Sculpture of a mask painted in red, pink, black, blue, and yellow

In 2016 I was gifted my Native American name, Strong Woman with Listening Heart. “But Grandmother,” I said, “I don’t live up to that name.” She replied that it is up to us to strive to our names. 

I do listen to others with genuine love and caring. I also listen to the Universe – hearing the Wind in the tress, feeling the snow or rain on my face, or staring at the stars above – thanking Creator for the World that surrounds me. 

But I had stopped listening to my own heart, and forgot it must be fed by the connections with beloved friends and family, and by connection to the Universe. My heart, mind and soul cracked from the isolation and neglect. I must listen to – and honor – all three realms in order to maintain my wholeness. 

Karen Privé, 2017