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You can imagine what it was like. A big silence. No life. Nothing.Just the Void. After awhile, Old Void began to think that this wasn't such a good idea. Now there wasn't anyone or anything around to pay any kind of attention to Void, and so Old Void began to get lonely.Things seemed empty and sad.

But what Old Void didn't know was that there were things behind the silence and behind Void, hiding, gathering together, slowly forming a new kind of life. They came out of Nothing and started planning how they could get the drums back. They knew Old Void would be curious about any kind of sound, so what they did was to learn how to sing. It came slowly, but finally Spiral learned how to hum. It came out of Nowhere, just like the drumming had, and it seemed pretty effective. So others learned how to do it. Spirit of the Dream Time began singing, then Bear joined in, and Earth-Song. Also Fox and Raven.

Soon everyone was in on it.

Now life was going again and everything singing. Old Void heard the singing and he was so intriqued he went to see what it was about. Old Void liked the sound so much that Old Void agreed to never steal the drums again if they would teach Void how to sing. So they did. And Void gave the drums back and began singing. And now everything accepted Old Void for what Void was and no longer thought Void was so ugly. They realized Old Void had just been lonely.
So to the people, Spiral said: "You must keep on singing and drumming. These things will keep you alive and will keep you from being afraid of Old Void." And Spiral, together with all the others, taught the people how to make images of everything that could sing, so they could remember what life was about and how to keep it going. And how to have courage. So the people made masks and learned how to do this ceremony.

This is why we have masks that sing.
This is why we tell this story.
So we may remember.
So we may have courage.
This is the way it should be in our mind.


Extended ellipsis:

One of the most startling and mysterious experiences I had in the making of a mask involved a dream, an outing, and a bird. Sometime during my sabbatical leave from Drew University (1984-85), Peeka and I were away from our temporary home in upstate New York for the day. When we returned, walking up the path to our front door, we came upon a dead yellow-shafted flicker lying on the ground. Its presence there was a mystery, since our cats were indoors and there was nothing for the bird to fly into above where it was lying. But we accepted it as a gift: we had been collecting feathers for masks and costumes. I had not, however, plucked a whole bird before, and I didn't feel up to dealing with it right then. So I put it in the basement, fully intending to remove the feathers the next day. Several days passed.