Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The whatsoever things

Soft Flow of Light by Anne Vis
Be careful [afflicted] for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

~ Philippians 4: 6-8, The Holy Bible, The Authorized King James Version

Monday, June 29, 2009

Pa Ingalls - Pioneer GeekDad?

Book Illustration by Garth Willaims
Somewhere along the line, some folks may have gotten the idea that Little House on the Prairie is “just for girls” and that the plot mostly involves Laura Ingalls running through the tall grass in a calico dress.

But I’m reading the book to my boys right now and there’s a lot more D.I.Y. than dresses.

Much of the book is about Pa building the house. This guy was a serious maker — to the point of being a little crazy: “A man doesn’t need nails to build a house or make a door.” Would it have been that hard to throw a box of nails in the Conestoga before heading West, Pa?

This is life before Home Depot. Basically, he’s got the few hand tools he brought on the wagon. No lumber, just trees. No bricks, just rocks. No cement, just mud. And so on and so on. And if he can’t get the project done before winter, it’s going to be one heck of a cold spell.

But Pa gets down to it. We hear in detail how he split logs into planks using a system of wood blocks, an axe and an iron wedge. We see the house go up log by notched log. And then the chimney stone by stone.

How do you make a door that locks without nails, a lock, a knob, a hinge or any other hardware? “First he hewed a short, thick piece of oak. From one side of this, in the middle, he cut a wide, deep notch. He pegged this stick to the inside of the door….”

I needed two cordless drills, two different power saws, a Workmate and a shopping spree in Lowe’s lumber aisle to build an Adirondack chair this weekend, and this guy is hewing, whittling and pegging a whole house. Then he makes the furniture and digs a well. Luckily, he finally got some nails to put the roof on.

This book is a must read for all kids, especially future Makers of either sex.

Book Illustration by Garth Williams
From here

Sunday, June 28, 2009

George Augustus Polgreen Bridgetower (1780-1860)

Cambridge, Great St. Mary's Church

I kneel, but not in sufferance,
not in faith. There is a fulcrum
beyond which the bow tip wobbles;

no ardency nor forceful wrist
can make it sing. I am there,
at wit's balancing point. Music

pours through the blackened nave,
hollowing my bones to fit
the space it needs. It needs

so much of me, the soul's
wicked cartridge emptying
as fast as it fills. I kneel

because even the reed bends
before God's laughter
splits it, and the storm

moves on.

~ Rita Dove, Sonata Mulattica

Violin by Peter Considine

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The hissing of the spent lie

withdrawal by Pawel Wewiorski
I have longed to move away
From the hissing of the spent lie
And the old terrors' continual cry
Growing more terrible as the day
Goes over the hill into the deep sea;
I have longed to move away
From the repetition of salutes,
For there are ghosts in the air
And ghostly echoes on paper,
And the thunder of calls and notes.

I have longed to move away but am afraid;
Some life, yet unspent, might explode
Out of the old lie burning on the ground,
And, crackling into the air, leave me half-blind.
Neither by night's ancient fear,
The parting of hat from hair,
Pursed lips at the receiver,
Shall I fall to death's feather.
By these I would not care to die,
Half convention and half lie.

~ Dylan Thomas, I Have Longed to Move Away

Friday, June 26, 2009

Articulated Cloud by Ned Kahn

Composed of thousands of translucent, white plastic squares that move in the wind, the artwork is intended to suggest that the building has been enveloped by a digitized cloud.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Only looking where it is dark

Morning Star by Mitch CATeyes
Much later, in her room, Dabney opened her eyes. Perhaps she had only just gone to sleep, but the silver night woke her--the night so deep-advanced toward day that she seemed to breathe in a well, drenched with the whiteness of an hour that astonished her. It hurt her to lift her hand and touch her forehead, for all seemed to be tenderness now, the night like herself, breathless and yet serene, unlooked-on. The daring of morning light impending would have to strike her when it reached her--not yet. The window invited her to see--her window. She got out of bed (her flimsy dress like a sleeping moth clung to the chair) and the whole leafy structure of the outside seemed agitated and rustled, the shadows darted like birds. The gigantic sky radiant as water ran over the earth and around it. The old moon in the west and the planets of morning streamed their light. She wondered if she would ever know . . . the constellations . . . The birds all slept. (The morning dove that cried the latest must sleep the deepest of all.) What could she know? But she could see a single leaf on a willow tree as far as the bayou's edge, such clarity as there was in everything. The cotton like the rolling breath of sleep overflowed the fields. Out onto it, if she were married, she would walk now--her bare foot touch at the night's hour, firmly too, a woman's serious foot. She would walk on the clear night--angels, though, did that--tread it with love not this lonely, never this lonely, for under her foot would offer the roof, the chimney, the window of her husband, the solid house. Draw me in, she whispered, draw me in--open the window like my window, I am still only looking where it is dark.

~ Eudora Welty, Delta Wedding

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror

from Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror by John Ashbery

As Parmigianino did it, the right hand
Bigger than the head, thrust at the viewer
And swerving easily away, as though to protect
What it advertises. A few leaded panes, old beams,
Fur, pleated muslin, a coral ring run together
In a movement supporting the face, which swims
Toward and away like the hand
Except that it is in repose. It is what is
Sequestered. Vasari says, "Francesco one day set himself
To take his own portrait, looking at himself from that purpose
In a convex mirror, such as is used by barbers . . .
He accordingly caused a ball of wood to be made
By a turner, and having divided it in half and
Brought it to the size of the mirror, he set himself
With great art to copy all that he saw in the glass,"
Chiefly his reflection, of which the portrait
Is the reflection once removed.
The glass chose to reflect only what he saw
Which was enough for his purpose: his image
Glazed, embalmed, projected at a 180-degree angle.
The time of day or the density of the light
Adhering to the face keeps it
Lively and intact in a recurring wave
Of arrival. The soul establishes itself.
But how far can it swim out through the eyes
And still return safely to its nest?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Mars mission photos

The Proctor Crater, the ripples are composed of fine sand. The ripples have over time become coverd with dust which may account for the brighter tones.

The rock formation in this ' Stero Image' suggests it was formed using a process called 'Rhythmic Bedding'. The individual layers suggests the patterns arose from changes in the planet's tilt.

The dark branched features on the floor of Antoniadi Crater look like giant ferns, or fern casts. However, these ferns would be several miles in size and are composed of rough rocky materials.

Avalanches captured by HiRise on the surface of Mars. Material, including fine-grained ice, dust and possibly large blocks, have detached from a towering cliff and cascaded to the gentler slopes below.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Wind in Lonely Fences

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Remembering happy days

Memory by CLive Forgotten
How much Dina Aunty relished her memories. Mummy and Daddy were the same, talking about their yesterdays and smiling in that sad-happy way while selecting each picture, each frame from the past, examining it lovingly before it vanished again in the mist. But nobody ever forgot anything, not really, though sometimes they pretended, when it suited them. Memories were permanent. Sorrowful ones remained sad even with the passing of time, yet happy ones could never be re-created--not with the same joy. Remembering bred it's own peculiar sorrow. It seemed so unfair: that time should render both sadness and happiness into a source of pain.

So what was the point of possessing memory? It didn't help anything. In the end it was all hopeless. Look at Mummy and Daddy, and the General Store; or Dina Aunty's life; or the hostel and Avinash; and now poor Ishvar and Om. No amount of remembering happy days, no amount of yearning or nostalgia could change a thing about the misery and suffering--love and concern and caring and sharing come to nothing, nothing.

~ Rohinton Mistry, A Fine Balance

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Henryk Gorecki Symphony No. 3 (1976)

2nd Movement
With the divine Dawn Upshaw, soprano

Friday, June 19, 2009

Between going and staying

Water colors - Provence by Patrick Morand
Between going and staying the day wavers,
in love with its own transparency.
The circular afternoon is now a bay
where the world in stillness rocks.
All is visible and all elusive,
all is near and can't be touched.
Paper, book, pencil, glass,
rest in the shade of their names.
Time throbbing in my temples repeats
the same unchanging syllable of blood.
The light turns the indifferent wall
into a ghostly theater of reflections.
I find myself in the middle of an eye,
watching myself in its blank stare.
The moment scatters. Motionless,
I stay and go: I am a pause.

~ Octavio Paz, Between Going and Staying

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Mary Anne Evans

She sat to-night revolving, as she was wont, the scenes of the day, her lips often curling with amusement at the oddities to which her fancy added fresh drollery: people were so ridiculous with their illusions, carrying their fools' caps unawares, thinking their own lies opaque while everybody else's were transparent, making themselves exceptions to everything, as if when all the world looked yellow under a lamp they alone were rosy.

~ George Eliot, Middlemarch

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Divine and Wonderful

The brightness and magnificence of this world, which by reason of its height and greatness is hidden from men, is Divine and Wonderful. It addeth much to the Glory of the Temple in which we live. Yet it is the cause why men understand it not. They think it too great and wide to be enjoyed. But since it is all filled with the Majesty of His Glory who dwelleth in it; and the Goodness of the Lord filleth the World, and His wisdom shineth everywhere within it and about it; and it aboundeth in an infinite variety of services; we need nothing but open eyes, to be ravished like the Cherubims. Well may we bear the greatness of the World, since it is our storehouse and treasury. That our treasures should be endless is an happy inconvenience: that all regions should be full of Joys: and the room infinite wherein they are seated.

~ Thomas Traherne, Centuries of Meditations

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Mary Chesnut's Civil War

May 17, 1862, Columbia, South Carolina.

Footprints on the boundaries of another world--once more.
Willie Taylor, before he left home for the army, fancied one day--day, remember, not night--he saw Albert Rhett standing by his side. He recoiled from the ghost in horror.
"You need not do that, Willie, you will soon be as I am."
Willie rushed into the next room to tell them what had happened and fainted. It had a very depressing effect on him. The other day he died in Virginia.

May 24, 1862.

My Hebrew friend Mem Cohen has a son in the war--he is in John Chesnut's company. Cohen is a high name among Jews. It means Aaron.
She has long fits of silence and is absent-minded. If she is suddenly roused, she is apt to say, with overflowing eyes and clasped hands, "If it please God to spare his life."
Her daughter is the sweetest little thing--the son is the mother's idol.
Mrs. Cohen is Miriam DeLeon. I have known her intimately all my life.
Mrs. Bartrow--the widow of Colonel Bartrow who was killed at Manassas--was Miss Berrien, daughter of Judge Berrien of Georgia. She is now in one of the departments here, cutting bonds, Confederate bonds, for five hundred Confederate dollars a year--a penniless woman. Judge Carroll, her brother-in-law, has been urgent with her to come and live with him. In spite of all he can say, she will not forego her resolution. She will be independent. She is a resolute little woman--with the softest, silkiest voice and ways. And clever to the last point.

~ Mary Boykin Chesnut, 1823-1886

Monday, June 15, 2009

Chronicles of wasted time

When in the chronicle of wasted time,
I see descriptions of the fairest wights
And beauty making beautiful old rhyme
In praise of ladies dead, and lovely knights,
Then in the blazon of sweet beauty's best,
Of hand, of foot, of lip, of eye, of brow,
I see their antique pen would have expressed
Ev'n such a beauty as you master now.
So all their praises are but prophecies
Of this our time, all you prefiguring,
And for they looked but with divining eyes,
They had not skill enough your worth to sing:
For we which now behold these present days,
Have eyes to wonder, but lack tongues to praise.

~ Shakespeare, Sonnet CVI

Sunday, June 14, 2009

High-Resolution Image of the Sun’s Jets

Imagine a magnetically-bound tube of hot gas, 12,000-miles long and a hundred miles wide, moving at 30,000 miles per hour: That’s what you’re looking at in the picture above, in the highest-resolution image to date of solar phenomena known as spicules.

Tens of thousands of spicules are active at any given moment, created through a complex interaction of sound waves and magnetic fields, shooting upwards and outwards before falling back into the sun minutes later. They compose the chronosphere, an atmospheric layer that surrounds the sun and is as thick as the Earth’s diameter. Most of our own atmosphere is compressed into a layer about seven miles deep.

It’s sometimes easy — for me, anyways — to forget that the sun is 93million miles away, and that Earthly life exists through the coincidental good fortune of our planetary rock’s location, neither too far nor too close to that ball of gas. This photograph, taken by the Swedish 1-m Solar Telescope, a good reminder.


Saturday, June 13, 2009

Joy ride! Inside a Blue Angel Cockpit

Friday, June 12, 2009

Then it happened. . .

Creative Skyline by Navin Joshi
Long time ago
in the beginning
there were no white people in this world
there was nothing European.
And this world might have gone on like that
except for one thing:
This world was already complete
even without white people.
There was everything
including witchery.
Then it happened.
These witch people got together.
Some came from far far away
across oceans
across mountains.
Some had slanty eyes
others had black skin.
They all got together for a contest
the way people have baseball tournaments nowadays
except this was a contest
in dark things.

So anyway
they all got together
witch people from all directions
witches from all the Pueblos
and all the tribes.
They had Navajo witches there,
some from Hopi, and a few from Zuni.
They were having a witches’ conference,
that’s what it was
Way up in the lava rock hills
north of Canoncito
they got together
to fool around in caves
with their animal skins.
Fox, badger, bobcat, and wolf
they circled the fire
and on the fourth time
they jumped into that animal’s skin.

But this time it wasn’t enough
and one of them
maybe a Sioux or some Eskimos
started showing off.
“That wasn’t anything,
watch this.”

The contest started like that.
Then some of them lifted the lids
on their big cooking pots,
calling the rest of them over
to take a look:
dead babies simmering in blood
circles of skull cut away
all the brains sucked out.
Witch medicine
to dry and grind into powder
for new victims.

Others untied skin bundles of disgusting objects:
dark flints, cinders from burned hogans where the dead lay
Whorls of skin
cut from fingertips
sliced from the penis and clitoris tip.

Finally there was only one
who hadn’t shown off charms or powers.
The witch stood in the shadows beyond the fire
and no one ever knew where this witch came from
which tribe
or if it was a woman or a man.
But the important thing was
this witch didn’t show off any dark thunder charcoals
or red ant-hill beads.
this one just told them to listen:
“What I have is a story.”

At first they all laughed
but this witch said
go ahead
laugh if you want to
but as I tell the story
it will begin to happen.

Set in motion now
set in motion by our witchery
to work for us.

Caves across the ocean
in caves of dark hills
white skin people
like the belly of a fish
covered with hair.

Then they grow away from the earth
then they grow away from the sun
then they grow away from the plants and animals.
They see no life
When they look
they see only objects.
The world is a dead thing for them
the trees and rivers are not alive
the mountains and stones are not alive.
The deer and bear are objects
They see no life.

They fear
They fear the world.
They destroy what they fear.
They fear themselves.
The wind will blow them across the ocean
thousands of them in giant boats
swarming like larva
out of a crushed ant hill.

They will carry objects
which can shoot death
faster than the eye can see.

They will kill the things they fear
all the animals
the people will starve.

They will poison the water
they will spin the water away
and then there will be drought
the people will starve.

They will fear what they find
They will fear the people
They will kill what they fear.

Entire villages will be wiped out
They will slaughter whole tribes.

Corpses for us
Blood for us
Killing killing killing killing.

And those they do not kill
will die anyway
at the destruction they see
at the loss
at the loss of the children
the loss will destroy the rest.

Stolen rivers and mountains
the stolen lands will eat at their hearts
and jerk their mouths from the Mother.
The people will starve.
They will bring terrible diseases
the people have never known.
Entire tribes will die out
covered with festered sores
shitting blood
vomiting blood.
Corpses for our work

Set in motion now
set in motion by our witchery
set in motion
to work for us.

They will take the world from ocean to ocean
they will turn on each other
they will destroy each other
Up there
in these hills
they will find rocks,
rocks with veins of green and yellow and black.
They will lay the final pattern with these rocks
they will lay it across the world
and explode everything.

Set in motion now
set in motion
To destroy
To kill
Objects to work for us
objects to act for us
Performing the witchery
for suffering
for torment
for the still-born
the deformed
the sterile
the dead.
set into motion now
set into motion.

So the other witches said
“Okay you win; you take the prize,
but what you said just now-
it isn’t so funny
It doesn’t sound so good.
We are doing okay without it
we can get along without that kind of thing.
Take it back.
Call that story back.”

But the witch just shook its head
at the others in their stinking animal skins, fur and feather.
It’s already turned loose.
It’s already coming.
It can’t be called back.

~ Leslie Marmon Silko, Ceremony

Thursday, June 11, 2009


The Cage by Josh Ray
The small man
Builds cages for everyone

While the sage,
Who has to duck his head
When the moon is low,
Keeps dropping keys all night long
For the

~ Hafiz

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Dread of Dakota

"I have seen the Dread of Dakota. A genuine blizzard and am now ready to leave anytime, that we can sell," pioneer wife Sadie Shaw wrote to relatives back east from her Dakota homestead in Douglas County. "Oh, it was terrible. I have often read about Blizzards but they have to be seen to be fully realized."

The blizzard of January 12, 1888, did not put an end to the great white endeavor of settling and taming the prairie, but it did mark a turning point, a change of mood and direction. The Dakota boom had ended. Immigration to the prairie frontier slowed to a trickle in the last years of the 1880s.

"The dark, blinding, roaring storm once experienced, ever remains an actual living presence, that has marked it's pathway with ruin, desolation and death," wrote South Dakota historian Caleb Holt Ellis in 1909. "The 12th of January, 1888 is, and long will be, remembered, not only by Dakotans, but by many in the northwest, not for the things we enjoy, love and would see repeated; but for its darkness, desolation, ruin and death, spread broadcast; for the sorrow, sadness and heartache that followed in its train."

~ David Laskin, The Children's Blizzard

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Peter Gabriel, "Biko"

September '77
Port Elizabeth weather fine
It was business as usual
In police room 619
Oh Biko, Biko, because Biko
Oh Biko, Biko, because Biko
Yihla Moja, Yihla Moja
The man is dead
The man is dead

When I try to sleep at night
I can only dream in red
The outside world is black and white
With only one colour dead
Oh Biko, Biko, because Biko
Oh Biko, Biko, because Biko
Yihla Moja, Yihla Moja
The man is dead
The man is dead

You can blow out a candle
But you can't blow out a fire
Once the flames begin to catch
The wind will blow it higher
Oh Biko, Biko, because Biko
Oh Biko, Biko, because Biko
Yihla Moja, Yihla Moja
The man is dead
The man is dead

And the eyes of the world are
watching now
watching now

Monday, June 8, 2009

To dream of the plain

Prairie Schoolhouse by Michael Hodges
O to lie in long grasses!
O to dream of the plain!
Where the west wind sings as it passes
A weird and unceasing refrain;
Where the rank grass wallows and tosses,
And the plains’ ring dazzles the eye;
Where hardly a silver cloud bosses
The flashing steel arch of the sky.

To watch the gay gulls as they flutter
Like snowflakes and fall down the sky,
To swoop in the deeps of the hollows,
Where the crow’s-foot tosses awry,
And gnats in the lee of the thickets
Are swirling like waltzers in glee
To the harsh, shrill creak of the crickets,
And the song of the lark and the bee.

O far-off plains of my west land!
O lands of winds and the free,
Swift deer—my mist-clad plain!
From my bed in the heart of the forest,
From the clasp and the girdle of pain
Your light through my darkness passes;
To your meadows in dreaming I fly
To plunge in the deeps of your grasses,
To bask in the light of your sky!

~ Hamlin Garland, In the Grass

Sunday, June 7, 2009

From the olive leaf

perfect harmony by roberto lorenzoni
For intelligence cleaveth unto intelligence; wisdom receiveth wisdom; truth embraceth truth; virtue loveth virtue; light cleaveth unto light; mercy hath compassion on mercy and claimeth her own; justice continueth its course and claimeth its own; judgment goeth before the face of him who sitteth upon the throne and governeth and executeth all things.

He comprehendeth all things, and all things are before him, and all things are round about him; and he is above all things, and in all things, and is through all things, and is round about all things; and all things are by him, and of him, even God, forever and ever.

~ Doctrine and Covenants 88: 40-41

Saturday, June 6, 2009

June 6, 1944

A squadron of Lockheed P-38 Lightning fighter planes flies across the English countryside. The fighters were on their way to France on D-Day. An estimated 12,000 aircraft flew support during the landings, flying 14,000 sorties against German defenses.

Tracer fire from many different ships lights up the night sky over the English Channel during the opening phase of D-Day.

A crowd congregates in Times Square to await news of the D-Day landings.

Civilians in Illinois buy newspapers describing D-Day.

Allied troops on Normandy Beach, many falling down with wounds or from exhaustion, wait for reinforcements on June 6, 1944.

On the second day of the Normandy invasion, American G.I.s toast each other with wine after locating a German sniper during the advance into the town of Ste. Mere-Eglise.

Joseph Vaghi, a U.S. Navy ensign, chats with residents of Colleville-Sur-Mer after D-Day.

A German flag captured in the French town of Carentan doubles as a tablecloth for a U.S. Coast Guard officer and two Army officers aboard a Coast Guard-manned landing craft off the French coast. During the D-Day invasion, it took 4,100 landing craft to ferry 160,000 men to a coastline that stretched 50 miles long and was protected by heavy enemy fire.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Stephen Foster, "Gentle Annie"

Stephen Foster
Performed by the Dale Warland Singers

"Gentle Annie" (1856)
Written and Composed by
Stephen Collins Foster, 1826-1864

Thou wilt come no more, gentle Annie,
Like a flower thy spirit did depart;
Thou art gone, alas! like the many
That have bloomed in the summer of my heart.


Shall we never more behold thee;
never hear thy winning voice again --
When the Spring time comes, gentle Annie,
When the wild flowers are scattered o'er the plain?

We have roamed and loved mid the bowers
When thy downy cheeks were in their bloom;
Now I stand alone mid the flowers
While they mingle their perfumes o'er thy tomb.

Ah! the hours grow sad while I ponder
Near the silent spot where thou art laid,
And my heart bows down when I wander
By the streams and the meadows where we strayed.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

A glory in it all

Glory by Nadine Rippelmeyer
O world, I cannot hold thee close enough!
Thy winds, thy wide grey skies!
Thy mists, that roll and rise!
Thy woods, this autumn day, that ache and sag
And all but cry with colour! That gaunt crag
To crush! To lift the lean of that black bluff!
World, World, I cannot get thee close enough!

Long have I known a glory in it all,
But never knew I this;
Here such a passion is
As stretcheth me apart, -- Lord, I do fear
Thou'st made the world too beautiful this year;
My soul is all but out of me, -- let fall
No burning leaf; prithee, let no bird call.

~ Edna St. Vincent Millay, God's World

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Brian Eno Harold Budd

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A blessed illusion

Last night I had a dream-
a blessed illusion it was-
I dreamt of a fountain flowing
deep down in my heart.
Water, by what hidden channels
have you come, tell me, to me,
welling up with new life
I never tasted before?
Last night I had a dream-
a blessed illusion it was-
I dreamt of a hive at work
deep down in my heart.
Within were the golden bees
straining out the bitter past
to make sweet-tasting honey,
and white honeycomb.
Last night I had a dream-
a blessed illusion it was-
I dreamt of a hot sun shining
deep down in my heart.
The heat was in the scorching
as from a fiery hearth;
the sun in the light it shed
and the tears it brought to the eyes.
Last night I had a dream-
a blessed illusion it was-
I dreamed it was God I'd found
deep down in my heart.

~ Antonio Machado

Monday, June 1, 2009

Red Dress

Dakota Nation by Joanne Bird
I am hitched to the living, still moved by their concerns. My spirit never abandons the Dakota people, though sometimes all I can do is watch. I was there when the army confiscated our horses to cut off our legs. I stood behind the Ghost Dancers, and when they fainted in desperate, useless ecstasy, I blew a refreshing wind into their faces. There have been too many soldiers and too many graves. Too many children packed into trains and sent to the other side of the country. Many times I ran alongside those trains and waved at the bleak copper faces. You are Dakota, I called to them. You are Dakota. One time I stood in front of a chuffing engine and tried to keep it from moving forward, but it blasted through me. I saw the language shrivel, and though I held out my hands to catch the words, so many of them slipped away, beyond recall. I am a talker now and chatter in my people's ears until I grow weary of my own voice. I am memory, I tell them when they're sleeping.

I prefer to watch the present unravel moment by moment than to look close behind me or far ahead. Time extends from me, flowing in many directions, meeting the horizon and then moving beyond to follow the curve of the earth. But I will not track its course with my eyes. It is too painful. I can bear witness to only a single moment of loss at a time. Still, hope flutters in my heart, a delicate pulse. I straddle the world and pray to Wakan Tanka that somewhere ahead of me He has planted an instant of joy.

~ Susan Power, The Grass Dancer

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