April's Real Blog

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Naming

So, the big send-off feast was starting, and Jesse's Aunt Marg was all, "Just abtout every1 in the village is here, Miss Patterson: Chief Goulais, the band council and the elders. This is a gathering 2 say goodbye--but it will also B yr naming ceremony." When Liz was, like, "Naming ceremony?" Marg was all, "The ppl have decided 2 give U a spirit name, Elizabeth. This name was sent 2 Jesse in a deam--which made him very happy. He has been wanting 2 call U sumthing 4 a long time." Liz sez she cd hear Paul trying 2 suppress a laff behind her. And she sed, "April, that doesn't even make sense, B-cuz Jesse calls me sumthing all the time. He calls me 'Miss Patterson'. It's not as if he had 2 gesture mutely 2 get my attention all this time. And Y R they giving so much power 2 Jesse and his dreamz, esp the ones that made him v. happy? I think I remember Mom used 2 yell @ Michael abt dreamz that made him 2 happy ! Oh, well, I'd tell U what happened next, but I'm a bit pre-occupied @ the moment!" And then she hung up.

Oh, well, peeps, brace yrselves for a travelogue/docudrama/PSA/school-assembly film/After-School special.

Sorry I goofed abt yr favourite perfume when Susan asked abt it, Liz. Cda sworn it was Shalimar! Cherry Blossom, eh? Gd 2 know!

Hi, Luann! Glad U cd stop B an' comment last nite. I sympathize w/yr brother sitch. I think my bro'z spirit name wd B Bag of Wind.

Apes

17 Comments:

  • At 8:39 AM, Anonymous Michael Patterson said…

    April,

    Little sis. “Bag of Wind”, eh? Not too original. I prefer “Writes Like the Wind”. If this Jesse Mukwa kid has any kind of connection with a real spirit world, he will announce Liz’s spirit name is “Breath of Lizard.” In my opinion, it is the only name appropriate for our beloved sister.

    Love,
    Michael Patterson

     
  • At 8:43 AM, Blogger howard said…

    April,

    I think “Woman with Patterson Allure” would be a good spirit name for your sister, but I doubt Jesse Mukwa picked anything like that. The whole idea of your sister moving back to the South permanently still worries me. It’s a good thing I am getting ready to leave town.

    The tour tickets for Becky are already up on Ticketmaster and have been selling reasonably well. There are no huge venues, but some decently-sized ones that hold well more than 350 people. So, more than the population of Mtigwaki. No tour dates in that godforsaken pest hole, thank you.

    Howard K.

     
  • At 8:43 AM, Anonymous Shannon Lake said…

    April,

    If you had a spirit name, it would be “Nicest Singing, Guitar-Playing, Future Veterinarian Girl”. That doesn’t sound very much like a First Nations name, does it? I still like it.

    Love,
    Shannon Lake

     
  • At 8:45 AM, Anonymous jeremy jones said…

    april, gah! ur story duzn’t make ne sense. theze peeps shud’ve given ur sis a spirit name a long tyme ago. now it’s gonna b sum name that duzn’t mean nething, cuz ur sis iz leavin’. who’s gonna call her by that name, wen she iz in mississauga? not me. ru? it soundz like 2 me, they r tryin’ 2 make the psycho kid who iz n lurv w/ur sis happ, so he duzn’t murder every1 n their sleep, cuz he iz upset wen ur sis leavez. thass the only way it makes sense 2 me.

     
  • At 8:49 AM, Anonymous Constable Paul Wright said…

    April,

    Boozhoo (Hello).

    I read your writings about your sister’s naming ceremony. Normally these are for infants born in the last year, but they can be done for adults who never received a spirit name, like my sweet girl. Also, normally, the spirit name is given by someone who is a medicine person, Elder or someone who has the gift of finding names. Jesse Mukwa and his auntie Margaret made a lot of noise about Jesse getting your sister’s spirit name in a dream. Jesse is known about Mtigwaki (Land of Trees) for his jokes, so the Elders were worried it was some kind of joke on his teacher. But Marg convinced them he was serious and the Elders all agreed that Jessie’s name for your sister was maamakaadendaagozi (wondrous). I won’t tell you what the name was, because I know my sweet girl wants to do that herself. I can tell you that there was something about Marg’s spoken words talking about how Jesse “has been wanting to call you something for a long time” that made me want to laugh. I had to cover my mouth, so I would not embarrass your sister, but I must not have done a good job of concealing it, since she reported it to you. Sorry, Elizabeth.

    Gi'-ga-wa-ba-min' na-gutch! (See you later!)
    Constable Paul Wright

     
  • At 5:13 PM, Anonymous liz patterson said…

    April,

    I am tired of reading how your friends make fun of the Mtigwaki customs. If your friends like Jeremy Jones were really so smart and knew how to do things in a proper way, they would be the leader of their own culture and it would be named after them. But the town is called Mtigwaki and the people are called Ashin...Anish...Ashbek...Ojibway. Not "Jeremyway."

    I don't feel like telling you any more about the naming ceremony or the party. You and your friends are being too annoying. Maybe I will forgive you tomorrow and tell you more, but not right now.

    Liz

     
  • At 5:18 PM, Anonymous liz patterson said…

    April,

    I am sorry I was so harsh in my last note. I try never to let people see it when I am feeling something that is less than happy. Mom says it's better to bottle that stuff up and show it only to your husband. Maybe I should hurry up and get married, if only because my bottle is about to explode. (sticky-outty tongue laff!)

    What I wanted to say is I am sorry I snapped at you all, especially Jeremy Jones. Jeremy, when you and the rest of the Jeremyway followers found Jonestown, I will come visit and learn your customs. Maybe you can give me a spirit name too, if that is a part of your new culture. Or we could just hang out on the porch and drink Kool-Aid while we catch up on old times.

    Liz

     
  • At 5:29 PM, Anonymous susan dokis said…

    Dear April, Liz, and friends,

    As it turned out, I had to spend a lot of time at the party/naming ceremony serving food. So I did not get to hear what Jesse and his Auntie Marg were saying to Liz. But Suds seemed to think it was really funny!

    I managed to catch him just for a second not too long after I saw him laughing and I asked him what was so funny. Suds just said, "I can't tell you right now. It's not G-rated." And I said, "Who cares? Whisper it in my ear." But Suds said, "I can't. The Mtigwaki Anishinabeks are G-rated Natives. I don't want to dishonor their ways."

    Suds is such a nice guy. :)

    I will write more about the ceremony later. I don't want to horn in on what is really your sister's story to tell.

    Sincerely, Susan

     
  • At 6:19 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    hey, liz, sorry 2 have upset u, i didn't mean 2.

    mike, r u sure u didn't mean "writes like's he's breaking wind"?

    jeremy, i've been calling liz "liz" my whole life, so i doubt i'll start calling her nething else. @ least unless she s00per-likes it an' asks every1 2 use it insteada "liz".

    howard, that's cube abt the tix!

    thanx 4 the compliment, shan. i think that's prolly longer than most first-nations names, but it was a nice thing 2 say!

    hey, susan, paul! i don't really have nething 2 say in answer 2 yr posts, but i don't want u 2 think i'm ignoring either of u!

    apes

     
  • At 6:22 PM, Anonymous Constable Paul Wright said…

    April,

    Boozhoo (Hello).

    I read your friends’ writing about your sister’s naming ceremony. I know people who are not First Nations make fun of the spirit names. Your friends are young and they are trying to be funny. They do not understand for someone who is not Anishinabek and who has spent only 2 years of her life with the Anishinabek, being invited to receive a spirit name is an extraordinarily high honour. Legal names are given, but spirit names for people outside the Anishinabek are earned. It is usually only given to whites who have done a great deed for the Anishinabek or have a lifetime of service which benefited the Anishinabek. There is a white police chief in Otter County who received a spirit name after a lifetime of working to help the First Nations people in Otter County. I have never before heard of someone getting one after only 2 years. I have known your sister since last October, and I did not know that my sweet girl had done things in Mtigwaki (Land of Trees) which were this significant to the people in Mtigwaki (Land of Trees). I think it is because your sister does not tell me many things in her life. To get a spirit name is such a high honour, I was surprised your whole family was not invited to Mtigwaki (Land of Trees) to witness the ceremony. That is usually the custom for giving adult spirit names.

    The Naming Ceremony remembers the sacrifices of Original Man in naming everything. The seeking for the spirit name can be done through fasting, meditation, prayer or dreaming and the spirits give the name. For your sister, Jesse Mukwa did this with his dreaming. I thought it was unusual for this task to be done by someone as young as Jesse Mukwa, but the people in Mtigwaki (Land of Trees) tell me Jesse has the call to be a nenaandawi'iwed (healer). At a Naming Ceremony the medicine person or Elder burns tobacco as an offering and pronounces the new name to each of the 4 Directions and everyone present repeats the name when it is called out. The Spirit World then accepts and can recognize the face of the person as a living thing for the first time.

    I don’t want to tell you too much, because your sister should be the one to tell you. I can tell you I am in awe of your sister. I asked Susan Dokis if she knew of any other white who had gotten a spirit name after so few years with the Anishinabek. It was surprising to her too.

    To the friends of April, you should not mock her sister Elizabeth. It would be like mocking her at a baptism, or a school graduation. She should be congratulated.

    Gi'-ga-wa-ba-min' na-gutch! (See you later!)
    Constable Paul Wright

     
  • At 6:25 PM, Anonymous Michael Patterson said…

    April,

    Elizabeth. Sorry for the jokes. Congratulations from all us Pattersons who live somewhere around Toronto. If you like, I can dedicate a column to you and what you did to achieve the honour, in order to inspire others to follow your example.

    Love,
    Michael Patterson

     
  • At 6:30 PM, Anonymous jeremy jones said…

    elizabeth, i am tryin' 2b cube theze dayz & not so nsultin'. i have no idea wut u were talkin' 'bout w/"jeremyway." but i guess it's ur way of sayin' i wuz wrong 2 say wut the peeps n mtigwaki were doin' didn't make ne sense. u musta rilly done sumthin' 4 them & mebbe sumday, april will rite 'bout wut that wuz. congrats frum me 2.

     
  • At 6:33 PM, Anonymous Shannon Lake said…

    Elizabeth,

    I'm sorry if I made you mad. I hope your spirit name is really pretty. I can draw a picture of it with my crayons, if you want. I guess if it's a thing, I can. If it's like wind or a smell, I can't. I can't wait to find out what your name is.

    Love,
    Shannon Lake

     
  • At 6:38 PM, Blogger howard said…

    Elizabeth,

    If your spirit name is truly an honour for you, then congratulations. If it is actually a ceremony meant to divert you, while more and more Mtigwakians fit themselves and their luggage in your transportation to go home, then congratulations there too, but for something completely different. I know from my experience from my one day there, my sole recommendation to anyone leaving Mtigwaki is, “Before you leave, check the car for fish.”

    Howard K.

     
  • At 7:11 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    congrats, liz, an' do check paul's car 4 hitchhikers b4 u leave (assuming he'z giving u a ride 2 the station).

    apes

     
  • At 8:02 PM, Blogger howard said…

    Elizabeth,

    The hitchhikers' smell is bad, but the fish do smell worse eventually. I learned that the hard way.

    Howard K.

     
  • At 8:27 PM, Anonymous liz patterson said…

    April, Mike, and friends,

    Thank you for your apologies and congratulations though I don't understand why you listen to Paul but don't listen to me. It's not fair.

    Anyway, I decided the question of whether or not to forgive you, but I don't feel like telling you my answer yet. Maybe I will feel like it tomorrow.

    Liz

     

Post a Comment

<< Home