I got an email this morning from my dear friend (we call each other sister) Juanita Small Salmon, in Montana. (That's one of her photos on my blog header. For those of you who know the area, like Christine at Quiet Paths, the photo is taken right beside the Ninepipes Lodge, near Ronan). Anyway, Juanita mentioned that she and her husband, Stephen, who is a traditional dancer, are going to a small local pow wow this weekend at Charlo. Every year around this time, I get a hankering to be back on the 'Pow Wow Trail' as it's often called. I spent many years traveling all over the west with good friends, my relatives-by-adoption from the Blackfoot First Nation, and my ex, who is a Cree traditional dancer. There's nothing quite like sitting outdoors in your lawn chair, in the heat and dust of Fort Belknap (bring an umbrella for the sun!) or blanketed up against the chilly Saskatchewan summer nights (you can see your breath!), listening to the drummers and singers, and watching the dancers circling around. Or getting up to dance in an Inter-tribal with everybody - dancers and spectators alike. It's a way of life I felt very at home in, camping on the ground in a tent, and later in a camperized van (with a fold down bed - a big improvement over those crummy old foamies on the lumpy ground!) I loved seeing who got a new outfit, who came from the farthest away with a dance style I hadn't seen before. There were always old friends to see; new ones to meet. I know there are some pow wows around where I live now, but I'm not sure if they are open to the general public, and even if they are, I don't have a diehard bunch of pow wow addicts here to go with - the kind who like to go for Grand Entry on Friday and stay till the last drumbeat in the wee small hours of Sunday morning...so, Juanita, have a turn around the arbor for me, my girl, and I'll be there in spirit!
Photos enlarge: 1-Arbor at Pipestone, Manitoba (that's my ex in the foreground, dancing) 2-Arbor ar Pipestone, Manitoba 3-Grand entry at Keremeos (I think) B.C. 4-my ex in his eagle bustle
The Cloud Messenger (Meghadūta) is a lyric poem by the respected Indian poet, Kālidāsa. The poem centers around a yaksa in exile. Longing for his beloved, waiting for him on a Himalayan mountain, he asks a cloud to take a message to her. The sights he tells the cloud it will see on its way make up most of the poem.
The idea of recording observations appeals to me. I thought The Cloud Messenger was the perfect title for a blog about the journey that we all make as we move through our days.
I'm a baby boomer who grew up dancing in the streets of Detroit during the classic Motown years, lived beside the Rocky Mountains for many years, now retired and living (and writing full time) in S. Ontario. I have one blog for rock 'n' roll oldies, and one for nature, poetry and life along the Lake.