6 Comments
author

Hi Lucy, thank you for brewing on this. Your question sending my thoughts in two directions, but please do say if these are way off what you have in mind.

The first is about "what is being preserved across deep time." There's a speech by the Lakota actor/activist Russell Means that has stayed with me since I read it. Here's a bit of it (please forgive the length):

"There is another way... humans must be in harmony with all relations or the relations will eventually eliminate the disharmony. A lopsided emphasis on humans by humans--the Europeans' arrogance of acting as though they were beyond the nature of all related things--can only result in a total disharmony and a readjustment which cuts arrogant humans down to size, gives them a taste of that reality beyond their grasp or control and restores the harmony. There is no need for a revolutionary theory to bring this about; it's beyond human control. The nature peoples of this planet know this and so they do not theorize about it"

I suppose I take from this that everything is in constant change, ultimately toward the peace of good balance. Balance is preserved across deep time, and in the end, that just wins, whatever we do or don't do. There's something fruitful and re-aligning for me in the day to day practice if giving this my attention.

The other thought I have is to do with practices. It struck that, at the time the Isaiah poem was written, there was a slowly waning Sabbath tradition, which was a practice formed to stop the oppressed being exploited (all humans and all animals have a no-work day), and to be still and observe that the world continues to live beautifully without our management of everything. I suppose this is a practice designed and kept to foster that creaturely attentiveness and to resist being swept up in progress and expansion and conquest etc. I sense we're looking, these days for practices like these, old and new, that foster that sort of awareness.

Sorry for such a long comment! I'm not sure I've properly gathered round your question so please do say if I've wandered way off.

Expand full comment
Oct 25, 2023Liked by David Benjamin Blower

This is one helluva line “The long memory of the land is home to the powerless.”

It helps me to see so clearly that anything that looks like an accumulation of power is unnatural and something therefore to be ‘made right’.

Expand full comment
Oct 25, 2023Liked by David Benjamin Blower

Really fascinating, thank you! I'm not sure entirely how to formulate my question but it's something about how the deep time of (messianic) folklore confronts the imperative for change, in the day-to-day. As someone who resists the idea of unchanging tradition, I'm curious about what it is that is being preserved across deep time - it is rarely an aesthetic or definable set of actions. But something persists, nonetheless. The drive. The spirit? The resilience?

Expand full comment
Feb 5Liked by David Benjamin Blower

It takes a village....you are exceptionally adept at gathering the energies available to make things more clear....thank you for including one of my favorites to help this time: Russell Means. If we could just step away from our love of delivering trauma, perhaps we could soothe ourselves with what they have always understood of the deep memory. Thanks, David.

Expand full comment