Once, during the Shinnecock pow-wow, I faced my Narragansett friend and rival in a ‘dance-off.’ As the first drum beats began, I swung my war axe and watched as the cluster of hawk feathers representing myself and my four sisters detached from the axe-head and arched into the sunlight. It hung in the air for what seemed like forever and I wanted to be as free as it was, if only for a few seconds…or a lifetime. It was an automatic disqualification, but we continued on and danced hard, the drum group giving us a smoking hot song. I presented my friend with those feathers, as a tribute to an honorable and spectacular contest. I feel like those feathers sometimes; wanting to break the ties of this world and fly away to a place where I can dance forever, my feet never touching the earth. But then, who knows? Perhaps one day I’ll have gathered enough articles of magic and do just that.