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Deep lagoons…

August 4, 2010

… I began to have the first intimations that there was in Nature,

much more than met the eye,

something that existed in the back of it…

I did not know what that something was,

I didn’t even expect ever to know,

but nevertheless I strained every day to catch a glimpse of it…

I thought that if I could see it,

maybe I would understand it,

and that understanding would show me how to live…

— in The Perfection of the Morning by Sharon Butala…

Last night I was watering my front garden,

after riding back home along False Creek,

from a few hours of glazing plates,

and bowls…

I heard two men talking up the side-walk,

on the other side of the street…

One man as dark as a Masai warrior wondered to his friend,

Is it okay for a black man like me,

to wear a hat that says,

‘Native Pride’???

His quiet friend wasn’t sure that it was…

He thought that the action might be considered inappropriate,

and the intent may be misunderstood…

The man pondered further,

But if I really love and respect Native culture,

isn’t it okay???

Isn’t it just like wearing an American flag on my shirt???

The conversation slipped into the darkness,

as the two walked on…

I wanted to follow and put forward my own questions…

Like is it okay for me,

as a white woman,

to knit a pink rasta hat???

This morning as I was spraying clean my garbage,

and greenwaste bins,

pouring cloudy water down the storm drain,

a man warned me,

This alley isn’t safe right now…

I asked him why…

He said,

pointing in the distance,

I just saw a coy-oot down there…

I noticed he was wearing a hat emblazoned with Native Pride…

I told him about what I’d heard the night before…

I asked him what he thought and felt about the question…

He took his hat off and looked at it,


He said,

I’m a white man,

but my kids are all native,

from Sechelt…

They gave me this hat,

and that’s why I wear it…

So I guess it’s okay…

He put his hat back on,

and kept walking,

on his way…

Avoiding the alley,

and its dangers…

Calling back to say,

And ma’am,

you have a great day!!!

Into the water we push the boat from shore... (photo: Starshine)

2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 5, 2010 12:05 am

    This is nice; thanks. I have Sharon Butala on my tag surfer and nothing ever comes up so I was really happy – first, to see this piece and, second, to read it.

    • philosophydoll permalink
      August 5, 2010 11:25 am

      Thank you for your comment Derrick, I loved her book when I read it a couple of years ago and when I sat down to write this post the book jumped off the shelf, fell open to that particular page and presto…

      You may enjoy to read a few of my posts beginning with excerpts from Richard Wagamese’s book One Native Life,

      and of course,

      one of my favorite reads of the year,

      The Man Game by Lee Henderson…

      If you haven’t already done so…

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