Monday, September 10th, 2018

Two Books Worth Reading

I just read two books back-to back–There There by Tommy Orange and Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann. The first was fiction, the second non-fiction. Both were powerful and gave a visceral understanding of two very differen stratum American Indian times and lives. There There is contemporary fiction about the urban indians of Oakland, California and the Grann book is true about the Osage Indians of Oklahoma during the twenties when they were millionaires by chance and murdered and exploited by white power.

There, that’s my antiseptic book report.
I had two strong reactions. One is that America has always been a mess of good and bad and heroic and evil. We can and often do good but it is a battle. Power is hard to manage well. We may need less difference between levels of power. And, color and difference will have to become an irrelevant factor.

The other reaction was about generational responsibility for a previous generation misdeeds. The pilgrims were just refugees weren’t they? Aren’t we? It’s odd to feel individually innocent but guilty as a dominant “tribe”.

I recently had two different people make amends with me for past hurts. It reminded me that, indeed, I had been hurt and had buried it into the past and moved on. I feel lighter. And it is Rosh Hashanah, a time to get clean with oneself and others, to ask forgiveness and start a new path.

So in the vein of awareness and forgiveness, I’m glad for the work done in Maine of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. My friend, Susan Howe, has been a part of this work. Here is her suggested link to learn more…/us-legacy-stolen-children_…

Forgiving isn’t easy. There must be truth in it for all parties.


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