Thursday, June 25, 2009

Sustenance?

Read (7/2/09)

This being Indian stuff is hard when you’re not surrounded by them.  You’d like to just sit there and be yourself and not have to worry about others around you, but make no mistake you do.  (It’s always them-notice that, why is she always the outsider, does she not have a tribe)

You could just carry on your everyday activities with not a care in the world, like it doesn’t bother you, but in a moment of total bliss, you’ll be called back to the who you are, when someone comes up to you and tries to speak a foreign language to you.  “Excuse me?, no, no, E-N-G-L-I-S-H” you say pointing to yourself as you shake your head with a sympathetic grin.  Really, I want to help, but I’m not “one of you”.  It kinda bothers me to say the least.  Why?  Because we, as a society, walk around and wax poetic on how open minded and p.c. we are, yet we sit in our bubble  not wanting the rest of the world to penetrate our soapy wall

But when you’re sitting in a room full of them comfort and anxiety fight for the spotlight. (what does it take to enter that threshold, does she bring armor, patience? why is she battling? is she one of them? i can trick them to believe it)

  You can turn to left and hear a conversation and understand the colloquialisms and the jocularity of the story.  Then turn to your right and be submerged into an in-depth talk on the socio-economic circumstances (not the right word) of the American Indian, and why Andrew Jackson shouldn’t be revered with a place of honor on currency.  History and it’s interpretations can be amusing and misleading, and should be taken with a grain of salt, because it’s just like a game of telephone that has been occurring over days, months and years.  And depending on the last person, will depend on how the story is told.  If you’re on the white side, you’re just trying to survive in a hostile new country.  If you’re on the brown side, you’re just trying to save your family, your home and ultimately your entire being of who you are and have been for hundreds of years (what’s at stake, what’s the affront and confrontation, what is happening to bring the narrator of fighting and fear, how is that battle in her, who’s attacking).

Technically, this was our country, just like the Europe you left was yours because you were being subjugated and now you turn around and “return the favor”?  I enjoy the fact that America stands so proud and noble in the global market…

Are there any real Indians left?  I ponder this  when outsiders want to claim their inner Indian.  It’s been over 100 years, can people truly claim to still be 100% Indian?  How can that be?  I’d

what’s the difference between and American and and an American Indian and does she have an effect on American, how does that affect her

is she self sustaining?

it’s a way of life and is it threatened, is it sustainable?  what are you longing for?  look at the longing and the loss, what is under the loss? what is she searching for? what is she hoping to get? is she extinct? is she a dinosaur? does she wish she could go back and fix in.  constant duality of knowing, yet she gets sucked up into and does she get mad at herself.

What does Want say to me when I cry and get upset?  “just shut up and move on.  Why do you want to be friends with people like that?  What’s with the title “sustenance”  what does she need to sustain her?

I want to belong to something that doesn’t exist anymore (Sue’s comment)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Another day...

The music plays in the background, the drumming, the melodic cries harmonize. One-two, one-two, shuffle shuffle, one-two, one-two, step lightly to the music. Wanda tries to follow her aunt as they round the bend. The shooshing and knocking of the shells on her shawl shake with her every step. What a way to spend your summer vacation, traveling around from pow wow to pow wow, camping out every night under the stars and eating smores nightly. There really was no lessons learned. Just day after day of of indians and frybread and new agey white people marveling at what a cute little girl she was. She and her mom would visit the booths, checking out the local handiwork and trying to figure how you make that. Always resorting to buy something in lieu of making it, because where does one get porcupine quills. The summer culminated in staying with her grandparents. Why hadn't she taken advantage of the time with her and learned all she could about the culture? or why hadn't her grandmother tried to share her skills and language? She did pass down her recipe for frybread, but she can't even do that right, it always comes out like tiny hockey pucks.

Now Wanda wonders where it all went. Where the time and knowledge has gone? It's too late to learn anything. The "they" don't want you coming back as much as they say they'll receive you with open arms. Sure "they" say that you aren't like those wannabees who've just found their culture and are tracing their lineage back to the early setllers. But these people scare me because I think they are better than me, becuase they are less indian than me and have less claim to the indian crown than me, but they know more than me. I was born indian, into the tribe even though I was not raised on the rez. When I

Research links

http://www.native-languages.org/ojibwe.htm
http://www.bigorrin.org/chippewa_kids.htm
http://www.nativetech.org/clothing/regions/region7.html
http://www.snowwowl.com/naartmoccasins.html
http://www.indians.org/welker/chippewa.htm
http://www.tolatsga.org/ojib.html
http://www.ocbtp.com/canada.html
http://www.mnsu.edu/emuseum/history/mncultures/anishinabe.html




Check out this commercial:

Saturday, June 6, 2009

New and old

Lil' Wanda
How I spent my summer vacation. OMG OMG OMG, my summer was so great!!! I went
I don't, I...I...I...I just...I don't wanna go! I can't. Look, I am just eight years old and I have a whole life ahead of me. I don't like her. She just sits there. She doesn't talk to me. She just stares out into the nothing. She kinda scares me. But if you want me to go...OK. As long as Jupiter can come with me.
Ol' Wanda
Knit one, purl two, knit one, purl two. That makes me sad that she doesn't want to come. I remember being 8. My parents had just gotten married.

I am trying to write, trying to create, but I can't I don't know what to say. Wanda wanda wanda wanda......fuck fuck fuck!!!!!!! I don't know, I don't want to talk about this, I don't want the world to know what a failure I am. I discovered today that I have given up, I have stopped fighting and working. What's the point

Today's Tao

Yeah! I got a different one today, hopefully this means I've moved on.
excerpt from

Chapter 33
Knowing others is intelligence;
knowing yourself is true wisdom.
Mastering others is strength;
mastering yourself is true power.

If you realize that you have enough,
you are truly rich.
If you stay in the center
and embrace death with your whole heart,
you will endure forever.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

My doll on the shelf!

My mother tells me that she was a gift when I was little. I can't remember when I got her, I just know that I can't get rid of her. I remember when I was little, I would look at her all the time. She had her place on the bookshelf with the other toys. I didn't play with her much. I was always careful with the things I loved and she has help up over the years. My friends would come over and want to play dolls, and they would try an clim to reach her. I always stopped them. They wanted to take her hair out of her perfect little braids, a thought I could not bear! Her hair was black, black, black, like Ms. Higgins' cat Precious. But my dolly, her hair was shiny, and it went down to her leather braided belt. It was parted perfectly down the middle, the ends of the tiny braids were covered with faux fox hide, my favorite part, they matched with her books and mittens to a tee! Her dress was the color of my pet gerbil Fred, a light tan color.

Chapter 25 - again...

I keep re-reading this one randomly in class, what does it mean...
an excerpt of

There was something formless and perfect
before the universe was born.
It is serene. Empty.
Solitary. Unchanging.
Infinite. Eternally present.
It is the mother of the universe.
For lack of a better name,
I call it the Tao.

It flows through all things,
inside and outside, and returns
to the origin of all things.

The Tao is great.
The universe is great.
Earth is great.
Man is great.
These are the four great powers.

Man follows the earth.
Earth follows the universe.
The universe follows the Tao.
The Tao follows only itself.

My head

Is everyone like this? A constant battle in their head about their place in the world? For several years now I have been trying to write my epic tale. I don't use the word epic in an attempt to scare myself, I've just always the liked the word, it makes it sound important and maybe that's all it is, my one person show, my attempt to feel important in the world. Kinda sad and pathetic really?
I was fine and happy with myself before I moved to the world of make-believe. But it's something I've always wanted since I was little.
Make-believe, pretending to be someone else, I guess that's the point, you're never really yourself.

As I look back and try to remember earth shattering events from my life, which I suck at by the way, I am finding myself gravitating towards certain ages. 8 when my parent's got married, 12 or 13 when my brother was born and I started my rebellion against authority and the world, 16 is next and I think that's where I stop. I haven't aged since then. At 16 I was on top of the world, I had just gotten my drivers license, my first ticket, days after getting my drivers license, captain of the volleyball team, a monster at the net. I'm not sure if I was cool or not, I think I was, I usually am, though I make friends with everyone and everyone liked me, I went to all the parties, knew everyone. It's funny looking back now and trying to recall what you talked about with these people..

Figuring it out

OK, I've figured it out, it's all about labeling. Everyone here in Hollywood feels the need to label the other, I guess there is a need and it makes sense because nothing would get cast without it (insert example of breakdown). Prior to moving to Los Angeles I was indian, I was born indian and will die indian (what is it to die indian, if she's not indian what is she?), unlike citizenship it cannot be renounced, although I do it all the time. I renounce my indianess out of shame of the actions of some and out of embarrassment for my own (what is my embarrassment)
I'm OK with it, with being indian, I just never felt the need to justify it constantly like I do here in Hollywood.
I think my official rebellion began the day I chopped off my hair. Let's back-track, you see growing up in a small town, not on a reservation, I never had long hair. I was the little boy my parent's didn't have (what's the lie, what's the truth). Much to the chagrin of my mother the longest my hair got was the buster brown style of the time, it's ends tickling my earlobes at most.
I was a tomboy, playing softball and other sports, though I slipped in an occasional figure skating or gymnastic class, why I'm not sure. Perhaps they were more prevalent in the media and it was more accepted.
(Where is she with her hair? did it meet her expectations? Does she trot out her Indian or does she refuse? What if the labelling was reversed?)

Foundation

I confirmed my suspicions today, I am not really Indian. Maybe that’s why all those Indians I see at the pow-wows at home are covered in silver and turquoise so it will be easier to be picked out of the crowd and there won’t be any doubt then. Mental note gotta get me some. The really huge pieces too, the ones that look like a huge boulder is on your hand instead of the precious stone carved from hundreds of years in the earth. I am not Indian. I was out shopping and a man with the prettiest hair asked if I needed help. Of course I did, I was buying make-up, does this face look like it comprehends make-up? Anyway, the whole time he is helping me choose foundation, I feel so pale and bland next to his rich, dark skin. He offered two pots of some beige and tawny concoctions and asked if I had planned to get darker. Was this an assault on my indianness? Oh no, he can tell I'm a phony; soon I will hear the whoops of the Indian cops coming to take me away for fraud. I stood in shock for a moment and replied "of course I want to get darker, this is just my winter coloring" I quantified to him.

What I really wanted to do though was ask "so what tribe?” but I didn't. In that single moment I felt like I only image others do when they're curious about my nativeness.

So instead I stared at his ruddy skin, that reminded me of my dad, his roman nose, his flat-ironed hair that was so pretty I wanted to touch it. I tried to catch his eye in the hopes that he would ask, but didn't. I was in there a total of 10 minutes. I feel brushed off and put away by him, I want to feel this kinship with him, but I am embarrassed to ask him, in fear that he finds me out.

The day has finally arrived. I chopped off 8” of my hair, without a thought or a whimper. The stylist place a rubber band at the 8” line and sawed thru my thick mane. I caught a glimpse of the receptionist as she walked by, the look of shock and disbelief on her face as the stylist chopped. I looked at her reflection and smiled. No fear. No thought of what she was doing, or what it signified. I was not Sampson, I now had more power now. I let go of my wanting and needing to be Indian. I can’t recall the last time I cut my hair. Most of my life my hair has been short, never going below my ears, but now here I am in Los Angeles, my hair is the longest it’s ever been, long layers to my mid-back. When I played the Indian in Berlin Blues, my hair braided into to tight tails hanging from either side of me, I dare not cut my hair, I couldn’t play those parts anymore. You always see the Indian maiden in the movies, her long hair tied back with sinew and leather lace, then at night by the fire loose or when she has a fight with her lover, she is running away from him, her black flaxen hair catching the wind and her wildness. My short hair now, will no longer feel that freedom. It now hangs playfully by my ears, not being restrained in a single ponytail. Did hair make me more or less Indian? Most of my counterparts have hair that hangs below their shoulders and it is never tied back, now can they move or see, do they think that long hair is necessary? Even men have longer hair than me, they are always the bare chested loin cloth wearing braves in the movies.

Somedays I wish I were indian. I think t would be really cool.

Long brown hair, carefully tied into two neat braids.

I'm not sure what I was thinking the day I decided to cut my hair. My hair was down to the middle of my back. Most days I wore it up in a pony-tail, or as I recently figured out how to do a bun. Some days as I lazily put my hair up, I wondered when I became a librarian. At first I had grown my hair, or just not cut it because I was on a show, and I braided my hair for each into two neat braids, but after 6 weeks of that and then a traveling show, you've tricked yourself into believing that you are really indian since you've pulled it off for this long and you can't stop the charade now.