I’ve been researching environmental economics and cybernetic systems applied to ecology. This sentiment is the exact opposite and feels so much better to me.
Today I did a [read aloud](Read Aloud - "Books and Islands in Ojibwe Country" Chapter 3 - YouTube) from Louise Erdrich’s “Books and Islands in Ojibwe Country,” and came across a paragraph I’d been looking for for some time. Look at the heart above - the stones - and know that they all chose me. Some of them I’ve had for years. I think they wanted to serve their purpose in Lexington under the cannon.
Louise Erdrich - “Books and Islands in Ojibwe Country” Page 72
“When it comes to nouns, there are blessedly fewer of them and no designations of gender, no feminine or masculine possessives or articles. Nouns are mainly designated as animate or inanimate, though what is alive and dead doesn’t correspond at all to what an English speaker might imagine. For instance, the word for stone, asin, is animate. After all, the pre-existence of the world according to Ojibwe religion consisted of a conversation between stones. People speak to and thank the stones in the sweat lodge, where the asiniig are superheated and used for healing. They are addressed as grandmothers and grandfathers. Once I began to think of stones as animate, I started to wonder whether I was picking up a stone or it was putting itself into my hand. Stones are no longer the same as they were to me in English.”
The image was from a site visit a friend and I and Dennis the dog did to Virginia Military Institute. I talk about the composition of the heart at the end.