Friday, July 20, 2012

"A Tale of Moon Men and Spider Woman"

The other day a couple named Gabe and Millie walked through the Kokopelli doors and instantly captured our attention and our hearts.  After the initial pleasantries, Gabe unabashedly proclaimed that he and Millie were soon to be wed, and this would be his first marriage.  Looking at Gabe, I decided right there and then he must be the consummate late bloomer.  He was slight of build, had hawkish features, thinning hair, a dubious ponytail and a fun-loving gleam in his eye.  By his own accounting, he was 67 years of age.  Based upon his outward appearance and our initial interaction, there seemed no reason why Gabe had waited so long.  Millie was slightly younger, short, with shoulder-length light brown hair, intelligent glasses, a matronly figure and an engagingly cheerful laugh.

Millie's betrothed launched immediately into the tale of how he had been born to kindly Jewish parents who lived in the heart of New York City .  He traveled extensively as a young man and, after completing his travels, settled down in Sacramento, California.  At that point his fast-paced life slowed a bit.  Millie, a divorcee with two grown daughters, serves as a minister for a Unitarian congregation.  She and Gabe recently met when he attended her church.  As Gabe explained it, "I went to expand my mind and lost my heart."

Gabe said he brought Millie to Bluff because he had mixed emotions about this place which had to be reconciled.  He declared, "My bad memories involve extraterrestrials and arachnids, the good have something to do with finding happiness in sad good-byes and new beginnings."  "Nice tease", I thought and settled in for the explanation.  Gabe told Priscilla, Steve and me that forty-some-odd years ago he was sure he had located his soul mate, a girl with a spider tattoo.  He and his love secured an apartment near the Hudson Bridge, conceived their son and found complete happiness.  At that point I revised my opinion of Gabe.  Apparently he was not a late bloomer after all.  After a year together, however, his girlfriend, the mother of his newborn son, decided there were "moon men" among them and she needed to find herself one.  Gabe saw the handwriting on the wall, took his infant son and headed west to find solace.
Navajo Ceremonial Basket - Mary Holiday Black (#321)

Upon his arrival in Bluff, Gabe met a kindly Navajo woman at the K&C Store.  She directed him to Sand Island for the night and told Gabe the cottonwood trees would afford a cool, comfortable spot during the day and the river would lull him to sleep at night.  Gabe and his son found their designated camping spot and, except for several large and sticky cobwebs which had to be cleared away, decided it was quite pleasant.  That night the moon came out full and bright, causing Gabe a great deal of anguish.  The sound of the river reminded him of his former home and his son fussed and thrashed about in a make-shift cradle.   To add injury to insult, Gabe soon discovered he had an intruder in his sleeping bag.  Before he found and removed it, the rather large spider landed several venomous bites to Gabe's extremities.  Gabe claims his allergic and emotional reaction caused him to, "Swell-up like a toad."  He had a bottle of Benadryl which, but for the newly introduced "childproof cap" and his swollen fingers and numbed mind, might have eased his suffering.

The next morning Gabe and his baby boy returned to town and once again ran into the woman from K&C.  She was impressed with his newly acquired, "Dough Boy" look, and asked how he had come by it.  While the lady opened his bottle of antihistamine, Gabe explained.  The Navajo woman shook her head sadly and said, "Spider Woman must be angry with you."  She went on to ask, "Are you conflicted with a woman, the moon or maybe the river?"  "All of the above," whimpered Gabe as he explained his miserable situation.  The lady shared his sorrow and advised Gabe how to disperse his despair, instructing him to go back to his camping spot, build a cedar fire, strip down to his skivvies and cover his body with charcoal.  At that point he was to pray, chant, meditate or do whatever his people do to communicate with the spirit world.  Gabe was admonished to continue from dusk to dawn, freeing his mind of negativity and anger.  She then sent Gabe on his way, loaning him an eagle feather to propel his prayers towards heaven.

Gabe did as he was instructed, and somewhere between a spectacular sunset, the large bottle of Benadryl and a brilliant sunrise, he was redeemed.  Gabe said from that point forward he was blessed with harmony and balance.  He raised his beautiful child, found a golden place and eventually discovered his perfect companion.  Gabe brought Millie to Bluff to show her where he had turned himself around, and to search for the Navajo woman who guided him to peace and rebirth.  "The woman's last name was Begay," said Gabe.  "Do you know anyone by that name?"  "A few," I replied.  Although Gabe did not relocate his savior during the short visit, he and Millie did leave a lasting impression.  Heck, we may even attend the wedding!

With warm regards,
Barry, Steve and The Team

Great New Items! This week's selection of Native American art!

Our TnT's purchased new treasures! Check out Traders in Training!

Enjoy artwork from our many collector friends in Living with the Art!

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