Thursday, July 29, 2010

Lost Children of NanaBoozho


©TwentyTen.
Imagine a big, ugly person holding a fragile and delicate masterpiece of art, an ancient bowl filled with beauty and made with rare and beautiful care. Suddenly the person smashes the art into the ground and it shatters into uncountable pieces.
That big ugly person was Modern Man. The Art he destroyed was the civilization of the so-called American Indian.
Most American Indian people spend their lives trying to understand . To recognize, the little pieces they hold in their lives, in their spirits. I have spent my life looking for pieces, fragments, “shards” of time and art and knowledge.
Birds ||
Yes, the Winged Ones are very ancient. In those ancient times they taught the human beings living on the American Earth how to sing, how to dance, and possibly how to dream.
Today I heard an Ojibwe woman singing, it brought tears to my eyes. It made me feel lonely, so far from home, yet strangely satisfied to be a child of these ancient people, a child of Nanaboozhoo…not afraid to jump into the sacred winds and go out into the world. Yes, sustained and nurtured by those sacred powers even as I suffer loneliness and a mission no one but me and the old ones can understand. Alive in an empty world. Breathing in the vacuum of the dead world. Dancing in the stillness of that fear which rides the shadows of this world. A poet, a dreamer, a crazy man who believes what he believes—a student of the middle way.
I have six generations of a small bird family living with me here on the little island of Pantelleria. They have adopted my stone water bowl, which I keep at the eastern gate to my home. Lately I have heard the calls of a young falcon, a falcon has been indigenous to Pantelleria as long as anyone can remember. The shiny little water bowl is well-known to the birds of Pantelleria.
One of my teachers, years ago, could call particular species of birds using ancient songs that he held, passed down over the generations. The songs were long and melodic and step by step the birds he called would come close to us and sing back to him. He taught me a few of these songs. I was very young. One day deep in the forest, all alone, I sat down and started an owl-calling song. At first I was comfortable and had a great feeling. Soon I heard an owl calling from rather far away, then I heard others, from many directions. As I continued to sing the singing owls came closer. Without fully understanding why, I was suddenly filled with fear and more or less ran back to my auto and drove away. The memory of those songs left me at that instant and I have never been able to sing them after that moment of fear.
I am absolutely certain of the veracity, truth, and sincerity of my teachers on this matter. In my travels I have not encountered again a tribal teacher who would admit to this knowledge of calling the birds, but all confirm an ancient and very specific relationship at a social level with the Bird Nation, as we call it.
More in this series later on………..

Blog Archive