Shades of a Turquoise Moon

Prose, including snippets (mini-memoirs).
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goldenmyst
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Shades of a Turquoise Moon

Post by goldenmyst » December 17th, 2019, 12:42 am

Shades of a Turquoise Moon

They cross into the Powwow zone where buttered blue corn on the cob melts on the tongue like the pretzels whose buttery softness they lick at the magnolia state fair in June when one is all they can afford.

John shadows Marsha beyond the Great Sun’s mound to an abandoned mound, a small elongated mound, covered with weeds, and crumbling away after centuries of neglect. Marsha says, “You’ve told me that you love me like your wife and that is enough.”

Marsha gets fidgety again and takes him touring the park to a replica of a Natchez Indian dwelling. John tells her, “Sometimes in the winter a family of deer will wander into the plaza, only to scatter into the woods, whitetails quivering, at my approach.”

She replies, “I had a dream last night that I was a caterpillar climbing a plant. I began to chew on a leaf. Suddenly I got an awful stomach ache. I realized that my lunch was poison hemlock. But my tummy felt better soon and I went about spinning the cocoon around me with dreams of the butterfly I would become. Once my chrysalis was complete I emerged but my wings were stunted and alas I could not fly. The hemlock had caused this. When I awoke from my dream I knew what the meaning was. I had ingested half baked dreams that became heartburn so strong I couldn’t stomach reality.”

“Them old dreams are only in your head.”

She says, “I never feel closer to you than when we’re two hundred miles from home. Let’s live in a tent down by the creek where the horsetails are that you told me are one of the most ancient plants from before the dinosaurs. We’ll find arrowheads, fossils, and sandstone around the creek.”

He says, “As a child, I can recall one overcast freezing winter day hiking in the creek wearing rubber wader boots while looking for arrowheads and fossils.”

She replies, “We’ll live as they did here three hundred years ago. We’ll wash where they bathed in the Pre-Columbian morning below the bluffs whose loess soil formed under ice age glaciers only to be blown from the western plains and left here. Now it forms the tan bluffs that loom above the creek which take on a reddish hue in the late afternoon and are reminiscent of a western canyon where solitude is plentiful. I’ll get red clay for pots and paint stones from the creek for dyes.”

John hugs Marsha and says, “Try to visualize the carnage, the wailing women and babies, and body strewn plaza that must have occurred here after the French genocide of the Natchez Indians in 1730. This event marked an ending for the Natchez Indian Nation. And the wives of the Great Sun were sacrificed and buried along with him when he died.”

“Please don’t burst my bubble. These people were simple nature lovers. I have to believe that just like I must believe you’ll marry me one day.”

John changes the subject. “Let’s climb the Great Sun’s mound to get a view of the whole arena. Look below and you can see the circle of different colored vendor’s tents surrounding the dancer’s arena. People mill about. Some buy from the vendors and others watch the dancing. The dancers in their colorful costumes stomp and turn, dancing around the singers. The singers beat their drums and chant.”

As large cumulous clouds pass over, patterns of shadow and light form over the scene. From up on the mound the noises of the powwow are distant. The powwow appears as a harmonious village of people celebrating life. John continues to weave his dreams for Marsha. “I imagine how many peoples throughout history have gathered for festivals like this from time immemorial. I can visualize the circle of yurts of yak herders on the vast steppe of Asia; the Peruvian Indian’s tents scattered in a lush green valley in the snow-capped Andes, or the Aborigines dancing around a fire in the cool out-back night.”

Marsha replies, “You’ve told me over the years that the powwow is part of the circle of life or the sacred hoop of life, as Native Americans put it. The Great Plains Indian, Black Elk, stood at the top of Harney Peak in the Black Hills so many decades ago, and raised his hands to the sky saying, ‘Oh let my people live.’ Black Elk’s and the ghost dancer’s vision of a resurgence of Native American culture is coming true to some extent. Indian religion is no longer outlawed but is encouraged. Indians are now sharing their world-view with non-Indians many of whom like us are embracing it.”

John interjects, “Listen they’re saying the closing prayer for a good year ahead for all the spectators. The master of ceremonies has called for the flag ceremony. They’re singing ‘Hey, yah, hey yah’ to the beat of the drums.”

The Indians form a line with one person leading the others. They slowly, with measured steps, proceed toward the flag. There is silence as the flag is lowered from the pole and people salute the flag. The flag is carefully folded in a triangle and carried under the leader’s arm off the arena with the other dancers following behind in a curved line. All the participants are thanked for their help.

Marsha says, “The turquoise ring you bought me ten years ago is better than any trinket you could have gotten me this trip because it commemorates our decade of love. Not every relationship survives ten years but ours did. That is something to celebrate.”

John tells her, “Here’s to our turquoise jubilee in seven more years.”

“You’re so optimistic. That is what I love about you. Turquoise is my birthstone; I’m a Sagittarius.” John says, “As you know I’m an Aquarius which means my planetary stone is turquoise since Uranus rules my sign. Being near you wearing turquoise has brought me good fortune. But tell me, if I’d been a Virgo would you have been with me?”

“Well let me see, Virgos are highly incompatible with Sagittarians. And the thought of being with a man under a feminine sign is kind of odd. But any good astrologer will tell you that the stars aren’t always right. John, let me buy you a ring with your Talismanic stone which is jasper. It will be engraved with my initials to protect you from evil even if I pass on before you.”

“That will be my perfect wedding ring. But I’ll put it on my bank card.”

“That’s not how it’s done with nuptial rings. And don’t even think about picking it out.”

John says, “Let’s stay for the night dances.”

“The mystic night holds many mysteries.”

“Look, the moon is the color of your turquoise ring. It is the reflection of the earth’s light on the moon’s dark side.” John says.

She says, “The moonbeams in your eyes are blue as my birthstone whose changing colors together represent the hues of the earth so legend has it.”

saw
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Re: Shades of a Turquoise Moon

Post by saw » December 30th, 2019, 11:52 am

engaging dialogue and creative story-line carry this along
If you do not change your direction
you may end up where you are heading

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goldenmyst
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Re: Shades of a Turquoise Moon

Post by goldenmyst » December 30th, 2019, 7:53 pm

Thanks, Saw. This was a personal story based on my late wife and I. We went to the powwow every year. Glad you enjoyed it.

John

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sasha
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Re: Shades of a Turquoise Moon

Post by sasha » January 1st, 2020, 12:13 pm

There used to be a Powwow held annually at the Cheshire Fairground in Swanzey NH. At the time I was dating a woman with native heritage, and would peruse the stalls for appropriate gifts. I got chatting with one fellow carving dried gourds with a Dremel tool, and learned he was a retired engineer who'd manned one of the Mission Control consoles during the Apollo flights!

Sadly, the events are no longer held there - too much harassment from local hooligans...
.
I'm not an outlier. I just haven't found my distribution yet.

saw
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Re: Shades of a Turquoise Moon

Post by saw » January 1st, 2020, 2:02 pm

quite often the best stories are not fiction
happy new year
peace and love for the next decade
and a toast to a healthier, more empathetic world
If you do not change your direction
you may end up where you are heading

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sasha
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Re: Shades of a Turquoise Moon

Post by sasha » January 1st, 2020, 2:56 pm

and, let us pray, one in which the White House is occupied by someone with a triple-digit IQ and a shred of decency
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I'm not an outlier. I just haven't found my distribution yet.

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goldenmyst
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Re: Shades of a Turquoise Moon

Post by goldenmyst » January 2nd, 2020, 2:11 am

So sorry Sasha that trouble makers stopped your local powwow. In Natchez, there has been no trouble from anyone. Itis a peaceful congregation of Native and non-native people. It was a kind of New Year for me. It was one of the few area powwows that didn't forbid picture taking. So I have an extensive collection of photos of the dancers. The factual part of this story was to be my thesis for my anthropology masters had I pursued it.

Yes, there is much truth to this. The descriptions of the setting and the problem of being unmarried, when she wanted to get married, were real. And God knows we need a new commander in chief before the whole thing falls down all around us. At least a shred of decency would go a long way to making America work again.

John

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jackofnightmares
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Re: Shades of a Turquoise Moon

Post by jackofnightmares » March 26th, 2020, 11:05 pm

“Please don’t burst my bubble. These people were simple nature lovers. I have to believe that just like I must believe you’ll marry me one day.”
when I was two and twenty. . .
first love.PNG
first love.PNG (383.55 KiB) Viewed 11 times
thanks for a great read when I needed one bad 8)
"Skepticism is the chastity of the intellect" George Santayana, The Idea of Christ in the Gospels

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goldenmyst
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Re: Shades of a Turquoise Moon

Post by goldenmyst » March 27th, 2020, 6:13 am

jackofnightmares, glad this one was there for you when you needed it. :)

John

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