Sunday, April 11, 2010
Once a few years ago, I was in Portland, Oregon visiting my daughter. It was a beautiful day and we decided to go to the park and read our books. We packed up her lawn chairs and a little lunch and set off. We parked the car and walked a very little distance to a sunny and shady spot under a big canopy of tree. We set up our chairs and settled in for a long read. A man approached us with a back pack on, a paper cup in his hand and long, black hair. His face was rather swarthy. He stepped between us and asked us what we were reading. We looked at each other...a little skeptical and uneasy...and told him. He said he liked to read too. He said he would let us get on with our reading. We felt a little uncomfortable since our purses and lunch pail were just kind of strewn around..not really near us as they should have been. He walked off and sat down by a grove of trees. We continued to read. He came up to us again and said he had a question to ask us. We said ok, ask away. He asked..Did you vote for George Bush? We chuckled and gave him our answer. I looked up at him and to my eye he had a blue line outlining his face. I don't know if I am able to see auras but I saw this blue outline. He proceeded to sit down on the ground and told us he was a Black Foot Indian. He said Black Foot Indians are the most fierce of Indian tribes. He told us his age..just a few years younger than myself..how he lived under the bridge and that he was an alcoholic. He told us that his brother was a police officer in Portland and sometimes he lives with him and his family but he is not allowed to stay there unless he is sober. He told us of another homeless lady who also lives under the bridge that got angry at him one day and said to him "Choose your path". He said he thought about that a lot. He told us he had died two times and that his parents and grandparents were dead and he saw them in the light but they told him to go back and that he missed them very much. He told us about his grandmother Lucy Top Knot and how she taught him to tan hides to make a tent. He taught us Black Foot words and about the rituals of becoming a man in the tribe and about a bundle of precious things that his brother was chosen to keep. Blackfoot traditionalists believe religious items cannot be owned by individuals, but are held by "keepers" for the good of the tribe. He told us about them piercing the the chest of a man with antlers or pieces of bone and raising him up and twirling him around to see how much he can endure. He was sad about things in his life and that explained why I saw the blue aura around his face. He told us about the fir trees and the words for birds and plants. I looked all this up when we got back to my daughter's apartment. Everything was true. He showed us his ID from the reservation in Montana. I enjoyed our visit and it made such an impact on me. I wish I could listen to his stories again. The whole time we were talking to him I noticed two crows sitting in the tree above us.. they stayed the whole time..As we packed up and left they flew away. I will never forget this man...I think of him often.
"What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset."
- Crowfoot, Blackfoot warrior and orator
Life is not separate from death. It only looks that way. - Blackfoot Proverb