Posted by: penpatience | April 1, 2013


SI Exif

News: My fiction short story titled, “Side by Side,” has been published in the March 22, edition of the Page & Spine online magazine. It’s a moving story about a special mother/daughter relationship that has received positive comment by readers.  Go to:  Click on the word “story”


April 2013 Monthly Musing


Junk Mail!  I’ve received, pitched and shredded a lot of junk mail disappointed that the free gift inside the envelope was address labels or stickers with a request for a contribution to a particular charity.

The first time I received a Dream Catcher, a handmade object based on a willow hoop on which a loose net or web is woven and decorated with feathers, I pitched it in the trash bin and shredded the contents of the envelope. Unfortunately, they kept coming at sporadic intervals and one day I received a larger version of the handmade artifact in a bulky white envelope. Why did I continue to receive these annoying objects?   And then I remembered. A long time ago, I made a small donation to St. Joseph’s Indian School in South Dakota. A long time enthusiast of Native American cultures, the faces of impoverished Lakota children on that particular reservation tugged at my heartstrings. As a result of that one contribution, I now had a place on their infinite mailing list. After reading the legend surrounding the larger Dream catcher, I kept and hung it on my basement bookcase.

While Dream Catchers originated in the Ojibwa Nation during the Pan-Indian Movement of the 1960s and 1970s, they were adopted by many Native American tribes. The Ojibwa (Chippewa) believe that night is full of both good and bad dreams. When a dream catcher is hung above the place where you sleep it moves freely in the night air and catches the dreams as they drift by. The good dreams, knowing their way, pass through the opening in the center of the webbing while bad dreams are caught in the webbing and destroyed at the first light of morning sun. Although the Ojibwa are credited as the first people to use Dream Catchers many other Native peoples have adopted them into their culture. Even though Dream Cather designs and legends differ slightly, the underlying symbolism is universal and carried across cultures and language barriers. The Dream Catchers I received were sent by the Lakota children from the South Dakota school. 

Whether or not I believe in the legend of the Dream Catcher, I like the concept of bad dreams being snared and removed from thought with pleasant dreams passing through to a new day.  Everybody dreams….

Sleep well sweet child

Don’t worry your head

Your Dream Catcher is humming

Above your bed


Listen so softly

I know you can hear

The tone of beyond

Close to your ear


Love is alive

And living in you

Beyond all your troubles

Where good dreams are true

                       Author Unknown-Chippewa


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