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   America's dog; the coyote!
(Let's stop killing them!)
 


 




    These are such good quotes that I just keep them here to remind me of some wisdoms I may forget day-to-day. So, I may add to them now and then but in the main, just leave them to keep my brain happy. c

"Common sense and a sense of humor are the same thing, moving at different speeds. A sense of humor is just common sense, dancing." William James

    "Some luck lies in not getting what you thought you wanted but getting what you have."
Garrison Keillor

    "I was determined to spend my life seeking Truth while being spared the company of those who claimed to have found it." (attributed to) John Henry Faulk

    'I don't know, I just work here."
Joseph, Beautiful Painted Arrow, Real (in response to any spiritual inquiry)

    "I am a member of 'The Church of There's-Something-Going-on-Here!'" coyote

   He was constantly narrating his own actions in a writerly way, in his head. "I had the lonely child's habit of making up stories and holding conversations with imaginary persons, and I think from the very start my literary ambitions were mixed up with the feeling of being isolated and undervalued." George Orwell
(Me, Garrison Keillor & George, and probably a million other writers on the planet.


                       Let's take our country back in 2020!   


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(All Spirit Earth Path ceremonies are in Bold!)

January
28th, Men's Circle, 6 PM

February
11th, Men's Circle, 6 PM
22nd, Sweat Lodge, 5 PM
25th, Men's Circle, 6 PM

March
10th, Men's Circle, 6 PM
21st, Spring Sweat Lodge, 5 PM
24th, Men's Circle, 6 PM





"We're Managing Wildlife"
the Trappers say;

We say:
Ban Trapping,
And "Manage" Trappers!

•   •   •

Help us support these activist organizations:

The New Mexico Wilderness Alliance
www.nmwild.org

...and ProjectCoyote
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Notes
(From Coyote)

The Paradox of Sentimentality

The Evolution and Dissoluttion of the BMS Colorado Fairs


Fed up with Football

A Note and a  Rant

Note from Seneca (4 BC-65 AD)

We Are Still Young....and Foolish

Where Have You Been All My Life?

Considering Beginnings

A Hobby

Return with me

I Usually Avoid

Just Say No!

What's in a Name?


Men's Page

Men's Health, Mine anyway!
(Up-dated, Dec 28th.)

Once again.

You Americans and your Guns!


Background Checks, the Political Manipulations

Fall Out



Books
 
    I read a lot of history and biography and one of the best is a combination of the two by Joseph J. Ellis, “The Quartet, Orchestrating the Second American Revolution, 1783-1789”. The main actors are Washington, Hamilton, Monroe, and John Jay…..and if you’d like to know how we got here from 1776 you don’t want to pass this one up.
    It’s too bad Justice Scalia didn’t have this one to read in his lifetime, it might have made a difference in his “originalist” philosophy when it came to viewing both the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. (there are many who should read it now, including the 2nd Amendment boosters who James Madison (who wrote that one) would beg to differ with over the definitions of its wording.
    There’s no way to boil down all that this book covers but the main theme is that without these four principles (and their supporting cast) we would have wound up as a collection of fiefdoms instead of a United States. It took a lot of work to get us from one to the other and the story is still a work in process.
    One quote won’t sum it up but I think this one is worth reflecting upon; “Jefferson spoke for all the most prominent members of the revolutionary generation in urging posterity not to regard their political prescriptions as sacred script. It is richly ironic that one of the few original intentions they all shared was opposition to any judicial doctrine of ‘original intent.’ To be sure, they all wished to be remembered, they did not want to be embalmed.” Ellis



    To what extent did James Comey cost Hillary the 2016 election? His book; “Higher Loyalty, Truth, Lies, and Leadership” doesn’t address that question. What it DOES talk about is why he chose to re-open the Clinton email investigation just days before the election. That’s just one issue. Most of the book is about how the FBI must stay separate from policy and politics, how that was respected by Bush and Obama and how the current resident of the White House (he whose name shall not be spoken) tried, and continues to try to sabotage that necessity, and if that doesn't work, to destroy public confidence in the agency.
    I finished this book in two days, it’s not one you can put down, well written, well argued and insightful it will also confirm what you, and we, have thought about both Bush and Obama and the abomination. (Yes, it IS just as you thought and we’ve all had good reason to think so.)
    Worth your time. 




    I wish I had read this book before Christmas; I might have been better disposed to deal with the  “crowd”. My introverted self went into some sort of existential panic about having to socialize. But, Christmas came and went, and so did the ‘crowd” and I was gifted with this little book, Mr. Dickens and His Carol. I had finished all the books I’d selected to read during the holidays and was left with this one so I thought I’d give it a go. I was struck immediately that the author had so beautifully captured the times, the mid 1800s, by the language usage common in England. I mean, that had to take an enormous amount of research. That part alone was amazing. And then there was the story. This is a novel by the way, loosly based on Dicken's life.
    The story arc was wonderfully done, and the whole book written with such heart, that when I was three quarters of the way through and had paused for a time Elizabeth asked me how I liked the book and I said, “I can’t answer right now, I’m too emotional.”
    Yes, that good.
    I wrote to the author, Samantha Silva and told her that her writing ranked with that of Urrea and Doig. She responded with thanks and it turned out that these were some of her favorites too and in fact she had experienced a workshop with Urrea some time ago.
    The short of it, this fictional take on Dickens is a bit of a masterpiece. I think you will like it just as I did.



    You’ve seen the Edward Curtis Indian photos I’m sure. But whether you have or not Tim Egan’s “Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher” will reveal so much more about Curtis and his work and will open you to a fresh way of knowing what he did how he did it, and seeing what he saw.
    This is a marvelous bio. and not to be missed. And it’s important! Why? Because most of us have never known what Curtis was really doing and it was much, much more than just taking pictures of Indians. It was helping to document, and in some cases save, Indian history from oblivion.
    I read a criticism not to long ago that claimed that, in many cases Curtis’s photos were “posed”. And yes, some were…and there was a valid and important reason for that. Curtis didn’t want his work to show who Indians were in the early 1900’s. He wanted to capture who they were before they were “civilized” by the government and by missionaries trying to get them to assimilate.
    His life’s work, The Indians of North America, captured in twenty volumes contains not only photos, but the languages, songs, myths, ceremonies, even comparative alphabets of the people. Some of these things were not only made into criminal acts and suppressed by our government; many were subsequently, as the elders died, forgotten by the people themselves. Curtis memorialized them all in his historically amazing work. He even set the record straight about the Little Big Horn battle mainly by talking to the Indians who were there! Officialdom, from the president on down (T. Roosevelt) didn’t like this at all and covered up the truth.
    You and I will never get our hands on the Curtis collection, unless we get into the archives at the few U.S. libraries that have all twenty volumes. Private collectors have paid up to 1.4 million to own the set. BUT! It IS available on DVD for around $130. Not the same experience as holding the leather bound, gilt-edged, heavy paper of the originals of course, but at least the content is there. (One volume went for $700, 000 at auction recently.)
    The Hopi were able to raise funds and purchase the volume that Curtis wrote about them after having spent many months over a three year period with them, and from it they reconstructed important ceremonies that had been lost and forgotten.
    This is an amazing story of an amazing man who dedicated his life to a purpose and achieved it, at great personal cost. Talk about a heroic journey! Don’t pass this one up.


    It’s a good thing I didn’t get hold of Roger Welsch’s book “The Reluctant Pilgrim, A skeptic’s journey into Native Mysteries” before writing my own, ("Becoming Coyote, A Journey of Enlightenment…Mostly".) because I would have been accused of plagiarism (by me at least).
    Chapter after chapter in Roger’s book parallel my own, not word for word, but at least concept by concept. I DID borrow, actually quote, one of Roger’s ideas. It came as a result of a phone call to him which might have taken place right about the time he was writing “Reluctant…” about 2014 or so. In that call, a rare one since Roger is phone-call adverse, he told me his granddaughter had commented to him that she thought he was a “…..member of the church of ‘There’s Something-going-on-here.’” (How did I get his number? Obviously the result of “Something-going-on-here!”)
    When Roger related that to me I immediately recognized that that was exactly the “church” I belonged to and that the idea of Something-going-on summed up my thinking as well. I’ve used it ever since. (Thanks Roger!)
    I’ve tried to contact Roger, even re-opened my Facebook account temporarily only to get in touch with him (I don’t “do” social media) but to no avail…so I’ve let go of the idea.
    “Reluctant” is a good one and if you are seeking any kind of spiritual path, this is the read for you….ESPECIALLY if you’re a skeptic.

      
    Before all my filters and boundary’s were put into place I was a lot more accepting of differences….so I must have been about seven when I was wider open than I subsequently became. (I am opening again now I notice.)
   Back then I’d listen to just about anything on the radio (our only exterior form of home entertainment). Indicative of one area as an example was that I loved country music (the Grand ol’ Oprey, Sons of the Pioneers…) and an obscure radio program called “Lum and Abner”. It was a strange little peek into what we called “Hill Billy” country, a story about the happenings at the “Jot-em-down store” located at some back country crossroads in the Appalachians ( a word I’ve never been able to spell).
    Time and I moved on and most of that was lost to me, BUT! I must add here, lately I’ve caught a few of the “Lum and Abner” shows on XM radio and found them, at the very least, charming……and then I came across a little book in our local library. I was looking for a bio, any bio for light but informative reading and happened upon “Running on Red Dog Road” (Drema Hall Berkheimer). Subtitled, “And other perils of an Appalachian Childhood”. I was immediately not interested…BUT! I looked at the first two pages and scenes shot by Dorothea Lang and images of the thirties dust bowl, and tumbled down coal towns and the movie “Matewan” (a must see by the way) and Ludlow, Colorado….all of these came sneaking in past my censors so I checked it out.
    Even when I got it home and after checking out a few more pages, I didn't think I’d dive into it….Appalachia….just not interested……and then I did….and then I was….and then I fell into Drema’s story telling…..and I found all the humanity she storied about……and I will just say this right here, I fell enough in love with all those people, people I could have cared less about before Drema’s revealing of them, so much so that I decided to try to contact her to thank her for the gifts of this story……and then I found out that she had died just one year ago almost to the day that I had finished her book.
     I will just sum all this up with a little quote from “Red Dog…”,
    “Grandma had warned us that those places were just as crooked as a rattlesnake and we had no business whatsoever going anywhere near them and she’d better not hear tell that we had or we would be plenty sorry and we should mark her words because we’d have her to deal with when we got home and make no mistake about that.”
    “So, that’s where we headed.”
    I was seven again, and this book opened all those doors into rooms I hadn’t visited for a long, long time. You might like a visit as well.
    PS: Yes, yes "Lum and Abner" were stereotypes of Appalachian people and can be seen as making everyone from the area seem simple. Well, I never believed that entirely, Minnie Pearl notwithstanding.
    I once met a guy from Appalachia in a punch press plant I was working in and he built a stereo amp. for me from scratch. It wasn't pretty, but it sure as hell worked. Nothing "simple" about him.
(This was not a coerced disclaimer. Just thought I'd add it in.) c



        I no longer look back by counting years, it's now all about blocks of time we call "decades". So, decades ago I read Paul Horgan's "The Great River"(the Rio Grande) and decided, a few weeks ago, to pick it up again. It's a thick book, not just in the number of pages, but in information about, the Southwest, the America of the mid 1800's, the nature of Americans (whites) Mexicans, Indians, humans, what stagecoaches were made of, how battles began, the Mexican-American war, Santa Fe, D.C., Pancho Villa, James Polk, the nature of the cowboy and his relationship to his horse......too much to list, way too much. This is one incredible book. (won the Pulitzer) I can't recommend it highly enough. Should be required reading for anyone who cares about how we became the U.S.

     Path of the Puma. We live in Mountain Lion country here in north-central New Mexico. In the twenty-five years we’ve been here we’ve seen three, one big one and two smaller. We have been extraordinarily lucky. Some people, even those given to lots of hiking in the back country may never see one in their lifetime that’s why some call these elusive animals “ghost cats”. But they DO see us. If you are in mountain lion country you can bet you are being watched, not as prey, they much prefer deer, but certainly as presence.
    Jim Williams book is a great read, all about the puma, panther, catamount, mountain lion in all its beauty and its importance to the survival of the entire Wild in both North and South America. This book is another worth-your-time read with very fine photography to boot. It follows the mountain lion’s range from Canada to Patagonia and tells the story well. Don’t pass it up.

   
   


“Everyone loved sunsets. The light lost its sanity as it fell over the hills and into the Pacific¬––––it went red and deeper red, orange, and even green. The skies seemed to melt, like lava eating black rock into great bite marks of burning. Sometimes all the town stopped and stared west.” (p-129 in “House of Broken Angels”) Who wouldn't love to have written that paragraph.....and that's just a tiny taste of the kind of writing Luis Alberto Urrea produces time after time in his masterful works of both fiction and non. Of those I've only read, Hummingbird's Daughter, Queen of America, & The Devil's Highway (couldn't finish that last one, too painful). Urrea is one of our great masters.

•   •   •

    It's such a drag that we lost Ivan Doig. He left us in 2015 and left behind in incredible legacy of wonderful writing that always leaves me wondering at his skill as a prose-poet and wondering why I even try to write anything. (Yes, I know I shouldn't do this destructive-to-my-own-writer-skill thing, but.....I mean Ivan Doig was someone apart from any ol' writer, and I read a lot of them.
    Here's just a tiny example taken from "Mountain Time" (1999) His main character is meeting a woman at the airport. (Her name is "Mariah" by the way.) so he writes, "There. Announced by the hair." Now any other writer would have said something like, "Then he spotted her." or "He couldn't miss her red hair in the crowd." But not Doig. In just five words we can guess she's probably a red head with a massive amount of hair.
    In the next paragraph he says, "Mariah, all footwork and grin, cut a sharp angle through the concourse crowd." We already know a lot about her just with that little description.
    Doig. An amazing writer.
    I first came upon him in "The Whistling Season" and then, "This House of Sky". I haven't read all of his stuff (his "Bartender's Tale" was just so/so) but these last two are certainly tops!
    Frankly it's hard to enjoy another read after one of his. Have to take a bit of a breather so as not to be let down by what may be a "flat prose" writer.

•   •   •

 


•   •   •

    After the politics of Truman I was ready for something totally different.....I found it in Fredrick Backman's, "Britt-Marie Was Here"! It's a novel which begins with;
    "Forks. Knives. Spoons. In that order. Britt-Marie is certainly not the kind of person who judges other people. Far from it. But surely no civilized person would even think of arranging a cutlery drawer in a different way from how cutlery drawers are supposed to be arranged. We're not animals are we?"
    Etc.
    And this is the way this wonderfully strange book ambles along....and then moves in another beautiful direction....or directions.
    You will love this one. (Even if you're not a dedicated novel reader.)

   
   

•   •   •

 

•   •   •

    My own book, "Becoming Coyote, A Journey of Enlightenment (Mostly)" is not quite as "important" as Pollen's BUT! it's NOW available and is it worth the read? After 14 edits I never want to see it again.......however, you might like it and my writer-editor-publisher daughter (Winter) says it's "...really good." and it DID get good "reviews" from a couple of pre-publish readers....so there you go.
    It's thick enough (400+ pages) to make a good door stop and has a very nice cover.....which, for some obscure reason, I can't get to load here....? It beats any over-the-counter sleep aid and has no horrible side effects. (so far)
     Anyway; it's $20, which will cover book, envelope, and postage. (No, not available in a "Kindle" edition or on Amazon, so rare to begin with....and I'll sign it too!)

•   •   •
  
•   •   •

  
•   •   •
     Winter Desiree's book "Matchbook" is detective-fiction.....not a genre I usually read...BUT! this is one fine piece of reading and as one of the comments on the back cover notes, "You will not be able to put it down."...well, that's for sure. Don't pass this one up, my daughter has written one FINE story.

PS, She just finished a second, not a sequel, and it's every bit as good as Matchbook. She's on a roll. That book, When I Knew You, is now available too.



Movies (& TV)

 

    We never darken the door of a commercial movie house, we just stream 'em from Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Acorn. So no "New Releases" here...but these come highly recommended from a couple of old movie buffs.
    By the way, for the first time in a long time we actually tried watching a show on commercial TV, "Madam Secretary" (the best topical political drama since West Wing) seemed worth coping with commercials to see. It's intelligent and on-the-mark but the commercial interruptions made it extremely frustrating to watch. We'll just await its placement on Netflix. I don't know how anyone can suffer through watching ANYTHING on regular TV.

•   •   •
                                                 Hard to know where to begin.

    Our viewing habit is simple and predictable; around 7 each evening one of us will say, “Want to watch something?” The response is usually “OK.” unless we’ve each found a good book.
    Next question, what to watch. Well, we want either a good movie or a good series. We ran through Blue Bloods. It was fair-to-good but fairly predictable; a lot of running, a range of acting that mainly centered around mouth movement (you have to see it to know what I’m talking about) but all-in-all it was not a waste of time spent.
    We choose from three streaming sources, Netflix, Prime, and Acorn. (If you don’t know Acorn it’s a source for Brit, Australian, New Zealand, Irish, Scot, and Welsh movies. They range from very good, A Place to Call Home for example, to depressing, almost anything made in Scotland. That’s not because of the thematic material, usually a murder, it’s because the sky of always overcast.)
    Of those three we most often tend to check Netflix. The most recent winner for us has been “Anne with an E”. This is based on the book “Anne of Green Gables”, a classic “children’s book” written in 1907. But the film version is anything but a children’s story. There are so many levels of story and character that it’s very difficult to, as I’ve alluded, know what to talk about, so I’m going short-hand here. One of the main themes for me is that this is a story about fathers…..men, and our difficulty with relating on a feeling level. But this is just one of many important themes developed in this story. Count among them, racism, sexism, girls developing onto young women, boys into young men, birth, death, betrayal, love, life on a farm and what that means when it comes to setting priorities in life….so much to talk about and no where near enough words to say it all.
    Three seasons, wish there were four. Made in Canada, set on Prince Edward island (off the coast of Newfoundland) time, early 1900s.
    You will not regret the time spent on this one. Our only regret is that 1. It ended. And 2. It will be really hard to find anything that will match the writing, the story telling and the acting in this one. We’ll probably watch it again.

"Goodbye Christopher Robin" (
Netflix DVD, don't know if you can stream this
) is the true story of A.A. Milne's series of books, who he was, why he wrote them and their impact on the real "Christopher" his son Billy Moon. This is a beautiful, heartfelt story wonderfully done.


"The Bookshop" is the story of a woman trying to open a bookshop in a small English town ca. early 60's. Emily Mortimer, Bill Nighy, Patricia Clarkson, & cast. A fine story. (Amazon)

"The man who invented Christmas!" Yes, it's a story about Dickens, cleverly told by a cast of Brit. stars.....a really heart warming story about writing the book (A Christmas Carol of course.) Need your spirits lifted? This is the movie to see. (Netflix)

"Rumors of Angels" with Vanessa Redgrave. Heart felt and magical....likewise, "Collateral Beauty" with Will Smith and a fine cast. Both of these are about death of a loved one (a mother in the first, a child in the second) and both are very well done. (Netflix)

Binge watching:
Don't miss "The Politician" on Netflix. Season 1 available now. (I know, this is classified by the TV gurus as a "kid show"......but it's plain to see it's aimed at sophisticated kids.....like us!




 

wuf12    tiedye


Xmasdogs116.jpg

Yoshi 'n Doug

Mug shots.

(Bottom four not dead yet.) >



us2.jpg


    Kierkegaard came up with two concepts that are commonplace to us today: one is "subjectivity," the idea that we all perceive the world — and "truth" — differently; and the other is the "leap of faith," that faith is not possible without doubt. “One must doubt the existence of God to have faith in the existence of God. Belief without doubt is just credulity.”

    Novelist and essayist David Foster Wallace said: "Postmodern irony and cynicism's become an end in itself, a measure of hip sophistication and literary savvy. Few artists dare to try to talk about ways of working toward redeeming what's wrong, because they'll look sentimental and naive to all the weary ironists. Irony's gone from liberating to enslaving.”

    Ben Okri  author of, The Famished Road (1991), incorporates African myth and folklore, which has been labeled magical realism. Okri disagrees: "I grew up in a tradition where there are simply more dimensions to reality: legends and myths and ancestors and spirits and death. You can't use Jane Austen to speak about African reality. Which brings the question: what is reality? Everyone's reality is different."

 

 

 




Dick Prosapio, MSW, aka Coyote; ceremonialist, psychotherapist (recovering), writer (Intuitive Tarot, Becoming Coyote) drummer, photographer, dancer, and leader of experiential workshops for 30+ years. Co founder of; The Foundation for Common Sense©. Elizabeth Prosapio, BFA, RMT, aka Raven; leads WildWoman weekends, is co leader of The Long Dance and Shadow Dance, leader of Woman's Spirit Weekend, a (very) fine artist and massage therapist and co-wrote Intuitive Tarot with Dick. (US Games pub.) Elizabeth is available for "Soul Face" drawing (more info by contacting her) and is also the co founder of; The Foundation for Common Sense©.

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email: coyotecall@spiritpath.net

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