October 6th 2020. (Morning call.)
Like most executives of major corporations or global empires, my day often begins with a morning call. Unlike most world power presidents or United Nations’ chairmen, my morning phone call tends to end very differently: with a bang.
Let me give you an example.
The end of this morning’s phone call:
“Yah. Yellowstone. The Animal Kingdom.” Stephan said, in that tone of his. It’s the tone that says, “Oooohhh man. Can you believe it!? They’ve gone an done it again!?” You can practically hear two other ancient Russian warriors, maybe one that’s Cantonese, sitting with him at a stone table, clinking a 10 liter glass of beer with him, grunting, ‘here here’ slowly. It’s the tone that says, “You totally know what I’m talking about. In fact, we’ve been talking about it for 500 years!” I guess, if you want to put it in teen-speak today, it would sound something like an I roll and an OMG, but with slow exasperation, not the super-fast teeny-bop kind. 500-year-old uncle’s don’t sound like chipmunks.
Anyhow. He said “Yeah-yellowstone-the-animal-kingdom” in that tone! So:
My response: “What?”
Now. I think you and I both know what that response means. It means, “Huh? What Animal Kingdom? I don’t know what the b***p you’re talking about. And – oh – by the way- I’m the leader of the world, so I probably should know. So I’ll say it again. What?”
At least, that was my tone.
But he clearly didn’t hear me. “The Animal Kingdom, you know.”
“What do you mean the ‘Animal Kingdom’!?”
“Where the animals are. Yellowstone.”
Now. Normally, I have a script I read, since I’ve been here with Stephan so many times before in the last— (omg. 6 years. Six years. Siiiiiiix years. Help me baby Jesus. No wonder I feel like one hundred. Wait. He came in… Oh. Whew. 5 years. Ok. Makes more sense. 5. Five years. Five years!? FIIIIIIIIVE YEARS! AAAAAAHHHHH–)
Normally I have a script at this point with Stephan. We’ve been here so many times before. He names something. “Unicorns.” “Unicorns?” “Yah. Unicorns.” “Unicorns???” “Yah!!! You know. Da unicorns!!!” And then I start my script. It begins with a big sigh. And then…
“Stephan. Pretend I, oh – I don’t know – maybe wasn’t born into the world of magic!? Let’s just pretend I grew up with parents who guarded me and shielded me—” You get the picture.
And lately, now that I think about it, Gustaf usually steps in, and explains it all, before I ever get to the finally point in my the speech, which is always, “So. Can you please explain this ‘unicorns,’ idea to me as if I was a four year old? Please. Like I was just a new born baby, and I don’t know anything about anything. Please? Can we do that?” Gustaf just cuts me off at the pass. Smart man.
“Uhm – uh – maybe I can help with this…” which I used to find really helpful… until I realized Gustaf was listening. And I hadn’t called him yet. You have no idea what that lead to. Seriously. That’s another book in itself.
Never, ever, ever, ever be a link, get a link, allow a link into your life. No matter what.
But we’ve solved that little problem. As evidenced by today. Let’s review:
Stephan: “Yah! Yellowstone! The Animal Kingdom.”
Stephan: “The Animal Kingdom! You know.”
Me: “What do mean, ‘The Animal Kingdom’?”
Stephan: “Where the animals are: Yellowstone.”
“Uhhh- yes!!!” (I think I always catch him in the middle of working on something extremely important, even if it’s sleep. Stephan never sleeps. I have to take these into serious consideration when choosing who to call every time. But today, it was a morning call. No time to lose.)
“Gustaf? Stephan is talking about some, ‘Animal Kingdom’?…” and before I could say “Yellowstone…”
“YAS!” jutted in Stephan, still on the line. I hadn’t exactly told him I was going to call Gustaf, but then again, it was the morning call. I do get really, really short on those things. And that doesn’t always go so well. Sibling rivalry is still a thing! At 500 – or 512? 508? You stop counting after the first 100, I think, and just watch for each century to turn as a marker. I can’t even imagine. I swear. How does sibling rivalry survive that!? Don’t ask me!
“Ya! Yellowstone!” Stephan insisted, as if swearing to somebody out there that I should have understood this by now. “If you want to be an animal in the kingdom, you know to go there!” said Stephan. And my brain, in the back, opened up the brand new file folder drawer marked “Animal Kingdom – Yellowstone,” and dropped in, “out comes in,” ignored the 20 new and unanswered questions that one fact presented, closed the drawer, and I calmly looked up, thinking, Yup. That was a super small factoid I learned, in a lot a time. The clock is ticking. Continue on with set course: Gustaf.
“Thank you, Stephan. Gustaf? The Animal Kingdom?”
“Ohh!!! Yes!!! That place!!!” And then there was the usual pause. I knew that was his version of digging through his memory. But the fact that he remembered immediately, meant I would learn a lot, and soon.
And I was right. Two seconds later: “Oh – that’s Yellowstone!” (Oh brother.) I kept my mouth shut and waited for it. I have definitely been around the block. The clock is ticking! But I just listened. Then, bingo!!!!
“That’s a place that was set aside for the animals.” (Boom. ‘Human-made not Animal- made’ goes into the file.)
“By who?” I asked.
“…I believe… by the Native Americans!…” There are always pauses with Gustaf as he tries to remember. I just wait. We have noticed that my own pauses have begun. It’s not a sign of age, but information. It happened when I learned about the worlds. Once I was placed over their care as well, small pauses began when people asked me questions. I have so many realms to sift through in my head, it takes time to answer a question. Gustaf has many more. I am very lucky he remembered right away.
Especially on a morning phone call.
“…You know the Native Americans. They’ve always had a special thing… for the animals…”
So they set aside a reservation for the animals too? I thought. Now wait a…
The news of the Native Americans was huge, but now, I was trying to place that within my own knowledge set – everything I knew myself about Yellowstone. It was the very first National Park America ever created, back in the 1860’s, just when Germany was charging up its oil, chemical, gas and mining companies, that would soon take over the globe.
Had America allowed its people to also open up mining, oil, chemical and gas companies across America, World War 1 and World War 2 never would have happened. But instead, our politicians began locking down our natural resources, and Germany killed at least half a billion people, if not more with its monopolies and partnerships.
I love Yellowstone, but the area set aside as a reserve is nearly the size of the entire North East, if not larger. The parts people visit are small dots in the middle. It’s always confused me terribly. It sure looks like we locked down the largest oil, mineral and gas mines at the same time Germany militarized theirs. It was literally within the same 10 years. A ton of miners lost their living. Those are tiny holes in the ground. Why?
But this new information solved more of my riddle. In the documentation, Yellowstone’s words said, “to preserve our natural resources,” and they named absolutely everything in the park except the animals.
But if you’ve ever been there! Aren’t the animals what the park protects? I’ve certainly been there. And the animals are the absolute center of Yellowstone, to me. That’s all I saw the Park Rangers do! Manage, circle and protect animals, day in and day. That’s certainly not what the Yosemite Park Rangers are doing!!!
The word “animals” may not be in the laws that created our first National Park at Yellowstone – not that I remember seeing, but boy – the animals are sure the absolute jewel and celebration of it today!
When I went, it was very clear, human were the visitors, and the animals were owners. We were on their property. Take, for example, our first time entering the park. We couldn’t do it. The traffic was stopped. Did that happen to you? We entered, like so many people, from the North. But we didn’t drive in for long. Soon, we were stopped short, and had no idea why.
Suddenly we rounded a corner, to the main campus of the park and, “ta da!!!” huge, beautiful horned creatures covered the grass, as far as the eye could see. It was kind of like, “Welcome to Yellowstone: hooooonk!!!” (Look up an elk crying out at Yellowstone. It’s loud. And they love to do it to visitors. They scatter.)
The elk own that main campus. I don’t think I saw a single car park. Every one drove slowly, atook pictures, then zoomed away. If there was a Vistor’s Center, we certainly never saw it. And we certainly didn’t stay in that park overnight. We enjoyed the peace and quiet of the Grand Tetons. I understand that a lot better now. Lol!
Still. My husband and I thought we got lucky. “Oh wow!” we thought. “We came on the right day!!! Look at all the elk! An entire herd! On every corner of the lawn!!!” Today I know that’s hogwash. There are a ton of pictures like that online. And that’s for a darn good reason…
The Animal Kingdom.
I don’t know if I can visit again, honestly. There is a law between man and beasts, and the beasts in Yellowstone really toe-the-line, let me tell ya.
The Law Between Man and Beasts
You know, in the last few months I’ve learned a lot about the texts the Roman Emperors banned because they were “too frightening” or “scary” for their people to handle. Ironically, however, the moment they banned them, they ruled with uninterrupted wealth and prosperity, while the people suffered starvation and poverty.
Lately, I’ve been digging into banned books. One such book is the First Book of Adam and Eve. It tells the story of what happened between eating the apple and Cain and Able.. and a lot more. It’s incredible.
At first I didn’t understand it. I didn’t understand a lot of these texts. I was accustomed to the crappy translations and cardboard we’d been fed for generations. Heck. Only recently did I discover the Bible itself only has 2/3 of its words in most translations. Most translators cut 1/3 of the words. Kings and Emperors found them destructive to the throne, and still do today. I mean – look at what happened! America was born! Rome fell! Of course they’d chop it up!
So. We do Bible digs in The Message translation now. And, I’m getting used to reading The First Book of Adam and Eve, among others, like Enoch, etc. because they were the foundation of the West. Oh yes! The Book of Adam and Eve was very much responsible for spreading Christianity!!! I was like, “Really?” But today, I can’t help but understand why. I simply explains too much of life around us.
Case in point: The Law Between Man and Beasts.
When Adam left the Garden, he screamed to God, “They will kill us now! We are open to the beasts! The beasts will overcome us and kill us!” And God came to Adam and said, “Yes, you are right.” And placed a new law on the land, that the animals of the world shall not touch man.
And that’s true. I just watched a video of an otter flee to the boat of two humans, from a giant orca, a killer whale. Why? Wouldn’t that orca just say, “Yay! Tasty cracker of three!”? Why do seals and otters think humans are so safe? We know that humans are defenseless against whales. They just pin underwater us like they do seals otters…
So – if whales can kill us so easily – why don’t they?
The Book of Adam and Eve explains this phenomenon. Takes from books written in Hebrew along with the Old Testament, Christianity grew because it explained our world. But we lived outside before. Today we live inside.
We take it for granted.
Alfred Hitchcock’s famous movie, The Birds, simply flipped the switch off. Birds could turn on man. And oh, how useless we were against them. Alfred knew that. We seem clueless.
I’m not clueless anymore. When I go outside, and we cut down the bushes that all the birds are feeding on, I can tell that the ten swarms we just ticked off want to overcome the two of us… They sit on nearby trees, screeching and hollering, obviously desiring to tear us apart: but they don’t. I never asked, “Why not?” before.
My science books told me, “Man is the top of the food chain.” And I said, “Ok.” I simply left it up to ego. Pride. Ridiculous.
There’s only one time I questioned it. And that was in college Biology. There was a picture of all the animals in size, and then they had man! At the very end! A tiny guy! And we were supposed to be more powerful than a dino!?
I remember something in my head said, “Kiddo. That guy is dead meat. Not king tut.”
Now, I’m just grateful. So grateful they don’t attack.
In Yellowstone, I faced the same thing. And that is what I wanted to talk about with Gustaf and Stephan, in the end, especially when I heard the key word in Gustaf’s rundown of Yellowstone for me:
“Oh yes. The animals definitely have more control there. They can do more. They still have to obey the rules, but there are certainly more AWAKE animals, in the Animal Kingdom.”
“Awake!” I said. “That’s it!” The morning call had begun with the otter video and was ending with the Yellowstone discovery, but in between, I was remembering my run-in with a buffalo there. Never, ever, have a run in with a buffalo.
“The buffalo! He was awake!!!” I told Gustaf, Stephan and my husband. My husband had been there with me at the time. We’d been driving down a road in Yellowstone, when a big giant bison was standing on the highway, under a shady tree. People were stopping to take pictures right next to it.
I… stupidly… stopped with my window open.
“I think he wanted to kill me, Gustaf, right? I mean – he was awake. I’ll never forget it. All the others, we stopped by them. And they didn’t look like this guy did…”
In my mind, I was reliving it. I re-lived how we pulled up – hell – we were surrounded! by bison (buffalo) in Custer State Park in South Dakota. I remember their eyes. Smoke. Leather smoke. All the way through. Distant. Far away. Big, tall, beautiful bison, that are remarkably quick and agile, and hilarious, when they have an itch.
But now we were in Yellowstone, and there was just one. And I was looking at him in wonder, with my window open, not really noticing that he was walking up to our window…
And then I saw his eyes. And I didn’t feel wonder anymore. I felt terrified. “I see you sir. You can kill me. I get it. Sorry. We’ll be on our way now. Thank you.”
I never felt so ashamed or humbled – brought to my knees. But today, I learned a lot more about that moment. Gustaf:
“I don’t think he was trying to kill you. I remember. He wanted to smell you. He knew you were different.”
It’s now 10:42 am. The phone call was at 8:02 am. It lasted for 12 minutes. It always does. Exactly 12 minutes.
I’ve done a lot of things in those 12 minutes. It’s consistently amazed me. I never seem to get used to it. I’ve negotiated peace deals. Initiated wars. Dropped bombs. Disappeared bombs. The other day, I discovered space colonies were already a thing. Mexico has a nice one. We dragged China’s out to the edge of the Solar System.
I swear the amount the world gets done, on the taxpayer’s dime, simply because they control our headlines. We hear nothing, see nothing and go about our lives, as if it was 1959. Same technologies: microwave, plane, train, automobile.
It’s Oprah who take a drone to work. Not us.
Anyway. I get a lot done, in 12 minutes. But I never know what I’ll end up doing, during that time, everyday. Sometimes I have a plan. Sometimes I don’t. I certainly didn’t today. I opened by talking about Beluga whales, (Stephan: “What? You mean – da dolphin?”)- Beluga whales saving phones and otters jumping on boats for safety near humans.
I ended on an sacred Animal Kingdom where one of them, the bison, stuck his head in my window, because he wanted to get a good smell, because he could tell I was different, even from far away.
Me? I nearly peed my pants.
But it’s good to know he didn’t want to kill me.
Looking back, and having time to process all this new information, I think I have a better understanding of what happened in that time, and in that place.
You see… I was playing, in Yellowstone. I was adventuring, without knowing any of the dangers. I was an itty bitty child. I thought I was dancing in the rain, when really, I was high up on a snowy mountain range, and the snow was melting droplets, onto me, from above.
The Nothing was coming. Its troops were gathering, far in the distance. The earth was dying, all around me. The waters were being poisoned. The air, in most of the world, was too poisoned to breath, the water, too poisoned to drink. The only thing “safe” were the chemicals they poured out to you in bottles, called soda pop and alcohol.
But there I was, dancing in Yellowstone, free as a lark, in the New World, untouchable. I was following my God and he was guiding me, Father and daughter…
But the bison was awake. He saw who I am today. And his eyes gave a nod to that person inside. Born to do what? I still don’t know yet. Based on the books I’ve read, of other tales, with other heroines, you could probably tell me, better than I can.
I sure can’t see it. I simply stand.
I suppose I stand, where no one else can. I shall be a lightning rod to strike for that bison and the one who made him and the ones who made his valley. For we are all under war now.
The shadow has come. Even to Rivendale. Even to the shores of the United States, where the water is sweet and the trees grow tallest in the world. The shadow is even here, now.
And I spent my morning writing this to you all.
A fine 152 minutes spent.
Tick tick tick.
I wonder what will happen during my hour, at lunch?
An “extra” from the series “A Prophet’s Journal” by Book of Katherine.
Read the first chapter here!
Stay on the look out in New Zealand! We’ve been picked up as a TV series!