“I see and admire your manner of living, your good warm houses, your extensive fields of corn, your gardens, your cows, own workhouses, wagons and a thousand machines that I know not the use of.
I see that you are able to clothe yourselves even from weeds and grass. In short, you even do almost what you choose. You whites possess the power of subduing almost every animal to your use. You are surrounded by slaves. Everything about you is in chains, and you are slaves yourselves.
I fear if I should exchange my pursuits for yours, I too should become a slave. Talk to my sons, perhaps they may be persuaded to adopt your fashions … but as for myself I was born free, was raised free and wish to die free”
Le Soldat Du Chene 1820
I know we are in a different time than Big Soldier of the Osage. I read his words and I get what he said. We are in chains and we are slaves to our elaborate constructions. There was still a frontier in 1820 in Missouri. I read both natural and American history to go back to that time. I look out over the land and try to feel that time when this was frontier.
Sometimes I imagine the spot I am on time traveling back and wondering what this looked like. Would a tree be growing where I am standing? Something in me yearns to be free. The frontier represents that freedom to me. Yet, real freedom is when the mind is less divided. Real freedom is in the here and now.
I live where I do and do what I do to be freer but I am still a slave. I have chains all around me. I am not who I would like to be. As I get older, I am even less able to resist these chains. I am weakening with age. I am glad I have embraced the idea of more simplicity if much of this is just in my imagination. I hold simplicity in high regard. When I see simple people, I find comfort.
There is an old couple up the road that are simple and poor. They live in a trailer and have junk all around. They drink too much. Their lives are on the edge. For some reason I find comfort with these people. I come from a wealthy family and I don’t find comfort in that world. Yet, it was that world that allowed me to live more simplicity.
I have embraced naturalness albeit in chains. I am like a zoo animal in this modern world. I am just a hobby farm. My writings are a curiosity few read. People are drawn to my doom because it is not mainstream. I have tried to explain how embracing doom can lead to optimism. The optimism is living to die another day if that can be said to be optimism.
I feel we are right now in a great turning. We are tipping over. The abyss is below. Yet, life goes on and the lights turn on. I am not sure how I will feel if and when the lights don’t turn on. It is one thing to talk about it and another to live it. This is much like talking about dying.
My dad died in June and now there are so many things I want to ask him but he is gone. Old photos of family that no longer have a name now that he is gone. Loss is a strange feeling. Just like that it is gone.
My writings are getting redundant. I have said most of what needed to be said. I may write more or not. I have said that I am not a writer and my real message is what I am doing on the land. I have much to do yet because I feel my life is not simple enough. I wish I could be more natural. I hope what I have said and the things I have collected assist somebody someday to embrace simplicity.
4 thoughts on “Le Soldat Du Chene”
Funny you are feeling your place in the continuum of life. Me too. It is sobering when one realizes that more family members that have played a role in one’s life have died than are alive. I also regret not asking more questions of my parents & grandparents.
Am writing my bibliography not so much to share my journey through life but to pass on stories about elders that have gone before whose stories will die with me. Going over some issues is painful but not everyone’s story is all cheerful. Maybe you may channel your writings into that?
I keep notes from pics I got from dad that I send out to other family. I need to write down what I know too. Dad educated me very young to gathering family history. He dedicated his life to ancestry. I am visual so the pictures he left me are my material to research. Hope all is well in the boundary waters!
Yes, your writings have made a positive difference in my life and I thank you for that.
I am watching the sunrise come to life over my farm in Cambodia. My wife and son- my soul-loves- are sleeping. At this moment, the only moment that exists, I have enough.
You have found it. That special moment when we don’t know why but everything makes sense. Then we go back to where we were becuase the making sense and the getting lost are the way of things.
It is always nice to hear from you. You are in a better place than I to realize the REAL Green I talk about. Your people are better adapted to what is coming than so many in the rich west.
Do not weaken. You have your family and your place is good. Keep the path!