Monday, July 31, 2017

4th Annual Pocumtuck Homelands Festival

The 4th Annual Pocumtuck Homelands Festival, a celebration of Native American Art, Music, and Culture, takes place on Saturday, August 5 from 10am to 7pm at the Unity Park Waterfront in Turners Falls, MA. The event features live traditional, original and fusion music, Native American crafts, storytelling, drumming, games and activities for kids, primitive skills demonstrations, and an impressive selection of books.

The Mashantucket-Pequot archaeology team will be on site to analyze early contact period artifacts brought to the festival. Festival food will be available, including Native American fare. The Pocumtuck Homelands Festival is free, family friendly, educational, accessible and fun for all ages!
This event is sponsored by The Nolumbeka Project, with support by Turners Falls River Culture.

Hawk Henries, Nipmuc flute player and flute maker
The Kingfisher Singers and Dancers, Wampanoag from the Mashpee, Aquinnah, and Herring Pond communities.
Story teller Larry “Spotted Crow” Mann, Nipmuc
The Medicine Mammals Singers
Mixashawn Rozie, who uses instrumental virtuosity and stories to illuminate the indigenous and African roots of "American" music.

The Black Hawk Singers (Abenaki)

Be energized by the presence of three drums: Chief Don Stevens and the Nulhegan-Coosuk Band of the Abenaki Singers, plus returning favorites Visioning B.E.A.R. Circle Intertribal Coalition Singers.

PLEASE Thank our Sponsoes:
Jennifer Ladd, River Valley Market, Larry Cadran, Masasachusetts Cultural Council, Visioning B.E.A.R., The Gill Local Cultural Council, The Montague Local Cultural Council, Red Roof Inn.

Community Foundation of Western MA, FirstLight Power, DCR,Greenfield Cooperative Bank, Greenfield Savings Bank, National Vinyl, Northeast Solar, Renaissance Builders, Solar Store of Greenfield.

The County Creemee, Food City, FostersMarket, The Rendezvous, 2nd Street Bakery, The Wagon Wheel and Chris Couture.


Friday, July 21, 2017

Path Between Two Stone Rows (Bethlehem CT)

Dropping off a small percentage of my grandchildren at Summer Camp,
I happen by the Preacher's Preserve and take a little walk.
I should tell my friend Bob that here's another spot
Where you can walk between the stone borders of an unpaved Indian Trail...
Well, a trail off of another trail
- you could use it to get somewhere
And with a little bit of mutual co-operation,
When fire maintained the trail,
A group of hunters might use it as a game drive...
How do I know these stones are of Indigenous Origin?
The assumption is that these are Estate Walls,
Built for the first Puritan Minister of the New Light,
Long maintained by farm hands on a working farm,
But if that's true, then why the snakes and turtles, 
The rhomboidals and spirit faces in these rows of stones?
The first breach in the long row (above) is near what I've assumed,
Like many others, is a foundation of some sort,
A long gone barn perhaps, but suddenly I see:
This is a Great Serpent, with a white quartz stone eye...
(I think of Matt Bua's photo:)
(I think of this one not far from here in Washington CT:)

Close up of the eye, and a healing diamond "scale..."
Zoomorphic stones abound - perhaps the face of a bear??
I looked into a niche on the opposite side,
And I have to confess:
I stared at this a long time,
Thinking I was seeing a living animal...

I finally decided that the "animal" was way too motionless,
Set the camera to take two photos,
The first with no flash: 
The second with a flash,
Prepared to jump back - just in case... 
Forelegs extended, a turtle-like face, not an uncommon pattern,
These occur elsewhere, including the foundation and other stonework around our circa 1700 home:
Turtle head in a nuchal notch: 
I wonder what the fallen stone looks like,
I wonder if it matches the one still in place... 

Perhaps, I was thinking,
What a skeptical person needs
Is a grandchild to walk with them,
To look for faces on the stones,
To spot the turtles of many sizes and shapes
In these rows of stones...

This is sort of a "new" (to me) form of turtle,
a profile with an extended neck
- and the carapace suggests "box turtle:" 

Box Turtle image lifted from:

Flickr Album "Preacher's Again:"

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Reawakening on Turtle Island

   I haven’t felt this good in years it seems. It’s like coming out of a fog that I’ve been lost in, returning to the familiar, coming back home.

   It’s like reawakening from a series of long nightmares in which I couldn’t walk without pain and I could only stutter as I tried to speak thoughts I couldn’t complete. I’d wake up already tired, sometimes soaked in sweat and shaking, vision blurry, a ringing in my ears.

   There’s times I wished I wouldn’t wake up at all, just to put an end to it, to be done with the depression and fear, every physical pain, the constant headache and confusion – every the symptom you read about people experiencing untreated Lyme Disease (or Chronic Lyme or Post-treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome” (PTLDS)  - except that Bell’s Palsy that affects the muscles of the face.

   You might see some evidence of that battle on these electronic pages, where words of my own appeared less and less, some posts just a series of photos. I’ve got a hundred drafts I started and never finished, some of which I don’t remember writing...

   Is it over? I don’t know. There’s more tests to come and possibly further treatments in the near future. Permanent damage? I don’t know – I can walk pain free now, I can read and the words make sense, and I’m not afraid when the wind blows in the trees – don’t have to close the curtains and hide inside the house. It might be two years I've been carrying this around - it could be as much as twenty my doctor tells me - there's no way to really know.
   The only disappointment is the time lost that I’ll never get back - and the realization that the results of the last Presidential Election aren’t a delusion. I deeply regret what I've put my family through, becoming some sort of stranger prone to anger and letting them down with all I could not do for them...

  So here I am, writing for the first time in a long time, Reawakening on Turtle Island – and, as both my wife and Kris Kristofferson’s wife say: “The son of a bitch is back.”