Wednesday, August 19, 2009


When I breathe deeply here, and let myself be, I feel the sacredness of Hah-ah-poos reverberate throughout my being. Ancient laughter and pain hang in the air here like clouds, and for an instant I can see the wild Duwamish river, raging with burning rapids and the silvery bodies of salmon. I see the Native Americans fishing from the banks, the dwellings, the dances around a glowing fire that shoots sparks into the sky. The imagery is so strong in my head here that I have to sit, and stare at the industry that now crams the river with reds and blues, colors that don't belong.

The water is tame now, it's fight has been gone for almost a century. But the hollow feelings remain in this sacred place at Pier 107, Duwamish land.

I have come here for a news story, and sit in my baking car for hours. A homeless camp now populates these banks, brightly colored tents are spread in the shade of the deciduous trees, where Indians once lived. It is somehow ironic that those in control are trying to push yet another group from this place. Not that long ago, a people who lived here for 1400 years was gathered and grouped on reservations, so white people could build power plants.
I am not sure why I feel so strongly here, but the sense of loss is overwhelming. I'm glad the Duwamish have kept this place full of trees and brambles and dirt. If I close my eyes, and breathe the rustling breeze deeply, I can imagine I'm there. I can hear the river, the eagles, and the silvery buildings of downtown Seattle disappear from view.


Paula said...

I think you channel Native American energy, and perhaps were in this or another group in a past life. :-) And God knows our society could use more of that energy.

Anonymous said...

I loved this---You were probably a native American in another life.
This is descriptive writing at its best.

Brian said...

Very nice writing, KH! Thanks for taking me there.