Friday, June 29, 2007

Reclaiming the Nomad - the Sacred

sacred places.
mazars. manas in the city
will we still know how to express emotion in the cement centers of our global worlds?
have we already forgotten?
I think of Lizou, crying when we depart.
and that afternoon when Dad bid me farewell with some dollars, a holy book and tears.

for more pictures:

we have ridden out of the city. a van. scholars, travelers, and mazar-keepers. we have entered those green summer valleys around Bishkek, where the mountains fold green and rock into inviting canyons leading upwards. a winding road up to Chong-Tash.

we arrive into the afternoon buzz of insects and a small stream.

all of the sudden, he throws his arms up into the air. running wildly up to the memorial, crying, yelping. sadness and astonishment. disbelief. he runs up the stairs to the brick kiln where 140 people – the elite of Kyrgyzstan – were executed in one of Stalin’s purges in 1937. there he sits, finds a piece of paper, a pen, and writes rapidly. words. prayers. voices. emotion.

we have come to the Chong-Tash memorial with the keepers of Mazars - sacred sites. we sit down to pray. palms upwards. open. prayers for the world, its madness and its calm. Allah Akhbat. we break bread and share the music of prayer. Stalin, father of death. will the shaman voices expel his dark soul from the world?
Chong-Tash. November 5, 1937

shadows and blood.
we shall reconquer these areas. plant a tree of life and build an opening to the sky.

(many thanks to Aigine and Gulnara Aitpaeva for sharing this with me)

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