This is one of my favorite SOF programs in the last year. It seemed not so much about what a specific faith was, but rather how the deep beliefs within the culture are sustained, and that they are held sacred enough to be respected in the form as part of the substance.
What I like most about it was expressed so well by your guest speaker when he shared the two things he could about Ojibwe ceremony. It must be conducted with sustainable technology (i.e., low tech) and in the Ojibwe language. It cannot be translated or transmuted, but continued in its essence of Ojibwe-ness. When he talked about the ritual of spear fishing with his friends he was accompanying on a Northern Wisconsin lake, he compared the culture of the TV watching home owners by the lake to fog, in contrast to Ojibwe traditional practices that honor, honor elders and life far more ancient, that takes notice and value of what is in the world, and cares for those elders, those who came before. Knowing that it is in many fragile acts, of thought, of notice, of language, of respect, through ceremony and ritual that speaks in Ojibwe, in the elements used in ceremony, that these understandings of connection through time and space to life are honored and held within this community.
The beauty held in the sense of difference in verb forms, of speaker, actor, time, etc. holds the sensibility and notions of these different tenses as distinct and worth communicating, and gives us just a glimpse of the ability to hold distinct and valued nuances, which creates a much fuller and better articulated view of the world, and also places the user of the language into a very connected and complex community in/across time and place. Such richness to see so much as merely fog in a far greater landscape.
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