I'm very excited to welcome my friend, Roland Yeamons, for a guest post on Mindfulness Monday. I "met" Roland shortly after I started blogging back in 2012. I have always found his writing to be thoughtful, with mindful attention to the world around us, so it was quite simple to invite him to share with us some of his Lakota wisdom. It's especially fun because, thanks to the timing of his post, we are celebrating the book birthday of his latest release, Return of the Last Shaman, as well! Without further verbage, I'll let Roland take over.
THERE ARE NO TRUTHS, ONLY STORIES
Lara has been gracious enough to lend me her blog to post today for Mindfulness Monday.
The Lakota way of looking at life seeps into my novels since my mother was half-Lakota.
As a matter of fact, RETURN OF THE LAST SHAMAN, my latest, has the last Lakota shaman thrust into an impossible dual battle.
First, he must salvage the souls of two young women bruised by their memories as Mossad assassins. Second, he must somehow fight unstoppable beings that swim like sharks in the alien region of space into which the solar system has sailed.
To do this, Wolf Howl will need all of his Woksope (wo-ksa-peh) – Lakota for wisdom.
Once there was a quiet-spoken Lakota brave who had his village’s leadership thrust on him. He did not wish it, but he humbly led his village well for two generations of increasing safety and prosperity.
Then, a young rebel wanted to be leader. He approached the white-haired headsman.
“Grandfather, I have a sparrow in my hands. Is it dead or alive?”
The rebel would either crush the bird or release it, depending upon the old leader’s answer to prove how unreliable his wisdom had become.
The people of the village tensely waited as the old man sadly stared into the rebel’s smug eyes and calmly answered, “Grandson, the answer is … in your hands.”
Likewise, the quality of our lives is in our hands.
There comes a time in life when the roads we have traveled begin to appear on our faces: laugh lines, frown wrinkles, worry creases, haughty curl of lips.
When young, our faces are wet cement but over the seasons, the expressions we wear most often become fixed and unchangeable. Our birth gives us one face. Our choices sculpt another.
In like manner, the way we choose to look at life and others soon becomes easier and easier until it becomes habitual. If we see life and others as fleeting and precious, we will treasure it and them. If we see life as a race to snatch more and more from others, we will forever be hungry, forever alone.
It is a sad fact that “happily ever after” does not happen. But if we choose the path of compassion – Waunsilapi (wah-un-shee-lah-pee), the roads we walk, even the hard ones, will enrich us and all those we meet along the way.
The answer is in our hands.
WHO IS THIS STRANGE MAN WHO WROTE THIS?
My family left Detroit when I was quite young so my last memories of Detroit are hub cabs and knee caps. The further south we went, the hotter it got. So I was glad when we stopped in Lafayette, Louisiana, because I was real sure the next stop would have been Hell.
A year there taught me to say "sir and ma'am" and to pronounce David and Richard in really strange ways when they were last names. And it was not a pretty sight when I said Comeaux for the first time.
Lake Charles was the next stop. I remember standing in the front yard of our new home, watching the neighbor across the street beating in his front door (his wife had locked it) with a fence post.
I looked up to Mom and said, "You know, if I had a degree in Psychology, I would probably understand what's going on there."
She ruffled my hair and said back, "Lot's of luck with that."
And she was right. A master's degree in psychology hasn't unlocked the why's of the pain I see. It just helped me put fancy labels on them.
I have been everything but a pirate, but since I once worked for a tax preparation firm, I guess you could say I've been that, too. I was a teacher for awhile. Then, a family counselor. My mother contracted cancer, and I emptied my savings, opening my own bookstore to give me freedom to go with her for her out-of-town treatments.
Mother died. The reason for my store died with her. I saw an opening at Lifeshare Blood Center in the Product Management department. I applied and was hired. And the rest is infamy, ah, I mean history.
You may enjoy my latest e-book:
And the book that gave birth to it:
Of course, you can find me at my own blog:
Or you can visit Wolf Howl’s very own blog:
Come pay me a visit and chat awhile. I look forward to it. J