The first way that “I” is under pressure is that the book is written by two poets. Oscillating between voices with only small initials to indicate ownership, my eyes slip between the stanzas of one voice to the other. I’m unsure where one poem begins and the other ends and whose poem is whose. The “I” also slips through time. It dilates from a single lifetime to moments, seasons and eons. Presumably, each voice of a different age with different interests at each moment. The “I” is nomadic, moving countries and ecosystems. I cannot locate my self. I’m unfixed.
By fighting for their fishing rights, those in the native community at Frank’s Landing were protecting their culture. In seeing the footage of the family fishing from their canoes it seems ridiculous that they were ever forced to stop. Clearly, their fishing was not the cause of the salmon decline. The treaty rights are a legal foothold for the protection of vital resources and, thanks to the Boldt decision, a meaningful one. That victory was won by the consistent resistance to the unjust laws through physical disobedience and sacrifice. The work of justice is the work of our bodies.
By choosing to protect the marine mammals and not consider the entire food chain, you have doomed me as a Chinook Salmon. In my life cycle I have to pass through gauntlet after gauntlet to insure that many ecosystems can feast on my family. From Central California to Alaska and back, we are the ones who feed you (Fig. 2). While we ourselves are predators, we are the arbiters of regional health. Instead of loving on your fellow apex predators consider who it is that really needs support. Where ever we go, you go, and we’re heading to disaster.
In the diking of the Nisqually River Delta, the natural flooding processes were disrupted to support farming. Despite the transformation of the Brown and Braget farms into Wildlife Refuge, the river turned from a source of drinking water to a danger to human health for the Nisqually people and the entire ecosystem. The shellfish downstream of the river cannot be harvested if it rains more than half an inch. They can not be properly tended to by their human relations as they have been for many generations. Are they lonely? Native Americans continue to fight for the river’s health.
I see the going-on-and-with happening in the sense that there is an embrace of non-duality between subjects and objects. Especially in the sciences, the positionality of “new” knowledge becomes more and more relevant. Rather than this being a source of invalidation, it is a basis for legitimacy that is different from the linear arrow like nomadism. I also see it in the ease of access to information via the internet. We are developing nomadic minds, rather than bodies, in the way we can travel from idea to idea. Knowledge becomes circular and complicates identity as our roots become rhizomatic.
One only understands the small slice of reality to which one directs their attention. By defining a small area of interest, one can find depth of knowledge; like observing a wave in a lab’s wave pool, for example. But in limiting the scale dramatically and creating a controlled environment, the greater context and complexity is eliminated and the information garnered is also of limited use. The definition of scale in the drawing of boundaries exerts a value system. One decides what is worthy of attention. This is a powerful choice for the beings living on the edges and traveling between.