Friday, August 16, 2013

Chapter 17 - Pine Ridge Trip 2013

Over the winter, Jack stayed in touch with people he had met at Re-member.  Jack helped organize another trip from his church, and that group was all set to head out in the middle of May.  It was another great trip, and a great time was had by all.

For Jack, the trip was a bit mind blowing for more than one reason.  The first night he was there, Ted, the director of Re-member, suggested that Jack join the Re-member board of directors.  His initial gut reaction was “No, no no.  No, huh-uh, nope.”  But Ted talked him down from the initial shock and told him that the board was looking for new blood, people who are really pumped up about Re-member and what they do. People with a good vision of where Re-member should be going in the future. Jack told Ted that he just didn’t see himself as a “board of directors” type of guy.

Jack consulted with his wife, his parents, his pastor who was along for the trip. As the week progressed and he talked more with Ted and others, he slowly came around to the idea of being on the board.  Jack wanted to talk with his wife in person, so when he left at the end of the week, he gave his answer as a solid probably. 
Jack saw many of his friends from the year before, including Erika and Dan, and was able to talk with Will and Lena a bit more as well. Jack made plans with Will to come back again in July for the Sundance, and asked if he could bring his father, who had also known of the Sundance for a good many years and would be excited to attend.  Will told Jack that he didn't call him 'Misun' for nothing, and that any family of Jack's were family of his.  Jack thanked his Ciye (pronounced CHEE-yay and meaning 'older brother') and was happy to have plans to return to the Rez.
On Wednesday’s at Re-member, they host an arts and crafts night, where local artists and craftspeople bring their things and join the volunteers for a meal and to sell their art.  It was a lot of fun, and there are so many cool things to choose from that it was hard to pick what to buy.  Jack had saved up some personal money all year long, tucking away a fiver here and a twenty there, so he was primed to buy.  Not only is the artwork and craftwork phenomenal, but for most of the people selling, this was their only source of income, sometimes for the entire week until the next arts and crafts night.

Jack picked up four or five dreamcatchers, a beautifully beaded headband for his little girl, a beaded bracelet for his wife, and a couple of amazing chalk drawings from a man named Kevin Poor Bear.

As he was browsing, he came upon a man selling some beautiful pictures.  Ink and paint on canvas.  He had three paintings, two of which were of medicine wheels with spiritually significant scenes in them, and behind them were larger animals.  One an eagle, the other a bear.  Inside the eagle medicine wheel was a scene of a white buffalo looking over a landscape.  Inside the bear medicine wheel was a scene of the White Buffalo Calf woman.  Both were really neat, and Jack was having a hard time deciding which of the two he wanted.  As he was trying to decide, his eye kept getting drawn to the third painting.  It looked like a spirit warrior riding a white horse through the clouds over the Black Hills.

 Eventually Jack decided to buy the eagle picture, but really felt like the cloud warrior picture was calling to him.  It was very strange. He was seldom pulled towards a piece of art that way.  It was a really powerful pull towards this specific painting.  Jack wanted to ask the artist about it, if it had any significance, but the night was coming to an end, and he had to get inside for the speaker of the night. He decided to buy the cloud warrior painting because he felt like he would be missing something if he didn’t. Jack felt a little silly about the strange attraction to the painting, so he didn’t mention it to anyone, especially the artist. He paid for the two pictures and thanked the artist, who just smiled back at Jack.  He thought that would be the end of his interactions with the artist… but it would only be the beginning.

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