I'm on the plane back to Norway, extremely tired and filled with impressions that will take a while to absorb. The last two weeks I have met so many beautiful people with an incredibly strong courage to face the future with new hopes and to show love. I am forever grateful and happy to know it is true when we say: " See you again!" instead of "Goodbye". My extended family has grown so much bigger during this two weeks and I am forever grateful.
Ten years ago I got an email from a stranger called Paul Howard. He had heard my music and decided to write me to tell how he felt. It was heartfelt written and for some reason we just kept writing to each other. Some years ago he started to tell about the first nation people of America and a Celebration called Tamkaliks in Wallowa, Oregon. I have allways been fascinated about native nations and wanted to learn more about their culture. Last year when my band where hired for a huge festival called Faerieworlds in Eugene, OR, Jørgen and I decided to go one week earlier to meet Paul and to join the Tamkaliks Celebration & Friendship Feast. This is a three day celebration of traditional Native American culture and a celebration and recognition of the continuing Nez Perce Indian Nation presence in the Wallowa Valley.
When we arrived Wallowa last year I felt a lump of guilt and shame in my stomach for being white. I was afraid to do something wrong and to make the them feel bad. The way they welcomed us will forever be rememberd in my soul. I can no longer feel my skin color together with my new friends.
This year we were invited back by the leaders of the Nez Perce Indian Nation to join the 25th anniversary of Tamkaliks Celebration and to start a collaboration with Fred Hill Sr. Táwtalikś. He is a teacher, a musician and a ceremony master from the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, and an amazing storyteller with a great sense of humour. Sometimes when you meet people you just know it is right, and this happened during our first musical meeting some days before Tamkaliks. It was beautiful to experiense how two distant cultures can blend so naturally together. The power of music can be so strong and pure, and the respons the audience gave us from our concerts in Wallowa and Richland this weeks is a solid proof that this collaboration is worth so much more than the music it selves and the musicians who plays it. It is a strong conversation between to distant cultures.
Last night in Spokane we were given this beautiful hand drum from Monty Ford from Spokane Tribe, made by him selves out of deer hide. This was a present to show gratitude for what was shared at their Pow Wow ground. On the drumskin is says: Nem hez wićtmn (See you again).
So, even if it makes my heart cry to leave, I am grateful and happy for every memories you all have given me and I look forward to continue the collaborations from Norway until next time we meet. Jørgen, I love you of all my heart and are so blessed to share this life with you.
With light and love,