The First Thanksgiving is a myth. It never happened. Natives call it "Thanks-taking" since the first Pilgrims felt entitled to take whatever they wanted from the local tribes in exchange for trinkets-- that included entering their homes without permission. This entitlement is entrenched in white supremacy based on a religious foundation. It is the ugly underbelly of America to this day.
If you'd like to know the truth, here's a short look at the "day" genocide was unleashed by European colonists on Native Americans.
Before Greta spoke at a Climate Crisis rally in Edmonton last month, nine-year-old Cree singer Noah Simon sang for "Mother Earth." I immediately fell in love with him. What a passionate voice. Nokosee and I hope Haalie will sing with the same passion for the Everglades, for Gaia.
I also wish he had been around for our wedding. What a send-off into our new future that would have been.
You can learn more about Noah and his grandmother Carol Powder who handed down the tradition to him by clicking Noah's name above.
That's what Martin Luther King, Jr told U.S. Representative John Lewis of Georgia. I'm pretty sure they meant the "nonviolent" kind of trouble. When I fell into the New Seminole, that was not an option. Our fearless leader and founder Busimanolotome Osceola, a product of the US Marines, had given peace a chance and found it lacking in bringing about change. So, in his words, he got "proactive" by attacking the "Outside" in a violent effort to return the Everglades to its rightful caretakers, the New Seminole, a ragtag bunch of Native Americans, aging hippies, tree huggers and, unfortunately, at least one lunatic (read my books).
This was long before Greta and the Climate Change Activists; long before I or Nokosee or Busi or anyone in the New Seminole had been woke to it. For us, saving the Everglades was saving Gaia because it's all we wanted to know-- the "Outside" was just beyond the sawgrass down the Tamiami Trail and we didn't want to have anything to do with it.
I really want to believe that marching in the street and non-violent protest will work to save the world. But I have my doubts. All I know is our naive approach was crushed by mighty Uncle Sam and his Army Rangers and I've been doing Sanctuary at the Miccosukee Embassy in Miami ever since.
Or a reasonable facsimile.
To paraphrase "Billy Jack" before he goes "beserk," I try, I really try to find God in a world where men hate and kill those and it that stand between them and profit. But this isn't just an intellectual wrestling with purpose in a world where my Great and Silent God rules. I've already seen what hell looks and feels like. I was 18, barefoot and pregnant, running through a moonless Everglades night, shooting back with an AK-47 at Army Rangers with a hard-on to kill me, Nokosee, and the New Seminole. I saw loved ones die before my eyes and with the sounds of war ringing in my ears, gave birth to a baby girl while lying wounded and bleeding in the carved out hull of a bithlo.
Since then I've been doing Sanctuary at the Miccosukee Embassy in Miami where, if I step outside its walls, I'm arrested by someone repping any one of an alphabet soup of government agencies ranging from the CIA to the FBI. For the most part, after Nokosee pulled off one of the greatest counting coups of all time by dropping me and our baby girl Haalie off at the embassy without getting caught, I've been raising her alone. If it wasn't for her, I'd go... beserk.
So, when I saw this FB announcement re a "Prayer Walk" through the Big Cypress swamp, it got me thinking about God again and as Rainer Maria Rilke describes them, his "terrible angels, " a harmonious hidden reality so beautiful it kills us with its beauty.
Rilke was "woke" fighting in WW1. He then fell into years of depression. Trying to find a reason to live in a meaningless world of solitude, adrift in a universe without a God, he imagines another world we don't see, populated by "angels" representing truth and beauty. Unfortunately, as humans, he sees that we are ill-equipped to reach out to these angels unless we can learn to love and to embrace death as a portal to the "angels" and the infinite. Rilke hoped his "Duino Elegies," from where the "terrible angels" live, would help us find a way to save ourselves and the world by listening to our greater "gentler" natures to access his "terrible angels."
Which to me is a " vision quest," a Native American process to finding his or her purpose in the world, something I did (read my book) and know a lot about. I suspect, however, the Loop Road Prayer Walk will be a lot less bloody and more spiritual than mine was and I hope to join in sometime soon.
Until then, the Loop Road Prayer Walk happens December 7-8th, starting at 8am. You can get more info and sign up through the link. You can also learn more through this video by Houston Cypress. who speaks about "deep access" and "listening" to... the terrible angels-- on finding answers to a particular problem: the Feds plans for restoring the Everglades. Houston is the Miccosukee Embassy Ambassador and my spiritual healer and guide and you cannot help but love a guy who wears disco balls for earrings-- that remind me of a better time when Nokosee and I lived in an old, long gone disco chickee deep in the Everglades.
I don't know who this kid is, but she was me a long time ago.
Growing up in Miltown, NJ, I lived in the trees and ran roughshod through a very anal neighborhood of manicured lawns. My mom would tell you I was "out of control" (especially in high school!). But this is how I-- and Nokosee-- want our daughter to live: boldy, bravely, fearlessly for family and Gaia.
Holatte-Sutv Turwv Osceola.