Let It Die Moon [Or, Not Bad Weather (Kalapuya)]

Winter Maker Moon (Abenaki)

It’s startling to recognize that I feel like I did in the days after their deaths – Mom’s and Dad’s both. The clarity within, close within the haze, which is dense but infinitely diffuse and through it the world glints as ice, hard and sparkling but without penetration, touch without warmth, and I can understand Hel as a frozen realm, and I can understand reigning there. My body doesn’t know what to do with heat – food, sex, anger – doesn’t even know how to call it “mine,” wants to write it “You, your body, you, you know.” When you manage to stray from the crystal clarity the world is too erotic and you never know if the clenching in your body is from desperate craving or in protective wretch.

Her Winter Houses Moon (Wishram)

I communicate with trees. Trees don’t require lies and passwords. They’ll just scoop you up and cradle you in warm, scented limbs while the west wind gusts out of the sunset ocean and whorls right through you, hold you up until the relief of dark. I know this place, where trees will take all of your sadness, take your grief down into their bodies and into the earth and clean and into your lungs and fresh. This is a place where trees hum Eucalyptus aums beam through my body. Call me on my cellular phone.

Ripe Berries (Haida)

There is a simple way back from such conversations, better even than cigarettes. Easy as song. Once, the song went, “You’re diiiiiiiiiiiirty cuz you’re beauuuuuuuuuutifuuuuuuuuullllllllll…” Lately, the song comes in words whose language I don’t speak, but they’re not for speaking, so it doesn’t matter. Sung, they move mountains. When you are current in air, you can trade in all worlds.

Moon Where the Wolves Run Together (Cheyenne)

I feel like I did then, after their deaths, and what now has died? Who has died – in me has died?

Nine months after my mother’s death I am walked by two women who know grief, one on either side as I walk and clench and unclench and walk and clench and unclench and walk and clench and unclench. One knows the territory, we’ll call her Macha. Her words weave us into this in-between place, protective knots. One knows how and where to tread, we’ll call her Epona. Her silence is beyond volume, a rare place I can rest. Her tears are silent Medicine. We walk in mystery beyond mystery, we in our birthing / dying / birthing mo(ve)ment, knowing how to do this.

Before this, Amy saw it in my face, saw something rotting in my face, saw death. After the walking I dreamed: I’m with a large group of friends in various states of nakedness in a big white bed. There’s a feeling of deep love and fluidity and sharing. The bed is In a big wheat-gold field and through it rides my myth teacher Katya on a cream-white horse in some kind of costume that’s also an armor, but soft and contoured. She rides over and I’m elated! Katya, these are my friends! Friends, this is Katya! I wake up full of love, and then sleep, and the dream continues: I am with a dark-complexioned man, and we are listening to Katya. She speaks about her stillborn baby. The scene is loving and tender and close. She says, “I thought I’d spend a year with her, my baby daughter, but she came out with the cord, so quiet, her lips were blue” – these details are repeated, essential to her telling, I can see it all. I cry – a tear falls clenchlessly and streaks down my cheek. With my tear I give to Katya the same gift, the same Medicinet that, in waking, Epona’s tear gave to me the day before.

Under burn (Mountain Maidu)

What dies? The too-good dies. Expectation dies. Fierce is not angry. The world is the angry place, but here is power and feeling and real and where rock is flesh. We walk in the fierce grief place and small boulders are pornographic, I feel their weight and presence in my glands. Here is where what germinates in death is born. What’s born here? Wolf mother.

Ice lasts all day (Valley Maidu)

Over the mountain, the full moon rises fast and coyotes howl.

Big Cold Moon (Eastern Comanche)

My two griefs are beginning to merge – there are places they touch and brace and mingle. This is alarming. This being time. Both griefs are here now. I feel a million more in their footsteps, and all of them angry which wants to be fierce. I don’t much see, outside of the palace of ice. I feel, I feel, I feel! I sensitive. Food, sex, anger – yes no yes no yes no yes no yes no – and cigarettes, yes no yes, gray fire and stale and I sigh and sigh and sigh. On the bridge of gray fire, between freeze and burn, you tend to suspend. Without it, you must use your senses, and you must manage heat. Your eyes will cloud, and you will get dizzy, but you will hear and touch and smell and know like never normal and all hands on deck for the Helen Keller power hour.

It’s so hard to write without cigarettes. Cigarette = distance from emotion, peripetaia, the long way around. Quit = come on in, the water’s (ha) fine. You will find your way out in your own time. Cigarette = the bridge of gray fire, not burn not freeze and dulling the senses so we can walk in what we’re not ready to know, peripheral access. Quit = Use your senses. Hone your senses. Stand what you see.

Popping Trees (Northern Arapaho)

At times you will drop back into the cold hard clarity – it’s always a drop – and, resting there, exhausted, your being surrounded by people who do not know is as impossible now as two days ago was your own knowledge, unthinkable. You show them the state of the crash of your soul and they cock their head and look skeptical: “Why?” And worse! They know but lie to themselves, want to use me to lie to themselves. I marvel at the lies that keep me in touch with other people. They marvel at the impossibility that so much can happen in so short a time. I nearly yell, need urgently to yell at their arrogance. You think you know time! Time moves like space. Like space on drugs, it curves and folds and clothes itself. Time which cannot be circumscribed. Here you are at the heart of this mystery and you scoff and google your eyes and want me to make you laugh, so you can go another round and round and round and all the while forgetting round how time can stretch. You can work time like dough.

Unborn Seals are Getting Hair (Tlingit)

How can we find the place where time stretches, without trauma, or emotional bondage? Where we learn to shake off trauma like an animal and embrace both bondage and release, like human beings? For the ones who do this work, I ache to learn to meet you there – permeate / not puncture. I am in charge of my own chemistry. I can be solid where I need to be, I protect myself, and open. And open. And open.

Evergreen Moon (Eastern Comanche)

I wanted so fucking badly for a man to recognize my hurt. It made me cry to say that today. Do I cry that he didn’t? Other men wailed and yipped this other hurt to the moon, they howled my birthday howl. There is a spontaneous song of men making a gift to the night of the grief of their women. There are men who are familiar with the jungle, and may it keep them strong and warm and ready for voice when it comes through. Voice from all around me, and off in the distance a dismissive smile. I am surrounded by such wild love and all I can see is that distant dismissive smile! So I don’t see, I feel. And from beyond the grave a voice soothes Come now, love, come come, soft, it’s not the end of the world. You’re not going down. There is a new world on the ascent, and it’s green as green as green and in you ever. It does not belong to anyone but it does belong to you, and we are all explorers here.

Month of Respect (Hopi)

When your friend is having a terribly difficult day, wrought with loss, and you have nothing of yourself to give, no time or gift or comfort – that is not the best time for the “just pick yourself something out and I’ll pay for it” line.

Cold Meal Moon (Natchez)

It is a worse thing to agree to dinner and then jump up and flee halfway through, than to decline the invitation outright.

Scattering Moon (Cree 13 Moons Version)

There are friends who will not look you in the eye.

Eccentric Moon (Shawnee)

After a morning mountain ritual/run, 9 hours of Freud class and 3 hours of diversity/oppression training, mixed in with a hell of a lot of crying and birthday wishes and a communal walk between worlds, you can bet I was ready for a drink. Nine of us came out into the night – off campus! – an unlikely crew, but all of us fabulous and sinking our teeth into the unexpected mix of us. What could we all possibly have in common to talk about? Ghost stories, duh!

Small Spirits Moon (Anishnaabe — Chippewa, Ojibwe)

For my dyad final, the professor has one question: “Animus:” “You’re holding the empowered therapist stance:” “How was it for you, this stuff with power and authority coming up?” I didn’t know, had a sense of only just now beginning to learn to sense that. Still wanting a man to recognize my hurt, I experienced a man not being able to name it but being able to hold it, to hone its sense with me, and then to hold me in healing. It was not a word place. It was a red beam of voice tone resonating from his chest to mine. He talked a mile a minute and fixed me with his eyes and I couldn’t speak his language but the pure relief and joyful calm of that energy…Yeeeeaaaaaaaahhhhhhh… Words are only there to house the tone, Lord, let me rest in that tone, that tone of me-to-you to me in the rumble of more space to resonate than my own lone body knows. I want to sound in the space between our hearts and I can tune to that frequency, re-tune to my self. Recalling it now I feel so healing and I so smile, I can’t think of writing any more, pure respite from the word place – but on the other side of writing is not writing, is only emotion and just now there is no friendly beam of compassion, no trusty boat, and those waters are deadly choppy.

Turning Moon, or The Sun has travlled South to his home to rest before he starts back on his journey North (Zuni)

Can we talk about what died? Not just Expectation, not even myth’s expectation, beautiful blue-lipped baby girl. That tear, the wordless tear that says you are not alone in death, there is no clench to that tear at all. It is given freely. Which is the source of its force. Force which is strength, you cry but you see, you see but you feel. I want so much to ask Epona, how do you stand what you see? Her man knows how to shoot with compassion. There’s an ancient cry here I can’t make out. But I know what it means.

It means, Let it die.


From base *me – “to measure.”


~ by Arrrow Marie on December 7, 2009.

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