Sunday, 26 September 2010

Havasupai Medicine Song

The land we were given
is right here,
right here.
Red rock
streaked with brown
shooting up high
all around our home.
Red rock
shooting up high
right here.
A spring will always be there
down at its foot.
From way back
it is ours.
Right down
the center of our land
a line moves,
bright blue-green.
This is what I'm thinking.
At the edge of the water
cattails appear,
bright blue-green,
all around the water.
This is what I'm thinking.
At the edge of the water
foam is forming,
swirling, swirling.
At the edge of the water
silt is being laid down
in ripples.
This is what I'm thinking.
Water skaters walk,
gliding, gliding.
This is what I'm thinking.
Water grasses growing,
bright blue-green
under the water,
waving, waving.
This is what I'm thinking:
Under the water
tiny pebbles.
Flowing over them
the water we drink.
The water is gliding toward the north,
into the distance, beyond our sight.
That is what I'm thinking.
We have arrived here.
An illness.
I sit down,
I sing myself a song.
This is what I'm thinking:
A medicine spirit,
a healer,
I am the same.
An illness.
I sit down.
I sing myself a song.
The things I have named
I leave behind.
This is what I'm thinking.
We arrive here.
We are leaving the canyon.
Out on the rim
horses that are mine.
They roam there
at the junipers,
where the junipers are straight,
and low.
They are right there,
horses that are mine
are gathered there.
This is what I'm thinking.
Here we arrive, then
we swing back down,
moving back down the rocks,
white rocks streaked with brown.
Down at the foot
a spring will always be there,
a spring that heals,
it is right there.
My horses drink the water
that is there.
White rock streaked with brown
shooting up high
is right there.
There is my horse's trail,
zigzagging right down the center,
the color of dust.
It leads to
the source.
It is right here.
That is what I'm thinking.
And now we arrive
down in the canyon,
red rocks,
down in the canyon,
they are right here,
down in the canyon,
red rocks, low down,
they are right here.
Here I walk,
I go alone.
This is what I'm thinking.
Red rocks, streaked with brown,
shooting up high.
It is right here,
down at the foot,
red rocks, boulders
streaked with brown.
They are right here.
My illness is absorbed,
right here.
I will this to be.
I will this to be.

Native American Songs and Poems
Edited by Brian Swann
(Dover: New York, 1996)

Photo: Bruce Liron

Saturday, 25 September 2010

games / hymn 11

for: Craig, William, Hermione, Martha, Joss - thank you...

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Monday, 20 September 2010

Sunday, 19 September 2010

four hours in my lai...

GAMES by James Saunders (1973)
4 days in rehearsal...

Some thoughts before our 2pm - 10pm session...

Games is about freedom, responsibility and choice, treated not as theoretical concepts but as aspects of an actual event which takes place during rehearsals and during each performance. The play is about the fact of it being put on; but this fact concerns not only the actors who have chosen to do it, but the audience – which is both an audience and a collection of individuals – who choose to accept or reject it, to let it proceed smoothly or to interrupt it or to wreck it.

'When it comes to warfare, mankind has always been in danger of considering the position hopeful. "Silent enim leges inter arma", was Cicero's chilling assessment a hundred years before Christ: Laws are silent in time of war.'

'In warfare, it is a mistake to think that morality stands still. Thinking about the ethics of war shifts frequently to accommodate technological change. At the beginning of World War I, submarine warfare was considered cowardly and inhuman. At the start of World War II, both sides agreed not to bomb civilians. In both cases the sphere of the permissible widened to accommodate the realities of the conflict. After Vietnam, some attempt was made to incorporate the wholesale slaughter of civilians within a more agreeable perspective.'

'Wars are not fought by jurists - they are fought by boys. The average age of the infantryman in Vietnam was 20. Most were away from home for the first time. They were adrift in a lethal environment experiencing horrors that those who were not there can hardly imagine. Was it realistic to expect these combat troops to make moral choices?'

'Harry Stanley refused a direct order to kill women and children huddled together in a crater. "We had orders, but the orders we had was that we were going into an enemy village and that they was well armed. I didn't find that when I got there. And ordering me to shoot down innocent people, that's not an order - that's craziness to me, you know. And so I don't feel I have to obey that." '

'Meanwhile, every night on television, the world watched the richest and most powerful nation on earth turn the most advanced weapons in history on an enemy which, with the important exception of bicycles, had hardly a single wheeled or tracked vehicle in the whole of South Vietnam. This was not what the people of America had come to expect from a war.'

Quotations from:
Four Days in My Lai: a war crime and its aftermath
by Michael Bilton and Kevin Sim
(Viking/Penguin: London, 1992)

Photo: Ronald Haeberle - 16 March 1968

Saturday, 18 September 2010

authenticity: sipapu: the earth diver


Northwestern University Library
Edward S. Curtis's 'The North American Indian'