I woke up at my usual 3:30 something AM. I had my coffee. I scrolled. And as often happens I had a hair brain idea, and before I had time to talk myself out of it, it was begun! On my social media accounts I have daily content, and Monday is #GhostWriterMonday, but as many of you I am sure know, trying to gain engagement and break down the monotiny of sameness on social media is not easy. It takes constant creativity to try to reach new people who may have no idea that you exist. I fail a lot, but somehow, you are still here through the evolution. So – I left tidbits of this article, like breadcrumbs scattered across Facebook, TikTok, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter, hoping that some curiousity might be piqued and a new fan would learn to #KeepTheGreasySideDown. Who knows?! Do you?
So for this post, I am pulling together the fragments and photos in one place, and of course the conclusion – The Legend of Soyok Wuhti – is only available here. #SlyDog. #KeepEmWantingMore
Take a Ride With Me to Walpi, Second Mesa, Hopi Nation – Arizona
Good morning People of the Note and Page! For this #GhostWriterMonday I want to take you back to the center of the Navajo Nation, on the high wastes of the desert plateau. In the distance, the faint hint of snow atop the Sacred Mountain. But here, standing beneath, or among if you are lucky – and reverent – you stand in the oldest continuously occupied dwelling place – #Community – in the United States of America. And you are not in America. And you are not among the Dine’. You stand probably a foot taller than your Hopi guide. She looks at you with a lack of trust – disdain? – that can never be questioned… if you have a brain, or a soul. Come take a ride with me.
When you go there, the trail ends before the Summit. You may only go unless invited, lest you tempt Fate. The Peak is the Home of the Kachina, the Gods, the Messengers, not dissimilar from Olympus. The #hopi carve totems to symbolize their lessons for their children. Are You That Different?
We drive on that lost highway, wondering in that wind induced silence what #GhostsandLegends stalk our asphalt wake. The sun cascades beneath the desert, the night wind chill is instantaneous. We feel alive driving through the memories of the dead. The #EchoesOfTheAncients owe nothing to the #ghostsandgoblins of your Halloween childhood.
Your mind can wander on that #openroad the memories of the stories you’ve read, the images that have fueled your #imagination and how, when you ride with the #EchoesOfTheAncients…. they color a new hue.
We are familiar with these #dccomics legends, the full roster, from lesser #titans frustrated by their diminutive nature, through the multiple teams, but it all climbs #olympus where Zeus (Superman) sits opposite Hades (Batman) and sends his Messenger Hermes (Flash) to warn the Lord of Hades (Gotham) of incoming doom, and instructs him to gather Athena (Wonder Woman) and Poseidon (Aquaman) to save the world. Some call it religion. Some call it God. Some call it entertainment. Some call it #HighMagick
New renditions. #whatisoldisnewagain Reiterated over and over, the #universalthread of our existence. Different civilizations. Different times. Dreaming of conquering what is unknown and interpreting their dreams. We are no different than these #ghoststories They are eternal. But at some moment they become mysterious….. and we call them #mystical.
We arrive, “no cameras,” our stoic guide says, her English articulate, enunciated, “you will be escorted from the Mesa, and you will not be welcome again.” We dare not question, as their is no need, and truly, why would we? “Your scholars came with their #nationalgeographic eyes. Long ago. The pictures exist, but will not be taken again.” And we Understand.
The pictures exist, she had said, but they won’t be taken again. And we Understood. We climbed the ancient stairs. Our modern shoes crushing the time from the stones. We looked into their eyes, dark, full of a void shrouded in mystery ours could not pierce. Some of their homes were crumbling, stones replaced as wind and erosion topples them. Others have modern amenities, like plywood or tin. One home, almost decedent and out of place. “Why are some homes empty?” We asked. “They converted to Christianity.” And we continued along the cresting spine rising from the dust listening to the #EchoesOfTheAncients
I was the only photographer close. I was honored in ways I cannot describe to be there. To witness. A gathering bleeding through the ripples of time. Are you riding with me on this #GhostWriterMonday??? #keepthegreasysidedown This is my most popular video of all time. 8k views and counting. Welcome to #GatheringOfNations
We walked from Second Mesa in silence, contemplating the vision quests that would dazzle our minds on the journey home. The Magick fades as the mystical Mesa fades into the distance. When it is almost gone…. we stop… We take off our helmets, we place them gingerly over the mirrors on the #indianmotorcycle. You light a cigarette. “Well, while you do that to yourself,” I begin, “let me tell you my story about #soyokwuhti
From Kachinas: a Hopi Artists Documentary
The awesome figure of the Monster Woman – the Ogre Woman – Soyok Wuhti – appears during the powamu ceremony as one of the many Soyoko who threaten the lives of the children. Dressed all in black, with long straggling hair, staring eyes and a wide-fanged mouth, she carries a blood smeared knife and a long jangling crook – a truly fearsome creature to the children. When she speaks it is in a waling falsetto or with a long dismal hoot of Soyoko-u-u-u from which her name is derived. She may reach for the children with the long crook and threaten to cut off their heads with her bloody blade, lopping their learning faces into the basket on her back. On some Mesas she may be the ogre that threatens your daughter who has been naughty and bargains with a relative to ransom her home.Barton Wright
My story in #EchoesoftheAncients, dedicated to the Hopi, is about this kachina messenger, and what happens when that naughty child also crosses Coyote, The Trickster.
If you thought this was cool, or creative, or crazy at all…… share it with your peeps that might think it is cool. I will love you forever.