Thursday, December 8, 2022

I Had a Dream

 The Vanished Series

I'm reading this really good series. It has a lot to do with the Navaho and some of their issues today, but that's not what my dream is about, though these people are involved. I'll do that sometimes, when a book is really good. This dream didn't have much to do with the book, just the people - two of them mostly.

There were two inflatable rafts, one with three people and one with two. They were floating down a quiet river. The water was like glass, it was so smooth. 

The leader, in the first boat was a proud Navaho, but he was dressed in his best army uniform, decorated all down the front with many ribbons and metals. The woman sitting in the middle of that boat was also dressed in a military uniform with a few such ribbons and metals, but not so impressive (They are not dressed this way in the book, not even close). She was white as was the man in the front of the boat. He was dressed like a businessman trying to rough it. khaki pants and a once-white shirt. 

In the second boat was two Navaho teenagers dressed like teenagers - bluejeans and some kind of T-shirt. The only real thing that marked them as Navaho was their dark skin and long black hair. I don't remember if they wore any jewelry or other such decoration. One was a bully, and the other was one of his toughs. 

The dream takes off with the teenagers deciding to start rowing ahead, ignoring the leader who tries to warn them back. Their mission is not just a peaceful float down a nice river. There is real danger out there somewhere, and if they're going to survive, they need to not be fools. 

Laughing, the kids row circles around the bigger boat. Eventually, as the sun starts to set, they pull over for a rest. As soon as they're out of the boats, the leader rounds up the instigator of the other boat. 

Now, in the book, the people of the reservation are all preparing for a festival where they sell artwork. There is also a stage setup where they show off traditional dances and such. This little detail is important.

The leader backs the kid up against a tree. "What's the matter with you? We're not playing here. It's dangerous out there. We have to be careful and quiet. Stop being an idiot."

"I'm not an idiot, not like you." The kid indicated the uniform and metals with no little derision. 

"This? I'm very proud of this. I worked hard for this. What are you proud of?"

"Proud. We ain't got nothing to be proud of no more." He indicated the woman. "Look at her. She got metals like you. What you so proud of?"

"What? You think because she's white, they just hand out those metals? She worked hard for them too, maybe harder than I did because she's a woman. Why aren't you doing anything at the festival?"

"I ain't about to go show off in front of a bunch of them. They..."

The leader slapped the kid across the face hard, rocking his head to the side. The tough took a step forward, but he wasn't quite brave enough to interfere.

"You are a fool. You can't fight a war against them; they won that war a long time ago, and they would win again if you tried, but don't you see? Even with all they've accomplished, they are lost. They got no pride. They're not proud of themselves or anything they've achieved. You? You're Navaho. You can be proud of that. You can be proud of your clan, your traditions, your customs. They don't have any of that. You need to show them what it means to be proud of who you are. You have so much more than they have. You are not lost. You have the Navaho way. They have no way."

And then I woke up. I thought it was kinda cool, so I thought I'd share.