Eramosa Karst coyotes howling

The feather hat

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Number of posts: 15
Registration date: 05/05/16
Location: Painted Desert

Subject: The feather hatSun May 15, 2016 10:17 pm

The feather hat

For my wife

His mind finds the way
into the world of the ancestors,
carried by the wind
about the splendor
and beauty of the earth.

Yellow Wolf, Kiowa


“Sometimes you look at a thing and only see that it is opaque. And this opacity is its essence, its true nature. That's how I felt with the mask. The man underneath was mere movement, and he had no face, and his name was the name of the mask itself. If I had lifted it, there would have been nothing and nobody to see. "

Kiowa N. Scott Momaday knows how to report that, through the act of unfathomable fate, it has now fallen to me to agree with the man.

On August 12, 1907, in the course of one of my long journeys, an elderly Navajo man who introduced himself to me as a “speaking god” handed me through in a sparse settlement in the north of the Painted Desert, a barren stretch of land south of the Grand Canyon which the Little Colorado river meanders, a rolled-up bundle of soft leather leaves, probably labeled on both sides with a pointed bird's feather with - as I could see - an unknown mixture of Indian colors, not dissimilar to our ink.

The elderly man persistently refused to reveal anything about the author of the various records, since, as he said, he was connected to the world of spirits, about which talking was taboo in the religious tradition of his people. Even the baptismal name of the undoubtedly white author could not be elicited from the withdrawn man who, as he said, was known to all contemporaries during his lifetime only by his peculiar surname "Desperado" and at no time that the old man could remember, would have ever been addressed with any other than this one.

To my greatest regret, while studying, I found the records in partly illegible and completely disordered condition, mostly without any time indications or any chronology, so that it took me long months of arduous work to sort them out and to link them together in a reasonably coherent context.

Although I was not able to restore the chronological sequence of the recorded memories, reflections, fantastic stories, anecdotes and eyewitness accounts to the extent that I wanted myself to be, this result, without wanting to hide my inability behind it, is mainly due to the Quality of the document justified there; The geographic allocation of a loose travelogue caused me the least headache; to a similar extent, the chronological sequence of various experience reports was made easier for me on the basis of incidents that have now been historically proven.

Regardless of the repeated and abrupt change of time, place and events in the middle of the narrative, many events from the past long ago (from the author's point of view) are only revealed through the knowledge of events that sometimes take place much later, which, as is usual in a book, vice versa However, this is no less the case, so that if one tries to take a look at what has been captured as a whole, a cycle of time results that forms a continuously rotating narrative flow with no recognizable beginning and without a binding end any passage turned out to be no more and no less suitable.

I finally chose the figure to be found after I had to admit to myself that a further change, redesign and combination would result in a different form of the whole, but this would not give it a better understanding or a different meaning would result from it, bear in mind that The fact that something that has been brought to leather, despite thorough and repeated attempts to decipher, closes itself off from any conventional and generally applicable approaches of comprehensibility, let alone making intelligibility.

So in the end I may hopefully not have an unfounded wish that my efforts should not have been in vain and that the document in this imperfect form may find favor with the author there, who, following his openly expressed will to call desperado, I am obliged feel.

New York, July 3rd, 1909
W.H. Goofaround

Those who ride through the valley of death are not looking for the source of life.

Far beyond the desert, the ashes of a scorched world smolder, the smoldering rubble of torched bridges dangle over the abyss. The hoofs of his ride are lined with graves and each one has a face, sticks that are poorly woven into crosses protrude from the simple piles of stones, evidence not only of shattered dreams and extinguished hope, but of stolen reality and suffocated life. His equanimity is the bittersweet fruit of a recognized hopelessness, his serenity the silent daughter of impotent anger, his freedom the gained ease of lost sensual burden. His strength lies in the calm of complete exhaustion, leaden tiredness keeps him wide awake, dull indolence sharpens his senses. The last supplies are used up, the water in the fur bottle is running out, he drizzles his tongue drop by drop with the life-sustaining liquid, he will give his thirsty horse the coup de grace before it begins to suffer. The thought of it is the only thing that torments him, he rides calmly, shifted to a distorted image in the shimmering air.

He is looking for the one whose name the valley bears.

It lurks well hidden in every niche in the rock, under every stone, in the cavity of every dead wood. The wildlife in Death Valley is more poisonous and deadly than anywhere else. Little prey, sparsely scattered game only fills the hungry stomachs of the hunters, the glow of the heat is too exhausting for a pursuit, it requires a quickly paralyzing bite or sting to survive the merciless struggle for survival. The scale skin of the rattlesnake is hard as armor, it wears horns on its head like a fire-breathing dragon, its tusks drool longer and larger than those of its sisters in more life-friendly regions, its poison works more thoroughly and faster and can also bring death to people. The lazy crusty lizard collects deadly saliva in its tightly toothed mouth, it comes out of its hiding place in a flash and bites with all its might, the wound in an instant becomes a throbbing bump and the festering mark of the approaching death. Even the black scorpion holds a concentrated load of poisonous juices in its sting, which inflames the swelling, begins to fester and poisons the blood.

The mangy, emaciated coyotes who accompany him on the ridge of the hill are persistent and patient; they flank his ride in sight, but are out of reach for any bullet. The circling vultures save their strength, they only swing briefly into the shimmering air in order to locate the rider below with a greedy eye, then they fly ahead of him and wait in the skeleton of a tree, hidden in the shadow of a rock nose, for his hoofbeat, with fanned wings and open beaks like torn evil spirits. Bleaching bones everywhere testify to the neat work of their crooked beaks. The sun is a piercingly hot match head in the middle of your face, it drinks the sweat before it has penetrated your shirt and dries the glowing skin into a sticky date bowl. Circles dance in front of the inflamed eyes of the doomed man, his panting breath boils with steam from his nostrils, the heart beats laboriously and haltingly in his chest, his blood coagulates into boiling tomato flesh, the bones groan like scale-dry firewood. The sun has stretched its spider web and spun the rider before he was even aware of it.

The Joshua trees stand like menacing guards, trunk and crown wrapped in a thick cloak of thorns. According to the dowser, there is supposed to be an underground lake deep below the bottom of Death Valley, in which even small fish live, it may be, but this knowledge doesn't make dying of thirst on the bone-dry slopes above it any easier. My ride takes me through the valley of death, where familiar dangers lie in wait for me, which know no lies and no malice, the honesty of the struggle for survival licks my festering wounds, the purity of the daily struggle refreshes my tired soul. Nature gives all life a chance, man only gives himself.

An avalanche of skulls rattles down the canyon.

Sure, just a dream face, a ghostly horror picture, but the rolling skulls don't frighten me, I have no fear or concern that they might bury me under them, on the contrary, they are close and familiar to me, that's what really makes me frightened at it. The sea of ​​skulls rattles too close to reality to be able to scare me, because reality no longer scares me, that may be sad, but it's true. One of the skulls rattles in front of Infini's hooves and grins maliciously at me.

"Ey, Desperado, did you come to die? Should be difficult for someone who has long been dead. "

"So much the better," I growl, "then I don't even notice."

Can't say whether a human skeleton really bleached in the sun, I don't turn around. The path behind you is irrelevant, only the one that you have ahead of you counts. Crossing Death Valley in eight days is like riding in hell. Staying in there longer, on the other hand, is suicide. Maybe it's because every broken stone, every crippled cactus, every bleached animal skull calls out to you: You can't get out of here! However, the second time you already know that they are lying and just want to scare you, the third time you don't even listen, the fourth time they only grumble: "You again". Who else? Nobody dares but me.

“Thank you, friends, thank you all. I'll let you know when I remember what for. "

“Who are you talking to?” The hot wind whispers.

"Well, with whom? With you. How do you say - spoken in the wind. "

In the valley of death the spirits of the lost and miserably perished in it push large stones across the ground in order to mark their mortal remains, only such a transparent mind has considerable problems with influencing solids, and if it succeeds in getting the chunk into it To move a millimeter from the place of arduous night dragging, he has accomplished a tremendous achievement. Why the matter takes a long time, and why the stone moves at all, can only be seen by the passerby from the long grinding track that he has left on his infinitely slow journey. One day, finally, the bones of the dead are crushed to dust by the wind, scattered in all directions by scavengers, shattered to powder by the scorching heat and buried under sand dunes, never to be seen again, the poor soul can no longer find its own grave and sadly leaves its stone lying there where he lies right now, until another comes, continues his futile work, pushes on just as fruitlessly and so on, which is why the wandering boulders sometimes cover considerable distances.

There are many other wonders and riddles in Death Valley and nowhere else to be discovered, but I'm always happy when I've made his deep valley behind me alive. However, there were also times when I hung around inside for weeks, when I was more familiar with his dismissive face than that of the merciless world outside, when his karst gave me a feeling of security and his hostility made me feel safe. No desert can be compared with that of Death Valley, any other may fool you and fool you, the Mojave Desert tells you the naked truth. And yet hidden life sleeps in her lap, which was believed to be dead. Every ten years rain clouds peek by and pour whatever water they carry with them into their dust-dry ground. Then the wasteland shines in a colorful splendor of flowers of overwhelming abundance and unreal beauty. That's how long the seeds of the desert flowers lasted and that's how long they survived the drought. How ridiculously disappearing is my stamina.

Circling vulture.

In the desert, death is an everyday presence. Dying does not take place in secret, not in secluded places, not in quiet corners, but in the wide field of the plain, exposed naked and defenseless. The blazing sun becomes a death helper, relentlessly burns the last breath of life from those lying down, who have finally collapsed and are waiting for death. After dragging themselves through the heat for days, towards the waterhole, which with each of their trembling steps moved further into the distance. You never get used to this sight. His mercilessness is too pitiful, too miserable, too cruel to be able to calmly push him aside. However, if you approach one of these pitiful creatures, it gathers its last strength, pulls itself up and runs away, fear flickers in its feverish eyes, and even if it finally falls a few meters further, its gaze begs for mercy and to simply in To be left calm. To be able to carry your last spark of dignity and freedom into the endless expanses of the Milky Way. Once they have started their last journey, the doomed will even spurn the water you try to trickle into their parched mouths. The last threshold has already been crossed, there is no turning back, because there is no more will for it. The agony of their wounds, illnesses or old age ailments has become so overwhelming that nothing can induce them to take it upon themselves again. You die with admirable ease and calm.

A meal for the vultures. Among vultures - I ride my life among vultures, when a day goes by when I haven't seen anyone high above me, the Sierra seems depopulated to me. To be able to fly like a vulture, that would be it, to let me be carried away by the updraft on broad wings, to sail up to unreached heights without the slightest effort, to float and glide unimaginable distances far over the endless desert without getting tired, what did you want wish there? A fat carrion at the right time, maybe, but there is always enough of it. The vultures are already waiting, and they really are, wait. Pot ugly as the dark of the night, the bare heads equipped with beaks that can break the strongest leg bones, the feet armed with claws that could tear the flesh from you, so they crouch silently in the trees, fearful, almost shy, and eye the dead peccary lying lonely and deserted on the bare plain. Not a trace of danger can be seen far and wide, no associated group, no puma, no coyotes, no nothing, but the black vultures are waiting. Whether the dead boar is really dead or could it still be alive a bit? Peccaries are not to be trifled with, they defend their piglets for life and death, even injured clan members do not leave them behind and fearlessly attack the most dangerous hunter. But turkey and black vultures also wait when the scent of less defensive carrion invites them to eat. I have no idea what. Hours can pass before the first one rises with mighty wings and sits at a suitable distance from the lifeless prey, where he pokes around carefully and hesitates for a while before he can force himself to take a hasty bite and get to safety with a rescue leap in the air. But as soon as a piece of meat or sinew dangles in its beak, it begins to rustle in the trees all around, the crowd swings closed from the branches and comes flying straight in to elegantly sink down and gather around the carcass, and immediately the dark ones catch Journeyman with the usual scuffles for the best pieces, so that the feathers only fly and although there is enough for everyone, that's their way of life. The thought of ending up as vulture food has nothing terrifying to me. They gave me enough pleasure with their incomparably sublime art of flying to treat them to this bite, because it wouldn't be enough for a feast anyway. Some people keep a parrot, a tame vulture would be more than enough for me that they can't parrot anything doesn't mean they are less clever.

What kind of clumsy reptile is a human being compared to the vulture? Well, sister toad lizard, flatten yourself like a flounder and pretend to be dead like a skeleton, spray your tears like poison arrows, the world is full of traitors, they betray themselves before they know who they are, and all of that, one more time before they find anything to believe in, and as traitors they die in terrible agony. The black vultures that surround their deathbed will not hesitate for a moment to tear them to pieces and fight each other for the fattest morsels as they walk with measured steps behind the death-coach with calm expressions of mourning. A good day, the harnessed black horses tell each other, the cart is easy to pull and there are plenty of oats.

In the sparse straw grass north of the Salton Sea, what a grandiose name, it is just a salty puddle compared to the large salt lake, however, in any case there is a beautiful white-tailed dog lying in front of me in the grass, I only see her when Infini directly in front of her comes to a standstill. There is not the slightest doubt that the arm is dead as a mouse, but what she died of, I cannot see, there is no visible wound anywhere, there is no blood even on her nostrils, no break has kinked her slender legs, neither is she emaciated her fur still shaggy, outwardly completely intact, she lies there with her eyes wide open. And while I look at them in amazement, the fog tears up over me, which lies milky over the sparse rivers that feed the little sea of ​​salt without being able to fill it with life, a ray of sun falls on the dew-moistened body, makes it shine and his fur glitters, breaks in one of the deep black extinguished eyes and fills the rigid pupil with life light. And then not only does she look at me, the dead doe, who can no longer see, but the sun there and with the light of the sunbeam redirected to me, he who has set it in the sky and who is the light, through to the Life awakened eye he looks into my heart and down to its deepest ground.

That may sound as grandiose as the name of the vain puddle of salt, but that is how the God encounters take place in the desert, where there is no church or anything like that far and wide, whose wooden stone buildings, however, not at all in the rugged landscape would be absent, even completely superfluous, which is simply due to the fact that the whole endless desert is a kind of place of worship. A huge temple with mighty stone pillars and mountain walls from horizon to horizon, the firmament as a vault and the sky as a roof, the sky tent, over which rushing rivers move in cloud form, although rarely, but at least, the sun illuminates and warms the room like a big one Fireplace, the light of the moon shines through an opening and at night the stars sparkle from the ceiling. And because this cathedral, or whatever, is not built by human hands, but by the Creator himself and himself, who should have at least as many names among the Indian peoples as his opponent boasts of the multitude of his, are the columns and walls and clouds and Mountains and stones and rivers and trees and bushes animated by his spirit and living beings through which he likes to speak to his human children, and the animal siblings anyway. To make it understandable to anyone has long been too difficult for me, I would like to see the face of the pastor, to whom I am telling that God looked into my heart through the eye of a dead doe, a dyin or shaman would grin to this and say "well, I would rather not know what he was seeing", but he would not doubt it for a moment. Because he himself has already experienced something similar, not just once, but explain it to someone who does not live in the desert.

Well, the wind is free, it blows where and how, where and where it wants to go, but sometimes that can also be a nuisance.

I have forgotten the images of the stars and lost track of the planets. The sky is closed. A thick cloak of gray ash has arched over the firmament. The sun is pale and pale like a dirty spectacle lens, only sparse light penetrates through the eerie fog. The woods are on fire. Has it been for days, or is it weeks? Arizona is on fire. Meanwhile, the conflagration is eating its way into Mexico inexorably. A tough, fine layer of cold ash covers the earth, the ground, the stones, rocks, mountains, trees and houses, makes your windows blind and penetrates through the cracks and crevices of the doors. The prairie dog and ground squirrel stay in their burrows, the owl has not left its hollowed-out cactus for days, the desert fox sleeps curled up in the rock castles, the coyotes unwillingly shake their fur, with sniffing noses and drooping tails they trace their tracks through the gray sand The racing cuckoo tirelessly cleans its sticky plumage with its busy beak, the motionless rattlesnake waits under its ash-coated stone, even the scorpion has crawled away. Life goes on, they say, but time stands still. Surrender to fate and paralyzed everything waits for the wind to turn.

Infini has turned into a gray horse and I turned into a ghost. A stale, acrid smell of burning has lodged deep in my nostrils, my hair has hardened into stiff strands, a bland bitter taste wets my lips and tongue, a misty veil clouds my pupils between encrusted eyelashes on swollen lids. The worst that can happen to a person is frozen present, the past is done and buried, the future uncertain like the appearance of a coast on the horizon of the endless sea, the here and now becomes an unbearable eternity. That should worry me, at least occupy me, but it doesn't.

Life is a sea of ​​ashes and man is a blind worm, wrapped in scorched time, writhing and twisting through the gloomy gloom. Even abandoned to oblivion, he dives through the valleys of the past and hopes for what is to come, while the white sand of his watch trickles relentlessly through the narrow tube, the lower bell jar fills mercilessly and the upper bell empties with terrifying speed. So his small life span melts away unnoticed, without him being able to insert his hand in between and let the dwindling presence slide through his fingers in order to be able to catch and hold on to at least a single grain of it. And because that's the way it is, every ash cloud, no matter how thick, passes by, passes by and dissolves into nothing, disappears as if it had never existed. Just like the skeleton of the mighty tree in front of me, which a lightning strike fell years ago and burned down to the core, like the squat buildings of burned-down Hogans that line the edge of the road like a memorial, like the small column of covered wagons that are moving along with you fierce pre-tide Navajo raid burst into flames under a rain of incendiary arrows. In the mantle of wandering ashes, everything burnt comes to life for a short time without being alive, like a black-and-white image in a photograph, it is cast in fuzzy gray tones out of the blurry nothing and disappears without a trace in the same without the slightest sound.

Just as silently the gray rider, wrapped in a flowing, wide cloak, a pointed cap-shaped hood pulled over his head, the shadow of which hides his narrow face, on emaciated, bony body, whose pale skin hangs in tatters from his thin thighs, approaches. In his right hand, which clasps the worm-eaten handle with pale yellow spindly fingers, shimmers a sharp blade made from the rust-eaten steel of a curved scythe. He comes within a few meters, curbs his foaming horse with brute force, musty smell rushes ahead of him, foul, sweetish decay stench hits me, Infini shakes his mane in disgust and remains motionless in the middle of his step, while two lifeless sunk into the round deep caves and yet strangely sparkling eyes from the black of the hood shimmer like cold gems. The contourless figure crouches upright in its mold-overgrown saddle, its scythe raised like a lance, and stares at us in silence.

“Well,” finally penetrates a thin voice with no sound or melody from unfathomably disembodied depths, “what about lust to come with me?”

I look at the weird bird for a while before I answer. His cloak is full of holes and moth-eaten, tattered and torn at the ends, the brittle leather of his boots is pulled over bent stirrups, painted with braids, dangling from frayed ribbons, the fibers of his loose bridle hang like tufts of hair from the sunken lips of his horse, behind with yellowish teeth sticking out of dried-up gums like thin wood shavings. And the fellow stinks like an open grave, the devil knows when he was last seen a bath.

"Where do you want to go?" I finally ask out of curiosity.

"To where nothing hurts anymore, nothing moves you and nothing disturbs your peace", it comes back tonelessly.

"Little bit, what do you think? Sounds pretty monotonous, if I may put it that way. "

I don't like the guy, not at all. A light gust of wind runs into the worn hem of his hood and for a brief moment reveals his jaw and mouth, which is no longer, just a grinning set of teeth in bony jaws.

"Good," I finally say, "I'll come with you, but only if you whistle something to me beforehand, the song of death for me, something catchy, a simple little melody."

The strange rider visibly winces. He paused for a little while, motionless like a broomstick, then a few strange noises came from the area of ​​his hidden face, which didn't even sound like a solid bubble, but rather like a pitiful whimpering, barely audible whisper, rounded off and ended with a disgusting gnash of teeth . It stays that way, with an angry tug he turns his mare and makes himself out of the ashes, disappearing silently into the gray twilight like a fleeting windpipe.

It's strange what kind of crazy people come across in the desert.

Last edited by Ga'an on Mon May 18, 2020 9:16 pm; edited a total of 25 times

Number of posts: 15
Registration date: 05/05/16
Location: Painted Desert

Author: Re: The feather hatSun May 15, 2016 11:12 pm

Life on the edge is not for everyone.

What wonder, what sensible person builds a house here, lets his children play or graze his sheep. Hardly any other area is as reliably deserted as this stretch of former shoreline, which stretches through the country like a huge snake. The Havasupai, who have lived deep down in their belly since time immemorial and who have their camps in the few habitable areas, also count the Karst up here to their ancestral home, but in this inhospitable no man's land you will hardly ever get one of your own Face. What are they supposed to do with it?

No mans land. Strange actually that I have never met him here, the nobody, the man who calls himself nobody. A smart bird, an art shooter by profession, he shoots the flame out of the candle without getting a scratch, even moving, and at breathtaking speed. Fame and reputation precede him wherever he appears, even gunslingers and bandits fear his shooting skills and freeze at the sight of a pillar of salt, as far as I know, he has never had to shoot a man, enviable. We didn't go to school together, because the guy has a downside, well, everyone has that, but I don't particularly like his. So I don't want to call him a spy right now, but the sheriffs all seem to know him well, from whom you always hear "Nobody has heard or seen anything, nobody wants to tell you, as always nobody knows".

Whereas everyone usually saw nothing, I never really figured out in what relationship and whether the careless guy is in one to nobody, probably the two are often mentioned in the same breath, nothing and nobody, which does not have to mean anything, that is also the case with death and the devil, and although it is sometimes really difficult to tell the difference between these two, they are two things and do not necessarily have anything to do with one another. Be that as it may, up here there is nothing and no one to be seen, the only human soul that I cross the path of the abyss is myself. It can happen that I spot myself on the opposite edge and change sides, it's always good to look at things from the opposite perspective, and because I'm the only one far and wide here anyway, it’s me alone who has to deal with it, which doesn’t give me any trouble. If I were traveling here with a group, there would be a lot of trouble immediately, I would have been a renegade defector and traitor, suddenly turned into a dangerous enemy and a determined opponent, they all have a kink in their optics, these groups, the edge of the canyon is at the same time the edge of their plate, which they never look beyond. Also one of the reasons why I have been riding alone for ages, I do not have to explain myself to myself and I am not hostile to a triviality that is not even one.

The old vulture circling above me is amazed. He looked down curiously. It doesn't happen every day that someone lies pensive on his stomach on the ground, pushed his head over the abyss, lets stones fall into the depths and looks at them until they come to rest far below, where the old river looks like an even older snake winds through the barren ground.

Brick by brick by brick by brick.

Fascinating how they try to fight gravity when they fall, every time they clap against the steep face are thrown out in a high arc, as if they wanted to rise into the air, sail back up to their usual place, where they have been in the for ages persevering in the blazing sun. But gravity inexorably pulls it down, there is no reversal in free fall. Only when they land in the rubble of the river and come to rest after a brief tumble do they notice that this new location is no better or worse than the previous one, just different. Some even make it into the floods, where they are swallowed with a splash, only to whirl to sink to the bottom into a damp “elsewhere”, a wet and tingly cool elsewhere.

So it is with the hopeless.

Is it bad news to tell the stones that being down there is no worse than being up here? Just changed and no longer like before? But new, overshadowed, but by no means unworthy of life? Sooner or later weathering will belittle the voice of hope that calls out to the stones that are drifting on the edge of the abyss: Hold on tight, you will not fall! The next rain, which transforms the desert into a paradise garden of blooming splendor, will wash it down, as well as those of you who came to rest on a ledge on the way and have been trumpeting since: Look here, we made it! Is the good news, which basically turns to white lies in a comforting, soothing way, really better than the bad news, which may sound threatening and discouraging, but says what's up and speaks the truth? The Wicked Messenger adage comes true: "If you don't have good news for us, you'd better not bring us any". The bad news must have driven the happy news away, and no one asks whether that is really true or just a chance encounter with constant coming and going. It just had to be like that. Presumably it has to do with the fact that the vast majority of stones are used to an existence in motionlessness, which inevitably brings with it a limited horizon.

The raven is a great teacher of the art of living.

His existence is pure lust for life, he plunges headlong into the abyss, turns on his own axis, shoots up again, draws circles and hits wheels, in twos and threes in unison with uniform movements, and he has acrobatic and breathtaking feats Tired of capers, which he performs with his peers in the windy air, he stands motionless over the depths with outspread wings and peers around before he sits down on the highest pinnacle and overlooks his realm.Soon he spotted the osprey, which swoops down into the water with its claws extended and pulls a wriggling chunk out of the water. He calmly waits until the successful hunter has found a good place on a rock to eat his prey undisturbed, and then he swings down to him, shoots down like an arrow at the surprised and pushes him with the bare Air pressure on his wings from the table that was set. But once the osprey has been forced to fly, it doesn't stand a chance against the agility and speed of the roughly equal-sized raven, regardless of whether it is a daring aviator, the aerial battle is soon decided in its favor and the one who has been cheated for its catch forced to make a new one. The raven, however, returns very satisfied to the waiting fish and lets it be tasted. Even against the Californian condor with a wingspan of a good three meters, it doesn’t match when it feasts on the carrion of a bighorn sheep in flocks, but it insists on annoying and annoying the quarreling bare heads, lurking around them hop around, plucking their tail feathers, and at their feast remembering who the real King of the Grand Canyon is.

The canyon is big and insurmountable.

The rushing river has dug the big moat in the rock below. If it had dried up, you would not be able to survive on the bottom, in summer the heat builds up between the shrinking walls like in a bakery, and it is a real blessing that the rapidly flowing water remains surprisingly cool and life-saving refreshing after the first conquest if you don't want to leave it in the right places and stay up to your neck in it or crouch until your hands and feet are numb and your teeth are chattering. As soon as you are outside you are not yet dry and bathed in sweat again. There is always a pleasant wind blowing up here, but as far as it may carry your reputation, how is someone on the other side of the abyss supposed to make it understandable to those on one side how he got over there if he cannot quite say it himself ? All he knows is that he is over there and they stayed over there, and that is more than enough for him to leave them where they are and explore the new vast country. With all the time in the world. In the desert there is no difference between a minute and an eternity. The happy old sun goes its way and takes care of what you have no influence on, but your sense of time is not lost, it changes, you are no longer a slave to the hours, but its master, yes, you alone are the master of time. You can go from old man to child and vice versa in the same breath, time slot and time leap are familiar companions to you, you can stop and skip time as you wish, and you can leave it whenever you want. A moment can last an eternity and for a few years shrink to a second, source and mouth are one and the same in the eternal stream of time of the gnawing floods down there, which are never the same and yet always the same.

The play of shadows on the walls of the Grand Canyon is incomparable. A shadow play is life and we are the wandering shadows, our path is determined by the course of the sun. Spread out over a large area in the rising morning light, we pull ourselves together in fine lines to the midday glow, jump over to the other side and yet remain the same, stretched out one last time in the dying evening light, every notch of our fleeting existence thrown into the rock, however deep and black, disappears and becomes swallowed up by the mighty gray of the night, only to be reflected by the moonlight as a dull image of the past day in the magic of a few nights.

Only for those who draw fronts and fences or build border walls, the change of side becomes a betrayal of oneself, for me it is simple movement and constant change without changing anything, there is over there and over there is over there. I am like the air that connects this world with the hereafter, and even if it is sometimes thick, they all breathe. Just now I was lying dreaming on the abyss and dropping stones into the depths, one after the other, forgetting time and space, my whole life passed me in vivid images, the life of someone else. Now that I've got up, I find myself facing myself, my horse eating at my back on green meadows that I've never seen before, and where I crouched my damp imprint sticks for a little while and evaporates in the heat of the sun like i never been Whether I shot down like a stone or staggered like a leaf, like a butterfly lurched upwards again or climbed the steep face like a lizard, whether I glided over the wings of an eagle or floated on Infini's flying back, on the rainbow rode or flown with the clouds of the morning mist, probably all together or one after the other - maybe only a part of me at a time, until I got there in my entirety - all I know is that there is no turning back. The great canyon separates two worlds of no return, regardless of which edge of its canyon I am, no stone rainbow bridge connects the primeval banks, it is as insurmountable as the abyss between poor Lazarus and rich Prasser. No fingertip will be able to bring a drop of water to a thirsty tongue once the well has dried up and the desperado will squeeze the saving liquid out of the cacti, as the Indians taught him.

Then let the stones scream.

The stones are mute down here. Astonishment amazes that their existence goes on contrary to expectations, even very peacefully and tolerably. The rush of the river, echoing off the walls, while the sandstorm howls high above the crevice through which a distant sky peeks, soothes your troubled mind. A fine mist of droplets cools my tired face. The cautious pounding of my strolling horse's hoofs can hardly be heard, down here only the eternally flowing water speaks, jumping happily over rocks and cliffs and playfully falling over self-built dams into the foaming depths. The beaded mosses on the bank stones, the garland-shaped rootless lichens on the damp rock walls, the strange blossoms of the nightshade family, the primeval bizarre fish, the eyeless crustaceans in the crystal-clear water, the growths of the mussel colonies in the few places that enter at noon a few rays of sun get lost - they don't all ask what it could look like up there, whether it is lighter, more beautiful, warmer and more varied, they are at home here in the damp semi-darkness and feel right at home and in exactly the right place.

And me and my horse, we'll do the same to them. My horse doesn't trot, it strolls. It adapts to the wandering of my train of thought, its rhythm is transferred to its gait. We have grown together. I'm not good for itancan. My horse is neither a herd nor am I their lead stallion, the feeling of security is inherent even without my guidance, the direction taken is as arbitrary as the paths of the wind. It may be that the two of us form a kind of herd, but not the usual two-man herd of rider and horse, in which the first has the say, but one in which both rely on each other and otherwise everyone does what he wants. My horse doesn't need a herd and consequently no lead stallion, and I don't ask my horse to do what I would never do myself - to dance to someone's tune. Our relationship is mutual and dealing with one another is correspondingly casual. We are an equal duo in which one knows what he has in the other because neither of the two can do it alone. It's pure wishful thinking on my part and utter nonsense, I am the boss, whether I want it or not, simply because my horse wants it that way, and it doesn't ask me for my opinion. But precisely because it has the power over me to demand things from me that I hate, so I have to tell him where to go, to give the Herdling the necessary security and to satisfy him, we are up again after all Eye level. That's how it works, what do you want to do?

How did I get from high above to below so quickly?

Nothing easier than that, downright child's play. If you look long enough into the abyss, the abyss looks so deep into you that it plunges - almost upside down - into the viewer down to the bottom. And there I am. Old Indian trick. When you stand in front of a wall without a door, you have to become the door yourself and go through yourself. If a black hole - whatever it should be - threatens to swallow you up, you have to become a black hole yourself, antimatter, as the old Chinese call it, who in turn heard from Fanda, who cannot swallow itself. Before you fall into the abyss, you have to let the abyss fall into you, in a kind of inversion of the gravity, prevent your fall by attracting the earth and letting it fall into you. Easy as pie, you just have to know. Sure, if you don't want to dash down like a rock, then make yourself a feather. Another option that takes less strength, takes a little longer, and I just wanted to get down as quickly as possible. How do I get out of here? Always leisurely downstream, until the canyon becomes lower and wider, its canyons shrink to gentle hills, finally disappear completely and reveal the view of the wide valley through which the glittering river meanders. But that has time, a lot of time. Easy enough time to write a manual for ghost riders. I'll be careful, in the end it suddenly swarms with wannabes down here by the river watership down like rabbits. When Mexican, Spanish, and Union troops shot each other's heads off and hit each other upstairs, the desert air was impregnated with lead and the cracked ground greedily drank rivers of blood, I was here most of the time in the calm depths.

I am not crazy.

The rock layers down here in the bottom of the Grand Canyon are said to come from a distant past - at least that's what the researchers say - when there weren't even plants, let alone animals, on earth, may be, that's why they are no less rugged and forbidding than the one at the top, where the abyss plunges yawning into the depths, and this in turn to look at nothing less fantastic and overwhelming than their brothers and sisters at the bottom. The rock readers also want to know that the length of time in human history in the tireless washing, digging and grinding work of the old Colorado through its stone bed can only be measured at a hand's breadth since then - or something like that, the guys speak their own language - , but that doesn't surprise me at all, let's see whether the river can manage a second hand's breadth through the primeval rock before humanity disappears from the globe. Has penetrated down to the beginnings of life, rather it has already returned on this waterway. So the circle might as well be closed.

Apache like Navajo, Hopi like Zuni, all avoid this place.

It is the abode of the spirits, they say. And the ghosts are not to be joked with. If you want to see violet swallows and prairie hawks, screech owls and cactus owls, grasshopper mice and kangaroo rats, deer mice and pocket rats, fox squirrels and rock gizzards, Colorado chipmunks and the clever kit fox as ghosts, that may well be true. Then the walls are teeming with little ghosts. Constant rustling and nibbling, scurrying and beeping enliven the silence of the night.

Nobody knows why the natives left their pueblo in the gray past. Majestically built into the rock, it tells of the glory of sunken days. And is at the same time shrouded in mystery as evidence of transience. Did persistent drought dry up the river and dry it up, or did heavy rain swell it so much that it washed the laboriously accumulated earth from their fields? Did a plague sweep them away, or did an enemy attack drive them to flight? Or did they just get bored in their rock castle and set off for new shores? In any case, at some point they gave up their proud Horst and left him to decay. And the realm of the wild animals was not long in coming. The desert is alive. What a magnificent building full of chambers, nooks and crannies, bay windows, corners, corridors and niches! Nesting place, cave, escape route, weather protection, hiding place and sleeping place in one. What more could you want as a resident of the desert?

No wonder, then, when a tired desperado moves into his ruins.

Freed from the saddle, my horse wades through the cooling waters that ripple peacefully and at knee height over the shimmering rock at this strange widening of the valley. Here and there a few overgrown corn stalks protrude from the barren ground, all kinds of desert flowers stretch their heads into the sun, butterflies flutter above them, birds look for the shade of crippled shrubs, snakes sun themselves comfortably on flattened stones, scorpions crawl around, lizards scurry in Sheltering cracks, armored beetles climb lazily through the scree - a place full of harmony and peace.

Anyone who fears ghosts here is to blame.

Not that they don't exist. On new moon nights they dance around a blazing fire in scary masks and with corn on the cob draped up to their ankles, drum on turtle shells, rattle with dried fruits, flute through hollow bones and sing, which a ghost voice gives off in terms of sonority as a result of the no longer existing resonance body. But it still sounds very lively, the spectacle. In any case, not scary, but quite entertaining. A Hopi may feel differently, after all, the spirits of his ancestors dance here, and a respectful horror may come over you. But for me as a pale-faced intruder and yet tolerated guest, it means, in the worst case, a waking night. Unfortunately, I can't join in the celebration, the figures disappear in no time when someone from the land of the living joins them, and that would not only be impolite, it would be a shame. But I am sure that they know of my presence, wrapped in warm blankets in my room, and my furtive glance through one of the viewing slits does not seem to bother them. And I am not bothered by her presence, how did I get there, after all, this is her home. "He-sleeps-with-the-ghosts", "Who-does-not-fear-the-ghosts", "Ghost sleepers", "Ghost dreamers", "The ghosts spare" ... each tribe has its own name Found for me, because word of course gets around quickly in a village like the desert. Some say it's because I'm a ghost myself. As far as I'm concerned, maybe you are not that far removed from the truth.

I should try to dance with them.

Who knows if I haven't already? That dancing together seemed like a lively, crazy dream that I completely forgot the next morning?

Sure, the strange names that cross my mind could also have been picked up by the Hopi, Zuni or Pima. "Ho-ho-kahm" was the answer the Pima gave to the first missionaries when they asked in amazement about the origin of the fantastic ruins of Casa Grande, which only means "gone a long time", since then the archaeologists have called the disappeared people Hohokam. Sinagua is called a different one, "without water" because these people are said to have been true masters of "dry agriculture", the overwhelming monument of Montezuma Castle near Camp Verde testifies to their great architectural skills. And the people of the Chacoan culture built no fewer than fourteen cities in the Chaco Canyon before they, like the other Anasazi, disappeared without a trace in a mysteriously inexplicable way. But where I am supposed to have picked up names like Wukoki or Wupatki is simply a mystery to me, nobody but me seems to know these terms or have ever heard of them.

Presumably she whispered to me from the wind that blows through the cracks and cracks of the abandoned buildings at night.

Until a few years ago, when I was in New Mexico, I preferred to sleep in an abandoned pueblo that nestles in a spacious niche under the roof of the protruding rock face and is hard to beat in terms of beauty and grandeur. In addition to two towers, I counted over two hundred rooms, seven of them round and some almost the size of a hall, albeit with collapsed roofs on the upper floors, as well as a good twenty kivas, the underground ceremonial rooms with a small hole in the floor, the sipapu, which they open symbolizes from which people once risen from the underworld came to light the present.There were tools and all sorts of utensils everywhere, even dishes, as if people had lived here until yesterday, there should have been room for around two hundred of them, rather more. This mixture of village and fortress was also an ideal hiding place, but recently they also discovered my secret hideaway and have been tirelessly digging up and uncovering its buildings ever since, because the pueblo was so overgrown with undergrowth that nothing was to be seen from its intricate walls. Historians call the Cliff Palace the architectural wonder, which is a pretty good idea.

My current pueblo is small, contemplative and cozy. There are also much more imposing structures in the canyons, on the mesas and wide plains of the southwest, such as Te-uat-ha, which was formerly called Tua and is now called Taos, a huge pueblo on both sides of Taos Creek with six-story houses almost all that remains is the great wall that surrounded it after the Spaniards had completely burned it down, also the triumvirate of Mishongnovi, Shipaulovi and Shongopavi, and last but not least Walpi, which can only be reached by a steep staircase, adventurously carved into a narrow crevice. After the destruction of their villages in Shi'wona, the fertile plain on the Zuni River, the Zuni, who call themselves A'shivi, "meat", withdrew to a high plateau in the protection of their sacred mountain Towaylane, where they still live today . The white explorers called Montezuma's Castle the impressive fortress that the Sinagua built into the rock like a swallow's nest in the rock face of the Verde Valley, over thirty meters above the valley floor and five stories high, the Pueblo is always a castle, as it is of course on Montezuma have come, one would have to ask the Spanish conquistadors.

A blood-red sky had warned the Aztec ruler of their arrival in the year of the return of Quetzalcoatl, the Feathered Serpent, in which, according to a prophecy, “the kings will lose their power”. When Cortes sailed from the east in this ominous year, the direction in which her great deity once disappeared for whatever reason, the mighty Aztec king behaved towards the conquistadors and his barely four hundred soldiers like the rabbit in front of the snake He probably wants to outsmart fate with almost exaggerated hospitality by trying to appease the predicted comers and executors of his disempowerment. What Cortez likes to put up with in order to capture Montezuma at the right opportunity, for which he waits with the patience of the malicious - in the midst of his retinue and surrounded by thousands of warriors.

Alvarado with blond hair, who the Aztecs also call the “sun god”, is now enjoying himself in his own way at the annual Aztec festival after his men had “urged” the young participants to appear unarmed for the celebrations, to which he himself was a guest of honor attends.

“And so it happened when they celebrated the celebration; the dance had already begun, there was already singing, one song was already interwoven with the next, and the singing echoed against the waves that broke; but at this propitious moment the Spaniards decided to kill the people. They suddenly appeared in full war clothing; they came to close the exits, the gates, the corridors; and when this was done, they rushed into the holy courtyard to kill the people. They had quickly surrounded the dancers; then they tumbled around between the drums. They struck the drummer and hacked off both hands; then they chopped off his head, and it fell far to the ground. Then they pierced the people with iron spears and struck them with iron swords. Some slit them open from behind, and then they fell to the ground with their entrails hanging out, and when they tried in vain to flee, they just dragged their entrails behind them and tangled their feet in them. There was nowhere to run. Those who tried were stabbed and cut down at the gate. But some overcame the walls. Others lay among the dead and could escape by pretense, but if they saw even one breathing, he was immediately stabbed. The blood flowed like water, like slimy water; the stench of blood filled the air and the bowels seemed to slide by on their own. And the Spaniards went everywhere, searched the public buildings, stabbed with their weapons ... "

Well, then happy Easter, not necessarily suitable for reading to sleep, this horrible Codex Florentinus, doesn't even know where I got it from, isn't that important either.

The Aztecs were able to drive the Spaniards out in the uprising of the "Noche Triste", the sad night in which Montezuma also died, but the smallpox followed Cortez on his feet, brought in by the black slaves of another conquistador make war with one another in their insatiable greed. Death is great among the Aztecs, and when the humiliated Cortez returns the following year, this time with the reinforcement of thousands upon thousands of Indians who, in association with the Spaniards, hope for liberation from bondage and from the tyranny of godlike people, Montezuma's successor has his warriors sworn to "victory or death". Since it is in any case an impossibility to win against this overwhelming superiority, they fight to the last man and to the last breath, and that for a full eighty-five days. Then, of course, one hundred and seventeen thousand Aztecs have been slain, if one wants to believe the statements of the victorious Cortez, it doesn't matter, because the fallen defenders of Tenochtitlan were simply all of them. To this day, their ghosts are said to haunt Mexico City's slums. So one should fear spirits there rather than in this peaceful place.

Good night.

I sit on a hill and look down on the land in the canyon, everything is green and full of forest, in between the corn ripens in fat ears in the fields, the pueblo rests in the shade of some sweeping trees, the river glistens in the sun.

"You have a nice place here", I say to the woman next to me, who with white hair in a long plait in a bright white dress decorated with corn yellow embroidery crouches next to me on the grass floor with her legs drawn up and her arms around her loops, his ageless face half turned to me without looking at me. “Yes, our valley was so beautiful” ... she sighs with audible sadness, “before we had cleared all the trees for larger fields and the construction of our houses, before the rain washed all the fertile earth into the river and left a bare desert so that no more trees could grow back and not even the maize before the great hunger came to our villages ”.

“Hmm,” I say to her, “you are not the first to feel this way and certainly not the last to do it that way, the whites are chopping away the woods everywhere like nothing, it is a tragedy and a shame It is a crime. You were only a step ahead of them, the crux of the matter is that the ancestors are ahead of the descendants and always will be, and whatever the great-grandchildren try, they will never be able to catch up with the ancestors yes have already completed their way and put them behind them unlike them. Time runs backwards, you know, from the beginning, every new generation tries anew to overtake the previous one, or at least to catch up, and because the living know secretly that they will never make it, namely catch up with the dead, they do it The old ones just go down and say that they didn't know better and did everything wrong, what can be done wrong and that they will do everything better now for the next generation, who then say exactly the same thing about them. And without realizing it, they just keep making things worse and worse. Instead of learning from the mistakes of their predecessors, they do the exact opposite and try to make even bigger mistakes and at least outdo them in this way. And when one day they cut down all the forests and turned the whole earth into a desert, they say, confused, that we have actually made this old mistake again, but at least we have caught up with the very first who started with it. "

The woman listened attentively and sighed deeply again, this time resignedly, “someone from the land of the living comes to us,” she says somehow desperately, “who lets us into his dreams and speaks to us, to whom we have something important had to say, and then ... "

"What then?" I ask a little bit sullenly.

"Then he left everyone and everything and everyone so far behind him that he got out of shouting range and nobody understands him anymore, even if he shouted something backwards to those who followed."

"That is also the reason why I don't even try that anymore," I mumble drowsy and turn on the other side.

Last edited by Ga'an on Mon May 18, 2020 9:18 pm; edited a total of 12 times

Number of posts: 15
Registration date: 05/05/16
Location: Painted Desert

Author: Re: The feather hatMon May 16, 2016 1:28 pm

Try to express in words the breathtaking beauty and overwhelming grandeur of the Grand Canyon and you will become a ridiculous babbler. So I don't try either, whether I'm one of them or not, it just can't be described. The sight of it leaves you with the firm conviction that the flowing waters of the Flood have converged here to form a huge river and have divided the earth in two down to its seething ground, in order to freeze the unleashed lava masses with the elemental force of one that reaches up to the clouds A wave that roared and thundered through the eternal rock, which was swept away like butter-soft sand and, crushed to dust, carried far out into the sea.

Its deep river valley, which forms the border between the large basin and the rugged expanse of the southwest, is also one of the tribes of the coyote father to their hunting grounds, there is their most important sanctuary. A few miles before the Colorado plunges into the depths in a rushing and dusty waterfall, its floods have washed since time immemorial around a gigantic volcanic boulder embedded in the bottom of the monstrous and overwhelming channel of the immense river bed, like no other of its kind in the entire length of the immeasurable Canyon gorge. Nobody knows why it is lying around and where it came from, it has always been there, and it was there for an infinitely long time before the first bag weights. The volcanic stone can be described without further ado as an important Indian pilgrimage site, in its immediate vicinity there are some sacrificial caves in which groups of pilgrims can leave their souvenirs, mostly in the form of tobacco and herbs, there are several sweat lodges for the cleansing and preparatory sweat bathing Canyon walls gush mineral healing springs for inside and outside, body and soul, suitable for drinking as well as for healing ablutions, the ancient rock contains rare, precious mineral pigments for the purpose of ritual painting and the creation of sacred images, and much more mysterious things around me, unknown to me and sanctify the magical place.

A foolish pale face that desecrates this place of worship by entering it in outrage, it is put on the spot with the ban on death and cursed for all time and eternity, or, what is even better, killed on the spot to be on the safe side. My ride through the canyon leads me past the untouchable colossus, and because Infini of course cannot simply ignore the fascinating lump without storming its summit like a bighorn sheep and enjoying the overwhelming panorama of the canyon from high above , I quickly find myself on the top of the hill before it has really become clear to me.

Now the most holy summit is usually the preferred place for unearthly wolves, chosen by the spirits of the spirits, who sound their incomparable song over the whole country on this stage as a greeting and message from above, and it is also an excellent vantage point for the holy eagle , the mighty messengers of the spirits of the deceased and of all living souls, in short, the summit is an impressive podium reserved for the revered creatures of the animal world. When horrified groups of pilgrims and confused shamans, made unmistakably aware of this by the excited yapping of my accompanying pack of constantly hungry coyotes - from across the bank - see the lonely rider in a holy place, the amazement is great. I am only now aware of their presence, as they gather with open mouths at the foot of the volcanic rock, some men gesticulate excitedly, wave their arms around wildly, and the tone of their voices gives me growing uneasiness, which makes me queasy in my prominent position becomes.

I remain motionless, mute and helplessly look down at the crowd of people staring up at me, whose angry excitement slowly seems to give way to speechless astonishment, since the wrongdoer is not swept down by the anger of the great spirit or its spiritualized animal delegations even after a long time, yes its presence, on the contrary, clearly demonstrated by the obvious veneration of a stately pack of coyotes, which tirelessly whimpers up to him and seems to pay homage to him with his usual submissive behavior. And so the medicine men and dreamers interpret these seemingly unreal side effects presumably as a sign of his extraordinary special position as a pale face in the world of the great coyote, as undeniable evidence of his choice by their forefather and his friendship with him, and the pale-faced rider himself as a kind of eagle-like ambassador from the hated world of whites, at least some of the leading figures in their guild clearly wave me down to them.

To my great surprise, my unsuspecting assurances, after having survived the descent without damage, that I landed up there more or less by accident, because I wanted to look into the nests of the violet swallows that nest in swarms in the rock walls, do not prevent them from honoring me To promise safe conduct and preferential treatment, and to guarantee it in the future, an accommodation worth striving for, and Indians are contrary to their word for whites. However, the not to be overlooked lines of laughter of the clergymen as well as the cheerful lightning storm in their looking eyes also allow another, much more obvious and coherent explanation for my protection and sanctioning. In the spiritual world of both the Great Basin and the Southwest tribes, the vast land is criss-crossed by a dense network of spiritual currents. The volcanic stone is one of the switching points, a junction where these invisible forces converge like the wires in a telegraph station. What the southern border is for some, the northern border for others, the Navajo area, for example, extends far into the Valley of the Monuments, so the Grand Canyon is not only an insurmountable gorge and barrier, but also, or rather, a mystical bridge and connection between north and south. The streams of thought of the shamans of all tribes are connected here, so to speak, their spiritual wires converge and diverge again, because in contrast to some chiefs, the dreamers and singers are mostly concerned with balancing and understanding among the sometimes traditionally "hostile" groups.

The Havasupai seers must have known long before I appeared at their sanctuary that I was coming, and they were also told in an inexplicable way that the lonely desperado is the one touched by the great mystery, the one the southern prairie tribes have already brought them news, so their benevolence was not so surprising. The true meaning of the name may be slightly different from what one might think, but it is much closer to the truth. Be that as it may, these mysterious men always know everything that is going on in the vast land of semi-deserts, steppes, river valleys, mountains and deserts.So they had long since heard that I like to spend the night in the Pueblo of Spirits, which even spiritually experienced men like you are diligently avoid, that my yellow horse should have extraordinary abilities, that of a ghost horse, namely that I at least physically had ridden unscathed through the great prairie war, that Cochise, the great warchief of the Chiricahua, would know me personally and not only have spared me, but even exchanged a few words with me that I should have lived with the Shoshone and Kiowa Apache for some time, yes, they probably know of things about me that I know nothing about myself.

And I wouldn't be at all surprised if the holy men already knew that one fine day I would settle down with a Shoshone Squaw in the valley of little Colorado. On the edge of the painted desert, which bears this name not only because of the pattern-richly colorful grain of its rock, because of the changing play of colors of the rock formations from bright orange to turquoise blue depending on the position of the sun, weather conditions and season, but because there are puzzling paintings of the ancestors on its walls the sung prehistory. Last but not least, the medicine men have in all probability heard a long time ago that I am friends with the mysterious and awe-inspiring shaman, dreamer and diyin of the Mescalero, who resides high up on the holy mountain in the seclusion of a remote cave, which is actually equivalent to an Indian free ticket in all matters of life. In any case, there are ample reasons for them to use their undisputed authority to ensure that my hair is not twisted today and in the future.

For the outwardly rather inconspicuous, but on closer inspection, however, very impressive and influential men, whose word has authority not only with the Havasupai, the main thing is apparently above all to calm down the justified, albeit now subsided, indignation of the disturbed pilgrims completely and without further notice Delay in being able to pursue their priestly duties undisturbed. Busy men as they are, after their proof of my freedom from being a fool, they do not find the time to deal with my unusualness, with friendly, serious greetings and best blessings, they send me on my way and on my way without further ado. Your declared intention is to make as little fuss as possible about the incident, which is curiously embarrassing on closer inspection, in order to avoid it being exaggerated and the word gets around, which of course nevertheless, without your help and in spite of your efforts , happens in no time at all. Be that as it may, sometimes it can be an advantage to aim high, to be the focus and above all to be above things.

Or to feed coyotes.

Sometimes I say canyons and I mean several, there are countless, the whole country is full of them, a tightly woven network and labyrinth, knowing them all takes years of exploration, and no one is like the other. There are huge and tiny, wide and narrow, deep and flat, long and short, winding and straight, flat and steep, visible from afar and well hidden, washed out and wildly rugged to the pass, the Colorado makes a bend and I take the junction vast valley of monuments.

I leave its course, my way leads me back up. A steeply rising small canyon flows here, cut into the mountain by a stream, narrow as the eye of a needle, gloomy, damp and enchanted. Overhangs hide the view of the sky, a narrow ridge leads along the steep wall, and below me the ever-growing abyss gapes. My horse climbs up like a sleepwalker, sure-footed like a mountain goat, it knows the path. And knows that his rider sinks deeper and deeper into brooding gloom with every step, whenever we take the path into this gruesome gorge. The Zuni say that this is where the shadows of restless souls live, their tears wet the walls and the brook murmur their mourning for the dead. They would live in the fog that rises from the depths, one could hear their complaints and, on some days, see their figures and faces in the wandering wisps of fog. The living would lure them and call them to plunge into the depths with them, in order to linger with them forever and to join in their toneless singing. They would lay heavy and oppressive on the minds of the wanderers, darken their minds and cloud their eyes. Only those whose hearts are filled with grief can bear their sadness because they do not eat what they are, but joy, happiness and confidence would devour them with greed and insatiability.

So they say, the Pueblo Indians, and indeed, wherever the falling brook has dug a sandbar into the rock, pale bones gathers and piles up in bony piles. This path can only be conquered by those who are tired of life and long for death, and even then only with great effort, they say. They are wise, the Pueblo tribes, and knowing.

As if enveloped by an invisible ball I ride, the fog doesn't dare to touch me, not even to come close to me, because if the shadows wanted to absorb all my darkness, their fog would condense into water in an instant, how heavy bitter tears would drip down into the gurgling stream and be torn away indefinitely. Despair is much more powerful than hopelessness and vice versa, depending on the situation. The-fear-the-dead-spirits, that's what the elders and shamans call me, and their voices are filled with incredulous astonishment. Me old Desperado, who I climb this path and defeat time after time as if the breakneck undertaking were nothing more than a pensive walk. How should they know that this familiar ascent for me and my ghost horse is actually nothing more than a melancholy hour that allows me to reach the plateau without having lost a thought why we shouldn't have got up here. No waterfall with a rainbow is waiting for me at the end of the shadow valley. The mule track leads into a scree slope, the walls disappear on both sides, the stream calms down, the mystical landscape spreads out endlessly and welcomes horse and rider with the blaze of the sun.

You can always ask questions, but don't be surprised if you don't like the answer.

Is there such a thorn bush on fire, these things are tough and burn for a long time, so I ride over and say “Hey chief, sorry, if I walk on holy ground here in boots, but it would be difficult to pull my horse's hooves off, and it would Nothing change either if I come ridden barefoot, of course, I could take my hat off to you, but the blazing desert sun on my bare head is not that harmless, you know, I prefer to do it like the Jewish man, he always wears Such a hat so that the sky doesn't fall on his head. It also makes little sense to send me to San Carlos or Redondo to free the Apache from the bondage of the reservation, for that I'd have to be at least a half-breed, besides, they know me anyway and would say, 'Nope people, just don't listen 'The vulture knows where it is leading us' ... there would also be no point in splitting the waters of the Californian Gulf in order to walk over dry feet, because whether the blue coats would drown there or not, the Californians would be the fugitives Apache families have killed down to the last baby soul, even before they would have reached their promised, want my Indian-free country.

It's a slightly different desert here, and that your scope of action is comparatively limited, I can see somewhere, but you know, do nothing at all, do nothing at all to help the good people from Ur who get that I am not with what is written in the Bible. They could just as well have stayed up on the northwest coast, the athapasques, on the other hand ... if they had been there, it doesn't really matter, and whether they call you Yahweh or Usen, you blocked your ears one way or another , I don't know why, your Joshuas were at least as belligerent, but you didn't seem to mind with them, explain that to me.

You know, I once freed a ram who got his horns caught in the undergrowth, had escaped from his flock, at least I say to him, 'Don't worry, old boy, you don't have to hold your head here for the son of the ancestor The Navajo, who was still a father in his old days, doesn't really care about sacrifices, you know, do offerings, tobacco and the like, but he doesn't shed blood because of it, the woman-who-changes-doesn't need that Should I tell them now that if they had slaughtered their lambs, the whites would not have stolen their land from them, and had they smeared the entrance holes of their hogans with lamb's blood, would the angel of death have rushed past them? That was never mentioned, they would say, he never talked about it to our holy men and women. What did you tell them? Are you getting ready to die? At least you could have told them that in a fair way, it really wouldn't have been too much to ask, I think. "

And while I'm still talking, the thorn bush has burned down on a couple of smoking, smoking, stinking black stumps, “well”, I say, “that will be it, so I can confidently give you the I-was-just -not-call it, and the I-am-there, that's probably me, and that's damn it too little, they never had any of it and they never have nothing, the Inde 'and Diné, the people from Ur "All I can do is watch it, and that's not exactly divine, I can tell you."

It's a leisurely uphill ride.

I know that there are no magnificent chandelier cacti growing in Monument Valley, as can be found on the wall-filling oil paintings of the rulers in the panorama, but my little friend Fanda stiffly and rock-solidly claims that it is the round bushes that are so beautiful that the desert winds be rolled over the plains like a ghost, not even existed in Desperado's times in the southwest and therefore quite simply does not exist, because these plants will only be introduced from Russia in the coming future, well then, if he thinks absolutely, the clever little bugger, then I just see ghost bushes wandering, however and what difference does it make?

Dust whirls in tiny windpants along the steep walls, climbs up the rocky outcrops and disappears into the nothing of a deep blue sky. Gigantic figures and faces all around in the cut stones. Some shaped as if an artist had carved them in the rock. The immigrants call the rock formations butte, some want to recognize an elephant in it and a camel, a mitt or even nuns, the three sisters, the so-called totem pole, I can certainly count as such, although it doesn't belong in this area either, if not allowed the Thunderbird and Rain God Mesa are called that. The Ute people say that the creator Coyote turned some naughty ancestors into stone as punishment in the gray past. Indeed, it is difficult to imagine that her figures are supposed to be a product of pure chance, the idea of ​​a mysterious creative force seems more plausible, and nature is a matter of course. Has the wind gathered the lost dreams of the forgotten and carried them here into the mountains to draw their faces in the rugged formations? To set a huge monument to your life that no one found worth a line, no traveling photographer with his smoking box of a plate? The idea of ​​a petrifying power of living beings is not so absurd when looking at these marvels. If they started to speak, it would be less frightening than their knowing silence. They stand there motionless, silent witnesses of immeasurable times, whose careful, undisturbed observation nothing escapes between heaven and earth. Who are wise enough to keep everything to themselves.

You already know me. Enough. Such a lonely desperado doesn't cost you blink anymore. No shadow play on her features. No light reflex of glittering minerals. Not even a faint whisper of a sudden incoming wind whispering: “It's just him.” It's just me, people. Nothing world-shaking, nothing exciting, basically not even remarkable. Not worth noticing. Not worth mentioning. Just an old desperado who, measured against a fleeting generation, has seen at least as much as you have seen between the vault up there and the foundation down here. And who, like you, my stone friends, is wise enough to keep it to himself.

Or rather, smart enough.

Night has long since fallen, silence has descended from the sky and equanimity has laid like dew on the sleeping rock of the rock sculptures. Whether the sun is golden and sinks in a wreath of purple clouds or its pale light goes out unnoticed behind a thick shroud of shimmering gray, it does not matter and makes no difference, the day is over, the brightly colored rainbow, drawn high into the looming sky, has dissolved into nothing, that will be enough and it is enough. The day no longer piles up in front of you, towering like a mighty mountain ridge that has to be conquered, no matter what the cost, the angry howling of the rough wind on the peaks has long since faded and blown away, sinking into oblivion With every stroke of your hoof under your aching bum the bottom of the valley moves closer, you are already diving into the sheltered cloak of the shady forest down by the river and longing for the bed to lie down and stretch your exhausted limbs. Fatigue can be justified and justified and its yawning ripe fruit of a long hard day, satisfaction brought about by a simple but tasty evening meal and not by over-satiation, gluttony and gluttony, because to be full does not mean to be fed up.

A soul can be as old as the forest, and if it is born old, it becomes old as stone.