BLOG & WRITINGS & MUSIC
As this is only the beginning of this new site ~ Spring 2013 - We will start minimalist ~ and slowly add
I'll just start with a couple of poems & one short document by the artist CaW -
whose music can be found at allspeciesmusic.wordpress.com
The Bag of Autonomy
Two poems from Lago Atitlan - the bioregion of origen for Avocados
HANGING OUT IN THE BARN
Mays early days have lost their numbers ~
How could I be so lucky , so irresponsible, so rich
in backlands footpaths ?
as to be able to Forget what day it is?
What year even ? After All there is no beginning to count from~
All I know about Time now
Is that a much longed for rain
washed the taste of lead from an exhausted sky
and 'though nobody can buy native cornmeal or original seed
I look up to see it hanging from Gods rafters
in this barn, I'm hiding in
to escape the "sanity" of our times
PUSHING UP THROUGH WAVES
Pushing up through waves of confused human stories & wet bushes
Today,through some "christians" who know not what Jesus loved
To the Mayan mountain Ajceej:
his ritual poems sung into the mouth of a cave
way high on the vertical ridges above the lake
candles of cardinal colors pressed to the forehead
Incenses of Copal, Palo Santo - He stirs his words into the fire , blows them into the cave
A beautiful woman, "of the hearth" he calls her , embroiders crying chants
On the sturdy woof & warp of his ancient heart medicine word loom
Rushileux,Matiosh,Beng~kindly flavored word to the Seed-heart spirits
Accused of "sacrificios"and "brujeria", laughed at by the bike-taxi kid
and rockefellers evangelicals down in town
who are scared that I want to go up there
This old calendar keeper,brilliant & bright eyed in his ancient religious art
connecting the "Nat Ta Xa"= that which remembers, to my rattled mind
we sit here laughing gently with his Nagual
=an old vulture who looks me closely in the eye
As if to say "Ready yet" ?
A tale from Mayan country-
Last year I was walking into a cafe´ with a crazy girlfriend , and suddenly she gets nearly down on her knees and wide-eyed proclaims~"Look at all these people, so beautiful they are!~ I think God keeps humans around inspite of all our blunders because they are so beautiful. Look at that girl the way she puts it together; her flowering skirt, her feathered hair~Look at that guy. she goes on for a while and I'm like " Well of course your right, but I uh try not to Stare" as she gets up everybody is laughing and we make our way to a cup of Chai.
Are we not all & each not-so-distant lovers ? and well God must be the greatest voyeur: living inside each lovers touch , each blossoms nectar, each grandchilds vast inner-space dancing in a newly born world. ~Me , I walk through these later days as a kind of happy ghost , an invisible old-winged angel, fanning fresh incense through a forest of tired lovers. A vagabond poet I ran into awhile back said it this way " Yo vivo en la calle de los solteros felices ~gozando de las caras de mis Creadores" I live on the street of happy singles ~cherishing the faces of my Creators~
Recently I had to go to the Guatemalan border to renew my Mexican visa and because I''' m so bad at fast travel (my last album "Traveling Slowly"@ allspeciesmusic.wordpress.com ) several missions inevitably appeared along the way in me - or was it Kokopellis mission . First, I went to pay homage to volcanic Lake Atitlan & Roni the Mayan Permaculturalist , to get some great old plants for our gardens ,and check in with his amazing renewing laughter in the face of all sorrow and defeat - a great Mayan character traight~ one saying I heard while there "Life has no guarantees, except death and jokes " & to meet up with one of the old time-deity keepers to see if it would be right for him or one of his brethren to come our way for an All Species Theatre next year.( wherein we attempt do our part to refreshen the world-focusing on the Rights of Nature )
- and #3- and Heres where the story begins
- For many decades I''ve used these wonderful tote bags , perhaps you know them - hand woven magay cactus fiber woven bags that seem to never wear out ,some people pass them on for generations. They are hard to steal from and open as big or small as you need and carry weight very well, but weighs nothing. These bags used to be used in all parts tropical, desert and mountainous in the western hemisphere - but now as with all these ancient crafts , there are few makers left.
So since I was coming home through San Cristobal de las Casas,Chiapas,MesoAmerica~ which has got to be the hippest town in the western hemisphere: young & old music from every where, diverse ancient architecture & peoples- alive and kicking , purple & green loving Mayan weaver-women,old stone streets,garden of eden-hills -surrounding - Well I started seeing these invisible bags on the backlanders coming to town carrying corn, of a quality I hadn'''t seen since the Amazon decades ago-so I thought "I should actually meet the maker of these , see them being made as it has always been puzzling to me how this wonderful weave is made, seemingly so complex high-tech, like a bee-hive , yet I know it's the lowest-tech .
So I ask around and they send me to a small town, whose name I'll hold back on for now , and I'm getting my shoe patched and this young fellow starts describing how he used to make them as a kid , as he mimes the motion of separating the fiber from the cactus by rolling it on his thighs & twisting the cord with his fingers and looping it on a board with just two wooden pins ,all the while breathing & smiling the rythyms of these motions , as he says it takes all day to make one bag - which still sell for a pittance of their real worth.
So as I wander around trying to find my maker in this very "poor", cold , foggy highlands village , I come across a plaza and a really pretty colorfully painted church and though not a Catholic (except in the original sense of the word as"universal"-because when I was a kid the message the crucifix sent to my little mind was clearly "If you act like this guy did - This is what we''re going to do to you"-But always appreciating the momentary rest which a good church offers to the wornout walker, I stroll in there only to be Whelmed by a delicious thick fog of Copal incense filling the whole church , and more visible than idols or altars there are literally thousands of fresh flowers up the walls and hundreds of candles of all sizes burning on the floor and yes theres saints- but the secret hidden by it's very obviousness is that the Mayan wiseguys carefully installed their deities behind & within the saints 400 years ago and made the Cofradias, the brotherhoods who feed the 13 dieties & the Mother God and all this has little to do with Jerusalem & less to do with Rome. Most of the foriegn priests still don't get it whats going on in there,often only visiting these backlands once a year.
Suddenly I get the feeling, I''m back in Hopi in the Kiva for Bean Dance in February, or over in Zuni for Shalako at 3am - except in Mayan style these people are praying to many Gods -and oh yea Jesus too- As one man from the InDios said when asked if he really believed in Jesus " Sure, we have 12 of them in my village - Heyzues! is great "
So as you may know Copal tree sap incense is as freshening to the weary soul as springtime & in the rafters above there are long swathes, bolts of handwoven cloth of burgundy colors & sky blue and peace doves everywhere on high and an air of deep serenity-mixed with a light-filled gravity of deep love - and chanting of many kinds echoing through the high stone walls - and small families - 3 generations in each of the groups on their knees - The grandfather holding down the long complex calls - women embroidering the short ones on top of his - a young fathers eyes closed, absolutely beatific - his forehead pulsing light as if receiving messenges from distant Pleidien ancestors, or looking toward the Makers ,as if all they ever wanted is here - the youngest child of each group on their knees feeding and blowing into the incense burner just right so as to get the max out of it - The place is imbibed with a vibe I can only describe as Holy Cozy - Like you just want to go lie down & curl up by the wall and wake up here in the middle of the night to see the flowers in the blossoming candlelight & hear the prayers feeding the ancestors and children and the Moon now rising because, I forgot to leave.
In the morning the men in this cold foggy town are all wearing their gorgeously wild haired shiny black sheep wool tunics that go to their knees - with white white shirts - absolutely no photos allowed in this town - the woman in their subtle purples, lavenders & lime greens extravagantly embroidered flowering huipils - and today the men wear the rainbow-fringed ribbon hats of the Mayor Domos of Justice - all shuffle gently by each other leaving the church humbly touching each others forehead & top of the head.
As I'm standing by the door now they shake my hand in that gentle indian way as they leave chuckling , as if I am part of the reception to the Sun - and suddenly I realize putting two and two together from stories I`ve heard on the wind walking along these backlands roads & in the bigger town - that I have stumbled into one of the strongholds of the people who are called sapat thees tas - their sapato/shoes are made of woven rope.
These are the poet culture, the corn dancing, forest and land defending people. These are some of the people that the earth keeps around because of their beauty - and I was just touched by their strength, which is their gentleness , and their power which is their acceptance of the messages of their dead - these are people of earths ephemeral eternity , and as all gets plowed under now and eventually in the long-long run grows anew, it will sprout from these spirit roots , these sweet-smokey dreams surfacing at last into the waking Sun - and the kind touch of the strong Father, the enduring strength of the umbilical Earth mothers, looking toward the Makers.
They wander off spryly quietly smiling with a 3 horned brass-band which has now joined them ,their youth lighting firecrackers & still blowing Copal everywhere . As I look down- they are each wearing these bags I came to find the Makers of- a really fresh ritual one.- Suddenly I get it, why the Chigra or NuTi cactus fiber bag carries so much weight, why its so light, why it's nearly invisible, why it lasts for generations-` It is the bag of Autonomy - made by backlands peoples who don´t need the modern world at all to survive. You don't even need metal to make one . It''s made only by the hands of the Maker.
con cariño- all our relations - CaW