Sunday, January 22, 2006
Deeds, actions, rumors that I just might have a life.
What does one do but carry on when what you think you are and what those around you perceive you to be collide. Yeah, carry on. All the shouting and pouting in the world won’t make it so.
Your currency is devalued.
Weighed down by pockets full of change.
Spend it all!
Those who dreamt of the wakinyan, the thunder-beings or thunderbirds, were compelled to become heyokas, or sacred clowns: people who had received a divine gift of power from the thunder, and must now use that power to help their people, by acting in a strange, crazy, humorous way that would touch the people with the healing power of laughter, and with the visionary power of being able to see the world all over again, by having something contrary put right next to it. One duty incumbent upon the thunder dreamer, who was believed to have been divinely selected, by his dream, to play a certain role in society, would be to go in front of the entire village, and act out his dream in public. This could be a way of humbling himself, cleansing himself of some degree of pride or pretentiousness, which would bring him closer to the spirit power; and also, perhaps, a way of sharing some of the wealth of the dream world with the whole community (the thunder-beings - communicating to him in his sleep - could, by making him act out his dream in public, under threat of their lightning bolts, project their message to everyone else, as well). Having completed this stage of his dream-inspired journey, the heyoka would then, many times, act as a “contrary”, doing everything weirdly, and in a “backwards” or bizarre way. He would become the holy clown, holy crazy person, of the village. If he wanted out of this supremely challenging role, he might fulfill the obligations given to him in his dream; participate in a demanding heyoka ceremony; and, thereafter, return to “normal life”.
That is not to say that I am one, but I am fascinated by the idea. Imagine a world where that person over on the corner is sacred, acting out their vision. Imagine if we all acted out our vision. Yes, we all have a vision, that’s right. Imagine that.