A sharing from an Unknown becoming listened to: Yakama notions and experiences
the fool visionary ‘artist’ guy on the road, living via his self-propelled device for 3 1/2 months now, testing old skills, honing them, and building spiritual strength for possibly intense futures
What has to be hurled must also be gone thru championishly!
A sharing from the outback of the “Yakama Indian Nation”
Good words for today. After getting permission to camp in the Yakama Nation, i wake up to find both my tires flat. i pump them up and only one, the “impermiable” front one, with the “Mr.Tuffy” inside, the tire which has stood up to the toughest off-road tests so far, is flat with an apparent poke in it. Slow leak, anyway. Maybe it was just the local spirits wanting to put “a fly in the eye” of the “bad” so-called decolonizing settler (i got a few of those at curious times yesterday while riding in this rez), and see how i dealt with it. i figure it’s a mix. Maybe kids (not much for them to do, and any perceived slight….).
Realities versus romantics
Then i was able to see some realities about rez life. The fences around the homes (on the main drag, anyway), the bars on the windows and doors! Whoa, very much like the inner city in so many places. The reflection of frustrations. The arting being done.
The possibly perceived slight? Possibly many. A white man showing up, asking a b.i.a. fellow (didn’t know that when i asked tho) to stay on his land (next to his home, as not much else room; tho outside the fence), claiming to not be able to afford the $20 cost for a tent space at the nearby RV camp. Probably had their defenses up–who was this white man snooping around? i certainly feel the vibe.
i’m forced to recall the powerful words from unsettlingminnesota.org’s manuscript. About how we settlers (and their descendents) just take it for granted that we can even ask for things like camping for free. That i can even venture into the Unknown here! And not be messed with? The affrontery!
And NOW i want to share something about the spirituality that i experienced earlier by Mount Yakama???? I HAD BETTER KNOW MY PLACE AND GET BACK IN MY CATEGORY OF BEING A G’DAMN WHITE MAN WHO STAYS IN HIS TERRITORY! That’s the undercurrent. And tho it could be my racism (i subscribe to Charles H. King’s view that we ARE ALL racist, a.k.a. afraid of the different in the context of a rigid society, but it DEPENDS on what we DO with that knowledge. Or, how we wish to utilize our response ability!).
My knee-jerk response is that it couldn’t be racism on my part because indigenous folks (or at least part-so) have reached out to me since i was a kid. i’ve systematically been befriended, and thus i actually feel more at home amongst “them” than with “my fellow whites”, so i claim. Racist!?? How to explain? It’s like with other kinds of folks, say, younger; there’s a heart-string being automatically pulled. Not that i want to Tell Them What and How To Be; not at all!
Anyway….wanted to share some of the experiences i had up on Mount Yakama (which i’m going to call “Mt. Adams” in lieu of not knowing what local folks call it), during the two nights i spent, at first not realizing i was actually on the Yakama Rez.
Very unique cloud formations up on that 4,000 foot (or so) elevation. Two pine-tree-shaped (youngish) clouds went by consecutively. And three bird shapes, one with a phoenix head. The third was human-looking at the shoulders, and i saw it “fly” by three times over a few hours! As though it was soaring around there! (the Hopi say, i have heard, that clouds are the spirits of the recently dead; maybe the more wispy are those who are the more confused entities?)
A neighbor ghost!
The first day was pretty typical and without my spiritual medicine (for a week by then) i didn’t really tune in at all. i did cool off in the snow-cold water of Bird Creek. And i did find out that the neighbor i thought i saw down the hill from me, about a hundred yards away (sitting in one of those chairs that has hurt my back in the past) was apparently a ghost! He even waved at me! Hot damn!
And i yelled out that i was sorry that i didn’t know he was there until after i had already set up my camp. So i went about being quieter and didn’t explore that area for the time being.
Then, on the eve of my second night, i got a strong intuition that i should use my spiritual medicine. i had already gone biking that day around in the “pass” area, and also gone through some spiritual connecting (in the nude) that i feel moved to often do, and the sun was going down. So i used it. And then began wanting to speak loudly and play-work through my crazy energy, especially as i contemplated my journey here as i looked at my arte that’s about jumping into the Unknown while spiritually nude; but then i also felt obligated to first ask the permission of my “neighbor”: Did he want silence and his privacy? i asked, loud enough for him to likely here.
A 5-direction walke
When he didn’t respond, i began sharing some of my crazy (riding large trees as surph boards on the ocean at great speeds, with sails!), until i got the notion that i should go on a walke. And save the direction of my neighbor for last (i was curious about him a little, sitting out there all alone; maybe he was a traditional elder, or something like that!).
So i began gazing, naturally towards the volcano at first. Tho i soon realized i didn’t want to seek energy/input from such a place–a fiery hellish promise place like a VOLCANO. So then i was looking out at the space to the left of “L” Road, and i saw one tree move. A small tree amongst small trees. And my playful side felt it might be someone over there, watching me go through my crazy. And so i consciously chose to walke beyond the paths (why do settlers always stay on paths?!?) towards this tree. On the way, i found a curious peice of wood (i think it was a goose head and neck) and i put it on that path-of-sorts (can you find it?). Next, intuition drew me to another tree in the distance; and older, dead tree, with interesting shapes to it.
So i walked across “L” Road towards it. Well, pretty soon i stood on the corners of two semi-burnt trees and let myself go into that vibe. What happened here? To make a longer, hazey story short (it made sense at the time), i decided to leave a gift: the hemp necklace i had been given in a trade for my arte. It had gotten slightly broken on the wingtip of the glass butterfly, and now i knew that it was a “wounded butterfly” and just rite for “a wounded forest”. (Tho i would later realize that both the burning and the dying of the trees –via beetles– may be a good thing in the bigger picture, since when first logged, not loggers kept maps of what kind of trees they cut and where they grew; and that Nature may well be rectifying that off-balance!
Next i heard a distinct voice in the forest down by Bird Creek. Wow, it sounded very much like the cranes i had heard back in Dakota country! So i responded with my own hand-cupped bird call, and began walking in its direction. Maybe it was merely a tree moving in the wind (?) but it was only one. Or maybe it was a ghost. Or maybe it was the (??) Crane Clan, out doing a spiritual retreat! (“Crazy White Man, won’t you STOP this nonsense!!!” says my programming)
Hoping i’d come across some traditionalists, obviously. Someone who might understand. Someone who wouldn’t defensively judbe me, and actually hear my heart, my “radical’s radical” gift potential; and it all wouldn’t be just a big, nutty solopathic adventure “in my head”; and …. and….
To make a longer story short, other notions and intuitions visited me as i walked in 5 directions. Coming across a grove of hidden Poplar (or Aspen?) saplings which made an enchanting space of their own; experiencing the energy of where the hill came to the flat of the Bird Creek forest; coming upon a cave that looked like a BEAR CAVE (or a Sasquatch Home), and getting a channel that said an angry bear might say:
“Oh, that’s really really great, Stupidized White Man! Now you’re going to go back to your world and ‘report’ about this area and all kinds of other nuts are going to come by and harrass me! Now i’m going to have to move away, all because of your stupidized programming!!!!”
Uh..huh. Could be.
Finally came to the threshold of where i had seen the man sitting, cross-legged, enjoying the serenity of his space (next to three plastic, lidded buckets, and a pile of logs, by the way). A bird, whom i told my Mother would want to listen to and look up in her bird book, seemed to help me go to that place when i stopped at a “gate” of sorts between trees just before the place where i saw what i thought i saw.
The bird flew over to the place, and then i followed. i had already told of my presence, of course.
No footprints, no tent. Just a pile of heavy steel gears arranged as if art. A cart’s (?) tracks showed heavy in the “J” Road, but looked a bit old. So i made a little arte for whomever might see this place in the future, and left it there, secured from blowing away.
Next i went to an old tree i had been taking in already for awhile (near my camp). i found another goose head and neck and decided to put it next to a log which had a carving of a bird shape, made by one of those bugs who carve under the bark. Wow, a bird shape! (in all my years of wanting to see art in those carvings, this was the first time!)
Finally, back at my camp i decided to gift several peices of my original arte (including my “jumping spiritually nude into the Unknown” arte). Maybe you’ll find it if you go looking on “Bird Creek Road”, aka 285. If you do find it, wouldn’t it be neat if you left your own stuff there or around there?
And what if people who feel called to walke between the cultures were to leave powerful spirit in this and other places around Turtle Island? What if we gave oursevles permission? Make altars, or start them, and see if others called might participate. Outside of the permissions, of course, of the formal governance of such places; but well within the organic, intuitive notions we receive from channeled spirit-u-al energies.
HonoriNg traditional indigenous consciousness (we are ALL descendants of such, and we ALL have such spirit within us, usually privately kept and self-censored)! A-Ho! (And, yes, i’m willing to experience the possible challenging consequences for daring to speaque this kind of HEART from a place allegedly as “inappropriate” (unauthorized) as i speaque from!!!!
From the Cultural Center at the Yakama Nation….aNd heading for the Rainbow Gathering
i walke through the Fear,Inc. planted in me, “pushing the limits” of Freedumb, and putting my life on the line. (What value is life is one must hide in fear? Let the stupidized authoritarians come and put me away from such a dumb world if that is what They Must Do!)
“We can’t quit just because it’s going to be hard.”–John Trudell, Lakota wisdom keeper