It ain't easy being indian


Last year I was at home semi-watching regular TV for background noise when stormy weather blew out some power lines. I was at a momentary loss as to what to do while the electricty was out. I decided to put in a movie until the electricity came back on. I remember looking at my DVD collection when the realization hit me; the power is out and there wasn’t anything I could do but wait. True story.

Highly embarrassed by my silly reaction, I actually looked around to see if anyone had observed my foolishness. No one but me and the pets, but I share this story now to confess my utterly complete dependence upon electricity. I like to think that I am more aware than other people are regarding electrical dependence and using Earth-friendly practices. You know, reduce, reuse, refuse, recycle and all that, plus I get a few extra points just for being an Indian, a descendant of the Original Earth-Keepers. I even believed that my carbon footprint is so delicate it barely kicks up any dusty ionized poisonous particles, but I can’t genuinely claim that. Grrrr!

This past April 15 marked the end of the cold weather rule here in the frozen hinterlands and so ended the protection of having our power shut off. I, like many other Rezberrian’s was short on dollar bills and behind on payments, too. Just in time to celebrate spring ‘The Man’ showed up on doorsteps like an evil weed in Rezberry demanding payment or else!!!! When The Man crawled to my door I had just gotten up.

The Mitz was barking all crazy and it took me more than a minute to reach the front because I’m using a walker after having had spinal fusion lumbar surgery. More about that later…so in what I’ll call a discussion with the Power Guy he said he would cut off my electricity if I did not immediately pay the balance in full. I pleaded my sad case with him to no avail; he remained unmoved by my lack of funds, mostly due to my current incapacitation from major surgery. Hai!!!

 So, once again I?came to the realizeation that I, (might I say ‘we’ in this case?) am/are so dependent upon electricity that I can’t conceive of living without it. What did people do before electricity? Hah? I sat down on my sofa thinking about my next step to get the power turned back on. I did have emergency energy assistance and the power was turned on again not too long after (thanks Joan!) but not before pouting about my crisis.

For an entire 2 hours I was forced to sit there in a quiet, motionless panic waiting for the Power Guy to come back and restore my life as I knew it. Gawd, how sad! Pitiful! I take a lot of pride in being Indian and having certain skills attributed to my person just because of it; but the truth of the matter is, I don’t have any leverage or superior knowledge at all when it comes to existing without electricity.

During that vacant time in space I counted up all my Indian skills which would help me be a better survivor than non-Indians in the so-called wild, or the Apocalypse if that comes first. Here’s my list:

· Learned how to start a camp fire being a counselor for Girl Scouts. 1 point.

·  Catch or gather food to cook in above camp fire. 0 point.

· Construct a shelter. 0 point.

· Assorted other Indian stuff. 1/2 point.

That’s about it. Yup. I was rather shocked at my sad lack of Indian skills and that my chances for survival were minimal at best. Sad, sad, sad! Fortunately for me and others who share this shortcoming, most skills that the old time Indians used in their daily lives have not completely faded into the past.

Indians are still out there collecting maple syrup, planting gardens, harvesting manoomin and beans, and still hunt for dinner on the fly as needed. And just as important, Indians are still out there dancing. A lot are, in fact, getting ready for powwow season and travel, meeting new cousins, hooking up with old friends making new ones, and dancing.

· Dance. I can do that! 1 point.

This year I won’t be such a stranger and I plan to attend as many powwows as I can. Watch out for me, I’m warning yooz just once. I am collecting new material on the peculiar ways of 21st century Indians and I am on yooz trail. Heh-heh-heh!

P.S. Happy Birthday to the Lovely, incomparable Rose! You are loved, adored, n duts widdle! Also good wishes to the Mothers who work hard every day for their families; you are appreciated. Now you kid’s show it!

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