May 17

[Gobetween]

We have put in some long, hard days building lodges for the troupe we expect any moment now. I have become proficient at this and find myself good help to Moondog and Darkling Light as we haul poles and brush. They have taught me how to split willow and braid it into the material needed to tie the structures together. It is a consuming occupation and strenuous but every evening we head to the river for a celebratory plunge before crawling into our gear for a long and delicious sleep.

[Gobetween]

Clan Greihound is the first to arrive. I am so excited. During the Winter Wait rare is the opportunity to just visit together. What I think we miss most is the laughter spawned by the stories of personal triumph and hilarious missteps. They have come loaded down with provisions and once celebratory greetings are done they get right to work with us bringing the Greihound camp to life with more beautiful structures, shade arbors and firepits. Everyday parties go out to haul in firewood; others search for spring delicacies. The oldest of our elders stay in camp, inspecting the progress, scrutinizing the results, offering advise, handing down gruff oversight when needed.

Moondog and Longbow fish. I like that. Slowly they are putting to rest whatever ails them. Secretly I have to concede that the problem lay in Moondog’s petulant disposition. Longbow is a reincarnated Ancient One. Moondog is a self-created myth, a holy antagonist. I sit at the center of an axis between two poles, precarious at best.

It is a delight to watch the youngest of our group. However one would describe the attitude of adolescent males these three exemplify it. They are cocky having found themselves chosen by a legendary clan. As supremely confident in both their positions and their evident virility they are often aloof, masquerading their inexperience as secret awareness. Not an adult in this group falls for it. Our self-assured youth don’t take criticism well and disappear often to go off and lick their wounds, always returning, however, to do better. Every Greihound knows just how tough these near children have it, especially Thorn Arrow. Lets face it, young men want to style and profile for the girls and boast to their peers about it. But to their extraordinary credit they each chose to be here rather than spending the summer being ordinary adolescent boys. My admiration grows for them daily with their determined commitment to learn everything they can from digging firepits to traveling the cosmos.

And they are intensely interested in Moondog. All three of them understand that had his life not taken the course that it did, they wouldn’t be here. There is a mysticism about that into which they want to sink their teeth. And then there is the man himself. I have trouble taking my eyes off him too, so I fully understand Sun Dog, Sings-in-Trees, and Moon Shadow’s keenly sensitive intrigue. In the summer Moondog wears only the long softgrass loincloth of his adopted Bear Clan not the characteristic attire of Greihound, Bard or even Oak. That’s quite appealing enough for me but the boys are far more drawn to the extraordinary mural cut into his back, fully visible for all to see. Its enough to make the toughest among us shudder, every symbol a raised, white ribbon of thick keloid tissue. And as young warrior-hopefuls are prone to do, ours vacillate between contrived indifference and fixation about a living, breathing Immortal.




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