Shadows (Twenty Ten)

How would the old Indians feel if they could see us now? Would Grandfather’s  smile show contentment?
They said they wanted the land. They said they knew what to do with it. They said we were savages and had no idea at all. Bleeding, one by one, bleeding all together we gave it up. That is what we did. With our blood. With our lives we stood in the way. We did not bend. And so we paid. And now you have it. Today. 
Yes, what would Grandfather think of us now? They say when an old Wabeeno dies, a whole world vanishes forever. I am a Wabeeno, I am Ahnishibeg, Time has measured me on the short stick, my body has stumbled and my dreams grown to long. I am the one who made it this far. I did not do it my way. I did it their way, the way of smoke, the way of the old Indians. That way. That was the way I went. In another way, I was the one who went that way. For me it is OK.
First I covered my body with water. I made the songs of the water, water songs we call them. I made them directly up into the sky and the water touched my life. Next I covered my body with tobacco and made a song from the center of my belly. I made it in such a way that it went out into the world. Next I covered myself in corn and sent a song inside my body, I sent all around in there. Next I covered myself in smoke from the sage, cedar and sweet grass. I flew all over the place, I torched the flames making that smoke with the stem of an old pipe, the original instructions for the direction of that smoke, straight up and all all over the place. Straight up. Next I went dreaming and in my dreaming through the dark I addressed shadows down onto the earth, from the horse I was riding. I dreamed again and ate delicious soup. Magical soup. Finally I sat down and rubbed my belly. I breathed again, feeling that I was inside myself and everything was ok.
In the morning sacred pipe is carried outside, to rest with the sea and the sky, looking down the mountain. In the night the bundle of sacred intentions is carried inside to vibrate dreams out into the space, into the stones of the old walls of which the house is made. All this work takes place on the side of an old, yet steaming, volcano.
What did you do today?

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