|About the Book|
My grandmother has many good stories and she writes them freely as she fills each page of her life, recording hours that belong exclusively to her now my grandfather is gone. She writes in an enormous, leatherbound volume that begins with a pageMoreMy grandmother has many good stories and she writes them freely as she fills each page of her life, recording hours that belong exclusively to her now my grandfather is gone. She writes in an enormous, leatherbound volume that begins with a page devoted solely to her name. A luxury. Every other page contains rows of tiny writing that I can only describe as spidery, though that term is antiquated. Of course keeping a journal is antiquated, but I do not attempt to convince her that words will fail her as surely as human flesh. That words can appease, amuse and sadden but are quickly forgotten. She believes differently. Nelly Slim-feather uses words to trace deep paths in towering black peaks topped by sparse needle trees. She creates tales where men and women of similar blood summon benevolent spirits from boulders, cliffs and water. Tales in which people meet death because they acted with greed or malice. She scorches paths into her hillsides with the energy of her burning blood, marking her way as clearly as if she had anchored bright, flowing flags. When we speak together, she professes that stories have comforted her people for centuries. That death is only a marker on the path traveled under the shadow of a long spear. I do not trust in her paths and do not seek comfort in her habit of stories. My native blood is drying and leaving me, like a snakeskin shed in the sun, its former inhabitant slithered and disappeared into the woods, under the rocks or perhaps, into the water, with only a diamond-cut head and a hissing, stinging pink tongue visible. Waiting to grow a protective new skin and seek refuge under the shadow of a large and unmoving mountain.