Showing posts from December, 2009

Celebrating the Elders

What is an elder? That's the question a close friend asked me when I told her about the Elders Christmas Dinner hosted last week by the American Indian College Fund . "It's a blessing to help serve the meal," I said. "There were over 200 Indian elders there, from dozens of different tribes." My friend lowered her head shyly and asked, "What's an elder?" Her question made me ponder how we treat elders in the dominant culture of which I am a part. She knew, of course, what an elder was but not in the context of a special event held strictly to honor our elders. The dinner was a special affair, but not a serious one (it's hard to be too serious with 200 adults eagerly awaiting the arrival of both dinner, and Santa). "If you're over 55," said emcee John Gritts, "please have a seat and a youngster (anyone under 55) will bring you your food." The day after the Elders Dinner, Rick Williams, president of the American

The Grand Design of Our Lives: Connecting the Synchronistic Dots

SYNCHRONISTIC MOMENTS  - seemingly unrelated events that connect in unplanned ways.  How often do they occur?  How often do we fail to "connect the dots" that tie these moments together?  What do they tell us about the Grand Design of our lives ?  When the old man in John Steinbeck's collection The Pastures of Heaven stared down into the valley where he had lived his life, tears came to his eyes and he beat his hands helplessly against his hip. "I’ve never had time to think," he said.  "I’ve been too busy with troubles ever to think anything out. If I could go down there and live down there for a little while—why, I’d think over all the things that ever happened to me, and maybe I could make something out of them, something all in one piece that had a meaning, instead of all these trailing ends.” All those trailing ends--the threads of our lives that we long to weave into something whole and meaningful.  But how do we begin the braiding? Sometimes it