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When Rivers Ran Free

When Rivers Ran Free
Photo Information
Copyright: steven warnstaff (wahclella) Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 45 W: 7 N: 224] (1119)
Genre: Landscapes
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-01
Categories: River
Camera: samsung GX, tokina 28-70mm 2.8
Exposure: f/22
Details: Tripod: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-12-19 10:43
Viewed: 3454
Points: 2
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
When Rivers Ran Free

Many suns have passed since my grandfather sat beside me at our campfire and led me through the days when rivers coursed through our lands without pause. He told me of rising in the morning before the Great Spirit Sun arose from upon the horizon, and as Sunís first rays shared their warmth upon the shores of the great river, it was here that my grandfather said he had found himself many times listening to the waterís lap against the rocks that were once cast far from the lands of the north by the Great Spirit, Missoula.
My grandfather told me of the salmon spirits owning to Goddess Metlako, and of their leap far into the sky as they found great favor in that the waters ran strong beneath them, and this I was then told allowed their spirits to challenge unto their young and for their return from their lifeís journey beyond our great river and within the great waterís of the setting sun.
My grandfather sat beside me many nights as the moon glimmered upon the grounds that we shared as he told of such stories as these of our peopleís history upon the Landís of Wah.
My grandfather was a great man whoís wisdom was never questioned by our peoples as he spoke of the Hyas Illahee, Great Earth, and of the trials that would soon be placed one day before us. He spoke of visions that appeared before his eyes, visions of storms that have now been seen to rise above the horizon given this very morningís, lightís, darkened screen.
Sadly, as had my grandfather once seen, I now give witness to the Great Sun Spirit as it rises above the tainted stains that are attached to the Hyas
Tumtumís, High Spiritís, village.
Today, as I walk along the shoreline of this great river, I see that these waterís spirits that were once pure are now fouled as their souls have been held captive and imprisoned behind the tribes of broken stones that rise far from upon the
waterís plain.
Today, as I am not allowed to witness to the great salmonís leap toward the heavens from within the waterís crippled stream I do hear of the salmonís lonely plight. As the fish spirits that pass below me share the story of their distressed souls and how they have lost their course upon the great riverís trails, I find myself mournful for the fish spiritís plight as they drift listlessly beneath my stand upon the great waterís bank, and as I stand in sorrow for what our peopleís have allowed, I know they are surely destined to drift in silence toward the darkened depths well hidden by the Mesachie Tahmahnawis, Bad Spirit, of the salt chuck, ocean.
My grandfather told me that his fatherís father shared stories of the great Spiritís of Wy-East, Pahti, and of the Princess, Lawala Clough. He told of Wy-Eastís and Pahtiís battle for the princess of all the lands that are attached to the Cascades, and how their battle had challenged the valleys with great smoke and fire as jealousy and suspicion arose between them of one anotherís persistence. He spoke of the sunís trails pierced with fire as long arrows and fiery lances streaked for many days far across the Great Spiritís lands as Wy-East and Pahti released their Bad Spirits upon the kingdoms that they were privilaged and chosen to rule.
Then, with a sad heart and soft voice, my grandfather spoke of Princessí Lawala Cloughís solitary heart as it lay untended throughout their heated casts. It has been told that as her heart then felt contempt for the brothers as they chose to scar the lands through their distempered and heated storm, she chose also not to journey to the kingdomís of her suitors upon the burnt and blackened grounds of the Cascades for all the dayís that the sun and moon should rise and fall across all their lands.
My grandfather told me of the days when he journeyed with his father through the great mountains and valleys that rise along the Great River that was formed by Wy-Eastís and Pahtiís shame, and how they stood beneath great tumwaters, waterfalls, as these waterís spirits then calmed their souls as they fell treasured
before their feet.
As I also stand beneath these tumwaters this day, the Spirits that the Landís of Wah are treasured allow me to peer deeply into the dancing colors held within their teardrops that surrounds my stand beneath their trace. As I enter through the passageway that these colors lead my eyes to stray, I am greatly saddened to witness that the lands and rivers that our peoples had once protected through our respect for the gifts that the High Spirit had chosen for our share, shall soon disappear beneath the rising storms wrought by our own undaunted haste.
As the future of our peoples pass nearer to this day through the vision wrought by the High Spiritís wish, I fear that our peoples will not again see these gifts awarded before us!
My vision leads me to the sight of our peoples that shall soon become lost and forever wandered upon the sandís of the Great Desert that holds no cover from the heated breaths of the Bad Spirit. These same lands that are now gathered with the souls of many sticks, trees, as their branching arms lead to the fruited plains of the heavens from upon the lands that our peopleís now survive!
I fear that our peoples shall then become challenged without support from the Hyas Tumtum of our Illahee, and we shall not survive our err!
My grandfather once shared with me the story of seeds that were cast upon our lands by the heavenís breaths, and were once watered by the tears shed by the Hyas Illahee Tumtum, Great Earth Spirit, and these tears gave life to the sticks that stand proudly amongst our forests.
As I stand beneath the protection of these treeís surviving brothers, the tears that should now trace steadily upon their sainted root drift silently from upon the arid trails splintered upon the High Spiritís cheeks.
I wantonly search unto the heavens for an answer from our Hyas Tumtum, High Spirit, and as I plead before him to spare our peoples from the loss of his gifts that are treasured to these soils, I find firmly attached to the avenues that the sun now traces, and tainted far across the kingdomís of the heavens, a red
cast as was once our own brotherís blood as they laid stained upon the
Mesachie Tumtumís, Bad Spiritís, grounds as they fled the wisdom cast by the Kloshe Tumtum, Good Spirit, and of their choice to not grasp given the profit of our faith before him.
This quest, as was my grandfathers before me, demands my wail before the Hyas Tumtum!
I find myself surrendered given to the thoughts of our peopleís survival once we have allowed the final battle to begin, and of its promising toll of our defeat as it is unmercifully cast upon us.
I must lay question before the peopleís of our Illahee of our survival without the gift of Moolock, Elk, and Mowitch, Deer, and the Hyas Chakckak, Great Eagle, as they too shall attain escape from the rape of their lands and one day wander before anotherís gates and disappear upon our lands that we were so honored to have once secured!
What must we, as peoples of this Hyas Illahee yield to again allow all the riverís spirits to once again be free amongst the sanctuary that is and shall always be the Great Sunís most honored realm?

Okoke Wawa Enkahnam
The Story Teller

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To eqshannon: Hello Bobwahclella 1 12-19 17:16
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God I love oral and story traditions....at one time I called Russ Means and Dennis Banks friends..I covered them because one of them lived or had mom and dad in Cleveland when they formed AIM...,,this was a looong time ago when I was a full time journalist..I think they didn't trust me eventually but I am still in contact with others....and your note and image are in the tradition of non owners of Earth...

Your image does what Russ was named after..Oyate Wacinyapin...means "works for the people" but in a quasi abstract way...I love it combined...pictures and words together..Sometimes a great image can stand on its own...and other times a great speech can do the same...but at superb times..the combination work in a synergistic and all is well with Mother Earth

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