Sunday, 10 February 2013

Dancing with the angels...

I was saddened to hear the news that author and founder of Wiconi International, Richard Twiss, died yesterday. I read his book 'One Church Many Tribes' last year, a real insight into the world of indigenous folk both in the United States and worldwide that, despite everything that history rained down on them in the name of God, have revealed the Divine in a significantly deeper way:
We seek to live and walk among all people in a good way, as we follow the ways of Jesus-- affirming, respecting and embracing the God-given cultural realities of Native American and Indigenous people, not rejecting or demonizing these sacred cultural ways.
I have already blogged about Richard, including a video of him in conversation. For a fuller tribute, checkout Shane Claiborne's Facebook entry which includes this:
One of my favorite emails was him teaching me the Lakota phrase “Ikce Wicasa” – which means “common man”. He put it like this:

“In Lakota tradition it is an anathema to becoming a bigshot - arrogant, boastful, proud, highminded, etc…. To be humble, simple, “one of the guys” is to be a common man, Ikce Wicasa -- it is a thing to be sought after… in my life, I strive to be ikce wicasa -- "common man."

So thank you Richard. May your courage and wisdom continue to inspire us to greatness, and may your humility and common-ness continue to inspire us to smallness.
Meanwhile I simultaneously finished the extraordinary novel 'Indian Horse' from Canadian author Richard Wagamese. The riveting narrative follows the life of Saul Indian Horse from native childhood through time spent in a church run 'corrective' schooling system and beyond. Despite serious abuse Saul finds redemption in ice hockey and commences to navigate a new journey whilst still subject to taunts and discrimination because of his heritage. Again this book provides a revealing insight, reading like an autobiography, or memoir, which prompts one to research more background to the text.

Online interviews with the author point out that some Canadians see this book as primarily about hockey and even suggest that it should have a title that reflects that. Wagamese is adamant that it is actually centred on the need to face up to the past rather than simply revelling in the fulfilling aspects of the national sport.

Reader beware, though, as some dark truths emerge in the final twists and turns, it is gut wrenchingly disturbing. So, be prepared to shed a tear but don't expect to be able to put it down once you start...


1 comment:

sharpies said...

This came to mind on Saturday, Peter, when I heard these words that resonated with me: "Jesus Christ is simple but never simplistic..."

More of your good book recommendations, I think!

Best, Jennie