Monday, December 3, 2012

Grief and Praise on the Prairie and the Woods

When I heard about panels of the AIDS quilt was coming back to the Twin Cities, I knew it was important to visit and honor those I knew from the beginning of the epidemic in Minnesota in the 1980's  Dec 2, was the last day of the exhibit and here, is The Grace House Panel with Keith Gann.  I remember spending time with Perry Tilleraas, from Blooming Prairie MN, The Author of The Color of Light, Daily Meditations of All of Us Living with AIDS, when he was writing his meditation book that still inspires me.   I was a practicing allopathic doctor, MD, and learned from epidemiolgists like Mike Osterholm about the dangers of HIV infection and the hepatitis viruses as well.   Such fear and ignorance of "gay's as other".  Somehow that same "us versus them" dualism keeps people from being aware of the truth of our neighbors as equals and that equal rights is part of our countries traditions.  Like with film Lincoln, how making a law to stop slavery during the war AND at the same time, the Dakota's were left out!  

A new panel at Wilde Roast to honor the partner and lover of my friend Ankha Shamin, who died at age 37.  Ankha passed this year in April at age 61.  His papers and letters as a gay activists have been placed in the Tretter Collection Archives at the U of Minnesota. 
Happy to share this event and talk over Cha, Tea and Kafei, Coffee with my Mandarin Chinese Tutor Dan, AKA Zijun.   He is a very smart young man with dreams of building educational connections for Chinese students to learn English to attend American Universities.   I feel so much hope for the world when I see the spirit in younger people for international understanding.   He has been very patient with my progress in learning tonal Chinese words.  Thanks xie xie ni Zijun! 

Recently historians have been looking more deeply at the roots of the Prairie Conflict in 1862 here in Minnesota.  My good friend Gary Engler sent me the link to the Nov 20 Little War on the Prairie

NOV 23, 2012

An hour long audio.  Well worth listening to. 

One of my personal journeys back to the Prairie was in June of 2010 with Andy Mickel from my MKP I group and his friend Pam, from Austin Texas who had relatives who lived in New Ulm where the Dakota attacked in 1982.   They did leave the brewery intact as they had good relations with the German brewers I hear.   This is where we ate before walking to the site of the hanging of the 38 men on the day after Christmas in 1862.    Lincoln was president and Sibley and Ramsey did their thing to get the land of the Dakota and the traders like Myrck, did not share the food as they were more interested in gold and riches.  Some things never change. 

Wanda Gag's home in Mankato.  Andy arranged for a personal tour. 

Millions of Cats, one of the children's books I remember reading as a kid.   Note all the languages it is translated into. Cats seem to be a universal human connection for kids of all ages. 

Cement quote on the sidewalk addressing the 38 men who were hung here.  Still the largest mass execution in American History 
This is the white buffalo sculpture at the site of the mass hanging with the Prayer of Amos Owen.  Pam from Austin Texas and I are here in June of 2010.  On a journey to honor the memory of the ancestors who lived on the the prairie and some who died as warriors to try to feed their people and maintain their  ways to connect to the land in a good way. 

Amos Owens' medicine prayer to the directions and honoring the ancestors in a good way.  Translated from the Dakota into English.   Amos sons, Art and Ray have carried on the traditions on Tinte Winte, Prairie Island. 

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