Thursday, September 17, 2009

Singing to the Gods of War

My last post really got me thinking about the power and magic music. For many years I was an active Pipe Carrier in the Lakota tradition, I say "active" because you never get to put that Chanupa down.

What I loved most was the songs, which were actually prayers. At first is was just neat singing in another language. It was just neat to sing. I will never forget the first time I heard them singing in the darkness of the lodge, and I will never forget the first time they heard me.

Later I was taught a very general understanding of a few songs, which just wasn't enough. So I read and studied various books on the language and was later criticized by other members of the sweat lodge. I was accused of "breaking tradition" by people who had been "followers" for over ten to fifteen years, yet still couldn't explain the songs or anything else for that matter. Yeah.

When ever I asked why something was, I was told "because that's how it has always been done, you don't have to get it, just know that this is how it is done, learn to do it this way and don't change it." Which was the stupidest fucking thing I ever heard.

"Mystique is a beautiful and popular falsehood, a shallow substitute for those unwilling, unable or otherwise incapable of exploring the depth and substance of Truth. " That's mine, quote me.

It's funny that this would prove me worthy to be given a collection of Xerox copies of copies of copies of some Xerox copies of some songs and their word for word translations. Knowing what I was saying was important, and once I did everything changed. Singing is an emotional release, and when you sing religious songs or sing prayers and mean it, something incredible happens. Now give that intangible happening a value and multiply it by a million for every other person singing with you. Yeah.

The only other thing that ever felt like that was singing cadence in the military. It's one of those things about the Army that's not in the brochure, but everyone one knows about, even civilians. Just like the Lakota ceremonial songs, anyone can sing them but not everyone can "call them".

Running cadence is the divine union of the physical, mental and spiritual warrior. a few days ago I found these cadences on iTunes and downloaded a few of them. I thought it would be fun to listen to some "oldies" on the machine at the gym...

Some time ago I had posted about the Echos of Cadence and about "it" still being in me. Well the music woke it up and I had one hell of a work out. Every song activated a memory of a country, a base, a platoon, or a cadence caller on our run through the Egyptian Sinai. Yeah.

I felt like Forrest Gump again, calling cadence on a ten mile run down memory lane.

And I realized how much the Army meant to me, and still does. I realize the effect it had on me, I loved it. I am a fighter and I enjoyed that Warrior culture. When I posted here about Counting Coup I realized how much I missed being apart of that culture.

I received a few private comments about how crazy it was to touch that trailer, but it wasn't. Not to me, not to us. Not after all the shit we've been through, not after all the shit we've done. I realized some other things too. Too private to post here. So I started a new Blog called "The Echos of Cadence".

It will be a place to write about those things we've been through and those things we've done. It's a private Blog reserved only for those few who have sang to the Gods of War and regret having their prayers answered.

1 comment:

k. sequoia said...

I so greatly enjoy your posts. There is so much I want to say here, but I'll try and keep it simple:

Thank you for being a Warrior, and for voicing this.

(I've had to erase countless paragraphs here... Wow. This brought up a lot. About past lives, honor in this one, respecting that many of us -- men and women-- carry a Fighter within and this doesn't make them 'mean' or 'wrong' or 'scary'...)

Kim Sequoia