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Showing posts from August, 2012

JOY HARJO: CRAZY BRAVE

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From my small window seat, I can see the left wing of the plane that was taking John and me from Portland, Oregon, to Denver, Colorado.  I have just finished reading Joy Harjo’s new memoir CRAZY BRAVE.  Painted on the wing tip of the plane are two polar bears.  Stenciled in bold white paint on the curve of the jet engine, and on a flimsy metal fin bolted to the engine, are the words NO STEP.  The unstated meaning, DANGER, is clear.

If our impending births came with the same warning, LIFE IS DANGEROUS, would most of us have the courage to step across the threshold from unborn to born, let alone write about it?  As Joy shares stories from her life, she carries us back and forth across this threshold, from one awareness to another, from one danger to the next.  “Once I was so small I could barely see over the top of the back seat of the black Cadillac my father bought with his Indian oil money…” she writes.  “This was about the time I acquired language, when something happened that cha…