WHY I WAKE EARLY
Hello, sun in my face.
Hello, you who make the morning
and spread it over the fields
and into the faces of the tulips
and the nodding morning glories,
and into the windows of, even, the
miserable and the crotchety --
best preacher that ever was,
dear star, that just happens
to be where you are in the universe
to keep us from ever-darkness,
to ease us with warm touching,
to hold us in the great hands of light --
good morning, good morning, good morning.
Watch, now, how I start the day
in happiness, in kindness.
-- Mary Oliver, Why I Wake Early, 2004
Need I say more? Actually there's nothing more to be said.
But for those who ever hunger for more --
In the very earliest time
When both people and animals lived on earth
A person could become an animal if he wanted to
and an animal could become a human being.
Sometimes they were people
and sometimes animals
and there was no difference.
All spoke the same language
That was the time when words were like magic.
The human mind had mysterious powers.
A word spoken by chance might have strange consequences.
It would suddenly come alive
and what people wanted to happen could happen--
all you had to do was say it.
Nobody could explain this:
That's the way it was.
-- Nalungiaq, Inuit woman interviewed by ethnologist Knud Rasmussen in the early twentieth century...introducing an astute and soul-touching article, Lessons in the Old Language, by Matthew C. Bronson:
Matthew C. Bronson, Ph.D. is an educational linguist with a doctorate in educational research, with a specialization in language, literacy, and culture from U.C. Davis, and an A.B. and M.A. in linguistics from U.C. Berkeley. He serves as associate professor in the School of Consciousness and Transformation and Director of Academic Assessment at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco and as a teacher-educator in the School of Education at U.C. Davis. His recent publications include a co-edited volume, _So What? Now What? The Anthropology of Consciousness Responds to a World in Crisis_.