A Philosophy of Radical Aliveness

A Philosophy of Radical Aliveness

"Yesterday is already a dream, and tomorrow is only a vision; but today well lived, makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope."

John Kerestes


Sunday, October 28, 2007

2001 New Mexico

We attended a corn dance in the Taos Pueblo -- which we weren't allowed to photograph. For perhaps an hour you can see the men of the Pueblo on the rooftops, looking down on the visitors. They are calling to each other, "Ho!," "HO!" across Red Willow Creek. The men of Hiaauma, the North House calling to the men on top of Hiaukkwima, the South House: "Ho!" Then all the men disappear, as if in a vision, they reappear walking across the courtyard, one drummer and perhaps a dozen singers. All wear long sleeved shirts which are not tucked in at the waist. They have blanket shawls across their shoulders, and are wearing finely beaded moccasins; and although they wear jeans, they also have what looks like a short skirt around their waists. They form up next to the San Geronimo Chapel gate, and begin to play and sing.

Two long lines of 50-60 women appear. The drum beats, then men wail a song, and the women sway back and forth -- alternatively lifting a white moccasin on the left, then on the right. All the dances wear the same distinctive moccasins: soft, white buckskin that go up to the knee and have four pleats just above the ankle. Down the middle of their backs is a wide ribbon. all the women wear turquoise jewelry, but many are recognizably for other trips, predominantly Navajo and Hopi. The ribbons are often adorned with silver or turquoise pins, and there are many bracelets and necklaces: squash blossoms, beads and silver chains. The dresses themselves vary from patterns resembling Indian pottery, to lace, to satin, to flowered patterns. In all colors and textures, the dresses collectively have the effect of a rainbow as they sway in two lines, moving in a synchronized fashion.

We found a remote campsite up a gravel road 40 miles. It actually rattled our trailer's refrigerator loose. But when we camped we were on the edge of a grassy valley populated by three, large bull buffalo. We were warned to stay clear of them, with an account of their killing a horse the previous summer in the same campground. It was interesting to see them gracefully clear a fense. Unlike a horse that would take a run at it, the buffalo walked right up to it, stood on their hind legs and with a graceful springing motion, hopped over. In the evening we saw a black bear come down to the stream in the middle of the valley. When he heard be saying, "Bear! Bear!" He took off in the other direction. They can sure run!