Thursday, March 12, 2009
Dr Moses and the Wannabe Mohawk
A couple more examples from my travel journal of how life rhymes:
Seattle, Tuesday March 3
I get a call from a reporter on the Vancouver Sun. She wants to know what put me on my path as a dream teacher, for which there is no career track in our culture. I am wondering how much to say to her about the dreams and visions of an ancient Mohawk Indian woman healer that came to me when I was living on a farm 22 years ago and contributed to a major watershed in my life. Holding the phone, I glance out my hotel window across Queen Anne Avenue. On the sidewalk right below me ins a wannabe Mohawk with a fierce ridge of dyed orange hair bristling agains his shaved skull. This is not an altogether exotic sight in this borderland between the old-established Queen Anne neighborhood and the raunchy Belltown district of Seattle, but it seems to be speaking to me in that moment.
The reporter has moved on. Now she is asking for an example of how I derive messages from coincidences. I tell her about the wannabe Mohawk and how his "come-and-get-me" haircut reminds me of experiences that ripped me out of my ordinary life, obliged me to embark on deep study of indigenous dreaming practices, and changed my sense of what mattered in a way that made me change my life radically.
To avoid complicating things I did not mention that the name "Queen Anne" in itself had huge resonance for me, since one of the first and most powerful scenes I completed in my historical fiction involving the Mohawks describes the visit of four Indian "kings" - three of them Mohawk - to visit Queen Anne in England in 1710.
Vancouver B.C., Friday March 6
I fly from Portland to Vancouver for an interview with a popular radio host prior to my evening talk at the Vancouver Public Library. The radio host, normally quick as a whip. is having an off-moment. She introduces me as "Dr. Moses." I respond, "I'm flattered that you think I can lead people to the Promised Land."
On the way to the library later that afternoon, I check my BlackBerry. I find a message from a friend in New York City: "I'm thinking of you because I'm trying a new Australian wine. It's called Promised Land."