By Paula Hamilton
THE SPIRIT OF THE LEOPARD
Told By The Author INGWE
Much like the first breath drawn after emerging from deep waters, where the breath is held so long, the body nearly forgets the life-giving surge the breath brings; this is The Spirit of The Leopard.
Born M. Norman Powell, in 1914, he became Ingwe (the leopard) during an encounter in his boyhood in Kenya. His stories, told on this ninety-minute tape, meld into one another and introduce a tale that reverberates the ancient mysteries and plucks at the deep chords of the soul. Like an eternal wind his message wakes up the city sleeper; reaching through the jungle of concrete to stir the remembrances of true earth jungles; the seed of a memory that goes beyond our own lifetime. It leaves the listener wanting for more.
He takes us on a verbal magic carpet ride through his transformation from a young British boy, living with his parents in Africa, to his return back to beloved Kenya as an initiate into the Akamba tribe. His words are wisdom, his words are history.
In the telling of his story about the years in early century Kenya, we can almost feel the heat of a campfire, if we close our eyes. Like a rare opportunity, we can be the tribal children hearing the voices of the elders. In telling his story, he is telling our story. The roots of the very beginnings; of whose branches we are offshoots. If there is such a thing as this on tape, then Ingwe has produced it. So much more than stories; it is truth and life on tape. So much more than entertainment, it is enlightenment to the soul that seeks a wisdom that can only be passed on through generations. Something I am afraid we have almost completely lost.
Through the leopard's spirit, Ingwe was called to a life of teaching the ways of our early ancestors. Reminding us to not forget the things that cannot be bought and sold; the things that cannot be replaced or replenished; the things that are not ours to give away or destroy. He reminds us that there are still things we do not understand and cannot explain. He teaches us what these things are. His words spin and weave a picture that lingers long after the tape has ended.
It is almost impossible to put a price on words such as these. Through the existence of technology, these priceless words can be ours. If a tape can be a treasure, then this one is. Even if the tale were not true, the story would be magnificent. The fact that it is true is a marvel. My only lament is that it had to end. His words were like a meditation, and the ninety minutes seemed tragically short.
The impact of the tape lasted for days, and the outcome was an augmentation of what I know, and who I am, as a person. If it is possible for a storyteller to have that gift, then Ingwe does. Buy it - listen to it. Don't just shelve it, but let it reach down and touch who you are. Learn from it. Be thankful that he was able to tell it to you and then share it with somebody.
Contact Jennifer Schaefer at RedHawk Productions, (732) 530-8999.
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