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Aikya Param is a licensed minister, a visual artist, and writer.

A sacred symbol of direction, guardianship, and prophecy.

Bighorn Medicine Wheel, sacred Native American site, 75 feet in diameter, in Big Horn Mountains, Wyoming, is a National historic monument. Photograph from U.S. Forest Service Photo / Public domain

The medicine wheel is a well-known symbol.

European Americans, not native people, gave the medicine wheel its name. Each native nation has their own name for this symbol. The image is sacred and so is their name for it, so they keep that name secret.

Each indigenous group represents the emblem differently and may use their own colors and explanations related to their history. Even though the symbol we know is two-dimensional, since it stands for all that exists, native people understand it as three dimensional, a globe shape.

Cherokee and Sioux Examples

The Cherokee Nation originally lived in the Southeast. They adopted many…

A match for the greatest challenge

Thomas House, also known as Edgewood, is the oldest surviving residence in Montgomery, Alabama. On the National Register of Historic Places

Lower middle-class parents from Jersey
Father in the Army Air Corps
Stationed in Montgomery — -
That’s Alabama, not New Jersey —
And mother, pregnant with me,
Still up north, not liking it,
Not liking being so far away,
Decided to join him.

Patriotic Harriet Thomas
Mistress then of Thomas House,
Historic site now in Montgomery,
Plantation house with slaves in the past,
Did her part to support the troops
Gave rooms in the mansion for married officers
Which is how my parents came to stay
In Thomas House on Thomas Street.

Miss Harriet still brought medicine
To former slaves who…

When you best use your greatest talent in your working style

Photo by Allef Vinicius on Unsplash

Yesterday we had a discussion about the difference between happiness and joy. Happiness can depend on a present condition or event that comes and will go. Joy doesn’t start, end, or depend on circumstances. Some say it is a quality of God. In moments of stillness, we know and feel It.

I wrote a poem honoring Emmanuel Williams, a poet, teacher, and maker of riddles. Emmanuel’s endless joy makes him nearly irresistible. Here’s the poem.

Emmanuel Williams

White-haired, blue-eyed, and ruddy-faced elf,
The teacher who plants delight in students,
Whose riddle poems make boys fans
Of poetry Emmanuel-style first and
The lovers of…

Written in a workshop by Emmanuel Williams, riddle writer and poet

Photo by Jachan DeVol on Unsplash

Redwood, teach me to stand straight.
Teach me to grow another
To support me when I lean
And envision, from root and cones
A community, a grove, of several more.

I don’t remember my first fascination,
Lover of beautiful wood that I am:
Columns establishing foggy majesty,
Above a red brown needle floor,
Reaching for the sky, swaying in circles.

In 1852 in Frisco it started with
Row houses in the London style.
Though fire following the ’06 earthquake
Spiked the demand for fire resistance,
For wood easy to machine carve
For Victorian or Edwardian styles.

Make and model, environmental impact, and price

2020 Mazda with red interior, posted on the J.D. Power website.

Life can present a sign that a better time starts now. My prayer partner has had two months of challenges and disasters. The last two bummers: (1) her dental surgery didn’t go well and (2) someone in a Tesla rammed her beloved Subaru as she drove away from the service center.

She had taken the Subie to the dealer in a shopping mall and the guys in the dealership saw the accident. To them it looked like most damage was to the front end and they could fix it.

Car was totaled

When the can-do Subaru mechanics started work on her car, they…

Supplements, food, and exercise to avoid fractures

Author’s right hand in a cast. Photograph by Aikya Param.

One year after a woman’s last period, we consider her post-menopausal.

Women can have hot flashes, mood swings, insomnia, depression, vaginal dryness, and loss of libido. Bones lose density. The chance of fracture increases.

To prevent severe weakness and breaks, women took hormone replacement therapy until science realized that HRT increased the danger of breast and ovarian cancers. Many women tried Fossomax. Its serious side effects, such as problems with the esophagus and severe kidney problems, limited its usage.

Now many years postmenopausal, I fell and broke the little finger’s proximal section, called a phalanx, on my right hand, the…

Help from the virulent virus and worldwide pandemic

Photo by Matheus Ferrero on Unsplash

The 2020 World Happiness Report tells us that the happiest people are those who value relationships with others most highly, more than income, status, and possessions. Inequality of well-being is more important than income inequality. A trusting social environment raises the happiness level of those in distress.

The report includes happiness rankings between 2017 and 2019. Finland is the happiest country, for the fourth year in a row. Denmark, Switzerland, Iceland, and Norway follow. The United States in number 18. Japan is 62. Russia is 73. China is 94. Afghanistan is last, 183.

Reasons Finland ranks as the happiest country

Can’t Wait to Change Available on Amazon

Book cover image

I’ve worked in prison outreach for twenty years. Shaunta Grimes encouraged me to write about it and, more recently, to produce a nonfiction book sharing the experience. Can’t Wait to Change: D.I.Y. Rehabilitation, the result, reached number 1 in biography/autobiography short reads on Amazon Kindle. Watch for the paperback in September 2021.

The creativity and continued commitment to transform themselves among prison inmates I contacted hooked me. Because of that, their stories fill most of the book.

Many people agree that the United States has sent way too many people to prison for decades more than necessary. …

Only for special days at 4 PM

Photograph of set for sale on Wish website

No, we didn’t have a super-fancy tea set like the one in the picture, but we had family members serious about tea time. About 4 PM in the afternoon, elders broke out what my Indian friend called L.A. Tea (Lousy American Tea) in bags from a paper red and yellow box. The kettle would get fired until it whistled. Boiling water poured over the tea bags in each simple cup. After steeping, we’d add milk and sugar. A welcome break followed a stir and a taste test.

This wasn’t “High Tea” with a full meal in small bites. This was…

Aikya Param

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