Monday, October 31, 2005

Walk Paddle Dream

"To us, the ashes of our ancestors are sacred and their final resting place is hallowed ground. You wander far from the graves of your ancestors and seemingly without regret...your dead cease to love you and the land of their nativity as soon as they pass the portals of the tomb and wander away beyond the stars. They are soon forgotten and never return.
Our dead never forget this beautiful world that gave them being. They still love its verdant valleys, its murmuring rivers, its magnificent mountains, its lakes and bays, and ever yearn in tender fond affection over the lonely hearted living, and often return to visit, guide, console, and comfort them.
The very dust under your feet responds more lovingly to our footsteps than to yours, because it is the ashes of our ancestors, and our bare feet are conscious of its sympathetic touch, for the soil is rich with the life of our kindred
Every hillside, every valley, every plain and grove has been hallowed by some fond memory or some sad experience of my tribe... and when your children's children shall think themselves alone in the field, the store, the shop, upon the highway or in the silence of the woods, they will not be alone... and at night, when the streets of your cities and villages are silent, and you think them deserted, they will throng with the returning hosts that once filled and still love this beautiful land."

--Chief See-Yahtlh

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Feeling Connected

“Narratives and stories are not extrinsic niceties, but are basic life forces needed to establish and to preserve communities and develop a common culture of shared understandings, and deeper, more vital ethics...

The foundational narratives, for many American Indian nations, contain the traditional teachings on how humans are to live with each other and the rest of the Natural World. They also contain a blueprint that provides the communities’ structures (e.g., political and spiritual forms of governance, kinship relations, and societies that have specific duties and responsibilities in maintaining justice within the community).

The narratives also teach the listener that everyone has a duty to self and to the community to prevent injustice. In other words, individuals and groups learn acceptable behaviors and duties through participation in narrative events and membership...

Unfortunately, in today’s society, the feeling of belonging has become endangered. Many feel as if they are alone instead of feeling connected to the environment and their community."

--from The Great Circle of Justice

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


"Efficiency is an unfriendly virtue, and no one I met in Ireland seemed afflicted with it."

--from A Book of Migrations by Rebecca Solnit

Friday, October 07, 2005

Seed Corn

Hopi Foundation has some interesting projects in furthering the unity of aspiration, including The Center for Prevention and Resolution of Violence which provides clinical treatment for indigenous people from 35 countries who are political exiles or victims of torture. Read more on Hopi healing:

Sunday, October 02, 2005


We gather around the perimeter of the plaza on the public benches and tree planters, mostly making mid-afternoon appearances between the flash of business lunchers and the antic performances of those who draw with chalk and careen around us on scooters and bikes. It is the no-cover zone outside the tastefully-fenced outdoor cafe tables inside the ring of high-rent establishments offering international cuisines.

Unlike our fenced-in or walled-out companions, though, we are allowed the company of the most congenial residents of our community, and thus bring momentary cheer to passers by and pausers alike, as our four-legged friends bounce and sit, wag and wiggle in French, Portuguese and assorted dialects for treats, pats, and general bonhomie.

We are the unofficial deputies of direction, aiding tourists and new-comers foreign and domestic, as well as unacknowledged guardians of terriers and toddlers gone astray. We inform the inquisitive and reform the pubescent, all within our short tours of daily duties and pleasures in common. Coffee for the idiot and his regular paces, tips for the movers of pawns, and advice for the boarders of busses twice north and twice south in the hour, we constitute the core of unremitted essential services, the irregular brigade of redundancy.