I know a nations man, an elder, nearly blind, bent and stooped by the burdens of generations-he’s not sure how old he is but offers the opinion he’s old enough to have seen a lot of things, a lot of changes.
And what he can no longer see with his eyes he sees with his heart, and the helpers that have accompanied throughout his life.
Says there are things he would like to see again but many things he doesn’t care to, so maybe it’s a mixed blessing-either way he has no complaints-that he saw all the truly important things, like the birth of his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.
The look in his woman’s eyes when she was happy and when she wasn’t.
That he was able to see himself as a child, a young man, and old man.
What I never fail to be impressed by when in his company is the equanimity he radiates, the smile that stretches across the furrowed wrinkles of his face as he identifies me by the sounds of my footsteps before I have spoken.
He says that he’s discovered the air moves in different ways when someone draws nears-that there is a little push to it, and it made me think about something I read once about flies.
That the difficulty in swatting one was their ability to sense the change in density of the air when a blow was directed their way.
Something if the need arises or circumstances dictate we has as humans apparently can become attuned to as well-perhaps a compensatory sense when the vision fades.
I have no doubt he sees in a way we do not-sometimes when we go for a little walk he will hold my arm and on occasion caution me to beware some obstacle, or motion in a direction and tell me there’s a burrow there.
He is a storyteller, in his element when doing so-his voice resonates creating a stage where characters and events come alive, take on a dimensional aspect.
A pause here, a pause there, a slight emphasis on a word, some subtle nuance. He pulls the audience in whether young or old until you feel as though you have an actual presence in the story he tells-it is a great gift he possesses.
He is a last real Indian- the real deal, part of vanishing breed.
The air is moving in different ways around the nations, we are buffeted about in conflicting directions that has led to a great confusion, often failing to see with our hearts.