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Sabbath Day – Navajo/Laguna Pueblo

October 8, 2015

Several of you noticed that I did not have a sabbath day last week. Thursday was my birthday – and I had important meetings and conversations all day long. My wife did cook a delicious dinner – which had to be eaten way too fast – and my son planned cheetos and ice cream cake to accompany the late night “happy birthday Jeff” song.

Today I find myself cleaning house, re-organizing closets, and writing.


My focus for reading multi-national literature this week was the deeply moving novel Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko. I have had this text of ritual healing on my “to read” list for over 20 years and finally got around to it – thanks to inter-library loan. Published in 1977, the New York Times called Leslie Silko “without question the most accomplished Native American writer of her generation.” The text follows the ritual healing of Tayo – suffering what we would today call Post Traumatic Stress Disorder brought on through military service in World War II.

“How far are you willing to go?” he is asks Ts’eh, a woman Tayo lives with on the mountain.

How far indeed are we willing to go to be healed of all that has led us astray from our human nature and purpose? For me, this is necessitating a long look at native american history.

If the white people never looked beyond the lie, to see that there’s was a nation builder on stolen land, then they would never be able to understand how they have been used by the witchery; they would never know that they were still being manipulated by those who knew how to stir the ingredients together: white thievery and in justice boiling up the anger and hatred that would finally destroy the world: the starving against the fat, the colored against the white. The destroyers had only to set it into motion, and sit back to count the casualties. But it was more than a body count; the lies devoured white hearts, and for more than 200 years white people at work to fill the emptiness; they tried to collect the hollowness with patriotic wars and with great technology and the wealth it brought. And always have been fooling themselves, and they knew it.

POSTSCRIPT: Well, this post got away from me. This was a draft. I accidentally published it, and didn’t notice, even as I continued to write quite a bit more. And it was good, I think. Ah well, I’m going to go sit under an American Chestnut tree and ‘let it go.”


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