01 August 2009

Spiraling home: The Canyon, Ceremonies & Migration


" Myself, I can't account for the inexpressible fascination that the Hopi sipapu holds for me. Whenever things go out of focus, money runs short and temper rises like a barometer, I always take a squint at Grand Canyon as a down payment on another lease of equanimity.
J.B. Priestly, a noted Englishman, recommends it to us even more extravagantly. " If I were an American," he advises, " I should make my remembrance of it the final test of men,art, and policies. I should ask myself: is it good enough to exist in the same country as the Canon? How would I feel about this man, this kind of art, these political measures, if I were near that Rim? Every member or officer of the Federal Government ought to remind himself, with triumphant pride, that hie is on the staff of the Grand Canon."
The Hopi, I think, would pass this test. Their art, social science and government, the kiva ceremonialism which includes their cosmology and cosmogenesis, their very lives are patterned on it. Some of us fall a little short. And there are other noted Englishmen who do not seem aware of its existence."
from MASKED GODS, Frank Waters pg.426




I woke up thinking of chile.I am cooking beans so the house can smell like Mexico. Red chile, cumin, garlic, onions and corn tortillas. Maybe it's a little late or too early to be craving a mexican breakfast before going to yoga class but I can't help it. The sky is so blue and later the clouds will come and dance cross the plateau, the mesas and the majestic mountain that is the San Francisco Peaks and most likely it will rain again today making the air feel soft and pregnant inspiring naps and reading.

I remember wind on the slopes as I once climbed long ago with my brother and father as we walked up Humphreys and looked far to north the canyon. Ah, the canyon...so many images and memories come to mind in a swirl of impressions. Time is a river running through the seasons of my life.

Info about HOPI:
I am amazed what one can learn from the giant library of the internet; While looking for images I followed these interesting notes. I have heard some people discredit FRANK WATERS, BOOK OF THE HOPI. My dad leant me his book MASKED GODS he got back in the 50's. Shirley Taylor Robinson, my Mormon mentor, archeologist and teacher at the Juarez Academy in Chihuahua considers it one of the most important books. Frank Waters is the kind of man who is rare in his observation,sensitivity and story teller. I treasure these books for the window into the past that I hope has a key for the future. There is bad news everywhere, but when I learn about these connections I feel hope. I feel rooted into the earth and know these beliefs have served humanity for thousands of years. I see the clouds form over the San Francisco mountains and I see something bigger than I can imagine. I appreciate being able to feel and see these connections; to our mountain, the Canyon and the long road home to Paquime where the same winds blow in the swirl of time.

love that I am learning more about the cultural connections to this landscape and people I love and it's with this interest I hope you will enjoy the discovery as well. From a variety of 'sources' on the web here's more links:
PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK LITERATURE OF THE HOPI
Hopi notes







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