The New Mythology: Coyote and Sun argue about the Universe

February 25, 2007 at 9:07 pm Leave a comment

One day Coyote was walking through the desert. While he was walking he looked up in the sky and saw Sun smiling to himself. Coyote asked Sun what was making him smile in that way. Sun said, “Coyote, my son, I am just so pleased with this Universe that I have created.”

At hearing Sun say this, Coyote began laughing so hard that he fell to the ground and rolled over and over. Sun asked him, “Why does that make you laugh, Coyote? I give the world warmth. I regulate the length of the day. Surely you cannot claim there is anything more important than that for the lives of the creatures who live beneath my gaze.”

Coyote laughed a while longer, for he could not control himself, but eventually the spasms subsided and he was able to roll back upright. Taking very deep breaths and hoping to maintain his composure, Coyote said, “It is true what you say, you do provide the warmth and regulate the day. This, without question, is as important for the living things as the water that rises from the ocean and falls on the hill, or the wind that carries it there.”

At this point Sun interrupted, “Coyote, surely you must also know that the water rises and the wind blows because of the warmth that I bring to the world. Those things you have just said are so important for the lives of the living, those things too are the result of what I have done. I have created this whole universe for all the living things.”

Coyote said, “Sun, you are misguided. You are so far away from what happens here that you cannot see it for what it is. Your effect on the lives of the living is beyond measure, surely, but you have not created the Universe.”

And Sun, growing more indignant by the minute, asked Coyote, “Alright then, who did create the universe?”

Coyote said, “Sun, do not have hurt feelings at what I have said. You have created the warmth and regulated the day, and this is of an importance without measure or equal. Tree, Flower, Bird, Shrub, all owe you a debt of gratitude. But you misunderstand the universe, I think.

“Beaver does not live in the universe. He lives surrounded by Tree and Water and the dams he builds with his own labor and skill. He works by the light of you, Sun, and sleeps by the light of Moon. He lives in the world of what he can see and touch and make use of for his family and his livelihood. Beaver does not need any more than what is in his world.

“Tree does not live in the universe. She lives surrounded by The Mother (Gaia) below, the air above, and the living things who make homes in her branches. She lives in the world of what she can feel, and who she can nurture and protect. Tree does not need any more than what is in her world.

“It is only Man who lives in the Universe, only Man who is so strange.

“Man has given up on the worlds of Beaver and Tree and all the other living things. Man no longer communes with the winds. Man no longer accepts the real power and intimacy of Moon, no longer walks with Buffalo or runs with Fox and Deer or hides with Mouse.

“Man has chosen instead to live in the Universe. This Universe where Man has chosen to live is enormous. The Universe is even bigger than you, Sun. This Universe is so big, in fact, that Man cannot look at it all at the same time, cannot feel any but those parts of it closest to himself. There are so many parts of his Universe, so many details and structures and hierarchies and relationships of dependency that Man has had to write all that he knows of his Universe down into stories.

“Between you and me, Sun, most of these stories aren’t very fun to tell. They’re long and boring and lifeless. They’re cryptic things bound up into enormous volumes, and only some of Man are even taught how to read and understand these stories. Mostly, Man is left simply to believe in this Universe where he has chosen to live, without being allowed to participate in these long, boring stories. He is not given the choice to come back and live instead in the worlds you warm and we living things inhabit. He is, instead, made to live nowhere, stuck in the middle between a world loved and remembered, comfortable and real and familiar, and another world only imagined or sometimes witnesses by only a few special men who are allowed to read the stories for themselves.

“Man has trapped himself inside of his Universe by surrounding himself with these stories and convincing himself that they are real. His Universe really only exists inside these stories that he tells, yet he believes it is his home. Man has become very confused by these stories, very saddened, very violent and panicked and strange. Man has gone mad with these stories. Just look at how he behaves.

At this point Coyote fixed Sun with a gaze at once commanding and fatherly, benevolent and sad. Coyote said, “Sun, don’t ever try to tell yourself that you are the one who created the Universe. That is simply not the case. You live here, with us the living things, in all of our little worlds where we share ourselves and play, where we depend on one another and support one another and are honest with who we are.

“Man created the Universe all by himself, Sun. That was none of your doing and you don’t share the blame. But,” and here Coyote lowered his eyes in shame, “everyone knows that Man learned to tell stories from me and from Wolf. We taught him to use the tool that he has become lost inside of, surrounding himself with stories inside of which he believes he lives.

“That is why we howl and scream and cry at the moon and at the sun and at one another, for we lost our friend Man, who is our friend no more. We lost our friend to the stories we taught him to tell. We lost our friend to a world he created that he cannot touch, cannot see, cannot feel except in stories. We lost our friend to his own imagination of things unliving, unloving, and unreal. We howl and cry in shame and sadness for teaching our friend this thing that has made him mad, and losing him to his madness.

Coyote sat for a moment in silence. Sun did not break that silence with words of his own, but instead just waited patiently for Coyote to continue.

After a pause, and a deep breath, Coyote went on, “Sun, don’t concern yourself with Man’s Universe. Even though there is a place for you there, it is not a place of love or support. Man’s place for you in his universe is as nothing more than an object to be analyzed and scrutinized. Be content to stay here with us in the worlds of the living things that love you and depend on you. Be satisfied to join Tree as she makes a home for the little living creatures who love her. Be happy to join Beaver as he builds his home and raises his family. Be content to reflect off the lakes that Beaver has made, warm the plains where Buffalo wanders, and glimmer on the snow-capped mountains where Lion and Ram and Wildflower all live.

“Perhaps someday Man will find that his stories have trapped him and he will then return to us, Sun. We can hope that someday Man will return to the glades and the marshes and the plains and the mountains and the swamps and the caves and the streams and the valleys. We can hold in our hearts our love for Man and we can wait to see if he will return to us. And we can pray that we will still be here, even just a few of us, when Man finally remembers his friends and comes home.”

Having said all of this, Coyote jumped back up to his feet and stared at Sun directly in the eyes. He yipped and hollered and howled and jumped around in a playful circle. Then Coyote looked at Sun and said, “But, Sun, if we stop living in our worlds, if we succumb to the sadness of Man’s madness, that is no way to show our friend we love him. You must shine and warm and smile down on us and regulate the day without fail. Beaver must continue to build his dams wherever he can find sticks and streams until there are no more. Tree must grow tall and broad and harbor the nests of the living until the living disappear and the soil is covered with concrete.

“We cannot fall into a depression. We must instead go on living as we have since the very beginning, and hope that our friend who we love will someday see us playing and remember that we love him and the he loves us. And maybe someday he will remember and he will return.”

Having said this, Coyote winked at Sun. Sun smiled back because he knew Coyote’s words were true. And Coyote continued his journey across the desert. And Sun continued his journey across the sky.

Story from the newswire

Checkout independent media coverage of politics, protest, and life

Article by: The Old Gray Wolf
Saturday 07 Jul 2001


Summary: This peice is available for non-profit duplication. The author does, however, reserve the right to request that the pseudonymn accompany the peice wherever it is reproduced, and that no person attempt to use this peice or any other from this author for capitalist means. This is a creative project that is being shared for the sake of its intended meaning on a literary level. The author does NOT relinquish control over the peice now or in the future.


Entry filed under: Myths.

Earth – An Astronaut’s View Winter Colds & Healthy Children

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed

%d bloggers like this: