SM: When was the last time you found yourself in a unexpectedly wonderful place?
AE: Last Summer, I hiked two miles which was difficult for me since I have MS. I could barely walk after we hiked. I was exhausted. It was really hot, too, but beautiful. It was in the Cascade mountains. We hiked to some ice caves.
Afterwards, I rested and then drove a short way to have a picnic…and here I was so astonished to see such a beautiful view! Snow-clad mountains and a long meadow stretching in front of us…and several blue jays to share our lunch. I didn’t expect the view since we’d been hiking in the forest.
SM: How do you like to kill time during long distance trips?
AE: I get car sick so I can’t read! So I just day dream, sleep, or talk. I wish I could read.
SM: If you were transformed into a tree tomorrow, what fruit would you bear?
AE: Small singing women. There is a story about such a tree in India, where the women sing from their places as fruit among the leaves.
SM: When was the last time your identity was called into question?
AE: Never. I have always known who I am.
SM: What is the question you’ve always wanted someone to ask of you?
AE: What is the name you call yourself?
SM: Please describe an impressionable moment from your teenage years.
AE: I have many but they are always of the same thing…moving. I went to a different school every year from 6th grade to 11th. And we weren’t in the military, just always looking for a better life. Moving represented sadness to me and adventure and challenge.
SM: What do most people seem to want from you, and what would you rather them have?
AE: Most people want me to give my time and energy. I do.I would also like to give them more of my peace and love for quiet.
SM: When was the last time you had a lot of people paying attention to you all at once?
AE: When I give a reading or talk about my art.
SM: What was the first thing you thought on waking up this morning?
AE: That the stars were so bright in the cold dark sky.
SM: Please indulge us with an anecdote.
AE: When I was younger I visited a healing ground near the Spokane Indian reservation. There happened to be a Yaqui healing man. I am Yaqui. I was surprised but too shy to talk to him. On the way home I slept in the car, feeling like I was in a deep trance. I dreamed of an old woman in black, leading a white horse. She said my name is Solonia Nawani.
Years later I was reading a book by a Nigerian man. In it, he said the word for woman was “nawani”.
I think the name means “Woman who is alone or walks alone.”
I also like the name Sophia. It means wisdom. My own name “anita” means “little ann” which means “grace”. My middle name is “Louise” which means “fighting woman”. And my childhood nickname was “stormy” because I was so passionate and moody. So I have many names and all of them are me.