st’ at’ limc

IMG_4239When  the sun set and we couldn’t rehearse outside in the dark; we’d finish each day working on music in the show. Cozy and warm in the rehearsal hall, it would always bring the cast’s energy back up. Cheri, Reneltta and Renae often kept playing pow pow songs after the day wrapped up. Each accomplished singers, weaving harmonies over the steady buffalo drum beat.

One night they were laughing about all the traditional songs that have become so popular in non-native neo-spiritual groups. Reneltta slapped her thighs and gleefully asked to sing the Warrior Woman song. Greg’s attention moved to his phone. Jay started scribbling in his script. Alex resumed stretching in the corner. Renae looked over at Rachel, Quelemia and myself and said “This is a call and response song.” I felt my body involuntarily clench, breathing restrict. Every introverted fiber of my being fled to the surface screaming retreat retreat!!

Renae started beating the drum and let out the most bone chilling vocable. Cheri followed in. Reneltta, from the floor, threw her arms open wide, sending her voice upward. Quelemia leapt in with her sweet, sparrow tones. All four singing like their spirits were flying out of every diamond shaped window in the timber framed hall. They all turned to Rachel and she kept that orb dancing in the air.

I wasn’t breathing I was trapped frozen wishing I could disappear if I close my eyes they can’t see me the room started going dark like just before passing out from lack of oxygen going to my brain all the voices directed at me all the love shining eyes smiles mouths wide with the wildest sounds I’ve ever heard in my entire life I croaked “I can’t… I’m so sorry… I can’t” they encouraged me saying “Who cares come on, come on!” the drum still beating I was deflated scared Rachel kindly rubbed my back and said “It’s okay” motioning to carry on without me she earnestly said “She’s powerful in her own quiet way” They did a final round as I focused on getting my breath back. I apologized that I got overwhelmed. Cheri laughed “There’s still a month. We’ll get it out of you.”

Women’s Warrior Song – St’ at’ limc

Hey hey hey ah he oh oh

Aw he oh oh

Hey hey ah he oh

Aw he oh oh

Hey hey ah he oh

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