Friday, July 27, 2018

Survival Against All Odds / Ohiyesa / The Great Mystery




The man who preserves his selfhood, ever calm and unshaken by the storms of existence – not a leaf, as it were, astir on a tree; not a ripple upon the surface of shining pool – his, in the mind of the unlettered sage, is the ideal attitude and conduct of life. If you ask him: “What is silence?” he will answer: “It is the Great Mystery! The holy silence is its voice!” If you ask: “What are the fruits of silence?” he will say: “They are self-control, true courage or endurance, patience, dignity, and reverence. Silence is the cornerstone of character.”

-- Ohiyesa (1858-1939)

From the trailer:

"In incredible circumstances, he was able to retrieve his dignity and keep a sense that his people come first."

"Indigenous people today still live in the kind of world Ohiyesa lived in, where his population was disregarded.  We are forced to work within structures that are not our own."

3 comments:

Sabine said...

As always, you give me much to think and now I will have to figure out how to find access to this documentary in Europe. (There will be a way. There always is.)

At 1:46 in the video, there is a brief scene with Louise Erdrich and my heart jumped, she is my favourite writer of all times.

ellen abbott said...

I wonder how this country would look if the white settlers were assimilated by the native populations. it's sort of ironic that white Europeans came here and committed genocide but they expect immigrants to leave their culture and language behind.

37paddington said...

At a sermon in the park this weekend, the minister spoke about the people we don't see, who we don't think of as important. As a person often not seen by others, i found her comments thought provoking. And then I thought about the people I don't see, and I wondered, reading this post, if i overlook the silent ones. Then again, the silent ones hold their mysteries close, and I am always drawn to mysteries. But I was so silent for a portion of my growing up that I'm also intrigued by people who speak their minds freely with no fear of other people's judgments. Thank you for introducing me to Ohiyesa's wisdom.