Reflections about Loss

Carol A. Hand

What happens to a culture, to people,
When unknown diseases sweep their lands
Killing so many indiscriminately
The children, the wisdom keepers,
The mothers, the hunters
When their medicines fail to heal
And prayers to the gods and ancestors
Remain unanswered
When those who survive
Are driven from their homes
By hunger and unrelenting war

indians-149a

Photo: Eight Crow prisoners under guard at Crow agency, Montana, 1887 

Separated from the land that has housed and fed them
And their ancestors for generations
When the few who survive are rounded up
Confined on reservations or in institutions
Treated with scorn and cruelty,
Their children stolen and abused
Generation after generation

Carlisle_pupils

Photo: Carlisle Indian Industrial School

How can this magnitude of harm ever be healed?
Injury added to injury
To witness other peoples suffer all around the world we share
The same fate year after year
To feed the rapacious appetite of empire –
A hunger for ever more power
That can never be satisfied

Copyright Notice: © Carol A. Hand and carolahand, 2013-2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Carol A. Hand and carolahand with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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About Carol A. Hand

What matters are not the titles I’ve held or university degrees I earned or the size of a house or bank account. It’s really what I’ve learned from ordinary people like me whom I’ve met along the way. They taught me to live with gratitude and give thanks for each new day.
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34 Responses to Reflections about Loss

  1. steelcityman says:

    You write immensely powerful words mon ami and I could not help but be moved by them. I have just finished watching aTV series called (I think) How the west was won…I was embarrassed to be a member of the white section of humanity in light of not just what the ‘immigrant land stealers’ did in America, but what they have done the world over. I know, sins of the fathers and all that, but it is still a painful excercise becoming aware of what my ‘culture, did to others. If only we, as a species could learn from history, but I’m afraid it will never happen. (we never got taught at school how your nations suffered because of the white man’s greed and diseases)
    Anyway carol, you write powerfully, as I mentioned earlier..you keep writing and I’ll keep learning.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. steelcityman says:

    P.S … I’ll reblog if you have no objections. I await your reply.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. cindy knoke says:

    So powerful. So true. So terrible. This is why I like wild animals.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. sojourner says:

    “How can this magnitude of harm ever be healed?”

    I doubt that it can ever be completely healed. But changing the world so all of this can never happen again, would certainly help.

    I want to reblog this as well, Carol, in the next few days. Okay?

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Norman Pilon says:

    What happens? As you depict it: genocide, the wholesale murder of culture, the people’s way of life, and unspeakable human suffering that spans generations into the future, perhaps never to be entirely quelled.

    No, the harm can never be healed. You can not resurrect what has been murdered. You can only save and nurture the remnants of what survived, perhaps to nurture that into what is has now tragically been fated to become a new, different and hopefully flourishing mode of life. But to my mind, even that will be forestalled until the Empire of capital itself dies the death that it truly deserves.

    My wife is of Mi’kmaq decent. But you would never know it. Nothing of that legacy in her survives that might have. Not for the past three generations. The extirpation, in her lived experience, is complete. Experiencing the demise of the culture could not have been easy for her ancestors, as you well attest.

    I’m downstairs and she’s upstairs in the kitchen and is calling to me. So I have to end this here.

    Kind Regards,

    –N

    Liked by 2 people

  6. ruthlakes says:

    Reblogged this on Life, living, work and play and commented:
    Such powerful prose from Carol A. Hand – I simply had to reblog this.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. ruthlakes says:

    Your words have a way of getting under the skin and lodging in my soul. So beautiful and thought provoking. I had to reblog this and I hope that’s ok.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Carol, thanks for expressing the loss of colonized peoples worldwide – today and yesteryear – in such powerful words. The “rapacious appetite of empire” will end when all is consumed.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. A sad post, Carol. Sometimes I have no hope for the world and think we are just going to blindly drive ourselves into extinction. But I don’t heal anything when I’m stuck in that despair. I have to keep hoping and believing that love and compassion and kindness have the power to make a difference. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Micki Peluso says:

    We need to keep reading and studying history so as not to repeat it. So far that’s not working out so well.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. sojourner says:

    Reblogged this on An Outsider's Sojourn II.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. steelcityman says:

    Reblogged this on steelcityman and commented:
    Carol A Hand is a fellow blogger whose words of wisdom I follow avidly and the ‘Reflections about Loss’ that carol posted on the 12th Jan really struck a chord with me. They reminded me of the pain that so often comes with increased awareness of our history and culture …. so deserving of a reblog……..

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Europeans are still struggling with the after effects of having their culture destroyed when we were driven off the commons 300 years ago. Fred Harrison writes about this in The Traumatised Society. He blames this event for the voracious greed and love of war of European culture – when our original culture of collective interdependence and responsibility was destroyed, it was replaced by a culture in which the ultimate ideal is to get something for nothing.

    Liked by 2 people

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