I love watching movies. Besides being entertaining, they often make me think
about my own internal struggles.
One movie I really like is Dances with Wolves.
A pet scene of mine from that film is when Lieutenant Dunbar (Kevin Costner)
gun in hand, surprises Kicking Bird (Graham Greene), who is attempting to steal
the lieutenant's horse. Although he is armed, Lieutenant Dunbar isn't the kind
of man that shoots first and asks questions later, which is just as well, since
it works out that he and Kicking Bird eventually become good friends.
Lieutenant Dunbar's curiosity about the Lakota people is stronger than his fear.
Because of this, he has the experience of a lifetime, and so do his newfound Lakota friends.
It got me to thinking about the Wampanoag and the pilgrims.
Sometimes I wonder how things would have played out if the pilgrims had been
more like Lieutenant Dunbar and less like. . . pilgrims. I wonder what might have been.
But of course, Lieutenant Dunbar and Kicking Bird are works of fiction . . .
Another movie I enjoyed was Gladiator. In one scene Caesar (Richard Harris)
tells his daughter Lucilla (Connie Nielsen), "Enough of politics. Let us pretend
that you are a loving daughter, and I am a good father." She smiles
and replies, "This is a pleasant fiction, isn't it?"
So I'm watching this and I'm thinking that maybe that's what some holidays are - a pleasant fiction.
A time for me to make believe that the roots of a celebration aren't really all that important.
"Nilfun" I say to myself, "Nilfun, maybe you shouldn't worry too much about
the whole history of Thanksgiving. Don't think about anything except enjoying
the family and the Turkey." And I reply, "Yeah, that is so right. There's so much
celebrating that you missed out on as JW. Don't spoil it for yourself! Enjoy!"
So anyway, while I'm sitting there on my sofa, turning this stuff over in my mind,
I shut my eyes for a sec and see Metacomet's head on a pike.