Several years ago, for a folklore class, I asked my long-time mentor and friend Joe to tell me a story.
Joe, a member of the Chiricahua Apache Nation, and someone I have known and cherished for the past decade and beyond, used the story as an opportunity to do several things. For one, Joe shared with me a story of his people, one of young women within the tribe coming of age. Joe also spoke of Geronimo within the story that he shared, telling the story of how Geronimo came to see into the future. The final thing that Joe wove into his story, and perhaps the entire reason I had been brought before him, was to lead me on a journey of discovery within myself.
“I believe that the transition of your life is when you receive all that you need to receive to make the call. All the confusions in your life, all the things that you’re not sure about, will go away and become very clear for you. And that’s how it works, every story you hear is not a story, it’s a lesson. It’s a direction you need to go. It’s all the advice you can ever receive. It’s the balance that you need in your life.” – Joe
Joe is not notably tall, though his energy makes him a giant among men. He can read my mind, sometimes before even I have interpreted what I’m thinking, and speaks directly to my heart. I love my dad, but Joe is more like a father to me.
When I was commuting 93 miles one way for work every day, Joe put his AAA card in my wallet. When I needed a vacuum, Joe gave me a used one. When I was struggling to live a life that I was proud of, Joe pulled me back into the program. When I said that I was ready to finish my regalia, Joe gifted me moccasins and a fan. When I dance, Joe looks proud.
Until next time,