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H2O Man

(74,300 posts)
Mon Apr 30, 2018, 03:05 PM Apr 2018

A Path in the Woods

“Human nature will not change. In any future great national trial, compared with the men of this, we shall have as weak, and as strong; as silly and as wise; as bad and good. Let us, therefore, study the incidents of this, as philosophy to learn wisdom from, and none of them as wrongs to be avenged.”
President Abraham Lincoln

I was thinking about Joy Reid one morning this past week, as I was preparing to go for a walk. Admittedly, I am not entirely objective when it comes to her. She is someone that I hold in high esteem. But, no matter if you like or dislike Joy, you are invited to stroll along this path I took.

Before heading out, I took my dogs out to “do their business.” As Samuel and I reached his favored spot at the north end of my lawn, we saw a large deer staring at us. She recognized that we intended her no harm, but continued to watch us until we headed back inside the house.

My son had left me some broccoli to feed the baby rabbits that live under my front porch. Their mother is a wild rabbit, and their father is my younger daughter's pet; he escaped from his cage last summer, and enjoys hanging out with our cat.

Then it was off to pick up a friend, and walk one of our favorite trails. He had been reading one of my books on Mohawk leader Joseph Brant and the Revolutionary War, while recovering from a recent amputation. This path is one Brant traveled upon back then. As we hobbled along, we noticed some very recent prints in the soil: a bear had come through the bushes, and walked along the path for a good distance, before heading back into the heavy brush. (The next morning, a friend who lives about 1/8th a mile away posted a photo of a bear, approximately 350-400 pounds, dining from his garbage cans, on Facebook.)

Brant has been incorrectly recorded as a Mohawk chief by non-Indians since the Revolutionary War. He was never a chief (this would have required the Mohawks and then the Haudenosaunee (Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy) Grand Council of Chief's approval …..which could only have come after the Clan Mothers approved of him. But the Clan Mothers, who look for potential leadership qualities in children from an early age, determined he lacked the essential qualifications. (Brant did have a title that translates to “chief warrior” among the large and diverse group of Indians and escaped slaves that he led in the war.)

Selecting “leadership” qualities is a complicated process. It involves the entire community …..and even then, one's past mistakes were always known by somebody, and thus brought into the discussion. But past mistakes did not always keep a man or woman from a leadership position. They recognized that even the Chiefs and Clan Mothers were human beings, and would therefore be prone to making mistakes. It's how they deal with being human that matters.

Indeed, the first Tadodaho – the head of the Grand Council – had been recognized as an evil man before being transformed by the Power of the Good Mind (which comes from the community putting their heads together for the good of the people). Onondaga Chief Waterman told me that it was only from being so “bad,” that the Tadodaho could become so “good.”

So, because in my old age – experienced in this aging bag of bones – I try to walk those paths, like the one I was walking with my friend, slowly. In doing so, we both found a few flint projectile points, dating from approximately 800 ad back to 1800 bc ….proof, I suspect, that walking slowly can be a good thing.

Now, of course, I'm back resting inside of my home. Reading DU, I note that some people are expressing outrage about Michelle Wolf's recent presentation. I assume that most are concerned about her jokes about Kelly Ann Conway, when she said that she hoped a tree would fall on her, pinning her down, but not injuring her. Although it seemed like a joke to me, later in the week, I'll go for another walk in the woods.

H2O Man

39 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies
A Path in the Woods (Original Post) H2O Man Apr 2018 OP
You educate, elevate, cilla4progress Apr 2018 #1
Well, thank you! H2O Man Apr 2018 #7
Wonderful! cilla4progress Apr 2018 #16
I was walking with you for a bit there. panader0 Apr 2018 #2
Thanks, Friend! H2O Man Apr 2018 #8
Yay!! Good to see you back and posting. It's good to walk slowly. livetohike Apr 2018 #3
Thanks, livetohike! H2O Man Apr 2018 #9
Sounds perfect. Whatever body of water you find yourself livetohike May 2018 #18
Thoughtful as ever malaise Apr 2018 #4
Thank you! H2O Man Apr 2018 #10
Love you back malaise May 2018 #39
beautiful edhopper Apr 2018 #5
Great picture! H2O Man May 2018 #19
its a painting edhopper May 2018 #22
So good to read these latest words from you, H20 Man. democrank Apr 2018 #6
Right! H2O Man May 2018 #20
Maybe we need a Michelle Wolf everyday? kentuck Apr 2018 #11
People need humor H2O Man May 2018 #21
Peace to you too Hekate Apr 2018 #12
Thanks, Buddy! H2O Man May 2018 #23
Wonderful essay. Thank you. . . . nt Bernardo de La Paz Apr 2018 #13
Thanks! H2O Man May 2018 #24
I love your essays, my dear H20 Man! They lead me where I haven't been. CaliforniaPeggy Apr 2018 #14
Thanks, Peggy! H2O Man May 2018 #25
Reminds me of Robert Frost Demsrule86 Apr 2018 #15
Thank you! H2O Man May 2018 #26
Thank you for this inspiring post...I really enjoyed reading every reply as well...as you essay. Demsrule86 May 2018 #28
I'm trying to organize H2O Man May 2018 #29
So true. My Mom and Dad were shocked when Nixon resigned. Demsrule86 May 2018 #38
Henry David Thoreau said coeur_de_lion May 2018 #17
Thanks, Buddy! H2O Man May 2018 #27
As long as you get out there coeur_de_lion May 2018 #32
The weather was beautiful! H2O Man May 2018 #33
Sounds beautiful coeur_de_lion May 2018 #37
Peace to you H2O Man spanone May 2018 #30
Thank you! H2O Man May 2018 #31
I greatly enjoyed our walk. Thank you. oasis May 2018 #34
Thank you! H2O Man May 2018 #35
Every day I take a walk grantcart May 2018 #36

H2O Man

(74,300 posts)
7. Well, thank you!
Mon Apr 30, 2018, 05:21 PM
Apr 2018

I'm still tired and forgetful, but I try to accomplish something most days. Last week's check-up & tests were not encouraging, but I am intent upon a full recovery. Hoping that Wednesday's appointment is a bit better.

Yesterday, I was able to travel and speak to a small group of student activists at a college in this region. There is a powerful, very positive force building in schools and on campuses. I was honored to meet with them. And encouraged.


(25,816 posts)
2. I was walking with you for a bit there.
Mon Apr 30, 2018, 03:26 PM
Apr 2018

I too walk a path on my land. I have no pond, and the trees are mesquite, though large.
I too have found arrowheads here, Apache probably. The walking calms and centers me.
It's also good for my leg clots. I know, without actually knowing, that the richness of life
is all around me, it is only for me to see.
I would love to read one of your books---can you point in the right direction?

H2O Man

(74,300 posts)
8. Thanks, Friend!
Mon Apr 30, 2018, 05:32 PM
Apr 2018

I will see if I can locate copies of a couple of them. (Don't hesitate to remind me, as I still experience a lot of forgetfulness. It can be a bit frustrating!)

Your message reminds me of something I have been thinking about today, since posting my essay. I like to think about the origin of words, something that both Rubin and Paul did, too. It's spring here -- despite this morning's snow -- and everything is coming back to life. That's a powerful force, a beautiful dynamic. The original Greek word for the life force rejuvenating was "daimon." Yet, in the some religions from the Middle East, that word became "demon," to signify something "evil." How curious, that fall from grace. Humanity must get more fully in touch with the Natural World ....including the environment, of which we are part.

As evidenced here, besides being forgetful, I too often babble!

H2O Man

(74,300 posts)
9. Thanks, livetohike!
Mon Apr 30, 2018, 05:37 PM
Apr 2018

I'm hoping to get out again tomorrow. Maybe just a walk to my pond (my son is feeding the fish for me, and reassuring me that everyone living there is doing fine). Or maybe, if I'm able, on a longer walk to the river.

Yesterday, after speaking with a group of college students, they took me to one of the (nearby) Finger Lakes, where I could sit and relax while listening to the waves hitting the shore.


(271,941 posts)
39. Love you back
Wed May 2, 2018, 06:38 PM
May 2018

This morning we were taking in the different shades of light as the sun was rising and I thought of this thread - you inspire me bro


(11,125 posts)
6. So good to read these latest words from you, H20 Man.
Mon Apr 30, 2018, 03:56 PM
Apr 2018

The hateful words and actions of people like Laura Ingraham or Rush Limbaugh genuinely disturb me. I don't want to be like them. I could never say hateful things about John McCain as he lays dying of brain cancer, nor could I demean Barbara Bush as the family she dearly loved was grieving her loss. As much as I'd like to see the despicable Kelly Ann Conway booed off the stage, I could never announce to a crowd that I hope a tree falls on her. I don't want to be like them.

The backlash from Michelle Wolf's words remind me of how, after a meaningful, non-violent protest about social and economic injustice, the media's attention is focused on the few people who looted stores and overturned cars. Easy way to crush attention to what really mattered....the injustice.

Glad you found more flint pieces on your path. ~PEACE~

H2O Man

(74,300 posts)
20. Right!
Tue May 1, 2018, 05:55 PM
May 2018

That's such an important point ....the media prefers to focus on the fringes so often, rather than upon the rational people addressing issues of concern. Thank you.


(111,540 posts)
11. Maybe we need a Michelle Wolf everyday?
Mon Apr 30, 2018, 05:43 PM
Apr 2018

Rather than just once a year.

After all, we have to listen to Donald Trump every day.

It doesn't seem fair.

H2O Man

(74,300 posts)
21. People need humor
Tue May 1, 2018, 06:00 PM
May 2018

in their daily lives. If Ms. Wolf provides that, it's a good thing. I'm fond of Sarah Silverman myself, though I know others who aren't big on her style of humor. I also liked Lenny Bruce -- who offended a few people -- and Abbie Hoffman.

Maybe if more people laughed at Donald Trump?


(150,667 posts)
14. I love your essays, my dear H20 Man! They lead me where I haven't been.
Mon Apr 30, 2018, 06:14 PM
Apr 2018

Keep walking, and keep talking to us..........I will join you as you ramble.

H2O Man

(74,300 posts)
25. Thanks, Peggy!
Tue May 1, 2018, 07:03 PM
May 2018

I wish I could post the picture of that bear here. I preferred seeing a picture of it, rather than coming face-to-face with him in the field.

H2O Man

(74,300 posts)
29. I'm trying to organize
Tue May 1, 2018, 09:11 PM
May 2018

a few things -- some currently being reported in the media, and others that connect with them -- about the increasing pressure being placed upon Trump. It's amazing how fast the news cycles these days! I remember thinki8ng Watergate unfolded before our eyes.

When talking (on the phone) to some college students last night, I was saying how the internet was a powerful tool for organizing and spreading news. It's far beyond the underground press of my youth!


(3,737 posts)
17. Henry David Thoreau said
Tue May 1, 2018, 10:18 AM
May 2018

"I think that I cannot preserve my health and spirits, unless I spend four hours a day at least - and it is commonly more than that - sauntering through the woods and over the hills and fields, absolutely free from all worldly engagements."

Your writing often reminds me of him.

Thank you for the essay and the reminder to ignore the BS and get out in the woods sometimes.

H2O Man

(74,300 posts)
27. Thanks, Buddy!
Tue May 1, 2018, 07:05 PM
May 2018

I spent a couple hours out along a river with my cousin today. Still surprises me how quickly I get tired out.

H2O Man

(74,300 posts)
33. The weather was beautiful!
Tue May 1, 2018, 10:42 PM
May 2018

We walked for over two hours, along the Susquehanna River. We were in the neighborhood where Chief Waterman told me that Hiawatha lived for years. There are large river flats, now corn fields, where people gathered berries for the Strawberry Festival.


(53,061 posts)
36. Every day I take a walk
Wed May 2, 2018, 02:45 AM
May 2018

I take a walk to counter the glucose that wants to nest in my feet and the walk dispels it.

How great is it to come back and see that the H20 Man has recovered.

While I walked I listened again to the WHCD and as I walked in the shade of the trees I swear I could hear the great Isaiah from 28 centuries ago whispering from the trees.

I have, in the most irresponsible fashion, excerpted and rearranged a few of the prophet's verses that would cause great consternation of the Republicans if Isaiah were to shout them from the dais after her presentation, but then again if they could understand Isaiah they wouldn't be Republicans

The LORD hath mingled within her a spirit of dizziness; and they have caused Egypt to stagger in every work thereof, as a drunken man staggereth in his vomit.

And I look, but there is no man; even among them, but there is no counsellor, that, when I ask of them, can give an answer.

Behold, all of them, their works are vanity and nought; their molten images are wind and confusion.

this is the word which the LORD hath spoken concerning him: The virgin daughter of Zion hath despised thee and laughed thee to scorn; the daughter of Jerusalem hath shaken her head at thee

And they shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the dungeon, and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall they be punished.

In this case I am sure that it is a "metaphysical" virgin, staging a reprimand against the princely class for the first time.

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