Friday, February 25, 2011

What NOW when there’s no next?

Ancestors (pastel and acrylics)

There was a big fire burning and next to me were piles and piles of papers, photos and souvenirs of my past.

One by one I was throwing them into the fire, where flames were rising higher and higher.

There were tiny explosions within the fire every time a photo was thrown in and disappeared in the flames….and then….......................................I woke up.

Theodore Moqwaio “wolf” Thornbush, 1908,(2nd left)

my grand dad and other Menominee kids on the reservation in Wisconsin.

Ever since that dream I have not been able to get that feeling of history disappearing out of my mind and then just last night , Paul talked to me about someones will and it was all coming out. I have been contemplating hard about whether to write this blog or not with this huge almost morbid kind of message to it. I mean it is not light reading and it would probably better to stick to innocent small talk. But somehow I cannot seem to get the thought out of my mind and so, if you are not in the mood for this I will understand and you can just press “close”. However, she says with an evil laugh, it is something that all of us will think of or indeed have thought about in one way or another: What will happen with my memories and photos and souvenirs of my past when I am no longer here? Who will cherish them, respect them and share the stories with others so the ancestors live on?

Bear trap falls Wisconsin, 1900s

The difficulty of the image of ones mortality and the fact that you will not be here forever is hard enough and a lot of people shy away from even going to that place. It is even more daunting, at least that is my feeling, when you know that your ancestors stop with you. When you do not have any kids to give your inheritance of memories and stories to, no one to keep the ancestors alive. In my case, all of my mums side of the family with its huge history of not only European geneology but also a hugely important native American history attached will cease to exist. And still, I am not alone facing this. There are so many purple women (women who do not have children. Yes apparently we have a colour code now…oh well) and for them this mortality of history will be an important realisation and subject of long and hard thoughts and discussions way before people with kids will even contemplate going there. What to do when there is no next? I thought about this conundrum for a long time and without getting sentimental or morbidly depressed. Looking at it objectively to give you a perspective of the big picture so to speak: I mean everything has a time and I am sure the dinosaurs would not be too impressed with the fact that they no longer are roaming the earth, but fact is fact, we just do not live forever. And I am not only talking about one person or even families or even people as a whole. It all passes. So, what to do when there is no next?

My mum when she was around 10 ! all dressed up

What is most important in life is to make a difference, no matter how small or how big. Everybody, with or without kids, has to be able to live a full life with meaning and making heartfelt decisions to make a difference.

I don’t know yet what a difference I can make or am making. I just am, but maybe the fact that “just being” is enough to celebrate my ancestors and acknowledge them and honour them.

My grandfather Theodore, whom I have never met by the way because he died in the second world war, has immensely influenced me with his art that stayed behind, his drawings, his sculptures, his handcarved miniatures, his letters written to my mum when she was very very little and the few photos and memories that have been passed on to me.

Like I said that his line stops with me and I am sorry for that, but I will find a way to keep him alive and make a difference. Maybe even write a book? Who knows?

In the meantime I am determined to make a difference and live life in celebration of those that came before. Who wants to join the party?

Mum weaving

mushroom dyeing 1980s

Menominee demonstration 1970s in Wisconsin,

when my family was there, living with my grandmother Charlotte

I will start documenting and digitalising my immense photo collection soon I think. Better make more room on my flickr photostream and create a new set for my family ;) How About some Twinkle Bunny ! I have dyed a big bunch of twinkle bunny tops this week. This blend is unique to IxCHeL and has te following ingredients: 70% 18micron superfine organic merino, 20% tencel, 10% angora bunny. A supersoft shiny hand dyed top that will spin beautifully. Great for felting as well. 100+grams AU$24 Each of these tops have been named after the Menominee tribe totems , just in case you were wondering about the theme of this weeks tops :-)

Maqkuanini (Red Hawk) -4left-

Kitami (porcupine) -4left-

Pinashiu (eagle) -sold-

Pinashiu (eagle) close up

Inaqtek (raven) -1left-

Shaqshaqeu (Heron) -2left-

Shaqshaqeu (Heron) close up

Apaqsos (deer) -2left-

Hananam (dog) -2left-

Otatshia (crane) -sold-

Moqwaio (wolf)-sold-

Funky Bunny Batts ! A luxurious fibre blend in that spins like a dream. Predraft it fine to spin a fine thin yarn, great to core spin or to make art yarns as well. Gorgeous to work with , spin or felt it for amazing effects!

Omaskos (Elk)

ingredients: Navajo Churro, angora rabbit, soy, tencel ,nylon,

silk, sari silk, glitz, Angelina, yak, bamboo. 117grams $32

Manamu (Sunshine Beaver )

135grams $39

ingredients: superfine organic merino, angora bunny, silk

tencel, sari silk, soy, glitz, yak, alpaca, angelina

Miqkano (rainbow turtle)

138 grams $39

ingredients: superfine merino, angora rabbit, tencel

trilobal nylon, mohair, soy, silkm sari silk, churro, yak, alpaca, glitz, angelina

Ixchel Teas Buddhas tears tea Handrolled green jasmine pearl tea 50grams, AU$15 add 3 or 4 pearls into hot water, watch the pearls unfold and drink pure or with a dash of honey for an amazing tea!

I also have Flat leaved jasmine tea 50 grams AU$9 And A Red Clover tea , a wonderful tonic and cleanser. 50grams, AU$10 Great against acne, digestive disorders, eczema, endometrioses, fibroids, fibromyalgia,hormone imbalances, pms,vascular disorders and menopausal problems. Red clover is a legume rich in isoflavonoid phytoestrogens including: genistein, daidzein, formononetin and biochanin-A, compounds that are now recognized for supporting critical hormone levels within the body in both men and women, without having any negative side effects. Controlled clinical trials show that phytoestrogens from red clover help to maintain proper bone density in menopausal women, as well as relieving hot flushes and night sweats. Red clover has been a valued medicine since ancient times and was particularly valued for treating respiratory problems, colds, flues and infections in the 19th century. Red clover is recognized as a detoxification herb or "blood cleanser". The tea, like that of licorice root, is also said to be effective for treating gastrointestinal problems and can be used externally as a hydrocortisone cream replacement for alleviating skin inflammations and psoriasis. Historically, the blossom tea was also used as an antispasmodic and mild sedative. Research is showing that phytoestrogens, including and especially those from red clover, are beneficial for preventing and treating many of the major degenerative diseases plaguing our society today. Phytoestrogens support good health in many ways such as: 1) they bind at estrogen receptors and prevent the body from over-producing estradiol; 2) they dilute xenoestrogen-type toxins by binding at receptor sites and function as anti-estrogens; 3) they boost progesterone expression and help to normalize the body's important estrogen to progesterone ratio; 4) they reduce cholesterol and support the liver in its critical role of detoxifying the blood and converting excess estradiol into the more benign form of estriol; 6) they are powerful antioxidants; 7) they prevent the formation of new blood vessels that feed abnormal cells; 8) they inhibit abnormal cell growth, and 9) they boost several beneficial enzymes within the body that prevent DNA adducts and reduce cellular damage and aging. Red clover can be taken as a tea with the recommended dosage of one to three cups per day, using one teaspoonful of dried herb and blossom per cup of boiling water. A typical dosage of red clover extract provides 40 to 160 mg of isoflavones daily.

red clover tea

if you are struggling with hot flashes I also have some organic black cohosh available, just let me know and I will give you all the info and details. Happy to help! Email me on if you want to adopt any of these babies or message me on Ravelry or facebook where I am Ixchelbunny ! Dates to Remember: Bunny Spin in at the Ixchel Fibre Farm: Saturday March 19th Thursday March 24th Bring your wheel, spindle, knitting, crocheting and a plate to share with everybody. There is cake and coffee and tea and a lovely bunny to cuddle and lots of fibres and yarn!) very important ! : Please, please let me now beforehand by email or message that you would like to come and visit so I can prepare the infrastructure and cake ofcourse ! Contact me on Ravelry where I am Ixchelbunny, message me on facebook there or email me on Thanks heaps for your support ! RABBIT ON!! and...Make a difference ((hugs)) Charly


Sandra La Knitalian said...

hau koda Hello Charly! what a great photographic album you have going :) We live not far from the Menominee Rez in Brown Deer, where your folks were~
Is that your Mum on the left, between two guys, carrying a sign?

Your blog is so completely where I am at, too. I think the best we can do, is to blog and blog and blog, and hope that someone out there gains something from all this.
I have 4 children, but we are worlds apart. That's why I started blogging, to preserve for them, bits and pieces of my memories. If at some point, we can figure out how to make a book of our blog entries, that may be our only record of our existence.

I have dreams, I don't talk about; they are too vivid and the world is not ready for what I have seen, but it will be what will be, and we are powerless to do anything about it.

I believe we should all live in the moment, live like there is no tomorrow and treat each day as precious as the day before and the day before that.

In the words of Crazy Horse, and others after him, "Today is a good day to die." While we don't know who actually spoke those words, their meaning rings true.

I will look forward to your photo albums, as you find time :)

Hugs to you, Charly and SHINE ON!

Marg B said...

Sandra - you CAN turn your blog into a book; here is just one service; I haven't used it myself but it may be what you want.

Charly - I've wanted for ages to reply to this heartfelt post but everything I wrote seemed so trite. I think it was Aristotle who said something along the lines that having children was the lowest form of immortality. In the cosmic scheme of things the entire existence of humanity is just a blink in the eye, so even if there was someone who could trace their ancestry back to Adam and Eve or the Great Apes, it's still nothing compared to the awesome length and breadth of the universe. You are definitely on the right track when you focus on what you can do with your time here and now. You have one husband, many animals and many friends whose lives would be far poorer but for you being you. SHINE ON.

ixchel bunny said...

Hau Koda Sandra!!! Thank you so much for your comment ! Your message put a huge smile on my face :) The woman in between the two guys wearing the signs is not my mum though, she was in charge of the camera :) Thankfully that is how I still have such great photos and memories.
It is wonderful to look back nostalgically every now and again and honour the ancestors and friends that have come into our lives and made living a blessing.

Dreaming is important and eventhough you do not want to share, I feel that the dream will only become part of you and reality when you want it! if you do something with it: I think that's why I paint and do my arts, as soon as the dream hits the paper or whatever medium you choose, it becomes less scary, more real and gives us power.

I will be happy to share more of my photos and memories very soon :-) Thank you so much for your heartfelt message
big hugs Charly