Monday, August 02, 2010
Children of Nanaboozhoo, continued
Going far away. Going unexpectedly.The Children of nanaboozho have gone walking into the void. Going in eight directions, they found their life, and made their ceremonies, their contract, upon the sacred earth….doing so independently and far from home.
Walking in their footsteps, left for me in songs carried by the great wind, I have moved in a spiral which started in North Carolina 40 years ago.
Forty years ago I took a long moment to stand very still. I looked at the eight directions around my life. Standing behind me I saw the old Indians, they were right there looking at me. I moved my life that way, to see what they wanted. That was the choice I made. I have traveled for so long along this winding, coiled road that I no longer have a home to return to. My home has probably become this laptop computer I write on today. The history of that journey is inside of it, with a copy in a digital cloud.
The foundations of the original ceremonial instructions of the Ahnishinabe were the gifts of the journeys of the Children of nanaboozhoo. These gifts were discovered during encounters with Manitous. Manitous are particular spirits, entities with great powers of transformation, who are tied very closely to nature. It is possible to find them. They can be quite dangerous. Not everyone who knows them will survive. They are worthy opponents.
One of those children is my relative, my grandfather’s grandfather, the elder of my bones, so to speak. My vision of him has kept me moving. He showed me the value of standing as a wabeeno on the rocks of the earth and making my song, making that morning fire. It is a really great feeling to stand with sacred pipe on the stones, hills, and plains of the earth. As I write, I stand on the little island of Pantelleria. She reminds me of the great turtle that carried the Ahnishinabeg into the lands of the Great Forest. She is called, by her ancestors, “the daughter of the wind”. Our songs move in eight directions on this island.
From the ground up
I started the world journey of the sacred bundle from the ground up. I had only my skin and bones, and those sacred gifts of those old Indians. I started in emptiness, believing that it was a good idea for everybody on this mother earth if I were able to make a circle around the earth with these sacred rites.
When I left AmeriKa to begin this work, I had a little leather bag with ten US dollars, all in dimes (ten cents), my laptop and the bundle. This is what I mean by saying “from the ground up”. At each step I was always given food or a place to sleep, a hand up to the next destination. I learned to make sculptures in stone and wood, and to make paintings. These arts have become an important part of the long journey. They have helped pay the way, but they are a record as well.
Inside the bubble
It is always indian time wherever I am standing. At least, when it is me. The old smoke long ago wrapped me up in some sort of bubble, a protection. It is a round and rolling bubble, so I keep going, rolling in various directions.
On the island, inside the bubble, we take the sacred bundle outside every sunrise and bring it back into the house at sunset. There is a small ceremony made in each direction. This motion enables the bubble.
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