Canku Ota Logo

Canku Ota

Canku Ota Logo

(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


September 6, 2003 - Issue 95


pictograph divider



by Timm Severud

Ski Jump HillThe dreams of the young feed a growing ego. It is what makes us remember childhood friends with tainted eyes. I know I would not want to be judged for the 13 year old I once was, would you? In my life, I have started digging a hole to China and only found the water table. I have dreamed of chasing the wind and have ended up chasing my own tale. I have stubbed my toes on fame more than once and only ended up with bloody feet. When we are young we believe fame is something that is honorable to seek. However as I have grown older I have come to abhor the ego-feasts, they have left far too many emotional scars.

This 'Flight from Fame' has a starting point, I was 16 and knew everything about anything that mattered and I did not mind telling anyone that at any time.

Dad had been elected to the U.S. Ski Hall of Fame in Ishpeming, Michigan. All the years of ski jumping and coaching had led to this event. I took great pride in my father's accomplishments and it was feast when he was named to the Hall of Fame. Dad and Mom drove over to Ishpeming and they did not want us boys along so we were left behind. I could not understand it at the time but two 16-year-old boys in the car at the same time for 8 hours or so would be rough.

They came back home in the wee hours of the morning and they had a good argument going. Mom kept telling Dad it was no big thing. It seems they had spelled his name wrong on the Hall of Fame plaque. In fact they spelled it wrong two times… His nickname was Snowball not Snoball, but worst of all they spelt the last name wrong. They put an 'e' on the end like a lot of our relatives do. Dad was livid. It was as if they had gotten his record as a ski jumper wrong, which is what they were honoring.

Being the sort of 16 year old I was, I got in the middle of it saying, "If you tell them they misspelled it Dad they will change it and fix it. That will make them feel as guilty as you are mad."

He went nuclear and had me up against a wall screaming at me, "You will never tell them. I forbid you." He stormed off and took a long walk.

How many hours of my life have I replayed this short scene? Mistakes are made to learn from not to dwell in. I know why the name is spelled differently. Family arguments cause a lot of things and I had more than one relative that decided if they spelled their name different from a brother, that they were no longer related. I know Dad dwells in the meaning of the difference in the spelling and that it is one of the things he holds onto about his father. Here I am waiting for my own father to die so I can go correct a mistake; still more of the bitter tasting heritage that we both inherited.

It is our ego and pride that stand between us. If all fame does is feed the ego then it is not for me. My ego is fat enough without others having to feed it. It is my father's pride and ego that bothers me I guess, because when I stopped letting ego drive my life, I freed my mind and spirit, which are allowing me to think and express myself in the ways I do. Dad may have lived a 'good life' while I am trying to live a 'life of good.'

Dad lives in a world were looks matter, where what others say and believe matters. I do not live in that world. I live in a world where I treasure beauty and inspiration. My family is the history I cannot change. My life is the history I am living and I dream of history to come.

Fame is bitterer for me than just my relationship with Dad. When one accomplishes the best we can for the sake of merely accomplished the best we can, and not as a form of competition with others, it is a sure formula for ego-conflict. I may not have been in competition with others, but they were with me. It is an ego kick in the teeth to realize that the person you were trying to better did not even realize you were competing with them; and when they win, bad blood is easily born.

It is harder for others to manipulate us when we give up the ego-feasts and practice ego-fasting. Our pride is the easiest way we are manipulated. There is something far greater than us and our petty prides in this world… take off your shoes and walk on the Good Earth. How very much more wisdom has it born than to me? What a fool I would be to compete with it, when I am simply a part of it and I take my life's joy from this relationship.

pictograph divider

Home PageFront PageArchivesOur AwardsAbout Us

Kid's PageColoring BookCool LinksGuest BookEmail Us


pictograph divider

  Canku Ota is a free Newsletter celebrating Native America, its traditions and accomplishments . We do not provide subscriber or visitor names to anyone. Some articles presented in Canku Ota may contain copyright material. We have received appropriate permissions for republishing any articles. Material appearing here is distributed without profit or monetary gain to those who have expressed an interest. This is in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.  

Canku Ota is a copyright © 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 of Vicki Lockard and Paul Barry.

Canku Ota Logo   Canku Ota Logo

The "Canku Ota - A Newsletter Celebrating Native America" web site and its design is the

Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 of Paul C. Barry.

All Rights Reserved.

Site Meter
Thank You

Valid HTML 4.01!