“In my time of dying, want nobody to mourn. All I want for you to do is take my body home. Well, well, well, so I can die easy.” – Led Zeppelin
“Cry, little sister! (Thou shalt not fall).” – Gerard McMahon
“This one goes out to Iiná Joe”, I say as I release the cued needle to play its art. “My Navajo little sister lost a lot today”, I say letting my voice override the magic of the first chords of finality. “From “Physical Graffiti”, I say, “Led Zeppelin, “In My Time of Dying“, I say. “Cry little sister”, I say.
Iiná Joe comes around, just as the August, sun has lost its crown, and it sets itself in message, in an altered degree, sending signs of mourning for all to see. And it spills out red across the sky, sending farewell tears to a million sighs. “That’s what makes me cry”, Iiná says to me, standing just my height, dressed in the color of her grief. It is a visit of timing it is a look without a word. As if in the world of symbols, we are the witness to the earth. Iiná Joe says, “I heard it, the song you said you’d play”. I say, “You mean “In My Time of Dying“, is that the meaning you wanted relayed”. She nods her head in the affirmative, and then we both look away, just a disc jockey and newly minted widow at the end of a funeral day. Standing in the foyer at KWYK, all the world is moving with us as actors on its stage.
Iiná Joe says, “The darkness falls upon us as it fell upon my man, as he drank his way from Gallup, into the desert and the sand.” “When they found him out near Sanostee with the cuts upon his face, he’d been sitting in his pickup truck for forty nights and forty days.” It grew very quiet between us as we thought about her words, the quiet that conveys meaning from our words to other worlds. Like the transmitters nearby us, cooling from their five thousand-wattage heat. We wandered through Iiná’s pain filled loss, looking for comfort to keep. And as a boy of seventeen with all my wishes draught unpaid. I was humbled by my friend’s sharing of the greatness of her loss, and the grieve it built and made.
Iiná Joe walks around, the darkened radio studio looking at me, with her eyes filled with amber tears, a reflection of a man she no longer see’s. “Will you play the song again”, she asks. “I think I’ll wait outside, the night is coming quickly, and the chindi is nearby.” “I would not have my man’s blackness upon you, as you do for me what’s kind.”
“This one goes out to Iiná Joe”, I say as I release the cued needle to play its art. “My Navajo big little sister lost a lot today”, I say letting my voice override the magic of the first chords of finality. “From “Physical Graffiti”, I say, “Led Zeppelin, “In My Time of Dying“, I say. “Cry little sister”, I say.
Iiná Joe went her way a few days ago. She passed into the darkness after the August sun had gone down, forty-one years to the day; she visited a seventeen-year-old disc jockey to make a special request. That seventeen-year-old disc jockey pictured above thanks her for the honor, those many years ago and wishes her G_D speed ahead. There is no more to cry for little sister. – 09.03.2019 – דָּנִיֵּאל