Native Americans use this word to describe a tactic of absurd contrariness that conveys a ground level wisdom.  For instance, if a husband offends his wife, she may become “heyoka”.  When he’s hungry, she serves him a bowl of dirt; when he wishes to sleep, she noisily cleans the house; when he finally awakes, she falls asleep.  If the husband doesn’t substantially repent, it goes on indefinitely.  An episode of “heyoka” is vividly conveyed in Frederick Manfred’s fine novel, Lord Grizzly.

In fact, “heyoka” works to get out of ruts of all types, especially post-summer-garden funks.  We’re having intense tropical depressions lately, which doesn’t help the mild human kind.  So “heyoka” comes in handy.  If you wish to try something new to alleviate extreme boredom, try it out.

Want to sleep in?  Get up early.
Want to stay up late?  Go to bed early.
Hungry?  Don’t eat.
Feel tired?  Keep working.
Rested?  Don’t go to work.
Want to stay in?  Go out.
Want to go out?  Stay in.
Don’t want to clean up?  Clean up.
Want to clean up?  Don’t bother.
Want to go to the Bahamas?  Go to Anchorage.

Perhaps the medical community has a better idea. Plus, this may be related to the previous post about the “changeling garden”. Maybe my “heyoka” blues cure is, for once, not to tear out the gardens and start anew every year.  Off to Anchorage!

This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 1st, 2008 at 7:55 pm and is filed under Original Posts. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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One Response to ““Heyoka””

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