The man was scarecrow thin, except that he had apparently swallowed a basketball. He stood well over 6 feet tall, dwarfing his voluminous girlfriend. His uncombed brown hair had gold highlights angling off his head in directional swatches that looked like thatch on the roof of a cottage. His face was hawkish and angular, his complexion pale and covered in freckles, as if he had spent much time outdoors as a lad, but not much for a long time since. His eyes were brown and flecked with the same gold highlights. His neck was long and thin and featured an extremely prominent Adam's apple that bobbed up and down during his animated conversation. He wore a grass green polo shirt that covered a sunken chest and that weird round protrusion just above his belt. His arms and legs were stick thin and knobby as tree limbs. He wore thigh length khaki shorts and yellow flip-flops, which exposed the longest toes I have ever seen. He walked about the store with his narrow shoulders slouched and slumped back and his odd shaped stomach leading the way. Norman Rockwell would have had a heyday painting this pair.
After pacing the store and openly admiring our selection, the stick man bought the balloon girl a pair of earrings. He apologized for his "meager purchase," but said when his ship came in he would be back and treat his "new bride"' to a much more extravagant gift. I told him he should never apologize for spending any amount of money here because we appreciated each and every sell. I also told him that, because of him, we were now $39.95 closer to our first million. The mostly thin man laughed and we fell into easy conversation. I came to learn that he and she were from Minneapolis, Minnesota and were celebrating their honeymoon. He was a computer programmer and she an event planner. They were a great deal of fun to talk with and I was sad when it looked like they were leaving. As they prepared to go, the scarecrow stepped back, pointed a bony finger beyond the ceiling in the direction of the Twin Rocks and asked; "What do you call those big rocks up there?
|Navajo Pictorial Twin Rocks Rug - Eleanor Yazzie (#112)|
I explained the formations were hoodoos formed of wind and water, but the Navajo people see them as representations of the Hero Twins. The Twins were born to the Sun and Changing Woman, and it was their task to rid the world of monsters, thereby making it habitable for their people. The monsters were many and varied, but the boys drove them from this realm. Well, most of them. At that point the couple became agitated about the sad state of the world these days. They spoke of how angry the human race had become, and how selfish and greedy we are as a people. I wondered at how a simple mythological story had sparked such fervor, but they were not done. The balloon girl kicked in and explained how lazy, sloppy and sexually motivated people are. By now I was looking for the shut-off switch, and was becoming worried they might both explode with exaggerated emotion. I wanted out of the conversation, and hoped someone would come into the store and distract them or that the telephone would ring and I could excuse myself. That did not, however, happen.
By the time the couple touched on malice, resentment and prejudice, I was becoming depressed and expected the apocalypse to blow in through the Kokopelli doors at any moment. I finally got a word in edgewise and said, "The only thing we haven't covered is gluttony; do that, and we will have exhausted every cardinal sin." The bony man and balloon girl thought about that for a moment then grinned sheepishly. "I guess we did go off on a rant", he said. "Yup!" was all I could reply. Everyone took a deep breath and the bountiful girl said, "Maybe we should turn the Hero Twins loose to rid the earth of monsters one more time." "Sure," I replied, "you would be in Minnesota computerizing and planning parties, while we would be out here dodging lightning bolts and trying not to become toe jam to at couple fired-up phenoms." The couple laughed, apologized for the diatribe and departed.
Surely there is much to learn from cultural stories, unique individuals and massive monuments. They remind us how we often create our own monsters and that there is always hope when it comes to dispelling them. Here in the midst of our little red rock river valley we find sanctuary from the outside world. We realize how lucky we are to be here to welcome those who visit. We do, however, hope they remain positive. We are extremely sensitive to negative vibrations and implications of mayhem. When you turn loose "Monsters" they are not always easy to contain. There can be collateral damage, and we do not choose that fate. So please, everyone, focus on finding your Hozho; balance and harmony are essential to a good life. Do not be coming around here looking to regenerate the Hero Twins. Just admire them for what they are and what they stand for. We would appreciate it.
With warm regards from Barry and the team:
Steve, Priscilla and Danny.