Biographical Sketch of Turtle Heart, in his own words.

Here are my credentials. I have none. I am the one who has done these things and it is I that has said what has been said right here.

I am a natural man. A Dreaming Man.

These words are my words.

I was a wild and free child. I was brilliant and I was rebellious. I was the son of an alcoholic father. A man filled with rage, violence and contempt for his own family, who refused to recognize his own heritage. He taught me nothing, gave me nothing, left me nothing when he died.

I did not roll over for his violent authority. I did not give in. He beat me until I was 16 and I fought back and beat him instead. I did not accept. I pushed. I went my own way. I stood before the storm and told them to bring it on. I was tough. I ran around all over the place. I upset a lot of apple carts. I kept my eyes open. I came to love the truth, even when its weight and power crushes everything. I learned and I burned and I found no cure for love.

When I was in the army, during one period (Fort Knox Kentucky) two army officers came and escorted me to a private room where they questioned me about my ideas for four hours for seven days...I have no idea why. Shortly after that I left the army and went to canada with my family, where my daughter was born. I was there about one year. I came back to the USA and took my punishment. I did my work. I even followed military orders but I refused to be lorded over by a monkey’s ass with rank, and the military is filled with them at every rank. I have held my own against a few generals, a lot of sergeants and a hard ass Major of the Infantry. The sergeants are the most dangerous ones.

I have worked as a mechanic, changing tires, frying fish and driving a wholesale ice cream truck, from which I was fired for loosing my drivers license for driving without my glasses. I worked as an apprentice electrician, cook, carpenter, tax collector, copy boy of the Columbus, Ohio Dispatch, the US Army, even the Navy for 6 months. I worked as a medical technical specialist in emergency rooms, forensic psychology, orthopedics and open heart surgery.

Money?. It has all been passed into my work with the sacred. My medicine works costs me money. I have never made even a dollar of profit. All my assets, all my money is in the mystery life. There has never been enough money for this work. People give billions to “charity” but finding money for Sacred Pipe has been really hard. New Age hipsters tell us that American Indians do everything for free, so I guess I am OK.

I would quit any job on the spot if I felt disrespected or that the boss people were not people I could relate to and respect. I quit a lot of jobs. I have told everybody from the top to the bottom to kiss my ass at one time or another, in person and face to face.

I have brought kindness, money and respect to a humble, sweet and innocent people in my travels. I have rained thunder down on the privileged and the educated, the cynical and the violent. I have given away clothes, food, medical care, money, microscopes, cameras, computers, books and art to American Indian people all over the place.

I came up through a vigorous and magnificent shambles of energy, hope, rebellion, art and failure. My father was a drunkard who beat us and cursed us and plagued us with brutal silences right up to the moment he died. Halfway through his life he stopped being a soldier, and he was a very good soldier, and he became a “preacher” in the Southern Baptist cult of Christianity. Made him even meaner. His racism and violence prospered under Christianity. A lot of people were at his funeral. I was not one of them.

I have spent years and years of my life all alone. I have had my social adventures of course. I have no great appetite for the society of people, though that has changed since I moved to Italy. I am no longer alone in that way. I think it is Americans I do not like very much. In Italy I have so many friends.

I was a hard ass for a long time. With a father in the military we moved around to many countries and cities. I was many times the new kid arriving suddenly in the middle of the year. Always the outsider. I had to fight a lot of boys, white boys.
I was uncommonly smart in school. I could nail any subject with my eyes closed. All my teachers respected me and a few of them were afraid of me. I excelled in science. I once wrote papers for a scientific society. Once they asked me to come and read one of my papers on herpetology. I was 16. When I arrived at the conference, no one would speak to me when they saw I was a kid. These people were professors there with their families and here I was a kid. They cancelled my paper but never told me. I just sat their waiting for my turn to speak and then it was all over. I sat there all alone, listened to every presentation and then went home.

I worked one on one, and I was that one. In the military I was in medicine and also for a time afterwards. The American medical system is very powerful and even works sometimes. Working in it was stressful and, like the military, you become exposed to the leadership and control of industrialized work, mass societal automationism. I tried a number of specialties and schools but could never make peace with the class system in charge of the medicine. I find the automationism of corporate society repugnant and uncomfortable.

In all of these adventures I was taking time here and there to be in touch with distant relatives and friends in the American Indian world. It always seemed so far away this world. Sooner or later I would hit the road and see uncles and friends. It was not until after I came back from Vietnam, however, that everything changed. Being a young kid fighting in a modern war changes you forever.

Like many in my generation I began to embrace the ideas of other religions and cultures. Perhaps it was just at this time that the teachings of all the great races of people were meeting. This was the first time in history when so much information about the world became readily available to so many people. It was a time of near revolution. The only revolution that has survived those times, outside of Fidel Castro, is the information revolution. That one is till expanding exponentially. I am a functioning part of that information revolution.

I need silence and privacy in order to assimilate what is happening to me and around me. I get up at 7 or 8 in the morning but am unfit and unwilling to deal with the world until after mid day. I need coffee and silence and peace at the beginning of the day.
If I was quiet and good I got into trouble with people who feared my strong energy or who were intimidated by my silence. When I was “bad” people often overreacted and suspected the worse, not understanding that I was an educated man.
No matter how rebellious I would become, I always exercised restraint. I felt close at times to the forces of chaos, but I also have always felt in control, of my own life at any rate. I am not angry at any one, and I am not against any one. Growing up I had playmates of every race.

The Young Man |
My primary and initial education was largely in the areas of science. I was an exceptional science student. When I encountered the sacred pipe as a young man, I used this same habit and enthusiasm for science in order to understand the sacred pipe. I learned that the sacred pipe, the ceremonies, stand up very well to science, real science. I set out to do the very best I could to educate myself as thoroughly as possible. I soon learned that a promise to be a good student and study the sacred pipe became an obligation to look closely at everything in the world. I looked at the tribes who had, and the tribes who never had. I looked in science, in medicine, in churches, all over the world. I talked with workers, technicians, politicians, educators, cops, soldiers, scientists, doctors, lawyers and everyone in between. As I listened to the arguments and thoughts of all these teachings, I always looked for where the sacred pipe might be inside, or in harmony with, that teaching. I looked for validation using reason and analysis and thought. It was, and remains, a very powerful part of the work to listen and look at all things. While the so-called separations of science, government and religion seem to have value as a political ideology, in real life these “separate” things exist all at once in your life, stuffed inside your bones.

My Credentials |
I ain’t enrolled in nothing. The only numbers I have are social security number and Italian work number. I have had one telephone number for a while now, my PIN for one of my bank-cards is pretty ancient. Other than that no numbers. My computer has a serial number. It is such a part of me I might have it tattooed on my behind.
I refuse to be enrolled in the Federal Tribal System. I am not the only American Indian who feels this way. Enrollment is consent to be managed. Wabeeno’s cannot be managed. We can only be listened to or ignored.

I have been gifted a number of sacred objects by a number of tribal elders. I have their full authority to use these objects and create the ceremonies of which they are the heart. The elders who gifted these ceremonies to me are the sole authority in their use. It was their right and their privilege to do this. My art and my ceremonies are my life and my credentials. Otherwise I am not registered, certified, licensed or in possession of any certified official toilet paper from the modern world.

I leave my work to speak for itself. I have no interest in BIA money or land. I have never asked the tribes, or the US Government for anything and I never will.

My real work is not with tribes, or even with “Indians”, it is with the original instructions and is based upon my relationship with a group of tribal elders from the four directions and of several “races”. It is with the natural law of the mother earth.

I do not claim or pretend to speak for all or any American Indian people. I am speaking for myself, I am speaking with their permission, my teachers, and our mutual experiences from within. I am speaking from within, rather than about, the sacred of the American Indian earth.

What if a person were walking through a great forest and came upon a tree filled with fruit, ready to eat? I ask this question: who is that fruit on that tree for? Is it not in reality for everyone? Is it not for the birds and the bees, and the fingers of children and the relief of travelers?

I believe the fruit of the sacred is for all. I also believe you must make your own journey to find and harvest this sacred fruit. You cannot pretend you have the fruit when you do not. The fruit is there in the sacred garden for everyone, anyone, to find and be nourished thereof, but only if they know the way.

So I tell you that I am a child of this earth and in all my life I have given my attention to the voice and the silence of those elders of the sacred, not only of the American Indian, but of the eight sacred directions of our little world. I did this because it was the right thing for me to do. Each step I have taken has brought me farther and farther away from the confused and angry society into which I was born. It has brought me over and over to a place and a position of abundance, adventure, discovery and service. I have taken responsibility for myself. As an officer of what is sometimes known as “the great work”, it is important that a person in my position, from time to time, speak for the public record.

Working Life | Survival.
Much of my early life was spent in the a study of survival. For my own protection I became involved in many studies and training's about self defense and about self knowledge. I was always in danger as a child, or so I believed. My father was a violent man. My society was a violent one. My schools were violent. You could be, and I was, attacked going down the street minding my own business. People were always ready to fight when I was a teenager. I went to some rough schools. I think these early studies I made to protect myself saved my life. All the years during junior and high schools I was fighting or talking my way out of fighting. I was always the new kid at the school or in the neighborhood. As a child we moved many times, I always showed up in the middle or at the end. Never there are the beginning.

I have never been a person who felt comfortable being pushed around, physically, spiritually or emotionally. I try to be even and fair with people. If I don’t like people I stay away from those people. I like the people who are close to me to be interesting, peaceful, educated, adventurous and beautiful.
Like a young samurai, these old Indians and the pipe became my “lord”, the elders I was determined to serve. These dual experiences in a violent society and in a mystery life of the inspired ideas presented by old Indians and Japanese swordsmen were dueling forces in my young life.

I have had the arrows of every kind of angry person come look for me. I do not believe in allowing myself to be the subject of oppression. I have worked and walked in freedom my whole life. I wish the same for everyone.

I learned that it was easier for me to protect my freedom and seek my teachers and define my life myself, on my own. This is the way also of the Ojibway Wabeeno, the sacred outsider, the protector and keeper of the correction ceremonies.

I know now, this is always who I was; that Wabeeno. The elders who saw me knew that long before I did. This is a fact which amazes me to this day. In many ways my fighting, stubborn nature, my willingness to go it alone if I have to; and my passion for education and knowledge have made me what I have always been. A singular education for a singular task. I made my education. I found my teachers.
I worked for clarity in understanding the math, science, psychology and reasoning behind the original ceremonies, the old ceremonies of the old Indians. These original tribal rituals are social engineering on a fantastic scale created with absolute precision and honesty. In a world of liars, spin masters, diplomats, hate groups, and obscure agendas hiding in politics, religion and business, these original ceremonies stand out for their clarity, honesty, simplicity.

These days I try to use my fighting spirit to understand what these things may mean to science, to society, to hospitals, to governments and places of education, to modern people in their isolated lives of plenty.

I have tracked the sacred path through many worlds and cultures on this earth. It is a dangerous route filled with encounters that can destroy you and certainly hurt you. It is called the “journey through the underworld” by the old Indians.

I relished the many long talks I had with people of science and medicine. I used to argue the case for the mystery life in the language of science and medicine with its professionals. A great conversation is a vehicle for acquiring more knowledge and I loved these talks. I was able to take Sacred Pipe and use its logic to meet the logic of science and academia. I prevailed, or at least was able to hold my ground with their language on their turf. It was very exciting. When many of the old Indians understood I was able to do this from time to time, they were really delighted and often laughed right out loud as we talked about this.

Throughout the isolation and struggle of my younger years I remained a very good student. I have always gotten good grades in the schools when I wanted to. I received awards in science, writing, and history. I read hundreds of books as a boy. I asked questions. I wanted straight answers and would argue against ambiguous or evasive answers. My father used to become absolutely deranged when I tried to speak with him using my educated modern words. He was an old soldier and liked words with as few syllables as possible. Sometimes when I would use fancy words, as he called them, he would just punch me in the face.

I have seen so much violence I can usually see when people are in fear, when their hearts are down, their spirits sinking. I saw this fear in the eyes and bodies of many American Indian people. I still see it in many of them.

I have no words to explain how moved I was to know these old teachers who took time with me. Seeing their suffering brought out a lot of new emotions in me. In spite of their painful lives, the racist nonsense that people say to them, the difficulty in fitting in to modern society, the poverty that often results in what has become of American Indian people. This was decades before casino money was the reality that is changing some tribes these days.

I never lived on a reservation as an enrolled member. I have been moving every three or four years all my life. I am still doing that. Wherever I have moved I have studied the pain and questions I see in the eyes and breath of the old Indians I meet. It is those observations of fear which motivates me to continue my work. I believe a greater understanding and respect for these people could help bring peace to them. One theory of good information is that it helps to dispel fear.

I am deeply glad that I was not raised on a reservation. My nature is not compliant. It took me a long time to appreciate the protection, support and guidance that a real tribal community can give you. Like many kids, I raised myself mostly. My parents were not good parents and they had little interest in their kids. We ate well enough. My father always made a good income so that we had a home and food and clothes. I would have walked to school naked, if I could have traded the clothes for an education and guidance from my family. I did not get that. I got that from the pixie in my own nature, the curiosity that lead me to find and engage and listen to my old earth, to the old Indians. Eventually this search for the original teachings became my life, saved my life. The old Indians gave that life an awakening. The earth is my home. The Mystery Life is my teacher.

The Mixing of the Blood (Sky Falling) |
Yes falling through the sky, is what we call it. Many of the old Indians liked me just the way I was. Some of them felt I was a good candidate for this kind of work, moving around in the world. People of dark color would have a lot more trouble than I have had...though believe me I get trouble enough for the opposite reasons. Survival chances better. Getting a word in the door to the universe is all we want. Let us get a word in. The world ceremony is just that. A run to get a word in here and there, with some hope behind it. For the world. For the old Indians. For the new Indians. So that is what I became, a Sky Falling. I followed in the wake of one of my old grandfathers who was called Cross the Sky. For 40 years I have been singing a song we call “the sky gate is open”.

With me, the elders have accepted behavior and time and history and together we are making some work. It is the work that is real. Is, are, should we be something defined by others? Such concerns never seemed worth the breath to voice them. We have defined ourselves, we have named ourselves. We have gone around ourselves and within ourselves and this is what we did. Anyone who stands before a differing race, a differing culture, even a different language is taking a chance. It is dangerous sometimes. Standing before the mob, any mob, is usually a vulgar experience unless everyone agrees with you standing there. In the mob it might be possible to see the individuals working on automatic pilot and the ones who might be struggling to wake up. Those ones who are trying to wake up and open up usually have a light about them, you can see them, even in the mob. My work is for them.

Most “race behavior” comes from ancient times and bad old ancient habits. It meant nothing in the ancient days, and it means even less now. It is inevitable and necessary that the four races of human beings give life to each other’s children. It is not something that can be stopped.

The race fears are from primitive, frightening times. Even when science investigates and defends and creates posturing certificates bundled up by governments and churches and bosses, it means nothing. It is a way for those who are filled with fear to bark like dogs and so feel they are doing something important for humanity. It is a very clever way to manipulate the mobs, the citizens living in their cities and working, especially in their corporate jobs with its corporate benefits and strings attached at every joint.

A well-endowed black man travelled all through northern American Indian country with Lewis and Clark. In every place where the expedition made a camp for some days, the American Indian women waited in line for the chance to have sex with him. There was a lot of competition to be the one family with a “black” Indian baby. That was a long time ago. There is no way to know how many children came from this man. Many of those babies at that time would have been trained to be medicine people, holy people, special people. American Indian women did this at that time for mystery life reasons. They understood without having to write a paper about it. This behavior was natural to those people at that time. This is but one example.

The greatest redemption of all has been the knowledge, the gift of being able to understand why and how we are all children of this original mother earth. This power that good people have to do good things is what a real warrior is. It is for this work that the sacred was given to all people.
My life has been shaped by events both rough and smooth. It has been influenced by people who are amazing and by people who are pathetic. My life has been changed by the old Indians.

Sometimes I think I am the man who wept the sacred water that flows in our rivers and cried the rain that pours from the clouds and makes the earth wet. That is how much pain I have felt coming from my teachers. That is how much pain I have felt inside my own heart.

Julius Caesar |
As I write this book, I am living on a small Mediterranean Island called Pantelleria. I feel like I have been fighting in the Indian Wars all my life. I have moved my outpost far away from America and its culture, Indians and non Indians. Having been in what so many of us call the unending Indian Wars; it is a great relief at last to know some day to day peace. I spend my days now thinking how to present the ideas behind Sacred Pipe to the people of the world. This Pantelleria is a little island with its own charming history and in general an impressive abundance of tolerance and peace. There is little technology, the air is pristine, the food natural, abundant and filled with flavor. It has been a kind of undisclosed crossroads for dozens of cultures over its long history. The earliest fire found here so far goes to 35,000 years ago.

It is a little ironic that as my time remaining on the earth is now limited, I would come to such a slow place to speed things up and get the bundles around the world. The feeling that came into my body and filled it up when I came “by accident” to this island is something I accept and believe in completely. Maybe the mystery life has understood that I need some rest and peace as I face the end of my time here with the waiting world. It is a gift I appreciate.

Hidden for 500 years or more, inside an old cistern, they found an old marble bust of Julius Caesar, Overlaying the cistern was a lavish sacrifice, the bones of numerous large animals. For some reason, at that time, it was best to hide the face of Caesar, perhaps when the Spanish came to hold the Island and built a castle in the medieval period. Many who have studied this bust, broken off what may have been a full figure statue, say it is one of the best likenesses ever seen of the Julius Caesar. This could indicate that it was modeled from life, that the old dictator sat for this art.

When I was a young boy I felt for some reason the spirit and life of Julius Caesar. I was quite young but made a large investment in reading everything about him and by him that I could find. My favorite portrait of Caesar is contained in the historical fiction of the writer Talbut Mundy. I have no idea why. This interest in this man, which I have had all my life, came to me the way the aroma of a flower arrives on the wind.

In the old Spanish Castle here on Pantelleria they recently had a showing of the bust of Julius Caesar. They had it mounted on a pedestal which approximated his true height. I was able to look eye to eye with the old Senator of Rome at last. I was all alone in the empty exhibition room for about 10 minutes. I used the opportunity to get right up close to him. The artistry of the sculpture was vivid, clear, remarkable. Clearly, I surmised at that moment, this is some kind of full circle for me....for the little boy who dreamed of an adventure and the old man, tired and stooped a little from his travels, comes to rest at last. I day dream now that Caesar and Cleopatra came here for a holiday. It is very close to Egypt really. During their time it was very likely an Egyptian controlled island. It has always been known as a place of gardens, wine, fruit and peace. The old Arabs in Caesar's time called her “the Black Pearl of the Mediterranean” and the “Daughter of the Wind”.

Many of the most influential people in all of Italy have homes here, as well as many of the government ministers. Most of these people live very private lives, so their presence on the island is of no practical value to me. The situation makes one aware of the class system of the western world. It realizes itself very clearly here. The different classes seem invisible to each other. I am an oddity--the rumor of an American Indian on the island is pretty widely circulated. There are several other Americans here. An American Indian artist named Doug Cofin has some major works he has created right here on Pantelleria. Most of this was done some years ago, long before I arrived here. His work is on the estate of one Italian man, a prominent EU Industrialist with a truly beautiful estate. I have since made four sculptures on his land as well. The “accidental” commission which put them there is what enabled me to stay for some time to get to know Pantelleria after my initial visit.

I seem to occupy my own unique position here. I have intervened with my ceremonies here and some of the original people of the island have come to them, which has been my great pleasure. In particular I have developed some ceremonies around the grape that grows here, which brings forth the unique wine of this place. It is a rare wine called Passito, a very particular Passito. This wine transcends the limits of commercial wine as being more than a mere beverage with alcohol in it. Of all the wines I have known it has a very clear place as a correct and powerful ceremonial wine. In the bundles of the world, few wines would qualify but to my mind this one does. While alcohol has not been kind to American Indian people, tribal people nevertheless recognize the difference between alcohol and sacrament. I have made ceremonies here with the growers of the grapes. This has evolved into a yearly tradition, at least while I am alive and living here. It is one of the small treasures of my experience in this place.

My family moved so many times. We moved not to just different homes, but different countries. In America we moved also many times in my teenage years. I went to six different schools between 1962 and 1968. My parents were insufferably mean and insulting to each other. My father used to beat my brother and I (and his wife) with his fists many times. While my mother had dragged my brother and I to the Baptist churches in the towns in which we lived, there was not much of substance which could be gathered from these sessions. I enjoyed the pretty girls all dressed up on the Sunday services. Aside from the erotic energy this produced I did not get much from the church.

I thank the Mystery Life every day for my brain, for my curiosity to learn. If you are open to learning, you will learn. Some things I learned quickly, some more slowly. It was no time at all before I came to understand how sweet nature could be, and how resolute and unforgiving. It was easy to find stories of exceptional people in every level of society. I am not sure why, even though I was willing to fight and scream back at the world, I was never attracted to violent films, violent stories and films or aggressive music. I really have always been attracted to people who have sterling characters and courage, and either a good working world intelligence or exceptional common sense. Even the literature of all the great intellectuals I have read, and understood much of what I read. I loved great science fiction, which was one of my early passions. All these great science fictions were hopeful and in many cases realistic and hopeful about where we have been as a society and where we might be going.

It was easy to see that great teachings, events and people exercised conscious choices. There seemed to be always a concert of deliberate, striving actions which have brought families, villages and society itself forward. Like characters in the books that I read, I sympathized with the people who worked to bring forward what is right. To my mind, as a child, I felt an excitement in walking what the elders would later tell me was the good red road. I absorbed this desire from the marrow of my own bones.

I came of age in the turbulent sixties, so it was not such a miracle that I had all this stimulation to learn new things outside of my family and school. It was a great time for exploring, rebelling and dreaming of new worlds. Indeed our generation has significantly changed the world in a multitude of ways. It was the age of smoking marijuana, LSD, hippies and women putting away their underwear. My parents almost epitomized the old generation that we were not only rebelling against, but were completely sick of.

Though I was a bright student filled with intelligence I really hated public school. Because I was always a stranger, the new kid, I rarely had any friends and almost no social life. I spent my time reading when I was very young. Later, as my passion in science developed I ended up with a rather impressive and well equipped basic biology and microscopy laboratory, and this is where I buried myself day after day. When I went out, it was usually associated with my science studies. I camped out all the time, on the weekends and holidays, all by myself. I really loved being in the forests, being inside of nature all alone. It was always an intimate and enjoyable experience for me. I studied everything that moved. My whole desire in those days was fixed on the idea of becoming a biologist or a zoologist. The Vietnam war changed all of that. By the time I got out of the army, I was so disgusted with American society that I wanted nothing from it.

It was hard, close to impossible really, for me to hang out with the genius kids, the geeks, even though I was really more like them than the punks I socialized with. I did have a few great, but brief, friendships in the super geeks from my science fair work. I did several years of science fair projects and won the top group of awards through those years. I got stopped at winning in the state (Ohio) championships one year (my last) really by being obstinate and not liking the question I was asked by one of the judges. I chewed him out for asking a stupid question (or so I thought anyway). I realized many years later that after all his question was really quite reasonable. I knew the answer but had to stick my chin out for some reason, and so stopped my long winning streak in science fairs.
I could have had about all the scholarships I wanted. My home life was a disaster. My parents couldn’t care less. I won many awards but they never came to a single ceremony to see me receive these honors. I usually had to walk or beg a ride from somebody so I could attend. I had no advisors or advice about what to do. In those days there was no policy of providing advisors to students. I got into some troubles and the way out of them just seemed to be to join the army. That is what I did in 1968. This was another journey through hell. I was more isolated than ever. I never made a single friend in the army and spent all of my time away from work alone. I used the libraries and the trails through the forests. I would sleep out on the earth in my army blanket whenever I could. The US Army has some outstanding forests inside its properties.

Those army guys, save for some of the officers, always kept their distance from me. It was strange, yet also the way I wanted it. I made everybody nervous and I didn’t mind that either. I knew how to be a good boy. I saw some evil things in that army. I saw them and they know I saw them. I was on my own but I took no prisoners. I argued back when they told me to do things that were illegal. I argued back in Vietnam based on my understanding of the Geneva Convention. When you stand up to the military using its own regulations you had damn sure better be right. I had those regulations and particularly the UCMJ memorized almost. That saved my neck more times than one. It was only luck though that I got out of the military alive. I have always felt protected within my sense of understanding what is right and what is wrong. If I feel something is wrong I won’t do it. People in authority really hate this. It is not for sissies, as the saying goes. To this day it can be dangerous to get up in my face about something I think is plain wrong; General of the Army, or private citizen.

I do not believe in violence against women. My father said such cruel things to my mother, so many times. At times he would hit her. Curiously, she was tougher than he. He was a small Indian man and she was a good sized woman from the south with 10 brothers, so she knew how to fight and often kicked his ass when it came to blows. But I saw very little difference between the fists and punches and the angry words. The words seemed as violent and dangerous as the fists to me. I still feel that way. Screaming in rage is an act of violence. Screaming at each other was a common form of communication in my parents house. Just before I joined the army I had moved out, sharing an apartment with a guy from my old school.
I look back now, after Vietnam, and realized that blind luck seemed to decide who was killed or maimed and who was not. I was injured in a bad fall. In later years this old injury has become a problem. Laying there in the hospital with the soldiers in pieces from the weapons of war was hard, I felt unworthy. I was on my way to an armed conflict of very high priority when I fell right into a deep pit and broke my right ankle and misaligned by right hip forever. Secretly, privately I was relieved, I knew I was out of the fighting and I was very relieved.

Some of my old friends back home had no idea I had even left town, much less been to the war. By the time I came back my neighborhood was filling up with marijuana smoke. There was a lot of experimentation with the new drugs, things like LSD and mescaline. Coming back from Vietnam I began smoking every day and doing over some 3 or 4 years perhaps experimenting with mescaline and LSD. Every one I knew in those years, of every race was into these things.

The first thing that happened to me when I turned on was the realization that I could be sweet and enjoy peace and many softer things that had been going on around me but which other, more tense and serious choices had precluded. I started my long appreciation of people who could make me laugh, people with a sense of humor. I enjoyed clothes more and took satisfaction in meeting strangers for the first time. These experiences with social drugs in the 1960s really brought me out emotionally in totally new, mostly positive ways.

Controversy |
My mystery life work is controversial in some quarters. Like the marriage of Kurds and Shiites, Catholics and Jews, or poor people to rich people, mixed racial people create outrage in their multiple families. It is no different with American Indians. That racial discrimination, wherever it is directed and from who, is a powerful and disruptive force. As a young man I had no question at all that I had the right and the pleasure to follow these studies and to make this work. Now many years later, having listened to the racial rage of thousands of people from every quarter of society, I continue to feel it is my right and my privilege to make this work and do these studies.

I have made my work and my studies by going to the source, by standing face to face with those elders I could find. I made my own school, not seeing one to my liking elsewhere. I created my own studies where none existed before. I found the money to clothe and house myself and pay for my travels. I went out and found my own teachers wherever I could.

I have reconciled myself to the consequences of being within a racist society. I accept responsibility for the complaints and illusions of the full blooded Indians as well as the full blooded white people. I do this by behaving intellectually and spiritually in a practical, transparent and straight forward manner. I have walked my walk in a lawful manner.

I claim only this, to be a voice who has told you where I have gone, shared with you what I can of what I discovered on the voyage. Each person on this sacred mother earth has the privilege to do the same.

I am of mixed blood. Aren’t you? I believe only livestock should be blood judged. Otherwise such concepts have no practical value. People who insist on making presumptive racial distinctions are living a life divorced from what is real. What my teachers saw in me was my heart, the heart of a human being. It was from my heart that I traveled, from their hearts that they received me. It is to the heart of this sacred earth that I speak now.

Turtle Heart
Wabeeno Ahnishinbeg
Keeper of the Four Directions Unity Bundle
Keeper of the Sacred Pipes of the Eastern Gate
aka William Fredric Posey
aka PFC William Posey RA11710033, HHC, 1/18th, 1st Inf Div, RVN, 1968-1969
Pantelleria Italy

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