Well, Jeff and I went for a walk and ran an errand, so let’s tick the box for leaving the house yesterday. I also backed up my hard drive, made myself a fried egg sandwich on brown bread for breakfast, cleaned the stovetop and side of the stove, stayed hydrated, cleared the sinks, finished cleaning off the keyboards and set it up downstairs, put some more junk in the box to go to Value Village, ran some more laundry which is still resting comfortably downstairs, talked to Keith on the phone (part of which conversation involved talking about Keith looking for work, which I’m not convinced would be ideal for him currently) arranged another sleepover with Alex, brushed my teeth and hair, started some letters, decided to completely ignore NaNoWriMo because I’m not mentally healthy enough to do that to myself, threw a chicken pie from M&Ms into the oven for lunch, used my medication holder to demonstrate to myself that I keep thinking I’ve already taken my meds, so I’m really glad I have stopped pretending I don’t keep forgetting to take my meds even after the alarm has gone off, learned that Paul’s gf had a brain bleed – she’s apparently able to talk on the phone and all this happened during the period that she was moving house, which sounds terrifying and inconvenient for everyone involved. Whether this means that she and Paul are still broken up – they certainly were the last time Paul and I went for a walk as far as he was concerned – is unclear to me. Keith doesn’t think so, but I’m on the periphery and wish to remain there. There’s supposed to be a Dunnett event today, I believe. I should be going to it. (ACTUALLY IT’S ON THE 13TH AND THE PLACE HAS BEEN SET)
I’m learning to deal with various different aspects of my recently upgraded Scrivener software.
I for once managed to go back down after rising to the call of the toilet and so managed to sleep from 8:30 to 5:00 am, with a couple of interruptions, literally the best night of sleep I’ve had in ages.
We also finished watching, “Joy Ride,” Dana Gould and Bobcat Goldthwaite’s road movie that got delayed when the two of them went off the road and were hospitalized in a car accident. There’s a bit Dana does in the middle that slows things down but otherwise if you’re a leftist and enjoy challenging humour you will make yourself sore laughing. A rewatch of Master and Commander is planned.
This morning we are going to do a small shop and then I hope I’ll be bright enough to keep working on “Clearing the Plains” by James Daschuk, which is a remarkable text, and which, when I’m up for it, holds my attention without difficulty. If I can’t read today I’ll be trying to clear out the living room in preparation for getting rid of some furniture that won’t be coming with me to my next apartment, because I’m going to go where there are no stairs.
This is a summary of what I learned so far.
The depths of the ignorance, violence and depravity of the settlers never ceases to appal me. Not a new learning.
Thanks to climate change, a large portion of Turtle Island’s Indigenous population at the time of contact was in a state of movement and social reorganization; many nations were pushed into decline or extinction as rainfall and water sources and water courses shifted; many nations amalgamated, sometimes peacefully, sometimes not so much; there were a couple of hot spots of inter-nation violence which were not pacified by the re-arrival of horses; and the trade routes which had been running for centuries got messed up as the groups that had supported them died, lost access to resources, or moved, mostly west and north. TB and other infectious illnesses (once again, this is prior to when the really hard diseases like smallpox flooded across the land) in a pressured and transient population were endemic. It’s possible that in the 13th C a volcano half a world away screwed up farming on Turtle Island. Agriculture ceased being a sure bet so places like Cahokia, which was only surpassed in size later by the settlers’ Philadelphia, emptied out, and for the groups closer to the plains, the buffalo herds looked like a better bet, so many nations coalesced around that resource. And they did all this over the course of a couple of centuries or even less, developing new or borrowing existing cultural protocols that protected their new way of life without destroying the land, an achievement that blows my mind.
Also, across the plains, nobody killed beavers. They didn’t need civilizations capable of moving waterways through engineering. They had beavers.
And what was the first thing that the settlers killed.
It’s a hard read but worth it. That’s only chapter one.