TDV 34: The Song Of Dusty HeartsJanuary 15th, 2009 by Sharkchild
When I was young, my grandfather often brought me to the burial grounds of the nethpa, and every time he led me over some barren hill, or down some hidden trail, or through some thick forest, he would share with me how I might find such a rare and extraordinary place.
“The resting grounds of the nethpa can be found all around—the middle of a prairie, the center of a deep cavern, the dunes of an unending desert—but most never know they are there,” he would tell me. “The site must be undisturbed. By first glance there should be nothing unusually noticed; but, after giving it a second look, and knowing what you are looking for, those of the cunning eye would be able to discern the speckled dust.” At this time, my grandfather would stick his hand deep into the soil, dirt, or whatever rested beneath him, grab some, and hold it up so I could see. While my curious eyes burned into the contents, he would slightly shuffle some free. He then continued speaking. “And there, almost as clear as white chalk against the pit of a blackboard, the ashes of the nethpa can be seen.”
There was only one rule my grandfather had while visiting the nethpa: no singing. “Never sing to the ashes,” he always said. “The nethpa have hollow hearts and the sound of music fills and enlivens them; it reminds them of their deaths and allows them to act against them. They are not of the violent kind, but they, like any, would choose life over death.”
(Listen to the rest)