The origin of Mingus mountain’s name is murky. Research has found three different stories explaining its etymology. In her foreword to the 2004 edition of Mircea Eliade’s Shamanism, Wendy Doniger states that, ‘…myths (and, to a great extent, rituals) retold and reenacted in the present transport the worshipper back to the world of origins, the world of events that took place in illo tempore, in that time”.’³ There is, in other words, a rupture in everyday, linear time and its replacement with the ‘supratemporal’. This seems especially valid for describing highly formalised rituals that concern intrinsic aspects of existence – like death. While the wake had begun the rent in the ordinary, three gagaku musicians at the funeral itself (two bamboo flutes, one shō, the phoenix-harmonica) ripped it right open.
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Until recently, mountain habitats have been largely protected because of their inaccessibility. As people have moved into the mountains to live, for recreation and to obtain valuable resources such as timber, mountain ecosystems around the world have been subject to degradation and destruction.
The photos as much as the writing bear witness to the plight of those who will inhabit the world we are now bringing into being everywhere. The rural poor, whose agricultural livelihood has been destroyed by the economics of globalisation or the general anarchy of living in a failed state or the vicissitudes of an increasingly unpredictable climate, wind up in Juarez.
Caleb is looking to finish his schooling in fine fashion. He is signed up for two college level classes and an Honors class (of which I am the teacher). It is our prayer that he will finish the year out right along side his devoted friends. We are praying that he will be able to reach both his academic goals as well as his music goals. His biggest one being to make the Arizona All-State Band. He would love to replicate his father’s achievement of 1981.