Tuesday, July 29, 2008

To the Aztlan Station


The word simply stood out to me in the context of understanding the nomadic cosmopolitanism of old: Aztlan. The etymology is uncertain. It is an Aztec word. Some say it means "to the North." Others say the "place of the egrets" or the "place of the four rivers."
While others maintain it is the "white land" and refers to the sandy, salty, desert lands of the Southwestern United States. Aztlan is frequently associated with the Southwest. But if one lets one's imagination go, the "white land" (visually analogous to the "place of salt") could yet be a snow covered Canada where salt becomes ice or moving back further into migrational lore, Siberia herself.

There is a natural tendency among the descendants of the so-called "native" tribes in North America to romantically see Aztlan as a political rallying point, a feature of self-identity, and who will begrudge them this but the notion of a global nomadic cosmopolitanism has far broader connotations. It is a tale of exchange and travel, a tale of portents and omens, a tale of following the flight of herons down through the continental river ways into the lands of mystery. These are not the artificial ways of the great iron horse but the deeply magnetic and humble ways of the great blue bird.

The Aztlan Station is the place of atunement then to these ways of travel and life. Guided by the stars and the flight of the birds shall we leave the Aztlan Station for parts unknown leaving the kings and priests of the cities behind? Will the world yet be a mysterious journey across, to and from the great Northern homeland of Aztlan and then beyond yet to the milky way where the nectar of life will be churned forth.

There are things yet understood by the great map makers showing the ways through the movement of the heavens and the call of the great river birds inland toward the mountains. The Cosmic global innuendo emerges at the closing of the Fifth Age pointing to the great arts of the cosmopolitan time keepers, citizen of all continents, toastmasters to kings, friend to wanderers. Keep one's eye open then to the call of the birds, I say, for they are the creatures who see the lay of the land guiding us to new worlds beyond the slaughter houses of politics.
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