It’s true – in a round-a-bout-six-degrees-of-separation kind of way. I am possibly even closer to Paul Simon than I am to my (almost) bestie MacGyver.
Let me explain this miracle, and other miracles.
Yesterday me, my love and my love’s mum went out to the Spirit of the Forest Festival on my beautiful friend Gini’s property. I wore my turquoise cowgirl hat, a sure sign an adventure will come about. The afternoon was filled with drinking chai, planting trees to honour our Tree grandmothers, watching a horse~whisperer, hanging out by the tipi, listening to talks.
Once the sun dropped behind the mountains, everyone gathered into the round building that once was a cattle feeding shed. The shadows were dreamy against the brick-hewn wall.
And the dance began. Led by Prince Mama Kiama, an Unahi tribe chief from the Phillipines, a group of men dressed in loincloths began to dance. They leapt through the air, beating on drums, running like warriors. Women dressed in long skirts sashayed around the edges with arms like gentle eagles.
I want to tell you how that felt, how my heart beat quickened and breath shortened as they danced. That somehow, seeing that Prince and those mostly white boys in loincloths dancing, made a primal owl in me screech into the night. I want to tell you how I had tears in my eyes and a snake uncoiling in my belly, wanting that initiation for every man, for these ceremonies to be a part of every one’s life, for dance and movement and spirit to be the way we celebrate each and every sunset. And mostly, for some inexplicable reason, I want to bring loincloths and long skirts back. They call in me some ancient memory that is deep and instinctual, as though they are how things should be.
my love at night.
The drums kept drumming into that night. The musical instruments came out, and songs were sung. A melting pot of traditions, wisdoms, songs and open hearts. I just kept feeling incredibly blessed to witness it all.
The entirely beautiful Prince Mama.
His Earthmamadrummingloving wife Lisa.
The quietly compelling Craig Six Bears playing a Native American flute.
And then, a man by the name of Trevor Knight joined the stage. And he and Prince Mama sang John Denver songs together, as brothers. Trevor told us that in the 1960’s he played the folk circuit in England, and often played shows with an upstart short dude named Paul Simon, who later went back to America to play with his mate Art Garfunkel. Yep, THE Paul Simon, one of my biggest music idols and on my Top 5 to see live list (along with James Taylor and the five member version of Fleetwood Mac).
So last night, in an old cattle feeding shed, I tucked my djembe under my arm, and I drummed along with a Philipino tribal chief and a dude who had played with Paul Simon. I drummed like there was nothing else to do but echo the heartbeat, nothing to do but herald a miracle.
I danced with that drum like a woman possessed by the earth, the music and the moon~drenched air.
All my life I have been waiting to be this woman.
Country roads, take me home
To the place I belong
West of Proserpine, mountain momma
Take me home, country roads
(Lyrics by John Denver, as sung by Leonie Allan)
“There are two laws we have. To translate them, it means Love and also Peace.”
~ Prince Mama Kiama
I will meet you in the dancing circle,