ESSAYS by PinkEagle

Introduction to my essays

 

Somehow you’ve found yourself at my website and are now wondering about this link - Essays.

 

I hope you’ve already read my bio, looked at my art and digested the captions.   If not, maybe you should.   As the old saying goes - “a picture is worth a thousand words.”

 

Well, the same could be said for my art.   My clay gastropods and animals reveal much about me as a painting reveals much about the painter.   They are my essays too.    Written with my fingers using multi-colored polymer clay.

 

Now, about these essays.

 

           October 15, 1987 - my life changed.  I got zapped, so to speak!

 

           March 17 - 26, 1993 - my life again changed.  Zapped again, so to speak!

 

I’m not trying to be mysterious!    I’m not yet prepared at this point to make public the details of these two “births” in my life. But without these two,  my art would never have come into being.

 

The essays you are invited to read and ponder are like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.   The Puzzle is the book these essays come from that is yet to be published.   So you will be reading chapters - some that will be in the book and others that won’t make the cut.

 

All my essays - I collect them like the seashells I amassed when I was a live collector.   So they are dated when I wrote them; including where I was, what the weather and any other data I see as pertinent.   

 

This is what I did as a collector of live snails.  And I will now do the same with my essays.

 

So please be patient with me.   We are entering an unknown Land.   Unfamiliar to me too.   Yes,  I’m the one with the map.    But strangely enough, I too am excited and anxious to discover what’s out there.

 

The title of the book is      ………flying again!       with this opening line      “I was born with feathers in my blood.”

 

Carl Reiner died June 30, 2020.   Two days ago.   At the age of 98!   He directed George Burns and John Denver in the movie “Oh, God!”.   At some point I will share why this film is very special to me.

 

I will close with this insight imbedded in the screenplay.    An insight we need right now with this Virus loose in human society.    

 

John asks George, as God, why He doesn’t fix everything.   And George responds back with the obvious.

“I gave you all you need to make things work.   Now do it.”   

Black Elk Speaks. . . 

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And then she blew me out of the water!   Susan shared that she’d met Myron a year before.   That he’d shown her the bow and arrows that Black Elk had made for John Neihardt.    Of their return to the Black Elk family.   

And then Susan said to me.   “I need to introduce you to Myron.   He needs to meet you.”

So that’s how Myron and I met.   Over the phone.   

Again, there are no words I can use to relate of how strange it was for the two of us.  For Myron to hear and me to speak.   Of the Vision I’d had.

So now I need to do the same with this essay.  Try to relate it you who have found yourself reading my words.

I grew up in Holland, Michigan, a town founded by Dutch People in 1847.   I’m mostly Dutch, German and English.   As a young child of 7 or 8 I had what I describe as a mind meld with a young Indian woman as she’s dying.   Shot by Cavalry soldiers.   In 1962  I meet a man who I mistaken for a Japanese exchange student at Hope College.   Who turns out to be a Full blood Tlingit Indian instead.   We marry the next year.   Move to Yakutat, Alaska to live with his People.   I’m adopted into the Eagle Clan.  We have 3 children, 7 grand children and two greats.  And also were involved together in the 17 years of our marriage in numerous American Indian Justice Issues.  We divorced in 1980 and our children and I returned to Holland 

As you can realize, I don’t know how to see through white eyes very well anymore. This is how I describe myself to Myron.   I’m Pink Eagle.    It doesn’t take much red to made a white person pink.

In October of 1987 I had what I call, my 9/11 experience.   It was as if I was given to “see” what we’d done to get The Land to build America upon and with.   I cried and cried.

For 5 and 1/2 years I read and pondered.  My polymer clay absorbing the pain my being was living with.  Later to be transformed into the gentle animals I Pull/Pinch into being.  Pain transformed into Peace.

Black Elk Speaks was the book most of all that helped me to see our Land History.

For me, though, the most moving part of the book was Black Elk’s ability to trust and relate the story of his Great Vision to a white man.

An unbidden idea came to me.   “Write a play celebrating their relationship.”   I wouldn’t have chosen a screenplay.   Because in March of 1972 we attended The Godfather Premiere in Marlon Brando’s place.   In protest of how Hollywood had portrayed American Indians.

My daughter had heard me mention this.  And many months later, said to me, “why don’t you write a screenplay instead?”

Of course, I was only playing!   Be careful what you play, what you pray!

My ache for resolution was genuine.   For True Peace between the Red and the White peoples.   Can you see?   You reading this.   How deep and broad was my heart and head knowledge.   

So I sat down without pen and paper and began to imagine the start of a film.   I began with the snow high in the sky over Wounded Knee falling after the Massacre December 29, 1890.   At that point my own ability to imagine quit.   And all the details fell like snowflakes.   I caught a few.   But it was as if all the rest of these frozen tears fell for me to absorb.  To water and nourish my psyche.

And I heard myself realize how important music was for screenplay.   And that John Denver was the ideal person to write the music.   Nine days later, I was given to know he’d already written the music.  The theme.  In the song Eagle and Horses.

The chorus:  I had a vision of Eagles and horses
                       High on a ridge in a run with the wind
                       Going higher and higher and faster and faster
                       On Eagles and horses
                       I’m flying again!

Eagles and Horses United in peace.  Seeing from above together.   Tears of grief transformed into snowflakes of joy.

In Peace

Pink Eagle (Annie Olson)

You never know when something is about to enter your life.   Today, when I opened my phone up to see what emails and texts had come in......I see a number of texts from Myron. (Great-Great Grandson of Black Elk). 

I read his words to me.......prayers, how is Phil?   And the link to this news story written by Tanya Manus for the Rapid City Journal yesterday. “Fifth Annual Black Elk Peak hike to be held Sunday.  May 30, 2021.

There are no words I can write to express how personal the thoughts written are for me.    My greatest desire, just like Black Elk and John Neihardt and Myron.   And so many others.   Unity between all cultures.

I was introduced to Myron by Susan Christianson  in January of 2016.    I had Googled Black Elk and Many Hoops and her name came up.   Strange to read.   Lives in Juneau.  I find her phone number and call her up.   She start to talk.  Turns out she’s also a Baha’i.  Then I share with her the Vision I had the evening of St. Patrick Day 1993. 
 

Light of Unity

“So powerful is the light of unity that it can illumine the whole world.” -Bahai quote

 

“I looked ahead and saw the mountains there with rocks and forests on them, and from the mountains flashed all colors upward to the heavens.  Then I was standing on the highest mountain of them all, and all around about beneath me was the whole hoop of the world. And while I stood there I saw more than I can tell and I understood more than I saw; for I was seeing in a sacred manner the shape of all shapes as they must live together like one being.   And I saw that the sacred hoop of my people was one of many hoops that made one circle, wide as daylight and as starlight, and in the center grew one mighty flowering tree to shelter all the children of one mother and one father.   And I saw that it was holy.”

from Black Elk Speaks  by John Neihardt

 

President Trump will be only a short distance from Black Elk Peak in a few hours.

 

I wish he was able to appreciate these words, which both speak so clearly for the unity we all seek.

 

We are all brothers and sisters. So we are each others keepers too.

 

I pray as I type these words for the healing of the tortured psyche of President Trump, my brother.   

 

Light from the Sun is invisible until It passes through the glass of a prism.   From a distance, we are able to observe distinct colors. But the closer we come to a rainbow, the harder it is to define particular colors. A blending of colors into one Color.

 

Each of us, I think, possess a spiritual ray that The Creator, Great Mystery, Unknowable Essence has given us.   The more we join our personal rays together, the more complete will be the spectrum of light.  

 

As an artist, I am so aware of the power of natural light to see the colors of my shells.   

 

A simple but profound metaphor from Nature. Showing us how powerful unity can be.

 

Written by Pink Eagle July 3, 2020

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You can't sit on my shoulder. . . 

Writing this July 11, 2020

“The truth will set you free - but first it will make you mad.”  

                                                                            A quote at the bottom of a Menard’s flyer

 

When the Deeps of the Pacific Ocean are explored with vehicles such as an Alvin, animals are filmed in their natural habitat. Looking healthy and robust. But when they’re brought to the surface miles above, many of them are unable to survive in this low pressure environment.

 

One of my blogs is about me, not being deep - but about me, being taken deep.

 

I seem to bring up insights that I’ve seen and collected from The Deep. But when I bring them to the surface and try to share them with others (so they can see and study them) they also fall apart.   

 

October 15, 1987, I was taken as deep as I ever want to go. The night I was zapped.  Seeing what we’d done to get The Land to be America upon and with.  A knowing that brought forth all the tears I’d not yet shed from a life time of experiencing this Truth firsthand. 

 

Mad?   That’s an understatement! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I found this definition in a dictionary a long, long time ago.   I offer it so you too can appreciate these fine words with me.   They hit the nail on the head!  I am so thankful to these people for their wonderful, insightful description. Must have gone deep too - to obtain this definition.

 

You can try to understand what it was like for me to see our shared history. For me, it was as if I was The Twin Towers being hit by Truth instead of two jets.

 

But you can’t know!   You can’t know what it was like for me!  

 

The facts I found myself compelled to read of what we did and didn’t do - were like weights that took me deeper and deeper.

 

Forrest Gump!   How I love that movie!

 

That feather! That gorgeous feather. And the beautiful music which joined the feather’s flight to the feet of Forrest as he sat on that park bench waiting for a bus to take him to see Jenny.

 

The opening scene begins with a tiny white feather against a light blue sky drifting on the wind. Descending to the town square below.

 

I remember so clearly where I was when I saw this scene.   I was walking down the aisle in the darkened theater to join Faye, my cousin from Battle Mountain, Nevada and her daughter Cathy.  I’m seeing not only the feather floating down to the feet of Forrest, but also realizing the experience of the feather is allowing me to see what it was like for me March 17, 1993 when I had a vision for a screenplay.

 

The details of the vision descended like snowflakes. Drifting too.  Landing at the feet of my psyche. So few I was able to catch. Yet somehow knowing that they would melt and be absorbed by the roots of the tree that is me. To return as blossoms that would in turn be pollinated and become red fruit with flesh the color of virgin snow.

 

But the other thing I noticed was the shoulder of a man walking by a car. The feather, for a moment,  wonders if she’s to land on his shoulder.  Wondering if this is where she’s to land.  

 

Yes, the feather is female.   

 

She almost lands there, but the wind takes her to the feet of Forrest, her true destination.

 

It may be the wind that directed her flight path, but she was aware!   Just as I was aware as I had that vision for a screenplay the evening of St. Patrick’s Day of ’93.

 

It was strange for me then (and still is) how this scene was mirroring my own experience the night I had my vision.

 

The first scene begins with myself high above Wounded Knee just after The Massacre December 29, 1890.   Snow began to fall and I see an eagle dancing with one particular snowflake.  I hear beautiful music.   I find myself dancing with them.

 

We descend. There is Black Elk standing by The Tree. The withered and dying Tree.

 

I ponder just like the feather did in Forrest Gump…..where are we to land on Black Elk?

 

I see his shoulder.   I wonder, “Is that our landing strip?”   Yet, somehow, I know it isn’t.  

 

Then as I finish entering the last words of the first scene, I am finally allowed to know where we land on Black Elk.  

This is why you can’t sit on my shoulder of knowing.   You, like myself, must read for yourself our shared.   What we did and what we didn’t do.   Then you will have your own personal knowing.   As I do.

 

“Cherish your visions and your dreams, as they are the children of your soul ………………”

                                                                                          Again - part of a quote I found in a Menard’s ad flyer

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Light of Unity

“So powerful is the light of unity that it can illumine the whole world.” -Bahai quote

 

“I looked ahead and saw the mountains there with rocks and forests on them, and from the mountains flashed all colors upward to the heavens.  Then I was standing on the highest mountain of them all, and all around about beneath me was the whole hoop of the world. And while I stood there I saw more than I can tell and I understood more than I saw; for I was seeing in a sacred manner the shape of all shapes as they must live together like one being.   And I saw that the sacred hoop of my people was one of many hoops that made one circle, wide as daylight and as starlight, and in the center grew one mighty flowering tree to shelter all the children of one mother and one father.   And I saw that it was holy.”

from Black Elk Speaks  by John Neihardt

 

President Trump will be only a short distance from Black Elk Peak in a few hours.

 

I wish he was able to appreciate these words, which both speak so clearly for the unity we all seek.

 

We are all brothers and sisters. So we are each others keepers too.

 

I pray as I type these words for the healing of the tortured psyche of President Trump, my brother.   

 

Light from the Sun is invisible until It passes through the glass of a prism.   From a distance, we are able to observe distinct colors. But the closer we come to a rainbow, the harder it is to define particular colors. A blending of colors into one Color.

 

Each of us, I think, possess a spiritual ray that The Creator, Great Mystery, Unknowable Essence has given us.   The more we join our personal rays together, the more complete will be the spectrum of light.  

 

As an artist, I am so aware of the power of natural light to see the colors of my shells.   

 

A simple but profound metaphor from Nature. Showing us how powerful unity can be.

 

Written by Pink Eagle July 3, 2020

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Not Quite Real

July 23, 2020                                   

 

Not quite real….

 

But not quite artificial either.

 

It has taken me a long time to realize and then acknowledge, I am my shells.

 

I’m not quite White, nor am I not quite Red either.

 

Why I write under the name of Pink Eagle.   The Red and White in me getting along, at peace.

 

It’s funny how the shells I form of polymer clay have, like a wise spiritual guide, helped me to see myself.

 

I began to recognize something unknown to me during the first Shell Fair in 2001 on Sanibel.  That so often things are not one or the other.   But a marriage of opposites.   With many off-spring.  

 

When I called to be allowed into the Shell Fair, I had to plead to be let in.   For a shell that wasn’t a real shell was considered verboten in the show.  But Gos, I thank you for saying OK.   I know you were nervous about letting me in. 

 

Gos Goslin was in charge of the artistic side of the show.  

 

 

I think I need to draw you a diagram of the actual Sanibel Community Center.   The inside layout.  Not a painting that can speak a thousand words.   But maybe a hundred at least.   I’m able to sculpt but drawing is not my thing.

 

 

As you can see, there is a large entrance and lobby between the science and art exhibits.

 

Looks like our brain.   The two hemispheres.   The Logical and Intuitive.   Two sides of one coin.  Democrats and Republicans.   Men and Women.  I could go on and on.

 

I spent five days exposed to the obvious.    My shells aching to join the science exhibits.   I could almost hear them.   “We are more science than art!”

 

That’s when I began to get it.   About my shells and about me.

 

 Sometimes something or someone is caught between opposites.  

 

My shells were much more about science than art.   But they were made of a man-made clay.   Too arty to be accepted in the science division.   So for five days I spent my time speaking art and science at the same time.   

 

I’ve always been a person who wanted to belong.   But I’ve found myself, trapped between opposites.

 

When I married a full blood Tlingit Indian from Yakutat, Alaska, my redness began to emerge.   Which I must say shocked my Native husband as much as I.   Not realizing Jim, himself, was also caught between two world views.

 

I will never forget these words he said to me.   “You’re more Native than I!” 

 

Jim thought he’d a Dutch girl.  And I thought I’d married an Indian.  

 

We began to realize it isn’t all blood.   So much of who Jim and I are is about cultural identity.   What defines us.   Our Heart.

 

So it wasn’t hard for me to recognize that my shells were now facing the same dilemma.  Trapped in the Lobby between Science an Art.

 

Why I say my shells are not quite real….and yet they aren’t quite artificial either.

 

Just as I’m not quite red……and yet I’m not quite White either.

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