Never Tell An Indian How To Start A Fire

Never tell an Indian how to start a fire.
Indians have been starting fires for a long time.
They’ve always had to stay warm and watchful.

From the prairies to the Pueblos,
setting fires of protection and protest,
fires of inspiration, revolution, survival.

Fires in their bellies and their spirits.
Funeral pyres and pow-wows,
pipe smoke, and drums with fiery rhythms.

They know how to keep it burning
all night long. It's lasted whole winters
and the fire has never gone out.

Babies born by firelight.
Bodies of the dead ignite and burn.
Smoke signals sent out and returned.

Glowing women, blazing warriors,
smoldering shamans, roaring chiefs.
Indians have always fueled the fires of earth.

(c) 2007 Marissa Dodge

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Comment by Bill Barnes on February 28, 2008 at 6:29am
Had my brother from Maine as an overnight house guest, so I've been off the computer. Trundle bundle-
haven't heard that one lately!

Yes, this is fun...
Comment by Chele Cobham on February 27, 2008 at 3:09pm
Comment by Marissa Dodge on February 27, 2008 at 1:41pm
4 good reasons to like the name Bill:

The joke about, "My parents named me Bill because I arrived on the first of the month." Was one my Uncle Bill used a lot and reminds me of him.

One of the first jazz piano players I heard when I was very young, was a family friend that my mom gigged with named Bill Samuels. He did a memorable version of "Caravan" that knocked my little trundle bundle off! (If you remember what a trundle bundle is, you're as old as I am ;o)

One of my favorite composers was Billy Strayhorn.

If you say, Bill, like "Billlllllllllllllllllllllll," it's very soothing and almost "OHM" like.

I'm sure I can think of many more, but for now, I will add that Bill Barnes is a new good reason to like the name.

Shell-A - that's even cooler than Shay-la :o)

Are we supposed to be having this much fun?
I think so!
Comment by Chele Cobham on February 26, 2008 at 5:23pm
Ok.. both of you.. STOP this foolishness... we're here for some very serious stuff.. Jazz!! Oh... wrong post... I forgot.. we're back here about Natives... OK.. so Marissa.. about your question... My real name is Michele with an accent on the last e which gives the sound of Michele-A. I shortened it to Chele which is pronounced - Shell-A... kinda like shelly without the e sound where the y is... AND yes, it does come from the root name Michael which your meaning is correct... supposedly named for the Archangel Michael - who performed the work of God. I have a brother named Michael... so we grew up Michael and Michele... Please explain the 'first of the month' to me too!! I, too, am glad to make friendships with BOTH of you and I hope we can continue this. Bill, you're right... your name is extremely difficult to pronounce. could you clarify that pronunciation for me, please. ciao!!

Comment by Bill Barnes on February 26, 2008 at 6:48am
Yes, I love being friends with both of you! Jai Jai really has started something very cool here.

And, no, I never heard that one about the first of the month. Bill of atonement, Bill of lay-din, etc. I never cared for my name, actually- it's so easy to mispronounce.
Comment by Marissa Dodge on February 25, 2008 at 9:49pm
You guys are a hoot! We actually get each other's sense of humor. This whole story has got me on the edge of my seat. It's a book that I'd love to read. It almost sounds like a bible story! I love being friends with both of you. May face hurts from smiling!

You know, I've been intrigued by your name, since I first read it, Chele, it's so cool - Chay-lay or Shay-lay? I looked it up and the closest meaning I can find is, "Who is like God." Michael might be the origin? (I married a Michael) but am curious to what you've discovered about it, other than the fact that you're great! :o)

And Bill, how many times have you heard the one about arriving on the 1st of the month. Actually, some of my favorite people are named Bill - honest!
Comment by Chele Cobham on February 25, 2008 at 7:57pm
Bill, none of this discussion is more than I wanted to know. Look at what you learned about me? I love getting to know people. Look what I learned from you and Marissa AND wait til you hear this --- in between the comments back and forth tonight, I built an offshoot of this network for my family -- somewhere we can all go to network, add pics, history, etc... See a lot of good came of these discussions... Bill, don't you love being my friend too? LMAO
Comment by Bill Barnes on February 25, 2008 at 7:02pm
This has been a great discussion. I love being your friend!
Comment by Bill Barnes on February 25, 2008 at 7:01pm
Chele, I grew up in Raleigh, not too far from Lumberton, (an hour, I think) and no, not native. I was a transplanted Yankee (moved from Pa in '56, when I was in the first grade) ) and got my butt kicked on a regular basis, until I discovered that bricks were not just handy building materials. It seemed that my pride in my paternal great grandfather Syke Barnes (who had immigrated from Leeds England in 1849 and who later fought in the Union Army against the Confederacy) just rubbed my classmates the wrong way. North Carolina is different now, or so they tell me. I left 34 years ago and since then, only returned for funerals.

More than you wanted to know, huh? LMAO
Comment by Chele Cobham on February 25, 2008 at 6:22pm
Marissa, these are family stories passed from one family member to another. However, parts of these stories are written down in history somewhere because it all started in Lumberton a generation or more back from my grandpa in that 2 brothers were run out of town because 'somebody' in the community was killed. The 2 brothers were apparently involved but I've never found out how and they went in opposite directions -- one to the south, one to the north. they changed their names and only saw each other one time after that. Their last name was Locklear (many Locklears in Lumberton). the one who headed north changed his name to Locke and from him my history came. Watching American Idol a few years ago, made me wonder about Kimberly Locke... she was from TN (I think). She looks very much like most of the rest of my family. Also, land in NC was stolen from my family, resold and developed on a long time ago but a cousin was determined to do the research and regain the land and he was very successful, got the land back and made the people who had bought the property move off the land... Actually, it was his research that enabled us to gain as much information about the Lumbies as we have now. Guess that's enough.







Jaijai, what a wonderful mission you've undertaken to create such a place for artistic minds to meet and share their hearts. A place to renew faded determinations, and revive lessened momentums. A place to display our wares and reconfirm to one another that we actually are on the right track.

I commend you, Jaijai, for caring so much that you created this castle of the heart for all of us. I want to share my praise for all of the new friends as well as old friends that I've met and will meet here in our castle. Here we can garnish the where-with-all, the strength, the conviction, and the selflessness through our symbiosis, to share our gift to the world with an unbiased agenda.

My mentor, Daisaku Ikeda says of art: "A beautiful flower delights and refreshes the hearts of all people equally, no matter what soil it grows in. That is the power of beauty. The same is true of great art. It is this spirit that the German poet Heinrich Heine sang of when he wrote that once the peapod bursts open, the sugar peas inside are for everyone to enjoy."

Let's be audacious, my friends!

Buster Williams


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