Sunday, February 7, 2010


Today I began making my marks on the blank pages of a new journal. the old one will be mailed to Jannelle. Today is Brandon's 22nd birthday! I don't think of him as dead and gone. I think of him waiting for us in a better place. There is a silver quality to the sky this morning. It clings to the edges of everything. I see my fingers and the pen traced with silver. I imagine my hair bright with silver like a great crested bird.
Yesterday Ann and I went to airport to pick up Verna, back from Mexico. On our way to and fro we saw a large dark bird on a tall street lamp. We were unable to identify but it was probably a hawk. So I accepted the gift of strength it was offering and thanked Creator and the hawk for helping us through another day.
I am reading a few pages of "The Faith of a Writer" and was dismayed to see Joyce Carol Oates refer to Sarah Orne Jewett as a "minor contemporary of Henry James". Jewett was the single greatest inspiration behind the well known and beloved novelist Willa Cather. I would not classify Jewett with the minors. Oates goes on to say that on at least one occasion James was inspired by Jewett.
Charles Beard, "When it is dark enough, you can see the stars." When I lived in Eagle Butte, SD, I thought the sky at night was closer to the earth than anywhere else. One could reach up and pluck a star out of heaven. Like one old crooner sang, "Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket... you'll have a pocket full of stardust." But stars are more than beautiful. Like the fisher star... they can lead you home. I remember a poem about a sailor who wanted nothing more than "a tall ship and a star to steer her by."
In Marilyn Chin's poem about assimilation she wrote of herself, "Solid as wood, happily a little gnawed, tattered, mesmerized by all that was lavished upon her and all that was taken away." Assimilation of the original peoples of Turtle Island was less welcome and more harmful. The survival and expansion of the new American Republic required that Indigenous Peoples be dispossessed of their lands. It became necessary to create a mechanism and a rationale for taking land held by "savages".
From my journal, 2-20-o5 (before Brandon's death by murder), "I am sitting in the lobby at the University of Normal, IL. I feel like a bum! My luggage went somewhere else. Linda took me to the store for toiletries but I have no clean clothes! The motel just called. My bag has been located and will be delivered to the motel this very night. Tomorrow I will do my presentation in clean clothes. won't that be nice?
Today Ann is learning a new trick. How to convert a CD to a DVD. She did this before but the audio quality was seriously compromised. I can hear my mother's voice reaching me across all those years from 1992 as I sit here in 2010. Isn't technology wonderful!

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