Some years back, I drove long haul trucks for a while, try to pay off some debt. I drove flatbed up north, haulin' lumber out a California, back east and steel or aluminum, back east out west. While most of the time I listened to tapes of my heart teacher, for inspiration and tranquility, sometimes I'd stop at the Crow Reservation, there in Montana and get some native drum tapes.
I liked 'em, ' cause they were like voices from another place and time and I listened intently. Maybe another place, maybe another time, maybe words I didn't know, but human beings, tryin' to say somethin' about life.
And, maybe it's just me, but it seems that, sometimes, the more challengin' the situation, the more authentic the voice that rises from it. And, even apart from the cultural collisions, just livin', especially up north, back 100, 200, 300 years, seems to me, there had to be a challenge or two.
And, I did love listenin'. Sometimes I'd look out the window at the world I was crossin' and try to imagine what it mighta looked like, before roads and cars, fences and telephone wires.
But, I guess the thing I heard most clearly, was the life; it's determination, amazement and gratitude. And maybe, one other thing; a sense that if a people wanted to live, they couldn't get too friendly with reason.
Nowadays, we reason everything.
Imagine, endin' up in North Dakota, heck South Dakota and we'll go easy, let's say it's spring, two or three hundred years ago. We'll even give ya some buckskin leggins, a shirt, some moccasins, enough jerky last two or three days but that's it; no help for 1000 miles, any which way. I could almost guarrantee, you get too reasonable, you wouldn't make it. 'Cause, reasonably speakin', it just be too hard, too cold, too hot, too dry, too far, too lonely, too strange, you name it. And, what if, you just let go and tried, thought it out and made a plan; shelter, water, fire, some way to get food. But even with your plan, ya had to admit it was just plain too tough. Finally, you've had it, can't see it, no further and you cry out, to something, for something, you don't even know. And, what if, somehow, for no explainable reason, things took a slight turn for the better. What if, for no explainable reason, you just felt, somehow, you weren't completely alone. Even if you'd never heard of a drum, ya might just make one; reach out and touch that somethin', thank that somethin', made that difference. And maybe, say a little prayer, that ya never forgot that difference and never got too reasonable.