How Science Ignores The Living World — An Interview With Vine Deloria
I think the primary difference is that Indians experience and relate to a living universe, whereas Western people — especially scientists — reduce all things, living or not, to objects. The implications of this are immense. If you see the world around you as a collection of objects for you to manipulate and exploit, you will inevitably destroy the world while attempting to control it. Not only that, but by perceiving the world as lifeless, you rob yourself of the richness, beauty, and wisdom to be found by participating in its larger design.
Two days ago, I reduced myself to a sturdy hobble by learning to jump rope. Never in my youth did I jump rope. Where I come from, males did not even consider it, except behind the walls of gymnasiums, and then only with the ultimate goal of pummeling an opponent in mind. But I’m a long way from youth now, and, having become convinced of rope-jumping’s merits as exercise, I strode boldly into a toy store, bought a candy-striped, red-and-wheat-colored rope, and went home to use it.
To be under siege from a cloud of blackflies is to feel your sanity threatened. In and out of your ears they crawl, biting as they go; in and out of your nose, your mouth, the corners of your eyes. If you’ve covered up everything but your hands, they will start there and crawl to your wrists, leaving welts wherever they feed.
Zelda was my present to Ken for his thirty-third birthday. She came cheap, having been culled from a small commercial dairy herd because she was stunted, in part from having calved too young. She was a luxurious, soft brown Jersey with large, moist eyes. Jerseys are known for their pacific dispositions (the females, anyway) and the richness of their milk, which has a higher fat content than that of any other breed. Zelda’s milk was so rich that, when we poured it fresh from the pail into old tuna-fish cans for the cats, it was yellow.
The summer of 1975 found my mother still waiting for her life to pick up again. In the years since she’d divorced my father, she had been without a man, without money, without friends. When she wasn’t bogged down with her night job cleaning the Ben Franklin five-and-dime on Main Street, she waited at the kitchen table or in front of the TV for the phone to ring, so something good could happen. She waited through packs of cigarettes and cups of coffee and baskets of folded laundry and episodes of Happy Days.