Barry Chapter One, Parts I – X

I, Barry, took three rides and a long walk to make it from Rochester to Canandaigua.  I was told by my cousin’s husband, a noted child psychologist and researcher who developed the tests needed to diagnose mental disorders in blind, deaf or both adolescents, to just leave his office and go to where I wanted to be.  It’s hard to believe he didn’t realize how distressed I was, but I felt a type of freedom I never would have allowed myself at the time.

So I caught a ride down Elmwood Avenue from John’s office (appropriately 118 steps from Canon’s, John’s favorite watering hole, a place that also served a divine Welsh rarebit and steaks).  The couple who picked me up was young.

“Where you headed young man?” he asked as the car made it through intersections heading east-south-east past the “State Hospital” which is a catch-all for the mentally ill, eternally homeless or basket cases, known as “lifers.”

“If you’re going all the way to Clover Street, that would be super.  I live near the corner of Clover and East Avenue,” I boldly announced at circus barker volume.

“Oh we can swing that way right honey?” she said, with a look that acted like a nudge. Leaned back and imagined I looked relaxed, even if running on 14-year-old testosterone.  Ten minutes later, maybe less, there we were, in the very green and well manicured neighborhood.

“Thank,” I said, closing the door of their white 19to AMC Ambassador. Funny door handles, kind of square, that pulled open like the latch to an old freezer, only sideways.

Thoughts, a mile-a-minute came into my head, as I had been given official license to do whatever I wanted.  I didn’t notice the walk home, past “Catholic row” where children outnumbered parents by an average of five to one.  I didn’t stop by to see Derek, Jim, John or David as I swung down Georgian Court, a road Mom called “The Gaza Strip.” She being resolutely ethnocentric and “World War II conservative.”

I hung a walking left onto Trevor Court, in a neighborhood (The Barnard Tract)n recently made famous in a book showing just how closed off one rich family was from the others, but this was never true for the kids, back in the 70s.  No. There were pick-up sports games in all three academic seasons.  Summer found us at Canandaigua Lake, visited by cousins, and many others.  The Martins next door got a summer spot near us at the lake also, but were not always at my parents big blow-out parties.  Then, in an act of coincidental synchronicity, the McQuaids bought the ranch house my dad had built by himself (minus plumbing and electricity) 25 years earlier.  It was south of us and on the east die of the lake, near Bare Hill, the Iroquois meeting place.

So, while two hockey rinks kept us skating in the winter (both the McQuaid and Baume kids built rinks every winter), hot-box baseball, soccer, lacrosse, touch football, and basketball kept us moving in the non-snowy months.  It was a type of heaven, but how could we guess that playing outside everyday would become a luxury, and often overlooked in favor of PC games, cellular phones and 2500 “friends” on Facebook?  I was in no way a jock like everyone else, but I still had a great time playing every day.

One the corner of Trevor Court and Georgian court Sandy lived, and he lived to play lacrosse, so he had a goal set up in his back yard. Even well into his 30s when he was home visiting he’d take a jog around the neighborhood with stick, ball and trusty golden retriever.  The guy could run forever, cradling, playing catch with his dog, or trying to set new records for the bounciness of a ball…distances measured in kilometers if the throw was straight enough.

Once in a while he’d miss a shot and a lacrosse ball would lodge in a place where he couldn’t find it in our back yard. Who knows how many months or years later a free lacrosse ball would be found.  I’d throw it into his yard, inevitably screwing up his lawn mowing.  He was about 8 years older so I didn’t know him very well.  He was not the champion jock though. One guy, who almost never joined us in the neighborhood sport because he was at the far end of Georgian Court ended up on the Olympic team and had a few great write ups.  But no write up was as famous as the McQuaids, who had six boys, an exact hockey lineup. Back when there were two papers in town, the Times Union, the evening paper, did a full color shot (rare then)and it turned out at least three of the McQuaids ended up great players.

I blew by my own house, and, taking Doc’s instructions a tad to literally, marched next door and found the Martin’s door unlocked.  I was in love with the older daughter, who was exactly my age, but plenty attracted to her younger sister as well. In 1972 unlocked houses were fairly common, as the robust 60s lowered the crime rate considerably.

So, using the “follow your heart” command I took my semi-psychotic self up to the attic, where parties with Mark and his older friends introduced all of us to better music, alcohol, marijuana and kissing.  There were drinking, smoking and kissing games, with variations that inevitably led to the older attendees laughing at the younger ones.

I don’t remember taking my clothes off, or how I ended up lifting a dropping the barbells that mad enough noise for Mr. Martin, who was home form work to pick up his youngest daughter, Cathy, who had come into the house without me hearing it, two stories up.  But he heard it and came up two flights with Cathy close behind.

“I wonder what that was,” she said, and I recognized the voice without realizing I was buck naked.

“Put your clothes on Barry, what’s going on” Mr. Martin asked, somewhere between furious and humored.

So I put my clothes on while Cathy stared right at my groin.

“Do you need a ride to the lake, we’re heading down now,” he said.  Now Mr. Martin was a second Dad.  He knew all about the emotional fights that emitted loud noises toward his kitchen door.  He hadn’t fully gotten over the times I had chased Ann all over the two yards and beyond trying to get a kiss.  “Kiss Tag” in my mind…terror in hers, I’m sure.

I refused the 45-mile ride out of embarrassment.  Canandaigua didn’t seem like a long way to hitch hike that day.  My mind was split between going to Canandaigua and the  idea that I was free to do anything that day, having been sprung from both parental and super-ego barriers, I was, by any measure, out of my mind.

Thus I didn’t remember how I walked a mile down east avenue to get to the I-490 Linden road on ramp.  And still don’t remember much about the man who got me as far as Victor, the philosophical, if not geographic halfway point to Canandaigua.  From there, another universally-sent ride got me to the northwest corner of the city of Canandaigua, located at the north end of the westernmost of the picaresque Finger lakes.  It was probably anything but a beautiful drive for the 50s couple who picked me up in Victor.  They would have left me by the cornfield on the far side of Boughton Hill if it was up to the driver.  But, the second happy-to-help lady in a row  saved the day.  She managed to get me calmed down enough so I could tell her I lived on West Lake Road, and it was at the beginning of this 20-mile road that I was dropped off.  I got out and started walking, but my outstretched thumb wasn’t working anymore.

A four mile walk is not bad for a 14-year-old, though I had been over 200 pounds since I was 10.  Between 19 and 29 I never felt fat, though hit 330 at one point.  At 29 a member of the International Peace Walk (we were trekking through Russia for peace) told me it was nice to “have a person of size” on the walk, and right then (15 years later) I felt fat; but no one noticed my size again for another 20 years (girlfriends and wives included) until I moved to Korea, where lookism and the horrible looks one gets if chubby are augmented by comments like this one:  I was sitting with a retired opera singer and her photographer husband in his restaurant “museum” in Damyang.  She was about 70 years old.  The very first thing she said to me was not “hello” or “Anyon Haseo, but, “when are you going to lose your weight?” I informed her that I had lost over 23 kilos (that’s over 50 pounds) in the last five years (taking me down to near 240 pounds) and at that point I thought she was going to faint.

But I progress.

I was distracted by a variety of colorful yet confusing items as diverse as a potato bug and an F-150 pick up whose driver missed me by inches while honking his horn.  Where was I the middle of the road?  His truck was white but appeared to change colors over and over after the near-hit.

So in a flat between rises, just before the Canandaigua Yacht Club, I switched to the left side of the road.  It was close to my beloved lake, and maybe I could see cars coming better.  The sun was also different in 1972, and the heat not so pervasive.  You could easily sail, and I did, all day bare-chested with numbered SPF sun goop on (since it hadn’t been invented).  In fact we put on baby oil or Coppertone to ATTRACT more sun.

The yacht club had the largest fleet of wooden-keeled catamarans in existence, as they made fantastic racing boats on a lake where the wind changed directions all the time due to the surrounding hills.

Barry, Chapter one, Part X

I was distracted by a variety of colorful yet confusing items as diverse as a potato bug and an F-150 pick up whose driver missed me by inches while honking his horn.  Where was I the middle of the road?  His truck was white but appeared to change colors over and over after the near-hit.

So in a flat between rises, just before the Canandaigua Yacht Club, I switched to the left side of the road.  It was close to my beloved lake, and maybe I could see cars coming better.  The sun was also different in 1972, and the heat not so pervasive.  You could easily sail, and I did, all day bare-chested without numbered SPF sun goop on (since it hadn’t been invented).  In fact we put on baby oil or Coppertone to ATTRACT more sun.

The yacht club had the largest fleet of wooden-keeled catamarans in existence, as they made fantastic racing boats on a lake where the wind changed directions all the time due to the surrounding hills.

Barry, Chapter one, Part IV

Thoughts, a mile-a-minute came into my head, as I had been given official license to do whatever I wanted.  I didn’t notice the walk home, past “Catholic row” where children outnumbered parents by an average of five to one.  I didn’t stop by to see Derek, Jim, John or David as I swung down Georgian Court, a road Mom called “The Gaza Strip.” She being resolutely ethnocentric and “World War II conservative.”

I hung a walking left onto Trevor Court, in a neighborhood (The Barnard Tract)n recently made famous in a book showing just how closed off one rich family was from the others, but this was never true for the kids, back in the 70s.  No. There were pick-up sports games in all three academic seasons.  Summer found us at Canandaigua Lake, visited by cousins, and many others.  The Martins next door got a summer spot near us at the lake also, but were not always at my parents big blow-out parties.  Then, in an act of coincidental synchronicity, the McQuaids bought the ranch house my dad had built by himself (minus plumbing and electricity) 25 years earlier.  It was south of us and on the east die of the lake, near Bare Hill, the Iroquois meeting place.

Don’t Drive that way anymore

There was this man.  A regular guy only in his own mind.  To others, part big man, part child, part creative force, part jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none, and 100% emoticon.

One day he fell in love.  He had a great time of it until she had to go away.  Now he remains happy, but still can’t drive that way, not down that road, not near that place, not into that town, and just barely catches his breath on the days he has to snap out of it as he rumbles down the hiway, anywhere near the old stomping grounds.

This man, of course, not known to many, wants a full ride in life, wants to be whole again, wants to be loved, like anyone else.  For now he paints, he blogs, he reaches out to hands just barely touching: to those who can only care from a distance, those vital electronic charges, particles, words.

Keep track of your heart, he tells himself, gather in to your son, the one who loves unquestioningly, at least for now.  Play ball, paint together, cheer the games, and remind yourself, anything is possible, expect a miracle, keep tuned to the Creator.

It’s another beautiful day in the neighborhood.  get out an enjoy it.

AL

AL

You got quite a ride

the day the cat flipped

over and I wasn’t yet

adept at righting

a capsized sail boat.

You, the first

in a long series

of “could-have-beens” have been the

hardest to clear from

oft-addled

brain. Canandaigua

remains your home, and

if, as they say, heart dictates

where our homes are then

this is another

choice not made,

strike two, if you will.

This heart first throbbed for you; yet

I never moved the

Way you had

To have me

move, even uttering that

“family

jewels” line.  Legend

has it another

trumpet man

entered, but I still have the

letters you

sent to Holderness.

All’s well, good to hear.

Copyright, Doug Stuber, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given, and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

#Chapelhill is About Peace (and brotherhood movement)= CHAPS

Deah with, from left, his wife, Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, and her sister Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha

in a Facebook image.

Let’s all be chaps. I mean friends,not some division of the underpaying, overcharging Ralph Lauren Polo products. First, another prayer (we all pray to the same God ok?) for Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, 21; her husband, Mr. Barakat, 23; and her sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19.

The real enemies, if anyone at all, are those decimating the earth, getting a major profit from the hard work of underpaid labor in Asia, South America, and, um the USA, not to mention India and the Middle East in Specific.

People of all denominations and spiritual beliefs need to come together to save the earth, demand a living wage, replace the hogs at the top of the status quo, and use democracy (when available) to change the laws to create a system of social safety nets and RESOURCE PRESERVATIION everywhere from the Amazon rain forests to the entire oceans of the world.

Why not take the world’s massive underemployed and unemployed population and have them scoop plastic out of the ocean.

Why not ban plastic, not just plastic bags?  What’s wrong with glass?

The chance now, to not just honor the lives of the victims, but to use this to unite EVERYONE on the planet in a movement to save the planet and create *peace* for everyone not just the gated community people.

For international reader: There is no place better than Chapel Hill to start an NGO, to start an activist movement, to take back the planet for everyone.

Massive changes of laws must occur for this to work out. GATT 2, GATT 1,NAFTA and almost any other free trade agreement is set up to profit from cheap labor.

Labor unions which brought us the best pay and best working conditions and best lives possible, are now powerless as any strike can be met with “ok then we will just move the entire line of manufacturing abroad.”  No More strike ,and no more jobs at all in the USA.

Everyone except the shareho0lder class has been hurt by these pernicious WTO rules which supplant national sovereignty with “all-the-money-to-the-rich” schemes that resemble feudalism.

Fundamentalsim is scary in the Christian world and not exactly helpful anywhere else.  Fundamentalism means “my way or the hiway” or “my way or death to infidels” but that means perpetual war, and the USA has attacked 91 times since World War II, notably in Korea, Vietnam, Nicaragua, Serbia, Iraq (1,2,3) Afghanistan, Pakistan, (where next, Ukraine or Korea again?)

As an American I’m willing to give up my time to prove that as human beings we are as nice as anyone else, and that it is our GOVERNMENT that smells out loud.

This is true for everyone I’ve met either on the International Peace Walk in Russia in 1987 and again in the USA in 1989 or in my work in South Korea, or in the 31 other countries I’ve been in.

But this is about the movement, that should be larger than Occupy because the goals are even more radical in the face of this divided world.  DO NOT LET THE BIG WIGS AT THE TOP DIVIDE US ANY LONGER!

It’s our PLANET, God help us make CHAPS a reality.

Genocide, Slavery, Greed

We cry for the slavery that led to such wealth,

This is not just  the land of the free.

We witness genocide all over this earth.

What can we do to end greed?

We cry for the land, full of modified crops

We must work to save human life.

What will our grandchildren have to live through

Since our appetite causes such strife?

The oil wars that started a decade ago

Have moved toward the Caspian Sea.

We are the dissidents, loud, without fear,

Even if we are cut at the knees.

We cry for the news they keep off TV,

The grapevine could snap any day.

Disinformation is the age we live in,

So who’s going to show us the way?

The answer is simple, we grow as a team,

A new brotherhood in the light.

We must build the village, invite all your friends,

This is no time to give up the fight!

They have all the bombs, the juntas abound,

Monsanto is spraying the poor.

We must dig our hands into arable land

Or genetics will foul every spore.

Profit mongers have sucked the earth dry,

We must reclaim all that we can.

Industrial China, the last frontier,

Soon money will own every man.

The kids on the streets are locked-down together,

Push a bike, and you could get ten years!

All this is forced because we stopped caring,

Yet some offer blood, sweat and tears.

We couldn’t stop bosses from shipping our jobs,

The replacement is for-profit jails.

Our schools are rotting, so teach if you can,

Where it counts, not Harvard or Yale.

The time is upon us, united as friends

We can make anything grow.

Come join the party, sing and dance all the day,

Tomorrow we get out the vote.

We cry for the genocide, slavery, greed

That persists after thousands of years.

It’s late, but there’s time, if we really work hard

We can stop the torrent of tears.

Play, Play II

IMG_7481IMG_7570 IMG_7706 IMG_7724 IMG_7719 IMG_7818 IMG_7819 IMG_7877 IMG_7881

IMG_7912 IMG_7915

Play II, Thirty Five Years Later

There’s this shadow made by Korean Pines that hits
the white wall of building two at one every day.
If you’re sitting upstairs at An Die Musik, lazily
waiting for your favorite lunch-mate, this shadow can
appear to be the cliff seen in ancient watercolors. A
dark cliff and foggy white air in a far-distant place.
Foreground cloud-clipped conifers add a touch of reality,
nudging you back to lunch, which arrives, unlike your partner.
Today it’s the newfound cliff, visible only from three
southeast-facing seats. Students move, shoes push grains
into jagged cracks, yellow buds enlarge, the sun warms
frosted souls, but it’s the shadow cliff that matters. Now
you have a new friend, silent but hopeful, strong yet fake,
everlasting but ever-changing, finally receding with the sun
to a place no one knows. A morose quartet, early romantic,
pops at least one bright piano note, while cello, violin, viola
continue their lament. A new banner is stretched between
trees. The perpetrators are efficient and mingle into passersby
in less than thirty seconds. Now the cliff cascades, trios walk
and talk, you dream of love alone, confident it will return.
>< (Below written 1973)

Play

Brandy barks at swooping swallows,
Life, lowered to one foot or so
In summer time is simple,
As the lure of tired dogs and clover
Greets only those who need to play.

Scampering down outside stairs
Past the skidding bicycle marks
To a tumbling fit of joy
Goes the only daily memory
Of a happiness once known.

Landing in a pile of limbs,
Which includes the golden hair
That shines of wetness on the
Back of Brandy, the player
Laughs at the summer sun.

How long will it be
Before the play begins again,
Before the youthful joy
Once known appears, before
The love, if ever, returns?

Copyright, Doug Stuber, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given, and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Here I Come

Here I Come

Jumping rocks mix with summer hues.
Just one year to repair balance.
After one year you leave, balanced or not.
Five parts: one part anxiety, four parts excitement.

Running trees shake your hand softly.
Muffler drags its way to work one more time.
You hide, dodge the pain that separation brings.
Split personality allows lives to start and end.

Swimming film springs future memories now.
Jet black diesel bus swipes bicyclist’s knees.
Four walkers stop to help her up. The bus goes on.
Wait. Stand around and wait your life away!

Bouncing boats lean into white-capped boys.
Sacred land yields to weekends:
Keep this in mind as you stop enough to live.
After one year you leave, balanced or not.

Copyright, Doug Stuber, 1998. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given, and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Now or Never

Now or Never

A turtle flies through the universe.
We ride on the back of the turtle.
The Undergods dwell in Canandaigua,

The Overgods look down from clouds.
Even if we’re 300 moons away from
When this mattered, most of our lives

Are touched by one holy inspiration: nature.
Cosmic coincidence should not amaze here.
You are in the middle of the new awareness.

Black rocks spin and dive in deep water.
A four-year-old runs then swims.
Relaxed willow provides humid shelter.

You peek under the giant grass skirt
And see four tangled feet. You don’t peek further.
Gray locusts send twirling twigs to hair.

You swim out to a cooler spot of deep water.
The white snake, awake again,
Leaves Bare Hill, not reeking havoc

But cutting new creeks to hike along,
Full of crawdads and water spiders.
You retrace ancient steps. You sneak

Through the old neighborhood, now trespassing.
Four tangled feet, a few skipping stones
And the spirit within you:

Now awareness reigns. Corn presents
A raw treat for passing minstrels. Nothing
Talked about or noticed matters.

 

 

 

Copyright, Doug Stuber, 1999. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given, and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The Dinner Party Chapter 3

Dinner Party Chapter 3 Stuber 3.1

And just what did those two daredevils get into the night before anyway?
Few of our invitees are campers, or even inclined to put up a tent in the back yard for their kids, so, nestled around a fire they were all wondering what the heck to do when, in a flash, Catherine the Great was gone. She had stepped out back to pee, then Larsen noticed she was missing.
Larsen: Where the heck is Catherine, I really wanted to talk to her about Asian customs in her era. I think she must have had some contact with Asians during her reign.
Stephanie: I think she had to take a leak.
Larsen: Blast. Well, what do you think about our situation here?
Stephanie: I don’t mind being out in the woods for a while, but if I’m stuck here the rest of eternity, it won’t be much fun.
Virginia Woolf, who had been pondering a porridge that did not remind her of oatmeal, couldn’t help but slide over and talk to the two.
Woolf: What are you complaining about? Didn’t you have a full life before?
Stephanie: I should say not. I wasn’t even 35 when I died.
Larsen: Who said you died. I think I was about 45 when I got dropped in here. But I don’t see why we wouldn’t live our entire lives back in the 20th Century.
Stephanie: You mean this isn’t a form of hell?
Woolf: Hell? Are you kidding me, even Dante couldn’t come up with a hell as ironically twisted this. If anything this is only a slightly disappointing heaven.”
Larsen: She’s right. Would you be dancing topless in hell? You got into the native feel right away. How cold that be hell? Do you realize you already have enemies among the women here?
Stephanie: I figured if this is hell, and I’m dead, I might as well try to have fun.
Larsen: Fun’s one thing, but I think we’ve hit an area and time that is completely unique in history. If my guess is right, the natives have never heard of or seen white-skinned people before. Imagine how Bob Marley must be going over in the gossip circles!?
Woolf: I heard some women say they think he is a shaman. Some type of

Stuber 3.2

special medicine man.
Stephanie: Well, he’ll certainly be comfortable with a peace-pipe in his hands.
(General laughter.)
Larsen: There is already a big split as to what to do here. Should we just hang out and become part of their community, or are we really here to help them?
Woolf: There’s no way you’re going to stop the Europeans from coming here. I don’t know what year we’re in, but, unless we have a twenty year head-start, we’ll never be able to get enough natives together to make a stand.
Larsen: You mean a war?
Woolf: How else would you keep the Europeans out?
Larsen: How about negotiating better treaties, and making them stick?
Woolf: No way that would work, they already had treaties back then, each one was trampled on.
Stephanie: You think I kind find someone to find me a peace-pipe?
Larsen: Why, you think they smoke pot in it?
Stephanie: One can hope.
The blaze of the bonfire sent a pure flame three feet off the ground. The natives were just as comfortable on the dirt around the fire as you or I would be on a davenport in the lobby of the Boston Ritz Carlton.
Just out of earshot, Catherine, breaking twigs and rustling leaves, squatted in a patch of poison ivy to urinate. Meanwhile, a humored native jabbed the ribs of his friend and motioned him to leave. The native wore deerskin shorts, thick-soled moccasins a quiver with four arrows and a bow. Catherine, having been in a bar when whisked away into the past is dressed informally for her time. Long dress, tight bodice. Her purse and vodka bottle remained in the ganohsot.
The native got within two feet of her. He was behind a small maple tree. When Catherine fell in a combination of poison ivy and her own pee, the native could no longer stand it. He laughed. This startled Catherine. She pulled up her bloomers, and began to run. He tackled her, yet her first instinct (to yell) was somehow quelled. The native, of course, was Running Bear.
R.B.: Enihe. Akhnigoeye das.
This means, “Stop. I understand.” She didn’t have any clue what it meant,

Stuber 3.3

but still she didn’t scream.
Running Bear acted kind and offered her a hand up. He inched closer, still smiling. They circled like two curious dogs. She scowled and grunted, hiding curiosity, standing firm. Rage boiled through her. She would kill any man who dared such action in her own country, but she got a whiff of a new scent.
The body odor of this native caught her in a weak moment. She pushed him, he smiled and pushed back. He walked up to her and first gently then firmly grabbed her elbow. She didn’t know what to expect, and readied another scream, as he led
her down a steep wooded hill to Canandaigua Lake. Now Catherine had been around some mighty cold lakes in Siberia, but this one seemed far colder. He pointed to his canoe, but they had to walk knee-deep in the water to get to it. When he noticed that she didn’t like the water temperature he shoved her in. This made Catherine even more mad, especially since her left breast popped out as she is coming up for air.
It wasn’t just his laugh that got to her, but her dress, bloomers and petticoat became a strangling dead-weight when soaked. Running Bear offers her a woven
blanket. As she sat down in the canoe, she purposefully tipped the boat over. Now Running Bear was mad. A full basket of corn was lost. Laughter and rage counter-balanced each other which allowed Running Bear to feel the heat of lust creep in.
He had spotted her and rated her the best catch of the gods, even though Stephanie and Jessica danced topless. Now he was paddling across the lake with a god he knew nothing about. But he also knew that it is a long swim in a deep lake, and this god didn’t seem to take to water.
After half a mile, Catherine reluctantly picked up a paddle and helped the trek across the lake. The night air felt like rain was moving in, and Catherine would rather not get caught in a thunderstorm in a canoe, with a native, in a time and place she knew very little about. They make the western shore at “Seneca” Point. Who knows which pioneer named the Onodowaga the Seneca, but it must have come from their rich oral traditions. Maybe some informed pioneer had been taught about the Latin orator, who knows.
Straight up, these people loved to talk. Anyway, the two romantics were now
speaking a language they could both understand. (Not love-making you perverts, the spirits gave them a common language due to their unbridled love of life and sense of

Stuber 3.4

adventure.) Mind you, Running Bear didn’t realize Catherine could understand him when he said:
Gonohgwa onogwa khoh gwehdae ohsohgwa.
Which came out to her: I love your breast and red lips.
She didn’t realize she could understand an English translation of Haudenosaunee until it hit her that he was making a pass at her.
C. the G.: I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.
R.B.: Here you go.
She had no idea the natives were so quick to disrobe, so all she showed him was her breasts.
R.B.: Wait just a minute there. This is entirely unfair.
C. the G.: Oh come here you big baby, I’ll show you what’s unfair.
As he stepped across shale and fossilized Trilobites she admired how water dripped from his body. He firmed his resolve to make this woman his. She slid her
fingers through his hair, bit his nipple on the way down and showed him a trick her fellow Russians were never to pick up on.
Known as the nurturing doorbell push to its followers, the trick amused Running Bear to the point of a smile. A heart palpitation, even.
Running Bear, being from the tribe fortunate enough to control corn production, knew many pass times as well. After explaining in slow, delirious detail, the details of his trick, he gracefully put the blanket over Catherine, hung her bloomers out to dry, and performed his magic. She was startled to see that this man
Had the power of a horse. His trick proved fateful. He had become the first man to amuse Catherine with slight of hand. Her desires for more tricks and his desires to learn how a woman could have such large but firm breasts kept them up all night. and they talked.
R.B.: I want to know more about where you come from.
C. the G.: I guess we have come from different parts of history. I myself am returning from hell, where I’ve been for some time now. I know of Nostradamus, but most of the rest of these people you call gods are from what appears to be the
20th Century. That would be a solid 400 years from now.
R.B.: You mean some of what they say will happen, actually will happen!?

Stuber 3.5

C. the G.: I’m afraid that’s correct. But you haven’t heard any of what they said.
R.B.: No, but the god Tolkien has tried to tell us stories the best he can. Maybe this new magic that allows us to talk will also give us a better picture of what he means when he says our Turtle world will be shattered.
C. the G.: It may be true, but don’t you think the strongest people should rule?
R. B.: Maybe they will, but we have come to peace about all of that. The wars
we had in the past have been narrowed down to skirmishes caused by petty jealousies, and chiefs that cannot hold their tempers. If you gods are so advanced, why would you bring more war to us?
C. the G.: Because by being so advanced, people like us can take advantage of gentle people easily, and we will. Look, we have to develop a plan to unite even more natives so you can keep your place here. Many of us think you won’t be able to talk out a peace with the Europeans. We think you should band together and fight them with the unified purpose of getting rid of them. There are idiots, however, who will try to tell you that the best thing to do is sign firm treaties. Problem is, I believe your people will end up signing treaties anyway. And those treaties end up being broken one by one, until the Europeans control this whole continent. So, if we know that any treaty you sign with these people will be broken, I say the best way for you to save your Turtle world is to fight the newcomers back. That way they won’t want to return for some time.
R.B.: I will take what you have said to the council, we meet at the end of this moon.
The Haudenosaunee Turtle world is simple and complex. Simply, the earth is seen as the back of a turtle riding between the Overworld and the Underworld. The stars, moon, planets and heavens make up the Overworld and the Underworld is all that is beneath the realm of the human beings. Lakes and seas are cracks in the Turtle’s back, and lead directly to the Underworld.
Like so many other mythologies, things that are above humans are generally good. There are three types of gods in their mythology: Air, Earth and Animal. Most of the Air gods are good, most of the earth gods are good, and most of the animal gods go both ways. The creatures that “live” in the underworld are not so good.

Stuber 3.6
C. the G.: The council’s one thing, but if we make a pact, I will be able to use your influence to gather more support for the correct action, and you will be able to use my status as a visiting goddess to help convince your people that your way is the right way.
R.B.: But I have no decision on this yet. Our tribe makes decisions by a vote.
C. the G.: Well, it won’t be hard to get the men behind us. Women here don’t have the right to vote do they?
R.B.: The women don’t vote, but they are the only people who have the right to nominate who their leader will be.
C. the G.: What!?
R.B.: In major decisions, like who will be chief, the women argue about who the best chief may be. They then nominate possible chiefs. Then the men vote.
C. the G.: What sense does that make?
R.B.: It makes perfect sense. Men often create deals that lead to bad decision making later on. You must have seen this where you come from.
C. the G.: Yes. In fact, the decisions made in my country were so bad, I had to take over myself. I led our country out of misery and into enlightenment.
R.B.: So, women can be effective chiefs? I would not have guessed that.
C. the G.: Why not, you give women the exclusive right to nominate your leaders.
R.B.: Yes, but they are never the warriors or chiefs.
C. the G.: Why not?
R.B.: Their job is more important: they are the keepers of the corn crop. They raise our children, and their dreams usually warn of warring tribes coming our way.
Your arrival was foretold by dreams I, myself had.
C. the G.: You knew I was coming? Did you also know you would seduce me?
R.B.: I was hoping to seduce one of the white skins for political reasons, but I hadn’t expected to go against my wife’s word this quickly. I knew I had to get close to the women in your group emotionally. The men, I can always talk with.
C. the G.: You people are awfully confident.
R.B.: You seem a little bold yourself.
The two had no fears. Running Bear, still naked, threw a rock into the water. Catherine picked up a piece of shale and lobbed it at him. He caught it, by feel,

Stuber 3.7

and the last-second sight the moonlight afforded. They laughed. He skipped the rock. They embraced for, what seemed to Catherine, a long time.
Running Bear thought about the significance of his dreams coming true so fast and so materially. He knew it was one of the most important times the Haudenosaunee faced since the peace under the great white tree.
The two found shelter and fell to sleep. The warmth of Catherine’s arms erased the throb of guilt Running Bear had been feeling.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
* * * *
The Chosen Place glimmers in 7 am sun that delivers strong messages to the participants. Catherine and Running Bear are halfway across the lake on their way back to Bare Hill. The return trip finds Catherine fully paddling the bow. Still, Running Bear is humored by her style.
Garcia, 18 again, helps women harvest beans, tend to corn, stretch deerskin. He throws a dirt ball in the air, chuckles and wonders what type of heaven he’s fallen into. Is it a really intense dream, or a flashback of a trip taken 340 years in the future?
What will he do without an amplifier and a crowd?
Garcia: Tell me ladies, how bad are the winters in this area?
Fawn and her mother Bobbing Tail (BT) try to respond. (Fawn’s
14 Bobbing Tail’s 30)
Fawn: We have more celebrations in winter, and more meetings, and more stories and we live together in the houses. Winter cleanses the earth it is not bad.
BT: We build fires at the end of the house to stay warm. Everyone hates the smoke, but what else can you do? What a strange question – the weather is beautiful, who wants to remember winter?
Garcia: That says a lot. Our being here must seem very strange to you but we come from a time in the future. I lived over 3,000 moons into the future from now. Can you understand that?
Fawn: We have been told you are demon Gods. You are too white, you have magic fire, evil drinks, strange moccasins, unnatural furs and weird face-paint. We were told not to talk to you, and if my father, or any of the elders catch us talking to you without men present we will be punished and you will be tortured and teased.

Stuber 3.8

Garcia: I don’t want to get into to trouble, but most of us believe in non-violence. Why is it that you torture people?
BT: You are naive Garcia. We fought battles with the same tribes we are now at peace with. We still fight battles to protect land to the west, in order to secure such a place here. If you win a war then treat your enemies as friends, they will laugh at you, and come back to destroy you. That is why the Peace under the Great White Tree was such a miracle. Do you know our customs, or are you a god that knows nothing? Garcia: I’m not a god, just a man from the future. I play music, I like to dance. I’ll show you later, but please tell me more.
BT: Our customs are simple. We plant in order to survive, the men are the hunters, fighters and chiefs, but the women decide who the chiefs will be. We are the Onodowaga tribe, in our house only the women vote, and the chiefs are not always passed down from one generation to another. No man can fool a whole tribe of women into giving him power. We also talk out each decision. If there is one vote against anything, the decision is not made. It took many years to get the Mohawks to agree to stop slaughtering their neighbors. They usually beat everyone they fought, but rarely the Onodowaga. We have retreated very few times. Two other Tribes that met under the tree were easy to persuade: Cayugas, and Oneidas were the first to feel
The pain from Mohawk raids. The Onondagas were tricked into joining the nation by the peacemaker and his friend Jikohnsaseh.
He was a man from the west (a Huron it is believed). She was the strongest women of the Cat Nation. Jikohnsaseh proposed offering a high position in the new nation to the Chief of the Onondagas, and he finally persuaded his people to join, knowing he had a good position secured.
The Gayanesshagowa is the Great Law of Peace that keeps the Haudenosaunee together. I heard your friend call us Iroquois. As five, we are strong. The Onodowaga protect the west. We are through collecting new fishing areas, and hunting grounds from the Hurons to the west, while the Mohawks still toy with weaker Tribes to the east. What do you think of all of that Garcia?
Garcia: I know something of the Iroquois. Did you know that yours was the first lasting peace amongst warring people anywhere on earth?
BT: This is earth, what do you mean, anywhere on earth?

Stuber 3.9

Garcia: This land stretches 200 times as far as any Seneca has ever seen. And there are two other lands that are even larger. There are many different types of people in this land. There are places that are never cold. There are groups from the south that will join you in years to come. The Tuscarura will travel north to make your nation one of six Tribes, not five. But my purpose is to warn of the white-skins who will come and spread disease, and war. They will beat your best Mohawks. You will join with them to fight mighty wars and they will pay you back by stealing your land. They do not believe that the earth is one. They split it up and “own” it.
BT: Stop this foolishness, no one owns the earth. No Human Being could ever claim to own part of the earth. There could be no such evil tribe. The peace under the great white tree set out one main cause: Universal peace. We better ourselves, without having to kill each other. If you, Garcia, man of the future, claim that this will come crashing to an end, then I say that all of this will be ruined by men like yourself.
I will tell this to my leaders, and you will be tortured and teased. In days past we would have killed you for such a remark. We have lived many generations without such talk, and we don’t need to hear it now.
Garcia: It is my intention to warn you, whether you want to hear it or not. I am living a second life now. There is nothing for me to gain or lose in trying to help a tribe that should be prepared.
Fawn: If you keep this up until the squash harvest Garcia, we will make you sit on an oblong gourd for such a remark, but now last year’s are hard, it will not be as pleasant.
Garcia sees a little bit of mountain girl in this young Fawn. This gets him dreaming of a life in Canandaigua. Wouldn’t it be tremendous to be in the finger lakes before they were overrun with boats, cottages, rich snobs and lunatic daredevils.

* * * *

One such daredevil caught the spirit of the long white snake between 1968 and 1985. He lived at Menteeth point, about eight miles south on the western shore of the lake. He was a normal kid, then went on a 17 year tear through motorcycles, 100 MPH

Stuber 3. 10

boats, cliff jumps and some of the wildest parties little old Cheshire, New York has ever seen.
He was electrocuted.
I hadn’t seen him since about 1976, so I don’t know when he died. The story was relayed by a man who had no sense, but who had pure emotion and heart. He wrote religious songs, and said he knew of the daredevil’s sister, Toby. The last I knew
She was riding horses, and throwing dirt bombs back on Tremont Street. Legend says the snake lived in Canandaigua Lake.
Its presence is hard to ignore, which is why, to this day, so many people around the lake go on spiritual rampages. Such spirit and courage comes at odd intervals, and remains short times. Here’s to the whisper of that spirit.
Most will never tap the long white snake the way that man did, but Canandaigua has a way of pulling it out of you. It is hard to deal with, and gets people into all kinds of jams. But life could not be more exciting than it is when you allow the spirits of Canandaigua to inhabit your body. The daredevil’s parents knew this on some level, as they bagged the city for this chosen place years before moving out of jobs and into life became the vogue.
(I guess this is the author’s way of nudging Garcia to stick around, if possible.) Fawn: You seem to know so much, but then so little. Now that mother is gone, let me ask: why is it you white men think that your arrival will hurt the Peace nearly as much as our chief’s jealousy of the Hurons, Algonquins and Mohawks? Garcia: The diseases we carry you will not survive, the weapons we kill with are accurate from long distances. There is no time for jealousy now. Without a big effort, the white men will take over this land and ruin your traditions.
Fawn: Honoring the land and the law are not just our traditions. All human beings feel this way.
Garcia: That would be great if it were true, but men are greedy, you have seen it in your own warriors. Now imagine warriors with greater weapons, no respect
For nature, and the desire to earn great fortunes by enslaving others to work on their behalf.
Fawn: This has happened after our wars. The winner gets what the loser once

Stuber 3.11

cherished.
Garcia: It may be true, but your peace was set up to respect people and avoid these massacres. The white men from across the ocean have not come so far in their thinking. They will build great empires by twisting nature and enslaving the weak. {But why let Garcia have all the fun.}
Running Bear and a few other tribesmen had been listening to the conversation. They snuck up on the two, intending to let them talk as long as they wanted to, but they felt compelled to interrupt. Running Bear emerged from trees.
R.B.: We don’t like this talk, but we have also forged an alliance with you crazy people from the future. The one called Catherine has convinced me to listen to your stories which we will do tonight. Until then, I suggest that you stay clear of my wife and child.
This takes Garcia back a few steps because he knows perfectly well what Catherine and Running Bear were up to the night before. Now he wonders what to do with the information. Recalling experiences in his own band, he decides to keep it under his hat for now.
Meanwhile, Larsen was eager to pump Catherine for her knowledge of local Asian customs as practiced in Russia. Larsen was already drawing parallels to the “Turtle” world in the Haudenosaunee mythology.
Larsen found out that Asian traditions either have, or she made up, a similar underworld in which strange gods devise plans and the fate of man. Speaking of Larsen, she was at the campfire wondering whether everyone was safe, since at least Catherine was missing.
Larsen: We’ve been in this dream a couple of days, and I still don’t feel very safe. How about you Duane?
Allman: It’s obvious you’ve never been dead, so don’t talk to me about safe. Life is way too short to play it safe, but if you ask me, the people leading these Indians into war are doomed to get them slaughtered even quicker than history. We’ve got to help these folks save their own ass or their culture will die quicker than they do. Their history is oral, and language doesn’t seem to be a problem anymore, so why don’t we try to get them involved in self-preservation?
Larsen: That’s a good idea. I happen to have a typewriter and some paper,
maybe I could come up with a lesson plan that could help them.

 

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  • Before You Speak

    Before you speak, let your words pass through three gates. At the first gate, ask yourself, ‘Is it true?’ At the second ask, ‘Is it necessary?’ At the third gate ask ‘Is it kind? Rumi  Translated by Coleman Barks

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“The Dinner Party,” a novella in 11 chapters plus endnotes, copyright, Doug Stuber, 1992.  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given, and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The Dinner Party, a Novella in 11 Chapters, with Endnotes, Chapter One

Chapter One

Dinner Party

Monica Corcoran, Jerry Garcia, Bob Marley and Katherine B. were sitting next to James Rodgers, Jack, J.R.R. Tolkien and Ashley Martin at a dinner party. They had been invited by Corcoran, to sit in a ganohses (longhouse) halfway down the east side of Canandaigua Lake. The year was 1622. Blue Lake stories pervaded as Virginia Woolf walked in with a subdued Nostradamus, Catherine the Great and Wasily Kandinsky. Tad Stuber and “Stephanie” lounged in with Jessica, Jeanne Larsen and Duane Allman.
The pow-wow was set to see who could do the most to stop Europeans from coming across the ganyodeowaneh. Or, at least insert the native culture deep within the collective psyche of the oncoming tribes of explorers. News of men from the ocean arrived before this party. Scouts on the eastern edge of the Haudenosaunee nations had already heard of the Puritans landing in a place they named Plymouth.
Corcoran was amazed that no natives were around to greet them. She decided to explain a little more about her intentions for the dinner party.
“I can’t believe this party is happening, but you should listen up. My friend and I decided to have this party in order to help the natives fend off the Europeans. We’re here to save this place for them,” she said.
A few invitees started to grumble. James, Ashley and Tad in particular were anxious about their surroundings.
“I was just sitting around my dorm room one day when this crazy bass player asked if we had ever played the game ‘dinner party’ before. I told him I never heard of it. Anyway, the game is simple: we invited some of our favorite people here so we could get to know them. The thing is, we got to invite anyone from history that we wanted to.”
“So why on earth did you invite me?” Stephanie asked.
“I don’t know. I thought you were one of his better choices actually,” Corcoran responded.
“Well, at least we came with the stuff we had on us. I think the whole thing is
bullshit. I’m going outside to play, anyone interested,” Jack said as he waived a lemon-sized sack of bean-bag beans in the air.
A few followed him our the door. Jack rested the hacky-sack on his forehead then started a round with Jessica, Katherine B., Kandinsky and Allman.
Amidst errant volleys, Jack suggested a conspiracy. “Pirates, only equipped with cigarette boats and huge chains. Just turn them away.”
“A peaceful thought but it won’t work,” Katherine B. interjected.
“Maybe a war would keep them away,” Tad said. “We could borrow some toys from the Pentagon and keep this place safe forever.”
“Unless you’re better at time jumping than I am, I don’t think that will work out,” Allman said. “Who are you anyway?”
“Tad’s the name, and I say that the only way to conserve this space is to bomb the heck out of the invaders. The technology will blow them back into the dark ages.”
Bob Marley overhears from behind a birch branch in the house. He’s unimpressed. “Look, it’s not the people, it’s the greed, and the technology itself that stink!”
“We need to make sure the continent remains agrarian,” Martin said, peering over smashed beans and corn meal.
(Not knowing Martin, the author assumes she knows what she’s talking about. But she said it, so that’s that.)
The ganohses they have landed in is one set up for special meetings. Highly decorated mats make sitting on the ground a little more comfortable for the 20th century visitors. Nostradamus sat in a corner meditating. No mat needed.
Now Duane Allman was not a good hacky player. The poor boy tried, and after being teased by Kandinsky, quit. Wassily quit too, opting to take Stephanie and Jessica behind the bushes for an artist/model strategy session. Because he was so used to painting abstracts, Kandinsky had to remember how to instruct the Russian methods of posing before teaching it. He hadn’t used a model in years, but their figures were compelling. He only had a few colors and two canvasses, so he knew each stroke would have to count. The session didn’t last long.
Catherine the Great, now free to ponder the fate of America, suggested: “A new
poverty. That’s what this continent needs. Mindless serfs with pure loyalty to our ideals. The natural resources should only be in the hands of those who know how to use them.”
“How obvious,” Marley quipped.
“There has to be a way to get to the heart of the problem. We need to meet with these people and get them motivated as soon as possible,” C. the G. suggests.
“Motivated to do what?” Woolf asked.
“To fight to save their homeland!”
“It doesn’t matter what they do. The enslaving tactics of the Europeans will either wipe them out, or use them like they used the Africans. I don’t think our little band of do-gooders is going to be able to win a war against all of Europe,” Marley said.
Tad, overhearing all this added: “Look, around here I think it was the French who came in first. We wouldn’t have to hold off all of Europe.”
Marley, not wanting to stay involved in war talk, meandered over to Allman. He recognized Duane from the album cover of “Live at Fillmore East”. It was one of the albums Marley cherished.
“Aren’t you Duane Allman?”
“Sure am.”
“What do you think about all of this?”
“I can’t believe I’m in the middle of some ancient times. Why did I show up with my motorcycle and electric guitar, when they are useless?”
“Don’t know, but I’d trade ten cups of this tea for just one cup of coffee,” Marley said, trying to tip off his identity.
“‘One Cup of Coffee,’ wasn’t that an obscure Bob Marley side from the early sixties?”
“Guess so. Who do you think you’re talking to?”
“Oh my God! I’m sorry man, I didn’t recognize you. Your hair should have given it away,” Allman said.
“This is great, we can have a serious jam.”
“I saw a teenager with a guitar walking around too,” Allman said. “He’s got an old Martin, a real beauty. Maybe we should get together.”
“Sounds good to me, let’s go find the guy with the guitar,” Marley said, smiling.
While the two musicians went in search of Garcia, Tolkien was holding court with Mr. Rodgers and Ashley Martin.
“To limit the free choice of America’s inhabitants is unfair, yet allowing Europeans to wipe out the Indians is also unfair. It seems to me that the Indians could have lived here indefinitely without spoiling the place. We need to find a way to let them have it,” he said in a rather thick French accent.
Martin and Rodgers were speechless.
Jessica and Stephanie, accompanied by Kandinsky, returned to the ganohses and interrupted Nostradamus’ meditation.
“Hi, I’m Stephanie, what’s your name?”
No response.
“Excuse us for interrupting your meditation, but we were wondering why you weren’t introducing yourself,” Jessica said.
“My name is Nostradamus.”
“Nostradamus!?” Kandinsky exclaimed.
“Not the guy Orson Welles went on and on about?” Stephanie asked.
“Excuse me, but I am simply a French monk. I have studied the stars and meditated about the future. Apparently, I am now in the future.”
“The future? What century do you come from?” Stephanie asked.
“Not even one-hundred years ago, by my guess. This must be some type of second life, but I do not recognize the way you dress, or the area we are in.”
“My name is Jessica. I was a housewife living on the outskirts of a city called Charlottesville, Virginia in the 20th Century before I died.
“I was a model,” Stephanie said.
“No doubt about that,” Kandinsky confirmed.
Nostradamus, struck by their beauty, pondered cashing vows for a four-way. This type of kinky thought rarely infected the brain waves of Nostradamus, but everything was weird to him at this point. He had predicted he would return in the future, but hadn’t thought it would be so soon after his death.
Wassily, looking at fate from the monk’s perspective, wondered if it was worth it to try to help, as he was invited to do, or whether painting and living life to the fullest were a valid response to the place he had been put into.
At the main meeting table, Garcia, a 20th century minstrel ponders the situation.
He had lived an entire life in the 20th Century. He can almost remember that, but he feels and acts much younger now. All he can distinctly remember about the 20th century was taking a trip with a friend to attend a bluegrass festival in Galax, Virginia.
They had started out in a broken down car from California. His friend got more and more disgruntled as they drove through the desert, blew the transmission and had to start hitch-hiking. Somewhere around Las Vegas, his friend had given up. Undaunted, Garcia continued the trek, guitar in hand.
He remembered arriving a day late, but instantly started jamming around a huge tent with Doc Watson, the blind bluegrass legend who was the most legitimate incarnation of the music that had been transported to the hills of West Virginia, Tennessee and Kentucky from Ireland in the 18th Century. Garcia realized the importance of the occasion. It was as a teenager, with guitar in hand that he arrived in Ganandauguay.
Garcia: “People will follow their hearts no matter what we do. Earth is here to respond to those needs. It will make the adjustments as necessary. If humans waste their chance here, earth will dispatch them.”
“Dispatch, dispatch, the question here is what to do with Europeans,” Woolf clarifies. “It’s not fair for me because the people from my island escaped injustice and followed their hearts. Then they wiped out the Indians, as if that was what God wanted.”
This statement caused a stir in Nostradamus, so he walked over to the table.
“God!” Nostradamus screamed, “what you know of God is minimal, but listen to this theory: planets around the universe go through relatively the same cycle. First, the animal life finds a way to use up the resources. When and if the inhabitants escape, they try to warn the next planet. Thus, the bible, me, and the inevitable. About 10% of the idiot planets don’t develop far enough before they’re used up. You can count on earth being one of these, and it all started with the greed of the United States, dear Virginia.”
{I saw an Eskimo walking with a huge pack in an ethereal fog the other day, right
here in Roanoke, Virginia, Virginia.} (1991)
Meanwhile, Duane began to shape extra guitar-like instruments from cat-gut and

crafted sticks he borrowed from newfound Indian friends. Duane’s own guitar, a red hollow-body 1956 Gibson was meant to be played through an amplifier, but the hollow
body made it almost loud enough to hear over the loud singing blues of Garcia and Bob Marley. Larsen sat in on a homemade bass, with Corcoran on drums.
Larsen’s playing could be described as rhythmic. The correct pitch was hard to come by, as her instrument was less effective than the old washtub-broomhandle-string set-up made famous in bluegrass jug bands.
Corcoran’s “drumming” made reggae out of the question, but she at least kept up. She was using three ceremonial drums borrowed from the back of the meeting room. Garcia lead the singing of the ad-libbed first song, with Marley harmonizing with a vocal howl a third above in the verse and a third or fifth below in the chorus.
Garcia played rhythm guitar on Allman’s Gibson, while Allman used Garcia’s 1952 Martin to play lead slide guitar.

Ganandauguay

There’s a special chosen place that’s caused some nasty wars.
We dropped in from all over, this place isn’t like before.
And if you love your good neighbor,
We’ll let you stay here some more.

Chorus: I’m going to get back to the Ganandauguay blues.
I’m going to jump back in to the Ganandauguay blue.
My mind is blown by the beauty,
Won’t you come and join me too?

We got pretty little ladies, such wonderful sights to see.
We got nature in our souls and our minds are finally free.
And if you think you’re happy now,
Wait until you come in swimming with me.

Chorus

(Here Duane took a major lead, drawing looks of awe from some natives who had just emerged from the woods.)

We got to keep the place as clean as it was before.
It’s been so long since this place has seen a war.
So why don’t you join me,
And we’ll find a way to even the score.

Chorus

There’s a special chosen place that’s caused some nasty wars.
We got people from all over we never met before.
And if you love your good neighbor,
We’ll let you stay here some more.

* * *
The song ended, with natives apparently howling their approval. They had snuck in unnoticed.
They didn’t understand a word of the lyrics, but the primitive music fit their style.
The reason the natives were howling had nothing to do with the music. They were screaming to drive these white ghosts away. Two bows are drawn before Darting Sparrow, an up and coming young fighter, stepped in to stop what would have been an instant massacre of the invitees.
“Enihe!” Darting Sparrow shouted. {It means “stop”.}
The evening is setting in, which makes the tension between the two groups increase with each passing firefly.
Larsen starts to work out a sign language with Darting Sparrow.
“Look, I think he understands that we have come from the future,” she said to Virginia Woolf.
“As long as what you are saying keeps him from turning on us, we’ll be all right,” Woolf responded.
“He’s too young to have any authority,” Kandinsky pointed out.
“But if he’s a scout, we need to convince him we’re on his side, or we could all get killed before we even know what year it is, no less where the heck we are,” Larsen said.
Larsen pulled out a handkerchief and made it into the shape of a heart. She opened her hand and closed it on the hanky to make the representation of a beating heart. She then held the beating heart to her chest and made a motion like she was pulling her own heart out of her chest. She danced around with bent knees and showed the heart to all the natives. Again they howled.
“He eh ni ye” Darting Sparrow said. {Loosely translated – don’t do that.}
It really was scaring some scouts, other were just mad that she was able to one-up

Darting Sparrow. He had to get her back, but then Larsen offered him the hanky.
Again the crowd howled.
Larsen bent on her knee, kept the heart throbbing, and again offered it to Darting Sparrow. Darting Sparrow smiled and accepted the heart. He even showed the cloth to his companions, and pretended to keep the heart beating.
This display lasted long enough for more natives to arrive. The meeting house was the destination of the Turtle clan. The Turtle clan ran through the Onondaga, Cayuga, Oneida, Mohawk and Onodowaga. Even though they had previously had wars with these other tribes, the members of the Onodowaga, Turtle clan had a closer relationship with other Turtle clan members from the other tribe, than most of the members of other clans in their own tribe.
Since Larsen and her friends had arrived in the Snipe clan’s meeting house, it was going to be up to the Turtle clan to accept them, banish them, torture them or kill them.
Darting Sparrow repeated the heart demonstration to the elders of his clan. Larsen again tried to explain in sign language that they were from the future. The clan decided to take their discovery to the entire meeting that night.
Jessica, Stephanie and Katherine B. were already getting some attention from their native hosts. The men were smiling at them. The women were pawing at their clothes.
“Agwas do ges ogethae henoyo goh ganoohgwa sha,” Darting Sparrow said. {It’s really true, I talked [to them] they come in love.}
The elders talked about their guests and seemed to trust Darting Sparrow’s faith in their peaceful intentions. Jack almost ruined it for everybody when coming inside from his hacky-sack game.
“What’s going on here, for Christ’s sakes,” Jack said in a rough sarcastic tone.
“Cool it Jack, Jeanne went through a pantomime that convinced the Indians we were coming in peace. I don’t think they like your tone,” Jessica said.
“Tone!? They’re the ones howling all the time! Here we are stuck out in the middle of the woods in God knows which century and you’re going to knit-pick about tone? You’re more uptight than your hoity-toity Charlottesville neighbors!”
“Look Jack,” Katherine B. interjected, “first of all, don’t get on the Shenandoah valley, I live there too. Secondly, keep it down. If the natives get the idea that we’re not united then they won’t treat us all the same. the way I see it, we have the upper hand. They may even treat us as special guests as long as we remain calm and act like mature adults.”
“All right then, it’s starting to get dark, who’s going to sleep where, and with whom?”
“You’re a pig, Jack,” Katherine B. said.
The argument humored the natives. Jeanne walked over to the combatants.
“Look, we’ve got to be a little more civil. These people are now laughing at you. We have a chance to impress them with our knowledge. Our first goal has to be to communicate with them. If we can’t impress them, we’ll be dead.”
“We don’t have to impress anybody. This is like a second life for me. I’m going to have fun at it. I don’t give a rat’s ass about why we were “invited” here by some sophomore. I mean she’s fairly cute, but I don’t have to date the hostess. You seem like you’ve got your head on straight. What do you say we blow this meeting house and go out by the fire?” “No thanks.”
“Fine,” Jack said as he turned to Jessica and the others. “Anybody up for a little sing around the campfire?”

 

 

 

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  • Before You Speak

    Before you speak, let your words pass through three gates. At the first gate, ask yourself, ‘Is it true?’ At the second ask, ‘Is it necessary?’ At the third gate ask ‘Is it kind? Rumi  Translated by Coleman Barks

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“The Dinner Party,” a novella in 11 chapters plus endnotes, copyright, Doug Stuber, 1992.  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given, and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Follow Your dreams (with update)

My family lived in the Haudenosaunee “Chosen Place” in the summer. It is called Canandaigua. In that place many tales from the past continued. The tale of the Great White Snake, the Tales of Handsome Lake, the spiritual leader who preached a way for Natives and Europeans to get along, and some of the rules that were sacred to the Native Americans the French labeled Iroquois.

One rule was that all major decisions were “tossed across the fire” until everyone agreed that the right decision was made. It meant that a 12-year-old, lacrosse-playing novice could be the lone hold out about a major decision, and until his mind was swayed, the decision was on hold. This type of consensus may be impossible in today’s “democracy” but what’s going on in democracy in the USA is a long way from the Federalist Papers idea of democracy.

The US System of government, was, in fact modeled after the Iroquois version, in which tribes, clans and individuals could petition the decisions.

It’s been a long time since citizen Ralph Nader or anyone else, like Mr. Brady (see failed anti-gun legislation) was taken seriously by government, if their proposals meant even the slightest less profit, and even the slightest more sharing of wealth, or preserving the environment, or bringing back mass transportation in the 70 cities in which GM, Firestone and Standard Oil conspired to buy up the local trains and replace them with busses during the depression of the 1930s when they could also find cheap labor to tear up the tracks(eventually of course, cars became the nearly exclusive transportation vehicles).

Nader’s Environmental Protection Agency has become a politicized laboratory doing testing on animals. Ooops.

1) FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS : there was only one crime I know of that was punished by banishment from a tribe (a de facto death penalty) back in the day. And that was against those who failed to follow their dreams. Compare this to today’s corporate culture in which following your dreams (except in the most enlightened places) is pretty much disallowed. Why was this so important? Because those who do NOT follow their dreams become a drain on society. They are bitter, angry and maybe even become insane when their dreams are denied. And why would one deny their dreams in a culture that hardly had money at all? Who knows, maybe for love. Maybe they fell in love with someone who INSISTS that they follow not their own dream, but their lover’s dream. Well both could get kicked out then I guess.

We live in a time when from the first day of elementary school, students are taught to pass a test. A test developed by corporations who need people to think the way they do. And that means, be greedy, work for the profit on ONLY their company, do little to help others outside the company, etc. Which university you get into depends on how well you follow the edicts of THE CORPORATIONS’ tests, and then which university you graduate from has a lot to do with where you will work. and in the USA not even 30% of the people have a bachelor’s degree. And their job prospects have dimmed considerably since so many skilled and non skilled labor jobs have been shipped to low-paying countries, like China.

https://www.youtube.com/user/WhoPaysFilm

2) Making love is the highest homage to God. This is because to make a baby completes the Creators dream of seeing how well human beings will do with the earth he has given us. Oh? Then at least we are not doing very well. Unlike the Christians, who profited immensely by killing Islamists in the Crusades, and then quite a bit more so by creating genocide in North and South America (3000 cultures were wiped out, and many of the languages are gone now too) who felt that love making was not a holy experience (unless I guess you want to count the Catholic Priests who must believe homosexual rape of choir boys is holy, but since no baby-making is likely, then NO THIS IS NOT HOLY).

3) Make everyone in the tribe feel that their contribution is the MOST important thing for the tribe. The chief used to visit the lacrosse-stick makers every day. These were people who, though maybe not as smart, were gifted with their hands. Maybe not warrior material, but so so so important to the tribe. Without those sticks, how could men train for war? Without being ready for war, who knows when the next Mohawk attack could come. (Of Course the Peacemaker, a Huron, once came into Haudenosaunee lands and convince the five tribes, Mohawk, Oneida, Cayuga, Onandaga and Seneca, to create a peace, which they did, and it lasted 3500 years apparently).

So, when everyone feels like their contribution is equal and very important, they are happy.

4) Grow beans, corn and squash.

5) Never hide anything from children. Let them play and find out about nature on their own. They will learn what they need to learn by asking elders and by observing. Do not force one way of thinking on anyone.

6) Always learn from those who live life a different way. This is how the Natives were predisposed to helping the White Folks who showed up and would have certainly perished in the early winters.– hence Thanksgiving. Some thanks the tribes got later on.

Delight in the idiosyncrasies of others. Instead of being judgmental (we’ll leave that to the Creator) learn form the different ways people live their lives. Their is no reason to belittle someone just because they go through life a different way. In fact, delighting in, finding humor in, and learning from other people’s ways only increases your ability to follow your dreams. Having met an unusual person, you may realize that parts of their ways would improve your own way of doing things.

So, when you have a friend or meet someone who goes through life acting like a fool, take the time to find out WHY they are acting like a fool. You may soon realize they have a good reason for acting like a fool, and it may cause you to be more foolish yourself. Well, nothing like a fool to brighten up a meeting.

7) Always gives thanks to the creator when eating another animal or even dandelion leaves. THANKSGIVING for what we have. Without this, some will take advantage of this earth for their own profit.

8) People over profit.

9) Everything is its own God. The Creator gave each living thing, from a blade of grass to a human being, innate abilities to thrive, not thrive, or perish. If one Oak tree grows higher than another, it is a sign that the tree wanted to get more out of life, thus no two things are the same. This principle is vital to understanding Haudenosaunee culture, and that of many Native American tribes. If each thing has been given certain powers, some limited, others vast, then it is up to the individual to make the most of what the Creator gave them, and this leads to more principles.

10) Do not rely on others to solve your problems. Doing so is an afront to the Creator, and creates problems for the tribe. In certain situations of course, there must be a team effort to make the best of a bad problem.

11) There is no Hell.  Since the Creator created everything, everything goes back to meet the Creator when they die.  Some with heads held up, other in shame.  This concept opens the way for genuine rehabilitation of those acting in bad ways.  Even those who have committed the worst crimes, like murder, will end up slaves to the wronged family, and may, through their own hard work, be freed any time the family deems he or she is ready to have their own place in society.  In moderns terms, this boils down to “no jail.” Yes it puts a burden on tribe members to deal with the problems a person has created, but those same tribe members should have been supporting each human so that they would not turn to crime.  Thus, if the clans or tribes are small enough, supportive enough, following other rules of inclusion, crimes are rare.  Anyone thinking about a crime could always “through it over the fire’ and be told exactly why the abhorrent idea should not be carried out.

 

Copyright, Doug Stuber, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given, and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Wonderment

Wonderment #1

Water rushes, tickling feet with sand.
Gilgamesh relaxes by the sea.
Purple Echinacea sends a cone into rain.
Chopin laughs and strokes his polonaise.
A beetle digs the desert, over oil.
Chang sung-up daubs a mystery in ink.

Water trickles down a granite wall.
Lao-Tsu hikes through summer’s offerings.
Yellow lilies waver in the wind.
Tasman lacquers the last board of his keel.
Crystals mingle with Icelandic ash.
Lodi licks his chops, nudge-nudge, wink-wink.

Water batters barns from red to gray.
Burck paints Frida as Leipzig hums along.
Canandaigua feels the White Snake’s breath.
Handsome Lake enjoys a drive-in movie.
Sesame rice lands in a wooden bowl.
Africa snaps a twig and starts to think.

Copyright, Doug Stuber, 2004.  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given, and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.