The quiet season is here. When the pueblo falls into its winter sleep and thousand mile stare from MAh Wha Loo (Taos mountain), watching her children stare at the moments in time, the cold takes the old and brings down the weak and lost souls.
Silence: Is he a friend or is he an enemy?
I guess it depends on who is talking or wondering or walking into the pristine field of fresh snow, contemplating making snow angels, kissing flakes in the wind.
Winter; so peaceful and quiet, a sleep so deep, the way of the mammal to eat, sleep and wonder about loss and gain.
Winter afternoon long walks into the hills to find the wildness of deep winter, facing the fear of the hunt in the short days and chill long nights.
Pueblo winter – when the old stories seem like new fables in front of the fire place. Hearing the voice of women telling their stories as boisterous men laugh the deep, deep filled laughter.
Tdoo Ween (winter) bears down on you no matter who you are or how strong you are. It can and will make you wonder about culture, how to memorize, learn the old new song along with the new old songs. The season awakens the moment of thoughts that you no longer need to make the choice of letting go or waking up the dead; leaving the living on trails to forget the old dreams that no longer are needed; fearlessly letting go of the holy ghost flying away, fading away up and over the old village.
Very few live in that place where suffering begins and where letting go is the only decision left.
Winter is the time for all these thoughts; as well as to wonder in a walk in whiteness instead of the run, shaking the bones you will need to walk first so the mind can settle into the thoughts of lost.
Don’t die this unfriendly, unforgiving early winter and interrupt it. Coldness, like unfriendly relatives, should speak and go.
Tdoo Ween (winter season) is our cousin. As spirits hanging on the icicles, soon they will visit us one by one, one at a time, kissing us on shoulders and wind burnt cold cheeks.
In the old village, as we gratefully, peacefully sleep, the world trembles as she cloaks her brown body in the middle of the night with the white manta of deathly coldness. It’s hard to tell where greeting smoke trails end and snow fall begins. It all oozes out into the mountain.
Inside the Sangre De Cristo, it’s an unusually cold, dry season. And when windy, it’s a hard one to accept. The hunter becomes the hunted, hunted like a hawk on a tree leaning into the wary side of prey.
Frozen jackets, frozen bread, frozen breath, frozen, frozen spirit, keys that won’t unlock anything until spring comes.
On any given Sunday morning, our winter tears will freeze, freeze ideas, stop cold love’s intentions. The sun seems to set faster to feel the western warmth of the pacific.
My cousin Paul died in the winter of 88 so I know. He was just 21.
Saturday night a beautiful young singer from the northside also passed away in the cold, He was 28.
I say don’t die in winter.
It’s hard on everyone and everything. Even if you go to hell, pray you don’t. You will stay frozen until spring because Mr. Devil hates being cold too. He hates visitors buried in the chill of the icy winter air.
Ice cold picks and shovels banging into ice cold earth, buried in the cold and frozen snoring earth, the freezing congregation singing faster and dryer. Only the northern wind will be your choir. Your
last breath breathed in wasn’t a warm summer moment, but a -10 at night frozen inhale. Bathing the dead with luke warm thoughts and crispy rags during the Tdoo Ween, only cold questions brew.
If you die today, answers and attention goes only to the fire. The only warm ones are the gate keepers, and winter death is a cold answer.
I wanted to write about the celebration of the holidays. I will still write about them, however, the death of a young tribal member will take presidence over the readying of the manger.
“… The winter silent pueblo world is at times the heart broken cries on the wailing walls of the northside walls and at other times the welcoming child like sounds of laughter near the kivas of the south…”
Stay warm and have good thoughts as this winter embraces us with another shawl to question our faith..
love and honor,