White Men Want

“WHITE MEN WANT WHAT INDIANS GOT REAL BAD”, 1980, 5′ X 5′, pigment on wool

This is my favorite title of a piece for all time..

And it is true.

I always wanted a Native American friend. (see?? the wanting thing..)

But they don’t like me.

And I know exactly why.

I am an ingratiating person by nature.

I like to connect.

If you meet me I will likely have a smile for you.

Native people can smell truth and point to where you’ve hidden it in two seconds.

They do not meet you with a smile and seem frankly suspicious if they carry one at all.

Goodness knows, they don’t really have an overflowing archive of stuff to be thankful for.

One thing they have that we want is the ability to contain themselves.

And be quiet until something presents itself to say.

I respect these things.

But in Native people, these qualities were born out of pure survival.

They kept their religion, anger, knowledge of the land and the stars, loves and losses hidden.

Because they could not afford anything less that a hermetic seal on their life ways.

I am not so indiscriminately ingratiating these days.

My own hermetic seal is at the ready.

It still feels weird to practice NOT TRYING TO CONNECT.


No smiles, no eye contact, no participation in the collective mess UNLESS I AM URGED TO DO SO.

And then.. then I find that the ‘vibe’ of the thing I have chosen to connect with is elevated in some way.

Not watered down by overuse or inattention or carelessness in any way.

There is purpose behind my connecting… not habit or need.

This way of being saves me SO MUCH ENERGY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am just beginning this practice.

Just beginning all over again.


One Response to “White Men Want”

  1. gerry harty on July 27th, 2010

    well said…I understand!!!

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