‘It is night now and I’m looking up at the stars, or what I can see of them through the orange light that permanently domes our metropolis. I’m trying to imagine the constellations through the haze. Trying to connect it all.’
And well, the injun query. Where to begin, kemosabe? When I was younger I lived in Deerfield, and always imagined that my house- most of the town maybe- was built on Native American burial grounds. I strongly identified with the slaughter of the millions upon millions of Indians by white man that went mysteriously absent from the glossy textbooks we were handed in gradeschool.
In the night during halfdream an Indian Warrior would regularly visit… my spirit guide… with a robust breastplate of wooden sticks, elaborate facepaint, and headdress. And I knew everything was okay. One night after such a visit, I wandered downstairs, and it was pure synchronicity. Wherever my eyes would happen to glance were reassuring words. A random newspaper headline “Bright Future…”, a note on the fridge “…Good things to come”. It was truly incredible. I walked outside and began to wander across the dark backyard towards the creek, over which was a small mud hill I used to play on. I knew the Indians- the real live Indians were back there waiting to meet me… but I became scared and quickly withdrew.
I identify very closely with Black Elk, who as you might know was a Lakota shaman. I have taken journeys… odd and beautiful kinds of waking dreams. Our culture doesn’t understand the role of the shaman. Our current ideologies cannot support the excruciating disconnect- the triumphant return- which was embraced by the tribes as sacred. When the next pup in the tribe starts to ‘freak out’ they call the shaman in and he brings him out of it… and that pup generally becomes the next shaman. And so on. And so on.
Black Elk told me that it was not my fault that all the Indians died. And for this I love Black Elk. And Black Elk loves me.
During one of my dreams I was chosen by all the tribes to be the leader of the ‘five hoops’. One old injun rode up on horseback outside to confirm that I was to represent his tribe. Then another injun. Then another. Then another until there was a line of about 70 old decorated Native Americans all proclaiming that I was to represent them. There was one tribe that had no living members left… and suddenly in the space between the two horses where said representative was supposed to ride up… the dirt on the ground stirred… and out came a decayed corpse- still in injun garb… to confirm his selection as well…
They decided that I was to be called “Okaboki Minitonka” which meant “black sheep who runs with white sheep who think they are black sheep”. Later on in my adventure I was to learn of my counterpart female “Okaboni Minitonka” which meant “white sheep who runs with black sheep who think they are white sheep”. My quest went unfufilled.