Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Drip, drip...

That's the sound of waiting, it's like Chinese Water Torture! No word yet from the vets in Perry, but the vet I spoke with yesterday said it could also be tomorrow before they get back to me.

In the meantime rather than rack up more long distance phone calls just for no news I decided to take some new photos of some of my older Etsy listings. I will be calling Perry tomorrow if I don't hear something in the morning.

When I logged onto Etsy today I saw an article in the Storque about Native American sellers on Etsy and the style forecasts that tribal is finally "in". Yay! It's about time!

This made me wonder if maybe this time my beadwoven designs would sell on Etsy now that this trend has gone global. I had transferred my Rainstick Necklaces (currently listed on SmashingDarling) off of Etsy after a year or so of their just sitting in my shop (except for one or two bought by people I knew from someplace else), and even after trying a 50% off sale during the entire month the December before last.

I started a thread on the Etsy forum asking if people thought Etsy was ready for these beadwoven pieces yet. I got various different responses; everything from "Yes, list them on Etsy" to "Change their name because people expect them to be wood", to "sell the necklaces along with real wooden full-sized rainsticks".

The Japanese Lantern earrings I invented several years ago and then took a chance and re-listed have not done anything yet but I have noticed a few new hearts on them recently, so maybe the trend is just beginning to take hold on Etsy and there are purchases yet to come!

I still had the old scans with black background on those 4 pairs for the longest time and they did look kind of cool because the piece itself was lit up against total black, but some of the stones and the fins weren't all that visible, so I went back to the drawing board and made use of the sunlight while it lasted today. I also decided to keep them on their earring cards for the sake of branding. Here is the result.
Amber and Blue Japanese Lantern earrings

Amber-colored Japanese Lantern earrings
Red and white Japanese Lantern earrings
Green and White Japanese Lantern earrings
For those who don't already know; I have a large amount of Iroquois Indian in me (not sure which sub-tribe though). Although I was adopted by a white family, that much was documented, but after an exhaustive search both agencies claim to have no records of the names of my parents or any blood relatives and each agency points the finger at the other. Back in those days it was not uncommon for rather shady adoptions to take place and for records to be altered or purposely not kept because government agencies had decided it was "in the best interest of the child" to be placed "elsewhere" with parents who were better off financially. Native American or "half-breed" children were often not treated well even when they were placed in upper-middle class white homes. The government figured the end justified the means, and in effect terminated alot of Native American parent's parental rights without due process of law.
I have long suspected that that is what happened with me, as my adopted brother who is of European descent had no trouble at all finding his birth parents, and he was adopted through one of the same agencies as I was. Because of this I have never been able to obtain a tribal membership because to do so I would be required to produce 3 generations of family tree. Those are names I may never be able to get, as it seems that the records, if they ever did exist, must have been destroyed. I've been denied entry into any number of places because I could not "prove" who I was although when I was younger I used to have long flowing dark hair which made it completely obvious, and even now people often mistake me for being from some foreign country where the inhabitants have dark skin and dark hair.
My skin gets kind of a yellowish tint in the winter which my adopted mother always thought was unattractive and should be concealed. It is hard to edit pictures of myself in Photoshop to get it to reflect the true color it is in real life. It's kind of like Mediteranian skin but a little more orangey.
My mother did not believe that tribal was beautiful although the thought of a native child sounded nice and exotic in the abstract the way adopting a rare pet might, as she spent the next 18 years trying her best to hide my features. School wasn't much better back when I was growing up and I caught plenty of hell, lots of discrimination. Having Native American lineage was not cool back then; not at all. Nevertheless I always had the belief that The Creator would not have put me here if He hadn't wanted me here, and people could say what they will, I would take my place at the table, trying to ignore the sneers and jeers.
There are certain things about me that I'm sure are genetic; passed down from my ancesters, things my adopted parents never taught me, but I always knew. I really do believe in cultural genetic transmission and cellular memory. As a child from an early age I always had a way with animals, and I was told that I even talked to inanimate objects. This was long before I learned that in many native cultures it is believed that all things, animate and inanimate, have a soul or spirit. My range of perception has always been very keen, and I have often picked up on things about other people that they never told me. Taken out of context, one might have thought I was a wierd kid, but looked at in the context of cultural perspective, it was all as natural and instinctual as hunting is to a hound.
My special connection to jewelry was an extension of all this natural instinct and so it was only natural that I would create pieces with their own expression and their own soul.
I believe that my ancesters speak through my hands to communicate important truths and that although my art is shaped by who I am, it is most importantly coming through me from my ancesters and from that Great Spirit in the sky. These are the gifts that have been passed down to me and I am meant to pass them on to others.
Although my life has not been a bowl of cherries, each experience I've had has brought me to the realizations I have today, and each new chapter in my life has chosen me for its conduit through which to address work that needs to be done.
I am but one ant among millions working to affect change, but affect change we all must, whether or not it's convenient, whether or not it's comfortable, whether or not it's popular. There is alot in my life I would never have chosen but these causes chose me to be their spokesperson, and I cannot turn away from that mission.
If something burns deep within you and you know with every fiber of your being that it's the right thing to do then answer that call no matter who tells you it's crazy, or stupid, or tells you that you're fighting a losing battle.
We have an epidemic of inertia and apathy in today's society. Whatever has happened in your life, good or bad, decide right now to be an agent of change. Don't assume that somebody else will pick up that ball. Pick it up and run with it. Whatever it is you are called to do, do it! Pretty soon the epidemic we will have will become one of action and it will infect everyone around you. Imagine an epidemic of good will and impassioned work!
Perhaps this experience with Carmella is also a metaphor for life, a canary in a coalmine, one of many undiscovered causes that only needed the right set of conditions to be put right.
Last night after I wrote the woman from Miami and gave her all the links and instructions for finding a vet and getting him/her all the information on the protocol I opened an e-mail from her just after I'd updated my blog and was getting ready to go to bed. What I read broke my heart. Apparently she'd been trying to find a vet to help her dog get NDV for two weeks and had just been given the runaround. Then to make matters worse she was kicked off one of the Distemper forums for talking about giving her dog Vitamin C and Echinacea. She was not claiming those as a cure; only trying to do anything she could to get him through to the next round. It took her several days to track down Dr. Norwood's office. In the time between her phone call to his office and my e-mail to her last night her husband had convinced her to have the dog put to sleep. I could hear it in the tone of the e-mail that it was against her own better judgement, but she consented.
My first thought was "Why are vets putting off what they could do today, thus allowing this to happen? Why are they willing to actively kill a dog because they are so afraid of "risking its life" in order to save its life??? I know that their logic is all wrong. What this woman, and Venus (the other one I featured on my blog with the black Cocker/Springer Spaniel cross) have suffered due to the inaction of local vets allowed their dogs to progress to such a point that they were too far gone in unconscienable. Had there been compassionate professionals willing to step out on faith for these two before their dogs were past the point of no return, both could have been safe and sound at home tonight eatting kibble and curling up beside their families. Instead two people are crying in grief and two dogs are buried.
Venus has bought another puppy that looks like her former dog but she still cries for the dog she lost. Although this new dog makes her feel a little better no dog ever fully can replace the one she lost. Each having its own soul, dogs, like humans, are not interchangeable.
NDV and the discovery that it cures Distemper is a gift and as they say, "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth". It works. I've seen it with my own two eyes. Now it's time for it to be accepted into the fold. Vets need not wait a second longer, nor allow any more dogs to die of this disease. Use it today. Do it today! If you find a nugget of gold does its value depreciate because you found it displaced in the ocean among the coral rather than in the canyon? No. It is still gold and its value is intrinsic in the composition of the metal; not determined by how or where you find it.
Carmella is my nugget of gold and those whose job it is to care for sick animals should treat each one whose care is entrusted to them as such, not foresaking even one.


earth and sun folk said...

beautiful work sister! i hope you hear back from the vet soon...
~hugs & happiness~

Field Notes said...

That is really tragic about not being able to get tribal identity because of a screwed and unfair adoption system. Thanks for raising my awareness about this.

By the way, you have a very beautiful pup!

Giftbearer said...

Thanks so much for your support. Keep reading!

T.Allen-Mercado said...

Your pieces are lovely. Isn't that amazing how your cultural ties (no matter the attempts to sever them) have manifested themselves so deeply. It's a beautiful thing to be rooted and in touch.

I made a small donation a few days ago and will make another towards Carmella's care-you remain in my good thoughts and I continue to remain hopeful that all will be well soon.

Estela said...

That's a great shot of the dripping faucet.
Earrings are beautiful and I'm deeply saddened that someone wouldn't think tribal is beautiful. you're very beautiful!

Giftbearer said...

Thanks Tamika and Estella! This next leg of the journey will include the news media, so maybe I'll find a vet through that.

And who knows, maybe a by-product of that news coverage will be starting to sell some more jewelry again. It has been a long, and strange dry spell.

Giulia Mauri said...

she is a beauty.