A few people have expressed interest in learning what happened when I made my way to the Blackfeet Reservation and what happened at the Marias River Massacre site. I’d not shared because, well, nothing really happened. Whatever did went a little something like this:
I was delayed by a day when 50 mile per hour winds attacked with weapons of piercing snow flakes. Even this intrepid traveler knew better than to do anything more than retreat into my hotel room after sticking my head out of the door momentarily. I was glad I cbose to wait because I didn’t realize how far I had to travel off the beaten path. Twelve miles of dirt road and major mud track seem a lot longer in howling wind–especially if you have to walk out! I was so grateful for below freezing temps so the mud was solid! I’d have made it down out of sheer bullheadedness but would have had to hike out to get help out of there otherwise!
So I drove to a place that is all but forgotten but for a rancher, those who pollute the space with empty beer cans and shotgun shells, and some from a small Nation who gather once a year to remember. The sound of silence greeted me only to be pierced by a magpie’s cry. It was as if the wind couldn’t be bothered to blow there.
I drove as far as frozen mud ruts would allow me before trying to figure out what the heck I was doing in that strange, yet familiar, place. And, then I just asked out loud. To the ghost of Pat Kennedy, the universe, the tribe -alive and murdered. I even the freaking magpie. And there was no response, even from the bird. So I just sat. And sat.
And sat some more until the ‘peace and quiet’ morphed into another kind of peace and another kind of quiet–within me and throughout the basin. I can’t describe it in any other way. I don’t know which came first, really, but I only noticed the changes within as I began driving away. I didn’t leave until I asked, “So that’s it? I just needed to show up?” The silent response was like a universal head shaking (like the one every grandmother had mastered) and “yes, child” in that same grandmother-like tone. And I just drove away.
That was it.
I suppose I could create a story that might have meaning to somebody else but I think that’s the job of poets and such. It’s just superfluous. I’ve no idea the whys and maybe I’ll be shown that in the future. Maybe not. I don’t suppose it really matters. The only things I’m sure of are: that the interaction was symbiotic, that it reinforced my knowing that i can no longer ignore when I’m called and that two other Montana connections were just the stepping stones to get me there.
I’m satisfied to know my knowing, to know the I and we that are me bring something special & necessary for the earth sometimes, for the past sometimes and always for those here & now. Call it the stuff of stardust, a gift from God or the gods, we are for you now and always.
I continue to travel the country answering the call–whether it comes telephonically, electronically or via spirit. If you or your community need my assistance, reach out. You can find more about me and the gift I bring at http://www.ingridoliphant.com