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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Hoop of The People

Stories from our cultures, no matter whose they may be, leave us with excellent writers’ moments.

As I’ve worked on a new novel, set in the region of the Southern Black Hills and the Pine Ridge Reservation, I’ve been exploring the language and lore of the Lakota people.  The story of White Buffalo Calf Woman, said to have been sent by the Creator or Great Spirit, has immense importance to the Lakota – and, I learned, to many other tribes. White Buffalo Calf Woman taught The People the mysteries of the earth, and to follow a proper path while on earth.   The earth, she told them is the hoop of the people. 

When one sits in the Hoop of The People,
one must be responsible because
all of Creation is related.
And the hurt of one is the hurt of all.
And the honor of one is the honor of all.
And whatever we do affects everything in the universe.

If you do it that way - that is,
if you truly join your heart and mind
as One - whatever you ask for,
that's the way it's going to be.
                                                               -- The wisdom passed down from White Buffalo Calf Woman

Bronze statue of the White Buffalo Calf Woman, by Lee Leunig and Sherri Treeby

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Monday, September 29, 2014

The earth's music

Philosopher George Santayana, who died 60 years ago this month, is perhaps best known for his quote, “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”   

The Spanish-born Santayana (who spent almost as much time in America as in his native Spain and often referred to himself as a “dual” citizen), loved the beauty of the world around him and also gave eloquent notes on nature.  I like this one, which nicely illustrates the Fall Color photo I took yesterday in the Colorado mountains.

Looking out on a similar scene, Santayana said:  “The earth has music for those who listen.”  

And, I would add, words for the writer’s creations.

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