Saturday, February 6, 2010

Guest Post: Morning Star author of Medicine Rock

Morning Star, author of the book Medicine Rock, stopped by to share with us a piece she wrote.

MEDICINE ROCK is a memoir in third person that arose from a journal I kept in 1971 as a young mother while traveling with Sun Bear, a charismatic Chippewa medicine man from White Earth Reservation, Minnesota. My husband George (Grey Wolf) and I had lost our oldest son that spring. Our response to that tragedy differed, and we found our marriage dissolved. But we were still members of Sun Bear’s Bear Tribe, a group of native and non-native young people who taught survival skills and shared native ceremony and perspective. Sun Bear’s vision as a young man led him to author several books, and lecture extensively. His message of small groups living simply included the need to place our dependencies on the earth mother and each other, and withdraw from capitalist culture. His compelling magnetism touched thousands of people in the U.S. and Europe. He asked me to offer my journal to the Tribe archives before his death in 1993.

The book opens t
wo months after the main character, Morning Star, loses her son from accidental kerosene poisoning at Medicine Rock, one of the tribe’s rural camps. She has recently partnered with Sun Bear and they travel together to the numerous rural and city camps that have been established by the Tribe, acquainting the reader with west coast alternative culture of 1971. Morning Star is in her very private and confused process of grieving, and struggles with how to answer simple questions like, “how many children do you have?” The body of the novel describes their journey across the U.S. spreading Sun Bear’s vision. As they visit communes, speak in large and small settings about the need to develop local economies and cadres of teachers, Star’s grief process moves from utter devastation to finding the strength to move on.

Star’s reliance on Sun Bear’s healing presence and generosity is complicated by his need to have sexual relations with numerous women. She is both attracted and repulsed by his encounters. Her need for sensual comfort leads her to respond to several other men as she continues to define her own journey.

About the book:

Plunging the reader back into the idealistic, confusing, polarized collective atmosphere of 1971, MEDICINE ROCK documents the seeds of environmentalism, the urgent call of Native prophesy, and captures a pivotal point in contemporary history. In addition, it tells the poignant story of a courageous woman dealing with one of life's greatest tragedies -- the death of a young child.

About Morning Star:

Morning Star lives in the Bitterroot Valley, Montana. Drawing a close to a career in social work, she anticipates more writing, hiking, skiing and adventuring with her family. She is also a Certified Leader in the Dances of Universal Peace. Medicine Rock is her first novel. She has also published two books of poetry: Seeds of Joy, and Life in Space.


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