the Visionary Report: post-election action honoring indigenous HEART
Lastnight, after Barack Obama’s Presendential win, I ventured out in a spontaneous silent, yet confrontive solo action to call attention to one paradigm usually silenced during election hype and hoopla: indigenous spirit, aka the people whose land we walk upon every day and whose resources and lives we have taken “legally”…
After I heard that Obama won the Presidency here in the u.s.a. I decided to do a spontaneous solo action where I walked about 2 miles around a particularly liberal neighborhood, stood at corners, and basically called attention to a paradigm beyond politics and the usual attending hype.
I did this as also a way to honor and help folks *not forget* the aboriginal-indigenous peoples of the world (including all of us as descendants of tribes and the values and ways of seeing we’re usually taught not to think of as crucial).
Basically I walked around only about 2 miles (it was quite late in the evening already), first stopping in at a place I had been told that some of my two-spirit friends were watching the presidential proceedings. I thought for sure I was too late, but it turned out I had made it just before the end, and got to listen a little, and was actually moved by Obama when he echoed MLKj’s words from decades ago. Making a silent presence “heard” there for awhile, I then decided to spontaneously walk around.
It was then that I felt that I should not merely walk on obediently on the sidewalk. So I began walking against traffic, knowing full well that the local cops might give me shit or worse. But I felt there was an opening more than usual, being that this was the immediate aftermath of all the giddiness of the surprise win (I think it WAS a surprise to many; I certainly was surprised).
Next I began standing for semi-long periods at various busy intersections. I was holding a prayer stick i’ve been making for many months now from birdfeathers I’ve come across on my path; this I think made a difference in distinguishing me from “some crazy drunk” to someone actually trying to “say something”; though no inquiries were made. Then again, I had my eyes closed (when I stood still) and had no sign. Only the prayer stick in my left hand and a single feather in my right.
When stopped, I kept my eyes closed as I said, and did not respond to passerby; i was actually “praying” silently to myself in a kind of meditation and paradigm-shift listening; going into an alternate paradigm, hearing the machines as though they were all lawn mowers… Fear was also with me as well as through my fears of being there and doing such a thing at all.
No one “organized” me out here; I was once again** out “in the unknown” on my own inititative…after quite a long hiatus. (**my last real actions were in 2001-2003, which you can read about at: http://www.angelfire.com/folk/magixnartz/flouggindex.html )
The local liberals here were driving around sounding their horns and resonating their voices, sometimes on bicycles (in one case, a parade of bikes, which I heard only, keeping my eyes closed) and on foot, all in relieved happiness (there was quite a tension around Portland,OR here as the voting day came). Lots of FEAR in the air.
While I realize that my particular spontaneous action of sorts could have been even better, creatively, I feel like it was “at least something” to possibly bring attention to those paradigms often forgotten and swept aside during “normal politics” today. Since I carried my prayerstick, with various feathers sticking outside of it, I reasoned that passerby would understand the basic thrust I was seeking to “get accross”, even without words.
A better action would have been a widely coordinated one made up of singles dressed in their various indigenous regalias (Euro included), showing their serious faces all over the u.s.a. (especially in liberal enclaves). Perhaps this is something to “run with” in brainstorming ways to “possibly reach” people otherwise focused elsewhere (i.e. beyond politics). I recall the Cacaphony Society’s action (as reported on in the 1990s zine “Shit Happy”) where clowns were picked up at every other bus stop along a route in a large city. Imagine going further with that one!
And while I accept that this action was certainly not “radical” i still found myself, at my age in my 40s, being somewhat afraid; because I did worry about when/if the cops would show up and whether I’d be arrested or even tasered (I’ve read too many stories of trigger-happy taserers); so there is a fear associated with speaking up *at all* outside of the Given confines…But I resolved in my head that whatever happened it would be worth it…even though I have no real support network, or anything, really. And, anyway, what out-of-balance cop would be looking for trouble on such a night as this, anyway? Likely they had their hands full enough with angry conservatives…
I did see a cop car at one time, near an intersection I was coming to; and I actually HURRIED towards that intersection! Fearful, yet somehow emboldened.
Yes, yes, I know, I know, delusions of grandeur, and irrational glory!
But I wasn’t merely standing on corners out of the roadway, or walking obediently on the sidewalk. I was actually walking *out in the street* on the street-side of parked cars! And the thought crossed my paranoid mind that I might be intentionally hit…at the same time thinking in my head that I was assisting in slowing down traffic on the two-lane, semi-busy roads, promoting late-night safety…while being a sort of presence outside of the dominant paradigm. Plus I had my yellow jacket on, with its bit of reflective tape. Though no mask (where in the past I had made one and wore it in many actions across country, along with signs and flyers I passed out).
If nothing else, the action was a weird “non-sequitor”; not “fitting in” with the “normal” Obama thing, yet not attacking such either. Merely a strange presence to folks so used to people who “fit in” to Given norms. Though I spoke up to a few passerby in the early part of the walk (about 2 miles in all), a few times about not forgetting on whose land they were walking upon and how that land was gotten, I resolved to remain silent most of the time.
At one place where I stood for at least a half hour (with my feet losing their feeling and my back starting to give me pain), a native-looking lady asked if I was alright, and the response that came from me first was that I was praying. Standing there, stoicly, eyes closed, prayer stick in left hand, raised half-way, and in my right hand, the single feather.
I half-expected cat-calls with sharpness from pained persons (reflecting them), but those who yelled out seemed mystified more than anything. A few carloads shouted encouraging whoops, and at one point the horn beeps seemed to be responding to my presence in particular.
Finally, I received a few whispers of input, visions I had been seeking. If there’s any interest, I may share them, either here or on my visionary blog. re: visionaryhumanity.blogspot.com
I realize that this “action” wasn’t much in terms of crucial input; but it was “something” and I just wanted to share it with you all.
For what it’s worth…
(and WHAT DID YOU DO??? Do feel free to share here, if you like!)