Indigenize!

Spiritual ecopsychology and the arts, including bioregional awareness, animism, shamanism, & no-tech DIY fun.

A Judge for the People September 15, 2014

Judge Andrew HartmanI was on Jury Duty today. I wasn’t selected to serve, but it would have been fun if I were because the judge was such a big souled person with a sense of humor.

It turns out he’s the one who gave the green light to the resistance action of clerk Hillary Hall, who issued licenses for gay marriages in Colorado even though it was still technically illegal, saying her behavior was not harming anyone. “She is apparently taking the position posited by St. Augustine and followed notably by Martin Luther King Jr. that ‘an unjust law is not law at all.'”

Judge Andrew Hartman, I salute you.

To read one of the news articles with that quote in it, click here.

 

Grist for the Mill August 15, 2014

Grist Mills*

(Reframe to stay AWAKE)

Not a pain in the ass,

not annoying miscommunication over incessant email,

not a nasty fight with stepfamily over money,

not a frightening illness,

not losing dear friends far too young, with yet more in the pipeline out; sadness unending,

not a super flattering compliment that makes me feel good

and could inflate my ego like a balloon:

Just more grist for the mill of enlightenment, baby,

Grist for the mill.

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5:20 AM, another farewell July 17, 2014

Filed under: Adventures,Animism — BrujaHa @ 1:41 pm
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Stars

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5:20 am

 

Another dear friend

lost to this world

 

Her last message to me,

with a continent between us, was,

 

“Can’t talk right now: I’m on my way.”

 

Did she confuse me with someone else?

Or was there a deeper meaning?

 

Just in case, I’m paying attention;

watching for

yet another familiar pair of eyes

looking back at me

when I gaze up at the stars at night.

 

 

 

 

Iñupiaq ancient lore in video game May 11, 2014

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Exciting news on the indigenous storytelling front: the Iñupiaq people (of the place currently known as northern Alaska) will soon release a video game based on their traditional stories. For those who haven’t the ability to physically sit at the feet of their First Nations elders and listen, what better way to get this ancient knowledge of how to live in right relationship with the more-than-human world into the ears of today’s youth — and even the world?

Never Alone (Kisima Inŋitchuŋa) is the story of a young girl who, with her arctic fox companion, must save her people from an endless blizzard.  From their trailer:

“Welcome to the top of the world. Where nature challenges life in the extreme. Where death lies waiting in the cold. Where you must explore the fantastical world of Iñupiaq stories to help a young girl save her people from an endless blizzard. …A game of survival in a place where survival shouldn’t be possible. A game that opens a gateway to explore what it means to be human.”

Indigenous-Owned

Upper One, the creators of this “atmospheric puzzle platformer” adventure game, say they are the first indigenous-owned video game developer and publisher in the U.S. To create Never Alone, they had experienced game developers join forces with Alaska Native storytellers and elders. Some of the stories are thousands of years old.

Ecopsychological Dimensions

On the one hand, such video games encourage more staring at glowing machines indoors instead of actually interacting with the natural world in both its physical and magical dimensions, as seen in Never Alone‘s storyline. From an ecopsychological viewpoint, I find this a painfully ironic disjoint. But if we accept the fact that the burgeoning use of internet technology is here to stay for now, telling traditional stories in an interactive way like this is a wonderful use of it – especially if players then apply the principles to their own lives, seeking deep relationships of the sort featured in the game.

Native Language

The game will be released in Fall 2014 so I obviously haven’t played it, but from the trailer alone I love nearly everything about it. Besides the sheer gorgeousness of the visuals and the fact that it offers vitally important traditional lore in such a delicious and widely accessible package, one of the best things about this game is that it is presented in the characters’ own language of Inupiat, with an English translation below.

Why is this so great? Because native languages are in serious trouble. According to MIT’s Indigenous Language Initiative, “In the world, approximately 6,000 languages are spoken, of which only about 600 are confidently expected to survive this century.” Preserving them is important not only for the speakers of the languages themselves and the integrity of their cultures each one’s language creates and holds, but the fact that diversity of languages is intimately tied to biodiversity. First Nations languages contain words and phrases for local natural events and features. They therefore hold keys for the local natural world’s survival and thriving, so when the language is lost, this knowledge of how to work with and care for the local environment is lost as well. The loss of a native language is therefore a painful loss for the whole world. Exposure like this game offers could go a long way toward preserving and even expanding these languages’ use.

What, no Mac version?

The game will cost a reasonable $15, but is only going to be released for PS4, Xbox One and PC. No mention of Mac. :-(   So I only hope I can gain access to the right kind of machine for awhile to play it. (Hey Upper One developers, if you’re reading this, please make a version for Mac too!!)

To learn more or to play it once it’s released, here is the game’s websitehttp://neveralonegame.com

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Spring Potential March 20, 2014

Filed under: Spiritual Ecopsychology — BrujaHa @ 8:47 pm
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Happy Spring Equinox!

The warmth and light are growing.

What kind of seeds or life reboot

Will you consider sowing?

 

Meyer lemon tree. Image by Tina Fields, 2014.

Meyer lemon tree which I couldn’t bear to leave behind when moving from Northern California, now living in my Colorado living room, thinks it’s bloody well time for spring.

 

 

 

 

 

“Dear Winter” letter March 2, 2014

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Dear Winter,

Despite your many fine qualities, I’m sorry but I don’t think we are suitable as a long-term match.

I want to break up and start seeing other seasons, beginning with Spring.  (I’d ideally love to be with Summer, but s/he is currently unavailable.)

Please leave my home as soon as you can, and try to be a bit kinder to us in the meantime.

Thank you.

–Tina

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dear winter snow tent

Unexpected overnight snow in the southern Arizona desert. Several tents were totaled. –Photo by Tina Fields

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Skiing accident á deux

Skiing accident á deux

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Farewell, Pete – and thanks January 28, 2014

Filed under: Announcements,Arts,Singing — BrujaHa @ 10:50 am
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Pete Seeger's banjo

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“To my old brown earth, and to my old blue sky
I now give these last few molecules of ‘I;’
And you who weep, and you who stand nearby,
I do charge you not to cry:
Guard well our human chain–
Watch well you keep it strong
As long as sun will shine.
And this, our home, keep pure and sweet and green,
For now I’m yours, and you are also mine.”

—Pete Seeger

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Pete Seeger young singout

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R.I.P. and deep thanks to our elder Pete Seeger, who just passed on at age 94, in late January of 2014. They say he was chopping wood just 10 days before he died.

Pete Seeger wielded folk music as a guerrilla tool to create a better world. His legacy spreads around campfires and along picket lines still, and on the sloop Clearwater (where a number of my students did environmental education internships). His powerful banjo inscription: “This machine surrounds hate and forces it to surrender,” is, in my opinion, a sign of wisdom, showing a way to make deep and lasting change from a place of positive, inviting joy rather than from angry confrontation.

What an example of a life well lived.

Sing on, sir – sing on.  And we will too.

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pete seeger walking banjo rr