Interim curation: Living Resistance interview

cross-posted from Patreon

How do you face interpersonal violence and dehumanization while remaining in integrity, being gentle, and engaging sustainably?

Here’s a good interview between Katherine May (Wintering) host and Kaitlin Curtice, the author of Living Resistance: An Indigenous Vision for Seeking Wholeness Every Day. The interview was really nice to float on while I did other chores and daily activities. I haven’t read the book yet only because I have limited hours in the day!

I’m also trying to sustain myself by listening, again, to Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer. It was published in 2015, and I didn’t get to read it until 2020 (September, while my local area was on fire and you couldn’t see a block down the street). I have often noticed that there are some books that cannot span the changes that have occurred since they were written, because they still have this sense of “surely this dystopian thing is happening and we should focus on it [but, unstated, at least these safeguards are still rock solid]” because by now those safeguards have already fallen. The election of the 45th US president and the chaotic nightmare of 4 years ending with insurrection, and the pandemic and numerous mass shootings where people with power collectively shrugged regarding the cost of human lives that could be directly prevented… So much learned helplessness and yet so much more obviousness about values and beliefs. But this book stands the test of changing epochs. Being grounded in deep values tends to do that.

So I appreciate interviews between Katherine May and Kaitlin B. Curtice, and I appreciate the chapter of Braiding Sweetgrass that describes the Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address that begins most council meetings, where the repeated phrase is “So now, we bring our minds together as one as we give greetings and thanks to ____. Now our minds are one” through naming and thanking numerous beings and co-inhabitants of the earth. (Listen to the book for the essay, but an example of one version held by the Smithsonian is linked here.)

I appreciate the interview because then I listen to a Consider This (NPR) episode [“Ranked Choice Voting May Be Coming To An Election Near You,” December 3, 2023; I’m not linking to it] about Ranked Choice Voting (which I am a proponent of, since it adds complexity, nuance, empathy and collaboration to elections via structure, incentives and disincentives). The journalist talked to some GOP person who was against it (many GOP-legislator-controlled states have “outlawed” RCV lest they have to actually answer to their constituents). The Journalist Miles Parks posed the question as (and this is a paraphrase, not a quote, because the transcript isn’t yet available and I cannot bring myself to re-listen), “We cannot possibly want a system of voting where there is only about 10% of the population engaging and having their voices heard, so why are you against RCV?” and the GOP legislator/governor says, “Well, I don’t see a problem with that kind of government…” and goes on to say some other stuff. But recall, Lee Atwater said it out loud at a closed door meeting (CPAC, maybe?) that they don’t want a representative government. They want only a small population of people that the conservative leaders approve of to be voting, and that approval is directly tied to income and skin color and where their parents were born.

What a contrast: the Haudenosaunee focusing on bringing our minds (and hearts) to oneness in gratitude, versus a journalist and an powerful interviewee disagreeing completely on what framework of representation we want this immensely powerful nation to have over the course of two sentences.

Is it any wonder I am hiding by floating on the calm voices of Katherine May, Kaitlin Curtice, Robin Wall Kimmerer… and also Naomi Novik, Terry Pratchett (may his memory be a blessing as it is for me), and Heather Fawcett.  I’ll put links to the books I’m reading to stay simultaneously grounded in reality and also floating in values and ideals below, and the main link (at the top) is to the podcast interview episode. These are all affiliate links, so if you click through here and buy them by this route, I get a wee bit of money for guiding you to it but the author and a local bookstore of your choosing gets more!

(K.M. advertizes her latest book Enchantment but I feel like this one is better for right now)
Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times, by Katherine May
🎧Buy Wintering on
πŸ“šBuy Wintering on

Living Resistance: An Indigenous Vision for Seeking Wholeness Every Day by Kaitlin B. Curtice
🎧 Buy Living Resistance on
πŸ“š Buy Living Resistance on

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer
🎧 Buy Braiding Sweetgrass on
πŸ“š Buy Braiding Sweetgrass on

and some fiction that I am reading and rereading for the same purpose

by Heather Fawcett
Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries (Book 1)
🎧 Buy Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries on
πŸ“š Buy Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries on

by Naomi Novik
Spinning Silver
🎧 Buy Spinning Silver on
πŸ“š Buy Spinning Silver on

by Terry Pratchett
The Wee Free Men
🎧 Buy The Wee Free Men on
πŸ“š Buy The Wee Free Men on
A Hat Full of Sky
🎧 Buy A Hat Full of Sky on
πŸ“š Buy A Hat Full of Sky on
🎧 Buy Wintersmith on
πŸ“š Buy Wintersmith on
I Shall Wear Midnight
🎧 Buy I Shall Wear Midnight on
πŸ“š Buy I Shall Wear Midnight on
The Shepherd’s Crown  
🎧 Buy The Shepherd’s Crown on
πŸ“š Buy The Shepherd’s Crown on