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Showing posts from June, 2019

On the River with Joy Harjo, Our New U.S. Poet Laureate

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When women gather at the river, something rather wonderful happens. Like eagles, we have  been gathering at the river for thousands of years. To bathe our children. To wash our clothes. To gather water for drinking, for ceremony, for cleansing. Even, like the eagles, to catch the fish we will feed our families.

Six years ago, 18 of us gathered on the Colorado River with Joy Harjo. We laughed. We bathed. We danced. We wrote in our journals. We asked, "How do we know when a story ends?"

In "Eagle Poem," Joy writes about eagles that soar over rivers, sweeping our hearts clean with sacred wings. She writes about the eagles that "round out the morning" in each of us.

On Day 2 of the river trip, we hiked to the top of a steep rim above the river. "Rocks calm me," I wrote in my journal, "because of their stillness. The wind is speaking a gentle language, whispers...." Joy sat on the edge of the rim with her flute, her notes rounding out the …