The Chickasaw – Part 2


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My last entry I wrote of a feeling of impatient irritation in reading “FAKE” or “REAL” news, that feeling continues however I have not had time to post; please excuse me; the mind or body did not cooperated these past few days .  My depression sometime has a life of its own that I cannot win.

I told you of my great-grandmother who was the “Keeper of the Memories” for the family.  Everyone called her “Ma”;   I spent many hours sitting next to her rocking chair just listening.  You read of her father Fosee, her grandfather and grandmother, all Native Americans living in Alabama Territory.

(Ma as the storyteller continues) However, Fosee like all of the boys in his vision could not wait to go on his Vision Quest.  Early one morning his father woke him it was time to find his own Totem.  At the edge of the forest (this would later be known as the Black Warrior Forest), he was shown a path that he must follow, yet, to find his own path in life.  Somewhere down that path, he would discover himself.

On that path he saw many signs of small animals, he found a bush with his favorite berries; quickly pushed his hunger out of his mind, he could not eat until he discovered his path in life.  Mid-day he came upon a clearing Fosee lay down in the tall yellow grass staring at the sky and watching the clouds drift by; he drifted off to sleep.  It was in that sleep he dreamed that his grandfather was with him; Fosee smiled when he looked at the leathery chiseled face with deep furrowed lines and the long white hair cascading around his strong shoulders.  Then he heard his grandfather calling his name, Fosee jumped from his warm bed of wild wheat and ran toward the river, he had much to do before dark.  Fosee carried rocks and cedar branches to the top of a large flat rock, the made a circle placing twigs in the circle, he used flints to light his fire and was soon fast asleep.

Fosee did not move from the flat rock where he drifted in and out of sleep both day and night, he was hungry; one day led to the next.  On the third day, he leaned over looking at the river below; then he thought that he heard his grandfather.  Then, he saw him, sitting across from him, the smoke stung his eyes and it was like a thick fog, but he could hear his grandfather talking to him, although his mouth never moved.  It was the spirit of his grandfather.

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On the fourth day came and this would be his last night on the rock, floating in and out of consciousness.   The eastern sky looked like the forest was on fire, the western sky a full moon seems to be dipping behind the cliffs that edged the river.  Suddenly, a Hawk with massive wings glided over the fire landing next to the circle of rocks.  The Hawk spread his wings pointing at one of the rocks saying, “This is where you life began”; then he spread his wing around the circle saying “This is where you life will end”.  There was one rock missing.  Fosee returned to the path, the Hawk followed him, and then swooped down landing on a fallen tree.  When he looked back to the path there stood his father and they returned without talking to meet his mother at the cooking fire.  He turned to the center yard saying, “I am no longer Little Bird, my name is Hawk”.

 

Resource – Storyteller – Jane Over-Town “Overton”
1848-1954 at the age of 106 her mind was
Like a steel trap, she never forgot anything,
It was her body that was ready for death; she lay
down for an afternoon nap and woke only to
say goodbye to the grandson she raised, my father

Post Writer – Elizabeth Ann Johnson-Murphree
Great granddaughter

 

 

Author: Elizabeth Ann Johnson-Murphree

Artist/Writer of Fiction, Poetry, Prose and Thoughts, Opinions Born in Alabama to a Native American (Chickasaw) father and an emotionally absent mother since the Author's birth, raised by her father, her Native American great-grandmother and an African-American woman whom were all grand storytellers. As early as four years old she was roaming the countryside around her home alone or with her father; and at night she sat at the feet of these strong-minded individuals listening to the stories of their lives. Summers she lived with her fathers' sister in Birmingham, Alabama; it was that she would discover a library, and mingle with her aunt's circle of friends that included local writers, artist, and politicians. A cabin deep within the Black Warrior Forest was her playground on the weekends. Her aunt encouraged her imagination by introducing her to journaling, which she filled with stories over the summer. Planted was the desire to write, a seedling waiting to spurt from the warm southern heart of a child. Her love of art and painting came through the teachings of a grammar school teacher which she pursues when the well of words dry up when writing. Throughout the years along with her father, great-great-grandmother, and her beloved Aunt Francis, other influences were her high school English teacher Mrs. S. Odom, writers Faulkner, Capote, Fitzgerald, and Harper Lee. Later in life, she discovered the warm and comic writing of Grace Paley. The vivid poetry of William Carlos Williams; the strong poetry of Phyllis McGinley, and the world's most exciting women, Maya Angelou are some of the poets at the top of her list. Nonetheless, with adulthood, the desire to write buried itself deep within, the dream wilted but did not die. It laid dormant, gaining experiences all written in hidden journals. These experiences, the contents of these journals became short stories and poetry reading to share with the world. She writes of many life experiences in poetry format; questioning everything from Mother Nature to God...the poetry is raw and may not be understood by all. Yet, it comes from deep within and reads of truth within her soul. The harshness that shrouded her life would cause her to withdraw from most of the world; it fills the pages of her writing, the heartache, the abuse, and the denial her mother frankly portrayed. Today, she enjoys her children, grand and great grandchildren, her four-legged companion Mason, they live in Southern Wisconsin...far from her southern roots; however she continues to write and paint daily. Ann has published in Kindle eBooks and paperbacks at Amazon.com: Book #1 Echoing Images from the Soul 2012 Book #2 Beyond the Voices 2012 Book #3 Reflections of Poetry 2013 Book #4 Honeysuckle Memories 2013 Book #5 Sachets of Poetry on Adoration, Anger, Asylums and Aspirations 2014 Book #6 My Journey into Art 2014 Book #7 Asterial Thoughts

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