Writing, Reading and Living

In this collection of writing I turn to my favorite literary terrain exploring themes of community, race, family, the natural world, simple life, simplicity and sharing my thoughts on the urgent business of being alive. Some of these pieces have been published previously, excerpts from my books, magazine articles and guest essays published in other online places. A number of posts are serious/substantial, balanced with lighter topics. Most of all, my writing is timeless (vs. timely).

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"There is a way that nature speaks, that land speaks. Most of the time we are simply not patient enough, quiet enough, to pay attention to the story." ―Linda Hogan
Goodbye Christopher Columbus

In mixed race America all of our individual histories and cultures matter, yet since 1937, on the second Monday in October, the day Congress named Columbus Day, Christopher Columbus was allowed to ride herd. 

My son bounds from his classroom. Eyes filled with brown warmth, he peeks out from under a cap of shiny dark hair, holding a milk carton cutout fashioned into the shape of a boat, with two smaller makeshift vessels trailing behind. Out of the corner of my eye I see children clutching newspaper sailor hats and Columbus’ Ships coloring pages. 

With his eyebrows curved in question marks my sons tells me that there is also a song about Columbus, sung to the tune of Oh, My Darling Clementine. And then we both laugh at the absurdity. It’s both funny, and not funny. 

We are a mixed-race, mixed-blood Native American family. My son knows there is controversy surrounding Columbus and his Day of recognition. But at age seven it’s not his job to carry the weight. As his mother that responsibility belongs to me.

Read more at HuffPost

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