|Arearea (Joyousness) by Paul Gaugin|
Moonlit pathway over crumbled rock, the pathway is unstable, and at the edge of a typical social stability, between myself and the dog I hold on a leash and an older man walking beside. The path seems to balance between being on a First Nations reserve and the Western world, as I walk immediately on the broken stone, side of the reserve and the dog begins to become severely angry with me, he is getting awkward on the leash and the man beside me merely follows and emits calming vibrations as we continue along the path while I continue to try and take care of the dog.
As we get out of the open moonlight and into the darker forest, other men appear in traditional ceremonial dress, half-naked, adorned with feathers and hide, there is one in the bush who seems to be involved in an intervention of non-ordinary states of consciousness, then there is a man walking towards us, I try and move my head and walk on the edge of the path to let him through, though his attitude is that of warmly welcoming us, and the elderly man beside me assures me.
Next we find ourselves inside of a trailer; it is full of First Nations people who are dressed in modern day Western clothing, in a festive mood, regular with any other house off the reserve with a small crowd of young, vibrant people. The elderly man is recounting our steps to the trailer, and I communicate the difficulty of the dog. One young man with glasses and a light collared t-shirt begins to tell me the way to appease my dog, through dancing.
I ask about the dance in a popular culture attitude, though he assures me about the effectiveness of the First Nation way to dance. He demonstrates, and suddenly the lights dim, and its as if he is in the archaic mold, an embodiment of animal spirit, in a slow and deliberate show of action and expression through the limbs, extremities and face, and the dog suddenly becomes docile. People laugh and they continue to be their lovely selves, I in awe.
July 20, 2011