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~~~~LMRD 821, Friday, Feb 5, 2021~~~
The Lower Mississippi River Dispatch
~~~~"Voice of the Mississippi River"~~~~

Neal Moore:
22 Rivers, 22 States, 22 Months



During the light of the Full Wolf Moon, I was able to join Neal Moore for a short portion of his 22 Rivers project, in which he is paddling 22 Rivers across 22 States in 22 Months, from Astoria Oregon to the Statue of Liberty.



The west end of Cat Island is getting slammed by hurricanes and tropical storms, in places old woods are getting snapped over and covered in water.



We paddled over a forest of piney stumps in the high tide of the approaching full wolf moon.



Writer Boyce Upholt (l) jumped on board with Neal Moore (r) and myself (taking photo). Here we are making breakfast behind the wind protection of our camp tables. The Full Wolf Moon is setting behind us. Special thanks to Hank Baltar for land support!



Cordelling up the beach: We paddled (and cordelled) with Neal out and around Cat Island, the furthest west of the Mississippi barrier islands.



Cordelling is the ancient voyageur canoe tradition of pulling your vessel upstream -- or in this case, down the beach against the wind.



Wild Island: we experienced the raw elements of nature: the wind, the waves, the sun, the water, and their effects upon creation.



The gales blew through with typical winter fierceness throughout trip, one night almost burying our 24' long Cricket canoe!



I was sleeping next to canoe, in what i thought was a protected harbor in the lee of the canoe, with my head tucked deep within the folds of my mummy bag, and my face mask in place. But my sleeping bag filled with sand and I was forced to retreat inland and into the protection of the longleaf piney woods where Boyce was camped.



The ever cheerful Neal Moore stayed planted in the face of the wind in his trusty Moss Tent.



I slept out under the stars -- and the howling light of the Full Wolf Moon.



Smuggler's Cove: over the dunes behind camp, birds of prey thrived in a large inlet known as Smuggler's Cove. Each avian has it's own method of fishing: white pelicans circle on the water, pelicans dive in groups, osprey and eagles drop in like missles, individually, from on high.



The sand makes a temporary record of the passage of the wind and time -- including the tracks of birds, animals, insects, blowing leaves, and a few visiting humans.



the shell of a horseshoe crab



the remains of a dead dolphin (we reported this carcass to the IMMS -- the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies)



dolphin tail vertebrate



grasses growing in the stumps of pine trees snapped in previous hurricanes



mysterious lines and etchings, this one dileneated by the wind-waves of the previous night, later covered by a fresh layer of sand ripples



a tracing made by layers of mud and sand -- looks like an aerial view of some of the bends of the Mississippi River



blue holes created by the surges of previous storms



the ever-enchanting patterns of sand grasses and their shadows



a living wind tunnel laboratory: every solid mass creates its own distinctive wind shadow, here with pieces of shell, and bits of plastic



we too are sculpted and wizened by the sun and wind, each in our own way



I prefer busted shells for the intimate glimpse into the secrets of marine architecture -- revealing the patterns of the universe hidden within -- like a representation of a galaxy, or maybe an x-ray of the interior swirlings of a whirlpool



we unburied Cricket canoe from the waves of sand that covered its sides...



...and set out into the waves



and now the brave and wide-eyed Neal Moore continues on down the coast, and then up the rivers of Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee...



...as he begins the long upstream paddle into the Ohio River valley, and across the eastern divide into the Great Lakes, and then into the Hudson Valley -- for arrival at America's beacon of hope and freedom: the Statue of Liberty -- in December 2021




Bon Voyage Neal! Our "paddle's up" and the power of the howling Full Wolf Moon be with you!

~~~

You can follow Neal Moore's 22 Rivers Expedition on the expedition website https://22rivers.com

A Glimpse of America’s Soul. Dubbed "a modern-day Huck Finn" by CNN, adventurer/storyteller Neal Moore's work from North America, Africa, and the Far East has appeared in The New Yorker, Der Spiegel, and on CNN International.

~~~

You can read some of Boyce Upholt's writing here: http://www.boyceupholt.com "exploring the wild at the end of the world & exploring the world at the end of the wild"

~~~

Now on vimeo BEAM #6
Allie Grant's
“The Nature of Words”

In the spirit of William Shakespeare’s observation that “one touch of nature makes the whole world kin,” BEAM Session Six: “The Nature of Words” explores how our interconnectedness to the world around us acts as the bedrock of truth in our understanding of ourselves and others.

View on Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/507140466/967c2d20e6



Mighty Quapaw special projects coordinator Allie Grant shares unique descriptions of nature, and language for otherwise indescribable feelings of our relationship to the natural world, to integrate into the free-flowing dictionary of our daily lives!



BEAM Session Six: “The Nature of Words”

In the spirit of William Shakespeare’s observation that “one touch of nature makes the whole world kin,” BEAM Session Six: “The Nature of Words” explores how our interconnectedness to the world around us acts as the bedrock of truth in our understanding of ourselves and others. Mississippi Appalachian native and Mighty Quapaw, Allie Grant, shares findings from her own backyard in Chickasaw County, while offering us an emotive and experiential multi-cultural lexicon that includes unique descriptions of nature, and language for otherwise indescribable feelings of our relationship to the natural world, to integrate into the free-flowing dictionary of our daily lives. As we conclude with a special reading of a beloved tale for all ages, we discover that just as seedlings are planted upon fertile ground, our words take root and yield the crops of which our souls feed upon; that the stories we tell hold the power to provide a lifetime of nourishment, healing and community. And like the steady old turtle, we must always persevere in sharing the whole truth of oneness.

~~~

Grandfather Cypress Update:

What is happening in the "Ca-New Year" with Grandfather Cypress Dugout Canoe?

I am sad to report that Lexie, the beloved Great Dane of our next door neighbor, Graig Hatchett, (Sunflower Laundry) passed away in the New Year.


RIP Lexie 2008-2021

You might recall that Lexie was incorporated into to one of the original designs for Grandfather Cypress that we voted on last year. Lexie design was my personal favorite, but did not win the vote. Wood Duck won. And Moon Goddess came in 2nd.



Regardless, creator has spoken. We feel that Lexie is now part of the canoe. Lexie's spirit now flows through the wood. And we as canoe carvers are always looking for the spirit. As a way of honoring Lexie, we have added her nose to the bow of Granfather Cypress, while keeping the Wood Duck head as stern. And as a way of filling out the design, we have added the Moon Goddess to the side of the canoe. So now we have a Duck-Dog-Moon-Goddess design that we will begin elaborating out of the wood stock as the Winter progresses into Spring.

Tune in the next BEAM session for an intimate look at Duck-Dog-Moon Goddess! (BEAM #7 Wed Feb 24, 2021)

And check out this thought dream image idea that came to me towards the end of last year, and see what you think:


Grandfather Cypress is a Duck-Dog-Moon-Goddess

~~~