Tuesday, May 21, 2013

alternative ways of living

I feel some sympathy for directors of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Like the unlikable superintendent of "Rabbit Proof Fence", it would be easy to be a fairly intelligent, reasonably promising person that the President or Congress or whoever selects to be the head of the Federal agency dealing with the over 600 native tribes in the US.  Just like the early European and American explorers actually did, it would be quite easy to come upon little villages, or long houses, or tee-pees, and immediately decide that these poor, ignorant people were pathetically behind me and my culture.  It would be easy to tenderly and lovingly open the door to these poor creatures and allow them entry into my way of life.

Yet, I see, as depicted quite nicely in the older film "The Gods Must Be Crazy", as exemplified by the reception of Cardinal Wojtyła as the new Pope John Paul II, that a less cluttered, less material life can be both a challenge and a guide to us "Connecteds".  The hero of "The Gods" has only a small kit of his belongings.  Pope John Paul surprised his housekeeping staff with the few, worn-out articles of clothing he brought with him to the Vatican from Poland.  The Navahos have stories of four previous worlds we have lived in, starting with a time of darkness and void much like what is depicted in Genesis.  They refer to our current world as the world of glitter.  I find this a very solid and insightful term.  We might say we are in an age of bling: light, inexpensive, catchy little bits that are fun but not of much lasting significance.

I may feel better about my Kindle if I can persuade you to get one and use it.  If you do and seem glad to have it, I can feel validated in my practice.  Maybe, hopefully, we are getting past the historical point where your threat of non-adoption is so severe for me that I try to force you to adopt my practice at gunpoint.

Note: some early birds of this blog's readers are used to getting a copy of the day's post quite a lot earlier in the day. I apologize for the timing of today's and hope to provide tomorrow's at the usual earlier hour.

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