Knowledge and Understanding

Above us, a smooth jut of rock covered our heads, and the rock we were standing on was wind-, rain-, and snow-rubbed flat.

I walked to the edge and looked over. It was down to an expanse of flat reddish brown and silver-grey that rolled west to where it all stopped: to that edge, to the horizon. Then it was over the horizon, over the edge, over the side into millions of blue to where the someone big one day had reached out from and piled the rocks, big hands setting the rocks on top of each other just so for Berdache Indians in the old times, for Dellwood Barker, and now for me.

"When the time comes, this is where I am going to die," Dellwood said. "Story goes if you live your life being true to your heart, you'll find a place like this where you can come to when you die, and you can tell the story of your life out loud to all of nature listening. Death has to wait until you're done with your singing and dancing and whatever else you got to do to get your story told.

"By telling your story, the knowledge you have will become understanding. And that - knowledge becoming understanding - is better than anything there is to feel."

From The Man Who Fell in Love With the Moon, Tom Spanbauer, Harperperennial Library.
© 1991 Tom Spanbauer
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