Worth a read: https://bit.ly/2X11Xl9
”I’m very tiny and I am very emotional, and that is not something people usually associate with strength.”
Worth a read: https://bit.ly/2X11Xl9
If you read my books, you know New Seminole founder Busimanolotome Osceola was a complicated man. He had his boots in two worlds. One was the Everglades which he vowed to save by any means necessary. The other was in the "Outside," his word for where you live. Part of that dichotomy of his soul was his love for rock music, especially from the "Golden Age" as he liked to say. One of the songs we'd sing around the ol' campfire was Jefferson Airplane's "Have You Seen The Saucers?" Written by the band's Paul Kantner, it's one of rock's first anthems to Gaia. If you've never heard it before, it's worth a listen and a watch for its over-the-top musicianship.
I had a dream last night. And it wasn't a lovely dream.
It had an iceberg rushing toward me with the word REPENT! carved out of the ice. I woke up in my bed at the Miccosukee Embassy in Miami-- where I'm doing Sanctuary-- in a cold sweat thinking that it had hit me. I must have said something too because Haalie woke up with me. At first I thought it had something to do with me and Nokosee because we have a lot to repent for but, after catching my breath, I knew the dream was a "wakeup call" to persever in what the NS is doing: trying to save Gaia starting with the Everglades.
Where there are no icebergs and the water is still shallow.
I know. But it's my dream and I'm sticking to its interpretationoney.
If you read my books, you know, according to my father-in-law, Busimanolotome Osceola, founder of the New Seminole, that it was the screaming of the trees. He said when Nokosee and I got it on we cleared the hammocks of its birds and shook him and the New Seminole out of their sleeping bags. When the complaints started building up, Busi walked up to our tree and yelled up at us to cut it out, that no one could sleep. At first we jumped, nearly falling out of the tree. But then we laughed. Busi sighed, sadly shook his head, turned and walked away muttering something to himself in Muskogee.
Sorry. But when nature calls, nature calls.
Nokosee and I joke that Haalie, our little girl, was conceived in the trees, probably a gumbo limbo, our go-to tree for lovemaking because of its strong branches and its tendency not to sway-- although banyan trees are more fun because of their swaying , catapulting is no fun and hard on the ass and head (I have been knocked bonkers more than once in a banyan, a tree I started climbing and wasting away my summer days as a child).
Well, enough on our arboreal lovemaking, let's talk "forest bathing" which brought me to this post-- via a fond memory or two. Wink, wink.
Forest Bathing is a Japanese thing (Shinrin-Yoku). It's basically a walk in the woods while paying attention to what you see (mindfulness)-- instead of thinking about how you're going to pay your taxes or, as in our case, how you're going to avoid confronting big bad Uncle Sam one more day.
But I digress. I believe everyone should take a walk in the woods as Thoreau suggested about a hundred-and-sixty years ago (“I took a walk in the woods and came out taller than the trees”). Bill Bryson appropriated that line for the title of his best-selling book and later movie starring Robert Redford and Nick Nolte. And I'm here to tell you that it works. A little more meandering through a forest is a great way to renew the spirit-- as long as you come out the other side ready to fight for Gaia. Otherwise, it's just another form of self indulgence.
Teen Vogue will launch in March a zine called Unquiet. Emma González, a Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mass shooting survivor-- and one of our favorite people right up there with Greta-- is the Editor-in-Chief.
"The stakes are too high for us to be silent," she writes. "If we don’t speak up, we risk losing our future. To shape the world, we have to tell our stories.
We are here. We are UNQUIET."
To learn more, please click the link above.
That's right, the NS has a theme song. Doesn't every tribe?
Ours was the choice of NS founder Busimanolotome Osceola, aka Busi, my father-in-law. If you read my books you know no one second guessed "dad" so there never was any debate about its appropriateness-- if you read my books, you'll also know the NS never had a problem appropriating anything from the Outside if it made our lives living on the run in the swamp easier. Aside from its opening drum number, a Hollywood cliche since the first "soundies," there isn't anything "Native" about it. Composed by some Brits around 1960, Busi claims it was the first 45 rock record he ever owned. I think one of the things he liked about the song was an early music video of The Shadows playing the instrumental. According to Wikipedia, they were influential in creating the concept of a rock band, ie, 4 musicians (lead guitar, rhythm guitar, bass guitar and drums) to deliver the goods. They also helped create the "look" of rock and roll, especially the bass player who, wearing a black leather motorcycle jacket, is seen sticking his smoking cigarette between the strings of his guitar so he can play and proceeds as if disconnected from the whole boring event. The imagery reminds me of an old George Romero zombie flick what with the lighting, its odd angles, and the black and white film.
Anyway it had a lasting impression on the Chief of the New Seminole, making him a rock n roll aficionado who made its music an integral part of the NS. Aside from my swamp wedding to Nokosee where Busi kidnapped a legendary rock band along Alligator Alley to perform at the reception, our "theme song" was played by our black bugler BoomBox from a boombox as we trekked through the swamp in what seemed like a neverending attempt to elude Uncle Sam's Army Rangers.
Looking back, that music probably got us through it all because I can remember sloshing through the knee-high water snapping my fingers more than once-- and leading with my very pregnant 18-year-old belly and hips with Fosse-style jazz steps. (Yes, it helped to be a tad nuts and disconnected-- like the bass player up above-- to be a NS card-carrying-member.)
Well, at least up to the Battle of Rendezvous Point deep in the Everglades where, for the most part, the NS were decimated and scattered to the four winds.
While Australia burned, this young woman used chaos creatively. She was one of thousands protesting in the streets of Sydney for their government to acknowledge that there is a climate crisis going on. I see the sister I never had.
I doan think so.
The NS were decimated at the Battle of Rendezvous Point deep in the Everglades. If they weren't killed they disappeared into the swamp, never to be seen by me or Nokosee again.
Plus, from what I can gather, that "Old Native American Prophecy" shown above could be nothing more than "fakelore," the product of a creative reimagining between authors William Willoya and Vinson Brown in their book Warriors of the Rainbow published in 1962. According to the Wikipedia article, Bob Hunter, co-founder of Greenpeace, was inspired by it, later christening three Greenpeace ships Rainbow Warrior.
But, I can see how it could easily be mistaken for the real thing, ie, a Native American prophecy.
I can also see how Brown, a white evangelical Christian who is also the publisher-- would use the "prophesying" material gathered from many tribes by Willoya (an "Alaskan Indian") to evangelize the tribes. In the book, the "prophecies" are used to bolster the New Testament prophecies of the Second Coming of Christ. Critics have described it as pushing a "covert anti-Semitism throughout, while evangelizing against traditional Native American spirituality."
So in that case, the NS definitely aren't those Warriors of the Rainbow.
But we are (or were) a mixture of races and faiths as the picture from my wedding day shows as some of us gathered together beneath our own reimagination of the American Indian Movement flag against a backdrop of the ever-burning Everglades.
Since doing Sanctuary at the Miccosukee Embassy I've discovered this online service from The Universe which kindly drops encouraging free messages in my morning email box. I thought today's little nugget was especially personal since I've had a long association with trees.
And yes, I know trees as sentient beings. But I still have a problem with a pre-Gaia life. Still, it's nice to get these Notes From The Universe with its underlying message that "thoughts are things" and I highly recommend them to you.
Holatte-Sutv Turwv Osceola.