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The NDN Silver Blog

Today was one of those perfect autumn days — this despite the fact that the calendar still stubbornly insists that it is summer. Here, Mother Earth has long had other ideas, turning the air she breathes chill and clear save for those hours through the middle of the day, handing out glowing golden robes to […]

Today, the wind howls and shrieks, battering at walls and wheedling its way into crevices. It is a fully autumn wind, capricious, almost childlike in its insistence on going where it will. Red Willow is a land of the winds, but they tend more to indulge themselves in spring than in fall. Today, the wild […]

Our world now, as indigenous people, is one composed of and constituted by lines of demarcation. Reservation borders and jurisdictional boundaries. Walls and fences and checkerboarded lands. Signs that say “Keep Out” and “No Trespassing” and “No Dogs or Indians Allowed.” Physical and spiritual drive lanes herding us onto ever-smaller plots of land, penning us […]

A day that began in shades of clear bright turquoise is now webbed with inky clouds, as storms criss-cross the edges of our small world here in a late-season monsoonal dance. The foliage is less green, more gold than yesterday, and the winds lead with a sharp chill edge as they shift rapidly between directions. […]

Irrespective of the calendar’s dictates, autumn is here. The air is clear and chill; the wind, even in the warmest hours of the day, carries a sharp edge. The days grow rapidly short, the angles of the light long, and when the Sun’s afternoon gaze touches the peaks, it reveals the bright gold of the aspen […]

It’s not uncommon to find poets writing of the change of seasons in romantic terms: Love, specially that which is young and new, is most often associated with the warming winds of spring and the fertile lushness of summer; fall has now become, in the dominant culture, synonymous with the so-called golden years, while cultures […]

In our way, we look to the world around us for healing. Medicine is found everywhere: in the earth beneath our feet; in the plants that grow from it; in the wind and rain and storm; in the skies that hold them. And at this time of year, the skies hold special medicine. Today has […]

Today we introduce Wings’s latest masterwork, a liminal piece that embodies thresholds: between the seasons, between the worlds, between the oldest of traditions and the most contemporary of spirits. It has become, immediately, my new favorite among his current body of work, and with good reason, honoring as it does the old ways and motifs, […]

The village is abuzz with activity now, last-minute mudding and resurfacing and whitewashing preparatory to the Feast of San Geronimo at month’s end. It is a festival of early harvest, one marked well before all of the crops are in, one a part of summer’s tarrying days as much as a celebration of the its […]

It is that time of year again: the season the dominant culture names explicitly for us without the faintest idea why. Many pixels have been expended in guessing, most having to do with pre-autumn/early autumn hunting or other visible presence, but I suspect it’s more basic than that. Our peoples have always, in the colonial […]

I often refer to spring and fall as threshold seasons: spaces seemingly mostly held for the departure and arrival of more intense days and the winds that drive them. It’s a product of human perception of course, and impatience too; we become consumed with that which fixes itself most firmly in mind and memory, and […]

Our cultures are braided, woven, tied and threaded, bound together in links as unbreakable as the strongest chain, because they are forged in the fires of spirit. They find expression in the most fundamental aspects of our lives: ribbons adorning medicine shields and wheels, binding our hair, hanging fringed from our shirts and dresses; threads […]

These are strange days indeed: one coast drowning in water, the other up in flames; earthquakes from the continent’s southern tip to a land across the sea. Even here, our weather patterns and seasonal trajectories continue to defy all historical precedent, and the wind that circles around us at this moment, sometimes from opposing directions […]

Speaking of ribbons, that’s what the corn is today, or rather, the leaves on each cornstalk: Ribbons. We were hit with a truly massive storm last, one so extreme and intense that the hail it carried froze the air and battered the land, breaking window vents and shredding the corn into ribbons of pale limp […]

Today was one of those days that was classic summer — just shy of ninety, hot and bright and hazy with wildfire smoke, no hint of autumn save the dawn chill and the turning leaves. The forecast promised rain, almost impossible to believe given the day’s brilliance. Now, the northern sky is a blue-black wall, […]

On this day, our thoughts are preoccupied with the catastrophe approaching those far to the east of here. They sit now in the path of the storm — and not just any storm, but a vortex of cataclysmic proportions. Many of those now in its sights are also indigenous peoples, but the forces of colonialism have transformed the hurricane into […]

The dominant culture calls this Labor Day, and so it is for us, too, although in literal terms, not as an honorific and day of putative rest. For us, every day is a day of labor, irrespective of the calendar, state-sanctioned downtime, or personal desire. We struggle with this day each yea . We support […]

There are days when the world’s fury, and our pain, are too great for any message to get through; no amount of prayer seems adequate to the task of healing. Now, as the ruined homes and lives of residents one state away slowly emerge from the floodwaters, all pretense at governmental leadership wholly abandoned to […]

On this first weekend of September, our world here is changing fast. We awakened this morning to a heavy haze of smoke, wildfire source as yet unidentified. Despite yesterday’s hard heavy rain and the chill air that bookends each day, the bright hours remain as hot as July, and the careless use of fire likewise […]

I wrote in this space yesterday about my childhood confusion with regard to how the cosmos calculates the four seasons: At least through kindergarten and first grade, I believed that the first day of each season was marked by the first day of a particular month. The ghost child who resides deep in my soul still […]

This week, #ThrowbackThursday falls not only on the last day of the month, but also on the day that, as a young child, I always thought was the last day of summer. Probably partly because our school year started around September first, my young mind, too young yet to have learned about equinoxes and solstices, […]

Today was a day with no rain in the forecast to speak of, and yet in mid-afternoon, it arrived on its usual seasonal schedule. The only sure thing about our weather now is that it is unsure: Old patterns seem supplanted entirely, only to have the heavens’ habits reassert themselves in the end. It’s a […]

Orange, black, white. The shades of summer become spirits of autumn: monarch and admiral, rusty leaves and a pumpkin sky. They and their colors are messengers and message, not yet revenant or remnant — although they warn of both even as they remind us of the blessings we have now. This is still the praying season, a […]

Orange, black, and white. In the dominant culture, they are the colors of fall, jack o’lanterns and pointy witch hats and ghosts made from bedsheets. But they are the colors of summer, too, even if in this place it is a sign of summer on the wane — the presence of the monarchs, mating one […]

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