the Idle No More Peace Rally.

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The beginning of the Idle No More Peace March starting at Grand Ave Mall in Milwaukee, WI

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Wenona “Buffy” Gardner, Wabun anung (Morning Star) of the Stockbridge Munsee band of Mohicans tribe of Wisconsin. with Alfreda Young former WE Indians Counselor of the Potawatomi tribe. At Grand Ave Mall in Milwaukee for the Idle No More Peace Rally

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The beginning of the Idle No More Peace March starting at Grand Ave Mall.

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The beginning of the Idle No More Peace March starting at Grand Ave Mall in Milwaukee, WI. IdleNoMore Organizer Dona Yahola of the Bad River Ojibwe.

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Idle No More Peace March at Veterans Park Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Artist's Way

I had to grow into this vocation as a Certified Peer Specialist.

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I had to grow into this vocation as a Certified Peer Specialist. I remember back in July 2006 I had post traumatic stress disorder and bipolar disorder I was so isolated, so fearful, so doubtful of my abilities even though I had a college degree. I felt that all the mental breakdowns had altered my brain and I struggled more. So, when my caseworker brought me the paper about the new peer specialist course that was 75 hours I immediately turned her down. I didn’t believe at that time after all my mental breakdowns that I could take a course like that. Later, my other caseworker came up to me and said they were doing Wellness Recovery Action Plans on the first day and that I would really benefit by just going for the first day. So, I said okay I could handle one day. I showed up and the instructor Carmen Bonanno was so enthusiastic and friendly and asked me if I was going to sign up for the entire course. I shared with her that I was going to only be there for the Wellness Recovery Action Plan for that day. She then encouraged for me to take the whole course and she said she would personally help me every step of the way. That certainly made my day! I decided to take the peers specialist course. 

I went through the entire 75 hour course and I scored the highest score on my Peer Specialist exam. At the end of the course a representative from the Mental Health Association showed up looking for peer specialist candidates to work doing Peer Specialist work on the phones for people who called in. I applied for the job and I got it. And that is how I got my first job after being unemployed for 8 long years. If Carmen hadn’t believed in me or held my hand I don’t know where I would be today 7 years later.

Artist's Way

I won a photo contest!

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Greetings fellow travelers,

This is the piece of Raku pottery made by Ryan Peters owner of Clinton St. Gallery http://www.theclintonstgallery.com that I won in a photo contest. If you want to see the prize winning photo go see the blog entry titled “Walking In This World in May 8, 2012.” I placed my pottery on my Artist’s Altar with my two God boxes which I decorated (because I have a lot of prayers) and lilacs.

Warm regards,

Buffy

Artist's Way

Walking in This World Check In – April 30, 2012

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Greetings fellow travelers, 

This past week I wrote 6/7 Morning Pages. I experimented once and typed my Morning Pages to see how many I could type in 30 minutes. I discovered I could type 1.557 words. I didn’t realize I wrote so much it’s almost the same amount recommended for NaNoWriMo which is 1,667 words per day. I am considering doing a writing streak http://writingstreak.org in May to keep track of how much I write. Between my Morning Pages, my long term goals, and my Map I am working on I want to keep track of my writing progress.  

Someone sent me a challenge to write a blog on a schedule at Blog Me Maybe http://www.julianahaygert.com/2012/blog-me-maybe. I am debating about whether or not I want to take on this particular challenge. I know I am already going to be writing a lot without doing daily blogs. Part of me wants to try it though to see what would happen and if traffic to my blog site would increase or not. I am still thinking about this. 

After recommendation of a fellow Artist’s Way Circle member, I downloaded and am trying out Scrivener tool for writers for 30 days. Scrivener is a ring-binder, a scrapbook, a corkboard, an outliner and text editor all rolled into one. So  far, I have imported my “Two Step” novel draft after I read a delicious email from Lindsey Grant of NaNoWriMo about the beauty of revising your novel. I have been reluctant to revise my novel and have put it off for four years since “Two Step” has been written. Hopefully, I can figure out how to break my novel down into smaller pieces. Also, I started another project in Scrivener I am titling My Map that plans my goals for the next five years of my artist journey. Hopefully, with a Map I can better see where I am going. 

My Artist’s Date I have read five chapters in “A New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle. I had previously watched a video series between Oprah and Eckhart Tolle discussing the book. Now I finally have the book and time to read it. I have been making notes in the margins. A synchronicity is that a friend of mine emailed me and said she just received that same book. I raised the idea of us both going through the book together. She said if she had questions she would ask me. 

I walked around my building for 20 minutes. As I walked I loved the crisp air of spring which is my favorite season and is great for walking. I came around the bend and I saw a bunny. 

Issues of recovery is taking baby steps towards my dreams. I don’t have to do everything today. I can make some priorities. I have other writing projects, but I decided My Map is important to me first. 

Warm regards, 

Buffy

 

Artist's Way

Walking in This World Check in April 23, 2012

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Greetings fellow travelers,

Week 5 Walking in This World check In. I wrote 6/7 Morning Pages this week. Busy week with extra trainings that one day slipped past me or I would have had 7/7 this week. So close.

My Artist’s Date was finishing the second book “Compass of the Heart” of the Patricia Cogan triology. It was a love story of a white pyschologist falling in love with a Native American medicine man, two worlds collide. There was a scene in the story that deeply moved me. One of the main characters was singing a Lakota song and the words of the song were written in the book. Ironically, I knew the melody of the song and began to sing the song out loud. This brought back fond memories of my foster mother who was a pipe carrier and who taught me this Lakota song. I felt connected.

I walked at night for twenty minutes in my neighborhood. It was a brisk and peaceful walk.

My issue of recovery is embracing that I am a successful artist. A few friends of mine declared that I was a successful artist and for some reason I bristled at this. I initially said that I don’t see myself as a successful artist yet but that I was on the path to being a successful artist. However my friends would not accept this and lovingly corrected me that indeed I am a successful artist.

I had a playdate with my sister. She brought colorful balloons and a pump for making balloon animals. She also brought the ingredients to make asparagus and strawberry pizza she invented homemade as seen in the picture above. I actually thought it could use more strawberries I enjoyed it so much.

Warm regards,
Buffy

 

 

Artist's Way

Walking in This World Check in April 17, 2012

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Greetings fellow travelers, 

I did 5/7 Morning Pages. It just slips my mind sometimes because I have so much going on especially with work. I am trying to put a newsletter together but the articles are coming in past the deadline which keeps throwing off my layout and printing schedule. I wrote two newsletter articles, “Cards of Hope” and “The Artist’s Way Circle.” I talked with a song writer and joined a Google+ songwriting group. My Artist’s Date was exploring Pottermore.com which finally became open to everyone after 6 months of waiting to get in. It was cool to explore and find hidden coins, herbs, and books in the scenes. I am good at potions so far, but suck at casting spells and dueling. Synchronicity I really wanted to get into Pottermore and when I checked it was finally open to the public for the first time. The little kid in me was excited! My issue of recovery was to let outside problems go and not let it distract me from my own personal recovery. To keep moving forward. Rest if I must, but to keep taking steps again when I can. 

Warm regards, 

Buffy

Artist's Way

Walking in This World Check In April 9, 2012

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Greetings fellow travelers,

This quote best sums up how I feel who I am. This is how I see myself and my role in The Artist’s Way. It’s also why I say Greetings fellow travelers.

“I’m not a teacher: only a fellow-traveler of who you asked the way.

I pointed ahead – ahead of myself as well as you.”

-George Bernard Shaw

I did 5/7 Morning Pages. My Artist’s Date I went to a local store to pick up a new artsy Morning Pages notebook and boy did I find an unusual one. My notebook came with a Crayola pen called “Wild Notes” that when you write it turns different colors red, blue, green, and purple. As I used this unique pen I wondered about it’s technology that was making this a possibility to change colors so with the same ink. I did an entire day’s worth Morning Pages with this pen and I stared at the varied cotton colored phasing in and out of colors of my ink over the entire three pages. It was quite surreal. I have in the past used a purple or a pink pen to fill my Morning Pages, but never before four different colors all the same page. It was quite a site. And very pretty. The cover of my notebook is black background with cursive writing across in shades of blue, yellow, orange, and red. It tickled my inner child. At this Artist’s Date I also looked for supplies to complete the colalge in the third week task of “Walking in This World.” I was looking for poster board which I did see this particular store carry before, but the day I did the Artist’s Date there was no poster board to be found. I also came home and I thought I had some rubber cement and discovered mine was all dried out and empty. I was frustrated thinking I couldn’t completed the collage task. So, I was reading the comments on The Artist’s Way Circle on Facebook and one of the members made a collage using a free site on the internet called Photovisi http://www.photovisi.com That site is such a fun site and I totally loved the freedom to experiment and play with my collage. There were different backgrounds and layouts. Lots of choices of colors and fonts. My boyfriend and I are doing “Walking in This World” together including going on the walks together and we put this collage together. We both made decisions on what to use and incorporate in our collage. The collage above is the end result of our creative collaboration. Creative collaboration is so much fun! I think the member in The Artist’s Way Circle pointing out Photovisi as a wonderful synchronicity and solution to make our collage since I couldn’t find the poster board.

I walked 40 minutes this week going to and from the store where I participated in my Artist’s Date. I noticed the beauty of the daffodils and the purple flowers in the trees. The air was crisp and wonderful. I had a good walk, but I still finding myself needing to sit after short distances. I hope that my stamina for walking will improve.

This past week I learned a lot about myself. I became more aware of my true nature. I live my life hiding in an attic like in the “Hiding Room.” I want to spend more time expressing myself. I want to get most out of my life. I experienced another synchronicity. I wrote in my Morning Pages about how I was to proceed with all of the creative dreams that I have and to my surprise I discovered this poem that seemed to fit the request I made in the Morning Pages.

I will not die an unlived life.
I will not live in fear
of falling or catching fire.
I choose to inhabit my days,
to allow my living to open me,
to make me less afraid,
more accessible,
to loosen my heart
until it becomes a wing,
a torch, a promise.
I choose to risk my significance;
to live so that which came to me as seed
goes to the next as blossom
and that which came to me as blossom, goes on as fruit.

Fully Alive – Dawna Markova

Warm regards,
Buffy

Artist's Way

Walking in This World Check In April 3, 2012

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Greetings fellow travelers,

This is week two check-in in “Walking in This World” by Julia Cameron. I was able to do 5 out 7 days writing my Morning Pages. I recently received some very bad news and I found myself shutting down and unable to write on the last days. I turned to outside help and they have been helping me work through it.

I did the Artist’s Date that Julia Cameron indicated in Task: Identify Your Identity on page 41 which states “Schedule an hour’s undivided time and take your adult self on some small walking adventure. Do not be surprised if many feelings and intutions and insights bubble to the surface during this Artist’s Date.” I ventured out from my home into the overcast day wearing my light coat. I walk with difficulty because of my physical handicap. I can only walk so long so I go to the nearest coffee shop to get a refreshment of Clementine soda, strawberry yogurt, and a glazed doughnut. I hadn’t had breakfast yet and I was hungry. I watched other people enjoying their coffee typing away in their keyboards. I ate quickly because I wanted to get out to walking again. I walked to a local store to find they were not open. I walked to a gym and watched people excercising on exercise machines. Wondering what their pool looked like. I walked as far as I could and finally sat down at a bus stop. I waved passed a bus that thought I might want to catch the bus which I didn’t. Just as I was sitting at the bus stop the sun finally broke through the clouds. It was beautiful to behold everything in glowing radiant sunlight. I miss the days when I could walk comfortably. I used to take very long walks in the past. Today, I am glad I could walk as much as I could during the hour. It felt good to be a part of the community.

In addition to Julia Cameron’s indicated Artist’s Date hour walk, I also did the recommended 20 minute walk. It was a short walk in my neighborhood where I had an appointment. Not as leisurely as the Artist’s Date’s hour walk because I was trying to make the appointment on time. It was a good walk though. Still wanting to take my camera on my walk to take pictures.

Issue of recovery was focusing on self care and security. I am glad I asked for help and I shared what went on with me this past week because of the bad news and how it impacts my ability to move forward. Strong feelings over the situation surfaced and I was able to get support from others and do extra self care to handle it all. The excellent self care portion of my creativity contract comes to mind right now.

Warm regards,
Buffy