Feb 5, 2022
The boy arrived at the height of morning, with the last of the snowfall beginning its long return to the great reservoirs of the earth.
He did not announce himself before entering the lodge. He knew this was his home; yet his face showed a final reservation somewhere deep underneath, a hesitancy towards all things; for he had learned that no where was he truly ever “safe” – not in this new world and not on this strange earth that seems familiar but is not fully and is now forever lost.
But if home could ever exist on a frequency…or on a plain….
It was here, wherever it was his father dwelt, where the feeling behind the memory of “fully safe” and “fully loved” were ever even close to being discovered and found.
Me And so he entered the lodge of his father, and his own lodge too, with confidence and hopeful expectation.
The bright yellow of the winter sun streamed through the door frame at the very opening of the door. And in stepped the son, emerging from out of the great bright glorious light with a smile, and that face, and no words this time…. Just a great, huge, goofy face and stare-off contest untill both break face at the same time with belly-laughs and rush to equidistant center for a big hug.
“Hi, dad” the boy said
“Hey, little chief,” the proud father said, grinning. “Welcome home.”
And they embraced one another there, in the light of the lodge.
The boy looked at each stone, turning and investigating all the stones, inspecting the progress of their work.
“Ooo! Look at this one!” the boy exclaimed as he reached for the next rock his eye spotted while simultaneously switching out the former rock in his left hand and replacing it on the towel, and repeating this process every 30 seconds until his eyes fully knew each and every stone.
“Shall we shine them now?” The father asked.
“They will look amazing when we do…” the boy replied while staring at all of them, and at the same time, not really answering the question yet….
“Yes,” the father said, “They sure will.”
“Which one is your favorite?” the boy asked.
The father set down the final dish he was washing, dried his hands on the towel, across his shoulder, set it down and walked towards the stones, all neatly arrayed on a white towel across the kitchen countertop.
The man bent over them all, silently considering each with individual attention, connection, and presence.
“Hmm…” he said
“That’s hard. Tough to pick a favorite.”
The man noticed his own hand reachign for, and now clutching, a rock whose shape and essence looked, well, strangely familiar…..as if he knew a rock just like this one (if rocks could ever said to be “known”), yes one like this one exactly, in shape and form and substance – and lost – and searched for tirelessly ever since.
He looked at the black stone and marveled.
“Whats that?” The boy said
“The is a neat one….” The man said, attempting to answer the boy.
The boy looked, and agreed.
“It looks a stone I had once,” the father said. “Almost EXACTLY like it…” The man picked up the rock and held it up to his face for a closer inspection. “This is…… so…. crazy.…” said the man, chuckling.
“A friend gave me a rock just like this one. I used to carry it with me in my pocket, wherever I went. But, I lost it.”
He was silent.
He did not tell the boy that his grandmother had thrown it away on purpose.
The boy looked at him, starred, and believed him.
And his face softened, and said, “Sorry, Dad” as if to empathize and reach hands someplace to share the load that his heart-eyes spotted but hands could not reach.
“Now, you have that one!” The boy said brightly, pointing to the stone in the man’s hand.
“Yes,” the father marveled, “I sure do.”
And he thumbed the strange stone just as he did the first day, when he received its apparent Twin, one hot summer day while sitting passenger side in Lexus SUV in the middle of a Costco parking lot – somewhere on planet Earth just south of what the people call Prosper.
The boy shouted and laughed
“She has corn on her head!”
“What?” the man said, startled.
“Chaac” the boy said.
He pointed. “Look”
And his finger directed the fathers attention to the great Jaguar Paw of Tik Tal, and to Chaac of the sky and thunder and rain and water, and the boy said “Corn!” again, laughing.
The fire from the laughter lit to the belly of the father and he looked on and saw that the Mother was there beaming, and humming her song, as the Father above gunts back in good agreement.
“I know how to use it” the boy said sharply, looking anxiously at the knife.
“Yes – and there is a new cut I need to teach you, little chief,” the father replied.
He took the boy’s orange and placed it on the plate before them.
“See the hold mark, here?” The main pointed to the bottom of the orange. “Imagine: a pencil, stuck from here and running allllllll the way through the orange….”
And he lifted the orange, with this imaginary pencil spicket, right before the boys eyes. And the boy believed, and saw.
“Ohhhhhh…” the boy said.
The father laid the fruit on its side, the imaginary pencil stabbing through the orange and now running longways across the horizon. He placed his left hand carefully on the side of he soft, cold fruit sphere. And he held it down, intentionally and carefully with his fingers, each one safely out of reach from a healthy, safe cut from the knife.
“See how each one is tucked and hidden, here…”
The man made eye contact with the boy, and motioned with his own eyes down towards the orange. “See where I placed them? And how?”
“Yes,” the boy replied.
“Now: Just cut like I showed you. A simple, safe cut. But, there’s one trick.”
The man grew serious, and looked at the orange.
“Choose your cut with your eyes, first.”
You must see what you cannot see….The words of the Frenchman Painter came back to him, floating like whisps.
He turned his head slightly left, nodding at the hidden and the tucked.
“And mind the fingers.”
He stared at the orange, and lifted the knife.
“And find that nice, safe cut.”
And he sliced the heel of the fruit.
“Ahhhhh…” the boy said.
The father grinned. “Now you try.”
What was the sign
for you this morning?
Was it not THE sign?
The sign of the Buffallo
and the return of the tooth
When ordering your self
under the pile,
there it lay.
And where now?
“Upon my breast
and around my neck
and between the two places
Where I was
raised and stretched
now see my scars
now see my arms
now see my legs
I carry the Heart within Me,
the Great Head of the Buffalo.
He took him downtown, to the old shops and antiques store he knew the kid would love.
And did he ever.
“I brought you here because I knew you;d love it, but also because there is something I want to buy for you in here, something I think that you’ll really, really like.”
The boy was excited.
He nodded quickly as the father reminded him of the rules before opening the door.
“Alright,” the father grinned. “Let’s go.”
And the father turned the knob and opened the door to the ancient, magical shop in the heart of our old downtown square.
“I really wanna get a bayonet one day,” the boy said as theiy walked towards the car. “Those were SO cool.”
“Yes,” the father replied in agreement, “Bayonets are very cool.” He glanced dawn at the bag of loot held in the boy’s right hand.
“So which one is your favorite?”
The father hoped they boy would have chosen “the buffalo nickel”
The boy did not.
He chose the Liberty quarter.
“I love the symbol on the front,” the boy said.
And Standing Liberty truly shined.
And the Father smiled proudly on his son.
“I love your mind so much,” he said.
The boy smiled, grew soft, and tucked into the father’s chest ever closer.
On Earth as it is in Heaven.
And In the back seat, chauffeured by the very ones who took us from our home, the boy rested his head upon his father’s shoulder.
“I’d tired, Dad” the boy said.
“Me too, love,” the father replied.
And he softly began to sing:
far over the Misty Mountains cold
to dungeons deep and caverns old
The boy settled his head deep into the chest of his father, his forehead pressing into the very place of the sacred sign of the buffallo. And though the tooth had not yet been strung and was yet to be hanging, the boy heard it, and knew, and remembered.
Just above the rise of the tire sounds, the Father alone could hear his tears.
The father scratched the boy’s back as he sang
we must away, e’re break of day,
to find our long forgotten gold
The boy sighed as the fathers fingers swept gently across his back and scratched across the surface, in a slow, rhythmic dance across the back of his skin and filling each musical expression with felt somatic meaning, the song and the words sung over him with a touch and a soothe and a rite that is sacred, one that his cells has received since birth and known by only these hands, these, since before the dawn of the child’s own cognitive awareness; these, the ones he reached and grabbed for when hearing my Voice.
The Father ceased his singing.
And the ravens were silent.
[Art: Beverly Doolittle, “Season of the Eagle”]