September 11

[ The talking stick is handed to Shadow Glass]

We came from another world; a place before memory. It now lives beneath the sea. It is said that the old world offered the finest hunting, fishing and fowling grounds on Earth.

Then the Earth was a vast tundra where roamed great shaggy beasts and legendary big cats. There were more birds and fish than could be counted. We had only a harpoon or two, some fishing spears, and a few barbed antler points with which we were able to feed an entire people. Some of us lived on the shores of lagoons, others on the beaches, casting a net or digging in the mudflats to reap the immeasurable harvest. Some hunted the salt marshes or the sweet marshes where meandering rivers and streams daily dumped their bounty, others fished the lakes. We had ceremonies and marvelous objects that depicted all the good things that brought life to us.

Then the water came, first only enough to ponder before going about our day. But the streams grew and the rivers soon flooded, and then we were engulfed. Some fled to the east, some fled to the west, and one giant plumed dancer fled to the snowy north country. His name was Star Scape. He wove the stars together and towed the Moon across the deluge.

When Star Scape arrived in that place it is said that he dug twelve pits. Each month he would sing to the Moon and let her know where he was and where She should rise. She would smile and say, “There you are, Star Scape. I thought you were lost beneath the waves. Each day I have pulled back the water looking for you. I have a secret to tell. Tonight the salmon run begins.”
So, after the right count of days Star Scape would put on his plumes and stand in another pit to greet the Moon. And with every moonrise She would tell him a secret. Soon he knew when the deer were fat and ready to be hunted, when the berries were ripe for gathering, and when the roots were plump for harvesting. She made new ceremonies with him.

But Star Scape was lonely. So he tied the Moon to his trail of stars and took Her on a journey to find the rest of his people. Together, they travelled mountains and marshes, trekked through fens and bogs, and crossed the heath and grasslands. Together, Star Scape and the Moon skirted the coast calling out for his people. Finally, after many years, he spotted a twinkling light on a sand dune and sure enough, his people were there.

The Moon gave us the secrets of a good life. In return we honor the abiding love she has always held in her heart for us, welcoming Her home every eighteen and half years. And we remember Her lover, Star Scape who journeyed with Her.

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Responses to “September 11”

  1. Angela Cheetham Wilkinson September 12th, 2013 - 3:15 pm

    Oh my goodness – the loneliness of Star Scape in his devotion to the Moon and his determination to follow her, to wait for her, to be at one with her.
    I’m uncertain about Star Scape – I think he was a living human when he fled to the snowy north yet maybe some of Shadow Glass’s story is his poetic, imagined, storyteller’s licence ..

    • Maybe yes, maybe no; that is the nature of story telling. We tend to believe historic characters become myths. But its interesting.Tribal storytellers today still don’t regard such accounts as poetic license or myth. Stories are still taken literally. I think it is a matter of how different cultures cultivate certain angles of perception. Tribal and western perceptions are worlds apart. We see Star Scape as a once human mythological character. Tribal people would simply see him as human.

      • Angela Cheetham Wilkinson September 18th, 2013 - 11:45 am

        For myself, I’m not much of a skeptic, therefore I’m ready to believe that Starscape is human.
        Just as when I saw the little sculpture of St Teilo in that ancient church that had been stone by stone rebuilt at the Welsh Life Museum. He was riding the stag .. and why not? I’m happy for the them both to be ‘real’ or myth – according to the reader. In my comments I was deferring to you as the writer – I like your answer.
        Thank you.

        • Yes, St. Tello and Star Scape riding stags and towing the moon. What’s not to believe? Both are extraordinary men, their lives so flabbergasting our world wants to call them mythical. But you and I both know that myth is real and so were they.