Skip this as I'm just thinking.
I was brought up in an English household that was in various locations but which was always separate from the surrounding society. One might see what was going on - even join in - however, it was like living next to people who have corroborees. One might take part but it didn't seep inside. It was not just expected but assumed that I wouldn't be a part of it, and I have never once, in all my life, EVER felt a part. I'm more comfortable, but not at home, in Canada or Australia. The only places I've felt a rush of belonging were in England and inside books. As time has gone on I've been set adrift in a (not unpleasant) state of separation from almost everything. One reason I work in Indian country is that I just don't identify with the main culture around me. The choice is to look like I don't belong and feel like I don't belong, or look like I do belong - but feel like I don't belong. I don't like that dichotomy. In Indian country I feel welcome, valued, and trusted - which is how I feel in the bigger surrounding culture, too, except that it wants to absorb me and reduce me to its own definition. That definition sets a value on you based on externals like age, sex, physical abilities, etc. Indian country has its own problems but that isn't one of them. Plus I think it's noted and appreciated that I DON'T try to "belong." I have my own, thank you very much, and am not trying to co-opt anyone else's.
posted by - 8:57 AM
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PLZ LEEVE A MEZZAGE KTHNXBAI