My Own Path by Robin Newcomb Bell

I’ve always felt different from those around me.

I don’t quite know what it is,

but there is something  –

It’s not that I feel  I’m better than others,

there is simply something that makes me different.

This has always been true.

I just don’t quite fit in.

Maybe it’s because I spend so much time in

my mind thinking, dreaming, writing, and wondering.

Maybe it’s my endless fascination with words,

or my deep love of nature.

Maybe it’s because I think so much of what

I hear is basically frivolous, while others seem to hang on every word.

But, I think most people take themselves way too seriously.

Even though I’ve always longed to be like others,

at the same time it scares me to think that I could be.

I’ve always longed to be like others, yet I refuse to be.

I’ll continue on my path and see where it leads –

my unfinished business.

Robin Newcomb Bell
JULY 11, 2015

The Elite

Tony Walkingstick, dressed as an Elite Warrior.
Tony Walkingstick, dressed as an Elite Warrior.

A few weeks ago I went to the Spirit of the Nations Pow Wow in Jefferson City, Tennessee. I like pow wows for the drums, for the dancing and for the history shared. The fry bread isn’t bad either!

Uneasy

I’m sure I will sound silly to people who feel skin color doesn’t make a difference in speaking to a person, but it does to me. Initial conversation with a stranger is awkward for me, particularly when I don’t know much about their cultural background.081

At an event like this I enjoy taking pictures, and when photographing individuals I ask if it is o.k.

Fascinated by the yellow feathered headdress, I asked Tony if I could photograph him and he said yes. In my stumbling fashion I told him that I felt respect for any person and didn’t mean say anything offensive or ask anything too stupid.

Tony Walkingstick

Walkingstick very kindly answered my questions on the significance of his clothing. “It means the person wearing it is an Elite Warrior, the highest rank. When the enemy sees it, he knows this one guy can fight like five regular warriors.” Sounds to me like the forerunner of a Ranger in today’s army.

I asked what tribe he belonged to and he said he was of the Eastern Band of Cherokee. His ancestors were those Indians who fled into the Smoky Mountains, escaping capture by the U. S. Army in 1835. Approximately 500 remained out of 17,000 Cherokee forced to walk the shameful Trail of Tears.

Pow Wows

Pow Wows are like any cultural event with food, vendors, displays and contests. They might be held as a celebration of a season or in remembrance.  The number on Tony’s legging indicates he entered into the contests and/or monetary chances by joining in the ring events.129

This was a one day pow wow which meant most of the participants were local people. Tony said he lived in Cherokee. “If you are up that way, you can find me dancing in an open location right across from the Burger King.” I asked what day and time he could be found there. He replied to make a living he works all week, day and night.140 A young couple, also at the pow wow, join him.

Tony Walkingstick, a Cherokee in the attire of an Elite WarriorIn addition to dancing they also talk to people, answering questions and bridging a gap between the Native American and others. I hope to talk to him again.

It’s Been A Year!

IMG_8522-001 Believe it or not! Jayne and I have been housemates since last August. We have shared the same KUB bill for a full year now….and still smile about it!Jayne Morgan Headshots 068

She hasn’t left yet, even though just yesterday I had the wrong stove eye turned on and she put her beautiful tomato pie on it and it’s bottom got scorched.  She is getting use to the occasional surprise when she steps out of her room—me sucked down into her footstool (after taking the lid off) trying to take a selfie or me staring down into the toilet trying to figure out if I am drowning a flea or a piece of dirt.

I, on the other hand, have the fun of taping her audition videos and being exposed to her theatrical talent via her hilarious performance in Clarence Brown Theatre’s production of Lost Highway. 

Before Jayne, my housemate was Laura , another delightful actor.  IMG_9345 If not for her I might have worried about Jayne’s vampire sleeping habits. But after Laura I knew theatre people don’t go to sleep before dawn, either because they are performing OR because they aren’t performing.

Of course no arrangement is perfect. One challenge for me is reaching those items the TALL person in the house easily placed on the top shelf. That’s o.k. I count the time spent on tiptoes, almost wrenching my arm out of socket, as exercise. Plus her other kitchen talents include making great homemade soup and an apple pie I like.

What really binds us together, besides (or in spite of) being blood kin, are the dogs and t087he fact they get along so well.

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And I believe we are even on the number of times we have left keys in the outside door lock overnight.

Let’s go for it, Roomie. Carpe another year!!!0817151743c

Serendipitous Moments this summer

100_1622After a delightful afternoon of swimming, this motley crew filled my ’02 Honda Accord for the ride home. Windows all rolled down, radio turned to an oldies station, singing at the top of my lungs. Remember the driver gets to choose the station.

IMG_8768-001Friends gathered on and around the front porch on a blue moon night, listening to poetry readings, topped off by Kelle Jolly serenading us . Truly unexpected, a James Agee – Knoxville of 1915 moment.

These rascally blessings who, when called upon, say O.K. to a road trip with Nana Judy  that don’t turn out exactly as she thought it would. 100_1606Still don’t understand why they couldn’t include motion in the bodies.

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And any time with Spunky.
        And anytime with Spunky.

Still here

Just in case you were wondering…….I have been caught up in trying to learn a new phone and to tame the files in my pc.

My phone problems came after I destroyed my cell phone in the ocean, the one which replaced the one I cleaned in my washing machine. My daughter came to my rescue by giving me an old smart phone. How old was it? The sales rep helping me said, “Sorry it is taking me so long. I have never seen this model before and need to look up the information on it.”

I wrestled with it for a month without mastering the swipe technique, but decided to keep it rather than go back to the phone store.  Then my monthly bill came, indicating an additional charge of $78 for data use. I barely talked on the phone much less spent time doing anything else with it.  U.S. Cellular, who does have decent in-store customer service, worked with me. After a brief discussion of what I wanted to do with a phone, a new flip phone (with insurance) is in my hands.

My pc is absent because I needed to get my files back in some kind of order. It seems as though every photograph and every document is registered everywhere– downloads, pictures, documents, Picasa, recent places, favorites. And there are old files I couldn’t open or find. So many places to search.  Too much for this right side of the brain person. I handed it over to a computer person.

At least my tablet or android or Nexus (how many names can one piece of electronics have??) is here with me. Of course, since it is me, to get one paragraph done has taken 20 minutes. The keyboard, given to me by my son to make it easier, sits on the desk sulking because I failed in activating the Bluetooth needed to put it to use.

What a love/hate relationship I carry on with these modern devices! I love them for their fast, cheap communication and ability to save and store enough words to amount to a library. I dislike the power they hold over me, particularly the part which keeps my eyes glued to a screen too many hours. I love the photo editing. I really dislike the frequent changes made to my computer in the early morning hours and my lack of control over an inert object I paid for.

Most of the above I wrote last week and here it still sits. Maybe I am the inert object.