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January 6, 2011
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Unpretentious princess at the lip of the wild
broods on her position in the tribal order.
She's gritting her teeth at development's border
with weapons unfit to inspirit kismet's child.
An arrowhead barely tattoos the tractor tread,
A hand-axe fells not the crane its longevity.
Ironicallly, the machine's owe their brevity
to the First Spirit's black blood wrested from breast's red.

A computer geek morningstar, alive by chance,
going cold turkey off his electronic life,
stumbles from the rubble of Armageddon's fire,
surprised to discover unmolested expanse.
She trains him in the ways of feather, knife and wife,
First Spirit's gifts renew him, return him, rewire.
First Nation's spirituality is something I know little about in depth, but I'm always fascinated to pick up the odd tidbit.

Although many (too many, perhaps) of the people I've discussed this issue with feel that modern society is too big and too complex to ever change at a fundamental level, I'm more convinced that the future of our current technological/medical/social/governmental/philosophical life is on a collision course with the old truths known to peoples of the earth.

My girlfriend and I are far from blameless when it comes to modern decay, but we are open to the act of change. We don't drive, we don't use products tested on animals, we've banned McDonalds and Wal-Mart and their subsidiaries, we've both participated in fund-raising for charity (ones we believe in), and we're militantly vegetarian. There are plenty of things we could be doing to improve our position within the environment (buying more local food, using less electricity, volunteering more, etc.), but we're trying to take it slow. So that when the changes become mandatory it's less of a system shock. We both grew up poor, but Simone grew up without TV, and I think it left her a bit more unaffected than most girls her age.

So it was that on the morning of our fifth anniversary, we were lying in bed, and her head was tilted down, into the pages of a book. Watching her read, I became overwhelmed by the sense that she was wise beyond her years, and this picture of an "unpretentious princess" came into my mind.

I knew that would be the subject of my annual poem for her.

I wrote the above piece inspired by that vision of Simone, and I gave it to her while sitting in the audience at the first evening of the Ottawa Storytellers Festival that night. She liked it, but said she didn't like the word 'Mother' which is now 'First Spirit'. I could see her point, the poem (a sonnet, in case you missed it) was already using predominantly simplistic imagery, and it needed something more specific. After a little research I found that many of the First Nations mythologies begin with a First Spirit or First Peoples or what have you. And the change was made.

I don't like that I've injected the meagre bit of Christianity you see there, but what can you do? Damn syllables.
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:iconkramheather:
Kramheather Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2011  Professional Artist
I really dig this poem. It made me think of the Crusades, but at the same time, it reminded me of something from the 80's that shall remain nameless and horrifying...
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:iconsandzen:
sandzen Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2011   General Artist
In a way, the horror is continuous. I often wonder if there was ever a time when the peoples of the world were unanimously at peace, both culturally and one-on-one. It probably a myth. The truth, more likely, that alongside the continuous horror is continuous joy and hope, but that's not very romantic.

Part of the romance of the post-apocalyptic word is the idea that the self-destruction will cancel itself out and leave as a natural remainder either man's best qualities or worst qualities, depending on the imaginer.

I like to think that our self-destructive quality will undo itself eventually. Historically, mankind has made massive improvements to quality of life (however outside an equilibrium with nature it may be), and I think that will continue, after the collapse of our dependency on natural resources.
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:iconkramheather:
Kramheather Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2011  Professional Artist
99.9% of all species that have ever existed have gone extinct. We are not special. :P

We will either rise like a phoenix and evolve past our petty shortcomings, or end up like the Jurassic era and be nothing more than stains in the limestone.

I personally prefer a time harkening back to when things were...quieter, but I am a bitter, world-weary man of short years. I have yet to experience middle age and all that comes with it, so I most likely, unless killed, or die of natural means, will adjust my opinion in due time. I don't like the idea though, because it shifts my comfort zone, but such is life, after all.

As far as your initial statement about perhaps it being a myth of man ever once-being unified in any meaningful way, I could be a literal interpretationist and say, well, the first man or woman or pair of em that emerged from the soup of primordia were pretty much on their own, and thus had to be unified to survive. I mean look at Vegans. These people literally believe, based on their behavior, that mankind survived the Ice Age(s) by eating spear grass and leaves. We are omnivores. We didn't REALIZE this at the outset, so we had to work together, as a species, to get to a point where it was understated common knowledge.

I think people are too selfish, as yet, to evolve. But, the awakening commences apace, with or without communal consent.
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:iconsandzen:
sandzen Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2011   General Artist
An interesting point I came across recently is that man's mind is still in its infancy. We haven't evolved much since the cave man days, so as the evolutionary psychologist in question put it, we've got Cro-Magnon brains inside technological age society. Hence why society has successfully rejected so many supposedly aberrant behaviours. But now we're starting to see a lot of turn around (of course, there are countries where homosexuality, or pleural marriage have been well-established, so there's not a species-wide change happening, but still).

Hearing that made me hopeful that our species might actually survive long enough to see a new leap in our very mental faculties, such that our current behaviours and governments would appear unrecognizable and primitive.

Veganism, along with perhaps economy and government and religion, is yet another way humans try to define the distance between themselves and animals. Ironically, this is done, I would think, to show our propensity for acting against or rising above our nature(Veganism does require that the vegan not eat locally, since the food that keeps them alive is shipped from far away), when conformity to safer living standards , or amoral, mindless equilibrium with nature, would be likelier to save us from our oncoming, self-made future.

I do doubt, though, that if a more advanced civilization discovers ours, and is able to translate our language and understand our achievements, that they would be unimpressed by our advancement. Whether or not our self-destruction was apparent to them, the vast gulf between ourselves and the other species on the planet, as well as our dominance over the planet, would be apparent.
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