Iron Mountain ski jump

Iron Mountain ski jump

Saturday, April 9, 2016


CHRIST IN WINTER: Reflections on Faith for the Years of Winter… ©

“Don’t worry; be Hopi.” That is Ed Kabotie’s riff on Bobby McFerrin’s “Don’t worry; be happy.”

The First Nations Educational & Cultural Center, and The Archives of Traditional Music, both at Indiana University, brought Kabotie from his regular haunts in AZ and NM to IU for singing and teaching. He excels at both. Kabotie sings and speaks in the Hopi and Tewa languages as well as English, and plays multiple instruments, including guitar and Native American flute.

The word Hopi is a combination of the words for an arrow and a woman’s breast, combining the masculine and feminine attributes. If you are hopi, you are in harmony.

I used to strive for balance, and read books like Karl Menninger’s excellent The Vital Balance, to try to get me balanced personally, and to use professionally. But books don’t teach as well as music does, and balance sounds rather static, like a boulder on a pin-point mountain, perfect until some small shift sends it tumbling.

I like better the concept of Hopi harmony. It’s as though each of us is an orchestra. Some of the instruments tend to the feminine virtues, some to the masculine. One, the bassoon, is a perfect balance of both. [Can you guess which instrument I played?] When each instrument is playing its part, there is perfect harmony.

If you’re not in harmony, you may need a new conductor.

Don’t worry; be Hopi.


My youthful ambition was to be a journalist, and write a column for a newspaper. So I think of this blog as an online column. I started it several years ago, when we followed the grandchildren to the “place of winter,” Iron Mountain, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula [The UP]. I put that in the sub-title, ”Reflections on Faith from a Place of Winter for the Years of Winter, where life is defined by winter even in the summer!” [This phrase is explained in the post for March 20, 2014.] We no longer live in “the place of winter.” The grandchildren grew up, so in May, 2015 we moved “home,” to Bloomington, IN, where we met and married. It’s not a “place of winter,” but we are still in winter years of the life cycle, so I continue to work at understanding what it means to be a follower of Christ in winter…

I tweet as yooper1721.

They called them heroes. They said, “Thank you for your service.” Then forgot about them. Joe Kirk lost a leg. Lonnie Blifield lost his eyes. Victoria Roundtree lost her skin. “Zan” Zander lost his mind. Four homeless and hopeless Iraqistan VETS who accidentally end up living together on an old school bus. With nowhere to go, and nothing else to do, they lurch from one VAMC to another, getting no help because, like the thousands of other Iraqistan VETS who are homeless, unemployed, and suicidal, they do not trust the system and refuse to “come inside.” After another fruitless stop, at the VAMC in Iron Mountain, Michigan, a doctor is found dead, and the VETS are accused of his murder. Distrustful, strangers to America, to each other, and even to themselves, they must become a unit to learn who really murdered the doctor, so that they can be free. In doing so, they uncover far more, about themselves and about their country, than they dared even to imagine. VETS is vailable from your local independent book store, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, BOKO, Books-A-Million, Black Opal Books, and almost any place else that sells books. $12.99 for paperback, and $3.99 for ebook. Free if you can get your library to buy one.

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