If you read Book One, you know Haalpatee was Nokosee's pet 18-foot gator. Haalpatee is Muskogee for "alligator." I named our daughter Haalie after him. But when we first met, he scared the shit out of me. Say what you will about these kinds of animals, I know he tried to save us from rednecks bent on killing us as they chased us down with their airboats on a moonlit night in the Everglades. His death was unconscionable, done at the hands of some tobacco chewing beer gut wielding sick fucks to teach Nokosee a lesson. Their grizzly deaths and scalpings at the hands of Busimanolotome Osceola, Nokosee's father and founder of the New Seminoles, were well deserved. Looking back, if it hadn't been for Haalpatee, I don't think Nokosee and I would be alive, and Haalie would never have seen the light of day.
Reading David Abram's The Spell of Sensuous brought back a host of memories, good and bad. And it also made me think about that big ol' gator-- who walked like a crab because he was blind in one eye-- in a different light, that he and "all God's Creatures Big and Small" and the plants they live amongst and feed upon are like us-- "experiencing forms." That is to say we share much when it comes to sensing the world around us; that we are brothers and sisters to warmth and cold, light and dark, birth and death, and the joys of sex in its many variations. They also know things we don't about how to live in this world and we shouldn't be dismissive of them, that we might just learn a thing or two about how to live here, and that we should respect their staying power. And, although we don't need to "stop bathing" or "forming a cult," paraphrasing the Gilmore Girls, life in all of its forms has "much knowledge."
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Holatte-Sutv Turwv Osceola.