Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Back to the grindstone...

I'm home, thank GOD, and on the mend. On the LONG journey to be healed.

While I was gone, I missed out on a few really important things.

Really important.

Among other things, the eternal Eskimo in me is very disappointed that I missed my son's first seal catch. NORMALLY, this eski-momma would have called an elder and had EXACTLY what I needed to butcher the seal ready so that the elder could simply enjoy the entire thing without worrying about taking care of it.

Sometimes elders like to take care of seals and so, we would just bring said seal to their house, and say, "Here you go," and allow the elder to talk to the young hunter about the hunt.

Koy was able to catch his first Uugrukchiaq (smaller bearded seal) and it is sitting under a tarp frozen waiting for an able elder to take care of it. I feel like a failure as an Eski-momma.

I forget how old I was when I went out first, but I got to go hunting a lot with my uncles because I was a good shot. There are a lot of different traditions that Eskimo people practice. My tatta did a lot of things that I thought were sort of weird growing up, but now, I'm trying to grasp exactly what he did out there. For one, you give the seal a last taste of salt water, to guide their spirit to the spirit world, or their form of heaven.

So, right now, I'm back and staring at the seal outside. I have an elder, but he is in a village, so I'll have to figure out how to get it out there...(airplane!?) Of all the things that are bothering me, you'd think maybe my hands, or my feet, or my lack of ability to take care of my family would be. But just sitting here NOT able to take care of that seal is driving me crazy. I am seriously tempted to call someone and have them PAID to take care of it. Ugh.

Maybe it's time for my six year old to cut up her first seal alone. I forget how old I was, but was hard.

On another hands look much worse that they are feeling. I have some feeling back in my left hand, but not much. It's a long road, but it's happening. I just wish it was during a time when there's nothing to do in AK. That way, I wouldn't miss out.

Funny though, is that my son missed the largest wrestling tournament in bush Alaska because he was run over by a trailer full of seals. I mean, where else are you going to hear that?!

"Was this a work related injury?"

"Why yes, yes it was!"

I wonder if a 13 year old can get workman's comp for hunting for his family and getting run over by a trailer!??


flying fish said...

The blisters look smaller. I almost wrote "from here"...yeah they look really small from a thousand miles away!

First seal, congratulations!! I hope you can figure out how to get it a 6 year old strong enough? Trying to imagine me, little white kid in Juneau, faced with a seal at 6 years old. Ha!

Cate said...

I'm not above paying people -- or bartering -- to have them help me take care of wild catches. I feel your pain; it's excrutiating not to be able to do things the right way, right away. Have faith; it will work out.

Sabrina said...

I'm sorry that you are dealing with this frustration. Your hands do look a little better I guess...but still pretty painful to me. Congratulations on the first seal, it sounds like a rite of passage. YAY for growing up!

Michele S said...

Oh, man. Your hands look so awful and I sure hope you got your seal situation taken care of.