THe glory of a story
Thoughts and threads of passion and experience that have woven the fabric I call my life. Sharing experiences, memories and ideas so that they are out in the world for you to find when the time is right.
THe glory of a story
For the whole of my life I have been a learner. A learner and a reader, and I'm glad that as time has gone on, that has not changed. What bothers me is that as a 'learner', there is so much that I am only now beginning to understand and begin to try and make sense of. So many things that I, like the rest of society, should have been learning much earlier in our lives. If we had maybe today our world would be less of a mess. I often worry that our learning is coming too late and too little, with so many people locked into their skewed ideas and belief systems. Even so, I write this with the hope that maybe one person's heart may be challenged to take a different view of things, and nudge our world one more step forward and closer to the place where we can all have more open minds and open hearts to the journey of another.
To be clear, I have no knowledge of any First Nations genealogy in my family lines and my perspective and views do not come with the life experience that many of my friends have lived. My ancestry is as Irish and as Scottish as you can get. But that does not keep me for having a love for other people and a thirst for information that will help me to better understand my world, so that I can pass that understanding along to others. I do believe that our society is past the point where it is okay to turn a blind eye to what has been created. We can believe there might have been good intentions, but we can't ignore that whatever the intention was, the outcome is bad. One way or another we need to lean into that and start growing forward. For me that means to listen, talk, read and learn and work towards having a better understanding so that I might become a better advocate and a better person as a result.
Last night, I finished my reading of the book 'Black Elk Speaks'. It took my a long time to get to the book in it's entirety, but for a long time I have been fascinated and drawn to his words and his wisdom. Nicholas Black Elk (1863-1950) has been working to get my attention for a long time it seems, through so many coincidences and experiences in life. But when we're ready, the teacher does arrive. This teacher died in 1950, but fortunately for our world, he opened his heart and shared his wisdom.
The book was originally published in the early 1930s, after Black Elk met with John G. Neihardt, the author, on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. His intent was to share his powerful and inspirational experiences and message to all that would be open to them. During their time together, he relayed the stories from his earliest memories as a boy in th 1860s through to the Massacre at Wounded Knee in 1890, and the final efforts of his people to maintain their freedom and their way of life. He was a warrior, a hunter, a medicine man and a healer who lived his life in an effort to move ever closer to the vision he had experienced as a young boy of 9. He shared his visions in the book, trusting that John would pass them along to a world that needed to know and understand what he had seen. He did this at a time when it was not common for a man of his stature to talk about those things with a stranger, but Black Elk felt the deep need for that message to be shared and so he did.
Through his story, we are given an opportunity to see that horrific time period through the eyes of those who lived on the receiving end of the decisions being made to secure the United States as a nation. A story that is very much the same as our own story in Canada, with it's brutality, battles and manipulation. Black Elk shares his memories of what the First People were experiencing throughout those years of Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull, Custard and the army's continued movement west. It is a much different perspective from what we are taught by history books.
He tells the reader about many of the horrible battles that took place between the Indigenous people and the soldiers. One of the paragraphs that haunted me really made me think about the things we see happening today, in 2016, at Standing Rock. "Wherever we went, the soldiers came to kill us, and it was all our own country. It was ours already when the Wasichus (white man) made the treaty with Red Cloud that said it would be ours as long as the grass should grow and the water flow. That was only eight winters before, and they were chasing us now because we remembered and they forgot." (pg 83)
The book is full of the broken promises and broken dreams of a people who were forced to bend to the ways of the invading world, and reading it, I couldn't help but see the role that is still playing in what is happening around our continent today, but most noticibly with with what is happening at Standing Rock. As he talks about the treaty agreements that were made by a few on behalf of the many, treaties and agreements that pushed them further and further from the land and the life they had known he relays "only crazy or very foolish men would sell their Mother Earth. Sometimes I think it might have been better if we had stayed together and made them kill us all." The people lived through heartbreak after heartbreak as he shares stories of the battles, the hunger, the massacres, the Ghost Dances and the broken promises.
After the Massacre at Wounded Knee, when the people gave up their fight he was quoted as saying "I did not know then how much was ended. When I look back now from this high hill of my old age, I can still see the butchered women and children lying heaped and scattered all along the crooked gulch as plain as when I saw them with eyes still young. And i can see that something else died there in the bloody mud, and was burried in the blizzard. A people's dream died there. It was a beautiful dream. " pg 169
Black Elk died believing that he had not accomplished what the Grandfathers had set out for him to do. He never saw his people regain the footing lost or their old way of life, traditions and spiritual belief systems reestablished. What he had visioned for his people was not possible in the world that had been created and with the restrictions that were placed on our Indigenous people, throughout North America.
But I wondered, as I read through it, if Black Elk wasn't also fortelling of some of what is happening today? His vision fortold of the days ahead, the disappearance of the buffalo herds, of the 'black road' that his people would be forced to walk. But it also fortold of a day when "I saw that the sacred hoop of my people was one of many hoops that made one circle, wide as daylight and as starlight, and in the center grew one mighty flowering tree to shelter all the children of one Mother and one Father. And I saw that it was holy." (pg 26)
As I look at the gatherings that are happening in Standing Rock to support the people who are fighting for their water, I begin to wonder if that gathering may be part of what Black Elk envisioned? People from all tribes, faiths and races coming to stand for the common goal of preserving and fighting for what is here, before everything is gone. People starting to take notice and realize the wisdom that was embedded in the beliefs that lived here long before my ancestors arrived.
My heart aches for the old man who returned to the place of his vision one last time. "Hear me, not for myself, but for my people; I am old. Hear me that they may once more go back into the sacred hoop and find the good red road, the shielding tree." (pg 172)
It has been a slow resurgence, but I believe it is beginning to happen. Idle no More, people saying no to the big corporations, our commitment to the Truth and Reconciliation work. Change is in the works, and the winds have shifted direction. And from the Voice of Black Elk's vision, "Behold this day, for it is yours to make." So I ask, what are you going to do?
So for those of you that know me, you're likely asking 'What's the Deal? Lynda isn't much of a sports fan or a gamer?' Well, with that I'd have to say you're right...or you were right! Things have changed and FireFan has arrived!
My goal and my passion is to keep doing good in the world, and I see FireFan being one of the ways I'm going to be able to do that, because yes, I am a United Games Marketing Affiliate with this, and thrilled to be part of this! There, disclosure made.
But I'm also someone who likes to have a lot of fun with friends, and have found this is a brand new way of doing that, so lets keep moving here shall we? I have put this step by step explanation together so that my friends (who are as game savvy as I am :( and invitees won't get frustrated, because this app is like nothing we've ever seen! I hope it helps you to get the most out of this great new game!
- Social, Competitive, Fun, Interactive
- It is not gambling, so it's something the entire family can enjoy
- You can Play LIVE with friends and Superstars
FireFan is just hitting the app store, so here's what I can tell you about it right now from my experience over the last weeks of our beta testing. It's a new way of playing along with sports. It's not betting, there is no money to be made, so you can get your entire family involved in the fun. It is free to download, and it is free to play if you want to just use the pregame picks option. If you want to go live, you will need to acquire tokens. There will be lots of ways to do that when the last of the beta test is done. You can get them by watching the advertisements that will be built into the app. You can acquire them through purchase through Apple Itunes or Google store. You can get them as rewards for inviting friends, or in some league games. But that's for later. It's not even necessary at this point to worry. Lets just get started.
Now we are moving on to the next screen, #1
Here you're going to be picking the sports that you love to follow! Remember, at the moment we only have NFL Football and MLS Soccer within the app, but that is going to be changing regularly!
Coming Soon, Watch for:
Step Number 2 allows you to pick your favorite teams. For now, as I said, it's only NFL. That will change in the days ahead. You can pick as many, or as few teams as you choose. You can go back and add teams at any time. This is your game. When you're done, hit next.
Step 3 allows you to connect!
STEP 4 is to Join some FireFan Leagues. There are literally hundreds, and will be thousands to choose from! So it's up to you! You can join a few right off the bat, if you see ones that catch your eye, leagues in your area, or leagues for your teams, or you can wait and do more investigating. You can join and leave leagues at any time. The next screen is going to ask you if you want to turn on notifications for League invites. As a newby, I'd leave it on, find out what's being created and get to know new people. For more about leagues, keep going, there'll be more later!
Hit next and see your brand new Profile Page!
So welcome to your new Profile Page! You are officially a FireFan. On your home screen you will see Total Points Earned (this is for all games played ongoing), your followers and you're following. Going down the screen you'll see:
On your home screen, hit the X at the top at any time to go back to your profile.
This page is all things NFL! Scroll across the top you get the Schedule, Team Standings, Teams, News and Depth Charts.
This shot shows what happened Week 13, hit Week 14 (and through to Week 17 at this point), and it tells you everything that will be happening. How many games, whose playing, where the game is, the time, the channel that is carrying it, it's all there.
Hit the TEAM STANDINGS Tab, and it's up to date with the standings in the AFC East, AFC North, AFC South, AFC West, NFC East, North, South and West.
Go to the Teams Button, find your team, and it'll give you a list of all upcoming games. As well is the results of games, Roster, News and Depth Charts.
News and Depth Charts are also available on the NFL Page. Everything is in One Place!
So, our girl FeeBee has decided she wants to check out the Dallas Cowboys vs Minnesota Vikings that is happening on December 1st. That takes her to here!
The game is still a few days away, but you can see that there are a lot of leagues that have set up to watch it. She's not sure she wants to use any tokens to play with them yet, but she doesn't have to use tokens to go into the pregame Picks screen.
Ahead of kick off, go into the picks and answer the questions asked. They vary and are specific to the game, but could be things like:
The PLAY button and the STATS buttons are for when the game is happening. If you do decide to use tokens and play it live, there are more PICKS with every drive throughout the game, so more opportunities to get points on each play. Watch as the drives end for the bright green bar that lets you know 'new picks are available now'.
So FeeBee has done her picks (she's not going to show you, so no one will be able to copy her predictions :) ), but has decided that she wants to see what her own leagues are doing before she signs up for the game. She goes back to her profile page and discovers that DIAMONDS IN THE ROUGH have that game scheduled! (pick shows previous game, ignore that and pretend please)
Does she want to spend 6 of her tokens and sign up to play? You bet she does! So she hits the join game button. From here she can also invite friends that she thinks would like to be part of this league. Everyone in the league has a chance to join the game and play live, for 6 tokens.
Note on the league: From this page you'll see
A Little more about Leagues: Leagues are a hoot, and they are so simple to set up! Any player can do it, and it only takes seconds.
I am so excited about this app! You will be too! For now we have NFL, but just imagine what it'll be like to play on leagues with your friends across the world when the Soccer comes online!
Or to have fun game with family from anywhere on the continent during the NHL games are on or WORLD SERIES finals are happening. This app is going to set Fans on Fire! Be one of them!
One final note, the little dancing FireFan symbol that you'll see dancing at the bottom of your screen opens up a series of options, based on the screen you're in. It's a quick link to where you want to go, and changes if you're playing live, but a nice streamlined feature to get where you want to be.
Tons more to be learned as we go along, and will update as we know more, but this ought to get you going!
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The Passion Test supports you to live your life more passionately, creating the life you dream of, doing the things you love!