Once again, with the disclaimers. Since I don't make any money, I'd be very grateful if the owners of the intellectual property I'm borrowing wouldn't sue me (hey, they haven't done it in two years and after I've written 100 stories, I think they'd have to be pretty rotten to seek redress at this late date, don't you?). I'm still thankful to the generous God who graces me with these musae who have yet to tire of storytelling and to all the friends I've come to know and care about through this remarkable fandom. You know who you are. As always, thanks to Wolfpup for giving me such a nice home.
This is Twilight's fault. She sent me an email asking about Blair's Shamanic abilities. Well, I don't hold to the idea that he should be the one with the visions. For me, Blair's job as Jim's partner/Guide/Shaman/etc, is that of his ability to understand and explain. The man's a teacher, pure and simple. It doesn't do for the teacher/translator to be the one having the visions. It puts him too close to the action and would tend to blind him to the correct answers. In other words, Blair is really Jim's Rabbi. After all, the Rabbi is basically a teacher, and explainer and interpreter of scripture and other things involving the soul...
Pardon Me Reb'Blair
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"So, what do you think it means, Chief?"
"Hey, it's your spirit animal. You tell me, man," was Blair's snapped response.
Jim gazed at his partner and sighed. "Blair?" he asked, softly.
The plaintive tone stopped him cold. Glancing at his friend, he sighed. After all they'd been through together, after finally convincing his non-verbal Sentinel to talk to him, when he finally did; Blair didn't want to listen. Go figure.
"Sorry, man. I'm just a little lost, here, okay?"
Jim looked at him in concerned surprise. "Lost? Why? You're the Shaman..."
"Look! I am not a Shaman. No matter what Incacha said, I am not now and never have been and probably never will be a Shaman!" There was a lot of anger and frustration in the words. As well as hurt.
"Of course you are." Jim replied mildly.
Blair glared at him.
"I mean it, Chief. You are a Shaman."
"Oh? And how do you figure that?" Blair folded his arms across his chest, every molecule of his being showing stubborn disbelief and rejection.
"What, exactly, do you think a Shaman does, Blair?"
The question took him by surprise. "What?"
"What do you think a Shaman does?"
"Well..." He had to think about the question. It had so totally not been what he'd expected from his normally non-verbal, 'I don't want to talk about anything emotional or difficult' Sentinel.
"Well... a Shaman walks the spirit plane searching for answers to the problems of his people, seeking spiritual enlightenment for himself and his people."
"What does he do with this information?"
"Uh, he figures out what it means and tells the rest of the tribe?"
"Okay. What else?"
"Um, he keeps the oral history of the tribe, passed down from one generation to the next."
Jim nodded, agreeing, "What else?"
"He keeps the medical knowledge, passed down the same way."
"Uh-huh. What else?"
"What are you getting at, here, Jim?" The anger was gone and his natural curiosity remained.
"Doesn't he also have the responsibility of teaching the rest of the tribe their history? Their legends, the lore of their world? Doesn't he also have the job of explaining the natural world? Interpreting dreams?"
"So, tell me, Chief. What is it, exactly, that you don't get about being a Shaman?" Jim sat back, a slightly smug expression on his face.
"But I don't walk the spirit plane..."
"So? How many people do? How many Shamen have you met, Chief? How many have had more than one or two brief dealings with the spirits? You had that one with me at the fountain..."
"But..." He frowned. In his studies, he'd discovered that the spirit walks were not something that was commonplace, at least, not traditionally. "What are you saying, here, Jim?"
Sighing in exasperation, "I'm saying that you were passed 'the way of the Shaman'. Not that you were to become a Shaman, or practice being a Shaman. You already do the things a Shaman does. You instruct, you explain, you teach. You always were in 'the way of the Shaman', Incacha was just making it official, that you were to be my Shaman, my Guide. My teacher."
Blair stared up at his Sentinel, wondering where all this had come from, "So... Jim? Just when did you figure all this out?"
"When I heard Joel talk about the man who taught him about explosives."
"He called him his Rabbi."
"What?" Blair's voice squeaked in surprise.
"Yeah. I've heard the term before. It generally refers to a mentor, someone, usually a first partner, or TO who helps a new recruit or detective out, shows him the ropes and teaches him how to do the job."
"Jim, I certainly know what a Rabbi is." Blair retorted, a droll smile gracing his lips.
Jim watched his partner, expectantly.
Blair gazed at his friend, mulling over what he had said. Somehow, it made sense. Incacha would not have used American words to express himself, he'd have used the terms he knew and understood. The fact that Jim had translated what he had understood the Shaman to mean...
"I'm a Rabbi?" The grin at that thought spread across his face like a beam of light.
"Doesn't Rabbi mean 'teacher'?"
"Yeah. Literally. So, does that make me your Rabbi?"
"I guess so, Chief. But you've been teaching me now for four years. Do you have a problem with it?"
Blair thought about it for half a second, "Nope. Can't say that I do. Do you?"
"No. I may argue with you, disagree with you, but I'll always respect you, Blair."
"I can live with that."
"So, about my dream?"
Turning to face his friend, he focused all his attention on his pupil. "Tell me again? I promise that this time, I'll be listening completely..."
A Rabbi, Grandfather Sandburg would be so proud...
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