Monday, November 30, 2009
Betty Eicher in Miamisburg OH. From the archives of Bill Eicher and Betty Eicher and Mary Parker Brown Dec 24 1884 - May 5 1961.
When I met my second cousin Bill Eicher who was 20 years my senior and the youngest of my parents generation, back in 1984 I was doing my "gay adolescence" as a gay dad, son and husband to Susan. I was struggling with clear boundaries without having a solid role model in my life to respect Susan, and my first son Nate, right after the death of my dad in Jan 1982. I now have a huge level of compassion for the emerging culture of LGBTQ communities throughout the world. Learning about the history of Schwuler Leute "gay people" for 200 years in Berlin Last summer through the connection with Jeremy Minsberg, formerly of St Paul and now in Berlin was a great boon to my understanding of my German heritage and the culture in Germany before the Nazi repression. Living in Minnesota and serving on the Twin Cities Men's Center Board as an openly gay man is the level of comfort I now have of being my authentic self. So grateful for the support of my spiritual sister, Jane Newell, who still grieves the loss of her Stevie, her blood brother Stephen Scott, who took his own life in the year 2000 with an overdose of cocaine, without integrating his true nature as a gay soul as we see it, living a double life, successful suburban school teacher and closeted urban addictive lifestyle. I dedicate my story telling and work to those LGBTQ souls who are here to live authentic lives in whatever culture or setting they are born into. To Stephen Scott, Matt Shepard, Harvey Milk and others, including those who died along side of the Jews, Romany, Jehovah Witnessnesse etc,, wearing the Pink Triangle during the Holocaust of the 20th C. I know I have been coming out at different levels since my introduction to the Program in Human Sexuality at the U of Minnesota Medical School in the early 1970's. Through my work at TCMC and Mankind Project International, I now am learning at a deeper level about being gay from other perspectives including Asian cultures like China and Korea. While cleaning out my files (Thanks China Stevie!) I just discovered a letter I sent to Jonathan Ned Katz at the Advocate in 1989 commenting on his article about Evangeline Whipple's relationship with Rose Cleveland, sister of the President. Happy more of the truth of relationships can make ours more real today too! See http://www.outhistory.org/wiki/Rose_Cleveland_and_Evangeline_Marrs_Simpson_Whipple:_1889-1918
Sunday, November 22, 2009
This is a photo of Bill Eichers Aunt Betty, his dad, William Eicher and his grandmother Minnie Stupp Eicher, wife of Charles.
Bill and I sat in his home in N Lakeland FL area and looked at a box of old photos and diplomas related to his aunt, Betty, born in 1913, Ethyl Elizabeth Eicher, in Miamisburg, 14 years before William H Eicher, Billy was born in Feb 1927. Here with their Mom, Minnie, at the Charles Eicher home in Miamisburg. This is a time for me to get clear on the chronology of the relationship of the only other LGBTQ person I have discovered within my own family tree. And very healing for me to learn more of their story. Thanks Bill Sr and Jr for sharing your archives and stories with me. Tom Weaver, second cousin to William and Betty Eicher. My grandmother Edna Helena Eicher and Bills grandfather, Charles Eicher were sister and brother.
Bill Eicher and I first met at the big cemetery, Woodland, the highest hill in Dayton Ohio after his dad passed over in Florida back in March of 2006. His father, William H Eicher, b Feb 16 1927, was a family connection I began to reconnect with after Sue and I visited Steinwenden Germany in the late 1970's to visit the land of our German Eicher ancestors. Bill had contracted a man, Roland Paul in Kaiserslautern to trace back the family roots and generously send the work to his first cousin Paul Henry Weaver, my dad after his trip to Steinwenden in 1977. After regular Christmas communications, Susan, Nathan and I visit his home in Kettering, suburban Dayton on our way to Vermont in 1984. While driving the roads of Montgomery County, West Carrollton, Ellerton and Miamisburg and as I told him my coming out story, he mentioned, "It must be genetic, my sister, Betty, has lived with a woman since she left Ohio State, and they moved to Lakeland, Florida together years ago." I felt such a great relief back then.
So here is Bill Sr's son, Bill of Florida, who lived with his mom in Ft Lauderdale area in S Florida, until he moved up to Lakeland where he met Shiela, his wife who is from the area. Grateful Bill could take out the archives so I could begin to make photos. even with only my I Phone. Thanks Bill!
Thanks to Jeff Thurston of Master Suppliements for continuing to share in the education around marketing and teaching about functional digestion and the upgrade of the T- cells and the the eubiosis of the human gut. Gratitude for the human strains of Lactobacilli and Bifidobacilli. Check out Master Supplements and the linked websites at: http://www.master-supplements.com/
Happy to be able to have my XL supported growing wardrobe, purchased at a local XL store in Richfield. THanks XL for the sartorial eye and feng shui. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feng_shui
I am expanding my Chinese Consciousness and grateful for the Tao of wind and water. Thanks Lao tse!
From wiki "The original designation for the discipline is Kan Yu (simplified Chinese: 堪舆; traditional Chinese: 堪輿; pinyin: kānyú; literally: Tao of heaven and earth).
The term feng shui literally translates as "wind-water" in English. This is a cultural shorthand taken from the following passage of the Zangshu (Book of Burial) by Guo Pu of the Jin Dynasty:
Qi rides the wind and scatters, but is retained when encountering water.
Traditional feng shui practice always requires an extremely accurate Chinese compass, or luo pan, in order to determine the directions in finding any auspicious sector in a desired location."
Regarding direction in my life, and finding balance by serving others.
I am grateful to be of service to support the intestinal fortitude of families with compromised digestion and immune function. THanks for the vision of Randy Porubcan and Jeff Thurston in creating this business that support the health of many in a good way.
Here I am for my first I phone photo, as my Canon decided to have a lens issue. Grateful for Patty Strunk who could walk me through learning about the I phone application at a watering hole just across the inlet where we were sitting with Harry Strunk from the Key Largo area, and Ed Sasso and Heather Neville who live in Jupiter. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jupiter_Inlet_Light, for more history!
Thanks for Xiaosong in leading me to find this sea blue T shirt on the Goodwill Store in Minneapolis on S Nicollet. What a great $.99 bargain and in 2 XL. I am so grateful to Creator for XL. Thanks Xiaosong Liu for your shining light! Xie Xie 谢谢 :-)
THanks for Ed's support in learning more about the area and the local community in a good way. At this location I learned about the oldest brewery in the US, that I had heard about, since the Schell Brewery in New Ulm MN is the second oldest family brewery. The name looks more Chinese as Yeuegling and then it makes sense as the orginal German was Juengling as learned on: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D.G._Yuengling_&_Son
"The German brewer David G. Jüngling immigrated to the United States in 1823 from Aldingen in the Kingdom of Württemberg. He anglicized his surname from Jüngling to Yuengling and began the "Eagle Brewery" on Center Street in Pottsville in 1829. His eldest son, David, Jr., left the Eagle Brewery to establish the James River Steam Brewery along the James River in Richmond, Virginia"
Always like to learn about the stories of the German ancestors. My Weaver anglicised from Weber came from Baden Wurttemburg in 1751 to the Pine Grove Twp area of Skulykill County PA. So the brewing tradition of the German Volk still is passed on.
Here I am at Amazon Herb Warehouse where the corporate headquarters used to be prior to the Zamu years. Ed and I picked up some Treaure Tea and Warrior here after we got the tour of the new executive offices in Jupiter. Cheers
When I first ventured out to the St Francis area to support the sundance here, I mentored by a traditional teacher who lived on this land, by the names of Joe Eagle Elk. Since then, one of my teachers still jokes with me "there are no trees here to spoil the view!" The joy and laughter are one of the things that keeps me coming back to visit my friends here. After honoring the tree and the give away of the Chan Oyate at the sundance grounds, Steven Xiaosong, took this photo of our traveling companions Coby and Blaine with a back drop of the mahkpiya oyate, the cloud nation. Ask about the story of the first son,Eya, of Tate the wind and how the cloud nation, Mahkpia Oyate can be teachers about our addictions-compulsions and block out our connection with the light of the son and create a shadow. Check that out with your spiritual mentor to learn in a good way. Aho. Mitakuye Oyasin.
One of the times I especially enjoy is sitting with friends and sharing food after a ceremony. Somehow, the human desire to share stories and share food is a universal way to connect and be in the present as a soul. Here are some of my friends I have gotten to connect with over the past 20 years or so of travel to this heartland of Turtle Island. Fred the fire coordinator of our Hollowhorn Bear Sundance, Albert White Hat Sr, Marliese White Hat, Steven Xiaosong Liu are sharing stores over food in a good way here in St Francis at the White Hat home. Pilamiyayelo tunkashila.. Mitakuye Oyasin.
Over the past 20 some years, I have been going out to the Rosebud Reservation to pray and connect with the Hollow Horn Bear Sundance as part of the Minnesota Tiospaye. Xiaosong took this photo of me in front of the old mission church that is part of the Buechel museum complex and all. As a pejuta wichasha "plant person" I am grateful for the ongoing connection to the spirit of the plants, as taught through traditional D/Lakota ceremony. This bundle of lavender I have carried on my dashboard since it called to me in Abuiqui NM at the time of the Peace Teachings on the high desert this past summer. So grateful to the healing energy of lavender, a plant from the area of my French ancestors.
Regarding the history of Father Buechel and the St Francis mission wori, I recommend as a useful bridging resource, a book "Lakota Names and Traditional Uses of Native Plants by Sicangu (Brule) People in the Rosebud Area, South Dakota, A Study Based on Father Eugene Buechel's Collection of Plants on Rosebud around 1920" 1980 by Dilwyn Rogers, Professor of Biology, Augustana College, Sioux Falls SD, c The Rosebud Educational Society Inc, St Francis SD. One of the plants that has been special over the years, English "Prairie turnip" in Lakota, translated in the book as "prairie rice" Lakota tinpsila. Perhaps from psin from wild rice, the most important food for energy for the Dakota people living in Minnesota . Albert White Hat descibed that during our visit to his home when Xiaosong notice the strand of tinpsala on the wall by the family kitchen and dining area. Funny to hear about rice on the prairie in this multicultural context. Pidamiya tunkashila. Thanks for the teaching>>
Xie, Xie for Liu Xiaosong, ta shi wo de hao pengyou. He seems so happy and peaceful here on the prairie in November 2009. (I am just learning a little pinyan now to honor Xiaosong and his language.)
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Here at Jeffers Petroglyph site is a lone tree that captures the mood and energy of this powerful site. Thanks for Xiaosong's open eyes to look at the red earth of the heartland of Turtle Island and Ina Maka, Mother East. It has been fun to me to notice the enthusiasm he has shown for learning the history of this continent with the eyes of a man from across the Pacific.
Blaine, Coby, Xiaosong and I arrived early morning in St Francis on the Rosebud, prior to going into an inipi ceremony to honor the tree. I have been coming to the Rosebud now since 1990 to honor the earth, ina maki and the teachings of the Lakota Oyate. Thanks for your connection here pengyou Xiaosong, and your sweet and open heart. Thanks too for Coby and Blaine of MKP MN for creating the loving support for this adventure as well.
Sharing food at the wopila, feast after a ceremony with the telling of stories as important for me in making connections. Albert has been such a wonderful teacher and story teller over the years. His work with John Around Him, with the Lakota Ceremonial Songs from the 1980's is a great contribution and well as his scholarly text Reading and Writing the Lakota Language. Pilamiya Lekshi Albert for all your heartfelt loving sharing over the years, for the health and help of the people. Here he is with Fred, our dance fire chief and wife Marlese at the table, with Xiaosong engaged in the stories.
Xiaosong with one of the White Hat horses.
After our inipi, we took some of the prayer flags in the colors of the directions to the sun dance grounds. Thanks for Xiaosong capturing the openness of this site, where some of us come to pray in the third full week of July to honor "all our relations". Xie, xie pengyou Xiaosong for your open spirit. Pilamiya to the Sichangu Lakota Oyate for the continued sharing of the teachings. Mitakuye Oyasin, Wichozani Wo wokiya.
The light later in the day was quite wonderful for capturing the details of the rock carvings here. The traditional story of how a selfish chief lost his arm when he refused to participate in the Spring rituals and the thunderbeings stole it and hid it. As the story is told here, a wise young man won the love of the chief by getting the help of the spirits and tricking the thunderbeings.
To me, the level of astrological understanding by these ancient peoples for story telling is very inspiring. Thanks to Creator, tunkashila for illuminating these stories on the rocks in a good way. Thanks for the participation of the elders in supporting the Minnesota History Center people in creating this wonderful portal to visit this spiritual connection to the Inyan, tunka oyate.
Pidamiyayedo. I am in the condition of deep gratitude.
Here is my new friend, Kola - Koda from China, Xiaosong, who was most open and willing to join Blaine, Coby and I on our trip to the Rosebud for a tree inipi ceremony. I liked the ease with which we traveled and shared stories on the way west.
For me, this site is the ancient backbone of Minnesota where the exposed Sioux Quarzite is exposed on this wind blown ridge, and peoples from as far back as 15,000 years ago, created a story on this stone. We arrived late in the afternoon and the place was empty. On the rocks: The atlatl is featured that was used to hunt by locals who likely hunted large elephant like creatures during the glacial times, prior to the warm up and the beginning of the prairie ecosystem later dominated by the buffalo. I find this place very grounding to the heartland of Turtle Island, named America by some cultures after some Italian I think, Americus Vespucci.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Each month, there is a traditional Lakota tree ceremony sponsored by my friends on the Rosebud Reservation some 9 hours to the west of the Twin Cities, to honor the tree relative that will be standing in the center of the altar for life at the annual Hollow Horn Bear Sundance. I have attended this recreation of the world ceremony since 1990, the second year of the vision shared by medicine people, such as Joe Eagle Elk and Rudy Runs Above who have sense passed over into the spirit world. For those who know my soul and have shared in my journey of rebirth and recovery and re-memberment in this world, they know how much learning the D/Lakota way of life has influenced me and those I love. Pidamiya yedo...thanks a lot for all those who have been and continue to be my teachers. Long ago, as I traveled to and from Rosebud, I learned to stop, have fun and enjoy the journey. Here is a spot I discovered a while back that has great Minnesota made treats and well as some exotic imports to enjoy. Here we picked up sausage, jerky, chatted with the locals and shoppers. Three of the wonderful men with whom I shared this 2 day journey and with whom I am deepening my understanding are: Steve "Coby" Cobian, Xiaosong "Steve" Liu and Blaine McCutcheon - a sandwich of two Minnesotans containing a Tianjin China Native in the lower photo. oThe first photo was taken by Xiaosong. Thanks for the great connections!
Here are five of us, the the yellow after glow having just attended Kevin Klings production of Northern Lights/Southern Cross:
Tales from the Other Side of the World at the new Guthrie overlooking the Mississippi River here in Minneapolis. The indigenous character of this production with the understated humor of Osseo MN Native Kevin Kling along my I group friend, Jeff Haas being in the chorus, led a a most wonderous and healing connection for me here. Thanks to Jane Newell, Don Roden, this author, Xiaosong Steve Liu & Jeff Haas for our Clowning up here, reflecting on the native Heyoka theme I have learned so much about in my connections with the Lakota/Dakota Oyate here in the prairie lakes area of Turtle Island. Much gratitude!
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Here is some of the feast Xiaosong prepared in my little kitchen with whatever I had at hand after he got all the right ingredients at the Hopkins Shanghai Store. Lucky I found the corn starch, as he says "everybody cooks with corn starch"!
So as we get ready to feast, rice is prepared on our two large plates with Black Mushrooms (Lentinula edodes, commonly known as the Shiitake) According to Wiki "In Chinese, it is called xiānggū (香菇, literally "fragrant mushroom"). Two Chinese variant names for high grades of shiitake are dōnggū (Chinese: 冬菇, "winter mushroom") and huāgū (花菇, "flower mushroom", which has a flower-like cracking pattern on the mushroom's upper surface); both are produced at colder temperatures" Cooked with baby bok choy on the new plates Denise Martineau gifted me. Tofu and eggplant sauteed.
In the back bowl what we called in Japanese edamame . Per wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edamame
"edamame (枝豆?) is commonly used in some English-speaking countries to refer to the dish. The Japanese name literally means "twig bean" (eda = "twig" + mame = "bean"), and is a reference to the short stem attached to the pod. This term originally referred to young soybeans in general. Over time, however, the prevalence of the salt-boiled preparation meant that the term edamame now often refers specifically to this dish. Since this is a Chinese event I am learning:
In Chinese, young soybeans are known as maodou (Chinese: 毛豆; pinyin: máodòu; literally "hairy bean"). Young soybeans in the pod are known as maodoujia (Chinese: 毛豆荚; pinyin: máodòujiá; literally "hairy bean pod"). Because boiling in the pod is the usual preparation for young soybeans, the dish is usually identified via a descriptive name, such as "boiled maodou", or "salt-boiled maodou", depending on the condiments added, but like in Japan, simply saying the name of the bean, maodou, in a Chinese restaurant will produce salt-flavored, boiled maodou." Fun to have the clean white beans eaten from the hairy pods! Steve used Sichuan pepper (or Szechuan pepper From Wiki "The outer pod of the tiny fruit of a number of species in the genus Zanthoxylum (most commonly Z. piperitum, Z. simulans, and Z. schinifolium), widely grown and consumed in Asia as a spice. Despite the name, it is not related to black pepper or to chili peppers. " I think it is related to our prickly ash, also a Zanthoxylum ("yellow wood:) species with a fragrant fruit. Love those fragrant fruits!
Lastly are the boiled raw peanuts in a bowl, eaten like the maodou (do it like Mao?) as an appetizer. Wow I really enjoyed seeing this done with Sichuan Pepper and star anise. He used whole anise and then had to fish them out. ! FUN
Here is Steven, the first guest cook in my St Louis Park apartment kitchen. Jane and I have done some mutual meals off and on since last year. Now it is sweet to have our Chinese brother Steven he to share in his culture and cousine. On the stove, millet congi, fresh boiled peanuts (the fresh boiled Edemame peas were already done!), rice and now tofu for being sauteed. I feel very blessed. After a spontaneous visit to the Boy Scout Center in Golden Valley on Friday, we ventured to other locations for an appropriate garb for Halloween such as the used clothing at thrift stores. While in Hopkins we happened across an Asian Market on Excelsior and Blake where Steve engaged with the clerk in Mandarin while gathering all the accoutrements for real Chinese cooking....wine, vinegar, black mushrooms in clear bags, fresh thin eggplants. More exotic if I only knew the Mandarin names. I flashed on his being the Julia Child of Chinese cooking while he is here. I shared my story about the 3 days I prepared for my 60th Birthday party to share with Peg Weaver and 20+ other souls who joined us in February of 2007 at the Colony at Eden Prairie and how grateful I am to have an expanding circle of friends and family. The Tiospaye continues to grow. Pidamiyayedo. Mitakuye Oyasin!
It was fun for me to introduce Steven, Xiaosong to the Boy Scout Tradition. I experienced being a Boy Scout in Faribault under the leadership of Bob Nichols a neighborhood WW II Vet who modeled some of the values in a Camporee I attended by Cedar Lake in Rice County as a kid. Later, when my youngest son, Jesse had friends in the Bethany Luthern Troop in Waite Park-St Cloud, I trained to be an Assistant Scout Master, which I very much enjoyed and was able to serve as an educator for merit badges at Camp Many Point for three years while Jesse stayed in scouts and could wear the uniform, until my God given two spirited nature was brought to light. The values such as Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind,Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean and Reverent, still stick with me. Sadly, many of my friends and associates are denied membership, unless they practice "don't ask don't tell" if they are atheist and/or homosexual human beings. I am happy to see the fun connection here with Steven and David and Ron that seems to transcend any control issues of the LDS or other monetary influencers of the Scouts in the US of A. Will be interesting to see what may happen if Obama and the Congress have the courage to stop the bigotry of "Don't ask Don't Tell" as a program of enabled lying :-) Mitakuye Oyasin "we are all related'
Here is what Wiki outlines about the issues Check it out! Equality for all boys?
Here is a most colorful place to share in stories of the soul. Thanks to my new brother Steven and my sister Jane for sharing in this part of our collective journeys on Friday. Look forward to the Guthrie production today to support our brother Jeff Haas.
Here is Xiaosong, in Chinese "Heavenly tree" reflecting the beauty of Creator and Creation! Writing here in SLP, I am reflecting after Steve X and my visit to the Pelican Lake Woods this week. Talking with Susan, the mother of my children about his openness led to my reading today's, Nov 1 Meditation from The Color of Light, Perry Tilleraas, a man who sponsored me in early recovery here in Minneapolis. "An innocent, inquiring open mind is a prerequisite for healthy living. If you are open to new possibilities in your life, then, that alone will give you access to all those possibilities - readiness is all." Deepak Chopra MD Thanks Xiaosong for modeling that for me and chatting about the wonder of mushrooms and the natural world. I look forward to continuing learning more from you as our life paths intersect in a good way. We are all related "Mitakuye Oyasin"