In the last days
In a world with light,
where the bird sings, and the tree whispers with the wind, is where this story comes from. In a world with light, where the waves reach closer and the days become warmer, this world with light that we tell stories from is the same world you and I are in today.
After the great battle with the pale faces, the spirit world was lost. No spirits could cross over or communicate with each other anymore. The pale faces controlled the access to our ancestors and indigenous knowledge. We soon lost our ways to harness our energy. We were pushed aside… Told to not dance and sing anymore. The pale faces told us to forget about the ways we used to live, the way we use to be connected with everything. To not talk to spirits anymore. And when they told us this, we listened. As we listened, we forgot our ways, and as we forgot our ways, the world with light started to fill with darkness.
Many seasons went by and the raven started to sound funny now. He spoke in a different tongue, we did not listen to the raven any more. Life got darker in the world with light.
Our children started to get sick and none of us remembered how to use our medicine anymore. The pale faces were consumed by a dark energy, as they tried to help, they hurt more. The giving of diseased blankets took most of our young ones back to the creator.
The rivers got low and the salmon had a battle of their own with the pale faces, being blocked by walls to their traditional spawning grounds. When the salmon hurt, we hurt.
There have been stories passed along in the old days about a young warrior who would be born under the full summer moon with the name Tyee-chinook-qua-hoh. As many know, boys are not named at birth but at a naming ceremony after life skills have been observed and tradition honored. This is one of the last stories to be told.
Tyee-chinook-qua-hoh means the son of the big chief. His battle will not be with obsidian blades and clubs. It won’t be with guns and ammo. This battle will take place from the inside. On the day of the birth of the boy, Tyee-chinook-qua-hoh, the spirit of peace, will come from the spirit world and be born within the boy.
In one village on a slough on the coast line, a boy was born on a June night. His father never spoke and his mother only spoke. Elders told of the old stories about the boy being born on a full summer moon. The tribe knew that the doors of the spirit world opened up that night. The boy would be looked at from blind eyes of an elder. As the boy looked backed at the elder, a film of white dropped like a veil from her eyes.
Tyee-chinook-qua-hoh had a gift that lightly shined in his brown eyes. An openness to another world shown through the black of his pupil, reflecting everything the person looking in them wanted to see themselves as. The angriest of warriors will only feel peace when they looked into the eyes of the boy. The loneliest of the lonely will learn to enjoy their own company. In this time, the darkness the pale faces brought in was a device to self loathe. This is one of the darkest evils in the world.
For when one does not love themselves, they cannot go about loving one another. It creates a stranger within each one of us. This darkness helps to separate our soul from everything that is connected in the natural world. The separation is seen as hate and we learn to hate ourselves. The reflection of how we feel is then felt by those around us, and the hate grows and isolates. The world is a stranger to itself.
Tyee-chinook-qua-hoh sat in the forest most of the day. Cousins passing by one day said it looked like Tyee-chinook-qua-hoh was staring at trees, as if they were talking to him. If he wasn’t in the forest with the trees he could be found on the big hill with the clouds. He wore a big bandana that covered most of his eyes. For he knew he was given a power too great for man, he had to be careful with who he looked in the eye. Much like his father, he never spoke, but like his mother, when he did, it was profound. “Remember, when you look at yourself in a mirror. Tell the person looking back how much you love them”.
The pale faces continued to colonized the earth, stripping it of it resources and exploiting its products. They seemed to be too powerful to defeat. When the earth is in pain, a pain is put on to its indigenous peoples. Using persuasion, the pale faces was able to own almost everything everyone ever had. All but one last thing.
Thought is the source of creation. Thought is not a moment of time or activity but an element of awakening into the spirit world…To think, is to open one selves’ ability to harness a sacred energy from the oldest pond in the overgrown forest that has always existed in the spirit world. This is the same energy that put the earth below our feet and the sky above our head. We are all able to be plugged in to this energy, and when we are, the coat of disillusion is pulled back and we see for once the reality of what it is to be awaken and to be a part of the creator. This is the pond that Tyee-chinook-qua-hoh calls home.
As a young man, Tyee-chinook-qua-hoh started to take his role as a leader. He taught his people how to listen to the old stories again. He spent a lot of his time teaching his people how to communicate with the earth. A great rising was taking place. A revolution of culture and a learning of the old indigenous ways was coming back. The people of the village could walk around and know what their place was within the cycle of life again. The darkness that was starting to fill the village, was now receding like a dense fog on the banks of the Willapa.
During the changing of season, the village all got together to sing, drum, dance and thank the creator. During a deep prayer, Tyee-chinook-qua-hoh was orating to his people. At that moment, a giant silhouette covered the sun. A shape of the raven embodied the village people below. “Akh-kah! My people, can you hear me now, Akh-kah!” The young orator took off his bandana and stared into the white of the eyes of his people and then at raven. “We can hear you now Raven. speak to my people” said Tyee-chinook-qua-hoh.
“Akh-kah! A great darkness is coming to visit you and your people Tyee-chinook-qua-hoh. Stare into the sun rather than his eyes.”
At the sounds of a raven screech, the raven disappeared and the moon started to cover the sun. The reason for all the darkness had finally found his people. The wind got cold and birds stopped singing. Flowers began to close their petals and the animals went to sleep. The darkness changed shape into a large Owl. He perched onto the closest branch and gazed down upon the tribe.
His eyes pierced into the souls of the villagers. Stretching his wings and clawing into the bark. The children were the first to feel the fear Owl was putting out. The sounds of children crying and old women praying became a cacophony that lingered through the forest. The hunters and warriors started to yell at the owl with anger and the Owl became larger. The more anger the people put out the stronger the Owl became, the weaker the tribe got.
“The most pitiful group of humans I’ve seen, there’s no fight against this, no one comes close to my power. Let the hate consume you.” Said the Owl.
One child cried out for Tyee-chinook-qua-hoh that made the Owls necks turn backwards. The spirit of peace was watching the moon cross the sun.
There is a knowledge that only a few know that exist. To understand how everything is connected is to know the ways through your own mind. As Tyee-chinook-qua-hoh waited for the moon to cover the sun, He knew this was his only moment he could stare into the eyes of his people who then will feel peace and the Owl will be consumed by the reflection of feelings being given off. He kept his eyes on the sun until he got to his people, never taking his eyes off the last bits of light shining though the eclipse.
His people watched him turn his back on the sun and face them with bloodshot eyes. The world was now in complete darkness. His people looked into his eyes and he began to lose strength. Weak and tired he staggered and tried to keep his eyelids open. He began to lose his balance and the tribe grabbed on to him to help him stand. With the most intense stare, he slowly looked his people in all of their eyes. Smiling as he started to let go of his body “This is my end my people, you, child, hold my eye lids open. The crowd held eye contact all the way till Tyee-chinook-qua-hoh laid on the ground. All of his power had been given to the tribe and passed on to every member.
A gust of wind took the spirits bandana away as light slivered its way out of the darkness. At the moment, Tyee-chinook-qua-hoh disappeared was the same moment the Owl did as well. The opposite of spirits entering the afterlife together created a bridge between worlds again. Pale faces changed their ways for good and a great understanding was told to everyone. The members of the tribe went on great walk abouts looking everyone in their eyes, slowly working their medicine on anyone that’s needs it. Becoming the caretakers of the earth.