“American” “Thanksgiving”

What even is thanks?

A transient moment of honor? an obligatory feint of humility? a recitation of blessusohlordforthesethygifts so that we can feast on turkey, or just deserts?

Or a recognition of the fact that we are largely products of circumstance, of the gifts that have afforded us the place we are now – the efforts of family, community, support systems. The structure of a system that considers us its beneficiaries (from tax cuts to access to loans to “free” land “given” to your ancestors). And of the things our historical revisionism will call “gifts” but were never given, were taken. Are being taken. Land. Dignity. Lives.

Because thanks, sincere thanks, not the kind you say when someone holds the door for you unnecessarily, places you in an ethical relation with someone else. In my philosophy, morality is not one of obligation but one of care. So… acknowledging the gifts the system has bestowed on you, what are you going to do about it?

This post was written from my home on traditional, unceded Mi’kmaq territory. The First Nations Leadership/Councils on PEI are embarking on a project called L’Nuey, which as I understand it, is a negotiation with the governments of PEI and Canada, to come to a common understanding of what the existing treaties mean in terms of Mi’kmaq rights and title. That’s cool! Also the Government of PEI’s website says that 12%(!) of the province’s land is “publically-owned and managed by the government for the good of all Islanders.” You know, uh, we could probably make a start by returning some or all of that land back.

[Correction: An earlier version implied that the First Nations Leadership/Councils only applied to the two First Nations. The L’Nuey website is clear that this project is for all Mi’kmaq on Epekwitk, not just those who are defined as Band Members by Canada’s Indian Act.]

Liked Haunted (The Bear Queen)

A Poem by Artemis Gannon The chill carries ghostsAnd idle boastsof pain I can’t outlastForced to rememberA lost NovemberThat I can not move past. Thank you to all my patrons! Who have deemed …


Are you sitting down?

Things happened in October. I had a birthday. I got older. I took a vacation. I learned things for which there aren’t words. And I let my blog sit.

What does it mean to sit? One facet of sitting is to be left alone, in the state of not receiving regular tending or care; the way that something sitting gathers dust from the swirling air around it, or moss from the creeping ground life, or plugin updates from the code faeries. To sit is to let the world happen. As the dust gathers, as messiness ensues, we call it disorder, entropy, chaos. The word disorder comes with a philosophical sense of wrongness, provoking impulses to tidy, to organize, to heal. We fear the consequences of sitting. Sitting is just letting be. Also, to sit with is to be present with. It can mean being present with something uncomfortable or something we fear. Accepting, bearing witness, supporting. Sitting can be a form of care.

What does it mean to stir? To break stasis and start to move. To feel a swirling of emotion, to let that feeling move you. To disturb. To stir a pot, rather than let it sit. A vision of witches and cauldrons, stirring is a kind of magic. Stirring a soup is an act to sustain you and your kin. An act of tending and an act of care. Stirring speeds the generation of entropy, as it disperses heat from high-temperature areas to low-temperature ones1https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/earth-and-planetary-sciences/entropy. Stirring is, in the thermodynamic sense, doing work in the service of chaos. How many devices does capitalism offer us to avoid stirring? Instant Pot, Crockpot, Kitchenaid, Oster, Betty Crocker, Anova, Cuisinart. Praxis suggestion of the day? Go stir something.

I have been stirring over the last month, and this blog (and author) will not be the same.