Friday, June 01, 2007

2. And this from Jim Harrison

"Life, this vastly mysterious process
to which our culture inures us
lest we become useless citizens!
And is it so terrible to be lonely and ill?"
she wrote. "Not at all, in fact, it is better
to be lonely when ill. To others, friends,
relatives, loved ones, death is our most
interesting, our most dramatic act.
Perhaps the best thing I've learned
from these apparently cursed and bedraggled
Indians I've studied all these years
is how to die. Last year I sat beside
a seven-year-old Hopi girl as she sang
her death song in a slight quavering
voice. Who among us whites, child
or adult, will sing while we die?"

From The Theory and Practice of Rivers by Jim Harrison (Winn Books, 1985)


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