Friday, July 18, 2014

Just write

When I began writing my one-person show so many years ago, I was angry.  That anger allowed me to write, but it also held me back.  I was afraid that once my masterpiece was complete, to my liking, that I people wouldn't like it.  That people wouldn't like the opinions expressed in it.  Well, it is now complete.  To an extent.  Is it the story I began so many years ago? (I am too embarrassed to say when exactly I started to write it, I am not that brave yet) maybe not, but it is a story that I am OK with.  But now as I am trying to finish it off, that one tiny moment that I need to clear things up, I am once again faced with a dilemma.  

My story is a one-person show.  Not necessarily my story, but a conglomeration of too many years of conversations and reading.  Over the years I have tried to immerse myself more into the native community.  Meeting and talking to more people.  Learning more.  Discovering more stories and opinions.   As the years have passed, native issues have come more to the forefront.  Or maybe not.  Maybe I'm just noticing them now because I'm looking.  Right now what is stopping me from completing the play is this overwhelming feeling of sadness.  Perhaps it is masked fear.  But it is a heaviness.  As I read the latest headlines, I scroll to the end, to the comment section.  That is the most disturbing part of every article.  The comments, at times encouraging, at times disparaging and sometimes misinformed are the hardest part to read.  They are not an encouraging endorsement for the future of being "Indian".  There is no co-hesive agreement, there is no understanding.  There is no attempt at conversation.  When one party doesn't understand, the next comment(s) is/are slur(s) because they don't understand and they don't want to understand, they want to live in their bubble of ignorance.    And I don't mean ignorance in a bad way, because I don't think it's a bad word, I think you're just unaware, unfamiliar, so you should ask questions and learn more.  Have a dialogue, a conversation.

I have never thought of myself as invisible, though most times I want to be, but we as a people are.  We walk around in our urban surroundings, living life, meeting people, people wanting to share in our visible "indianess" yet they want to live this romanticized story they have made up for themselves, to be a part of something obviously bigger than them, but yet not wanting us to be bigger.

They want to walk around in their ignorance and have you be OK with it.  The saddest part is when I look on Pinterest and the boards that are "dedicated" to Native Americans.   Looking at the historic photos of Chiefs in headdresses next to the required summer festival headdress is the hardest part.

I don't know where this is going anymore.  I am just talking in circles.  I should just write and stop looking at Pinterest.

The Natives
Milk Magazine
Makeup
Buy a Headdress
Department Store display - France
Kids Costumes