Ghost River – 10

October 17, 2006 at 6:16 pm (Ghost River)


“The pious mind does not devise for itself, any kind of God, but looks alone to the one true God.”                                                                                –Calvin

I have been doing some research on the Kanza, as part of a larger study of Indian tribes that once lived here. I have become fascinated by their stories. My own farm, sits on land that was once theirs and contains several unexplored burial mounds, which I have left untouched out of ancestral respect. In my research, I found, that in some accounts, there are more than the 27 Kanza deities I mentioned earlier. For example, in Creuzfelder’s History of the Plains, he lists an additional six: the dry creek bed with white pebbles, the young woman with flowers, the man in light, the blue snake that sheds its skin, the tree shaped like a spiral, and the raven.

There are several stories of individuals, usually medicine elders, who have met the ‘man in light’. Some have met him before they came to this world, others, during a near experience of death, and still others, shortly before they themselves crossed over. He is a great man, one who appears in a special manner – not only all light himself, but surrounded by a light that allows one to see the thoughts and hearts of others.

My grandfather was also fascinated by lore of this sort, and in fact, refers to a ‘man in light’ in his Alchemical History. Since seeing my grandfather in the flesh so to speak, I have gone back to his work that I am editing, for clues as to what might constitute his reappearance. It appears that in 1941, which was sometime before I was born, the last experiment he conducted, the one that caused his disappearance – and his disappearance was total, unlike our townspeople – he was attempting to reach this ‘man in light’ to reverse some rather unfortunate events that occurred some years before. I had always assumed that his experiment had completely failed, but now I am not so sure.

For several weeks after the reappearance of my grandfather, Dr. Oostenburg and I have kept a close watch to see if anything else out of the ordinary has transpired. So far there has been nothing. Everything has been quite still. We did find a note in the pocket of my grandfather’s suit which I have been puzzling over,

The girl with the black hair will reveal the luminous orchids that grow inside the skulls of the newly forgotten dead. The wet gray moss will form a blanket you cannot remove. The black wood of fallen trees will stir the vessel as it rises from the Earth to form the canopy of your head. Her eyes are dark, her skin white. Slowly, she moves closer and it all becomes clear. The texts are true – it is the daughter you love, not the Father.

If the reader is able to make any sense of this, they will have done a greater work than Dr. Oostenburg and myself, who are at a complete loss. At the same time, I must admit, I am becoming a bit worried. I have gone back to staring at the Owl. There’s something he’s hiding – I’m sure of it. Something they all are hiding.

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