Saturday, March 24, 2012

People should be nudists... (weather permitting)

It is well to be good to women in the strength of our manhood because we must sit under their hands at both ends of our lives.
- He Dog Oglala Lakota
People should be nudists... Hierarchy and destruction would have trouble justifying their existences in the face of complete transparency and exposure. After all, male thoughts often show themselves in their penises before they come out their mouths. ; )

Public Relations at its Perfect Worst-

Many Native American Tribes revere the American Buffalo as a powerful symbol, a necessity to life, and even as part of their Creation story; the reason their people exist at all. Native Americans and bison were rounded up and slaughtered en masse in the late 1800s, together through it all. In this light, the transfer of a group of buffalo from Yellowstone to the Fort Peck and Fort Belknap Reservations in northeast Montana has been celebrated by news sources worldwide as a returning of buffalo to the people and lands that deserve them.

It's a story that began with a heinous quarantine study implemented by USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. Pregnant females were impaled attempting to jump fencing, a calf mysteriously drowned in a creek, and others died in even worse ways, including inhumane slaughter. Please read this vital update from the field for more information on this transfer...

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Photos of me...


Gotta Stay Warm...

Looking North along the Yellowstone border

Looking South along the Yellowstone border

The view from the front porch of the BFC cabin on a typical morning

It's not all work and emotional pain...

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tale of Rainbow Crow: A Lenni Lenape Folktale

retold by
S. E. Schlosser
It was so cold. Snow fell constantly, and ice formed over all the waters. The animals had never seen snow before. At first, it was a novelty, something to play in. But the cold increased tenfold, and they began to worry. The little animals were being buried in the snow drifts and the larger animals could hardly walk because the snow was so deep. Soon, all would perish if something were not done.

"We must send a messenger to Kijiamuh Ka'ong, the Creator Who Creates By Thinking What Will Be," said Wise Owl. "We must ask him to think the world warm again so that Spirit Snow will leave us in peace."

The animals were pleased with this plan. They began to debate among themselves, trying to decide who to send up to the Creator. Wise Owl could not see well during the daylight, so he could not go. Coyote was easily distracted and like playing tricks, so he could not be trusted. Turtle was steady and stable, but he crawled too slowly. Finally, Rainbow Crow, the most beautiful of all the birds with shimmering feathers of rainbow hues and an enchanting singing voice, was chosen to go to Kijiamuh Ka'ong.

It was an arduous journey, three days up and up into the heavens, passed the trees and clouds, beyond the sun and the moon, and even above all the stars. He was buffeted by winds and had no place to rest, but he carried bravely on until he reached Heaven. When Rainbow Crow reached the Holy Place, he called out to the Creator, but received no answer. The Creator was too busy thinking up what would be to notice even the most beautiful of birds. So Rainbow Crow began to sing his most beautiful song.

The Creator was drawn from his thoughts by the lovely sound, and came to see which bird was making it. He greeted Rainbow Crow kindly and asked what gift he could give the noble bird in exchange for his song. Rainbow Crow asked the Creator to un-think the snow, so that the animals of Earth would not be buried and freeze to death. But the Creator told Rainbow Crow that the snow and the ice had spirits of their own and could not be destroyed.

"What shall we do then?" asked the Rainbow Crow. "We will all freeze or smother under the snow." 
"You will not freeze," the Creator reassured him, "For I will think of Fire, something that will warm all creatures during the cold times."

The Creator stuck a stick into the blazing hot sun. The end blazed with a bright, glowing fire which burned brightly and gave off heat. "This is Fire," he told Rainbow Crow, handing him the cool end of the stick. "You must hurry to Earth as fast as you can fly before the stick burns up."

Rainbow Crow nodded his thanks to the Creator and flew as fast as he could go. It was a three-day trip to Heaven, and he was worried that the Fire would burn out before he reached the Earth. The stick was large and heavy, but the fire kept Rainbow Crow warm as he descended from Heaven down to the bright path of the stars. Then the Fire grew hot as it came closer to Rainbow Crows feathers. As he flew passed the Sun, his tail caught on fire, turning the shimmering beautiful feathers black. By the time he flew passed the Moon, his whole body was black with soot from the hot Fire. When he plunged into the Sky and flew through the clouds, the smoke got into his throat, strangling his beautiful singing voice.

By the time Rainbow Crow landed among the freezing-cold animals of Earth, he was black as tar and could only Caw instead of sing. He delivered the fire to the animals, and they melted the snow and warmed themselves, rescuing the littlest animals from the snow drifts where they lay buried.

It was a time of rejoicing, for Tindeh - Fire - had come to Earth. But Rainbow Crow sat apart, saddened by his dull, ugly feathers and his rasping voice. Then he felt the touch of wind on his face. He looked up and saw the Creator Who Creates By Thinking What Will Be walking toward him.

"Do not be sad, Rainbow Crow," the Creator said. "All animals will honor you for the sacrifice you made for them. And when the people come, they will not hunt you, for I have made your flesh taste of smoke so that it is no good to eat and your black feathers and hoarse voice will prevent man from putting you into a cage to sing for him. You will be free."

Then the Creator pointed to Rainbow Crow's black feathers. Before his eyes, Rainbow Crow saw the dull feathers become shiny and inside each one, he could see all the colors of the rainbow. "This will remind everyone who sees you of the service you have been to your people," he said, "and the sacrifice you made that saved them all."

And so shall it ever be.

Tale of Silenus' Wisdom

For many years King Midas hunted through the forest for the teacher of Dionysus, Silenus. When he finally caught the satyr, Midas asked, "What is the best, most desirable thing for man?" After much convincing, Silenus responded, "Why would you force me to say what it would be best for you not to hear? The most desirable thing for the wretched human race is to not be born; for them not to be in the first place. This should our choice, if choice we have; and the next to this is, when we are born, to die as soon as we can."

DECIDE then. Decide to either live or die. Struggle for your existence, and do not let your life waste away into some meaningless time vortex. Don't give your sweat, time and tears to people or things that do not have the utmost meaning to you. To be or not to be, we must struggle simply to stay alive, to exist in a world of suffering and destruction. Do not add to it. Create your food, create art, create an improvement, something that will make your own world better. Another wise man said on his deathbed that he was only able to create any good change in the world around him when he hit the bottom and lost all concept of anything bigger than himself. He created himself and lived a life that could be called art in itself, and that life ended up affecting many, many people. Give love instead of pain to yourself and others, and create rather than destroy. These two simple goals can give you fulfillment and happiness, and can foment a world worth living in for all life. TRY IT.

Monday, March 12, 2012

What's your spirit animal?

I decided to volunteer for the BFC at the same time that someone dear to me realized that the buffalo is her spirit animal. I've thought a lot about spirit animals since then. Some people think a spirit animal is a creature that reflects a person's characteristics. Someone who is bitchy, short-tempered, rude, or hard to be close to could be  considered a porcupine, but that doesn't mean that a porcupine is that person's spirit animal. I feel it's more a DEEP connection with a living thing, animal, plant, protozoa, whatever. There's just a moment when one connects with a particular thing. My best friend just identified his spirit animal to be a sea turtle. Funny that he doesn't know how to swim! I also think that, because people are prone to vast personal change, they may stop identifying with one living thing, and develop a connection with something else. Still, I've changed almost as much as a person can change in the last ten years, and I realized today that in all that time, my spirit animal(s) remained the same. Remarkable and strange?

Anyway, for a long time, I've always thought that the sensation of flying was the most amazing thing ever. While swimming comes close, I still felt that flying is the ultimate freedom. I wanted to be a pilot for a while as a kid; I even got to fly a couple of planes. But, my eyes went bad, and I realize now that I couldn't live the life of a pilot, and I refuse to live a lifestyle it would take to own and operate a plane, so I'll have to resort to the occasional skydive and hang glide or something.

So, I actually have two spirit animals. Maybe it's because I haven't met one of them, so I haven't decided, but they're the Peregrine Falcon and the Philippine Eagle. I'm travelling to the Philippines this August, and I'm planning to volunteer with the Eagles if I can. They're one of the most endangered animals in the world right now.

It might seem unlikely that one can have a connection with an animal they haven't even seen, but the Oracle (the Internet) is a powerful goddess, and when I first heard about the Eagle, I was not just fascinated but inspired to live. I've been showing people videos and photos and stories about the Eagle for years now. The Peregrine Falcon is incredible for its agility, finesse, and adaptability; things I've always admired in humans and animals alike.

So here's your call: If you don't already have a spirit animal, don't go looking for it. Just keep an open soul, and keep exposing yourself to all things nature, and it'll come to you. My best friend was in an aquarium when he found his. When you find it, or if you know it already, tell me what it is!

What's the Use of Wings?