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A READER'S JOURNAL, Volume 1:

Spirit Song
by
Mary Summer Rain
The Visionary Wisdom of No-Eyes
Published by Schiffer Press/Pennsylvania in 1985
Book Review by Bobby Matherne ©2002

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This is the book for people who believe that the loveliest places in the world are in the Rocky Mountains, that American Indians are wiser than we immigrants, that technology is destroying civilization, and that the end will be soon. This book is for you because you will be going uh-huh, uh-huh all the way through it.

Along the way the rest of us (the skeptics) are put off by this blind Chippewa squaw who claims omniscience about the world and what's best for it without ever having experienced it. Oh, she can see, alright, with an internal vision that permits her to find, collect and label thousands of different herbs and plants in bottles for medicinal purposes. She can fly, too, we learn as she takes the author (calls her "Summer") on flights with the peregrine falcon (out of body, of course). Through some unexplained purpose, as a baby the squaw was named "Bright Eyes," but in the whole of the book chose to have Summer call her "No Eyes."

She takes on Summer as a pupil and begins a Don Juan Matus- Carlos Castenadas relationship with her. Always teaching, she insults, cajoles, prods, teases, encourages, scares, enlightens, and variously instructs Summer on Amerind ways of understanding the world. Like Carlos, Summer asks dumb questions and then is dumbfounded by there teacher's response - later learning from the response in a big way.

The book is a book of lessons interspersed with musings of the author's rapture with the mountains. In the end of the book, of course, "No Eyes" predicts climatic changes which will leave only her beloved mountains above sea level.

The "Spirit Song" barely rises above its "life is an ecological disaster" underpinnings, but when it does, the dialogue and teachings of "No Eye" make the book worthwhile. One must take the disaster scenarios for the projections they are in order to draw benefit from the remainder of the book.



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