Some Kind Of Leaving
My buffalo skin is on someone else's bed. $400 is in my pocket. But I am less. I am empty. Another token for the walk. A lot of things that are worth money I can't sell although I've tried. The things that are deep in my heart sell quickly and make me nauseous. These are the little deaths so that I may survive this journey. It feels like my head is full of water. But I hold back the tide by not blinking. I know new things will find me.
Delivering the buffalo skin to its new owner all these memories begin to well up. School children I visited in Elementary Classes that were all touching the skin to remember. Everybody gathered around in circles tossing one child in the air that sat on the skin. Then there were the many years that I was held under the heavy robe, the gentle woolen security. Everything about this ancient skin of brown to black brought comfort. And now it is gone.
I didn't buy this skin. In three weeks of winter I did native bead work on smoky leather for T.P. Saddleblanket in Great Barrington, MA . It was a traditional barter. The bead work went on to a Dallas show and I received the 35lb. bull buffalo skin that literally held me to the bed. It was the epitamy of home.
The one thing I did receive in addition to the $400 for the skin was the tail that I removed from the skin before I showed it to the prospective buyer. Traditionally the tail like the horns held the tremendous power of the buffalo. Now more than ever, it was incredibly important for me to release as little power as possible.