creative ramblings & reverie

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Deer Dance

     At dawn when light releases her a pueblo child crosses the waiting circle of the dance plaza, trailing a little bough of pine.
     The slight print of her beaded deerskin boots erases behind her as she goes.  The pine brushes away all trace of her passage across the frozen winter ground.  Pure Zen.  I laugh, touching Joe’s flannel sleeve to show him.

     With her, the world is back.  Nearly done with its precipitation out of night.  Edges solidify.  Shapes form.  Distinctions can be made again.  Earth.  Sky.  Pueblo.  The calm solidity of wall that holds the wind off us.  Straw in its surface.  Good substantial adobe.  The watchers on the roofs, in doorways, all around, wrapped in their striped woolen blankets.  Watching for the dancers.  As still as the surrounding land.  Between dwellings around the edges of the plaza, patches of last week’s snow.  The early morning sky perfectly clear, beginning to be blue again.  Then the unlooked-for movement, gift of chance or grace.  Just where the dancers are to come, the solemn child in deerskin boots and neon pink ski parka, making unerringly for her mother. 
     It is familiar.  When you meditate each day at dawn, and after sit letting the day return, you get accustomed to the progression.  Color is the last to come back out of the darkness, after night.  First a gradual distinction between masses.  Then shapes, accompanied by dark and light relative to one another.  Size.  Movement.  And only finally the greens and reds and blues and old adobe browns and subtle gradiations.  The details that make personal.  The world precipitated out of nothingness.

     And with sunrise the dancers come.  Down from the hills, their animal nature on them.  Enter the plaza through a quiet opening between two of the flat-roofed dwellings on the far side and come across the circle toward us.  Heads uplifted gravely under the horns and feathers and fittings of evergreen.  A crowd of musicians following beside them once they’re in the clearing.  The profound stillness startled awake with low-voiced drums and gourd rattles, the whisperings of feet to earth.

     Out of night, the world.
     Out of nothingness, the dancers.

     (excerpt from Reading the Stones)

No comments:

Post a Comment