you sound upset

A message to my family.  A message to share.


So I wanted to write this email to y'all (and please feel free to forward
this on to other family members for whom I don't have email addresses)
because I think it's important to share my feelings about the direction of
change in this country, on this planet. With the bail-outs of Fannie Mae
and Freddie Mac, AIG, Bear Stearns, and who knows who else tomorrow, each
family in this country could owe something on the order of maybe 70,000
dollars- to whom, I'm not sure. There is a toxic debt pile building up
that I hope you are all aware of, and this is very dangerous. From what I
understand, there is little to no precedent for this kind of economic
irresponsibility. Banks are collapsing, being bought out by larger
corporations (thanks JP Morgan) who are then being subsidized by the
Federal Reserve, which prints up so much unbacked currency it's
disgusting. One friend of mine wants to call and ask for a pittance, a
million and a half, from the Fed- you know, just to pump up his bank
account. Another good friend has pointed out that property, at least in
her neck of the woods, is at ridiculous lows, and she can't understand why
money isn't being put into land trusts for growing food, especially in
poor areas, where the houses are being knocked down as we speak.

This is a very precarious moment, economically, socially, and family-wise.
Our country has been sucked dry, our fields planted in soy and corn, if
planted at all, our food filled with palm oil and corn syrup, our banks
inflated like floats in a parade, our legislature packed with corporate
ambassadors, filling our ears with backwards talk about war and terror,
our televisions flashing us with images of beautiful mountain streams
before inundating us with meaningless names like DOW, BP, HUMMER,
MICROSOFT, SPRITE, etc, etc, etc.

Our children will have no future here. That is the truth. At least not
the way things are right now, and the changes to bring things more into
order are not easy, by any means. We have little infrastructure for the
rapidly approaching time when food must be grown locally- fortunately, we
have movements like Food Not Lawns who are at least trying to remind
people that we planted this earth for thousands of years before industrial
agriculture decided to start poisoning us, draining our aquifers, and
destroying biodiversity. It will become very necessary to grow our own
food, or participate in local cooperatives who produce enough natural
foods to sustain us, specifically our children whose brains depend on
healthy food to make the kind of decisions and leaps of faith into more
sustainable alternatives that their parents simply did not realize they
could make. Our energy, our fuel consumption in electricity, heating oil,
gas, all of this energy will soon be so scarce as to hardly be available
to the vast majority of folk (not just the desperately poor). Again,
fortunately there are poor people the world over who depend on Drastically
less energy than do we and whose example is more and more being turned to
by people (hopefully myself included) to live more sane, more connected,
more simple lives, without the beeping, humming, vibrating,
compressor-kicking-in -ness of modern homes.

So I'm writing this hopefully not to sound preachy, but to express that I
am genuinely worried. As someone who spends much of my time exploring,
learning, researching and paying attention, I am telling you, my beautiful
family, that I am greatly concerned about the very-near future. We are
looking toward a sea-change, and which direction we take it really depends
on how informed we are. Are we capable of making decisions about our
lives, about the lives of our children, our grandparents, our mothers and
fathers, decisions that will allow us to enjoy the time we have here and
hopefully leave at least Something for the next generations? Or will we
simply continue to flow with this current, to accept constant corporate
branding, a culture that is not our own being pumped into our brains by
the television, education that preaches irresponsibility, permanent
adolescence and selfishness? Are we willing to continue to accept our own
discontent and hollowness, our own loss of soul, because we want to keep
driving and working like slaves, and owing more and more debt to
institutions that themselves are being bailed out by the federal
government (that is to say, by us)? We are in control of every aspect of
our lives until we give that away, which we are generally forced to do
quite early- but we are adults, highly capable human beings who have the
most to fight for, our lives and the future.

I realize that you all know the worst of it because we all operate in a
cash economy where we must pay for everything, even the most basic human
rights (water and food). We all know things are bad because it's so
blatant, I mean the price of everything is rising rapidly. I'm just not
satisfied accepting that I Must pay to drink, to eat, to travel, to exist,
to stay alive. I mostly can't accept that because I have had too much
exposure to low-budget lifestyles. I know that I can take care of my own
food and water needs without money- I know this because I do this. I want
you to realize that your life is profoundly beautiful and complex, it
includes every moment, and our souls have longed to be here, to occupy
these bodies which are capable of so much more than any of us realize.
Our bodies were not meant to be given away from birth from one institution
to another, to be traded, made into a commodity, beaten into submission
(http://www.submedia.tv), jailed (through school, work, prison), and
confined to our fancy boxes filled with heat boxes, cold boxes, water
boxes, wheeled boxes, etc. We live in completely unnecessary confinement,
and it's making us completely insane- why else would be disagree with but
accept a military-industrial complex that is costing us trillions? Do you
even know how many zeros that is?

I wholeheartedly invite each of you to try to be aware, as you move
through your day, of the feeling you get each time you fill your tank,
write a check, pay your bills, hand over your card at the grocery store,
or deposit that check that can't possibly be worth what you put into it.
The only way we can move forward is to turn off our televisions, to focus,
to put our own immense energy (physical and mental) into our own
happiness, our own joy, our own children. On a planet that might not
allow us to live here much longer, we have to enjoy ourselves now.
There's no more time- our stock market will crash, our jobs will be lost,
our planet will change. Get to know your neighbor- you might be more
dependent on each other than you think.

With as much love as I have, and as much heart as I can give, I am yours,
each of yours, through and through. Let's stop trying to put up with this
crazy world and start envisioning our own lives becoming fulfilled and
abundant. I promise that we can do this, we can truly build our lives
differently, and it doesn't take change from the top down. Change You,
and the world changes. Remember the sun, the moon, the plants (who all
have names), the face of your mother, your daughter, your son, anything
that is authentic, is real. Forget your car, your TV, your microwave,
your refrigerator, your couch, your computer- these are no good reason to
give your life to any one or thing else. What is more dis-heartening than
being on your deathbed and realizing that your grandchildren may never
know they had a heart because they are born in well-organized,
concentrated urban centers, where there is nothing clean and they are told
every move they can make in order to be fed and watered, like cattle.
Please, let's not let this planet become a farm. We are not captives,
yet. Talk to each other.

OK, I'm done because I think this took an hour, and I really should go
eat- I made apple scones from the yummy apples getting super-sweet
everywhere up here. I mostly want everyone to move up to the mountains
with me and grow this garden with me. Do y'all know how good food is when
you have to wash off the dirt first? :)


lapsong souchang

Stephanie really likes caffeinated tea. This is admirable when it comes to introducing others to well-crafted beverages of the actually tea plant, like the smoky black tea I am steeping at this moment. This stuff is kind of like crack when you add honey and milk. It is going to help me make it past the next 20 minutes while I wait for the veggie lasagne to finish. I acquired quite a lot of produce from Joe Hollis' place that was all going to rot. Big chard, medium-sized beets and smalls, sungold cherry tomatoes (the ground was littered with perfectly ripe, orange beauties), two great big daikon radishes that I was very impressed to find (Mahra uncovered them from weeds just before she left, and now these forgotten root vegetables are thriving), and several bell peppers. All but the beets and daikon went into this lasagne- mmm.

I have to recount this story because it was a beautiful synchronicity:
I've been reading this Robert Moss book about dreams and Native American shamanism, and within it there are instructions for active dreaming and soul-recovery using various "techniques." By techniques, I simply mean time-honored ways of healing our spirits, such as finding, nourishing, and being aided by power animals, or spirit allies. This is kind of touchy for me, mostly because I was raised without animals, without pets, without even stuffed animals by and large (aside from two pet fish and a stuffed Flounder from the Little Mermaid, perhaps cosmically-inspired Piscean symbolism; I don't know what to consider the stuffed ALF...). I haven't had a connection with animals for very long, and only recently have come to appreciate cats and dogs. It has become my intention to find an animal ally and figure out how to nourish that being connected to myself.

Yesterday I was walking toward the cabin-site after reading a bit from the dream book in the cool moist morning, and I said aloud, "The next animal I see will be my spirit ally." My intention was that the next unfamiliar creature whom I encountered would help me in any soul-recovery I might wish. I saw a mosquito, the dogs, a rooster, but these were not the beings to help me. Later on in the day, I decided to walk to the mail box, thinking about this spirit ally thing, wondering if I would see a squirrel or a bird. I wasn't expecting any mail, but I went, anyway. At the end of the drive I heard a bird call overhead, and I wondered if this was it- I turned to look up at the bird, and there were a doe and her fawn. The stood still and watched me for a minute, while I watched them, and then they each walked slowly into the woods along the river, nibbling as they went.

So here is a powerful ally, indeed- Deer Woman and her offspring. She is the being of compassion, love, and truth. I have decided to nourish this woman and child in myself, and perhaps Deer Woman will join me for some soul-recovery in our dreams of each other.


Goldenrod tincture is good for sinuses and allergies, its oil is great for swelling and wounds. Make sure y'all catch it quick, if you wish to be aided by its generous spirit.



It's suddenly raining very heavy, lightning started around 10, and thunder is echoing slightly. We haven't had too much time between rain lately. Fay came through and brought us maybe 2 feet of much needed water, then there was more rain after those three days, and the ground might have just been drying on the top. The air running along the floor feels so cool to my feet after being so hot and humid all evening. I hope the humidity helps my throat stay moist through the night- I'm tired of my body being sick, first pouring sinuses, then clogged sinuses and pouring, then sneezing and coughing, and today mostly just a righteous croup remains.

I have been reading White Noise by Don DeLillo, my first DeLillo novel. I'm perhaps halfway through this book that is one-third set-up for this middle-class, white family made up of children from previous marriages, insecure parents and the "white noise" of everyday materialism. One chapter the main character just decides he wants to go shopping, and his wife and daughters become caught up finding him things to buy at the mall, and he just basically has this pseudo-religious experience with his family while spending money without care. He actually says he comes to realize that he is above money, doesn't need to worry when spending it, has credit to back him up! Anyway, here is a quote, as it relates to the other book I'm currently working through (Dreamways of the Iroqouis):

"The power of the dead is that we think they see us all the time. The dead have presence. Is there a level of energy composed solely of the dead? They are also in the ground, of course, asleep and crumbling. Perhaps we are what they dream."

This other book by Robert Moss is called Dreamways of the Iroqouis, in which he explains the cosmology of these specific Native North Americans, as well as active dreaming and a return to the dreamworld as our connection to the rest of reality. To the Iroqouis, dreams are communications from our souls to our thinking selves, to our bodies- they are meant to help us, heal us, to show us what we really desire and need. They are reminders of things we already know, and our ancestors speak to us through them. The Iroqouis practiced dreaming religiously, and all dream wishes and desires they attempted to fulfill as a means of keeping the community in harmony as much as fulfilling each persons needs on this planet, on this journey, in this life. They dreamed deeply and often spoke to animal familiars and ancestors. Adept dreamers found deer in winter and acted as sort of psychologist/healers.

I will now attempt to tell the story of creation among the Iroqouis, as I recall it from my one reading of the oral history in writing, and once telling it all the way through for Mike. This may be long. :)

Long ago, there was a village of folks who dreamed. The father of one woman had died, he may've been a chief, and she dreamed that he was placed in the branches of a tree. When she woke, they did this, and his soul inhabited the tree. From then on, she spoke with the tree as her father, and he spoke to her with the moving leaves and branches, in the swaying of his trunk. He told her to go and prepare food for her husband-to-be, a very powerful being in a far-away land.

The and her mother painstakingly made a perfect loaf of bread, and she set out on the journey, remembering her father's words that it would be a long, treacherous journey, and that she should stay strong and remember not to express any pain or suffering. She moved from the hip, running across the land, and she quickly arrived in the place her father had described, much more quickly than she ever got to the berry patch outside her village, so she went back. Her father said, yes, you arrived in the right place, and you are coming now into your true powers.

She set out again, once more arriving very quickly, and found this being who was her husband-to-be. He was the most beautiful wild cherry you can ever imagine, not unlike the Tree of Life in Kabbala, he was a tree of Light and so old you could no longer tell if he had any gender at all! He was unimpressed with the woman and her dinky loaf of bread after having lived so many years and having had so many wives, said she must make him corn soup, enough to feed a mid-sized village. She set to the task, finding all the chores of harvesting and pounding the grain to be easier and easier when she put her thought to it.

She made a giant vat of corn soup, chunks flying out and making huge wounds in her arms and legs- but she did not wince, not once. The Tree of Light was a little impressed by this, and he told her to strip naked so that his servants could heal her wounds. She did, and men like dogs, dog-headed men, came out and began to lick her violently from head to toe with their sand-paper tongues. Eventually this became a sort of voyeuristic experience for the Tree of Light, perhaps, as the dog-men healed her wounds and moved onto more intimate licking. When the orgy ended, he made her a bed and did not touch her, only breathed deeply on her.

The next morning, the Tree had the woman fill a magic deer-skin bag with dried and quartered deer meat for her people. This she did, herd after herd of deer going into the bag, and when it was close to full, the Tree had her push hard down on the contents. When she did, they slipped back down to halfway, and she continued to fill. The Tree told her before she returned to tell her people to remove their roofs that night. When she returned, extremely tired from lugging the mountain-heavy bag, she told the people to remove their roofs. Having seen the enormous gift from the Tree, they did, and that night the stars seemed to come down and hover above their homes. Those stars began to fall softly into them, like light hail, until everyone's house had been turned into a grain silo filled with the most beautiful white corn kernals.

When the woman returned to the Tree of Light, her husband, his leaves had begun to turn yellow, and he said, "You are carrying the gift of life inside you," and he went to dream. When he awoke, he said he had dreamed the most preposterous thing! and he started to dig around the roots of the Tree of Life/Light, and his dog-men began to help, as the woman stood and watched in disbelief at the beautiful tree being uprooted in front of her. It followed that she began to help dig, and eventually they arrived at an opening! The space was not unlike a tunnel, midnight blue and empty. He told the woman that she had to jump into the hole beneath the tree. So she did, into the void, carrying with her the baby she had already given birth to, but returned to the amniotic fluid of her mother's womb for this journey.

She fell a long, long time, and for this we'll call her the Woman Who Fell From the Sky, or Sky-Woman. A long, white light helped her for most of the fall, a white lion being, who assisted this beautiful woman being. Soon she came to Earth, where all the creatures of the water already existed, like beaver and otter and turtle. She asked the creatures if they knew where to find any earth, and they asked her what the hell that was. She motioned as if picking up clay and forming it into balls, then patted her stomach and grabbed her breasts. Beaver and Otter both said their ancestors had each once gone so far under the water that they'd come to something they couldn't identify that seemed like this thing called "earth." After several attempts to dive down to the bottom and a few near-death experiences, I believe it was Beaver who came up, almost dead, with just a bit of clay lining his limp hands. Sky-Woman took this earth and asked where it might go so that she could build land and grow a child. Turtle said, "Use my back, as you're using it now to stand upon." She rubbed the clay on his shell, then danced a beautiful, spiral dance, quickly making land spread out before them.

Here she raised her daughter, who became ripe and harvested many things. This woman was one day visited by a cloud-being, an enormous and charming being, who rightly seduced her with two very capable penises, making her body explode with pleasure. From then, she was pregnant with twins - one light, one dark. The light one said one day, to the dark one, "It's time we left this place, I think I see a river out of this amniotic ocean where there is a waterfall at the end- I'm pretty sure that's the way out," and he left. The second on, the wily, crooked one, with shards of glassy ice circling his head, not to be outdone, decided he would just break right out of this place by boring a hole from where he was. This worked, however his mother was dead on his arrival.

Their grandmother, Sky-Woman, asked who had done this horrible thing, and the dark twin said it was the light, Elder brother who had actually taken the right path out. She believed him and coddled him from that day forward. However, the Elder twin was the Light brother, the Sky-Holder, the one who remembered where they had come from, from the sky, and he was thus endowed with the gift of Life. He created valleys and fields, deer and humans of all colors, while the second twin could only create fucked up shit, and needed to steal the gift of life to give life to his warped creations. They, however, led to the increasing complexity of life.

To sum this up, the Light brother eventually kills the Dark through a sort of too-much-righteousness thing in conjunction with a request that they duel from his father (who turns out to really be turtle/the cloud being!). The Light brother gives life back to the Dark eventually, and they end up being married in a sacred ceremony where they realize that they are actually one being, and the source of all their disharmony came from the separation they mistakenly felt.

This is the first part of the story. The story of the Awakened being and Hiawatha waits for another day.

The aim of all religion seems to me to be, by and large, the spiritual freedom of folks. Let's remember that and strive toward this freedom in the deepest parts of our souls and psyches. We are free, and that is what Jesus and Hiawatha came to tell us.

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