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Reflections in the Silver Cup

THE STORY BASKET: On Counseling Children

…in the aftermath of violent histories, telling stories and listening to stories are acts of peace. ~ Connie Braun, Silentium




All day long these children and I
trade stories
we weave colors and textures
we write together in journals
we tell what it is all about
we trade love for love
I hold their tears

I am the story basket
and in me the stories change
color and shape and sound
they take on rhythm
drum beats Read More 
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THE SHEET

It was a narrow, mint green rectangle, about the size of a crib sheet with Auckland Hospital Delivery stenciled large and black in one corner. The midwife brought it with her to the house, and my baby slid out onto it like a little otter. The midwife forgot it, and I washed it with the first load of diapers and undershirts. Some of the blood stayed, making furry looking, irregular rings—wide, brown outlines of small continents. Now and then, I used it in my daughter’s crib—clean, just a bit stained. A male nurse lived in our house then. He liked rules and said Read More 
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INTEGRATING NATIVE PERSPECTIVES WITH CHRISTIANTY: AN INTERVIEW WITH DARLENE SILVERSMITH

Meeting Darlene Silversmith was a surprise. It happened while I was serializing To Drink from the Silver Cup on my blog. She must have found the blog through a Facebook post and commented something like this: “Wow! Christian Reformed [CRC and the church I grew up in] and in the Navajo Nation. Have to read this.” After she’d read a few chapters, she shared some of her own story about being in the CRC. Darlene is Diné, and her family roots are in Crownpoint, New Mexico, although she was born in Oakland, California, her birth there being one more example of the colonization of indigenous people. It was US policy, especially in the 1950s and 60s, to try to integrate Diné into the society at large through a program known as relocation, in which Native people were sent to urban areas to vocational training programs, where it was hoped they would settle.

Darlene’s Facebook posts intrigued me, as she was clearly very involved in the CRC. At the time she was going through its Leadership Development Program and seeking what is known in the CRC as a license to exhort, which means basically a license to preach without being ordained. At the same time, she was clearly aware of and raising consciousness about the need to decolonize Christianity. I asked if I could interview her at some point when I would be in the area. Her reply was a single word: “Sure.”

As my book tour evolved, it turned out that I would drive through Crownpoint en route to an event in Cuba, NM. We agreed to meet at Read More 
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