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Giving into Hype


I hate hype. I’m not a natural-born leader (were that I was), but I’m not a follower, either. I have my own drum, if you will. So for me to give in to hype right away instead of resisting until I can no longer hold on or ignore it altogether is strange. For once I was glad I caved. I had to talk my husband into going to see Avatar. I thought it was trumped up Fern Gulley: The Last Rainforest. It wasn’t. I was surprised by the emotional depth of the movie. It was impossible not to feel the amazingness (yeah that’s so not a word) of it all. If you know anything about Native American history, you start to think, oh, crap I know how this ends. Can I do spoilers? Please? Oh, please let me! Wait, this is my blog, I’m doing it. You can skip the next couple of paragraphs if you want. Eh, it’s really sort of a spoiler/history lesson. Your choice.
At one point Jake goes to the tree of souls to talk to it about what’s going to happen if the tree and everything it’s connected to doesn’t help the People. Neytiri tells him the “tree” doesn’t take sides and telling it about the bad wasn’t going to do anything. Did you know that the Native Americans believed the Ghost Dance would hasten the renewing of the earth and wipe away the scourage (i.e. the white people that forced the Native Americans off their land {not unlike Rapture, apparently, only for the natives, not everybody}). Makes sense, really, as the natives were one with the land and the whites were doing what they’ve always done (bless our hearts). The natives believed the buffalo would flourish again and things would go back to the way they were.
So, knowing what I do about Ghost Dances (which is really very little), I figured the Na’vi are screwed. Talk about your black moments. Well, what happened? I’m not telling. I just found the parallels between the Na’vi and the Native Americans very fascinating since I was dabbling with a Cheyenne warrior as a character for a while. I swear one of the speeches Jake goes into sounded just like one of the speeches fromBury My Heart at Wounded Knee. If you like movies about Native Americans, watch that one, it was good. I love Adam Beech. He’s a heck of an actor. Wes Studi is also a good Native American actor, he was the cheif-type guy in Avatar. It has a lot of kind of African/Aboriginal themes, too. Even writing a novel set in Australia, I can’t tell you much about the aborigines. I think I live in the wrong part of the world to study up on it. Can’t find good links for them on the net either. I know zilch about conquerism in Africa. Anyway, stunning black moments. Stunning . . . everything. Seriously.
Once again, back to the drawing board as I work on C&C. Chapter one: no good because romance novels don’t start that way. Chucked it. Re-invented chapter two. Much better! I’m happy with chapter two so I made it chapter one. All right, one chapter down! That’s like . . . 3,000 words. So only 72,000 to go. Okay, great. Suddenly (okay, not so suddenly) I feel less that enthusiastic. Well, keep going. Chapter one is good.
After I graduated college, mom and I went on a cruise. I was 21 the first time I ever saw the ocean. I wasn’t impressed. I’m sorry, but the Gulf of Mexico isn’t that impressive, it just isn’t. Neither is the port at Miami, FL. I was going, eewww, if I wanted to see icky water I would have stayed home. I can see all the icky water I want to here. Water. I’ve always been drawn to water. Some say it’s to do with your zodiac sign. Mine’s cancer and therefore a water sign. I don’t like to swim, not really. I did when I was a kid, but there’s that whole being wet thing. My hair loves to suck in water and takes forever to dry. Anyway, at CofO, it was a handful of miles to the dam. I loved to go out there and sit on the rocks, just watching the waves role in. When I did my internship at the Corp of Engineers, I (hated getting up early) loved going out on the trails early in the morning when the lake was flat as glass and had no boats. Once during a thunder storm I was on my way back to the dorm, driving over the dam and saw four foot waves rising out of the lake to hit the rocks on shore. Beautiful and frightening. So when I saw the blue water of Grand Cayman and Jaimaca, I fell in love. We stayed an extra week in Florida, just hanging out on the beaches. Sometimes at night I go to sleep imagining my feet buried in the sand and the blue and white waves sucking the sand from beneath my feet. For a 21 year old “kid” from the midwest, it was heaven.
I wanted to move to Florida, but they tell me it’s expensive there. If I was wealthy, I’d be all over it. I’ve been to the Smokies, too. I hated it. My ears kept popping and it was miserable. I did like the mountains in North Carolina, it’s very pretty there. Been to the Rockies, as well. I loved the Rockies, particularly Estes Park, CO. My ears were fine out there, don’t know what the deal was. I wanted to live in the Rockies with all the deer and elk. Despite the snow. What was I thinking? I hate snow!
I hate the cold. Yesterday we were driving down the Ozark Mountain High Road. I was thinking, yuck, everything looks so gray and dull. Then I got to thinking about in the spring and summer. I’m a horrible photographer. I shake too much and have no patience. What’s beautiful to the eye ends up looking like a blur in the photo. So I just try to memorize what nature looks like without a camera. Green. That’s what the Ozarks are. Green with hints of red, yellow, purple, blue, white and pink. Well, other colors too, but you don’t need me to discuss all of them. Some people describe the woods as creepy with the huge over hanging branches and dense foliage. I love it. The deep woods that appear untouched, except by the men and women who forged their way west. They carved out lives along the James River, its fast flowing waters cutting the earth away to form caves and high bluffs. When I think about the people who were once there, I get little shivers up and down my spine. According to the family tree, on mom’s side we’re descended from the Yoakum’s (spell it how you like: Yocum, Yoacum, Yokum), some of the first men to push the brush away to settle the area. One of them (Jacob if I’m right, but I’m probably not) married a Delaware girl. Her name was Sarah (if I’m right, which I may not be).
I love the ocean. I’d be a sting ray if I could shape shift. But whether I live or die, I’ll always be in the deep, shaded parts of the world where water tinkles down across limestone from mountains older than any other in the part of the world we call North America. Where minnows and crayfish skitter across clay river bottoms, where bald eagles soar over a wide river settled under deep bluffs. Where the Scotch/Irish made their homes because it reminded them of the Auld Sod. Ahh, the Ozarks.
Man, there’s a TV commercial if I ever imagined one.

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