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Brene Brown said that "Connection is why we are here".

The painting "Connection" reminds us of the connection of all things, from heaven right down into the earth. Everything in the universe holds connections, there is a fine thread, if you will, that binds all things. As we become more aware of self, we become more aware of each other and the influence we have toward one another.

Many of our people use the phrase Mytakio Oyassin, which generally means "we are all related". All related, connected in an ethereal way. This gives new meaning to "you are your brothers keeper". If I am related to the guy down the street, if there is that universal connection, then how can I justify riding by and pretending not to notice him slip and fall in his driveway?

When I was in the third grade we had a bad snow storm and school was cancelled. My mother in her infinite wisdom left her children alone at home. I was told to take the check she had written to the lady who tutored me in math. I happily obeyed, I got myself together and hopped on my pink huffy bike with the motorcycle seat and began pedaling across neighborhoods to the lady's house so that I could complete this important mission. Before long my pant leg got caught up in the chain of my bike. Unable to move the pedals forward, I fell over into the snow. It was wet and cold and I could not budge the chain or my pants. I had no gloves and my hands began to sting, my pants were soaked, and the scrawny little girl with the long black pony tails began to sob sitting in the snow on the side of the road. Many cars passed by. No one stopping made the situation so much worse in my head. Finally one car pulled over and a gentleman got out. "Are you ok dear?" he asked. If I was not balling loudly before I must have then. This kind stranger freed my pants from my bike, helped me up, brushed me off, and gave me the hug needed to get me going again. That small connection helped in such a way that I still remember that kindness and can relay the story to you today.

Years ago I was set up at the Monacan Powwow. I had just finished a brand new piece. It was a woman on a mountain top, she was on her journey. I noticed a woman in her 40's just standing and staring at it. I asked if I could help her. She bagan to cry and just pointed at the painting. So I hugged her. When she was ready she told me that her son had died last week. He was only 22 and died in a car crash. She had been so devastated she had not left her bed let alone her house. Her in-laws had went to her house, got her dressed, and literally dragged her out to the powwow. She saw the painting and it touched her. She realized at that moment that she was a woman on a journey, loosing her son she told me was part of her journey, it was the mountain she had to climb. She was the woman in the painting. It went home with her.

Not all connections are quite as dramatic. As we go through our lives most of us are completely unconscious. People keep their eyes on their cell phones hardly looking up. No eye contact is made. But occasionally we can get another human to look up, make eye contact and on that rare back at us. It is funny how it happens. A couple weekends ago we were at Walmart and, I always look at people and smile, I must have smiled at over 40 people and ONE lady smiled back. It boggled my mind. One. These are spiritual crumbs. Brene Brown also said, "people are walking around trying to get full from crumbs. Having crumbs and calling it a meal is equal to emotional anorexia."

I go to art shows and powwows to sell my work so when someone connects with a piece it fills my heart. I often get asked how I can sell original paintings. Isn't it painful? Don't you feel like they are your babies? But for me it is quite the opposite. When someone connects with my art enough to buy any piece, especially an original, it validates everything I do. There have been instances when I find out that a conversation or a piece of my art has helped someone in some little way, brought them comfort, or a little light.

Connection heals, it feeds our souls. It makes us full.

A connection through art is a connection through spirit!


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