Rebecca Nagle's podcast This Land is good. There was a lot I did not know and it's a perspective you don't often hear or hear amplified in the U.S. But also it's an interesting story.

One thing that I've been coming back to was her discussion of the "blood quantuum" which is a US government conceit and incompatible specifically with Cherokee notions of identity which was matrilineal and never included things like "half-blood". She talks about taxes and how the blood quantum was designed to harm indigenous folks. She also talks about how, for tribal citizens, tribal identity was primarily a political or community identity (more like, you know, your basic European national identity) than some measure of ancestry. But the blood quantum mechanic was something I never thought of before as an externally imposed standard.

The episode also gets into racist notions about not only indigenous people but freed slaves, including the racist notions of the tribes against the slaves. And this informs the conflict between tribal identity as political and social and that of the blood quantum.

I don't have any sophisticated or well-informed opinions about it, but I had never thought about how the criteria of belonging was constructed by the occupying government, how it may or may not have conflicted with the identity of the people it was claiming to define. She touches very briefly on the dualing racisms of defining people by how much of whose blood runs through their veins (as if that's even a thing).

[As an aside, Nagle is a citizen of the Cherokee nation, but the case at the center of the story involves a Muskogee (Creek) citizen. I gather she has written rather more about the general questions of identity and indigenous citizenship, but I am mostly familiar with her through Pink Loves Consent and FORCE]

I sit in a sphere of US society where no-one questions "what" I say I am. Where I can be Irish, Italian, Lithuanian, Polish, even though I'm nothing but a White U.S. born woman, whose parents were White U.S born people, who know which countries and towns their grandparents left to come here instead.

Nagle talks about the oppression of defining people with metrics not part of their own sense of identity as she moves through the general story. I think about all the people I have known in my life, across the American southwest and in the Plains who have mocked those definitions, the people within them, not knowing (and likely not caring) they were invented to steal land and resources, as well as destroy political structures.

I need to listen to This Land again--it's been months since I listened to it and I am probably misremembering most of it.

But that's the bit of information which was glaringly new to me and probably should have been obvious all along.

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9/9
 

QotD: I said this earlier and want to repeat it: we had a tremendous opportunity this year to show compassion, in so many ways, and it’s such a continuing disappointment to realize how many people opted not to.

Oops. Forgot to hit post, so this is Saturday AND Sunday AND Monday.

We made some progress on cleaning out our storage unit. Ate hot dogs. Cleaned some more. Ate tacos. Cleaned some more. 

Spouse is getting all the money in line to leave the country. Unlike several friends, we can't do the Irish citizenship, so he'e getting things together to demonstrate we can support ourseives without working or welfare.

I don't know how I feel about leaving my parents or my sister. I don't know how I feel about being a refugee. I don't know that I want to leave everyone.

During the hours of last night when I was awake, I thought about what I'd take and what I'd abandon if we left quickly. Not that it would come to that--even if we go, it would require time and planning. Everything is digital now: pictures, money, contacts. But I'd want the Cursed Family Ring. Mom's paintings. 

As hard as it is to think about the picking and choosing, if we leave the country calmly, normally, like moving to another state, I cannot imagine how we'd leave suddenly, in an emergency. 

I don't know. I'd like to feel safe. It does not feel safe here at all. 

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9/7
 

Really beginning to understand Orwell's creation of the Two Minutes Hate, although I never direct it at the targets the GOP would like.

Today was quiet, though I had a fraught conversation with Mo. I'm glad she called but everything just upset me too much and I don't think that's what she had in mind. I'll call her back Sunday, maybe, and try to be better.


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9/4
 

Today we learned a casual friend died unexpectedly a few months ago. We haven't seen him around, but we haven't been around, and figured he was not either, but today we ran into (in public, six feet away) someone we could ask how he was. It's a shock and it's sad and our little world is diminished.


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9/3
 

Work went a little better today, but it's a difficult day.

I spent too much time awake last night (no matter what the Garmin thinks) so the afternoon wall came early and hard.

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9/2
 

Today, 75 years ago, at 9am Tokyo time, the Japanese government and military signed the articles of surrender on the deck of the USS Missouri. Marking the end of the most deadly war in the history of the world. Lost lives are estimated to be at least 91,000,000 from all causes, military and civilian. This represents 3-3.7% of the world's population in 1939.

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"This represents 3-3.7% of the world's population in 1939."

Holy shit, that is staggering.

Thank you for posting these historical reminders. They are good.
 

There's a lump in the carpet in the hallway, no bigger than a quarter, that I only find wtih my bare foot once in a strange while. It's an, "A-ha, I remember you," moment that plays in the back of my mind until I reach my destination. I wonder if there's a name for that kind of thing.

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If anyone has a twenty-syllable compound word for it, it'd be the Germans.
This is true. So says Lichtenwalner, which is only 4 syllables, but you get the idea.
 

Today was fine. I was brittle and awful. Then I was not. 

Then I made a very delicious cornbread for dinner.

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9/1
 

I'm struggling with myself over a few things. And I have a few important personal administrative tasks to do this week.

It's Andy's birthday this week. He's been dead (how odd the present perfect continuous tense) for nine months now. Long enough to be born. We had only a few short weeks to grieve together and then it's been this liminal state of living. I guess that's fitting, but it fucks with the process of grief.

Had an in-person conversation today with a friend I've not seen since the funeral. He stopped by to pick up a thing, stood on the sidewalk in front of the house; I stood back on my porch. I forgot to grab a mask on my way out.

I still feel like an asshole.

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8/31
 

Here's a heartwarming short story that a friend made, recently. It's less than 4 minutes long. 

The Kindly Nettle 

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Oh my gosh that was LOVELY.
That's my boss, the same guy who said today, "I'm stoic." I said, "yup, you're stoic as a rock."
Really like his accent!

Reminds me that one of my creative writing profs was originally from Jamaica. It was great to listen to her read passages or poems.