A Dog in Honduras

At one time, I was a good-looking dog, that is before I came to live in Tela Vieja. Right now, I’m living quite well under a shack behind a hotel with sand for my bed and cool breezes at night.

I arrived here, young and skinny with a toned body. My face was handsome until the fight with the pit bull over territory. He bit off my left ear and left a bloody stump, which the sand flies feasted on for days. However, the right one looks okay and my teeth are sound.

 Before I came here, I lived with a man whom I called “Jefe”. Along with his wife and son, we lived on someone else’s property in a small wooden one-room house. It had a tin roof, dirt floor and a door to close at night. The kitchen was out back, andconsisted of a pit with a spoke for cooking and a concrete slab for a table.

The son was small and frail with grayish skin that resembled a fish. He might not have been well because he stayed in bed most of the time and when he did come out, the wife put him in a hammock by the palm trees. He could not walk or maybe he did not know how. I was not sure but maybe we could have played together.

The wife was not nice to me. She worked all day, cleaning and taking care of the son. Her body was hunched over and she had deep lines running through her face, which did not add to her looks. She never missed a chance to hit me with the broom whenever I sneaked into the house for shade or in search of food scraps. I usually ran and hid in the weeds which  made her angry.

I loved Jefe!   I knew what he thougt and what he was going to do because it was easy to read him. “¿Perro, que estas hacienda?”,  he would sing or say to me with sluryy words. He was a happy man who worked hard in the fields returning home covered in dirt. He was stocky and round with brown hair and an unshaven face topped off with a black hat and a feather sticking out on one side. He had the widest brown eyes that smiled at me when I pleased him.

Jefe loved to play games of paper with other men. They would sit around the concrete slab out behind the house and throw paper at each other. The paper had funny drawings on it and every time Jefe played with them, green paper that was kept in his pocket ended up on the table. If Jefe gave away many green papers during the game, we went hungry. During the last game , I think he finally made the connection with giving away the green but it was too late.

For two weeks, the family did not have enough food. Jefe would say, “¿What do I do now?” to the air and the son cried endlessly, “I’m hungry. When are we going to eat?” The wife walked around talking to herself and pulling out strands of her hair. She beat me senseless when I got in her way.

At the end of the first week, Jefe had to steal mangoes from the neighbour’s year. The wife screamed at him for embarrassing her and he spent the rest of the day with his head hung low with shame. I had a hard time trying to eat those mangoes due to their shape and my mouth but my stomach was knotty and hurt from hunger.

The end of the second week Jefe broke down and stole a bag of rice from the Mercado. He stared at me and I swore he said, “Meat would go nice with the rice. ¿Como cocinar?” Later I heard him ask the wife, “Should I season it first?” In addition, she was too quick with her instructions on seasoning ‘tough meat’.

At that point, I knew there was no choice but to take my chance on the streets. I made my way down to the hotels near the beach. I figured food was not far from where humans playbecause humans and garbage were inseparable.

My life is now on the streets and I cannot complain. I hunt for food in the morning and at night; the dumpsters behind the hotels are packed with discarded meats and moldy bread. Weekends are wonderful because the city people rush to the beach with their picnic baskets. They invade the area for leisure and pleasure and I can smell the food in their baskets. Sometimes its arroz con frijoles (rice and beans) sometimes pan de coco o (coconut bread) and on rare occasions pork or steak. My stomach growls and I salivate at the aromas.

When they leave on Sundays, the discarded food, which they call garbage, stays behind. I have to fight with the local perros to get at the food. First, I chase away from the food, down the beach, then run back and grab it before the others get it. The others are the turkey vultures and they are vicious but I can outsmart them most of the time.

Life Changers and Shamans

I am now and always will be. I have been since there was an earth, since land formed on that earth. I will always be that land, at one with the land, a piece of that land, a piece of this earth. I have seen many creatures come and go, live their lives and fight their battles for existence. All these creatures I think of as my children. I have always protected my children and will continue to protect my children. My very existence is for their protection. There is sacredness about me, about my physical being. Some of my children knew that, sensed it, and worshipped me. Others thought of me not. Many did not believe in me. But the time has come for me to reveal what I am, who I am. My children are under attack. For the first time since I began they are in danger of being wiped from the face of my earth. But I can remain silent no longer, I must be heard, I will be heard.

Many of you will not believe what you are about to learn. This cannot be you say. It goes against convention, against reason, against all that you have been taught and led to believe. But I am real, I do exist and I will exist. I am the protective mother, the encourager, the life giver. I am known to the native peoples but that knowledge is fought against by the non believers. I am the spirit of the land, the god of the soil, a god of the earth, one of many. I am the source of many religions and am denied even my existence by many others. But I will prevail, I will survive, it is the others that will perish.

There is sacredness about me, about my spot on this earth. This sacredness has existed since the formation of this earth. This sacredness was given by the great god, the master of us all, the foundation for all the major religions of the earth. But even they deny my existence now. But you will know, you will learn. Over eons of time the creatures dearest to me have changed. At one time I existed only on the bottom of a great sea, and all my children were creatures of that sea. In time the bottom of the sea rose and exposed my flesh, the dirt and soil of this earth, to the light of day. And the creatures that played and lived upon me changed. But always they were my children and I protected them. In time my skin, the crust of the earth, will touch the heavens and my children will fly, eventually to become part of the bottom of the sea again. But that is in the future and I am only concerned with the present.

I am one of many, one of thousands, existing for all time, always to exist. This vast universe is only a glimpse of what you can imagine. What I am about to do has never been done by my kind before. In the process you will learn who I am and why I am. But to tell this story I have had to change, to assume another form. I cannot tell this story alone; I need the help of one of my children. And he is the one that will give the details that I present to him, in the form of dreams, insight and imagination. There will be many that will treat him as just another person with delusions, with unfounded imagination. But you must listen to him; believe him, for his story comes not from him but from me.

There is no moral in what I present here, the moral is to be formed by your own conclusions of what I have to say, to tell. What I present here is just a story, a listing of events about one small piece of this great earth. There is a special place on this planet for my very special children. They are drawn here and live here under my protection. This is their story; ignore it at your own peril.

Many thousands of years ago I called my special children to this area. They answered my call and settled into a life that was easy and unhurried. The hunting was good since the waters, land and sky were plentiful and they lived a peaceful life. There were many tribes of them in the area but the ones closest to me were the group you now call the Ohlone. They lived as one with the land, to the extent they considered the very land, the waters, streams, trees and other plants their friends, giving each a name. They were a very peaceful people and is one of the reasons I called them to me. But it was their treatment of their shamans and spiritual leaders that drew them to me. They considered life changers to be the most holy of all. These are the ones that adopted the skills and habits of the other sex. They were the ones that could blend with either and show how to live in peace. They were given a very special place on this land, a place for them to live and teach. This spot of land soon came to be the most holy of all the lands. Male shamans would stay with the women of the tribe and teach them the way of the men. The women shamans would ride with the men during the hunt and teach the ways of the women. And in so doing they all lived in peace and understood the other. And so it would be for many generations. As time passed this holy place would be a gathering place, a meeting ground for different tribes and members of these tribes to settle their differences. And so it would be until the arrival of the white man.

The white man came and saw and disapproved. He tried to change the ways of the native peoples, tried to discourage what they practiced. He forced upon these gentle people a different religion, a method of belief that was foreign to these hills and valleys. The will and spirit of these native peoples were broken and they died out. But the holiness of this place did not die. It has always drawn the chosen ones because they are called to this place. And so it has become in the modern age. The life changers are again here in great numbers. But they have not been listened to, they have not been believed. And that must end. These gentle people have things to teach all who will listen.

This holy spot of land is now home to the largest collection of shaman and life changers in history. And in their numbers alone they are gathering power. And soon you will begin to listen to them, to heed their call. But before, you must know of their history in this place. There is no written record of the history of the Ohlone, but since the white man came everything has been written down and recorded. And so from these records, these writings, I will show you how these life changers belong in your society, can teach your society. From the time of the death of the last Ohlone, many years would pass with no life changers in the area. But my call was too strong to keep them away. Slowly they would begin to arrive. Just a trickle at first and as the years passed, the word would spread among themselves that this was the place to be, a place of acceptance. And so as the years passed they would gather, live and teach, drawing more and more of their kind. Finally their numbers are sufficient to show their power to the world. And it is now that I have chosen to tell their story.

The very words you read now are not from the author of these words. These are my words, the land spirit, the earth god. I have taken over the thoughts and words of a story teller and will use him to tell the story. He is just a vessel, a carrier of my thoughts. It is his dreams and trance writings that will tell the story. He is driven to write and does not know why, only that he must write. And so he will tell my story for me, collect the facts and thus show you the truth.

The only way to show you the effect of my chosen ones is to tell the story of the city that grew up around the place where these life changers gathered. And to show how they had a hand in the direction of this city, the major events that helped changed and shape its future. These life changers and shaman today are called by another name. In today’s world they are gay and lesbian. And the place they have been called to is today called San Francisco. This is their story, and the story of their city, their role in its past and their direction of its future. This is a story that has never been told, has been suppressed for all these years. But that time is now.