A brave First Nation fierce heroine, Red Fawn Fallis has been incarcerated in North Dakota for nearly a year fighting to protect our water. Let the world know how you feel. Support her struggle #FREEREDFAWN.
Surprise, it runs on corporate greed. But it doesn't have to. You can learn more here.
The latest Tweets from POTUS remind me of a dream Micco Busimanolotome Osceola, the founder of the New Seminole and my father-in-law, had one summer night while we were on the run from Uncle Sam's mighty army. He shared it with our weathered and weary band of ragtag NS renegades over a crackling bonfire on a hidden hammock deep in the Everglades. He told us he could see the earth from space, that he was traveling towards it as if on a rocket. When the earth grew closer, he could see a giant orange headed bird sitting on top of it with something in its beak. That something turned out to be the safety pin ring to a hand grenade which was the earth. He reached out to grab it before the safety lever sprang away which would have armed the fuse and made it impossible to save the earth but the bird turned on him and he stopped short, and the safety lever popped off and floated away. The bird's head had morphed into the face of a fat old white man who looked down upon him unabashedly with an evil grin and jutting jaw. The earth exploded before Busimanolotome's eyes and he woke in a start, sweating and his heart racing. He looked at his hand to see if it had been blown away and when he saw it was still there, he sighed heavily.
This was totally unlike Busimanolotome. Part of his charisma was his bad ass fearless approach to life and death. If you read my books, you know this is a man who proudly wore a necklace of shriveled, blackened ears of the Viet Cong he had killed fighting for Uncle Sam when he was still a teenager. And insanely, too, to the point of rubbing them in your face just to get a reaction, like he did to me when we first met to see if I was worthy of his son Nokosee, the "First of the New Seminole." At that time, I "blinked." It took a while for me to get use to that kind of BS testing he was always dropping on me (in fact, he didn't come around to really accepting me until I helped him and Nokosee shoot down a Predator drone high over the Everglades in Book Two-- and this is after Nokosee and I had been married for a while). So it was a revelation to me-- and I'm sure to the NS-- that their fearless leader had admitted that he had wakened afraid and cried.
That's why I said after an awkward communal silence, "Really, Busi?" I loved pushing his buttons. "You're telling us you cried like a leetle baby?"
That awkward communal silence began to sweat bullets. You just don't talk to the Micco that way.
"You're supposed to rally us for the second half," I continued despite Nokosee grabbing my hand to put the brakes on my recklessness. But I shook his hand away and continued on that hazardous path. "You're supposed to make us believe in you and the Message so that we can go out there one more time and win one for the Gipper!"
No one knew where to look. Even Nokosee turned away from his father's face. It was only me and Busi exchanging unflinching glares.
And then Busi laughed.
"God how I love you, Stormy Jones Osceola, the First Woman of the New Seminole."
That caught all of us by surprise.
"You're not afraid to speak your mind. You will make Nokosee a great wife. And, leetle girl, I wasn't afraid for myself. I was afraid for the earth. And you, and Nokosee, and my grandchild, and my wife and daughter and all of the NS. The orange haired bird man caught me by surprise. I flinched when I shouldn't have. Trust me," he said as he got up and turned to everyone, "that won't happen again. I won't let the Orange-Headed Bird of Destruction win."
He turned to Boom Box, our black Alan a Dale of the NS responsible for whipping out music on cue, and said, "Barry McGuire." Boom Box dug into his backpack, came up with a cassette tape and slapped it into his boom box. The next thing we heard-- besides Busi's voice-- was this:
"New Seminole, we are on the Eve of Destruction," he said. "Have been on it for some time. But never this close to the end."
I had never heard the song before that night but, like most of Busi's selections for his speechafyin' and battle tunes, it was right on.
"My dream reminds me just how close we are. We can't falter in our mission. We can't pause to second guess. We must fight the good fight to defend Gaia and our lives."
That night was long before any of us could have imagined in our wildest dreams that what Busi really had was a vision, that Donald Trump would one day become POTUS and embark on an insane greed-based Gaia-killing mission with the elimination of one environmental protection agency and law after the other.
Until you get closer. That's when you learn those pretty colors and twinkling lights can rip you apart and vaporize you.
That's pretty much how I look at Earth from space. From space it's pretty. Some might say the lights map where civilization begins. But I'd rather live in the dark spaces, far, far away from the sights and sounds of The Outside, as the New Seminole (NS) call the modern world. The Inside may not have flush toilets and AC and all the other "creature comforts" that make living in the "developed world" easier, but one thing the Inside doesn't have is malice. Nature may kill you to live or to protect itself and its young, but it doesn't have a jones for inflicting pain and suffering for some sick need. That's strictly a human thing. Nor does it need to accumulate wealth, that other human thing that since the beginning of the Industrial Age has now accelerated thanks to the advancement of electronics and the deployment of the Internet to allow a global attack on Gaia. When profits and a "better life" come first, who will save the planet? We now know that officially it won't be Trump or the U.S. The NS made a noble attempt at saving south Florida and we failed mightily (see Book Two). So many died on both sides. Out of our little rag-tag gang of renegades, as far as I can tell, Yours Truly, Nokosee, and our baby girl Haalie are the only survivors. I can't speak for Nokosee, the "First of the New Seminole," but now that I'm a mother, you can count me out of any sequel that takes on Uncle Sam and his bad-ass armies again. And I'm not just saying that because I'm holed up at the Miccosukee Embassy in Miami seeking Sanctuary and looking for a friendly judicial ear. Someone else is going to have to pick up that bloodied feathered lance next time around. Maybe, Dear Reader, it'll be you.
If you've read my books you know between the sex and violence there are trees. From getting knocked out by Florida's state tree in Book One when I was running away from Nokosee, to the opening of Book Two when I used one outside my childhood home in New Jersey to slide down a branch to race back to Nokosee. I grew even closer to them in Book Two when on the run through the Everglades from Uncle Sam and his armies. Trees became my go-to place to escape the violence and chaos all around me. I'd climb the tallest one in an Everglades hammock and get lost in books and memories while trying to figure it all out. And, of course, making love to Nokosee in them too, a place I'm sure our baby girl Haalie was conceived. Trees connect the books and my life.
So, it was with great pleasure and thankfulness that I stumbled upon this post by Maria Popova titled The Death of a Tree on her so worthy blog Brain Pickings. She relates how one tree was always part of her life through her highs and lows and how she found solace by its presence in a Brooklyn park. I think of that as an "anchoring tree," something I long to have because it will mean I have stopped running, that I have stopped being afraid.
Please take time to read the post. As always, she shares other literary tidbits with you concerning whatever topic she's writing about. In this case it's Thoreau confessing to abusing a tree with a sideways link to another post suggesting trees "feel."
Holatte-Sutv Turwv Osceola.