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White Cloud Mountains.
The dream begins again.In the circle of my people the Gods are summoned. Invocation for healing, for ourselves, each other and the Earth.The dream is lucid, interactive, creative.


Lightning followed by ominous rumbling. In the darkness we crawl over downed trees seeking the shelter of the forest canopy.

Clouds scud across the new day sky, thinning, opening to blue.

The yellow bow arcs with increased tension. Breath held, I wait to shoot the first arrow.
The scout, half man, half spirit being runs the trails feeding the clan with fish and squirrel that fall before him.

I nest beneath the clustered arms of pine, fir and spruce, tucked between rock and water I make a home.
Sage smoke atop my rocky throne. 

This is the pause; the suspended moment as I rest, awaiting direction, further clarity.
I thank the drum and the journey.

The fire burns brightly at the home hearth and three buckskin clad friends are making dinner. They smile, also brightly and I am warmed by them.

The talking stick passes from hand to hand as everyone expresses themselves, a plan takes shape, crystallizing slowly like the formation of a snowflake, each new branch joining, rearranging the whole to make something wondrous and unique. The faces in the firelight reflect love and sincerity, it is they who are my teachers.
The wholeness is evident all around me.




Fatty soup broth with meat, berries and fish sustain us.


The hunters return with well appreciated meat: squirrels, porcupine, fish. The elk are sighted and we wait with anxious anticipation for the big hunt to begin. In the evening darkness the cow elk call at the fringe of our camp.

Will they will offer their bodies?



Alone in camp, the sky, pale gray, air thick and warm portending changing weather.
I feel like I am writing a script for my life. I can make anything I choose happen, introduce any character I wish and create whatever relationship I desire.
The story is never dull, it is as rich and vibrant as the Earth itself.
Like a butterfly emerging from it's chrysalis wings damp and fragile I am transformed with each new moment wondering who I will become next?



The yellow bow shoots fast and sweet. I break an arrow and get caught
up in knapping new points.




The lake with an island. Two idyllic days catching fish, swimming the crisp icy water and reveling in sunshine.
How good it feels to trust my people, to feel safe to be myself with all my flaws and short-comings.

The fish jump, rippling the still surface of the lake, they want grasshoppers and are not fooled by the abalone lure.


I have forgotten how many days we have been out here, the blending of time has begun and that lightness of being has over-ridden that denser, heavier me.



A walk with a girlfriend amongst the blue rock, perched on the edge of a giddy chasm we soak up the sun.

Chasing grasshoppers for fish bait, stalk and pounce. Grass stalk strung with headless, kicking insects, the smell of guts on my fingers.



The sun awoke me as it spilled over my rock back at main camp and filtered down through the needles, warming my nest.
Last night, exhausted, barely able to rise and stumble to bed, willing my body to move.
I feel changes happening deep within me, healing, re-structuring at a cellular level.
Stripped bare to the basics, the forest and the sky are my world when it is all I see. 
Or the dark warm fur of the buffalo robe. Or now, the fire and the simmering pot before me, sun beating down on a blank, white page.





I rub the scent of sage on my dry, sun baked skin.
Slowly, slowly I am awakening to the place of action as though from a Winter of hibernation. 
I have been waiting, letting the Earth fill me with her power, 
heal me of the world from which I came.

Now there is Grace,
I am ready to hunt.

With the twig figure I assemble the humble asking for life. The prayer forms first in my empty gut, then my heart until finally it spills from my lips, pouring out beneath the waxing crescent moon.The time is soon.



Elusive elk keep the hunters up late moving slowly back to camp on the dark trails.
Bull moose, nonchalant with superiority shares the morning meadow he doesn't give a damn.


The weather holds. Warm, bright days but the nights have turned frosty. 
Soon the inevitable changing of the season will render the green to brown, the plump to withered, the humming of the insect air to silence.


I pick up a piece of golden jasper and turn it with my fingers, studying the ancient flake scars dealt by long forgotten hands. 
Who were you? 
What were you thinking? 
How long did you live and love here on this land?


I scramble up a side canyon, passing the fresh soft scat of a bear still smelling sweet like the berries of which it consists.

Here the lithic mine, flakes and dimpled hammer stones discarded.
Gnarled rock pinnacles, arches and gnawed out secret hiding holes amidst the rocky shale on the steep slopes.


I startle a band of 8 or 10 bighorn sheep. They scatter rocks as they fly to the craggy hilltop where they stand watching.
Minutes only pass and I stumble upon the weathered skull and horns of the ram that sought this sheltered nook in which to die.
Here I stoop and place the twig figure, my offering to the spirit of the deer that inhabit these wild canyons.






I say my prayer.
"Deer People I thank you. I would that your flesh be my own. Is there one amongst you willing to sacrifice your life, your body?
I ask with humility, ready to accept your answer, whatever it may be."


Heavy legs bring my dark haired companion and I to camp beside a lively stream.
I sleep cold, close to a well used deer trail, moccasins on, bow and arrows within grasp.


The moon sets and as the sky brightens in the East I rise and walk with soft, slow footsteps, scanning the slopes for shapes that move.

Why?
Why do I do this?
I am not a hunter and yet I hunt. Cold and tired before the rising of an Autumn sun, I carry the stick I call bow that has never taken the life of a deer.

I do not want to kill the deer, I want to BE the deer,  but this form that is my body has its own demands. It is the same force that reaches for the rifle when I recognize my lack of skill and patience and shatters the peace of the forest, robbing another of its existence.




But for now I am content to watch the glow of sunrise touch the Western hills with hues of red and orange and gold.
I settle at the corner of a meadow, bow at my side knowing this Earth that I love would destroy me with utter certainty were I left entirely to my own devices to feed my hungry belly.
Not only do I lack the knowledge of my ancestors but we are challenged by the dwindling of once abundant food resources and the regulations designed to protect them.
Add to this the result of a species veered from the path of natural selection through modern medical intervention and we are faced with a vision of humanity, weakened and in excess, competing for limited resources.

At no other time have we been more in need of Grace.




I meet the man from the mine. He has lived here all his life. his face is tanned dark and creased with smiling lines. Is he the mad man we have heard about, raised playing in the toxic tailings?
I don't think so, I think he is beautiful.



My buffalo robe rolls into the creek just as I reach camp, I pull it out quickly.


The sky has filled with clouds, I sneak into my den, not ready to tell stories. I want to digest my alone time.

The mosquitoes whine loudly about my head yet I am content.

I am the dream weaver.






Rain.

It comes down gently, hesitantly, testing the cover of my den. I feel a slight mist and know that a heavy rain would soak me.



We are spared.




Hazy air laced with smoke as we prepare for our journey to the high lakes.
Energy in camp is shifting forward, but these people are bonded and
full of love.

I feel the inevitable shift within myself that takes me from the
present and I reel my thoughts back by staring at an ant crawling across the ground.
The wind moves the grass, I am here.



My moccasins need more mending so I lace the brogues over them and
hope they will last the rest of the trip.




Home of the Goddess. Massive circle of towering cliffs embodying all of her raw power.
Jagged edges replaced suddenly by soft domes all laced with summer snow fields feeding myriad lakes that reflect the turquoise sky.




Family of mountain goats wander between ridges, they watch us with serene expressions.

Wind changes and the dark bank of clouds brings tentative drops that send us scurrying into action; cover the buffalo robes, gather a stack of firewood, move and build a new fire pit. We work smoothly and efficiently.



Moon growing. Sweet sleep. We bundle together laughing then suddenly
saddened by the changes coming soon, too soon.

How have I changed?
The Earth has changed me, molded me. First with gentleness......Rest,
sleep, eat, come here to me, this is my rhythm , breathe, hear my heart beat.
Then with firmness.....Act, move, plan.


Thank you sister.


Re-affirmation of the magic, the faith, the love.
It's all here, it has all been woven in and out of these last few weeks, together with the corresponding harsh reality, doubt and fear.
The dreams take shape, but like the clouds they form and disperse leaving their essence engraved somewhere deep within my being.


The Stone Age meets the Iron Age in a forest glade.
Metal on metal, music spills with rhythmic spontaneity, time lapse fused in precious moments of joyous camaraderie.


Let us create the world in which we choose to live.
Let our collective desires expand to such immense proportions that it
consumes all negativity in it's path, washing clean the results of
past destruction.


The dream is fading.

The last of my unpacked gear lies strewn around me.. Our presence here gradually erased save a short piece of buckskin thong, a shard of broken pottery, a flake of foreign stone.
The tell-tale pit of ash and charcoal crushed and dispersed. Flattened grass and softly worn trails remain but these too will soon be scarcely more than a quick breath in the memory of the Earth.


In the circle of my people the Gods are summoned.
A tone, first richly resonating, lifts and layers in a song of thanks.


The film.........


                                                                          










































1 comment:

  1. These photographs are amazing, and the words helped me feel, like the same deep rooted need in my soul isnt something i should keep trying to suppress forever, but rather let myself become whole.

    ReplyDelete