Friday, August 22, 2008

Westering 09: The Manitou Springs Manifesto
Where Once the Ute, Arapahoe, and Cheyenne were One

Manitou Springs is all about the second fall. As perennial wisdom will devolve towards a religious system of belief, the sacred will descend to base material. Once a hallowed healing place for the Ute, Arapahoe, and Cheyenne, this place of mineral springs is now a tourist attraction complete with restaurants and penny arcades. The Indians are nowhere near.

Yet the main attraction is the plethora of gift shops specializing in Native American souvenirs, both authentic and imitation. Especially imitation. Even the city name is partly real and partly counterfeit. The Springs are real, of course; the Manitou was lifted from Mr. Longfellow’s ‘Hiawatha.’

By the plains, east Colorado; by the Rocky Mountains run; come three tribes who live the difference; see that self is not the one. Bright behind them rose Sun Mountain; bright before it beats the drum; beats the rhythm of the living; beats the heart, its nature come. Chants the song of sacred wisdom; all was one before the fall; dancing now as one with spirit...

One the universal all.

~Son Rivers 2008

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