featured posts

CUBA IS THE FUTURE FOR LATIN AMERICA AND PERHAPS THE WORLD

CUBA IS THE FUTURE FOR LATIN AMERICA AND PERHAPS THE WORLD On my way out of Cuba, from La Habana, on COPA airlines flight to Panama, I w...

dimanche 16 septembre 2012

INDIANS SAY: POVERTY MAY BE FINE BUT MISERY IS NOT: MURAKAMI IN THE BLUE HOUSE


The alarm rang at 0630 as I was already opening my eyes. I am in the Blue House among the Omaha Indians.
Sunlit Living Room at the Blue House 

I step outside and check the temperature. 50 F, 10 C. what a change from the temperature just two days ago when it topped 97 F, 36 C!
I put on a pullover, red in colour, which had laid dormant for many years, as a reminder of a visit to Buenos Aires, walked out into the chill of the morning.
The day was just breaking.
When I reached the track, through the village still heady in its sleep, I could see a fine mist hanging over the track, as if a cloud had come down to give the earth a hug.
Neither human being nor animal  to be seen around. I began walking briskly. The trees were standing guard, gently moving to and fro, happy to wake up to yet another day. How many of the ancestors have seen the same trees? Many years ago I met a transplanted Indian from here who lived in Mediterranean splendour in the west coast of Australia, Mrs. Blackbird said: I miss my village and its trees. And I am looking at them, and thinking of the ancestors of my patients who had seen them, and the trees would still be there for their children.
As I came around the further corner, I could catch a glimpse of an early morning tender sun, trying to break through the clouds that seem to cover the eastern horizon.
It is so beautiful, I said to myself, here I am, walking along a poorly maintained walking track in a small village in the middle of nowhere of America, but in the heart of an Indian country, where a people who call themselves have lived for centuries, long before English was heard here, long before the “civilization” brought an end to their peaceful life and destroyed their spirits, their Gods and their bodies. May you all rest in peace, I said to the wind, carry this message to them. An Australian, a Jew, on the brink of another Jewish New Year, walking surrounded by peace, tranquillity and calm of nature.. far away from my other lives in other places, in other countries, and other dreams, but I am among my Indian family, among people who accept me readily.
Wíbthahon.
I thank you.

When I rounded the corner for the fourth time, I could feel my fingers curling up against the cold, by the fifth, my toes were revolting against the cold which has seeped through.
I thought of Haruki Murakami, who said: Pain is natural, suffering is optional..
Murakami Haruki 

I am here to relieve the suffering of this tribe of Indians with whom my life became intertwined many moons ago. I remember my first Indian teacher telling me, we are used to poverty, it is the misery that we object to.
My role during my days among the Indians to relieve as much or as little as I can or possible that suffering, as a doctor, using tools I have learned as a cultural anthropologist. To share my knowledge, much of which they had taught me, with them, also to talk about inner freedom and the liberty from fear which brought me to work among the Indians, rather than in the suburbs of Melbourne, Australia. Recognition for your work does not matter when you are not looking for it.
While walking, one thinks of those who has influenced your life and who indirectly brought you to this corner of the middle of nowhere, where the Indians have lived for centuries. Jiddu/JK had arrived very early in my life, introduced by one of my many informal teachers. I had taken an instinctive liking for his way of talking and thinking, and today I think of this, thanking him: any form of ambition, spiritual or mundane, breeds anxiety, fear; therefore ambition does not help to bring about a mind that is clear, simple, direct, and hence intelligent.
Feeling the cold, I return to the Blue House, eager to get to the clinic. When I reached there, two young students, pristine as the sky they live under were waiting. The colleague who directs patient traffic to me kindly allowed me extra time so that I could talk about the beauty of working, in a culturally sensitive way, among the ancient peoples of this world.
It turned out to be a good day. 13 september 2012.
Now to get ready for the trip to Miami and enjoy the affections there ..