Monday, September 22, 2014

An Open Letter to Jonathan Paul, another involved distant neighbor

More sharing of the process here.....

Dear JonathanPaul,

I appreciate the decency (although minimal) you have to come to us directly for communication, however, it's ironic that I feel safer perched in the crown of my tipi over six men with guns, tazers, mace and handcuffs than I do talking on level ground with you. I continue to be baffled as to what your issue might be with my family and Tipi Village being on this mountain and I get a sense that you may not even know. Can you spell it out for me very clearly so that things can begin to be properly addressed (sans yelling)? I am not interested in aggressive threats towards my family from you or your friends anymore. Enough.

It was Friday (a few days ago) when you came to "check" on us while we were loading the last of our things (with the sheriffs permission none-the-less) from the land we have been evicted from. You smugly took a picture and informed us that you'd be telling the authorities. Well the sheriffs paid our family yet another visit the following day. In retrospect, it probably helped our cause having them see that we are honest and that there are neighbors attempting to sabotage. They said the complaint that was filed was a 'bad call'. So I guess I can say thanks for that. 

Although recent encounters between us have been on the nasty side, I have gotten glimpses of our commonality. I can imagine a day when we have a good, robust and respectful argument with the many valid perspectives all around. 

I heard you say that I should find another cause to sit in the crown of my lodge for, another way to spend my time. What other cause would that be? Animal rights? No GMO's? Climate Change? Yes, these are worthwhile causes and are also all symptoms of the dominant paradigm; the one that is currently pushing my family and community around. There is a pattern repeating itself here, one that is rooted in white-settler land-ownership consciousness. How did you get to 'own' your 'property' in the first place? Consider what it is embedded in. You shout for us to leave the mountain. How have we offended you so? The only time we enter your space is when driving by your house and cameras on our weekly trip to town. The less savory parts of myself are tempted to speed on by, ignoring the 'slow down' signs and your wish for no dust, but I resist. I'll stretch myself for the sake of neighborly respect, giving what I wish to receive. If I may be so arrogant as to advise you on something, how about finding something else to do with your time besides passive aggressively pushing and threatening families who are living a quiet, simple and direct life in the woods? 

The mainstream paradigm has no regard for future generations. It is completely absorbed in itself. I will not feed my children to it! I will instead lead a way that I believe to be wholesome. A way that regards all our relations, including unborn ones. A new old culture is emerging through people all around the world. What a time to be alive! If peacefully resisting eviction by living in the top of my lodge can help this movement in any way, although small, it's a worthwhile cause. While seated up there, a sheriff asked me what kind of example I thought I was being for my children in not obeying the authorities. I felt a gentle smile emerge and then reminded him (and myself) that the highest authority is Mother Earth. She's in charge and continues beneath our feet. We belong to her, not the other way around. The most power we can have is in our ability to adapt to her and dance with her seasons. Anything else is an attempt to control the outside world, which is futile. 

Jonathan, it is your birthright to have a place on the earth, to build a nest as the bird does. There is no arguing that. Every human has that right. There is enough space on this mountain to share. Contrary to the mainstream 'conservationist' thought, humans are actually an integral part of the natural world. We are living in a time where we humans must find a way (by remembering the old ways) to live in harmony with the remaining wild places. A healthy bio-diversity is dependent on keystone species. Humans are just that!

The mainstream way is one of isolation and separation. We all know this. It does not live as tribes or bands any longer. It lacks an understanding that we are woven together and have a responsibility to each other and the future. I understand you do not have children of your own. But as folk who live within a few miles of each other out in the woods, you do. They live here with us. And they could use your help in assuring their future is imbued with a culture of regard, of empowerment through direct living, of songs and stories that are grounded in a place. You have a part in this story. Which role would you like to play? 

In love,

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