a stone, a stone, a stone

Elizabeth and Alex left this morning. They are driving back to Delton to grab some stuff and coming to Grand Rapids and catching a plane around 4 PM. They will land at the Reagan Airport in D.C. where Elizabeth has already booked a room and a car. Jeremy will join them there. Jeremy’s Dad died Tuesday after a long debilitating illness. Jeremy’s brother Michael was there when he died. The rest of the family has quickly gathered there. Jeremy flew over on Wednesday. This has been long expected but it doesn’t make it any easier for everyone.

Eileen and I went to the hearing aid people on Wednesday. We have very good insurance and if we go through the right people (TruHearing) we can both get a set of hearing aids for about $1400 each. They list at about $5k. They should arrive in about a week and then we will go get fitted. Ah, old age!

I had a nice chat with Elizabeth over coffee before she left this morning. She was up last night booking all the stuff for today. I admire her energy and fortitude. I do enjoy those little moments when I can sit and listen to her. It’s not as easy as it sounds since Alex like most seven year olds takes up most of the oxygen in the house when she is here.

I am enjoying getting into Gerald Vizenor’s work. I am carefully rereading the introduction to Fugitive Poses. As I was telling Elizabeth this morning that since Vizenor is in his eighties, I am processing a lifetime of astute and astounding Native American perspective and a parallel and related path of journalism and scholarship.

I was tickled to see that I already had a book by him in my library.

The Heirs Of Columbus: Gerald Robert, Vizenor: Amazon.com: Books

The Heirs of Columbus looks to be a fun read. Wikipedia tells me it’s one of fourteen novels he has published. I hope I continue to feel so enthusiastic about this man and his work. That’s a lot of novels plus his other works that will provide me a lot of enjoyment.

While thumbing through The Heirs of Columbus I recognized a story he told at the lecture. Here’s how he told it in his novel.

“The Anishinaabe … remember that Naanabozho, the compassionate tribal trickster who created the earth, had a brother was a stone: a bear stone, a human stone, a shaman stone, a stone, a stone, a stone.

“Naanabozho was the first human born in the world, and the second born, his brother, was a stone. The trickster[Naanabozho] created the new earth with wet sand. He stood on his toes as high as he could imagine, but the water rose closer to his nose and mouth. He would dream without a mouth or a nose, but he would never leave the world to the evil gambler and his dark water. The demons in the water caused him to defecate, and with pleasure, but his shit would not leave; several turds floated near his mouth and nose.

“Naanabozho was at the highest point on the earth and could not move, so he invented meditation with trickster stories and liberated his mind over his own excrement. The trickster created this New World with the sand a muskrat held in her paws.” from The Heirs of Columbus by Gerald Vizenor

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