It hasn’t been the best few weeks for me. I’ve felt stuck in a hole where the walls crumbled and fell as i tried to climb out. I almost stopped bothering to clutch at another clump of soil, because it felt pointless. As you know by my last post we took a trip to Indian Head mountain — the most beautiful mountain in New England. We visited a stored before we started on the journey home. I filtered through the cheap trinkets, the badly printed “been there — done that” t-shirts and the air reeked of stale incense from years of neglect. The store was filled with frivolous moose clutter clumps and offensive smelling scented candles from the underground version of Yankee candle. As i turned a corner from the copper folded post cards, on an old wooden rack was a pipe. In the midst of this shop of tourist horrors was a little native-made section of tribal treasures. And all i could see was this blue glass beaded pipe hung in buckskin and leather. I held it in my hands, i ran my fingers over the horse hair and duck feathers. It was a lot of money, and i don’t like to spend money when there are so many practical things that need to be taken care of. Reluctantly i hung the pipe back and carried on. I looked at the answer feathers, leather braid wraps, real silver jewellery and medicine wheels; but i kept going back to the pipe. It was as if this pipe had something to tell me, a secret to whisper to me that only we could hear. It was stirring a willingness in me. To be strong. To be silent. To keep going. To keep watching the sunrise and the moon sleep. To keep writing. To keep watching for those twin black birds that follow me from place to place.
On the way home a dark fog seemed to clear and i could finally see the stars again. I hung my pipe by my bedside that night, next to my sand tile from the Navajo tribe in Nevada, and it was the first deep slumber i’ve had in weeks without ill feeling. Without getting up to look for Basil or waking every few minutes to be sure it was true that he was gone. Without wishing i’d hear my grandfather laughing in the corner. I just slept. And my soul slept. There was no loss and no guilt, that could wake me. This pipe is precious to me already. Like an old friend returned. It awoke the old raven in me who was losing its mind to memories and bad thoughts. The raven was desperate to fly again, and would rip open its cage if i didn’t let it out.
I don’t have to grasp for soil when i have wings.