Thursday, May 04, 2006

A few other LOs I've worked on recently

Jake drinks about 25 cups a milk a day, or so it seems. He's always asking
"Can I have some milk, Please?"
So I thought I would record this. In the flower I used an old Milk top that was from
my Dad's collection. He's got all kinds of crazy collections.

The gourd bowl in the photos was a gift I recieved while teaching kindergarten. This is truly a treasured gift!Here's the letter that came with the bowl.

Dear Melissa,

I can’t express how sorry I am for forgetting to come Tuesday. It is hard to explain, even to myself, how this could happen considering how I place so much importance in living up to my word or promise. We Native Americans take great pride in sharing our heritage and to miss an opportunity to relay it to your Kindergarten class is disappointing. I am an instructor; my wife as well as my daughter and daughter-in-law are teachers also. I know what inconvenience that I caused you and the other teachers.Please accept this gift as a token of my apology. The gourd bowl is a symbolic gesture of asking forgiveness. The gourd bowl is very fragile unless its rim is reinforced. The bowl represents our life and its frailty. The horsehair secured around the rim represents the trust and strength we each give to others. This trust also is very fragile and easily broken, but when the trust builds up like the many strands of hair, we enjoy a great blessing from others.The bowl contains four prayer symbols; the lettered olive shell, a piece of pottery, the soft strip of fur and the tasseled deer skin. There are other symbols of trust as well. Inside the tasseled deer skin pouch is corn meal, dried beans and seeds. Our legends tell us that these were offered to someone who you had broken trust with. If they chose not to forgive you, they would take the pouch and scatter the meal into the wind never to be seen again. The beans and seeds were also scattered to represent your choice to separate yourself from that person. I hope you chose to keep the corn meal and seeds. I also hope you can appreciate the symbols and enjoy the bowl as much as I have in making it for you.Your friend,Vernon Tanner

Under the #2 there is more journaling and a photo of Mr Tanner speaking with my class.

I remember this day like it was yesterday. I had scheduled for Mr. Tanner to visit our schoolAnd give a presentation on American Indian culture. We had 5 kindergarten classes in the library waiting and he never showed up. I called him at the phone # I had and I was able to speak to himbriefly and he explained that he had forgotten about the presentation that day. I must admit I was a little angry but I was extremely disappointed for my students. Two days later I was called to the office to pickup something that had been left for me. I took it back to my classroom only to find this beautiful handmade bowl inside. I was so surprised and so overwhelmed at the letter that was included with the gift. If you read the letter below, then view the photos to the right, you’ll see that I forgave Mr. Tanner that day and I’ll cherish this beautiful piece ofartwork forever!


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