Joy Harjo posts reports here on her trips and other happenings.
I have been giving every day a name. A name reveals itself either early on or after a long tribulation. One day last week after we feel ill from a meal at a local Mexican restaurant and discovered our tongues were black was called: The Black Tongue Stomach Disaster Day.
Sunday morning under a blue sky and strangely warm November weather I walked with three others: E.W., D.W. and J.C.from the hotel in downtown Denver to the Denver Art Museum for a meeting on the formation of the Native Arts and Culture Fund(working title). They helped with my bags as I was heading out directly after the meeting. We had a surprise. Bunky Echohawk and his arty-cultural crew were there, including Sterlin Harjo,Walter Echohawk's family members including an elder of the Palouse, Carrie Schuster. We had quite an opening with introductions which became an inspirational meeting. When Carrie Schuster spoke I heard the voices of the ancestors--we all felt and knew in that moment there was a direct link. I felt as if she were speaking to my soul and she answered all the questions I had been wrestling with the night before in the hotel room as I attempted to write past my failures. Then Walter sang two songs, with his son and acquired sons. One for the Pawnee items that still carried spirit and memory who were housed in the museum, and one for the veterans. That day is now known as the Mvto Carrie Schuster and Her People Who Carry Forth Knowing Day.
Another day last week started out at the Plains Indian Museum in Cody, Wyoming with a generous tour by Emma H____, a Pawnee woman from Oklahoma. She felt like home. Then shopping and walking about the main drag with my guitar player Larry Mitchell, and our guides Robert Stothart and Linda ____. Larry, Robert and I landed at the Irma Hotel and sat at the rosewood bar for lunch that Buffalo Bill had carted in piece by piece and reassembled in the hotel. We talked with a feisty blonde waitress about the ghost who hung out at the bar. Then drove to Powell to Northwest College. On the way we stopped to acknowledge those who were kept during World War II at the Japanese internment camp, Heart Mountain. It was one of the largest camps. A heavy sadness there that the constant winds could not blow away. Then to Northwest College for the Buffalo Feast and our gig. Robert and his colleagues treated us very well. They made a welcoming place. We were welcomed by a most impressive music department and listened to some young, talented singers perform in the jazz vocal class. By the time we played our show we were full of good will. We wound up jamming, singing, and speaking for over an hour and a half. Robert drove us back under a dark new moon sky full of stars. His wife Margot had seen a bear running across a field, a pheasant, and a deer on her way over to the college earlier. That day I call the: Even Though We Have Buffalo Bill to Blame for the Prevailing Indian Stereotype, Indians Break through the Image with Saxophones and Guitars. We Find Goodwill On the Road and Can Still See the Stars in Night Sky and Will Not Forget Those Japanese Interned at Heart Mountain.
And a gift from Andre Cramblit's list this morning:
Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2007 17:05:23 +0000
From: andre cramblit
Subject: Rainbow Trail (musings)
"Walk on a rainbow trail, walk on a trail of song, and all about you
will be beauty. There is a way out of every dark mist, over a rainbow