Tuesday, February 28, 2006

More from Tim MacSweeney

Continuing a story begun here.

I thought that the grave was in a secret place. I’d seen enough TV and movies to know that the graves of chiefs, like Crazy Horse, were in secret places.

Yet in 1991 I found a woodcut of Nonnewaug’s Grave:

Of course I showed my brother John the book and the woodcut. We looked out my workshop door and, on the first terrace of the hill on the opposite side of the floodplain, we spotted a big hemlock and some very tall wild cherry trees, a good sign of a property line and perhaps more.

We found a barbed wire fence running close to magnetic north, over a linear row of stones, old chestnut posts placed in the stones. Under it was a low serpentine row of stones; there were some really old apple trees and others that looked to be suckers from old stumps grown into trees. There was an elevated circular sort of clearing above the apple trees with three large stones that appeared to be placed in a triangular arrangement.

I remember thinking who else other than Indians would build a decorative sort of border of stone around an old burial ground.

Years later a 100 year flood kept the Burial grounds from flooding, and revealed more of the serpentine row.

Years later I found there were other smaller stones in between the large ones in that triangle; on the Vernal Equinox in 199(?), I watched the sun set on the hillside over the southern most stone from the eastern most stone. With a compass in hand, at the same stone, I figured that on the Summer Solstice the sun would set for several days right above the northern most stone.

1 comment :

pwax said...

I want to mention a place of burial which I know well. After looking at it for some time I realized this place was an entire world of its own - with borders and internal rules peculiar to the place. Seeing all the details Tim discovered about Nonnewaug's resting place and considering the details Herman Bender provides for the path of the souls, it seems more evident that this impression - that each graveyard is its own world - is strengthened.