ON THIS DAY: December 4, 2018

December 4th is

Cab Franc Grape Day

National Cookie Day *

National Sock Day

Wear Brown Shoes Day

World Wildlife Conservation Day *

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MORE! Persius, Edith Cavell and Cecil B. DeMille, click

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ON THIS DAY: December 3, 2018

December 3rd is

Peppermint Latte Day

Roof over Your Head Day

International Day for Persons with Disabilities *

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MORE! Hector Berlioz, Anna Freud and Muntu Myesa, click

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TCS: Ogden Nash and ‘The Common Cold’

Good Morning!

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Welcome to The Coffee Shop, just for you early risers on Monday mornings.
This is an Open Thread forum, so if you have an off-topic opinion burning
a hole in your brainpan, feel free to add a comment.

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To feel common after a common cold is quite uncommon.
― Khang Kijarro Nguyen

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ON THIS DAY: December 2, 2018

December 2nd is

National Fritters Day

National Mutt Day II *

Safety Razor Day

Special Education Day *

International Day for the Abolition of Slavery *

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MORE! Harriet Cohen, Pu Yi and Maria Callas, click

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ON THIS DAY: December 1, 2018

December 1st is

Antarctica Day *

Civil Air Patrol Day *

Day With(out) Art *

Eat a Red Apple Day

National Fried Pie Day

World AIDS Awareness Day *

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MORE! Anna Komnene, Rex Stout and Marie Bashir, click

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November 30, 2018

November 30th is

Cities for Life Day *

Computer Security Day *

Mason Jar Day *

National Mousse Day

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MORE! Mark Twain, Takako Doi and U Thant, click

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Word Cloud: EARTHDRUM

by NONA BLYTH CLOUD

For this final day of Native American Heritage Month, I offer you some poems by Joseph Bruchac (1942 –)  an Abenaki poet, storyteller and editor who won a Cherokee Nation Prose Award, the Hope S. Dean Award for Notable Achievement in Children’s Literature, and both Writer of the Year and Storyteller of the Year awards from the Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers. Bruchac was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas. He also edited the anthology Breaking Silence (1983), which won a American Book Award.

This storyteller says about his own life story:

My grandmother was a person who loved books. Although my grandfather could barely read and write, there were books in every room in our house, classics, the Stevenson books, the Kipling books, the works of Shakespeare. So, from my earliest years on I would pull books off the shelves and try to read them and then eventually did read them. I wanted books of my own too. There were no book stores. The nearest book store was in Albany, which was 35 miles away . . .

When I was a child, there really were no books about Native Americans or American Indians – you know, either term is okay – that were available. There was just nothing. There were historical books. There were books that talked about culture in terms of books written by anthropologists. And there were some books like oh say Two Little Savages where you had white kids playing Indian.

But as far as something that really reflected Native reality, I couldn’t find anything. Maybe it was that lack of those books that spurred me on to write the books I would later write.


A story is a burden which must be carried with as much
care as we carry a sleeping child.   – Joseph Bruchac


. . . some years ago I helped put together a series at Symphony Space in New York City called “Coyote Walks Around.” It was performances of dance by Native dancers from different tribal traditions interwoven with traditional stories, and I did the storytelling. And the dancers were from various regions of the North American continent.

And in putting each one together I’d work with them. “What should I tell? How should I tell it? When should I tell it? Where should it be told?” And in one case a Cheyenne grass dancer, Mr. White Man, said to me, “I’d like you to tell the story of the grass dance.” I said, “I don’t know it.” He said, “I will teach it to you, but you have to tell it right, and you have to promise me you’ll only tell it when a grass dance is going to be done.” And so I’ve only told that story three times in my life, and it’s always been when a grass dancer has said, “I hear you know the story of the grass dance as we tell it. Could you tell it before I do the dance?” That to me is an example of a very, very real connection between the tradition, the story, and the proper telling of it.

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Prints

Seeing photos
of ancestors
a century past

is like looking
at your own
fingerprints—

circles
and lines
you can’t
recognize

until someone else
with a stranger’s eye
looks close and says
that’s you.


“Prints” from Sing: Poetry from the Indigenous Americas © 2011 by Joseph Bruchac –  University of Arizona Press

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