Barrow, Alaska, September 2, 2011, 3:54 a.m., Alaska Time~
Mattaq writing. Hope this finds you well. I am due to go in to work at five this morning (it's nearly four now. I leave in under an hour, but thought I would spend a little time writing in my journal to help me to wake up somewhat). I work from five a.m, until 3 this afternoon; it's a rather long day. I am still working at the convenience store; it doesn't really pay all that much, but it's better than staying home or pounding the pavement looking for a job.
I'm just grateful to The Great Spirit for my job. If it wasn't for him, I would still be eating out of cans or having the collection agencies calling me day in and day out (I put a stop to that; they now no longer bother me, especially since I got just about all my past bills paid off). So that is two big worries no longer hanging over my head.
The days are getting shorter. We are now seeing the auroras more and more; they have been active and this auroral season promises to be a good one. In just a few months we won't see any daylight at all; it will be dark all the time. This is why we Natives call the dark period as "The Long Dark". They (the dark days) make me sad because I think about Sikik and how much I still miss her.
Fall is a bad time for me. It was on November three years ago, on the 16th, when Sikik mercifully went to dance aomng the spirits. She had progressive MS; she was only forty when she died. I miss her as much now as I did on the day when she died. I hate fall because OF losing Sikik. I still see reminders of her everywhere, if not in myself, but in the things she loved: nature, people, the auroras, the sun, even in the faces of Native Alaskans (particularly we Inuit). I see her in their smiles, their eyes, their hair, their very being.
Now it's just me and the dogs to keep me company. I also have a cat, but the cat stays inside, but all it does is sleep or roam around the house at night. It is a big burly Maine Coon; I haven't named it. I just call it "Cat". It is friendly though, but as a rule, I am not a cat person. I've always preferred dogs more; dogs are much more useful than any cat I've ever seen or encountered ...
Heard on the news that there was a magnitude 7.1 earthquake in the Aleutian Islands. Don't know anything about damage (in which I am sure there was) or injuries (or deaths); I will have to say a prayer to the spirits to guide those living in that area. Earlhquakes are common in Alaska; have felt a few myself, but nothing too serious (and I pray I never do). I don't mind the little tremblers once in a while; it's the big ones you have to be careful about because there's usually no warning. Once it hits, that's it. BOOM! Earthquake! And you best be hoping that you aren't in a building or near something lest they fall or collapse on you .... to me, that's the scariest part. Or having the ground heve under your feet, knocking you down. That sounds horrible; I never want to experience a big shaker!!
Remember that book I'd mentioned, the one I was going to write about my sister, Sikik? Well, I have started it, and it is harde than I thought it would be. I am looking through momentos and photos of my sister and it causes tears to come to my eyes or fall down my cheeks. I do well for a while, but then I have to stop until I can get my bearings together so I can continue the task at hand. I pray I get it completed before December; that is the deadline anyway.
Also, besides thinking of the approaching third anniversary of Sikik's death, I have to think about September 11, 2001. Ten years ago, radical Muslim terrorists struck New York City and Washington DC, killing over 3,000 men, women, and children. The Twin Towers in New York City were bombed when the terrorists/hijackers used planes to fly into them, first one, then the other; lsss than two hours later, the towers fell, killing those who were still trapped inside, in addition to the people on the planes. Another plane struck the Pentagon in Washington, DC and a fouth plane, heading towards the White House, went down in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, when a brave man named Todd Beamer fought the terrorists and won, but at a price: the plane went down, but it missed the White House, saving hundreds, peshaps thousands, more lives. Or else more people would have otherwise died.
I remember what Sikik and I were doing that day. Sikik was puttering around the house, cleaning, vacuuming, and dusting, while I was cleaning the sled and taking care of the dogs, when the news bulletin came on, telling people that the Twin Towers in New York City, New York, were burning. Sikik turned on the news; she then called me in, and what we both saw will be etched in my memory for all eternity. All we could do was watch helplessly and cry. I will never forget it and it still makes me sad all these years later.
Well, tears are threatening to spill, so I'd best stop writing; besides, I have to be at work in a half hour. It takes ten minutes to get there. I will write in here again another day; until later, this is Mattaq Eegeesiak saying so long; may the Great Spirit bless you in all of your days!
~Mattaq. (Nearly put Sikik; she's sure on my mind a lot today ... how I miss her ...)