Thursday, June 16, 2005

In Honor of Larry McDuff

These beautifully insightful and inspiring words were graciously forwarded by Tom Meyer

Fire in the Web

There is a story that is written on and in the earth.
There are tracks of continents and rivers, of winds and beetles.
This story cannot be read from beginning to end, it is not written that way.
For the tracks weave a web, ......endlessly woven.
Each path in the web is at once chapter and verse and phrase.
In each of our stories is the story of all of us.

Find a patch of ground.
You will see crystal grains, born of the fire of creation,
ashes of stars congealed to the flesh of the earth.
You will see the dust of trees and grass,
shards of living pottery fired in the kiln of the sun.
Perhaps you will find the tracks of a beetle, a mouse,
where one fed, the other hunted.
And standing there, you will leave your track.
And later, if another comes, they would be able to see
that star and earth,
sun and grass and tree,
beetle and mouse, and you
were here at different times, standing in the hand of the creator.
And though they are no longer right here,
their tracks are a strand in the web.
At the far end of that strand their being still moves.
Their tracks lie together like a web endlessly woven,
and yours and mine are no greater or less than the beetle or the mouse
All are held together in a universe as one piece.

We make our journey in the company of others.
The deer, the rabbit, the bison, and the quail walk before us,
and the lion, the eagle, the wolf, the vulture and the hyena walk behind us.
All our paths lie together in the hand of the creator
and none is wider than any other or favored above any other.
The worm that creeps beneath your foot
is making its journey across the hand of the creator as surely as you are.
Remember that your tracks are but one strand in a web
woven endlessly in the hand of the creator.
They are tied to those of the mouse in the field,
the eagle on the mountain,
the crab in its hold,
the lizard beneath its rock.
The leaf that falls to the ground a hundred miles away touches your life.
The impress of your foot in the soil is felt through a thousand generations.

Close your eyes and imagine.
Imagine a grassy meadow.
The wind is stirring the grass, rippling it into waves like the sea.
Its important to realize that this isn’t grass.
This is deer and bison and sheep and cicadas and moles and rabbits.
Reach down and grab a handful.
Go least mentally.
Have you got some?
That’s a mouse.
And the mouse, the ox, the gazelle, the goat, and the beetle
all burn with the fire of grass.
Grass is their father and their mother
and their young are grass.

One thing: grass and grasshopper.
One thing: grasshopper and sparrow.
One thing: sparrow and fox.
One thing: fox and vulture.
One thing..................and its name is fire,
burning today as a stalk in the field,
tomorrow as a rabbit in its burrow,
the next day as a young girl on the edge of the meadow.
The vulture is fox;
the fox, grasshopper;
the grasshopper, rabbit;
the rabbit, girl;
the girl, grass.
All together, we’re the life of this place,
indistinguishable from one another,
intermingling in the flow of fire,
and the fire is the creator.

To each of us is given its moment in the blaze,
it's spark to be surrendered to another when it is sent,
so that the blaze may go on.
None may deny its spark to the general blaze and live forever
........not any at all.
Each........each!...... is sent to another someday.
You, and I too, are sent, we are on our way.
To the wolf or the cougar or the vulture or the grasses I am sent.
I am sent and I thank you all,
........grasses in all your forms in all your forms
.....sparrows and rabbits and mosquitoes
and butterflies and salmon and rattlesnakes.
I thank you all for sharing yourselves with me for this time.
I am bringing it all back,
every last atom, paid in full
..........and I appreciate the loan.

Our death will be the life of another
.....I swear that to you.
And, if another comes and watches, they will find us,
because we'll be standing again in these grasses.
And, they’ll see us looking through the eyes of the fox,
taking the air with the eagle,
running in the track of the deer;
a fire burning in the web.

Hetch etu aloh
Mitakuye Oyasin

…………Medicine Wolf

With thanks to Daniel Quinn for the loan of some of his words

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