,January 25, 2023 15:00 Pacific Time from the slopes of Mt. Teneriffe,
The geographic anchor, the stone dropped into the water.
The slope of the Cascade Mountains facing X̌ʷəlč
(Colonized name: the Salish Sea).
I started to the west, on the trail up q'əlpc'
(Colonized name: Mt. Si), and about a mile in,
heard a pileated woodpecker calling from
somewhere in the canopy of Douglas fir, and
western and mountain hemlock. A little later I
veered east onto the Talus Loop trail and crossed
to the Mt. Teneriffe trail. I started back north,
on long switchbacks.
At 15:00 PT I stopped. There was snow on the ground
and I heard crackling.
A group of birds called high up in the canopy, certainly some kinglets,
probably golden crowned. Near me: sword ferns, some hemlock species,
salal, mosses and lichen. I heard flowing nearby, and saw, heard,
felt other beings, mammals, amphibians. Not a lot of reptiles, perhaps.
I knew there was an abundance of microorganisms and invertebrates
around me and under me, knew that I did not know their names but felt them.
I started recording so I could transcribe what I said. (It felt emergent when
I said it, probably because there were no other humans. In the context of
this webpage, without the pauses, it seems to change shape. I did, by the
way, laugh a bit).
Hello, can you hear me? I asked
Including the elk?
I apologize for trespassing into your winter range.
I want to express my gratitude to the Coast Salish People, including the sdukʷalbixʷ (Snoqualmie Tribe), for your relationship since time immemorial to this land and these beings.
As a person in a white body, I recognize that I am, and will always be, an occupier when I come into a place like this, until that point in the future, that point in the past, when the network tendrils of white supremacy, colonialism and imperialism no longer claim dominion.
I recognize that my gratitude is a moment of paying attention but is not repair. I reaffirm my intention to work, learn, continue towards that point, moment, space, time, sense that white supremacy and the colonial mindset no longer perpetuate violence upon bodies and the earth.
No one human came down the trail. No one human
came up the trail.
I heard a flutter of some bird. I turned to an old stump,
decayed snag stump, once tree, now moss, and lichen,
and the emergent hemlock branch.
I asked, please help me hold all of the names
of the species and all of the artist participants.
I said, I have the paper here.
I showed the paper to the very old being and the beings
living on that being.
I read the names of the species as they are called on the U. S. Federal documents,
and the groups of species. And I read the artists' names.
Launched as a stone into sea gabbro, igneous. Teneriffe. May the ripples carry us.