photo by Patty Ann Smith Posted by Hello

Red Lake: We Must Listen To Our Indigenous People

I have to apologize in advance for having to be so blunt ~ but ~ if we don't listen to the voices of our indigenous people ~ in plain English ~ "We Are All Doomed". A typical example of this is what has happened recently on the Minnesota Chippewa Red Lake Reservation. Patriarchal beliefs invading matriarchal societies results in confusion and violence. To me, it is clear that whenever an individual or group is affected by the opposite of that which is natural ~ chaos and unrest occurs. And if Truth is allowed to reveal itself, we will discover that it is essential that the industrialized world has no choice but to stop inflicting its values on the indigenous peoples of the world. We need to listen to them and learn the truths that they have carried down with them from generation to generation. The few of them that are left must be considered treasures for they hold the secrets that will stop man from being the endangered species he is right now on this planet.

In the United States, we are fortunate to have our Native Americans; and yet we have put them and all others who are in poverty in this country in a position that many of us wouldn't even put our dogs in. Think of the resources we throw away when we throw away human life and human potential. Think of the resources we have in our Native Americans. Yet, we still treat them like a novelty that we can choose to discard whenever our interest in them wanes and they no longer amuse us. They are not here to amuse us. The ones that still "know" are here to teach us, and they and their people must be able to thrive without their traditional ways being violated.

America cannot go forward without the Native Americans going forward too. It doesn't work that way when this was "their" country first. We can cover it up all we want, but it doesn't mean it isn't true. And as long as we deny it, our country will continue to suffer ~ because ~ no one can take unfairly from others and end up well. ~ Patty Ann Smith

"The Rose"

"When the night has been too lonely
and the road has been too long
and you think that love is only
for the lucky and the strong
Just remember in the winter
far beneath the bitter snows
lies the seed
that with the sun's love
in the spring
becomes the rose."

lyrics from the song "The Rose"

Be Sure To Follow Your Heart Whenever You Can

Be sure that your heart feels good about what you are doing and what is happening in your life. This clarifies your true direction, and your love of life and your joy in your work will magically return.

photo by Craig Smith Posted by Hello

Bird On A Wire

A fence is not always a fence. Sometimes, it's just a place to perch.
You ask
Why I perch
on a jade green mountain?
I laugh
but say nothing
my heart
like a peach blossom
in the flowing stream
going by
in the depths
in another world
not among men


photo by Craig Smith Posted by Hello

Family Matters

"What makes a good family, a good community, and a good world is...DIVERSITY...and the divinity in each of us...honoring the divinity in every living thing." ~ Patty Ann Smith

A Mother's Love

photo by Craig Smith Posted by Hello
Sadly and solemnly, a mother lays her son down to rest. Unfortunately, today, this scene is still occuring.

Shining A Light On Poverty

photo by Craig Smith Posted by Hello

Millions of Americans Are Barely Getting By

photo by Craig Smith Posted by Hello

Hope Is On The Way!

photo by Craig Smith Posted by Hello

on Poverty, Work, and Opportunity

I subscribe to One America's e-mail. Here is an excerpt from a letter I, and many others, received yesterday from John Edwards:

"While poverty is all around us, the first step in eradicating it is to shine a bright light on it. Here's what we know: 36 million Americans live in poverty today, which is 13 million more than 30 years ago. About one in four working families is earning so little they struggle to make ends meet. And nearly 30 percent of families have less than $10,000 in assets - which means that the value of their savings, their home, and their car altogether is less than 10,000."

How can we allow this in America! How can we allow it in the World! I am so intricately connected to this cause. As the title of my Blog indicates: Hope 4 America means Hope 4 the whole world!

Listen to John and Elizabeth Edwards first podcast today at:

Helping Others

When you hear the needs and cries of others and want to help and teach sure to LISTEN to them....REALLY LISTEN.

ASK THEM what they "need".

DON'T TELL THEM what they "need"

What they need most is to speak their true feelings without having to filter them through what they think "you" want to hear so they won't increase their grief.

There can be no repercussions of or opportunistic words from you to create "strings attached" to what they say. You are "not" to be "trusted" if that's in your heart. Your highest goal needs to be for them to feel free as a bird to be able to soar to their greatest heights.

They need "unconditional love" and no limit on time.


photo by Patty Ann Smith Posted by Hello

Life Is A House

The beauty of aging...the process of all living things. Whether it's a person or a work of art (like the architecture of a building)...if we look only for the "new" and "young" to be important, we miss out on all the beauty and art and depth and character that "only" come from the natural processes of life.

Here we have an example of man's work of art (architecture) and natures touch with the process of aging. When the house was new, it had it's own beauty then. And, now it's old and has a "different" kind of beauty. The kind that creates excitement for another type of artist...the photographer...with another generation of people to enjoy it.

Birth, life, death, and rebirth are a continuing theme of life. How many things of great value do we miss every time we want to deny the "Natural Processes of Life".

Learning To Let Go

We must talk more about the importance of "knowing" when to hold and when to let go. And when its' REALLY IS OKAY to "Let Go"!

A quote from Jack Kornfield's "Buddha's Little Instruction Book": "Learning to let the key to happiness."

Spring Azaleas (photo by Craig Smith Posted by Hello

The Spring Equinox, Palm Sunday and Easter

Palm Sunday seldom falls on the first day of spring like it does today. However, Easter "Always" is the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring Equinox...or as we more often call it...the first day of spring.

Ancient rituals and religions, including one which is very familiar to us, have always been intricately tied to the rhythms and cycles of nature.

Spring is life reemerging from beneath the ground. With seeds sprouting, leaves opening, and flowers budding...after a long life is being "born again".

Every time spring comes around, our spirits are refreshed by being filled with hope for a new start and fresh growth that will supply us with food and sustenance until spring comes again.

Happy First Day of Spring!

Ireland ~ The Land of The Magical Earth

A Celtic Knot Posted by Hello

The Storytelling

From the hills and valleys of Ireland to the hills and valleys of Nashville, Tennessee comes the music like "Wild Mountain Thyme"...telling stories of the lives of country people who lived and worked in harmony with the land. Many of them had to leave Ireland and sail across the sea to America in order to survive, but they brought their traditions and roots with them. In American country music today, you can still hear some of the melodic sounds and rhythms of our Irish-American ancestors from another part of the world long ago.

The value of moving forward can never be complete if you don't take your history and where you came from with you. When you forget your roots, you are incomplete. The music and the stories "need" to come with you.

For me, personally, the percussive dances and the enduring melodies in Irish music that have been passed down from generation to generation will never leave my heart.

The Music

"Wild Mountain Thyme" is one of the most popular traditional Scots-Irish love songs....ever! I have sung this song many times. One of those times was when my father was lying in a hospital bed with a stroke a thousand miles away from me. For two months, whenever I could, I'd play my guitar and sing "Wild Mountain Thyme" and send it on the wings of angels to comfort him. Doctors had said his comatose deterioration could cause him great discomfort in the end. My Dad did not recover from his stroke, but he died peacefully in his sleep.

If you'd like to hear the song "Wild Mountain Thyme", it can be downloaded free at Scrub Records by "clicking" here: . It is my vocal work, and the Guitarist is my husband, Craig Smith.

The Laughter

"Life is too short not to be Irish!"

Sigmund Freud (about the Irish) ~ "This is one race of people for whom psychoanalysis is of no use whatsoever."

Sign on an Irish gate: "The farmer allows walkers across the field for free, but the bull charges."

"I have never liked working. To me a job is an invasion of privacy." ~ Danny McGoorty (Irish Pool Player)

The Blessings

"For every petal on the shamrock,
May these three blessings
come your way:
God grant you
love, health and happiness
today and every day."

Even though I did not write that, it is my wish for All of you!

Patty Ann Smith

design and photo by Craig Smith Posted by Hello

Bright Lights

"Life is no brief candle to me. It is a sort of splendid torch
which I have got a hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible
before handing it on to future generations."
~ George Bernard Shaw
"I swear I will not dishonor my soul with hatred,
but offer myself humbly as a guardian of nature,
as a healer of misery, as a messenger of wonder,
as an architect of peace...."
from a poem by Diane Ackerman

Wanted: New Heroes For A New World

Individuals who stand for Love and Compassion and no more killing....please sign-up here!

"The Wise Man Will Be Guided By The Stars" ~ Benjamin Franklin

"The diversity of the phenomena of Nature is so great, and the treasures hidden in the heavens so rich, precisely in order that the human mind shall never be lacking in fresh nourishment." ~ Johannes Kepler

designed and photographed by Craig Smith Posted by Hello

Contemplate The Starry Night Sky

"...through the millenia of civilization, humans have seldom stopped and reflected seriously on whether or not we are beneficial additions to Earth's system of life. Self-absorbed, we focus on our own survival and on explorations into our own innate powers. We never developed a larger perspective by which to evaluate our activities, a perspective that included stars, planets, and all other life forms. This limited world-picture is precisely what is ruining us as a species....If the higher life forms disappear, they can not be re-created. When life forms vanish, they vanish forever..." ~ Dr. Brian Swimme

photo by Craig Smith Posted by Hello

"Taking Life for granted is such an easy thing to do, and such an important thing not to." ~ Patty Ann Smith

"As soon as you trust yourself you will know how to live." ~ Goethe

"Repression of the ecological unconscious is the deepest root of collusive madness in industrial society." ~ Dr. Theodore Roszak

"It's rather embarrassing to have spent one's entire lifetime pondering the human condition and come towards its close and find that I really don't have anything more profound to pass on by way of advice than, 'Try to be a little bit kinder'." ~ Aldous Huxley

"We are here to awaken from the illusion of our separateness." ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

photo by Craig Smith Posted by Hello

The Sacred Way

Grandfather, look at our brokenness.
We know that in all Creation
only the human family
has strayed from the Sacred Way.

We know that we are the ones
who are divided
and we are the ones
who must come back together
to walk in the Sacred Way.

Grandfather, Sacred One,
teach us love, compassion, honor
that we may heal the Earth
and heal each other.

A Native American (Ojibway) Prayer

Rebirth (photo by Craig Smith) Posted by Hello

The Healing of America

The Hope 4 America Blog is all about Healing with Art, Nature, Community and Inspiration.

I am excited about the new Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill. I have ideas and work that I can contribute to this project and my blog is one way of doing that. I believe that many people are helped by ideas on relaxation, healing thoughts, and a feeling of being connected to each other.

Senator John Edwards is heading the new Center at UNC, and he's a great American and humanitarian. He and his wife, Elizabeth, are constantly in my heart as the most "beautiful" memories of Election 2004. I am BIG on "hope" and both of them never stop delivering that to us. I am inspired by them as well as many other great people in history.

John Edwards voice is so important for America to hear. He is the voice for those who are powerless, and this is so important to "the Healing of America".

Patty Ann Smith

There Are More Than Three Generations Posted by Hello

Striving For Excellence: " Peace and Equality Are Moral Values"

photo by Craig Smith Posted by Hello

Promote Love and Healing

The dysfunctional child is like a plant growing in barren soil, barely able to manifest a few leaves or a frail dwarfed flower, distorting itself and manipulating whatever's available in order to survive. A lot of his childhood is spent altering and shaping himself to be able to respond appropriately to the individuals who he depends on for his survival. He knows all too well some of the inevitable frightening situations that are his existence. His healthy self expressions and his child within are muted. The greatest thing he intuitively knows, and that which temporarily allows him a false sense of security, is....what he wants to "like" most is whatever makes his manipulators happy. He is totally dependent, and because his fear of abandonment is so strong, most of his actions and re-actions are based on trying to prevent it. Whatever he, himself, is interested in he has to mold and shape into a palatable highly modified corrupted form that can cause him no threat. However, when he becomes an adult, he discovers that these very mechanisms (dynamics/systems) that were functional for him as a child are dys-functional for him as an adult.....and, he encounters a whole new frightening situation. This person who as a child was in one incorrect condition after another, trying to put band-aids on an original need, now has to survive in the "world", and he's still anything anybody wants him to be that makes him feel loved, wanted, and safe. ~ Patty Ann Smith

"When you understand that you aren't alone in your suffering, there is the birth of love"...."When there is love, there is the opportunity for peace." ~ Deepak Chopra

"Original Light Sculpture" by Craig Smith Posted by Hello

Art Is The Dance Of Life

"When you dance, you honor all parts of yourself,
all parts of God. You create a space
where you can transform your struggles and emotions
into authenticity and light heartedness.
The purpose is to move until your spirit becomes free."
~ Gabrielle Roth
I guess if I yearn
for anything in this life,
it is for the divine union
that is art,
and the dance of life.
~ Patty Ann Smith

In the 19th century, people were connected to poetry, music and the ebb and flow that comes from being connected to the earth and it's cycles. By the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st, these basics are becoming extinct. if we are going to prevent this, I suggest we all start seeing life like an artist does.

"Art is the most profound, the most irrepressible response to life itself, whether that art is drawing, dancing, playing a flute, or acting on stage. It is an awakening, a new openness for and insight into the livingness of living things, a reborn capacity for empathy, wonder, and reverence, for awe of the simplest things of nature." ~ Frederick Franck

"The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson