Tuesday, March 19, 2019


Udegan of the Winter Pipe
She Guards Sad Songs and Darkness
"Sometimes the earth herself cradles grief enough within her lap that sad songs spill unchecked and pour like drenching rain into the soil. There was a forest hag whose work it was to collect and care for those sad songs..so that all the sorrows laid across the world might endure and become refuge inside which the lonely..lost..and maddened could safely hide. In her tradition..sad songs were a balm that filled the soul..and no one should die empty. Sad songs were a sanctuary for grieving hearts..and no one should have to root among thin desolate scraps to find some comfort. Sad songs were soft fibers of kindness whispered into silence..and no one should find themselves wrapped too long inside isolation. So the forest hag scooped sad songs onto her gathering stick..stowed them away beneath her many layered shawls and kept them secure. The protection that she offered was profound for she was swathed abundantly in woolen plaid..hunched and tucked and folded inside thick coats..and bundled over everything..she wore the cloak of winter. But sad songs were not her only harvest..for she also picked up the hidden songs of nature as she walked the forest trails and the secret songs of quiet creatures moving on the land. She padded through the forest gloom..gathering stick in hand..collecting up the songs sung by dark keening winds and dark murmuring ice and dark dreaming trees and dark sleeping earth. All those she ladled with her stick into the safety of her cloth. She understood the solitary mind of wolf..or bear..elk..or eagle..and she was intimate with all lone spirits on the empty trails. A dense..concealing blackness hung around her..offering a safe haven to the subtle and transient energies that she found. This forest hag was heavy with the secrets of the winter land. And that was not all. She always had a wooden pipe clamped tight between her teeth. She worked at her pipe to create tangled plumes of smoke that blew across the land..serving to veil her tracks and those of all the creatures that she guarded. She used no words ever..but communicated messages and wisdoms only through the smoke that drifted from her gnarly pipe. All her knowledge of the winter..all the intimacies she had gathered on her stick..all the mysteries of the dreaming forest rose up inside that wondrous smoke. Her smoke bore witness to the sorrows of the quiet land and to the vulnerability of nature. The tendrils curled and twisted to form images in which some clues or warnings might be glimpsed..or the sad songs of the grieving earth..so those who saw them spread out from the forest might know that it was time..indeed almost too late..to act and save the world."

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