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Once I journeyed to view my own death; instead I met an old friend. That friend told me "Death is an illusion."

Many of my experiences have shown me death is rebirth. Nature has shown me life is continuous; constantly blooming and dying. It is energy radiating and compressing within a great cycle.

Now, it is autumn; life is decompressing. Life is dying. The stillness of winter is coming and it often reminds us of what will come to all living things in the winter of their lives. It is the still point of death before new life "springs" forth. The hush of The Push Pull just before life radiates outward and blooms again. It is an important lesson to observe and understand.

Death, just like winter, is always around the corner. He quickens fear and sadness like the unknown ending of a mythic tale. Unless you have read the ending of the (your) story, you do not realize the hero survives the darkness and steps into the light with the proverbial elixir for a new beginning; a rebirth.

Contrary to mainstream beliefs death can be a healing ally. He can allow you to appreciate each moment, he can encourage a legacy, he can be a light in the darkness of your worst fear and what you assume is your darkest or final journey. He can be a merciful companion and lend a helping hand to take you from "Winter" into "Spring" effortlessly. If you listen, he will tell you, you are an eternal Being. He will tell you, he is nothing to fear.

Death is not a stranger but a well known friend, always near, he's been beside you since your first breath.

But he wears a mask. If you carefully remove it, and look into his face, you'll see he is in truth, someone else. Death is "Rebirth."

Death, forever hiding his intense beauty behind a mask. To reveal himself as he really is, would be to keep us from discovering the many deeper truths about the nature of nature. And everyone knows the search for these things always opens many doors of knowledge. Knowledge we can "take with us" like we make and take our memories with us when we "go." Good memories are based on love; love is eternal. Love, like Death, like Rebirth, is a force of nature.

The healing spirit which lives within my drum calls itself "Life and Death." One of his faces is dark and ancient; skull mask and traditional native Vulture regalia. At other times, he is dancing joyfully and wearing traditional native regalia of Red, White and Black. He may be "Death" but he is also "Rebirth" who is one of the greatest healers of all; one of the greatest "transformers."

And he sings softly in Wogey Speak while he dances: "Death is an illusion." And then he removes his mask to kindly smile-- like an old friend.


Drum Photo credit: DW Naef. Wolf and Dancer photo credit; Unknown.

Adisi Waya