I feel like I am coming home to myself at last. I needed a bit of summer to restore my spirit. Today I went to the park and built Bead People underneath a tree. It is so strange how those little characters can restore my equilibrium. The project itself is beginning to grow outside of my own creations. My daughter, Nichol, has started the first outside Chapter of Friends of The Bead People in Lincoln, NE. And, in typical Nichol style, she has created a beautiful, enchanted booth that makes me want to go to Lincoln and build a few just to sit inside of it. She called the other night and told me that she had three blind people building bead people in her tent. It was such a lovely image I nearly got teary-eyed.
It is strange how engaging such a simple project can be. It reminds me that beads have been a part of every single human culture since the beginning of time. They have been created from mud and glass and seeds and shells. They have been used to adorn, as money, and of course, as gifts. It must be embedded into our collective souls—this love of beads.
Sadly, her partner Lynette, who is 7 months pregnant, has been told she needs to be on bed rest for the remainder of her pregnancy. Although I’ve never met her, her energy and enthusiasm for the Bead People has reached me from 11 hours away. We will hold her in our thoughts and prayers. Nichol also told me that she sent her husband home with a list of necessary items she would need for her hospital stay—and top of the list were her Bead People supplies.
We are now inviting others to get involved. You can see details and meet Nicci and Lynette at www.thebeadpeople.org. In recent weeks we have had money donations for printing, bead donations from as far away as Australia, and several requests to get involved. Two women at our own Journey Museum fell madly in love with The Bead People and I spent over an hour with them as they handled each little person in order to pick the ones they wanted for the gift shop. I loved watching them play.
That is what the project is about. It is play—with a mission. It gives us a way to sit around and get to know each other and to talk about life and how to create the world we all want, where “family” takes on a much bigger meaning. I love the Lakota saying, Mitakeya Oyasin—We are all related. I believe that in my heart. Our humanness so outweighs the differences.
I am back at work on another novel. While we were in D.C. recently, I had a note from my agent with her list of first submissions for my novel, One Drum. Suddenly it struck me that my life-long goal of “being a writer” was at hand and I want to be ready if a publisher wants to see what else I have up my sleeve. The novel I went back to work on is about a small and very wise lizard (yes, I said lizard), named Sulee who is sent to help a girl named Lela. This little lizard is so engaging. He is smart, funny, and very sincere. It sounds like a children’s book but it is not. It is in the same theme of what I’ve begun to think of as my “Earth Series”. Sulee lives in a world where the animals, the stones, the trees are all awake and aware, tuned into the earth in a way that humans have forgotten. Maybe tomorrow I’ll post the opening pages just to give you an idea of this wise—but young—little lizard. Oh, the working title is “Sulee—A Lizard’s Tale”.
God night. That was a typo but I rather like it.