Some folks view me as "happy go lucky"...a Pollyanna...a well-caffeinated soul...someone who always looks on the "bright side of Life" (made you sing it, LOL). However, those who truly know me...know that I've been through hell and back, several times...and have lived to tell those who really deserve to know, the dark tales of Carol [Starks] Harper. Cue "Imperial March" here).
Not much surprises me anymore. I've had to endure enough in Life, let alone the gossip-mongering and back-stabbing. But I've also learned that gossip-mongering and back-stabbing has its place in society. I accept it; hell, I even embrace it. Bring it on! Tell me who you think I am, given all the "privileged" vast information and knowledge you think you have about me! But at the very least have the balls to sit down with me over a cup of coffee...face to face...and let me hear your drivel so I can laugh at myself!
I recently experienced something I never wanted to, ever...but was placed in front of me by the Universe. One Saturday morning last month, I was watering the flowers outside of the garden when a very young Native girl yelled at me over the fence. She was barefoot...in nothing but a t-shirt and shorts...bruised and beaten:
"Please. Can you help me?"
I immediately dropped the hose, ran over to her, and brought her into the house. Called 911. RPD showed up, and then later, BIA. In the meantime, I had a lot of time to talk to this young girl and her plight. I was willing to do anything and everything to get her out of her situation, but...
Long story short...she went back, despite all the best efforts and help offered. To tell the truth, it broke my heart to pieces. I was thinking, "THIS is why we have abused, missing, and murdered Native American women!" At the same time, it made me look in the mirror and reminded me why I survived as long as I have. But this experience also told me that I can't get involved where I shouldn't...can't help when I wish I could...keep my head down re: the powers that be.
I know there are many sides to a story. I wish the whole world would know this fact...that we are all human beings who need love, care and support, regardless of who you are, where you are, or the state you are in. I know, it doesn't mean that just anyone can be trusted, but...all politics aside and gone, I'm with the crowd and community that would at the very least stand up for a young Native girl who had been abused and beaten.
Below is a photo of a necklace given to me by my Grandmother. I do not know the hands that beaded it; I do not know the story behind it. What I do know is that it was given to me in love, and I wear it with pride. I have several Native jewelry pieces given to me over the years, and I cherish each and every one. I wear them at pow-wows and ceremonies.
I'm a very different person, here in my Third Life. Red, yellow, black or white...a tribe is what you make it. A community is what you make it. Family is what you make it. But how are we "making" it? Have we succeeded, or have we failed? Have we pointed fingers at others in blame, indignance, jealousy, rage...or do we look in the mirror and experience a rude awakening?