Sunday, November 1, 2015

It's November, past time to make a list of what we're thankful for

Well, we've made it through October and our no Trick or Treaters record is intact. The pumpkin carvings turned out well and I got to practice several of the lessons from my recent photography class trying to get a decent shot without using the flash. What do you think?

Halloween 2015 Jack-O-Lanterns
Halloween 2015 Jack-O-Lanterns
Photo by J. Harrington

November is Native American Heritage month. The American Indian College Fund has a list of Ways to Celebrate. Reading 1491 has been on my to do list for awhile and several of the recipes look pretty appealing too. Since I've almost finished reading Joy Harjo's Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings, I cane squeeze 1491 into my list and gain the excuse reason I need for another trip to Birchbark Books. Harjo's poetry leaves me with a desire to just climb into most of her poems and live there. I recommend it without qualification.

One of the things I'm thankful for is the support provided by the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, among others, to the study of The Value of Nature’s Benefits in the St. Louis River Watershed. I'm about halfway through reading it and am grateful for an opportunity to see a real world example of a topic that has troubled me for some time, placing an economic value on ecological services. My underlying concern is that, once we start using such an approach, we've begun to undermine the premise that the economy is indeed a subset of the environment. On the other hand, I realize too well the limitations of placing zero value on that which isn't monetized. I'd be really thankful for a satisfactory resolution to that conundrum.

She Had Some Horses

Joy Harjo

She had horses who were bodies of sand.
She had horses who were maps drawn of blood.
She had horses who were skins of ocean water.
She had horses who were the blue air of sky.
She had horses who were fur and teeth.
She had horses who were clay and would break.
She had horses who were splintered red cliff.

She had some horses.

She had horses with long, pointed breasts.
She had horses with full, brown thighs.
She had horses who laughed too much.
She had horses who threw rocks at glass houses.
She had horses who licked razor blades.

She had some horses.

She had horses who danced in their mothers' arms.
She had horses who thought they were the sun and their bodies shone and burned
like stars.
She had horses who waltzed nightly on the moon.
She had horses who were much too shy, and kept quiet in stalls of their own
making.

She had some horses.

She had horses who liked Creek Stomp Dance songs.
She had horses who cried in their beer.
She had horses who spit at male queens who made them afraid of themselves.
She had horses who said they weren't afraid.
She had horses who lied.
She had horses who told the truth, who were stripped bare of their tongues.

She had some horses.

She had horses who called themselves, 'horse.'
She had horses who called themselves, 'spirit.' and kept their voices secret and to
themselves.
She had horses who had no names.
She had horses who had books of names.

She had some horses.

She had horses who whispered in the dark, who were afraid to speak.
She had horses who screamed out of fear of the silence, who carried knives to
protect themselves from ghosts.
She had horses who waited for destruction.
She had horses who waited for resurrection.

She had some horses.

She had horses who got down on their knees for any savior.
She had horses who thought their high price had saved them.
She had horses who tried to save her, who climbed in her bed at night and prayed
as they raped her.

She had some horses.

She had some horses she loved.
She had some horses she hated.

These were the same horses.


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