The Shaman’s Secret

Canopy77, by Douglas Pinson. Digital painting, 2021.

First Lessons Abide

Moderation in all things is terrible advice,” said the Shaman as we walked, then ran, then stood still. “All is contrast within context. If you wish to live sweet lives, take the highs and lows, embrace the deepest darkness and the most luminous visions, as if your life depended on it, because it does.”
So I asked him, as we ran, then walked, then stopped: “But moderation and mindfulness lead to balance and wisdom, so say all the prophets, didn’t they?”

“No, young sir, they didn’t. Their editors said so through the ages, more or less, once the words of the prophets were stripped of complexity, censored, abridged, and frozen for easier consumption.”

“But why would they do this?” I asked the Shaman, as we ate and drank the sour and the sweet from our backpacks, our canteens.

“So we remain easily controlled and docile, satisfied with bland and simple mediocrities. Embrace all Opposites instead!” the Shaman cried, again and again, as we jumped over the creek, and dove into Boann’s river.

Was I the wise salmon now, fighting upstream? Not knowing, knowing, learning and unlearning get me closer.

The Shaman’s Secret
Scroll to top