The Soul of The Viking Sword: Burnt Bones of Thy Ancestors For Vigor

Even if you don’t have heritage from Scandinavia, if I said “viking” to you and asked for your associations I wouldn’t be surprised to hear a few references to Thor or Odin or some other mythological figure. Also likely to be on the list would be “pillaging” and to be sure vikings pillaged. Also on…

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The Blinkered Eye, The Deafened Ear

Last year, 1806, one of the Osages, then in Washington for the first time, was taken to see the frigates and gun boats in the Eastern branch – when the Captain of the Port made every shew he could in order to astound him, but all in vain: he was even taken to the gun…

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Indigo: More Beautiful With Time

There is an old story that comes from Western Africa that tells of a time when the sky was closer to the earth. And this story is also of a woman who lived in the land near the Niger River who yearned for beauty. She hungered for her hair and nails to be as blue…

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Morin Khuur: The Lament, The Longing, The Beauty Trash primaldermacare

On the old steppes of Mongolia there aren’t a lot of trees and so a two string instrument like the morin khuur would seem to be a strange one to conjure in that forestless place. And yet, this iconic instrument has been made for thousands of years. In a place you would think that every…

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Wolferland: A Balm For Widdershins

At the moment I’m reading a host of books. Who could say how my mind and attention is being torn or tanked, stretched or shorn? The screen time is shocking. The capacity for long term attention has, by my own compass, turned widdershins, which is to say the opposite direction it normally goes. So I…

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Tension: A Bi-Directional Beauty Bearing Friction

While I haven’t had cats as pets since I was kid I remember brushing them and being astounded at how much hair they had even though they were shorthairs. And I also recall cleaning up their shedding with adhesive lint rollers all over the house. I adored those Tonkinese cats so much and never really…

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The Scent of the Egyptian Blue Lotus

If you find yourself in the United States the news here is overwhelming, troubling, and confounding. So it would be understandable if you missed a small piece of news that emerged out of Egypt in just the last few days. In Saqqara an archeological dig has unearthed 59 mummies each in a colorful sarcophagus. While…

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Hydronyms: The Occupational and the Toponymic

In 1732 Thomas Fuller wrote his book of aphorisms, Gnomologia, “We never know the worth of water till the well runs dry.” The American anthropologist and nature writer Loren Eiseley wrote “If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water.” And of course the famous quote “Where there is water there is…

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The Burning: On The Fires That Make Us Human and Whence They Came

There is much burning happening in these times. Of old ways and norms. Of sensemaking. Of the grace of the tongue. Perhaps some of this is for the good. Perhaps not. I’d leave that assessment aside for a moment to say that the sweetly popping scent of the campfire and wood smoke isn’t readily available,…

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The Making Of A Roadside Prayer

I don’t know what the statistics are for Native New Yorkers knowing or not knowing how to drive – I know Native New Yorkers who can’t drive at all and never have and ones who can and do. I got my license when I was 16 but didn’t really drive much until I went away…

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