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Friday, July 24, 2009

Counting caribou

I'm up late tonight.  Listening to the puppies snore, and the absence of the wind outside.

Today I made a few t-shirt designs.  The salmonberry!  of which this web address is named.   It is a new obsession of mine and I will probably Include it everything I make in the next week or so. Ben and I got into a huge discussion today on wether or not the salmonberry on "manly"...that is, can a man wear a salmonberry on his t-shirt and still be a man?  I think so...but I don't think I could get him to wear a salmonberry shirt even if I paid him three caribou.  Here is the site where you can buy my designs:

I miss the caribou.  I lie awake at night and think of them.  Imagining them plodding along up north.  Living in a world of constant eating and bug avoidance.  I think of all the wonderful things we will do with their meat.  Dry it.  Boil it. Make Eskimo ice cream.   I plan to take special care of the thinner fall skins thus harvest.  Hopefully I can get enough good ones to make a caribou skin parka for Ben.  One that is lighter and warmer than anything you can buy at the big brand camping gear shop.  I also plan to tan the leg skins so that I can create beautiful things out of them.  

I lay awake dreaming of what beauty will come from the animals I love so much.  Dreaming of caribou. It's a time of bonding with family.  Laughing with friends. Perfecting recipes. Hearts will be singing.  Hands will be busy.  And this year....this year we are going to dry enough to send to relatives that are farther away than most.  

Inupiat Wealth.

It's not green and ...smelly.  There is no quantitive value placed on  Being alive and full and healthy.  Odd that a larder full of meat makes one feel so WEALTHY.  

Even now I can se them in my minds eye.  Growing fatter as the nights grow longer.  How odd is it that we as people can love our prey so much?  Can respect the animal that we hunt and eat?  But then I feel comforted when I think of my time in California...and how separate I was from the meat I ate.  It's a different life.  Not better. Not worse.  Not even Harder.  Just different.  And it took me years to actually realize that.

We are the eater of souls.  Brilliant beautiful souls.  And it doesn't make you horrible to realize that.  To accept it and even, well, believe in it.  I don't mean roll in it and rub it on your face and everyone's else's face.  But more like acknowledge it.  Make a place for it in your mind.  In your world view.

The arctic is a funny place that way.  It makes you make more room in your mind.  

I wonder if I counted...caribou...I would be able to sleep?

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