Monday, May 11, 2015

Communion: Ojibwe Style




Clay and I responded with the customary “Ahow”, the Chippewa equivalent of so-be-it and amen. 

“Okay you’s guys, your cats are meowing to say your bread is done enough. Pull it off and share so we each get to enjoy those good thoughts ya put into it,” said Gal.

Taking turns with the jelly, we filled our bread’s future-friendship voids and passed it around. What a beautiful way to unify our triune relationship. As if stepping into one of those cosmic worm holes, I found myself a spectator in the upper room in Jerusalem. The last supper, that’s what Christians called that time of communion among Jesus and his pals. After watching the sharing of bread and wine I zipped back to the present with something to say.

“Hey you guys,” I said, “We’re having our own communion, Nishnob style. We got the bread and grapes represented and all that. Pretty cool, eh?”

Two little blobs of purple goo raced down Clay’s white tee as he swallowed his last bite and flushed it with java. Gal, playing deaf, feigned a mute response.

“You bein’ mean Ain’t It?” Clay stood and folded his arms. “You know, pickin’ on my Lord again?”

“Hunh? Wait, no brother. I mean it. I think I get it, that last supper deal. Jesus told his fishin’ buddies to make their special shared meal a tradition to preserve their memory of him and what he was all about. Native folk been doing those types of things for many generations. Gal kept one of ours going tonight.”

Gal started gathering stuff up but smiled. Clay remained skeptical.

“What would you know about such things? Asked Clay, “being the way you are,” he added for justification. 

“Give me a little credit. I’m a story guy, shoodest priest Clay. I’ve read some of the bible. All I’m sayin’ is communion is about deep friendship and love. Seems that way to me anyhoo. Think about this, if we erased all the time you and I have spent sharing coffee, brewskies, fires, fishing, and food, what would be left?”

“Half a life time I guess. I see what ya mean,” said Clay, staring into the shimmering embers of a waning campfire.

Her arms filled, Gal motioned us to the house. We grabbed what was left and hurried through an offensive line of mosquitoes for the door. Inside, we put things away and decided to change locations for finishing our evening chat. As she had all evening, Gal took the lead.

“We’re goin’ to the livin’ room. In the kitchen, I think about things to be done. Yah, were done with coffee. It’s pushin’ 11 o’clock.”

“Staying the night Gal?” I asked, “I hope so. Oh, I’m taking my place here on the couch and stretching out. I might just crash while we visit. By the way Gal, thanks for that story and all the other good stuff tonight.”

Clay and Gal took on the love seat. Worn springs, creating a deep bowl in the cushions, forced my friends to snuggle. My eye lids fought to stay open as I looked at the happy couple. For a dying man Clay looked good. Yellow hued skin was gone and his eyes shiny. His Favorite Gal, nearly a foot shorter and much younger, looked weary but pleased. Her long thick hair, more pepper than salt, remained in a braid reaching the small of her back.

Mumbling, I said, “I’m sorry you guys but…” and went to sleep.

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